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Friday, May 25, 2007

Perfume Review: Frederic Malle / Edouard Flechier Une Rose

Edouard Fléchier is, without a doubt, one of my favorite perfumers. He created the first fragrance I have ever loved, which I still love dearly, the big, the luscious, the incomparable Poison. His is the genius of bold, generous strokes; to borrow O'Keefe's words yet again, he "paints his flowers big" (Lys Méditerranée, with its ethereal coldness, is still a big flower). That unapologetic sumptuousness is a quality I adore in perfumes. Having said that, Fléchier is just as capable of creating compositions that are poignantly delicate. Shiseido's obscure gem, Chant du Coeur, would break your heart with its gentle, melancholy loveliness. Edouard Fléchier was also born in the same year as my father, and, with his handsome mustache, actually looks quite a lot like my dad...but that silly tidbit of information is rather beside the point... You might know by now that I am not the biggest fan of rose scents. They quite frankly bore me, even the loveliest and truest -and perhaps especially the loveliest and truest- of them. I want my roses to be dark, brooding, strange, to have something more than "just roses". Une Rose, described as "garden rose pulled from the ground with its roots", is a paradox in a sense that, while smelling like the most luxurious and life-like rose imaginable, it also has that "something", the nocturnal depth, that I find incredibly attractive.

On me, Une Rose, does not appear to go through the traditional three stages of scent development. The notes, rose, trufle, geranium, wine dregs, woods, are apparent from the beginning, all at once, in perfect dark harmony. The development manifests itself in the change of intensity of certain notes. Thus at first the smell of honeyed, truly ambrosial roses is very strong, it is intoxicating, supremely sensual, like a passionate embrace of someone gorgeous and sultry and just a little wicked. In a short while the sharp piquancy of geranium becomes more apparent, and then the even sharper accord surfaces and that is the point at which I fall completely prey to the witchy charms of Une Rose. The accord has a spicy, slightly musky, very earthy and woody quality. It is the smell of rose thorns, of the promised roots, of the black soil in a mysterious garden in which the crimson roses grow. The contrast of the sweet, lush, slightly inebriated smell of over-ripe roses and the dry, almost harsh earthy-woody accord is, to me, absolutely irresistible. Une Rose is one of my favorite rose perfumes and proudly resides in my favorite fragrance "category", that of Perfumes for a Femme Fatale...Although I must say that, in my opinion, the austere, dry earthiness and the prominent woody notes should make this scent easily wearable for a man.

Une Rose is avialable at Editions de Parfums, €65.00-€165.00, and at Barney's, $100.00-$245.00.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

ahhhh, you make me wish I could wear rose things .....

10:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sounds like its something from the same domain as L'Artisan Voleur de roses. How does it compare with that patchouli fest ?

10:44 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

This is something I will have to try out- I've seen it at Barneys but sort of glossed it over as just "Oh yeah, rose". Never even tried it. I'll have to change that.

11:30 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been very curious about Une Rose, just as I've been curious about Rose de Nuit since reading your femme fatale roses review. I keep looking for them in decanters' lists without success. I guess I should just ask.

1:47 AM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Oh yes, my scent twin ! Une Rose is the only rose soliflore I actively crave. I used up a whole bottle when it came out, then went off rose scents to the point that they were nearly headache-inducing. Then I sniffed it again in the boutique and literally felt a pinch in the stomach, in a good, "my God that's so beautiful" way. Its dominant note rises and vibrates like a struck bronze bell, and the other notes seem like the sound waves permeating the air. The simplicity of the formula allows this long resonance.

You're right about it being a "big" flower: it's actually slightly disproportioned to the point of feeling conceptual. This is the *idea* of a rose, dark red, dirty and boozy yet aloof. Somehow this sets it apart from other rose soliflores for this rose-phobic.

3:35 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Like Tom, I always ignored this. I thought it was too true-smelling, not dark enough (for Maria--on me, Rose de Nuit is much darker; for Faizan, not much like VdR--no patch to my nose, not as dirty, more rose). But I NEEDED to buy something I didn't own so that FM could sign it when he was here, and this was the consensus of the crowd (i.e., Luis and AnnE). And now--I have fallen in love with it!! It really is beautiful. And, when I am in the mood for more "bottom," I have found (as per AnnE's suggestion) that it layers very interestingly with Noir Epices. Now, I am considering the body butter. . .

7:35 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Am sick w/ jealousy when I hear people say that Un Rose is a dark rose on their skin. I love FLechier, but why did he have to add ger*an**m to it? Sob! For me, geranium is a militant, aggressive sunshine note. It simply can't exist after dark and, for me, it eradicates all potential lovely darkness from any scent it's in (witness Or et Noir, in which I can't ever find the Noir everyone else does). However, am going to keep trying w/ Un Rose (and Or et Noir) and I hope that one day I'll find the geranium will have backed off enough that I can appreciate the rest of the notes. I think my skin might just amplify the h*ll out of it.

7:39 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Great review! I too feel the love as another non-rose lover -- I remember when Victoria F reviewed it awhile back, how interesting it was that some people get a "true" rose, some people get some earth/stem weirdfest -- and the lucky ones get both! However, the one time I overapplied this I wanted to die -- now it's ever so l-i-g-h-t-l-y spritzed :-)

PS Interesting to see carmencanada's note too -- maybe this is a rose for the rose-phobic, and what an interesting idea, given how over-the-top it is.

7:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

*I* can't wear rose things either, really. Just very select ones :-) This is one of them, so do give it a try.

8:14 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It is perhaps from the same domain in spirit, so to say, rather than in actual notes (well, apart from the rose, of course). Voleur is much, much heavier on patchouli.

8:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You've got to try it! It is most certainly not "just a rose" :-)

8:19 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I hope someone does have it for you!

8:20 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Exactly! A punch in the stomach is what I felt too when I re-tried this not long ago.

8:22 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I need a bottle of this too! I find to me as "dark" as Rose de Nuit but more true-rose-smelling. Love both.

8:24 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It is dark on my skin, but I have always thought of geranium as a dark note. Une Rose used to be extremely sharp on me and basically woody rather than rose-smelling. How skin chemistry changes!

8:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Great to have you back!!
I used to get all get "earth/stem weirdfest" from this, basically no roses, bizarre as it sounds. Now I get both.

8:28 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Re March's comment and yours: that's interesting; I think we have come to this from opposite directions. I used to get all true rose here, but on further consideration, I can detect the dark, earthy notes. But it still hasn't made it into RdN darkness for me (although I do love both now); also, on me at least, RdN is a strong chypre.

8:33 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I used to not get much rose in this one at all, weird, huh? I agree that RdeN is has a stronger chypre vibe.

8:44 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this scent a lot, but I'm not in love with it because I didn't get the dark, earthy accord that you do. I think I'll try it again in the near future to see if I get that accord this time around. **crosses fingers**

9:41 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

*crosses fingers for Minsun*

9:43 AM EDT  
Blogger donanicola said...

Thanks for a lovely review Marina. I tried this once and certainly got the truffley, boozy, earthy thing but I didn't fall in love. I must dig out that sample again and have another go. I love RdeN and have located a bottle of L'Arte di Gucci on ebay and am wondering if I should spring? Chypre roses are my favourite way with the flower I think. Interesting about Flechier and Poison. I hated Poison back in the day but I wonder if that was because someone (who I didn't like anyway) used to bathe in the stuff before coming to work!

9:58 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

If the L'Arte on ebay is priced within sort of a reason, I think you should spring. It is my absolute favorite dark rose chypre, so, so gorgeous.

10:36 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*adds to his 'due for a resniff' list*

10:54 AM EDT  
Blogger donanicola said...

hmmm - enabler, you! It's 60 euros for 30mls of edp - does that sound reasonable? I think I saw it once for alot less somewhere in Canada but then there's shipping etc. Hope you're settling in by the way!

11:07 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

What else is on the list? :-)

11:28 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It's sort of expensive but not insanely so. I think.

11:30 AM EDT  
Blogger donanicola said...

Thanks Marina. I'm going to try "best offer" and see what happens. Nicola

11:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

A rose lover that I am, Une Rose is definitely in my top 5. I love your description, it's very much an over-ripe rose. I simply adore it. It also lasts and lasts, and you don't need much.

11:49 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Une Rose, but I love Lys Mediterranee even more! Seriously, though, Une Rose is on my must-have list...but then, I love rose fragrances. Have a lovely weekend!

12:01 PM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

YOU are one of my very favorite femme fatales...

How did the move go ?
You've been on my mind.

This one doesn't woo me, or play nicely with me.
It screams and pouts petulantly.
I agree w/ AnnE and CC, NE should perk it up for me.

But I'm happy that it makes you happy.
And the body butter smells WAAAY better- extremely delicious.
That stuff should be ILLEGAL !

Smooch to you and the famiglia...

12:05 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Good luck!

12:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

A couple of drops would do, in the case of Une Rose, definitely.

12:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

They are both on my must have list :-) Darn it. :-)

12:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

*blushes and giggles*

Gosh, moving is tough. What I hate the most is that broadband won't be available till June 1. Dial up is a torture. Torture!

12:38 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Great review of a great fragrance, and yet another that I don't reach for often. Will have to spray some on later today!

2:31 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I will end up needing all the Malles. Well, except for L'Eau d'Hiver.

2:53 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely Review, Marina.. Now I am craving this scent.. I am not usually a rose scent lover, since most of the time they smell very obviously (and boringly) pretty on my skin (like a pale pink pretty which I don't identify with at all).. I like roses spicy like the one in Voleur de Roses or dark like in SIP Black Rosette- so I *am* looking forward to trying this one.

7:42 PM EDT  
Blogger g said...

I just smelled these perfumes for the first time today in Joyce in Hong Kong. What a pleasure! I ended up getting Lys Meditarranee which is quite full and rich. I liked the "french lover" too but maybe it's a little too masculine. I sniffed the Rose, but never thought to try it. Nice post!

4:51 AM EDT  

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