Rosa Thea by Borsari 1870 {Perfume Short - Express Perfume Review}


Recently a reader from Greece contacted me to ask for some assistance in finding information about Borsari, a venerable perfume house based in Parma, Italy and in particular about one of its perfumes, Rosa Thea. This person was looking for a full bottle of it, a much more difficult task it seems than finding a miniature version  of it. Seeing such enthusiasm for a perfume is always contagious and it made me want to seek out the fragrance and see by myself what all the fuss was about.....

Rosa Thea is an eau de parfum featuring a tea rose and a very natural-smelling one at that. I am handicapped in paying it due homage by the fact that I am not a rose lover per se. There are rose-centered perfumes that I love but I am not an obsessive collector of rose fragrances. However, I do see how this one would appeal to rose connoisseurs. The perfume captures different facets of the tea rose; despite the fact that there is a composition, the scent nevertheless plays the card of pure unadulterated love for a rose found in its raw form so to speak. The love is total and what is loved are the petals, fresh and dried up, the earth that has nourished the rose and contributes to its dirt-smelling facet. It feels like one would have buried one's face in its silken petals and stayed there long enough to live its bloom and decay as some facets evoke a pot-pourri. The scent evokes the soft flesh of a rose, its morning dewey self as well as its more narcotic exhalations.

The perfume starts on a boozy note making you think of overripe liquorishey roses. It then goes on to smell both fresh and heady. There is some spice to enliven the soliflore, possibly black pepper, clove, carnation. At this stage it is reminiscent of the beginning of Parfum Sacré by Caron. Fresh dirt is evoked. The main companion to the rose here seems to be ambergris offering its cool metallic edge and piscean reference. It becomes very slightly powdery. The rose at its height is fruity; I would not surprised if there were a strawberry or raspberry note to reinforce that effect. There are some honey nuances. The drydown is musky and sweet-smelling with perhaps hints of sandalwood and rosewood.

You can find 3.5 ml flacons of Rosa Thea on eBay. It comes in a set of four fragrances contained in a metallic box.

You can read my review of another Borsari fragrance, Violetta di Parma. It is considered to be the violet perfume of true connoisseurs.

Photo is by The Scented Salamander

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4 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. i am the person who asked you about the borsari..unfortunately it is out of production since 1998...are there any similar top quality fragrances out there?

  2. I am looking for an Italian perfume by "Antiqua Farmacia", the fragrance is "Rosa". Apparently it is only available in Italy. does anyone know anything about it?.

  3. I do own two cute Borsari sets: one is a small metallic box with three little flacons (it includes Rosa Thea), and another cute, empty perfume bottle. The second set is larger and holds 12 little, Borsari flacons. I bought them both because they looked so cute and unique, I got them at a better price than I see all over the internet or Ebay! The little perfume shop sales woman had no idea they were worth more than $40.00 for both... I've googled it later and thought I got a great price on them. Or maybe she just wanted to get rid of them. I am so glad I bought them both. After reading this article I was so tempted to see what Rosa Thea smells like that I opened one flacon, poured a little drop on my wrist... and I have fallen in love with it! I am not a rose-lover but this is the most beautiful rose I've ever smelled in my life! I also agree that there could be some raspberry or strawberry added so the scent is even fruitier but in a very sophisticated way. All I can say is that rosa thea is: DELISCIOUS! If I happen to come across a large bottle of it on Ebay I am so buying it. Wow, I would never guess that a rose perfume might be so beautiful.

  4. Hi, I own a miniature bottle of borsari 1870 acqua di rosa thea just like the picture. It's almost full.


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