Souvenir de Madame Leonie Viennot, Tea Rose
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet;”
Shakespeare’s Juliet had a point, but then again she never drew her nose to this heady petaled confection. Tea rose Souvenir de Madame Leonie Viennot could smell like fresh laundry and sport six petals, and I fear I would still swoon over the prospect of what a such a name could deliver.
The naming conventions of 1898 are a far cry from their present-day counterparts. Modern roses seem to bear names that possess all the poetry of brand names and talk-show hosts. Inspiration and bucolic conjurings are ill-suited to such names and Electron, Rosie O’Donnell, and Tequila Sunrise . So I leave you with a old garden rose that is delicious on all levels, fragrant, floriferous and unwilling to commit to any one single hue of pink, buff, shell or coral in its multi-layered palette. Madame Leonie Viennot’s husband (a rose breeder) honored his wife and our senses with a perfumed and luscious souvenir.