This scent is named for one of the finest roses anyone could grow, a red hybrid tea climber antique which repeats well in Mediterranean climates, but is not so easy to grow in the CONUS. (But it can be done, with careful siting, and is worth it.)
The scent is worthy of its namesake. And better than I was expecting.The opening hour is dominated by greenery, bergamot, peach and geranium. Mid section is mainly rose, as you would expect, and the rose here is better than most. Not overly fruit-juicy, as too many are. There is a touch of patch, but just as a blending note. More prominent in the dry down is vanilla, but again, it is not too sweet nor too gourmand.
This scent had two distinct stages for me: a green, chypre style rose to start. Terrrific. And a restrained, vanilla backed dry down. Very nice.
Rose Etoile de Hollande went about 6 hours for me. With moderate projection, fading to mild.
disclaimer: I am a lifelong rose grower, but I dislike most rose fragrances.
18th November, 2013 (last edited: 23rd October, 2014)
Glorious opeing, somewhat flat drydown
I've sampled this fragrance three times, 8-10 hour wearings, so I feel competent to say a few words to fellow perfumistas/parfumistos. Since I've had such wonderful experiences with this house so far, I was reluctant to write a negative/neutral review. Honesty wins out.
Simply put, this is the only Mona di Orio perfume I've sampled that doesn't "hold together" in a cohesive fashion. I enjoy complex fragrances and held high hopes for this one, but unfortunately this rose wilted on the vine before it could open to its fullest.
The opening notes are similar to Guerlain's Nahema, with that rose-aldehyde-peach combination. Very beautiful and appealing. Soon a spicy clove appeared and I thought I was well on my way toward a beautiful drydown. A lovely warm, spicy, slightly powdery, rosy-hued heart began to evolve; then, very gradually, the notes began to fade and flatten; by the time the drydown occurred, the fragrance had evolved into an austere shadow of earlier glories. My nose detected a bit of amber, a whiff of vanilla, and resinous benzoin. Somehow it seemed an unsatisfying close to a very beautiful beginning. I can only say it seems to lack continuity.
The sillage is moderate, longevity excellent, as with all of this house's creations. Not unisex; I think women would enjoy this but most men would not.
I'd consider this a fine daytime fragrance but because it lacks sensuality in the drydown, it's not an evening perfume.
Pros: Lovely floral, long lasting, strong sillage
Cons: Drydown was underwhelming"
Another masterpiece from Mona di Orio. With her last scent she bridges the difference in style between her Signature and Les Nombres d'Or collections. The opening of Rose Etoille is very similar to the familiar opening of most of the Signature scents: I am smelling something but I am not sure what it is and I am definitely not sure if I like it. As with her old collection, you need to be patient for the first one or two hours and let the magic do its work.
And MAGIC it is! A soft, slightly powdery, slightly lipstick-like rose emerges. I do have a soft spot for lipstick-like rose scents, enjoying FM Lipstick Rose, HdP Moulin Rouge and L'Artisan Drole de Rose. Drole de Rose is the closest to Rose Etoille of the trio. Oh, but Rose Etoille adds a subtle new dimension to the concept. It feels as if it were constantly changing and staying unmoving at the same time. It envelops and delights, softly whispering her presence. It is mesmerizingly, almost heart-wrenchingly beautiful. Just like her Oud, Mona's Rose feels also very personal and very much alive. It is not a product, completed by the artist and then become impersonal after being put on the market. The great master is very much present in it as if she were still delighting herself in the finished composition while I am wearing it.
Rose and powder combine to make a nice fragrance. Luckily the powder doesn't overwhelm. There is nothing sharp to contrast. I wish the Aldehyde were more pronounced.
Rose opens with primarily a peach and aldehyde combination, with just a faint whiff of the rose from the heart notes peeping through. The peach remains into the heart, with the rose growing stronger coupling with a very strong almost cherry and almond smelling floral heliotrope. Rounding out the heart notes of interest is a distinct geranium note that melds with the heliotrope, aldehyde-laced peach and rose notes to create a somewhat odd combination that has a mild medicinal vibe to it. Amber and benzoin from the base add a moderate amount of sweetness to the scent, but nothing too overboard. Projection is above average with superb longevity.
I was so happy to hear that this rose scent was being released well after the untimely death of the great Mona di Orio, but I had to wonder in the back of my mind if this would truly be what Mona would have released if still alive or was Rose an unfinished composition now unleashed on the public after her death with no one left to complete it properly... We will never really know, but I fear it may have been the latter as I just don't get the same vibe with Rose as I do the other scents in the Les Nombres d'Or line. It is very aldehyde and peach heavy, with a lot less rose than you might think or want in a scent with the name Rose Etoile de Hollande. The aldehydes also give the scent a somewhat medicinal chemical vibe that when combined with the peach and heliotrope comes off as something I liken to a light semi-sweet cherry and peach cough syrup with a rose undertone. That result is far from the great heights Mona achieved with most of the Les Nombres d'Or line. I guess I am going to choose to believe this was not a finished product, but in its current state I rate Rose Etoile de Hollande a very disappointingly below average to average 2 to 2.5 stars out of 5. Not recommended and not a good representation of what Mona was capable of, IMO.