Perfume Review. Pre-Raphaelite Rose: Rosa Flamenca by Les Parfums de Rosine
Les Parfums de Rosine, one of my favorite fragrance lines, was established by Marie-Hélène Rogeon, great-grand-daughter of Louis Panafieu, famous for creating a moustache cream used by Napoleon III. Rogeon’s grandparents also created fragrances for Paul Poiret, the first couturier to start his own perfume line. In 1911 Poiret launched his first perfume, dedicated to his daughter, Rosine, who died in infancy. Known as Les Parfums de Rosine, the line produced some 30 odd scents and then disappeared from the market. In 1991, after working for houses such as Givenchy and Pierre Balmain, Marie-Hélène Rogeon re-opened Les Parfums de Rosine. The specialty of the house is rose scents, each one a different take on this stunning flower.
One of my favorites* among Les Parfums de Rosine, Rosa Flamenca, was created by Marie-Hélène Rogeon as a homage to the gardens of Andalusia. Rogeon fused orange blossom, bergamot, petit grain, rose, sandalwood, benzoin, figwood, and white musk to create a luminous, warm, and velvety fragrance. On my skin, it starts with a honeyed orange blossom accord that is soon joined by a sumptuous, sweet rose, but is never overwhelmed by it. The two co-exist side by side till the very drydown, where they are blended with smooth sandalwood and the softest of musks. The rose of Flamenca is orange, golden, Pre-Raphaelite; it is opulent and sweet, almost edible. This is what Flaming June smells like in her hot slumber, on my favorite painting by Frederic Lord Leighton**. Whenever I smell Rosa Flamenca I am reminded of that painting, the euphoric symphony of color, the hot, vibrant orange, which is precisely the shade I imagine the rose in Rosa Flamenca to be.
Available at Barneys, $98.00 for 3,3oz
*You can find here my review of another of my favorites in Les Parfums de Rosine line, Un Zest de Rose.
**The painting is Flaming June by Frederic Lord Leighton, Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico. Although Leighton is more often described as a neo-classicist and was in fact quite opposed to the Pre-Raphaelite credo of art, this particular painting without a doubt reflects a Pre-Raphaelite influence, both in color and in composition.