Have you ever bought a plant purely on a recommendation, without seeing it? I did when I read that the rose Souvenir du Docteur Jamain was Vita Sackville West's favourite rose because of its intense perfume. Well, I bought it and I can't smell a thing, but the name has a sort of haunting quality about it and I often wondered who Docteur Jamain was.
So, if you want to know read on, and if you couldn't care less, fair enough.
Docteur Jean-Alexandre Jamain was born in 1816, the son of a well-known Parisian horticulturalist, Dupuy Jamain. He became a medical doctor and then a surgeon and finally a university lecturer. He published many articles and several books, including A Manual of Minor Surgery. He became the editor of the Archives of Ophthalmology and the Hospital Gazette. He published a treatise on the blood of the scrotum.
He died in 1862 and three years later was honoured by the rose grower Lacharme with his rose Souvenir du Docteur Jamain. It is a deep, smoky port wine colour and has the most annoying habit of turning ash grey if it meets the sun.