A version of this article previously appeared on Ca Fleure Bon written by Megan In Sainte Maxime.
I have to admit I have a special fondness for L’Artisan Pafumeur, not because it was one of my first discoveries but because they make Séville à l’aube, one of my all time favourite perfumes. After finding this perfume, I’ve been working backwards, slowly making my way through their works and finding others that I like to wear. Their collection appears to be a mix of classic perfumes and more experimental creations. They currently have two roses available in their collection. Voleur de Roses is a gorgeous earthy dark patchouli and rose, one of the first niche perfumes to use the now ubiquitous combination. There is also the lighter, brighter Drôle de Rose, a lipstick rose with a touch of violet.
L’Artisan Parfumeur will be adding Rose Privée to their collection in April. The new perfume is the result of a collaboration between Stéphanie Bakouche, an in house perfumer for the brand and Bertrand Duchaufour (the perfumer behind all of the recent L’Artisan releases) who provided mentoring and assisted Stephanie in developing the fragrance. Rose Privée features the iconic Rose de Mai or May Rose from Grasse, so called as it can only be picked in the month of May. This is the famed rose used in the iconic Chanel No 5.
I have to state on record that I’m a huge fan of rose perfumes and am constantly surprised that perfumers can come up with new twists and turns on a well trodden path. I like every sort of rose concoction from the watery lightly hued roses through to the darker oriental beauties. Rose also seems to be a perfect canvas for other notes to add sheen and gloss. Roses flecked with chocolate (Brûlure de Rose : Parfumerie Generale), spice (Mohur : Neela Vermeire Creations), passionfruit (Rozy EDP : Vero Profumo), booze (Rose Cut : Ann Gerard), oud (Rose Anonyme : Atelier Cologne) and incense (Incense Rosé : Andy Tauer). The list is endless.
Nose: Stephanie Bakouche and Bertrand Duchaufour : Year: 2015 : Notes : Citrus, black currant, basil, Rose de Mai, carnation, magnolia, violet, lilac, patchouli and hay
Rose Privée has a fresh, light citrus opening with hints of basil, lending a slightly herbal feel. It’s very smooth and not jarring in any way. There is some fruit in there too, and we could be walking in a grove in summer filled with gorgeous citrus laden trees, ripe for the picking.
The rose is apparent very quickly and is profusely pretty in pink. Rose Privée’s rose appears to have delicate sensibilities yet has a strong sense of place overall in the composition. It blooms the longer it stays on skin. Magnolia adds a slight creaminess to the texture while the lilac is just noticeable. Patchouli in the base of the perfume adds some weight although it’s not the dense, thick, chewy patchouli. It’s light in nature and not overwhelming. There’s hay too which keeps a dry greenness to the end. The base nicely balances the sweetness of the rose, although in terms of sugariness, this rose is far from the top end of the scale. Stylistically it’s not as heavy or dense as a traditional rose chypre, but I imagine the intention is a lighter modern interpretation of this classic arrangement.
Rose Privée has a velvet softness and the overall feel is elegantly tasteful and imbibed with a naturalness, an absence of rough edges. Rose Privée brings to mind those simple moments when nature surprises you by its beautiful landscapes that are right in front of you, but you had never paid them the attention they deserved. It’s a perfume that would work well in the heat and if you like a rose that smells delicious but is eminently wearable for any occasion, this may well be one that you need to try. It feels modern in an uncomplicated way and it also slots perfectly into L’Artisan Parfumeur’s range of rose perfumes, providing another option for those that have a penchant for this majestic flower. I’d say in temperament, it falls in between L’Artisan Parfumeur‘s two other roses. It is not as lighthearted as Drôle de Rose, but not as dark, brooding or unusual as Voleur de Roses.
If I could reorchestrate that well known image from American Beauty where Mena Suvari lies in a bath brimming with red roses, I would change just a couple of things. The roses are now Rose de Mai and coloured pink. There is greenery in there too and a few drops of milk. Et voilà I can now bathe in Rose Privée.
The Lowdown : A lovely, highly wearable pretty perfume that highlights the majestic Rose de Mai. This perfume blooms on skin with hints of greenery and a touch of creaminess. It has a French aesthetic that will wear well in spring and summer.
Ratings Guide : 5 étoiles: Masterpiece and a must buy : 4 étoiles: Seriously fabulous and a must try : 3 étoiles: Solid work but lacking that something extra : 2 étoiles: Just not my cup of tea : 1 étoile: Back to the drawing board
Notes : Images Rose de Mai petals : Chantecaille.com : Rose de Mai : edenbotanicals.com : Mena Suvari : pinterest.com
Disclosure : Sample provided by L’Artisan Parfumeur via Ca Fleure Bon. Opinions my own.