I feel like this perfume came to me by osmosis. Years of occasionally smelling it on other people allowed it to filter into my brain via my nose and take root there as a scent I began to love. A couple of friends either wear or have worn Stella but somehow it hasn't become too 'them' to be 'me' as well. Perhaps because I don't see either of them frequently. Its smell is distinct and original in a perfume market full of bland clones.
The top notes are rose essence, peony flower and mandarin essence. Rose absolute is the heart note and the base notes are 'woody notes' and amber. If you dislike rose scents and therefore have avoided this perfume, I suggest giving it a try. I find some rose-based products too 'granny floral' but I absolutely adore Stella. It's intoxicating!
The concept behind the fragrance is the contrast between the freshness and softness of rose, and the dark sensuality of amber. On application it's quite strong but you don't keep smelling it on yourself all day. I think other people may catch a whiff though as I remember from past experience of smelling it on my friends. I rarely like perfumes that are so pervasive you cannot forget about them for a moment.
The bottle is pretty, like a faceted amethyst gem. The limited edition floral print bottles in three different designs are also beautiful if you can still find them. While it may have taken a few years for this gorgeous perfume to find its way to me, I think it's definitely here to stay.
Stella by Stella McCartney is available from Escentual.com, from £38.