Rose Nue, the latest launch by Les Parfums de Rosine, is an interesting composition to the nose, in the way that it meshes the sharpness of snowy aldehydes with the fruity, almondy softness of Heliotrope; in the way also that it features a key source of inspiration of modern perfumery...
This confidential French, Parisian perfume house specializes in rose fragrances of all hues and colors. They are passionate enough about the rose to each time find renewed interest in it and hope to titillate our imaginings anew too. The scent of the rose is complex and generous enough to be fertile ground for new creations and nuances, as is its mythology.
Perfumer Delphine Lebeau and founder and art director Marie-Hélène Rogeon drew inspiration from the rose evocatively called Maiden's Blush in English and even more evocatively named in French "Cuisse de Nymphe Emue", which you can translate almost literally as "Hot and Bothered Nymph's Thigh." The appelation is derived from the contrast of white and pink of the rose, which is so delicate it brings to mind the blood that visibly courses below the transparent surface of the skin when emotions run high. By extension, the color palette suggests corporal nudity, hence the name Rose Nue (Naked Rose) for the new perfume.
The eau de parfum opens on sharp aldehydes, tart and acidic green mandarin and crisp rosebush leaves for a tonic cocktail of sensations in the beginning. This is followed by a white blanket of snowy, velvety aldehydes and Heliotrope, whose almond facet has been preserved and even showcased to create an unexpected olfactive effect; if Heliotrope is often used as a softening agent for an entire composition, in this case it plays a contrasting role by creating an interesting tension between harder, neon-like notes and more tender, pastel ones. The almond tonality is trendy these days, but less so when associated with aldehydes.
A third main noteworthy nuance is that of a sueded Ambroxan accord which, in this mix, appears also in the form of an unexpected contrast. It smells hairy, a bit graphite-like too - and against the backdrop of white creamy and sparkling aldehydes and Marzipan notes of Heliotropin, almost odd - original certainly. The solar warmth of faux ambergris almost transmutes into caramel thanks to vanilla too, while the green, zesty scent of mandarin keeps adding an acidic edge to the composition.
Rose Nue aimed to evoke the smell of naked skin, among other things. We are not sure the creators succeeded in doing that. At first, the fragrance seemed to harbor a naturalistic musk, which does not appear to be that characteristic.
Sophistication takes over with a more obvious pean sung to aldehydes. Rose Nue evokes better the fleece of polar bears rolling in almond meal and vanilla on the frozen Arctic sea (ambergris is excreted by sperm whales).
The perfume is, to this reviewer, a revisit of the aldehydic pioneer Chanel No.5, the latter which was inspired by the coldness and pristine expanses of the Great North to Russian and French perfumer Ernest Beaux. The new scent has accentuated the reference to snow thanks to effects of texture and a palette of whites. If cold hurts and stings like green mandarin juice, sometimes, like here, you can well imagine that someone is mouthing the song lyrics: "Baby, it's cold outside..." Rose Nue is a less abstract rendition of No.5, putting the rose back into it, and more, but still happy to play with overdosed aldehydes, which first expressed modernity, then came to mean sophistication thanks to fashion.