Throughout the month of May the roses are being harvested in the fields surrounding Grasse. Did you know that all perfumery flowers in Grasse are organically grown?
The May Rose Makes Beautiful Parfum
We used rose absolute in both of our Villa des Parfums fragrances because it’s truly the emblematic Grasse flower, and this is the only place in the world where the Rose Centifolia (or the May Rose) is cultivated for perfumery.
One of the reasons that the scent of the Grasse rose is so distinct and beautiful is that the climatic conditions here provide the perfect amount of hardship and suffering to the plant, never harsh enough to destroy it, but so challenging and stressful that the plant is pushed to the extreme.
Interestingly, it’s this hardship and fight for survival that is required to produce the most fragrant, beautiful, scent filled roses.
I love this wonderful image from nature, that the harshest conditions produce the greatest beauty! Don’t we always want everything so easily? Don’t we tend to resist hardship and struggle? So often we think to ourselves, if it’s this hard, I must be doing it wrong. And we give up so easily.
And we REALLY don’t want our kids to suffer or face hardship of any kind. Yet the roses remind us that the struggle is good because it’s producing something fruitful, beautiful, fragrant.
Beauty in the Suffering
Saint Paul wrote about this very idea and he even talked about REJOICING in suffering. I used to think he was crazy or something, but I have come to discover that it’s true. Suffering, when I don’t resist it, but allow for it to do it’s work, produces something deep, beautiful, strong, even fragrant in my soul.
My life goal is to bring the fragrance of life to this world in a tangible way, that’s why in 2008 we named our non-profit Parfums de Vie (which means fragrance of life in French) and that’s why I give my life to serving others – the vulnerable, invisible, excluded, oppressed.
The kids and Moms that I work with here in Grasse know a whole lot more about suffering than I do, they’ve experienced hardships that I cannot fathom, and yet I am thankful that nature tells us this hopeful story through the roses, because I get to walk alongside them and I see the very same forces at work in their lives when they don’t give up, and when they don’t give in to bitterness or despair but they fight for something better, something true, something healing and life-giving.
Saint Paul wasn’t crazy after all, he was onto something, and the roses are in on it too. This is why I choose thankfulness and joy, even when it defies all logic, because somehow if I will allow for it, the struggles will eventually transform me, and the more fragrant, resistant, beautiful and useful my life and heart will become.
Let me rejoice in all of it!