I think Off-Scenter sums Rose 31 up nicely. I would NOT blind but this, though. I have had 3-4 samples overthe last year or so and I still can't decide - which for me usually translates to a no-go or an 8 ml decant from TPC.
Rose 31 is a dry, doughy, and peppery rose from the moment it lands on my skin. The rose is accented by attractively bitter green notes and bold cedar, which soon blend into a seamless, stark, and dusty rose accord that projects strongly from the skin and leaves plenty of sillage behind it. There’s a bit of powder, along with something mildly astringent in the background, which together make Rose 31 a little bit sneeze-inducing if I sniff it too closely. In time the doughy element reveals itself as a tangy, yet well blended patchouli note.
Rose 31 continues on a straight course for some hours before the floral notes subside to leave a bone dry and powdery cedar-dominated drydown. When compared to some of the other fine unisex/masculine rose based fragrances, Rose 31 seems close to a straight up rose scent. It lacks the dark, spicy profundity of Czech & Speake No. 88, the leather bar cruelty lurking in Montale’s Black Aoud, and the crisp green notes and fruit that decorate Diptyque’s L’Ombre dans l’Eau. In the purity and focus of its rose accord, it comes closer to Serge Lutens’s Sa Majesté la Rose, but where the Lutens rose is moist and voluptuous, the Le Labo scent is desiccated, like dried petals in a cedar box. Rose 31 is a distinctive take on rose, and I’d recommend anyone who enjoys cedar-heavy scents like Tam Dao or Satellite’s Padparadscha give this Le Labo offering a try.
10 December 2009
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