I have always had a soft spot for Valentine's Day. I can't help but feel that there must be just a little bit of magic in anything that brings deep rose, burgundy and crimson colors into the heart of a fluffy white snow-filled February. Small but decadent boxes of chocolate beckon, velvety red petals abound, a brief moment in time where one is allowed to be unabashedly romantic if one wishes....
Having only recently discovered Les Parfums de Rosine, I am tempted to say that this delightful, albeit expensive, little Parisian line is sort of the fragrance industry equivalent of Valentine's Day. With their lovely perfumes, soaps and candles, luxurious packaging, and unapologetic preference for roses of all sorts, they bring the same sense of indulgent romance into the house as a box of bon-bons wrapped in a huge pink bow. And, although I have not tried their other fragrances, I can't imagine that any product in their line does this more so than the La Rose de Rosine perfumed candle.
With its violet/rose accord, it is slightly reminiscent of Paris by Yves Saint Laurent. La Rose is described as follows on the Parfumes de Rosine website: "The woman who wears it is ultra feminine, and a kind of diva. She is sensual, noble, beautiful and so refined. Her world is the boudoir and opera front seat...La Rose de Rosine is made with the sumptuous and opulent red rose...Intense, velvety, intriguing La Rose de Rosine has a long-lasting trace. It brings an impression of power and refinement." It is true that this is not a meek fragrance, and it has a certain self-confident opulence — intensely sweet, but buttressed by enough structure to carry it through.
The notes are listed as Violet from Tourette sur Loup, tagete, ylang ylang, roses, rose attars from Turkey, Bulgaria and Grasse, jasmine, iris, tonka bean, benzoin and Peru balsam. It's quite a variable scent, even in candle form, starting up immediately with an initial and persistent note of almost soapy rose powder tempered by a somewhat green violet. The tagete may afford a little herbaceous balance but it's very subtle. At times, as it warms, the soapiness recedes and the accord shifts into a juicy violet and mouthwatering rose, bringing a lush and playful tone with it. Occasionally, particularly when sitting closer to the candle, the rose fleshes out into a full-bodied beauty lounging on a bed of tonka bean in the warm embrace of benzoin and ultra-smooth Peru balsam. The combination is quite stunning — the basenotes are somewhat reminiscent of Ormonde Jayne's Tolu. And then that image disappears and the violet re-emerges cheerful, and sweetly bold. My only wish is that it would not go back to the soapy notes (as it inevitably does) as I find them a bit too cloying and sweet.
I am trying the 35g "mini" size (please comment if you have tried the large size!); the throw is decent for a mini, but the depth and complexity of the scent do not carry well. The burn is also a bit sooty, but the wax burns cleanly down so you should do fine if you trim the wick often.
La Rose de Rosine, much like a box of chocolate covered bon-bons, is a little too sweet for my taste and yet, I just can't seem to stop lighting it for the pure delight of bringing such wonderfully Parisian decadence into my home on this dreary, snow-laden February afternoon.
The La Rose de Rosine candle is $17 for 35g or $65 for 200g; for buying information, see the listing for Les Parfums de Rosine under Perfume Houses.