Perfume Directory

Rouge Smoking (2018)
by BDK Parfums

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Rouge Smoking information

Year of Launch2018
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
Not enough ratings.

People and companies

HouseBDK Parfums
PerfumerAmelie Bourgeois

About Rouge Smoking

Rouge Smoking is a feminine perfume by BDK Parfums. The scent was launched in 2018 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Amelie Bourgeois

Rouge Smoking fragrance notes

Reviews of Rouge Smoking

BDK Parfums Rouge Smoking (2018) instantly feels like it is pandering to the "BR 540 boyes" with it's startling resemblance to Maison Francis Kurkdjian's monumental mainstream crossover hit Baccarat Rouge 540 (2015), and even partially shares its name. It's easy to understand why, since every band needs a few singles to sell an album and every niche house needs a few mass-appeal proxies to sell their more-unique brand-identifying lines, especially in the hype-obsessed world of men's fragrances. This is why I think it's odd BDK would label this a feminine market release, almost like they wanted to hide the fact that they were going for the cheddar with a potential cash cow to keep the house afloat so it can keep cranking out it's otherwise unique fragrances. Whether you want to say Rouge Smoking is a "I guess we gotta" take on BR540 or just something coincidentally comparable, the fact remains that this is a sweet and semi-synthetic evening scent based on some pretty popular accords in niche or higher-end luxury fragrances.

Rouge Smoking starts with a familiar trick of pink pepper with a bit of uniqueness added in the form of a sweet cherry accord. Tom Ford Lost Cherry (2018) also came out this year so maybe BDK was double-dipping for that clout, who knows? The cherry is fleeting as the heavy hit of expected vanillic saffron and an almost almondine accord (from the cherry perhaps) becomes the heart. Already a familiar cashmeran ambroxan glow wafts up from the base, mixing with the pink pepper and vanilla to recall BR540, with tonka and some synthetic musks. Labdanum is stated to be here, but if it is, I don't get any. With a name like Rouge Smoking, I expected vetiver or tobacco to make somes appearance, but nope. This is just the jacket, not the smoker, and doesn't have the class of Guerlain's Habit Rouge (1965) to that effect. Wear time is at least over eight hours and sillage is outstandaing (unlike the anosmia-inducing BR540), so the BDK gets a leg-up on performance. Best use is romantic evenings in cooler weather, and this reads unisex.

This is not my favorite style, but Parfums de Marly Kalan (2019) would make it likeable with a dry fiery pepper note and more aromatics, so that's more for me if this type of fragrance was to find a place in my wardrobe (and Kalan might), so Rouge Smoking gets a pass. The execution is decent and dare I say a little better, so niche perfumer Amelie Bourjois delivered on the "same but different" aspect of when niche houses ask for mass-appeal proxies that stand a fighting chance against the origin of the species, but it isn't enough to get me over the hump of general sweet malaise. My main gripe with BR540 was performance, and the extrait remedied that but I still wasn't a huge fan even then. This remedies the same problem for less coin (100ml for $200 versus 75ml for $350+), but that doesn't cut it much slack. If you love this style and want another one, give Rouge Smoking a sniff, otherwise, there's still no jacket required, but there's also no smoking allowed in the club. Not BDK's finest hour, but perhaps liable to be one of their best sellers, of course. Neutral.
16th October, 2020 (last edited: 18th October, 2020)
Although the marketing material I’ve come across in English for Rouge Smoking lists this as feminine, I beg to differ. A smoking in French is a jacket and the fragrance itself is a slightly decisive and unfussy root beer or sarsaparilla infusion. There is enough structure keeping Rouge Smoking from veering into full-on food flavoring so no worries there. A Gen Z male could easily wear this with nary a sidelong glance. It’s cheerful to my nose almost an ode to Dr. Pepper flavored lip balms. My oldest son looks like a member of BTS so this suits him perfectly. His sibling looks like a MMA fighter so, not so much.
25th September, 2020

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