Continuing with this week's rose theme (see Lancome Mille et Une Roses and Bond no. 9 West Side & Bryant Park), today we have Une Rose from Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums, an entirely different sort of rose, far from the quiet elegance of the Lancome or the stylish modernity of the Bonds. Une Rose was created by Edouard Fléchier, a perfumer best known for Christian Dior Poison, and includes notes of geranium, blue camomile, wine dregs, Turkish rose absolute, and truffle accord (patchouly accord, vetiver and castoreum absolute).
The Frederic Malle website describes Une Rose as "the intoxicating, earthy aroma of a garden rose pulled from the ground with its roots", but that only just begins to prepare you for the experience. The top notes are innocent enough: a lovely fresh rose, balanced by the geranium but still very dewy and bright. As it dries down, it is joined by a hint of chamomile, which I recognize only because I drink chamomile tea on occasion. The chamomile and geranium give the early stages a carefree, outdoors-on-a-summer-day feel, far from the dozen long stemmed roses in a box that so many rose perfumes call to mind.
Une Rose takes its time in developing on the skin, and if you stop paying attention for a time, the next sniff might surprise you: there are the wine dregs, there is the damp earth, there is something meaty and thick that might be truffles, I suppose. The rose is still there, and still quite true — the rose never takes on the over-ripe aspect that it does in many "sexy" rose perfumes — and it still feels like the outdoors more than a hothouse, but the lighthearted aspect of the opening is entirely gone, and has been replaced with something much deeper and richer.
The longer it is on skin, the meatier and earthier and more animalic it gets, and the lasting power is excellent, so you are in for a long ride if you are fooled in the beginning into applying too much. It is often described as dark, but I do not find it so, although you wouldn't call the dry down bright. The wine notes accent the sweetness of the rose, but not much, it is more dry than not. Beautiful, yes, and sexy (very), but not a pretty rose in the conventional sense, and it has little in common with its sister in the Frederic Malle line, Lipstick Rose.
Une Rose is available in 50 and 100 ml bottles, or in 3-packs of 10 ml travel sprays. It is also sold in the new body butter (Buerre Exquis). For buying information, see the listing for Frederic Malle under Perfume Houses.