The Lady in Red...
Rouge by Hermès is an intriguing and complex scent. This is the old, "classic" Hermès, not the "current" Hermès of Jean-Claude Ellena and recent years. This is a perfume which is thirty years old. Having said that, I don't find it old at all... or even mature. To me, this perfume represents a beautiful young lady wearing a red dress.
I would call it beautiful and seductive, but in a very "grown-up" way, this isn't for any teenage girls, this is for a young, successful & attractive woman. Someone who is in control, but who still knows she is beautiful.
It's a complex fragrance to describe. Essentially it's a combination between Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang-Ylang and powdery Orris, with a touch of spices and Aldehydes. It is almost "dusty" at first, but becomes very smooth later as the Sandalwood and Vanilla take over in the dry-down. I also detect a wonderful note which I love, Myrtle, a fresh, Jasmine-like powdery note which I enjoy smelling... and which gives the fragrance projection. To me, Rouge actually smells similar to Samsara by Guerlain, but this is slightly more formal in my opinion.
It's grown-up fragrance for sure, but not "old". The woman who wears this is in control. Beautiful and seductive, but in control of the situation around her. I call this "the lady in the red dress". Beautiful and intelligent, and a little dangerous (in a seductive kind of way). This also smells of luxury, elegance and class (after all, that is what Hermès is known for as a brand). So you would expect a woman who smells like this to have money... A lot of money.
Overall, I think Rouge is very in-control and seductive, and would be a great one to wear to formal events (men dressed in dark suits, the women with gold bracelets, pearl necklaces, in a party with caviar and champagne cocktails - remember this was originally created in the 1980's... where "style" was big and elegant)! Because of this, it can be loud and strong (people can notice you)... but if you spray a little, I think it can work in any situation, and it's warm enough to be worn casually, but in small quantities. A warm, spicy, almost aristocratic fragrance, but which also has some surprises (by also being slightly seductive). Maybe not something for a very young woman, but someone with enough experience and intelligence can definitely wear it. Ruby red elegance in a bottle!
Spicy rose oriental
fine spicy rose oriental
I've been sampling many rose fragrances lately, searching for the Holy Grail of rose scents. This looked like a "must-try" because it contains many of the notes I love (amber, cedar, spices) as well as the predominant rose note I wanted.
The rose is sultry and dark; the iris and ylang ylang add dimension to the opening notes. Even at this early stage, I can detect the incense notes.
After a while, the woody notes of sandalwood and cedar appear, with the resinous and rich note of amber adding depth. Heavenly! The dark rose accord and incense notes continue.
The drydown is an interesting combination of the sharp greeness of labdanum and the earthy spiciness of myrrh..
The sillage and longevity are decent although not extraordinary. On warm, humid days, the longevity is good, 7-8 hours, but in different temps this fragrance seems to fade out quickly.
Pros: Warm, spicy rose
Cons: Longevity could be better"
I'm still amazed with Rouge Hermés. I should hate it, as I used to hate in the past. I already had a bottle of this fragrance in the past, in the old bottle, and I couldn't wear it despite the posh aura that the fragrance had. Rouge hermés used to be a dry, sophisticade, powdery floral fragrance to me, that seemed perfect for an elegant old lady, but not for me. I tried several times to like it, but I couldn't stand the powdery, dry flowery accord that the fragrance had.
But then, yesterday something happened. I tried it again on skin, in the new minimalist hermés bottle. At first, I hated it as usual. But then the fragrance started to grow on me. It was like discovering that you suddenly feel attracted for someone that you couldn't stand, and exactly by the same reasons that made you hate that person. It's what happened to me with Rouge Hermés. I should hate it, but why I cannot stop thinking of it? Rouge hermés has a difficult aura, a combination of dry spices, bitter resins and woods, but if you spray just a small amount of it on you, you'll see that the dryness of this strange creature it's cozy and enfolds you in a woody resinous spice scent that works like a protection against the cold weather. An amazing fragrance, hard to understand, but superb on the right amount used in the right days.
This is the only Hermes fragrance I like apart from Caleche EDP. I'd love to know who the perfumer is. Its launch is here dated as the year 2000 but I have been wearing this scent since 1986, and my sister-in-law, who introduced me to it, purchased her bottle in 1984. 2000 might be the date of a re-launch. Certainly, the post-2000 bottle is different and the juice seems to be ever so slightly reformulated. The name has also slightly changed, from 'Hermes Rouge' to 'Rouge Hermes'.
Whatever, this fragrance in both its former and current incarnation is simply wonderful. It lacks all manner of sweetness and fruitiness. Instead, it is dry and leathery with a hint of rose and ambergris. It is a fragrance for the officianado, which is probably why it is not sold in main stream department stores (in England, at least), but only in those stores considered to be exclusive (like Harrods, Selfridges, and Liberty of London). I'm looking forward to my next bottle, and I'd like to see an entire range of body products launched. This scent is pure class!!
If you enjoy the complexity of Opium, you may also like and be interested in this deep warm and misterious scent named Rouge.
This fragrance is very sophisticated and intense: Spices,Sandalwood and Ylang-Ylang are so well combined.
In my personal opinion I find Rouge a beautiful red gem, cuz today's fragrances lacks of personality and complexity. I don't think it's overwhelming cuz is an Eau de Toilette. It's retro but definitely not the old lady tipe.
Rouge is a Red Goddess to use in especial events, not an every-day fragrance.
I bought this on a whim when I was really craving some of that Hermes lushness, and it was the new offer at the time. Also, upon first sniffs, it sort-of evoked old china dolls, I guess; it has a resinous, old glue and hair quality that captured my old-stuff-lovin' attention.
But later, I regretted this purchase so much. This is one fragrance that actually "gave me the creeps"! (Usually, I am intrigued by associations with old musty things. I like them!) But to me, Rouge felt really wrong: haunted and depressing... like discovering a papery old dress in a musty attic where someone died. It reminded me of that movie "Flowers i the Attic". I think "Mother" wore this, in "Psycho". Yikes.