I don't care about rose.
Sure, I like some rose things, like EgoĂŻste, and ... well EgoĂŻste anyway. But come on ... that doesn't really count. I didn't even notice it had rose in it until Redneck Perfumisto called it "a rose in a sandalwood box" or something like that.
I once gave away a new-to-me blind-bought vintage bottle of Van Cleef and Arpels pour Homme after spraying it once.
I have so many Guerlains, but which one do I almost never touch? That's right - Nahema.
I know it's supposed to be the queen of the flowers. I guess it's the most important material in all of perfumery, it's regal, beautiful, etc., etc.
I still don't care.
I feel like I should, like I'm not a real perfumisto if I don't love rose.
But I really just don't.
Of course, that's not true.
That was true up until about a week ago.
I posted in a thread about rose perfumes that got off on a chypre tangent. I offered to send the OP some chypre samples as a sort of crash course.
Just a few days before that, I had picked up a bottle of Dans Tes Bras at Saks. Either I looked like I have a lot of money to spend, or I was just very charming - I don't know because both sound hugely implausible. Anyway, I ended up with nearly a full set of Frederic Malle samples, including Une Rose.
I had been meaning to test the Malle line, so this a very nice surprise. I wasn't that interested in the rose one, or course, so I put it in the little pack of chypre samples. But I didn't want to let it go without trying it. I sprayed the back of my hand first.
I was paying some attention, because I wanted to have some idea what it was like.
I honestly think I had never really tested a rose perfume before. They are such a cliche, so stereotypically feminine - girly or matronly.
I had written off the whole genre. No, not even. You have to first consider something before you can reject it. I had never even thought about rose perfumes.
This was a quick test just for the sake of thoroughness.
It was beautiful. Une Rose is a soliflor, but not like most. This rose is not crisp, fresh and green. It's not clean and soapy like I imagine rose perfumes to be (probably because a lot of soap is "rose"-scented). Une Rose is heavy, dense and lush, dark and earthy. No lightness or fruit. Just a rich red rose in damp dark earth.
It has a "truffle accord", which I guess is what creates the earthy/rooty effect that grounds the rose. Geranium and wine dregs? Ok, sure - whatever. I'm not going to try to break this down. Firstly, because I can't (though I'd be very happy to read the thoughts of someone who can), and secondly, because I'm happy experiencing this perfume as a whole thing.
The rose used is rosa centifolia, Rose de Mai or, less glamorously, cabbage rose, which looks like this
But Une Rose smells like this
Here's a short video of FlĂ©chier talking about Une Rose. He is not the most fluid and engaging speaker, but he says it all through the juice in that bottle.
The blurb from EdP Frederic Malle's web site:
It was like a switch flipped in my head. The rose is the queen of the flowers, and I'm ready to swear fealty.
I'm going down a red velvety rabbit hole. Not sure where I will end up, but all I'm thinking about these days in the world of perfume is rose.
This little journey will be recorded in this thread, in the hope that it will spark a conversation. That's something I've missed. So much digital communication has taken on the pace of social media - shallow one liners and petty flame wars over nothing much. I want to slow things down, dive deep, exchange carefully considered thoughts, and learn something here. Join me please.
(thanks to Kevin)