The giant-teddy-bear trappings of Valentine’s Day may be universal symbols of commodified emotion, but February 14th is no Hallmark holiday. The name of Saint Valentine in connection with romantic love was invoked as far back as 1382, by Geoffrey Chaucer; by the 18th century, couples honored the occasion much in the way we do now, trading flowers, candy, and greeting cards (once hand-written, now mass-produced).

In the time since, we have managed to take this practice to just about the wildest possible extreme, as we often do. American shoppers are expected to spend $2.3 billion on flowers alone for Valentine’s Day this year, according to the National Retail Federation — much of that, it is safe to assume, on roses. Roses are the flowers we give on Valentine’s Day and for other love reasons, ever since Victorian men would send them to women as a secret way to say “I love you” and probably also “I am going to poison your husband.”

That’s the other thing about roses: They die. So why say it with roses when you can say it with things that smell like roses? Fill your studio kitchen with the wafting scent of bright-red blooms for a few days before beauty turns to decay, or smell like you just popped out of the bouquet yourself for as long as the bottle lasts. Buy it for a loved one, or be your own Valentine’s Day gift with these seven rose fragrances that will save at least a dozen stems on airfare from Colombia.

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Ellis Brooklyn Rrose Eau De Parfum

Marcel Duchamp toyed with themes of beauty and eroticism through the lens of his female alter ego, Rrose Sélavy — said aloud, a pun on the French adage “Eros, c’est la vie” (“sex, such is life”). There’s an irreverence to this scent not unlike its conceptual muse, with a pulpy lemon twist that cuts the soft femininity of rose petals and turns them into something juicier and less expected entirely.

Ellis Brooklyn Rrose Eau De Parfum, $, available at Ellis Brooklyn

Diptyque Eau Capitale Eau de Parfum

Chypre, ever heard of her? The olfactory family, pronounced sheep-ra, gets its name from François Coty’s 1917 perfume Chypre, the French word for the island of Cyprus (the fragrance’s raw materials largely originated in the Mediterranean). Chypre scents typically open with citrus and lean into resinous labdanum at the midpoint before drying down to a dry, woodsy finish. In this iteration, inspired by the fragrance house’s Parisian roots, you get lush roses at first whiff, then bergamot and bright pink peppercorns underscored by patchouli. It’s complex, defiant, at once old-fashioned and avant-garde — kind of like the city itself.

Diptyque Eau Capitale Eau de Parfum, $, available at Saks Fifth Avenue

Dior Miss Dior Rose N’Roses Eau de Toilette Spray

Rose scents really sing when a burst of citrus is added to the mix, as exemplified by the brightness of this effervescent eau de toilette. Italian mandarin and bright green bergamot add sweetness and sparkle to a pure, classic rose for an allover lightness that smells like how standing before a kilometers-wide field of fresh pink blooms in Grasse must feel.

Dior Miss Dior Rose N’Roses Eau de Toilette Spray, $, available at Macy’s

Ex Nihilo Rose Hubris Eau de Parfum

With the aromatic spice of fenugreek and the deep earthiness of oakmoss, this sophisticated scent alludes to one often-forgotten component of roses: the dirt they’re planted in. Still, the abundance of Rose de Mai keeps it clear, slightly honeyed, and easy to love, even with — or perhaps because of — the unmistakable note of forest floor.

Ex Nihilo Rose Hubris Eau de Parfum, $, available at Saks Fifth Avenue

Ouai Melrose Place Eau de Parfum

This clean, high-key rose bubbles over with the velvety Champagne fizz and bouquets of peony, jasmine, and freesia on the tables at an A-list wedding held in Gwyneth Paltrow’s backyard; the white musk and sandalwood on the shoulder of a friend who always has a perfect blowout when she leans in for the double air-kiss.

Ouai OUAI Melrose Place Eau de Parfum, $, available at Revolve

Philosophy Amazing Grace Bergamot Eau de Toilette

Rose tends to be divisive — you either love it or hate it. But if you find yourself somewhere in the middle, enjoying it and appreciating it but not feeling quite ready to jump headlong into it, this fragrance is proof that not only does rose play well with others, but sometimes it even lets them assume the starring role. When bergamot and orange blossom take the lead, the result is more fresh than floral.

Philosophy Amazing Grace Bergamot Eau de Toilette, $, available at Ulta Beauty

Tom Ford Rose Prick Eau de Parfum

Every rose has its thorn — except for a Tom Ford rose, which has its own very distinctive prick. Here, it represents the heat of Sichuan peppercorn and turmeric, which jolt the jammy rose out of its floral comfort zone and render it warm and woodsy. Full-bodied and creamy with a drydown of patchouli and tonka bean, this is so far from a “grandma” rose it’s practically laughable — unless your grandma is the ghost of Mae West.

Tom Ford Rose Prick Eau de Parfum, $, available at Sephora

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