Stop and Smell the Space Roses

A co-worker sent a link today to an MSN feature article about 10 inventions tied to NASA. Most of them I was familiar with — Tang, the space pen, materials used in swimsuits and ski boots — but I had never heard of space rose oil. Apparently, in 1998, this perfume company partnered with NASA to fly a rose plant on the space shuttle to see how microgravity would affect the plant’s oils, which are used in perfumes and other fragrance products. What they found was that the rose released an entirely new scent. Without gravity the plant oils were no longer constrained to the stem and a new scent was created.

I started this post all excited about because the space rose scent is used in the perfume “Zen” by Shiseido and I was going to order a bottle to-day! But now I’m not sure if the current “Zen” still uses the space rose note. Several news stories and blogs talked about a new Zen that came out a few years ago, and the Macy’s description of the notes used does not list “space rose.” I’ve emailed the Shiseido people to find out and will post an update if they get back to me.


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