A Bevy of Rosy Beauties: Les Parfums de Rosine (Part One)
Some years ago I received a sample of Une Folie de Rose by Les Parfums de Rosine when I purchased another fragrance. I fell under its spell immediately but it was not sold at my local shop, and at the time I had no idea that it was part of an entire line of fragrances devoted to the Queen of Flowers. I used up my sample and hoped that I would find it again someday. I did, and now I also have the amazing body cream, which is so rich and redolent that its scent lasts all day and is a great substitute for wearing the perfume.
Une Folie de Rose is a rose chypre, and its longevity on the skin is practically legendary. You have to really love chypres, not just roses, to appreciate it; the patchouli is pronounced, the resinous aspect of the fragrance is intense, and the rose is thick and jammy. It has become one of my favorite rose fragrances of all time and I feel elegant and just putting it on.
The next Rosine I tried was Rose Kashmirie, which is very nearly the polar opposite of Une Folie de Rose, a sweet Oriental rose and peony scent made interesting with saffron and other warm notes including myrrh, vanilla and benzoin. I like to wear it on the coldest of days when it is truly like being wrapped a cashmere garment, and it easily made my winter favorites list. It has a whisper of powderiness but not too much, and it’s about as cuddy as perfume gets, and very feminine; if it were a person it would be a teenage girl with a pink satin ruffled coverlet and lots of cute, fuzzy stuffed animals in her bedroom, where she would spend hours writing in her diary using hearts as punctuation. I am just crazy about it.
Next up, the wonderful Secrets de Rose, an almost “boozy” type of rose fragrance, not as spicy or warm as Rose Kashmirie but just as delicious, a dark plum-tinged velvety seductress with a resinous sandalwood and moss base and a heart that contains jasmine and ylang ylang along with the deeply jammy rose note. Even with all the Oriental notes it comes across as more of what I think of as a baseline rose soliflore in the rich style that I love, a classic composition that never goes out of style. To my nose it is serious competition for Serge Lutens’ Sa Majeste de la Rose, and coming from me that’s saying a lot. I want a full bottle of this for those occasions (and they are frequent) when I just crave deep red roses and nothing else will do.
On the lighter side is Rose d’Ete, a delightfully fresh rose composition with galbanum, green apple, lime tree flower, mimosa, and other spring-like notes. The rose note is characterized as yellow rose, a color that carries a distinctly different kind of fragrance in the living rose flower because of the genetic heritage of yellow roses; it is rather tea-like and mild. It works perfectly with the other components to make for a breezy and easygoing rose that would be better suited to warm weather. It got a little bit lost when I tested it over winter, so I am saving what’s left of it for summer, when it will really have a chance to bloom.
My continuing love affair with the Rosine scents came to screeching halt with Roseberry, which I was sure I would love it from the list of notes; its downfall is far too much blackcurrant bud, which imparts a metallic edge that overwhelms the rest of the notes; a hefty does of aldehydes only amps it up even more. Ordinarily I enjoy blackcurrant bud in fragrances, but I was hoping for more fruitiness here from the blackberry and chamomile and more expression of the Turkish rose character. It also has a “lees of wine” note which I expected to be rich and complex, but it’s sharp and thin to my nose instead, like a bottle of cheap red. For people who can wear this style, Roseberry is probably very elegant and sophisticated, as it has very little sweetness and a lot of green notes, but it simply does not work for me.
More to come soon as I explore more of this fascinating line of fragrances!
Les Parfums de Rosine has a very pretty and informative Web site and the product line includes scented soaps and candles as well as the liquid Eau de Parfum and perfumed body cream. The body creams from this line are outstanding and a great value for the money. It might take some searching to find a retail store that carries the line, but sample sets are available from the company, so you can try before you buy and have to pay the hefty overseas shipping charges from Paris.
Image credit: Pink roses from sky-wallpaper.com.
Disclosure: All the perfumes tested were from my own collection, either purchased by me or from trades with fellow perfume lovers.