Jean-Charles Brosseau Fleurs D'Ombre: Rose (2006) {Perfume Review} {Smell-The-Roses-Till-Valentine's Day Challenge - Day 9}


After the hit that was Ombre Rose launched in 1981, milliner Jean-Charles Brosseau continued to issue feminine perfumes that were linked to the original Ombre Rose by an olfactory floral theme and the metaphor of the shade in the series entitled Fleurs D'Ombre (Flowers of the Shade or Shadow). The poetic title is an indirect reference to the Proustian title A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs and the central role that perfume plays to conjure up a lost world, a magical operation described in the most minute details by Marcel Proust. The phrase goes well with the romantic slightly nostalgic style of the perfumes, the vintage flacon reproduced from an antique mold and it is a reference also to the impression of cool shade that is incorporated in the fragrances in the series......

The Fleurs D'Ombre series now comprises four fragrances, and Fleurs D'Ombre: Rose is the latest one to have been added. According to Michael Edwards' Fragrances of the World 2008, the only comprehensive guide source we found listing it, it was released in 2006. Osmoz that same year announced Jasmin-Lilas in the spring but not Rose, so we are assuming that it was introduced afterwards.

Fleurs D'Ombre: Rose is not to be confused with Ombre Rose L'Original and Ombre Rose Fraîche. The other Flowers-in-the-Shade creations are Fleurs D'Ombre: Ombre Bleue, Fleurs D'Ombre: Violette-Menthe, and Fleurs D'Ombre: Jasmin-Lilas.

Rose is perhaps more a perfume about a rose hidden in the shade, that one cannot see all that well, but which is nevertheless present and even visible for a brief moment on its own when suddenly a light gust of wind blows away the leaves and the shadowy light they have created. Otherwise Fleurs D'Ombre Rose is constructed around unexpected contrasts; the rose is both tart and velvety, minty-fresh, but also gourmand-jam-y, and more unexpectedly, both woodsy and creamy, almost custard-like.

The fresh Cologne-like initial outburst is underlined from the onset by slightly discrepant undertones of leather and blackcurrant buds. As the scent develops further, notes of mint, raspberry, citrus, and amber align themselves. A green tea note which is slightly woody makes its entrance reminding one of the impression found in Comme des Garçons Nomad Tea. The green notes are varied and feel also at one point very leafy and cool as if you were sitting in their shade in a garden in the summer with long drinks not far away. A question arises at this point -- but where is the rose? Just when one was asking oneself that question, here she comes, and for a passing moment one gets the vision of a rose that is as satiny, full of delicate folds, and as rustling as a peony flower ruffled by the wind. The rose is edged with candied amber overtones and is soon again mixed with green tea, woods, a bit of lemon, mint, cedar; it is a bit of an eccentric and patchwork-y rose. There is then the sensation of another discrepant woody, creamy, and slightly spicy and savory counterpoint to the fresh green notes. The dry-down smells of vanilla and tonka blended with woods and of a creamy, even slightly more intense savory custard-y impression. The longer dry-down is musky and sexy. In the end, it all tends to evoke an afternoon in the summer spent in the shade of a terrace drinking iced green tea with a sprig of mint and a splash of lemon and a chilled raspberry syrup on the rocks, the drinks being set on a large coffee table made of exotic fragrant wood. Perhaps it is a window unto colonial India in the 1920s with bell-hatted ladies taking the cool and having tea with cucumber sandwiches to boot.

Although one discerns interesting contrasts in this perfume, it is hard to come to a definitive conclusion as to the overall effect. The structure of the scent is a bit vague, like the pattern of an English garden. Olfactorily speaking, certain candied amber overtones seem a bit pedestrian and there is a fruity-floral background that feels déjà vu. The perfume however offers a certain poetic atmosphere and the shade effect is cool (pun intended) but it is probably a scent that is unusual and multi-faceted enough to need to getting used to. It is also possible that its charms will become more unequivocally apparent in the summer time. Or maybe not.

(Note: we could not find information about the notes, so we are just offering our impressions.) 

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