Perfume Review: L'Artisan Voleur de Rose
I attest to the sincerity of this review, however, in the interests of absolute transparency, please do read this disclaimer first.
There are scents that one admires as a concept, the kind that is wonderful in principle, like excluding carbs and sugar form one's diet or being politically conscious, but somehow isn't suited for one's real and imperfect life. Voleur de Roses, the blend of roses (I don't really do roses) and patchouli (I really don't do patchouli), which I have always - and too banally - perceived as "goth" (and what am I like, fifteen?) or "bohemian" borderline "hippie-ish" (which is so not my style), has always been one of those scents for me.
Until I met a colleague of mine for whom Voleur has been a signature fragrance since the day of its release back in 1993. The colleague's style was as far removed from "goth" or "boho-chic" as it can possibly be. She was the very epitome of a classical sort of elegance, impeccably yet nonchalantly put together (Hermes scarf carelessly but perfectly draped over the shoulders, Chanel spectator flats...) and what I can only describe as "very European". I would have expected her to wear something canonically chic, an old Guerlain, Caron or Chanel or perhaps La Haie Fleurie... but she wore Voleur and it did smell canonically chic one her.
And although I can only aspire to that degree of insouciant refinement, ever since Voleur de Roses smelled nothing but chic on me too. Gone were the headshoppy and sinister associations...and where could they have come from? this well-mannered patchouli note? Even the roses do not smell as "dark" as before, they are now deep pink rather than carmine red, with the plum note in the beginning adding a wonderfully succulent, almost edible undertone to the composition. The warm, smooth blend of patchouli, sandalwood and amber is so charming and distingue it might as well come with a title and an apartment in sixième arrondissement. I don't want, however, to completely rob Voleur de Roses of its "darkness", there is something in its velvety depth, something like a hint of Belle du Jour in the perfectly polished femininity of Séverine... something you'd never expect from this exquisitely, maybe even a touch conservatively, attired creation. Recherché and subtly subversive, Voleur, is, to me, one of Michel Almairac's masterpieces and one of the brightest gems in L'Artisan's collection.
Image source, catherine.deneuve.free.fr.