Les Parfums de Rosine Glam Rose (2011): Ideal Violet {Perfume Review & Musings} {Violet Notebook}


The new Glam Rose makes it possible for Les Parfums de Rosine to depart from their stated mission of dedicating themselves to solely creating rose perfumes while still remaining faithful to it. The composition is a rose-violet perfume which smells as much as possible of a violet perfume while still referencing the scent of a rose. The search of equilibrium between the two floral scents is intriguing and ultimately completely convincing to this nose (see Bas de Soie by Serge Lutens for a similar tightrope-walking effect.) The rose has become amethyst-colored and captures a very subtle interpretation of a violet fragrance.


The name of the fragrance comes from a nickname that house founder Marie-Hélène Rogeon uses for the Variagata di Bologna she grows in her garden calling it "my rock' n' roll rose" due to its wild pairing of white cream with fuschia swirls. Beyond that, there are no hard-hitting sounds in the composition.  It is on the contrary romantic. It is a very delicate, light yet memorable interpretation of a rose-violet composition...

For one thing, it does not smell at all like Yves Saint Laurent Paris as the violet supersedes the rose. Glam Rose is a much more natural-feeling, watercolor-like rendering of a perfume like Parisienne by Yves Saint Laurent, also by perfumer Sophia Grojsman. So that there is a genealogy, but which is there in absentia. The perfume skirts some of the more expected tonalities, replacing them by less common sensations. A realistic lychee thus mixes with raspberry and blackberry in the rendering of a fruity rose.

Violet lovers as well as rose lovers should pay attention to this precious aquarelle of a perfume which was co-created by perfumers Benoît Lapouza and Delphine Lebeau based on an idea by Marie-Hélène Rogeon.

The perfume opens on delicious accents of pink peppercorn, followed by light, green nuances, with a fresh and fleshy lychee imparting its woody-fruty tonality, and finally a very violet-y rose, as promised. The Bourbon roses are reputed for their scents, and the Variegata di Bologna is famed for being particularly perfume-y, its characteristic being to mimic the perfume of violet. Three varietals of roses were included: lychee roses, Chinese roses and Damascan roses.

A "buckskin", sueded leather accord becomes apparent. The rose is sharpened by the geranium-like, metallic facets of rose - a recurring nuance in Les Parfums de Rosine - but these soon abates in this case to leave room to a subtle floral-leather accord slightly enlivened by citrus-y and green accents.

The rose is fruity, softer than in its usual marmelade pairing with a raspberry or blackcurrant note thanks in part to the subtle lychee, together with raspberry and blackcurrant leaves. It brings a very understated aqueous and soft quality to the perfume. There is a certain gourmand, creamy quality to the leather accord, which is again, very understated, reminiscent of the edible sweet-savory quality of some vetiver accords. Each of the main floral notes, rose, violet and jasmine were rendered with "blends" of varietals to ensure a good level of subtlety. Besides the three varietals of roses described above, the violet has been recreated both in its candy-like inflections and green, leafy ones. The jasmine note rests upon both jasmine Sambac and Night Blooming jasmine. 

As the fragrance develops, it starts taking on a more purplish hue, the violet becomes darker, the color of grapes and archbishop amethyst. But it also becomes more soaring and lighter in its texture, instead of becoming deeper. We are faced - as with many modern fragrances - with an inverted pyramid where the movement is towards more lightness rather than more depth at the same time that the color of the perfume compensates with an effect of higher pigmentation.

While the floral-leather genre is an ancient one, first appearing to dress up leather gloves, Glam Rose is not interested in the historical dimension of the accord like Maître Parfumeur et Gantier was with Cuir Fétiche. The fruity accents make sure that the perfume feels modern, thanks to the fruity-floral accord as the perky cocktail of the young generation. On the other hand, there is a timeless charm to this violet scent escaping from the petals of the Variegata Bologna rose. It smells a bit ancient in this feeling of smelling a tin box of violet candies brushed with confectioner's sugar and corn starch, but it is never anything obvious like that.

Glam Rose is an exercise in subtlety and delicacy. It is not glamorous in a clichéd manner. This is not a showy perfume at all, which is refreshing, figuratively speaking. If anything, it alludes to the glamour of a Jane Austen house party in which female guests waft more surely of Après L'Ondée by Guerlain, in a time-warp fashion, than of a glitzy composition à la Hollywood manner (in reality, we know that many stars wear minimalist, clean, white-floral Californian scents.) This is a candle-lit perfume, rather than one caught in the flash lights of the cameras.

The perfume suggests better its origin: a rose in a dewy garden surrounded by greenery in the springtime, only made more refined. It is a very fresh, new-beginnings, new-day sort of a perfume. Balmy accents warm it, make it more complex, but it leaves you overall with a sense of airy delicacy.  The name of the fragrance is a bit misleading in this respect as it sounds very much "now" while Glam Rose smells very much outside of the trends in its sense of elegance, save for the fruity-floral reference which reads as being more contemporary.

An extrême version of the perfume is expected this 2011 fall-winter season, which will be interesting to watch since Glam Rose the original elected to capture the crystalline-paper nuances of Variegata di Bologna (see Nuit de Cellophane by Serge Lutens), perhaps setting aside an interpretation of its peak of olfactory lusciousness for another time.

Notes: pink peppercorn, ambrette seed, blackcurrant leaves, roses, violets, jasmines, cedar wood, suede leather, musk.

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