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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34 thoughts on “Perfume Review: Tauer Perfumes Une Rose Vermeille”

  1. Speaking of perfumery French: I recently realized that “Pamplemousse Rose” means not “Grapefruit Rose” but “Pink Grapefruit.”

    This sounds delish.

    1. Yep! But there is rose in there, so I suppose you could read it either way. The one that really throws me is Parfums de Rosine Ecume de Rose – “pink foam.” Or “rose froth.”

  2. You.are.killing.me. Well, sort of – you helped kill off my Coupe de Foudre lemming, so that’s good. However, now I’m dying to try this one and it won’t be available until Sept! That’s practically forever! I’m going to be foaming at the mouth by then. Or I’ll forget all about it. One or the other.

    Great review though. 😉

    1. Gosh, I know – these teaser reviews are killer. I’m going to be nursing my sample along.

      URV came with friends, too – URC, Incense Rose, La Maroc PE, and Orange Star. Orange Star is, as I knew it would be, NOT my thing. (Wasn’t that sweet of Andy?) I think I’m going to do a drawing for that one at least, and maybe IR too – the Tang dust effect in the top defeats me, however nice the rest of it is. Stay tuned, if you’re interested in either of those. I might toss in a sample of Coup de Foudre, too.

  3. A beautiful review, as usual. And I’m not really a rose kind of girl but now I want to smell this … which is not good news when I’m supposed to limiting my fume purchases. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Connie – I think you might need to be either a rose kind of girl, or a gourmand kind of girl, to really dig it. Have you tried 100% Love? It’s sort of the (more mature) vanilla version of that, but nicer (I admit to hating chocolate in perfume).

      There, did that help? I assume LuckyScent will have it for samples in Sept., if it didn’t…

  4. Thanks for the link. Your description is great and now I crave that pavlova! I didn’t get the frankincense that you smelled, but I smelled it in Orange Star and Andy Tauer swears there’s none there either. Maybe it is the ambergris.

    1. Hi, K! Pavlova – which my husband first ate when he was a grad student in NZ – is one of my favorite desserts, but I don’t make it often enough. I may try to post the recipe here sometime soon.

      I too thought there might be incense in OS – so perhaps it’s some element of the ambergris that’s reminding me of it.

  5. Thanks for the explanation of the name!

    I, too, thought it was a feminine form of “vermeil” and was picturing those gold-dipped roses I always seem to see in Sky Mall catalogs. “Vermilion Rose” seems much more appealing as a perfume name.

    1. Liza, it surprised me too. Vermilion Rose is appealing, isn’t it? The orange and raspberry combine to make a sunsetty sort of color, although the citrus does eventually drop out and the thing gets very pink (in my mind), with raspberry and vanilla.

  6. Swoon.

    I loved Andy tauer’s Une Rose Chyprée, and will seek this one out for sure. Though I am mildly worried about its fruitiness, I trust Andy: I am sure he was able to master the balance between the raspberry and the rose, between the gourmand and the woody facets.

    I liked the classic feel URC had in its development, and from your description it seems URV will provide the same kind of complex, layered yet luminous ride!

    I love these kind of perfumes, with a solid backbone and sensual flesh (I am borrowing AT’s own metaphor coined to explain his choice of using both natural and synthetic materials 😉 ).

    1. Hey there, Z – URV doesn’t seem as classical and vintage to me as URC does, but the raspberry and citrus are very natural smells, nothing like what you usually get when the ad copy says “raspberry.” It’s not dopey mall rat swill.

      I like Andy’s description of bones and flesh. It seems very appropriate – all his scents seem… embodied, like you could touch them.

      Are you in Italy? Lucky you – URV is debuting there on Sept. 10, in Pitti (does that sound right? I’d better go check his blog again). Maybe you can make a road trip to sniff it.

  7. Oh Mals, this review was awesome!
    I’m more than excited to smell this now and if YOU want to buy some then it must be grand!

    I love it<3

    Thanks for the longing, it'll make so when summer is ending it won't be so painful .

    I'm gonna read your review over again to savor what will be had. 😉

    1. T, it is something to look forward to for fall. It is almost too rich for summer, anyway…

      I’m thinking I might get a bottle to split with some friends – I think Andy said his new bottles will be 30ml rather than 15.

      1. I know, I’m really excited for it.
        He did say that on his blog.
        I’m glad, it’s still small enough that it’s affordable and now there is more to enjoy.

        And I would imagine it’s really hard to split a tiny 15 ml. So the bigger size makes alot of sense.

        I also wanna try the LotV scent,
        so many scents, not enough $ 🙂
        Take care!

        ~T

  8. This sounds amazing, can’t wait to try it! There are so many gorgeous scents in the Tauer line. I’m planning to buy URC and Incense Rose in a couple of months, and I have a sample on the way of his new green floral which I’m very exited about.

      1. Maybe because you only need a pin dot of URC at a time? I’m usually a pretty good “sprayer” and love me some sillage – but even I have to dab URC to keep from feeling like I’m going to pass out at some point.

        It is stunning though.

      2. I’m not sure why… up till now I’ve only HAD a dabber sample vial, and it’s plenty. I don’t know how I’m going to use this sprayer sample. 😮 I don’t mind a big scent, if I can apply gently.

        I grew up wearing Chloe, remember?

      3. I don’t even know if it’s possible to spray it gently – and I’ve tried. I ended up having to take the sprayer out and just dab. I suppose that if I was less lazy, I’d transfer my decant into a different vial.

  9. This Tauer may push me to try more of his line. Reverie au Jardin was a major scrubber on me and I’ve not tried any other in his line. Just so many more higher on my list that I haven’t pursued them.

    Actually, I think I want to try to Pavlova more than the Une Rose Vermeille. Adore raspberry, but usually pair it with something chocolate but this sound divine!

    BTW–nice to see the name’s translation. Appreciate not having to figure it out myself.

    1. I don’t do well with lavender either, Tiara, and couldn’t handle RaJ (headache – even blooming lavender does that to me, so it’s not Andy’s fault!). I do really like Une Rose Chypree and Le Maroc, but haven’t yet tried L’Air du Desert Marocain, which does attract me.

      I think I’m going to have to post that Pavlova recipe…

      1. You should definitely try L’Air du Desert Marocain, it’s wonderful. It took some getting used to, but now I love its dry, warm smokiness. A very calming combination of amber and incense.

      2. L’Air de Desert Marocain is lovely – it’s not super-wearable on me though. I’m dying to try Lonestar Memories, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. And I really have no excuse not to.

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