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Monday, November 07, 2005

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.

14 Comments:

Blogger katiedid said...

Oh what a nice pairing - I'm so glad you wrote about a scent that evokes this painting for you. (And that rose pic you added by link is *perfect*.) I've yet to try a single Rosine fragrance - must get around to doing so, clearly!

9:39 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Our talk about Leighton inspired me to write about a scent that evoked Flaming June and that in turn inspired me to write several rose perfume reviews. So I am dedicating them to you, K. :-)

As for the Rosine line...how do you feel about roses in fragrance (I mean as a prominent note)? But actually I think that this line would be great both for the rose fans (which I am now) and for the rose-phobic (which I was before I discovered Rosine).

9:50 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Your evil fragrance twin checking in: this is probably my *least* favorite of the Rosines. It struck me as so pretty & lady-like, and so unlike what I thought a "Rosa Flamenca" would be.

My favorites: Ecume & Folie.

10:09 AM EST  
Blogger Anna, Fair and True said...

You're not going to review iSmell?? ;)

10:20 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Dear Evil Twin :-),
I actually expectde something different from Rosa Flameca as well. Did you think it would be...well, I don't know...passionate and sultry etc? It is quite lady-like, I agree, but, to me, there is such colorful (orange) irresistible warmth to it, I absolutely love it.
My other favorite from the line is Un Zest de Rose, but I wouldn't decline a gift/swap/whatever of any of the Rosines, except maybe for Roseberry.

10:35 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

A,
I haven't tried it yet...:-)
I am actually not quite sure if it is a joke or for real. I mean...anything is possible these days. iPod might decide to lauch a scent :-)

10:36 AM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

I do like rose quite a bit, actually. I don't wear it all that often, as I rarely find one that I feel is "me," but when I do I go nutty over it. Last one I found myself lost in was Andy Tauer's Le Maroc - still swooning just thinking of it.

4:52 PM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

Ooops - speaking of roses I go nutty over, do try Sirene when you have an opportunity. It's got a really strong character, and has a sharp pointy blade of powder, but it is amazingly complex and stunning.

I need to stalk ebay and see if I can find a seller who sells a multi-pack of samples from the Rosine line.

4:55 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

K., I was just reading Andy's blog last night, he writes with such passion and knowledge, I am sure his fragrances are gorgeous and I can't wait to try them.

I have tried Serene, in fact I used up the sample you sent me :-) It is lovely, a little on a heady side for me to use everyday, but just right for certain moods.

As for Rosine samples, you might want to look up the seller lisalaw, she might have a set or individual ones on sale. Alternatively, you can get samples from luscious cargo

(not affiliated with either etc etc etc)

4:59 PM EST  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

I'm not much of a rose lover but I sure love your descriptions!!
xo
Laura

12:21 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Thank you L! I used not to like rose-based scents, and it was Les Parfums de Rosine that changed my perceptions.

9:04 AM EST  
Blogger Christie Mayer Lefkowith said...

I thought that you and your readers would be interested to learn that I loaned 40 Rosine items from my extensive personal collection of vintage perfume flacons and presentations to The Costume Institute exhibition "Poiret: King of Fashion" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, open until August 5th. Also published for this exhibition was my third book, "Paul Poiret and his Rosine Perfumes," which is selling for $65 at the exhibition shop, at the Met Store, and on my website www.mayerlef.com

Thank you for your interest.

Sincerely,

Christie Mayer Lefkowith
art historian, auction expert and author of
"The Art of Perfume," "Masterpieces of the Perfume Industry," and "Paul Poiret and his Rosine Perfumes."

5:49 PM EDT  
Blogger Christie Mayer Lefkowith said...

I thought that you and your readers would be interested to learn that I loaned 40 Rosine items from my extensive personal collection of vintage perfume flacons and presentations to The Costume Institute exhibition "Poiret: King of Fashion" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, open until August 5th. Also published for this exhibition was my third book, "Paul Poiret and his Rosine Perfumes," which is selling for $65 at the exhibition shop, at the Met Store, and on my website www.mayerlef.com

You are doing a great job. Thank you for your interest.

Sincerely,

Christie Mayer Lefkowith
art historian, auction expert and author of
"The Art of Perfume," "Masterpieces of the Perfume Industry," and "Paul Poiret and his Rosine Perfumes."

5:49 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Dear Christine,
Thank you very much for your information! Such a pleasure to see your comment. The book looks wonderful, and will be one of my soonest purchases.

12:37 PM EDT  

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