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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter Roses. Comforting East: By Kilian Rose Oud, Keiko Mecheri Attar des Roses

By Marina

"You love the roses - so do I. I wish
The sky would rain down roses, as they rain
From off the shaken bush. Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and white
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!"
Roses by George Eliot

I woke up on January 1, 2011 with a craving for rose perfumes. I don't know where it came from, when for a couple of years I have been suffering from an affliction similar to that of Bulgakov's Pilate ("More than anything in the world the procurator loathed the smell of rose oil, and everything now pointed to a bad day, since that smell had been pursuing him since dawn.") and shied away not only from rose "soliflores" but from blends as well. Wherever the cure of my anti-rose "disease" came from, it clearly was a part of some kind of larger phenomenon, since other incidents of rose-perfume-cravings were reported simultaneously in the beginning of this month, for example, by our own Donna and by Victoria of Bois de Jasmin. Also, birds were falling from the sky and fish were washed ashore...

In any case...Victoria is also to thank for my discovery of Rose Oud. My reluctance to try the new By Kilian was threefold: a) it had a prominent rose note (see above), b) ouds have become trite c) rose ouds have become even more trite. What new can something unimaginatively called Rose Oud add to the genre, I wondered. As it turns out, not much, really, in terms of breaking any kind of new ground in the oud land. But what it does add is delight to the life of its wearer. It is just so...pretty and wearable and delicious, it's impossible not to like it. Nothing complex here: roses + oud + a gourmand undertone, but each of the three components is impeccable, done just right. The roses are dark-pink and oozing nectar. The oud is not going to knock you over with the sharp animalic feel I usually look for in ouds, but it does possess just enough of the beast to serve as a perfect contrast to the beauty of the rose. And then there is this soft, fluffy-creamy...something, a certain edible characteristic not unlike that of White Aoud, perhaps in the mix of cardamom and vanilla...something that makes you unsure whether you want to sniff the spot on your wrist where you sprayed Rose Oud or gnaw on it just a little bit. Like White Aoud, it is a comfort scent to me.

Keiko Mecheri's Attar des Roses is also comforting. Less creamy/vanillic, it still has a fairly edible feel about it, due to the wonderfully "candied" quality of the rose accord. It is as if the petals received the same delicious treatment, which slices of citrus fruits often do, by being generously coated with little crystals of sugar. The accord is set against a drier, leathery one, and that prevents the blend from becoming too sweet. The ambery drydown retains some of the leather and a lot of the rose, giving the composition a nicely rounded effect, both in conceptual and olfactory terms. It is more floral, compared to Rose Oud, and might be a great option for someone not comfortable with ouds (or the price), but seeking the same mood and feel.

Rose Oud is available at Luckyscent, $395.00 for 50ml, Attar des Roses at, $115.00 for 75ml.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I've been craving roses too---and I was last year at this time as well. It was at the end of 2009 that I first tried Lyric, and put it away for a whole year... until today. Wearing it now, I can't believe I didn't appreciate it a year ago---it's such a beautiful rose!

My interest has been officially piqued for the Killian Rose Oud... first Victoria's review, and now this! Looks like I'm going to have to click "buy" somewhere :)

1:41 AM EST  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

Sofar I was rejecting Kilian's Rose Oud exactly because of the fact that for me "The one" rose oud is White Oud (it was you who brought me to that one as well, years ago and I still love it, and huh, I'll wear it today !). So I was smiling when reading your review today, and even more so when I came to the part where you mention the Montale...
Thank you !

2:52 AM EST  
Blogger The Beach Bedouin said...

I am probably the only one who think completely negative about Rose Oud by Kilian!
It is disappointing, because it is artificial sweet. It reminds me on the smells of a fun fair and all those sweeties you can get there like candyfloss.
All in all it smells very artificial and trashy to me!

2:53 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you describe it so beautifully, I can just imagine you sitting and contemplating gnawing your wrist just a little ;) I am all rosed up now with Portrait of a Lady, but this one goes on the "next winter" list.

3:32 AM EST  
Blogger Ines said...

Ever since discovering I actually like roses (I was sure I couldn't ever wear them), I loved warm, oriental variants of them.
I'd rather not try the Kilian for the price it goes and what if I fall in love with it? ;) But Keiko Mecheri sounds really good, I'm slowly discovering her line and so far I've been really impressed by some of her creations.

4:34 AM EST  
Blogger rosarita said...

I enjoyed this post! My favorite winter rose is DSH Winter Sanctum, which I would highly recommend. It's in the Essence line.

4:35 AM EST  
Blogger carmencanada /Grain de Musc said...

Marina, I've been in the same "non-rose" mood as you for... years now, so I suppose I'd better start re-testing neglected samples and bottles: I might be in for a surprise.
I do find Rose Oud to be one of the loveliest renditions of the accord precisely because of its delicacy... off to dig out that sample!

5:09 AM EST  
Blogger Vintage Lady said...

I very much like rose in winter. Rose Oud sounds like a very special and poowerful yet subtle scent. Thanks!

7:19 AM EST  
Blogger Karin said...

I just received a complete set of Rosine samples! Anxious to try them. I don't particularly care for rose, but for some reason am now curious. I have a travel set of Kilian's Liaisons Dangereuses, which I love, and recently "won" a bottle of Delrae's Coup de Foudre. Also swapped for a bottle of Nahema EDP (though admit I've been much too afraid to try it on skin yet). Haven't tried the Rose Oud or KM. Very curious about the Rose Oud, but that price tag...ouch!

7:21 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Lyric is one of my favorite roses (and it's definitely a winter rose) and probably my fave Amouage. I will be looking forward to your review of Rose Oud!

7:56 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am so glad, White Aoud is such a beauty! I wonder how you'd compare it with the By Kilian.

7:57 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

you know, I can totally see that. I think that when this Rose Oud decides not to work, that's exactly how it'd would be.

7:57 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

One probably doesn't need more roses when one is shacking up with Portrait of the Lady, indeed!

7:58 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I always tell myself I won't try something exorbitantly priced, but then I think, what if I am missing a masterpiece, albeit one I can never have? :) And anyway, my curiosity always wins :)

8:00 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I will definitely try that. Will be talking about her dirtyROSE tomorrow, which I loved.

8:00 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

That somewhat abstractly edible feel gets me every time with roses...come to think of it, with florals in general.

8:02 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Vintage Lady,
Do let me know what you think of it, if you try it

8:02 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

ooh, you get to play with all the Rosines! Suddenly I want to revisit the old ones and try the new ones too. I believe they issued a lot in the last couple of years, which I never smelled.

8:04 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, that rose craving hits me hard every couple of days or so... usually about this time of the year I am lusting for big tuberoses, but I was surprised to feel such a pull toward Lyric and Cabaret and even that little bottle of La Rose Jacqueminot I got for cheap on ebay - I'm sure it's the 80s reissue, and the seller had no idea what she had, she listed it under "La Rose by Jacque Minot."

I've been trying to stay away from the BKs, but found a small bottle of Beyond Love for not much $, and it's really great, so I can't dismiss the line out of hand. Too, Rose Oud has been getting some good press lately!

I like White Aoud (and Oud Queen Roses and Aoud Roses Petals); I like that little hit of band-aid. Yum.

9:11 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

La Rose by Jacque Minot- genius! Love that. :)
I think without that bit of band aid weirdness, ouds like these would have been just conventionally pretty and boring. I like all that you listed by the way.

9:15 AM EST  
Blogger StyleSpy said...

The Rose Oud sounded wonderful until I got to the part with the price. Good googly-moogly!!!

9:30 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Splits, decants, etc. is what I'm thinking...

9:31 AM EST  
Anonymous Marian said...

If there were one "Western" oud I'd buy it would be Kilian's. I was SO tempted by it's prettiness and combination of sensuality and elegance. In fact, I still think about it :-)

11:40 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Coming from you, it is a really serious endorsement!

11:53 AM EST  
Blogger Alyssa said...


I think rose cravings are cyclical. There was a time when I couldn't get enough. But it's been awhile. And I seem to remember a top ten post from you, my dear, with roses in nearly every spot. It was illustrated with a photo of a naked lady swimming in red rose petals...

At any rate, I have an untested sample of the Kilian. Maybe now is the time.

12:13 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

a photo of a naked lady swimming in red rose gosh, with my reviews, it could have been anything...I am curious now when was this..

12:18 PM EST  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Ha! I got it on the very first Google:

So glad I wasn't imagining things! I do, sometimes. ;)

12:20 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Ah! Thank you! I guess that's when I must have over-dosed on roses...over-rosed :) In 2007! :)

12:23 PM EST  
Anonymous mocards said...

I'm wearing Lyric today because your post reminded me of it. It's a very special perfume for me. I love Lyric, the *only* rose perfume I can or ever could wear.

12:50 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I wonder what makes such a wearable stand-out for you?

12:57 PM EST  
Anonymous yvree said...

I thought I was certain rose was the one note I did not like. But can breathe a sigh of relief to know that its some supernatural phenomena. whew. It does pass right?

Rose is ALL I have been craving lately...having only one year of sniffing and buying, am without a single bottle of rose anywhere. ( while clinging to sample of Une rose & white oud). Did break my New Years' no buy and bought some EO's. To sniff PoaL now would be suicide for my wallet. Marina, thank you for the post. I am starting with the Montale's and hoping this will pass before I see the end;)

1:28 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Maybe it's cyclical as Alyssa said :) Oh, Une Rose, forever one of my favorite roses!

1:32 PM EST  
Anonymous Flora said...

I could easily fall for either of these in my current rose-addled state, or any time for that matter. The Kilian is definitely out of my price range, but I hope to get a decant of it in the future. The KM is just my style too, I adore that candied type of rose, such as Nahema.

Once I found the Montale rose/oud scents I realized that I really like my roses plush and well ormanented, in the Queen Rose/Nahema/Parfum Sacre/Lyric continuum. These are just more enticement!

4:03 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

plush and well ornamented is how I like them too! fresh natural beauty of tea roses still eludes me :) bothers me even :)

4:07 PM EST  
Anonymous Victoria said...

I am very delighted reading this review, because I am glad I could take you down the same rose scented rabbit hole. I love Pure Oud too, utter elegance, but Rose Oud is much more interesting.

9:58 PM EST  
Anonymous said...

what on earth is going on...i, too, a non-rose person, quite recently ordered a batch of Rosines as well as the Montale! samples, mind you...wouldn't want to get carried away. or would I?

11:23 PM EST  
Blogger Ines said...

Marina, unfortunately my curiosity always wins too (and I'm no character when it comes to not spending money on more perfume, cheap or expensive). :) You only live once!

3:35 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Right, you fell but made sure to take me down with you, me and hundreds others! :)

6:14 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

let's try to be strong and not get carried away :) easier said than done :) But samples are always so much fun.

6:15 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am exactly like that too :)

6:15 AM EST  
Anonymous idyllb said...

I love rose fragrances. In fact whenever I buy something else like Fracas, I just go back to roses. However, I know I'm in the minority but I don't like Rosines. I adore Sa Majeste but it's much too royal for my taste. Creed's Bulgare one, is a love at first sight but it smells so clean and sometimes boring that I can't manage in on everyday basis. So as a result, I've been using Une Rose for about three years now. Most of the time I just loved it and thought it was me, my signature scent. Then, there were times that I thought I smelt wine in a dominant and annoying way. In fact, I can't smell roses anymore, not even on the bottle due to overexposure effect I guess. Others can though, on me. So, it is weird. Anyway, I've been thinking about trying different roses. Portrait of a Lady doesn't look like my cup of tea from the reviews. However this Kilian one and Montale White Oud one seem really interesting to me. Do you think that a Une Rose lover would love these? Also strangely as you're drawn to Roses these days, I've been drawn to green scents, one in particular, Untitled by Maison Martin Margiela. I know it's not a very original scent but there's something in it that reminds me of my childhood that I just can't get enough whenever my friend puts it on. On me however I don't know. It is much too unisex for my normal taste.

7:11 AM EDT  

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