this is the ultimate english garden rose. a real, fresh, genuine big red rose, standing proudly in a garden emanating it´s fragrance with intoxicating power. I love it.
This was the costliest fragrance lesson I've ever made. I smelled it once at Barney's Dallas, loved it, and thought I'd never have money to get a bottle. When I finally did have the money, I got it and it made me sick like nothing I've ever encountered. I have worn all the big ones-- Angel, vintage Poison, Giorgio, Opium, Magie Noire-- and none have affected me so negatively. For months I persisted, thinking it must be some other environmental factor that was responsible. I wanted this to be *me* so badly, loved the idea of a man wearing the ultimate narcotic rose. Indeed, my few positive experiences with it were on drugs and they were amazing-- one was while watching Melancholie der Engel, the most disturbing art movie ever. Une Rose will always remind me of that time, and all in all I suppose that is enough. I gave it away soon after since nothing can be done with a perfume that makes the wearer ill. Happily, the friend I gave it to is a Morticia Addams-esque drag queen and she adores it. I can finally say that I have no need for Frederic Malle fragrances; we are incompatible.
I have a confession to make, and I fear that my perfumista card is just about to be revoked, but here it is: I don’t like Frederic Malle’s Une Rose. Cue horrified gasps.
I know, I know. You don’t have to say anything. There’s already a sort of Greek chorus going back and forth in my head every time I wear it, and it goes something like this:
Une Rose is the most photorealistic rose in the world.
Yeah. It is. It is almost hyper-realistically real, especially in that first hour when it explodes onto your skin, all huge and red and dripping with dew. But here’s the thing. Despite the fact there are thousands of different cultivars of rose, about a hundred different species, and over four hundred separate chemical compounds or ‘flavonoids’ that make up a rose scent, my unsubtle mind persists in linking the smell of a damask rose with the bottle of cheap attar of roses my grandmother had on her vanity table for more than three decades. To me, the smell of the Bulgarian damask rose, when not mixed with other notes as in a chypre or oriental, will always be the old-fashioned smell I associate with closed-up front rooms, handkerchiefs scented with rose oil, pressed flowers, and powdery, grandmotherly bosoms.
Une Rose is the best soli-rose in the world. It’s the most ROSE rose ever.
That’s part of my problem. I find rose soliflores a bit boring. I love rose when it’s part of a massive oriental, like Amouage’s stunning Lyric for Women, in dark, slutty rose chypres, like Serge Luten’s weird and waxy Rose de Nuit, and smothered in dark patchouli, like Malle’s own masterly Portrait of a Lady. I like cheap and cheerful roses that are mixed with vanilla, like Tocade by Rochas, and roses battling it out with oud, like Black Aoud by Montale. I love roses, me. I really do. But Une Rose has taught me that I love rose only when it’s paired with something else. Une Rose is ROSE writ large. It’s rose rose rose. It’s too much rose.
But Luca Turin said that Une Rose is “a remarkable, angular, uncompromising fragrance endowed with the alarming beauty of an angry Carmen.” That sounds amazing!
It does sound amazing. However, look closely at the words he uses – “angular”, “uncompromising”, “alarming” and “angry”. His description is spot on, but whereas he sees these attributes as a plus, I personally do not. I can live with the blowsy, over ripe rose in the first hour. But there is a sharp, citric green edge to this rose that grows ever sharper after the first hour – probably the geranium and citrus notes. These sharp green notes seem to gather force with time, and Une Rose soon approaches the acetone hiss and sting of Chanel No. 19 EDT and the damp, poisonous powder feel of Guerlain’s Chamade or Gucci’s No. 3. It’s a bitterness you can almost taste. So, I see what Dr. Turin means about Une Rose having that angular, angry tone. This rose has thorns and they taste of acetone. But I’d rather not have my roses spank me, thank you very much.
Une Rose is so truffly!
First of all, we have to agree on the type of truffles we are talking about here, because it’s not clear to me whether it’s chocolate truffles we are talking about, or the kind that pigs dig up and cost a bazillion dollars to shave over your risotto. The reviews on Fragrantica and Basenotes show that nobody else is sure either – some people mention chocolate, some the other kind. Luca Turin never says which it is either, but mentions that this accord is earthy and creamy. In any case, I agree – there is a lovely earthiness and creaminess to Une Rose. But here’s my big problem – all this lovely creaminess is detectable only in the sillage of this perfume, meaning that it is the others in your wake that will get to enjoy this aspect, but not you. Putting my nose to my wrist, I could detect no earthiness or creaminess at all. In fact, Une Rose smells rather ugly up close and beautiful from afar. I think that it’s terribly bad form of a perfume to smell gorgeous and creamy to other people, but a tiny bit vile to you, don’t you?
Une Rose smells winey and deep! You love wine! You love deep!
Yeah, I love wine when I’m drinking it at ten O’ clock at night with my husband on our balcony, after the kids have been put to sleep (which rather sounds like we took them to the vet – I’m sorry). But I love it far less in the morning when I’m staring at the curdy dregs in our unwashed glasses. It smells of regret and furry tongues and short tempers. Une Rose has this sour, slightly tannic edge of wine dregs in last night’s glasses. It’s winey alright. Just the wrong kind of winey, that’s all.
Une Rose has amazing longevity and sillage!
Yes, it does. In general, you get what you pay for with Les Editions de Parfums de Frederic Malle. His fragrances have top-notch materials and are fabulously well-made. His Une Fleur de Cassie is the one fragrance that always renews my faith in the ability of niche fragrances to produce original masterpieces. But the fact remains that unless you love Une Rose – and we’ve established that I don’t – then massive longevity and sillage are not the boon they usually are. This is a rose that just don’t quit. Unfortunately for me.
Yes, this is a real, sweet, velvety, true rose right off the bat. For the first hour or so, it has a kind of old-fashioned feel, although l'm not sure what note produces that "slightly on the turn" scent that l sometimes get from vintage perfumes. After this, though, that feeling disappears, & the deep, dark, wine-like red rose comes through in full force. This rose is stunningly beautiful, swoonworthy & seductive, underscored by something slightly earthy & animalic. The base accord smells to me like ambergris, & it reminds me a little of the "Tauerade". lt also bears a similarity to the base of Goutal's Un Matin d'Orage, but overlaid with the rose instead of those dewy white flowers. l don't know what truffles smell like, so l can't say if l smell them here, but l'm guessing that the truffle note is what lends this rose its earthy darkness. The scent lasts a good fourteen hours on me, & the rose is there right to the end.
l will say again; Stunning. Beautiful. Swoonworthy. Seductive. An absolute must-try for rose lovers; l cannot imagine a better one than this.
Dark opulent, and earthy rose
Beautiful. Une Rose is a soliflor, but not like most rose ones. Roses can be many ways. This one is not crisp, fresh or green. It's not clean, soapy, or powdery. This is heavy - dense and lush, dark and earthy. No lightness or fruit. Just a rich red rose in damp dark earth.
The rose is very realistic and natural, and the quality of the rose components seems very high. Supporting notes provide context, rendering the earth and roots, and give the rose its density and texture. Truffle, wine dregs, etc. They're like tints used to color in this rose more than separate ideas.
An amazing perfume.
Pros: Balanced, realistic, beautiful