Thursday, June 14, 2007

Rose d'Homme by Les Parfums de Rosine

It often happens to me that upon smelling a fragrance, my mind assumes the role of a matchmaker and forever associates it with another, forever pairing the two in a beautiful marriage of a male and female scent that compliment each other. I have hinted to this previously when reviewing Blue Jeans, which is –in my mind- paired with Lolita by Lolita Lempicka. When I smelled Rose d’Homme by Les Parfums de Rosine for the first time a few months ago, my first excited thought was that this was the perfect counterpart to Aromatics Elixir by Clinique. I found it wonderfully spicy, warm and dry at the same time, unique. Subsequent sampling from the little decant that was made for me in the past couple of months has left me wondering if it is indeed the same perfume I smelled on that first occasion. My mind now vehemently rejects the idea that it ever suggested this potion could be paired with Aromatics Elixir and attempts to find explanations for the disappointment I am experiencing. Did my friend decant from the wrong bottle? Has my sample turned? But no satisfactory explanation can be given: the bottle we decanted from was fresh and we labeled my vial on the spot. I will just have to accept the fact that my nose was fooled.

The notes of Rose d’Homme can only be described as extremely obvious – I found it very easy to deconstruct. One gets exactly what one was promised, and what’s more, at the exact sequence that was promised too! The opening comprises of spicy citrus that smells positively aged, so reminiscent of vintage French cologne that it easily brought back the same feelings of guilt I once got as a toddler when I accidentally spilled the remnants of an old fragrance my grandmother’s brother had brought back from Paris and was unable to wash off my hands to hide the evidence. The woody, citrus opening soon softens enough to allow lavender and hay to permeate the surface, lending the fragrance an intensely soapy and slightly powdery feel. I have to say that this is most certainly not my favorite rendition of lavender, but then again none of the notes in Rose d’Homme show their best side to my senses. In fact, the more the development progresses, the more trouble I have finding things to appreciate about this fragrance. At the drydown stage, a soft, old-fashioned rose is struggling to disentangle itself from the oppressing, cruel embrace of leather infused with patchouli. It is at this point I usually decide this must be some sort of noxious poison meant for the male skin. And it is certainly not the skin of a long-lashed dandy, but that of an oily, heavy-set man, whose leer I’d rather avoid. It can be described as mature, and not in a good way. Despite my obvious disappointment and current dislike of Rose d’Homme I do have to admit that it does deserve attention. It is not a run of the mill male fragrance that is likely to produce a yawn. If there is one thing that has remained constant since my initial evaluation, is its state of uniqueness when compared to current releases. For that reason, I do wholeheartedly suggest that it be experienced at least once. Who knows, perhaps you can appreciate it more than I do.

The image is the work of Leslie Hancock, sourced from


Jenavira13 said...

This reminds me of the other day, I work in a library, and we lend out study rooms, when the patron is done we have to check the room before they go. The room I checked the other day smelled of heavenly tea roses and much to my suprise as I am returning the keys so the patron can leave, I was kind've shocked to see a big gruff heavyset man with perturbed look on his face and to know he smelled so wonderful.

helg said...

Hi D!

Hope you had a very successful festival and you have time to recuperate now.

Such a pity: I find Rose d'homme one of the best "bastard" roses (am not much a fan of single ones). I enjoy the leatheriness and the patchouli embrace of the flower. If I go with your New Haarlem perception too, we probably disagree on men's scents. It's all fun though, isn't it? Trying and comparing notes among ourselves I mean.

Best! :-)

Divina said...

Hi girls :)

Jenavira: I do not know how this will sound, but it is quite touching to consider this image you have painted... It is really nice to read how attentive you are to your nose, also to the point that you do not instantly forget about this kind of thing instantly, but that it remains with you throughout the day. Does what I say sound weird? Probably..but you know, I think it is quite a rare thing.

Helg dear :) How are you? I am indeed recuperating, although I must admit I have not been giving myself as much time to rest as is required considering the circumstances. As for our different tastes in regards to male perfumes.. I am surprised!!! It seems that you are right though, we disagree. How can this be? We are almost HG twins when it comes to female frags. Bah! *hugs* I think we are gonna have some fun comparing notes on male frags. I'm planning to tease you with each and every one I hate only to find out you love it, I can see it already :)

chayaruchama said...

I'm rather fond of this...
I like a lot of the Rosines, even though I couldn't classify myself as a rose person particularly.

We stiil love you, though !