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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Rue Royale by Hove Parfumeur: Review and Draw

by Marla

Hove’ Parfumeur was founded in 1931 in the French Quarter by Mrs. Alvin Hovey-King, a military spouse who’d traveled widely and loved European perfumery. Yet the house emphasizes local aromatic treats like Tea Olive (osmanthus), Vetivert (widely used in the Southern US in linen chests), and Wild Azalea from the Gulf of Mexico. The line remains remarkably coherent, very little reformulation has occurred over the decades, and the shop, newly relocated to 434 Chartres Street, looks marvelously Old French Quarter.

I’ve been visiting Hove’ Parfumeur since I was a wee small tot, and my favorite has always been their quiet yet elegant chypre “Rue Royale”. They describe it thusly: “A hint of musk pervades this basically dry and light fragrance, selected most often by fair brunettes who wish a quiet elegance.” My mother told me I was too young to wear such a sultry brew back when I was 7 (she’d buy me Tea Olive or White Ginger), but now that I’m all growed up, it’s a mainstay.

No matter how I’ve cajoled, they’ve refused to reveal even a single note of their popular perfume! How annoying. But as far as I can parse it, it’s a classic chypre, with real, lovely oakmoss, vetiver, soft jasmine and rose, and hints of spice and suede. It’s like polished mahogany, elegant and smooth. I like both the solid form, which I take traveling, and the perfume version, which is very rich indeed! I haven’t tried the Cologne version, because a rich chypre always seems more beckoning to me in a stronger formulation.

They also make wonderful Tea Olive and Vetivert colognes, both very simple and elegant.

434 Chartres Street, New Orleans $21 through $152, also in a solid compact for $22

I’d love to send an interested reader a sample of the solid Rue Royale. Just leave a comment about a city you know of that has its own “Slow Perfumery” that emphasizes local material, or, if you don’t know of one, tell me which city should have such a perfumery. The winner will be chosen randomly.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do love New Orleans and I've visited the mystical fragrance shop and fallen in love with the scent. This was at the old location, of course. I'd love a chance at the chypre, a favorite scent category of mine. I love their real oakmoss ingredient--so alive!

12:30 AM EDT  
Anonymous Perfumes for Women said...

I do love New Orleans

12:59 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Basel in Switzerland should have such shop, it would suit its cultural and historical nature. Thanks - Alica -

1:23 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't answer to your question...I'm based in Italy...but i hope to enter the drawn because I love cypre parfumes!

Kisses from Italy


2:10 AM EDT  
Blogger mous said...

Portland Oregon probably has a slow perfume house, but it most likely smells of coffee, hops, roses and bacon, or some sort of bullshit like that.

2:27 AM EDT  
Blogger Christof said...

Harry Lehmann (Parfum Individual) in Berlin/Germany sells since more than 80 years individually bottled perfumes by weight.Even fragrances from the 30s and 40s are still in production. Around 50 varieties are always available. You can also created costumized fragrances.

3:27 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, real oakmoss, such a treat! And it is a lovely shop, isn't it?

4:46 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

II Graham,
Love your Portland brew? And aren't guys supposed to love bacon perfume, I remember reading some research on that. Personally, I love coffee notes in perfume.

4:47 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful place! I wish I'd known about it while I was still in Germany. There was an apothecary in Innsbruck that still carried colognes from original 18thC recipes.

4:49 AM EDT  
Blogger Katherine said...

Thank you for sharing about this delightful-sounding perfumery in New Orleans, I will definitely be visiting when I return to NOLA! I think Atlanta too is ripe for slow perfumery.

Would love to try Rue Royale, please enter me in the draw!

7:11 AM EDT  
Blogger civava said...

I think Ljubljana should have a store like that.

7:41 AM EDT  
Anonymous Alison said...

Have always loved and shopped at Hove ever since I was a student at Tulane (mumble) years ago. The osmanthus shrubs there are the best-smelling things in the world! Please enter me in the drawing.

8:09 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't those tea olives the best? I didn't know for the longest time they were osmanthus, and I thought they only grew in the Southern US, NOLA, specifically! :-)

8:27 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know of any city that has a slow perfumery but I definitely want to! A slow perfumery sounds perfect not for a city, but a small town outside a city. I'd like to find one around any old city in the US or Canada. I'm going to have to follow up on the ones mentioned in the comments here.

8:58 AM EDT  
Blogger arlene20 said...

Charleston, SC, deserves a slow perfumery. I'd love a whif of that sultry Southern charm in the middle our Northern winters!

9:30 AM EDT  
Anonymous Julie R said...

What a lovely contrast and accent a parfum like Rue Royale would be to scrappy, rough and tough Chicago! Alas, we have none. I imagine myself wearing it to my art studio, gallery openings, lectures at the art institute, jazz fest and political rallies!! Chicago cries out for such a fragrance.

9:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Dixie said...

I grew up in New Orleans, but never discovered the perfumeries until a couple years ago. Everytime I've been to Hove (on Royal), I never found the lady to be helpful-always got the feeling I was bothering her. I could barely smell the fragrances on the paper strips they had laid out. Unfortunate, because I've always heard good things about them. hopefully the customer service has improved.

10:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Isa said...

This shop sounds great. I would love to visit it.
Alicante, in Spain, should have one :)
I had never heard about slow perfumeries before.

11:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Tammy said...

New Orleans holds a special place in my heart as it was there I began my perfume journey at three years of age, when I discovered Joy on the wrist of my Aunt Chloe.

Love seeing Hove get such a wonderful shout out, and thanks for a chance to win!

I am going to nominate Eureka Springs, Arkansas as a city (small town!) that could use just such a perfumery.

12:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Balutakat said...

I had never heard of Hove and will seek it out on my next trip. If someone in Saco, Maine made perfume that smelled of rugosas, sea salt, and pine trees (or something that evoked that lonely, beautiful smell), I'd probably never wear anything else.

12:51 PM EDT  
Blogger a.k.a. Warum said...

Olo fragrances line in Portland, Oregon. They have a blog spot.

1:22 PM EDT  
Blogger Barbara said...

I would think Istanbul would be terrific; the spices, the Bosphorus, the smoke--oooh yeah!

1:55 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Julie R - Chicago needs some slow scents - but quick! This Friday is the big art opening evening of the fall season... Would love to smell Rue Royale

2:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Please enter me in the draweing. I believe that my city, Portland, OR, may have such a concept in Slumberhouse, but not sure if they fit the "slow" bill. Portland is perfect for the concept though.

2:23 PM EDT  
Blogger dremybluz said...

I agree that Charleston,S.C. would be a great city. Please enter me in the draw.

2:31 PM EDT  
Blogger woodgirl said...

I assume St. Augustine, Savannah, & Charleston all have slow perfumeries, but I don't know. Have been wanting to go back to New Orleans for a visit, now I have a destination when I go. Rue Royale sounds great - please enter me in the draw, thanks.

4:15 PM EDT  
Blogger MoonRae said...

I know there is no Slow Perfumery in my far west Texas desert would be nice to have one around here, there are some amazing scents in the desert(as long as it's not around a cattle ranch haha)
Rue Royale sounds delicious

4:28 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a slow perfumery in Marfa??

6:21 PM EDT  
Blogger Laurie Brown said...

I've no idea of real such places, but I think Seattle should have one. Their perfume would smell of ferns and moss and sea breeze, cedar and spruce and wild orchid.

12:10 AM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

No need to enter me, but thanks for bringing more attention to this wonderful line! I adore Tea Olive, I got a sample and now I want a big bottle.

I am spoiled, because my city already has a magical "old world" perfume shop, and I can't imagine my life without it.

1:15 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Flora, every city should have one, really! Or at least a signature perfume.

6:35 AM EDT  
Blogger cornlily said...

San Francisco, of course! Ineke might count.

9:45 AM EDT  
Anonymous Maureen said...

I don't know if Philadelphia has a slow perfumery, but I think it should. I'd go to the city to check that out. I did visit NOLA about 9 years ago, but did not get to Hove...was not a perfume nut at that point. But I loved NOLA, especially the Franch Quarter cool art galleries, voodoo shops, antique stores,restaurants and gorgeous old hotels.

10:17 AM EDT  
Anonymous Sharon C. said...

There is a slow perfumery in San Antonio: The San Antonio Perfume Company; perfumes are wonderfully rich, and very reasonably priced (less than $40 for a 1 oz/30 ml splash bottle). They have a website for orders.
New Orleans also has Bourbon French Parfums and Lagniappe Oaks Perfumery, with a wide variety and great small sizes--and you can order on the Web, while Hove does only mail-order.
Please include me in the drawing; I'd love to try a Hove perfume. [snchamness at]

12:18 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to visit Hove, it sounds delightful!
In Vienna there is Knize as a local perfume house, but I guess they have gone pretty global by now.
Lovely post, Marla, thanks!

1:53 PM EDT  
Anonymous maggiecat said...

I also am in love with New orleans and will be back to visit mid-December this year. I'll look forwatd to visiting Hove' in its new location, and to sampling some more of their delightful scents. I was incredibly impressed with the helpfulness and professionalism of the shop staff on my last visit and can highly recommend them!

2:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Janet said...

what arlene20 said...I agree!

3:18 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Philly is one of my all-time favorite cities on the planet, and it should certainly have its own slow perfumery! I have found every licorice made in the world for sale there, heaven!-- so maybe a licorice-perfume??

6:54 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Birgit, Knize is indeed wonderful, I'm glad they are expanding!

6:55 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucky you! Have a wonderful winter visit.

6:56 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard wonderful things about Ljubljana, tell me what you think slow perfumery would highlight there.

6:57 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julie R,
I love the idea of slow perfumery in Chicago! I have to admit, I'm a huge fan of the Dresden books, now how could those be combined???

6:59 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope, if you visit again, that they lavish you with attention and samples! (Hope they are reading this....)

6:59 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a longtime Texas resident, I know and love San Antonio- I will look up that perfumery and probably order a few samples! I hope the perfumes have a few names in Spanish, such a neglected language for perfumery, not fair! Most of the perfumes I make for friends and family have Spanish names.

7:01 PM EDT  
Anonymous Bevfred said...

There should be a slow perfumery
in Toronto. For a city it's size,
the perfume scene isn't too great.
Please enter me in the draw.
And thank you!

8:28 PM EDT  
Blogger chloefpuff said...

The only such place I know of is indeed Hove, which I visited last December on my trip to NOLA. I did not bring any fragrance back with me. I plan to rectify this when I return in November for a Basenotes meet up. please enter me in the draw.

9:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Erin said...

Marla, what a timely post for me! I'm going to NOLA next month with Shelley (ScentSelf) and we're definitely headed to Hove. Do you live in Nawlins now? I don't know why I'm drawing a blank on where you're located.

11:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Erin,
I'm in Florida now, I used to visit NOLA regularly, I hope you have a fabulous trip and find some real treasures!

4:04 PM EDT  
Anonymous zeram1 said...

San Francisco has a few. Please enter me in the draw as well.

7:52 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Northern California in general is loaded with slow perfumers, some amazing talents out there!

1:45 PM EDT  
Blogger anapax said...

Kiss in the Dark is great too. Hove is my favorite perfume house.

2:48 PM EDT  
Blogger anapax said...

Kiss in the Dark is great too. Hove is my favorite house after Chanel.

2:50 PM EDT  
Blogger ololiuqui said...

I would love to have shop like this in my town,but I guess the spirt of New Orleans is factor of inspiraton.I've read reviews about Hove parfumeur and I will try them soon,they all sound great,it will be very difficult choice.

1:02 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I confess I've been wanting to try that one!!

6:35 AM EDT  
Anonymous CalPak Rally Backpack said...

i love to bacon perfume, this is very good perfume. i like this. I also like ..AZZARO SILVER BLACK, BENETTON perfume, BVLGARI, CALVIN KLEIN etc.

5:35 AM EDT  

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