Bulgari's new Rose Rose in the Splendida collection - also a rookie collection - is on the face of it, a reworking of Bulgari Rose Essentielle (2005) by perfumer Béatrice Piquet, who sadly passed away prematurely seven years ago. This year, perfumer Sophie Labbé of IFF is re-opening the rose bouquet to add new ideas, with the apparent aim of offering a more glamorous and luxurious version of the first...
What strikes me most about the composition is not so much its opulence - it is actually not a showy bouquet - but rather its capacity for making you feel comfortable, relaxed - and for suggesting intimacy. You think back to Revlon Intimate and feel that Rose Rose was made in that tradition. A sotto voce scent, this rose perfume is much more than the sum of its parts, it is an opportunity to experience what has most of the time been lost to social media, a sense of privacy and intimacy. In some ways, one could see that particular feeling as an ingredient much rarer than the rarest of rose absolute or essence. It's a luxury of feelings, not of material things.
Rose Rose opens of a white mulberry and rose accord, which smells unexpectedly like Tocade by Rochas, only with fruitier and greener sparks. While velvety and qualitative, the composition is not ostentatious. It wears close to the body, a bit like an extrait, smelling both gentle and, again, cozy. The fact that Tocade comes to mind readily may of course be part of the equation for creating a sense of comfortable familiarity. Sometimes, a perfume is just a copy of another one; at other times, it adds to an admired scent, expanding its olfactive imprint - and widening its soul.
The development is not symphonic either. It is a streamlined jus, whose main interest hinges on the immaterial and the psychological thanks the maestria of the perfumer managing to translate something undefinable, yet real as you inhale the notes of perfume.
The universal, psychological aspect of the composition makes it easy to adopt by men as well. It is not biased by clunky gender codes. The sensations deepen gently - and if I told you that it smells prunier at this point, it would not say anything much about the spirit of the scent. The patchouli, on the other hand, in the base is part and parcel of that impression of a familiar feeling which retains an element of mystery. You've smelled it before, again in Tocade, but there is something about Rose Rose which is different too.
As a perfume critic, my recommendation is to try out Rose Rose ASAP, not for its doublet of roses, but for its intangible and rare capacity to evoke a human atmosphere, a closeness, a circle of intimacy, in an era when those have come to be worth their weight in gold - maybe platinum. Let's just say, that some things are priceless.