Mini-Reviews Roundup, Feb. 2017

Le Galion La Rose – a 2014 reorchestration of a 1950 fragrance, La Rose is not the soliflore I’d thought it would be. It is warm and woody, and yes, rosy. Very attractive, comfortable, pleasant; more interesting than a plain rosewater scent but I find it quite comforting.

Head notes | Bergamot, Violet Leaf
Heart notes | Rose, Ylang Ylang, Water Peach, Royal Lily
Base notes | Cedar, Patchouli, Vanilla, Musk

I have no idea what “water peach” is, but La Rose doesn’t accent any peachy notes. It’s not particularly vanilla-y either, which is refreshing. I mean, a gourmandy rose-vanilla is always nice (Rochas Tocade, Lush Rose Jam, Montale White Aoud, etc., etc.), but this one is mainly fresh pink rose and soft woods. Very lovely. Lasting power is about average for an eau de parfum on me, 4-5 hours, and the sillage is mild to moderate. €140 for 100ml, €9 for a 6.5ml mini at the Le Galion website.

Short reviews at What Men Should Smell Like and Colognoisseur.

Dame Perfumery Desert Rose – A bit of overlap here with the Le Galion, but… you know. Rose. Duh. I’m always a sucker.

Dame Perfumery says this about it: “A blend of Turkish rose otto and Damascenia Rose with touches of peach, Sicilian lemon, Egyptian jasmine, geranium, carnation, heliotrope, sandalwood, musk, amber and vanilla.  For a woman, mostly.”

I suppose in my mind, a desert rose would be dry, but Desert Rose is quite pleasantly fresh and dewy, at least for the first half. I was thinking that “Damascenia Rose” was a typo, since I had only ever seen it written “damascena.” Turns out that Damascenia is a Firminich molecule. Whatever it is, it’s really pretty in this fragrance, which does smell fairly natural. I get little touches of peach in it, as well as carnation, but as it wears on, the whole thing goes a bit soapy. $85 for 100ml edp spray, $35 for 10ml oil rollerball, $10 for $5ml edp spray.

Short reviews at The Scented Hound and Scent of Abricots.

The fancy engraved bell jar, which is even pricier than the regular $300 one.

Serge Lutens De Profundis – I had only a vague memory of testing this one before — you know me, not the biggest Serge Fangrrl — and wanted to retry it. I am completely ignoring the wacko Serge description (death, chrysanthemums, carnality at the graveside ew ew ew, no, I’m not quoting it here) and the letter Oscar Wilde wrote to his bosom buddy Lord Alfred Douglas from prison, which is the purported inspiration for the fragrance. And maybe the Fleurs du Mal Baudelaire reference too.

To be honest, the backstory put me off trying the fragrance seriously for a long time. Instead, I have focused on the “Out of the deep” movement from John Rutter’s Requiem. The Rutter is one of my favorite choral pieces, and it is somber and gorgeous and ethereal. And then there’s the J.S. Bach setting of Psalm 130, also wonderful. (FYI, there are two Bach settings of this text, and it’s not Cantata BWV 131 but BWV 38 that I remember.)

“Life!” by Mohan Nellore at Flickr, some rights reserved.

De Profundis the fragrance does not move me the way the Rutter does, but it is very very pretty. Yes, I just called a Lutens “pretty,” and I’m not takin’ it back. It’s pretty, y’all. Shaddup. It is both bold and tender at the same time, quite floral and cool and meditative, and while that may be because I don’t associate any particular flower with funerals, still. I like chrysanthemums in flower, and I like them in this fragrance along with the carnation and the violets and the incense.

I could wish for better projection and longevity from this one, at least from a heftily-dabbed sample. Maybe it’s better with a spray application, but I got about three hours’ wear and very little sillage.

De Profundis will run you $300 for a 75ml bell jar at the Serge Lutens website.  (Ow. And that’s for the plain one, so nope.)

Other reviews: Grain de Musc, Kafkaesque, Bois de Jasmin, Scents of Self, Patty at Perfume Posse.

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Rose Week #1, spring 2016

mycityflower pink roseThe Now Smell This Friday project is “wear a rose perfume.” I’ve taken the opportunity to make this a rose week. ROSE WEEK YAY!

If I’m being truthful, I probably have enough samples of rose perfumes that I could do a Rose Month. Maybe two months. 😳 And yes, rose perfumes come in many moods, so I could run the gamut from vampy, Gothy dark roses to fresh-cheeked sweet roses, to rose chypres and rose gourmands and woody roses and citrus roses and fruity roses and incense roses and…

Okay, you get the idea. In any case, what I’m longing for now is the gentle, uncomplicated ones, the ones that “feel pink” on my skin and just make me smile. I didn’t even have to dig very far to find several gentle pinkies. Here’s what I wore this week:

My bottle of Petite Cherie looks like this, all lovely celadon green frosted glass.Monday, April 12Annick Goutal Petite Cherie, edt. This is very definitely a fruity rose, and rather simple, which isn’t odd considering that it was created for Annick Goutal’s young daughters. It’s cut grass, pear, peach, rose, vanilla and musk. I never smell peach in it – or vanilla, for that matter. Instead, it’s pear, cucumber, and rose, and it evokes a sweet childhood memory for me, so that I find it extremely comforting. There was a time when Gaze used to ask me to spritz it on the hem of his sleep shirt… (why do they have to grow up? sigh.) My bottle is the pale celadon-green frosted glass one, 25ml, and I keep it in the fridge since it’s so well-known for going off; it’s now seven years old and smells just fine.

paris YSLTuesday, April 13Yves St. Laurent Paris vintage parfum. I bought this mini recently on ebay and am utterly floored by it. It’s like rose liqueur – heady, intense, very beautiful. Not that I’ve tasted rose liqueur, but I’m sure it exists. (It does, I just looked it up. Pretty sure they don’t sell it at my local ABC store. They do sell moonshine there, though!) Man, if you sprayed the parfum on, you’d radiate for three city blocks. Not that that would be a bad thing.

roses and peoniesWednesday, April 14Parfums MDCI Rose de Siwa. I can’t help sighing in pleasure over it, because it is just the pinkest, prettiest, un-Barbie-est floral ever. If you hate it, you probably hate kittens and babies and flowers, and I’m not sure I wanna be friends with you.

(Just kidding.)

Thursday, April – Testing Parfums de Nicolai Rose Pivoine… and I don’t like it. Not enough peony, too much geranium for my personal taste. Once that wore off, I tested Ann Gerard Rose Cut, which I cannot now make up my mind whether I like or not. I did love the first hour of it – a gorgeously jammy rose, with a hint of patchouli and just a tad of vanilla. From there it got more and more oriental-balsamy, and by the end I was just waaaaaiting for it to wear off.

creme de la cremeFriday, April 15Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete. Okay, I admit it – for all my yarking on about pink roses, the yellow ones are really my favorite. Rose d’Ete smells like yellow roses – a soft hint of apple, and a gentle powdery rose that makes me feel joyous. I think this one might have been THE first niche fragrance I ever bought, and I still love it.

I found so many rose perfume samples in my stash that I’ll be sure to do another Rose Week soon! This was fun.

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Mini-Review Round up, July 6, 2012

roundup
Parfums de Nicolai Kiss Me Tender – The short version: licorice marshmallows, yaaaay!

The long version: KMT starts out with an anise focus set atop a delightful heliotrope-vanilla-marshmallow (ethyl maltol) base. I didn’t think I would like it, until I actually tried it on skin. Yes, it’s sweet. But there is a tender greenish streak through it that lightens some of the sweetness. There’s also a hint of rose and violet, though it isn’t powdery at all.

I like it. I wore it on one of the hottest days of June so far – 101F in miserably-humid Washington, DC weather, on our admissions tour of Georgetown University – and it was quite pleasant. No hint of the huge flesh-eating patchouli-marshmallow of Angel bursts out of Kiss Me Tender, even in the heat. It just smells nice, all cool and sweet like a licorice popsicle. Lasts about 4 hours, not as long as you’d think based on the notes list. I like the heliotrope in it, particularly because it doesn’t go Play-Doh or artificial fruit-flavored. I’ll probably use up this generous sample (thanks, Joe) but not buy a bottle. Continue reading Mini-Review Round up, July 6, 2012

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Valentine’s Day 2012: A Dozen Roses, Bottled

The classic – some would say cliché – gift to a woman on Valentine’s Day is, of course, a heart-shaped box of chocolates, a dozen red roses, and jewelry. (My teenage daughter’s boyfriend brought her a card and six red roses yesterday; she gave him a handmade card and some candy. All together now: awwww, how sweet!) I don’t like chocolate in perfume, and the idea of jeweled perfumes will have to wait for another day, so here’s a look at some rose perfumes that I love. (Also, it’s an excuse to post beautiful pictures of roses.)

I do indeed love, love fragrances in which rose plays a major part, from light and girlish ones all the way through to dark Gothic ones. So many fragrances contain at least a little bit of rose – even if you can’t smell it on its own, it’s there, making everything smell round and full. I’ll admit up front that it is very, very difficult to find a rose fragrance that smells just like a freshly-cut dewy rose, because in order to obtain rose essence, the rose petals have to be treated in some way – from steam distillation to enfleurage (which involves pressing fresh petals in fat), to the modern scientific method called distillation moléculaire – and you always get “cooked” rose, not fresh. I figure if I want fresh roses, I’ll go to the florist.

For rose perfumes, I have a stash! Some of my favorites, starting from the light and girlish end:

Continue reading Valentine’s Day 2012: A Dozen Roses, Bottled

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Perfume Review: Tauer Perfumes Une Rose Vermeille

Recently, I was lucky enough to win a random drawing for a sample of Une Rose Vermeille from Andy Tauer, through his blog.   Fun stuff there, by the way – go read if you can.  I should go visit more regularly, although I do sneak peeks every now and then.  It’s exciting to get these little glimpses into what it’s like to produce perfume.

Une Rose Vermeille is, as far as I can tell, the second in the Memorables line from Tauer Perfumes, the first being the stunning and very-classical Une Rose Chypree.  (As always, please forgive the lack of diacriticals.)  It launches in September.    From Tauer Perfumes, here is a description of Une Rose Vermeille:

HEAD NOTES: A citrus chord with lemon and bergamot with a hint of lavender.
HEART NOTES: A lavish bouquet of roses, raspberry and violett flowers.
BODY NOTES: A rich body with vanilla, sandalwood, tonka beans and a hint ambergris.

Andy also mentions hints of geranium, velvety marzipan, and a peppery-spicy aspect to the particular rose essence used — a Bulgarian steam-distilled oil he says is very special, and also a bit tricky to work with, although I must say he seems to have negotiated it well. 

Concerning the name: my French is either very bad or nonexistent, depending on your point of view, so I had to run the name through the Babel Fish translator.  I had thought, you see, that it was the feminine form of “vermeil,” which term I often see applied to jewelry, as in sterling silver covered in a relatively thick layer of gold.  Apparently that’s a term used more frequently in America than elsewhere, and most European countries use the term “silver gilt.”   (Feel free to remind me not to waste time drooling over reproduction jewelry in the Museum of Modern Art catalog.)  In any case, the name really means “a vermilion rose,” vermilion being known in Art School terms as a deep, intense red with orange tones.  See the rose photo at left here – isn’t that gorgeous?

My experience with Une Rose Vermeille is that it opens with an intensely orange citrus accord.  It’s so intense, and so orange, that it reminds me of Seville marmalade, the kind so concentrated that it’s on the verge of bitterness and makes one feel extremely alive.  I don’t get much lavender rising up and biting me on the nose, which is good for me as I don’t enjoy lavender much, even flowering in a garden.  This stage is fairly radiant, with one good solid spritz wafting about a five-foot radius, which is a little bigger sillage than I usually like.  Although it’s reminiscent of the mandarin accords in Une Rose Chypree and Incense Rose, it’s a bit less sweet, more astringent. 

I do smell the raspberry coming up rather quickly through the citrus, and it is delicious – none of your artificially-flavored “fruit candy” nonsense.  Once again I’m thinking of food, specifically a recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible for “Cordon Rose Raspberry Conserve.”  I’ve made it often, and it is very, very concentrated, distilling a pound of raspberries, five ounces of sugar and three of water into about two pints of jam.  Incidentally, Ms. Beranbaum recommends lemon, almond, or vanilla as flavor enhancers for raspberry, and the significance of that little tidbit will become apparent.   As the orange fades down, the rose becomes more and more apparent, and this raspberry-rose accord is really beautiful.  I couldn’t tease out the violet note until the third wearing, when I added a tiny dot of Penhaligon’s Violetta to my arm about an inch away from the place I’d applied URV – aha! there it is.  However, the violet is shy and I think serves largely to give depth to the raspberry-rose in the forefront.  The scent stays in this lovely stage for at least a couple of hours.

Gradually, a rich vanilla-tonka foundation begins to make its presence known under the raspberry-rose.  This is probably my favorite part of the development, because I’m very fond of vanilla and tonka together, and this stage makes me think of yet another recipe I enjoy: Raspberry-Almond Pavlova.  Pavlova, essentially, is the layering of discs of baked meringue or dacquoise (meringue containing finely-ground nuts) with whipped cream or whipped creme fraiche.  It’s even better when you add fruit between the layers and on top.  It is a lovely, elegant, delicate, ethereal balance between tart and sweet, between light and rich, and I think of it as a little piece of heaven.  

As the scent moves towards its denouement, I begin to notice the sandalwood, and something that I would have sworn was frankincense, with a dry, almost lime-y effect.  I’m not very familiar with ambergris, however, and perhaps I’m picking up some element of that note. 

The fragrance lasts on me, with one spritz, for about four hours.  Two spritzes in the same spot extends lasting power by an hour or so, but has the disconcerting (for me) effect of making the opening sillage very radiant.  I’m a little sensitive to that, preferring to keep my scent within a three-foot radius, but even with multiple spritzes Une Rose Vermeille isn’t going to approach the scary-loud sillage of, say, Poison, and you won’t be frightening dogs and small children.   URV is less potent by far than Une Rose Chypree, which has been known to last ten hours on my normally-scent-eating skin, but it’s not what I’d call fleeting.  Rather, it lasts a satisfying length of time. 

I’m not a particular fan of gourmand scents.  I do really like Hanae Mori’s eponymous berry-marshmallow fragrance, but I consider it a comfort scent and would not wear it outside the house.  Une Rose Vermeille is similar, but far, far less sweet, and despite its near deliciousness, it’s not a frilly little nothing of a gourmand scent.  The rose and sandalwood seem to ground it, and keep it out of the “edible” category.  In fact, it reminds me quite a bit of what I wanted to smell in 100% Love: instead of cocoa and a dusty patchouli (two notes I really struggle with), you get that rich tonka and sandalwood, and the berry and rose notes are extremely natural.   

Another review:  Krista’s at Scent of the Day.  You’ll note she mentions macarons.  I’ve never tasted real French macarons, but when I went hunting macaron recipes, I noticed that the composition of the macaron cookie batter is very similar to that of dacquoise (very similar ingredients, slightly different preparation).  

My thanks again, Andy, for making the random drawing samples available.  I have already marked September 10 on my calendar, and I’m already saving my pennies for a bottle.  Now… (tossing books over shoulder, searching)… where did I put that Pavlova recipe? 

Top image is Candelabra Bloom, Bronx, NY, from Grufnik.  Lower image is Timeless Pavlova from (heart)babybee, both from Flickr.

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Perfume Review: Parfums DelRae Coup de Foudre

Upon hearing about this new scent at Now Smell This recently, I had this to say:  DelRae Does Rose?  I am SO THERE.  The description of the scent as “capturing the ultimate beauty of the rose as you find in nature – deep, luscious, fresh and completely intoxicating.  So stunning that when you first smell it, it is ‘love at first sight.'”  (Description from the Parfums DelRae website.)   It was composed by Yann Vasnier in conjunction with DelRae Roth and released in June 2010.

I still haven’t tried all of the DelRae offerings.  Of those I’ve tried, I liked one, Amoureuse, very very much, and the other two, Bois de Paradis and Emotionelle, were just hideous on me.  I’d still like to try Mythique and Debut, but Eau Illuminee does not appeal to me based on its notes.

Coup de Foudre, by contrast, did appeal to me, very much, based on its notes.  From the DelRae website: Baie Rose, Bergamot, Italian Lemon ‘sfumatrice’, Pink Grapefruit, Rose de Mai France Orpur, Purple Peony, Egyptian Jasmine absolute, Magnolia Orpur, Geranium Bourbon, Tonka Venezuela, Vetyver, White Moss, Velvet Musks.  (For those of you with a bee in your bonnet about pink pepper, cringe again: “baie rose” is pink pepper.  Ha ha. And I think “sfumatrice” means something like “vanishing,” in Italian, but I don’t really get what that means in terms of lemon.  Lemon doesn’t last anyway.)  So when a bottle split became available, I got my hot little hands on it right away.

The name Coup de Foudre – which means, literally, “stroke of lightning” in French and has the colloquial meaning of “love at first sight” – recalled to me a passage from The Godfather, by Mario Puzo, where Michael Corleone, sitting in a Sicilian citrus grove with two shepherds who are also part of the Sicilian mafia, sees a young woman running and playing with other girls of her age, and falls headlong, instantaneously, in love with her. All his senses are stirred and he feels like “his body had sprung away from him out of himself.” The shepherds are amused, but they quickly explain that he’s been “hit by the thunderbolt.” He’s fallen in love, and it cannot be hidden. Nor is it something shameful; in fact, one of the shepherds claims that some men pray for it to happen to them.

And just like that, Michael Corleone has fallen in love with Apollonia, daughter of the local cafe’ owner, at first sight, hit by the thunderbolt – the coup de foudre.  He pursues Apollonia through the traditional channels, chaperoned by the elderly women of her family, and marries her within weeks.

So Coup de Foudre had a lot to live up to, with that name and with Parfums’ DelRae’s description of it as “the superlative, modern rose perfume.”  Sadly, it falls short.  Mind you, it’s beautiful.  It’s very beautiful, and it does indeed carry the exquisite freshness of a live rose as no other rose scent I’ve ever smelled has ever done.  This is genius.  My complaint is that it is far too quiet, and far too fleeting.

DelRae scents have borne the reputation of being good, but often too loud.  However, Coup de Foudre is not loud at all.  It is pleasantly diffusive in the early stages –  the citrus is rather warm and spicy, and the opening has a sort of tart, jammy-fruity feeling that I like very much.  Almost immediately the rose comes up, and it’s a little powdery at first but settles into an aspect that evokes the “nose in a rose” experience.  It’s gorgeous, and I mean really gorgeous.  I do smell quite a lot of peony, and it’s not the NEON SCREAMING PINK SYNTHETIC MESS that you often get in mainstream peony fragrances – it’s a fresh sweetness that blends very well with the rose.  I can’t tease out the jasmine or magnolia, but that may be because I’m concentrating on this rose-peony blend that charms me so much.

Suddenly, though, this wonderful fresh-rose scent fades.  One minute, you’re thinking happy thoughts of your grandmother’s roses and your Sarah Bernhardt peonies, and the next, you’re wondering where it went.  Somewhere around hour 1.5, CdF shrinks down to the skin and won’t radiate off.  I can still smell it if I hoover my skin, but there’s almost no sillage at all.  The drydown – which is lovely and classical, with tonka, moss and musk – stays right next to the skin.  The development as a whole is pretty and coherent, but after an hour and a half, even if I follow the “spray until wet, multiple-spray in the same place,” technique, it is a skin scent, only perceptible to those who are embracing me.   The fragrance lasts about three hours on my skin, or perhaps three and a half if I spray until wet, with the last two hours being so close to the skin that I might not be wearing fragrance at all.

I would probably not be so disappointed in Coup de Foudre if I hadn’t read such glowing descriptions.  If you’re going to describe a fragrance as the ultimate fresh-rose scent – well,  for heaven’s sake, DelRae, follow through.  CdF is very much a fresh-rose scent, but to me “ultimate” means that the scent would last a little longer than an episode of ER.  I don’t know why I feel unwilling to forgive CdF its poor longevity, when I’ll do that for something ethereal like Apres l’Ondee.  But I am unwilling to do so.  The other thing that bothers me about it is that the name is far too extravagant for such a sweetly pretty fragrance.  There’s no thunderbolt here, no immediate and overpowering infatuation – Coup de Foudre isn’t present enough for that.

I begin to wonder if this first release of bottles was not macerated long enough.  Surely Parfums DelRae wouldn’t intentionally release something so shy and retiring?  I continue to be puzzled.

Top image of Coup de Foudre from the DelRae website.  Lower image is “Rosa fresca aulentissima” from Qi Bo at flickr.

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Bouquet of Roses

The rose is so central to perfumery that there is a stunningly long list of rose-centered fragrances, and an even longer list of fragrances that contain it but don’t focus on it.  Today I’m concentrating on perfumes in which rose plays a lead role.  I had thought of simply listing my favorite rose scents, but since a) that list is always changing and b) there are a large number of rose scents that I find pleasant but just Not My Thing, you get a BONUS LIST of all the rose scents I’ve either tried, want to try, or in some cases have simply heard of.  I’m hoping that this will be an organic, always-growing sort of list, and I’m certainly open to suggestions on the subject.   At the moment, there are more than 175 scents on the list, so I hope you’ll be able to find a few that suit you.

So. To simplify matters, I’m going to subdivide.  I’ll list the categories of rose scents that seem to make sense to me – feel free, of course, to ignore the categories or rearrange them however you see fit.  The names in color I’ve tested or worn myself.  Some of these may be vintage or discontinued.  Please forgive the lack of diacritical marks.

In each category, I’ll also be offering a very simple rating based on my very-personal reaction to each scent: I didn’t like it, I liked it, or I adored it.  These are entirely subjective, and you may hate every last one of my favorite rose scents, while finding my reject pile productive.  One perfumista’s “meh” is another one’s treasure. Dislike=*, Like=***, Love=*****. Simple and clear? Good. If it’s not, please ask a question about my idiosyncratic ordering system.

ROSE SOLIFLORES, or SIMPLE, FRESH, BRIGHT ROSE SCENTS:
Jo Malone Red Roses *** A little too powdery.
Sonoma Scent Studio Velvet Rose ***** Once the patchouli settles down, a lovely armful of crimson roses.
Creed Fleur de The’ Rose Bulgare*** Very like Sa Majeste’, but perhaps more lemony.
Montale Highness Rose ***** Beautiful, liqueur-like bright rose; v.v. expensive!
Serge Lutens Sa Majeste’ La Rose *** Lovely, fresh green rose with dewdrops on the petals. I don’t know why I don’t love it, but I don’t. For someone else, it might very well be five stars.
Perfumer’s Workshop Tea Rose *** A little on the mean side, a little too prim for my taste.
Stella McCartney Stella (Please note, there are several flankers for this one. I’m not listing them.)
Annick Goutal Rose Absolue
DSH Perfumes American Beauty *** Deep, rich winey crimson roses.  A little potpourri-ish in spots.
People of the Labyrinths A.Maze
Chloe eau de parfum, eau de toilette (not the old orange-colored tuberose/orange blossom version)
Bvlgari Rose Essentielle
Brousseau Ombre Rose
Vera Wang Truly Pink
Paul Smith Rose
Zara Rosa Bulgara
Crabtree & Evelyn Evelyn Rose
Les Parfums de Rosine Diabolo Rose
Lorenzo Villoresi Donna
Baby Phat Goddess
Keiko Mecheri Mihime
Caron Rose
Stetson Shania
YOSH Sottile
Floris White Rose
Floris China Rose
Shiseido White Rose
Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Rosa Magnifica
Czech & Speake Rose
* Very powdery, thin, squeaky thing.
Priscilla Presley Roses & More
Avon Roses, Roses
Coty La Rose Jacqueminot (vintage, discontinued, long-gone)
L’Occitane Rose 4 Reines
MDCI Rose de Siwa
Fragonard Apres Tout
B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful B Scent
I Profumo Miele Rosa (Honey of Rose) ***  Very pretty – also, very nearly naughty.  Smells like the sheets of a double bed, the morning after, when someone went to bed wearing a rose scent.  (Wasn’t Boudoir supposed to smell like that? Haven’t tried it yet.)

AMBERY OR ORIENTAL ROSES (excluding spicy orientals):
Lancome Mille et une Roses
 *** Lovely and very quiet. The very light ambery base keeps the rose from getting shrill. Well worth smelling, at least. (Why is the liquid blue, though?)
Chloe eau de parfum Intense
Agarscents Bazaar Ambergris Rose Attar (oil) *** Simple rose attar with salty notes. Great in the bath.

Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie * Rose and Dove soap.  Not my thing, but if it’s yours, enjoy.

Yves Rocher Rose Absolue *** Pretty thing – spicy rose jam and sweet amber. Smells very natural and very simple.

Lancome Tresor
Guerlain Nahema  (might be the wrong category here – I can’t say, because I am anosmic to this fragrance)
Rochas Tocade ***** I love That Slut Tocade, with her cheerful vanilla-patchouli.
The Body Shop Moroccan Rose
Bond #9 Broadway Nite ***
A lot like Tocade, only under neon lights.  Reminds me of glitter fingernail polish and is extremely loud.  Nice, though.
Juliette Has a Gun Midnight Oud
Parfums de Rosine La Rose de Rosine
Parfums de Rosine Secrets de Rose
Tauer Perfumes Le Maroc pour elle
Cacharel Gloria
Caron Or et Noir
S Perfumes 100% Love
*  Chocoberry rosechouli.  Um, no.
Penhaligon’s Hammam Bouquet
Parfumerie Generale Brulure de Rose
Vivienne Westwood Anglomania
Amouage Epic Woman
Montale Deep Roses
Sonoma Scent Studio Vintage Rose *
One of the few absolute scrubbers I’ve run across. I’ve tried it four times on different days, and it was Lauder-like (means death to my nose). The longest time I was able to keep it on without scrubbing was 20 min. However, several people I know just adore this one. Must be my skin.
Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis (some fruit and woods as well, but seems primarily an amber fragrance to me) * Truly dreadful on me. Very little rose, very little wood, but lots of turpentine and sugary amber.
Keiko Mecheri Oliban
Bond #9 West Side

GREEN ROSES (lots of green notes here, but no moss – mossy roses are in the rose chypre section):
DSH Perfumes Rose Vert ***** Some citrus here, but mostly herbal notes plus a soft, natural rose. Expensive, and worth it.
Jacomo Silences ***** Almost more “green” than rose, thanks to galbanum and moss; also a lot of iris. Bonus: cheap!
PdR Un Zephir de Rose
MDCI Un Coeur en Mai
Penhaligon’s Elizabethan Rose

CB I Hate Perfume Tea/Rose *** I should have loved this.  Somehow, I just didn’t. Very pleasant, though, and worth smelling.
CITRUS ROSES (this subgenre is really just not my thing, so no 5-stars here for me):
Clarins Par Amour Toujours
Parfums de Rosine Un Zeste de Rose
***  Attractive, just not my style.
Hermes Rose Ikebana
Eau de Pamplemousse Rose
Cerruti 1881
***  Pretty. I like the citrus-herb stuff.
Pacifica Egyptian Bergamot Rose
Mariella Burani Eau Rosee
Perfumes 06130 Yuzu Rouge
*** Again, I find these citrus roses pleasant but uncompelling.
YSL Baby Doll Paris (and a gazillion flankers)

WOODY or INCENSE ROSES (I’ve sometimes called these Dark Roses, although I’d also include Rose Chypres in the Dark Rose category):
Caron Parfum Sacre’ ***** When I die, I want to be wearing Parfum Sacre – preferably in extrait!
Eau d’Italie Paestum Rose *** Rose+Myrrh. Lovely, but I find myself wanting either more myrrh or more rose.
Gres Cabaret *** Some people have called this a poor person’s version of Lyric. It’s definitely cheaper, and contains a soft, cushy musk that I enjoy. But it’s not Lyric.
Amouage Lyric Woman ***** If there’s no Parfum Sacre’ available, I’ll die in Lyric, thanks.
Frederic Malle Une Rose *** Frightening stuff. It makes me feel threatened. But if screaming insane-asylum roses are your thing, this is your scent. The rose note in it is very beautiful; it’s the woody-amber thing that grates like nails on a chalkboard.
Czech & Speake No. 88 *** Gorgeous spicy-woody thing I’d prefer to smell on a man. Don’t know why.
Czech & Speake Dark Rose *** Very nice woody rose.  I think the Montales are better oud-rose fragrances.
Comme de Garcons Woman 2
Bath and Body Works Sandalwood Rose (discontinued)
ByRedo Rose Noir
Parfums de Rosine Poussiere de Rose
 *** A lot like Feminite du Bois, with more rose. Since I have a partial anosmia to FdB, this version is preferable to me.
PdR Rosa Flamenca
Annick Goutal Ce Soir ou Jamais
Amouage Homage
Fresh Cannabis Rose
Clarins Par Amour***
  Lovely.  A poor girl’s version of Amouage Lyric.  (Could be a poor man’s as well – it’s woody enough for men.)
Montale Black Aoud
Montale Red Aoud
Montale White Aoud
Montale Aoud Damascus
Montale Aoud Roses Petals
*** Slightly-bitter oud-y opening, then lovely pink roses.
Montale Aoud Queen Rose *** Similar to ARP (above), but big florid red roses instead.  I have a very slight preference for this one.
YSL Elle
Keiko Mecheri Gourmandises
Tauer Incense Rose *
Tart mandarin top, winey rose, and patchouli-frankincense base, a bit disjointed.  I expected to love it, but didn’t.
Amouage Lyric Man
Etro Shaal Nur ***  Rose-incense-woods.  Would have loved this one if it had had less patchouli in it.

VIOLET ROSES:
YSL Paris *** A little too loud and insistent for me, but smells good. I’d have to put this one on with a toothpick to be satisfied with the sillage. Insistently girly, so if that’s not your style, you probably wouldn’t like any of the violet roses. (Like Stella, there are many flankers – a limited edition every spring. My favorite flanker, which would earn five stars, is Pont des Amours. I hear Roses de Bois is lovely, too.)
Coty Exclamation *** A little on the powdery side; strikingly similar to Paris, but with a sweet, peachy cast. I’d love it more if it didn’t remind me of high school.
Drole de Rose *** Again, pretty, but didn’t really catch my heart.
Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums Lipstick Rose *** Yep. Smells like lipstick. And I would wear that why?
YSL Parisienne * Thin version of Paris with pleasant cranberry topnote.  Uninteresting after fifteen minutes.
Guerlain Insolence (more violet than rose) * Shriekingly loud.  You could successfully torture me with this. 
Ralph Lauren Lauren (Vintage only) *** Very lovely, with a green-herbal cast over the rose and violet.  A little on the soapy side.
Celine Dion Always Belong
L’Occitane Rose Nuit de Mai

SPICY ROSES:
Frederic Malle Noir Epices
 *** More spice and woods than rose, but I’d definitely call it a rosy scent.
Chanel Coco * I find the spices lovely, and the rose attractive. It’s that cursed tolu balsam that just kills the rest of it for me.
Lancome Sikkim (La Collection) *** A gentler, less-tolu version of Coco. Still can’t wear it.
Penhaligon’s Elixir
L’Artisan Safran Troublant
Miller Harris Rose en Noir ***
Very lovely; a lot like Tauer Une Rose Chypree but quieter.
Ormonde Jayne Ta’if ***** Pepper, saffron, rose, and wood. Amazing and beautiful.
PdR Rose Kashmirie
Miller Harris Rose en Noir ***
Pretty woody rose with green notes and spice. Should have been called Rose in Green and Russet.
Il Profumo di Firenze Zafferano

FRUITY ROSES:
Annick Goutal Petite Cherie ***** Pear-rose. I love it beyond all explanation.
Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete ***** Apple-tea-rose, with a hint of melon.  It smells like the blowsy, sweet yellow roses we had in our yard when I was a kid. They weren’t much to look at, but they smelled awesome. That’s why I love this one.
Gianfranco Ferre Ferre Rose
Valentino Rock’n Rose
Lanvin Rumeur 2 Rose
Juliet Has a Gun Miss Charming
Dolce et Gabbana Rose The One
Sonia Rykiel Rykiel Rose
The Body Shop Cassis Rose

PdR Roseberry
Keiko Mecheri Damascena
Dior J’Adore
*** Quite pleasant.  Seems ubiquitous, I smell it on lots of people.
Lancome Miracle
Miss Dior Cherie
(berry-patchouli-so-called chypre) *  Dear Lord, Kill.Me.Now. Nauseating.
Bath and Body Works P.S. I Love You * Extremely synthetic.  I like the occasional B&BW frag, but not this one.
Lalique Tendre Kiss
Parfums de Nicolai Balkis
***  Raspberry rose with some woods, very nice.

ROSE CHYPRES:
L’Arte di Gucci ***** There IS no better rose chypre, IMO. This is the ultimate rubies-on-green-velvet.
Estee Lauder Knowing * As you know, the Lauder base makes me nauseous. This is gorgeous for two hours, if a little more mossy than I’d like, before the cursed Lauder base comes by to kneecap me.
Parfum d’Empire Eau Suave *** A quieter version of L’Arte. Very, very pretty.
Teo Cabanel Oha ***** Spicy rose chypre, somewhat reminiscent of Tauer’s lovely Une Rose Chypree, but without the heavy emphasis on amber that makes that one difficult for some people.
Montana Parfum de Peau *** A little too much leather for me, but really intelligent. Like L’Arte without the screaming neon pink roses – and for me, the screaming pink roses really make L’Arte.
Ungaro Diva *** If I ever run out of L’Arte (not likely!) and can’t find any Oha, I’ll buy this. It’s a little less focused on the rose than the other two, although there’s a huge rose presence. The mossy base is really lovely, and less dirty than the Montana. For some reason it seems to call for my snootiest outfit, while I’d wear L’Arte anytime.
Agent Provocateur
Vivienne Westwood Boudoir
Etat Libre d’Orange Rossy de Palma Eau de Protection
Juliette Has a Gun Lady Vengeance
Giorgio Armani Armani Prive Rose Alexandrie
Guerlain Rose Barbare *
A disappointment for me: started out a thorny rose, then turned into shaving cream.
PdR Rose d’Homme * Like Coco and Drakkar Noir made a baby, a cross between Spicy Oriental and Aromatic Fougere.  Not my cuppatea.
PdR Twill Rose
PdR Une Folie de Rose
Sisley Soir de Lune

Perles de Lalique PATCHOULIPATCHOULIrosePATCHOULI.
Bond #9 Bryant Park
Parfumerie General Corps et Ames
Jean Couturier Coriandre

ROSES THAT DON’T SEEM TO FIT IN ANYWHERE ELSE:
Juliette Has a Gun Citizen Queen
 ***** Technically called a chypre, but really a rose-violet-leather without any moss at all. This one makes my knickers fall down.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Lumiere Noire Pour Femme ***** Another technical chypre, but I’d describe it as rose-narcissus-patchouli, without moss. Similar to Citizen Queen, but even naughtier.
Tauer Perfumes Une Rose Chypree’ *** Not exactly a chypre IMO, as there isn’t a lot of moss. Lovely amber, with some spice and juicy mandarin topnotes.  Some people find it too rich.
Jean Patou Joy * I guess you could have fit this in under Classic Rose-Jasmine Blends. Joy still smells like dirty underpants to me; the jasmine seems to overcome the rose. I’d never call it a rose-centric scent, although I could be talked into calling it a rose blend.
Cartier So Pretty (a fruity-rose chypre) *** Well-made, interesting thing.  Nauseates me, but that’s the fruity-chypre talking.
Oscar de la Renta Rosamor
Laura Biagiotti Laura Rose
PdR Ecume de Rose
(beachy)
PdR Rose Praline (gourmand)
DSH Perfumes Beach Roses *** Salty, musky rose, very light and pleasant.
Keiko Mecheri Mogador (rose-floral blend) *** Perfect scent to wear to a wedding, or a summer afternoon tea. Lovely stuff.
Parfums de Nicolai Rose Pivoine
Antonia’s Flowers Tiempe Passate
(musky)
L’Artisan Voleur de Rose (patchouli) *  Again, I’m not much of a patchouli fan.  This one scared me.
Annick Goutal Heure Exquise (green-iris-rose) ***** Somewhere between Chanel No. 19 and Silences.  Lovely thing with lots of iris and galbanum.
Estee Lauder Beautiful (tobacco rose) *  Gah.  The Estee Lauder base just kills it.  I know, that’s just my nose, so if you do well with Lauders, give it a whirl.
Art of Perfumery 5 (hay rose)
Parfums d’Empire 3 Fleurs (tuberose-jasmine-rose) *** Pretty, but has no soul.  Honestly, I could have put this one together myself with some good-quality absolutes and a whiff of galbanum.  I liked Mogador much, much better.
Coty Paris (floral blend, vintage and discontinued) *** Lovely retro thing, an elegant aldehydic rose-violet-jasmine-lilac blend that would be perfect for scenting handkerchiefs.
E. Coudray Jacinthe et Rose (floral blend)
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb (floral blend) *  Anyone for some candied flowers?
Guerlain Idylle  (floral blend)
SIP Black Rosette (no idea on the category here – notes of mint and leather and tea)
Agent Provocateur Strip (so-called chypre; smells mostly to me of iris & labdanum, like a stripped-down 31 Rue Cambon or Alahine – or a floral Shalimar Light without the citrus) *** I like this a lot, but at the same time it reminds me so much of so many other fragrances that I can’t give it five stars.

Want more roses?  Go check out “Raphaella’s Roses” at Sniffapaloozamagazine.

Top image is Romantic rose bouquets from instyleweddings.com (gosh, I want those orange ones!).  Other images are from vintagegardens.com or? ??antiqueroseemporium.com ?- go check out their websites for garden porn.  Everything I see there, I want.

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Coming soon: a (really long) list of rose scents, and miscellaneous updates

I’ve been working on my list of rose scents for a few days, and hope to have it posted by Saturday.  While I might not like every one I’ve ever tried, rose fragrances are a good bet for me, and I’m always on the lookout for new ones, or ones that are just new to me.

(In other news, we’re having Tractor Problems.  Remember when the John Deere 4040 caught on fire back in January? It’s still sitting in the field.  There’s been so much snow and/or soggy ground that nobody could even get to it and tow it out to be fixed or scrapped, depending on what the nice guys down at Wimmer’s say when they get a look at it.  The 4230 lost a wheel last week, and now the 4240 is leaking copious amounts of hydraulic fluid.  The 4440 is fine – but not equipped with a front-end loader, so it can’t be used to feed hay to cows. )  

I just want to post more pictures of roses – these are from vintagegardens.com.  (Wonder if they ship to Virginia?) Top image is Pierre Notting and bottom one is Clothilde Soupert; both are described as “intensely fragrant.”

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Blushing like a rose

I just wandered over to Chicken Freak’s Obsessions, where I read that she’s looking for the right rose fragrance.  She lists the ones that she’s tried that weren’t quite right, and asks for suggestions.

People, I came up with twenty suggestions for her just out of my head, without resorting to any sort of list at all.  There are only two of them I haven’t tried yet, and I’ve (blush) got samples of them on hand…

And she’s looking for something other than Plain Rose or Fruity Rose, so I didn’t even suggest any from those categories.

So who would you say is the Rose Obsessed one?  Yep, that’d be me. (Blush.)

Image is Brigadoon from ottoandsons-nursery.com.

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