The Monday Mail ~ help Raul find a new fragrance

Pink letter slot

Today's Monday Mail subject is Raul. Raul is looking for a rose fragrance that resonates with a specific scent memory having to do with his old family home, which has been sold and might get torn down:

...I have this memory, walking through the garden, after a heavy rain, grasshoppers jumping everywhere, the air is clean, but the soil is wet, the grass cracking while I step over it, and a green note invades the atmosphere, I keep walking, I notice the lemon and orange trees, the big ash tree and finally the roses...2 shrubs, one pink, the other white, covering a stone wall...and that's what I want the fragrance to resemble — roses as the heart of the fragrance, a thin green note, a soft wood note, and an ephemeral citrus twist, clean and simple, far from being soapy or oceanic.

Raul lives in Mexico and has limited access to perfume stores. Here is what we know about Raul:

He's in his early 20s, and is in his 2nd year of a 5 year architecture program.

Raul says he is he is an introvert and enjoys his loneliness most of the time, but does love to talk, especially if good company and a cup of tea are involved.

His hobbies include reading, musical films and swimming.

He says he is conservative in appearance and liberal in thinking.

Raul says the closest he has come to finding his rose fragrance is when he layered Hermès Rose Ikebana and Santal Massoïa. What he has in mind would be heavier on the rose (and lighter on the green) than Diptyque's L'Ombre dans L'Eau, and it might also be milky or creamy. It would not be soapy, overly sweet or white floral, and he doesn't really care about the citrus. He says he has already sniffed the whole Tom Ford and Giorgio Armani collection and hasn't found his dream scent yet.

Raul likes mandarin, sandalwood, rose, cedar, vanilla, iris and vetiver. His current fragrance rotation includes Chanel Égoïste, Hermès Vetiver Tonka, Guerlain Vetiver, Christian Dior Fahrenheit, Jean Paul Gaultier Fleur du Male, Diptyque L'Ombre dans l'Eau and Prada Infusion d'Homme.

Raul doesn't like carnation, celebrity fragrances or sport fragrances. He doesn't care for Acqua di Parma Colonia, Guerlain Habit Rouge or Chanel Antaeus.

What say you?

Note: top image is pink post [cropped] by jenny downing at flickr; some rights reserved.

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31 Comments

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  1. egabbert says:

    Have you tried Clarins Par Amour? Very simple but very lovely, rose and cedar with a little blackcurrant (but not nearly as green as L’Ombre dans l’Eau) and maybe a touch of vanilla.

    I also think you would enjoy Andy Tauer’s roses — both Incense Rose and Une Rose Chypre have bright citrus top notes, rosy hearts and woody, resinous drydowns.

  2. Rappleyea says:

    My first hit for Raul was Guerlain’s Nahema. It has a lovely green opening and, especially in the heat, the rose/peach heart blooms beautifully into a very realistic garden rose. I’d also suggest some of Sonoma Scent Studio’s rose scents. Laurie specializes in them.

  3. Rictor07 says:

    I have 2 suggestions:
    Parfums 06130 – Lentisque
    Le Labo – Rose 31

  4. C.H. says:

    This is a fun one! What a vivid description, thanks Raul.

    So, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not as high-brow as a lot of what Raul mentioned, but since it’s so widely available, it couldn’t hurt to try Stella McCartney for rose plus citrus. Given what else Raul mention liking, I’m guessing it would need to be layered with something else (woodsier, probably), but, this is possible, of course!

    It isn’t quite my thing, but for someone who wanted more rose and less green than l’Ombre dans l’Eau, Diptyque’s Eau Rose could be worth trying. I feel like Jo Malone Red Roses might appeal on a similar basis.

    Finally, Les Parfums de Rosine has a relatively inexpensive sample kit (25Euro) that they ship internationally for free. I’ve only made my way through about a third of it so far and I don’t yet have a specific one to recommend for Raul’s parameters, but in terms of getting a whole bunch of options, plus having the flexibility to try in different layering combinations, etc., it could be worth looking into!

  5. lucasai says:

    I suggest trying L’Artisan Parfumeur Voleur de Roses or Mohur by Neela Vermeire. I also can’t stop from saying – try Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme, you might like it, I enjoy it a lot. Also Van Cleef & Arpels Bois d’Iris for an iris lover.

    • farouche says:

      Second Voleur de Roses and Rose Anonyme!

      • morgana says:

        Third Voleur de Roses! Marvelous fragrance, and it appears to match your description perfectly.

        • Emily says:

          Fourthing Voleur de Roses. That was the first thing I thought of when I read this post.

  6. Jillie says:

    I wonder if Raul would like Neal’s Yard Essence No 2 Rose? At first I was going to recommend Annick Goutal’s Rose Absolue, as it is such a true rose, but it is very simple. The Neal’s Yard fragrance is made from essential oils and is a very good rose with other elements like cedar and geranium giving it depth. The more I wear it, the more I like it, and it has good lasting quality and sillage. Another bonus is that, compared with Goutal, it is quite inexpensive!

    Also seconding Rappleyea’s suggestion of Nahema.

  7. kristinacologne says:

    What about Eau Suave by Parfum d’Empire? In Angela’s words: “If Eau Suave is the fragrance of a garden in bloom, it’s not a lush, heady garden of jasmine and lilies, but a more restrained garden, quiet, with pea gravel paths and bird baths and lots of places to sit with a book.” It’s a wonderful fragrance, the drydown is to die for!

    • lucasai says:

      That’s a good suggestion!

    • HemlockSillage says:

      My thought exactly! Eau Suave has a quiet, herbal, dusty quality. I thought of it immediately when I read the images of earth and stone. Certainly worth a try. PdE also has a nice sample set, and the scents are diverse and fascinating. Best wishes on your search. Be well.

      • annemarie says:

        I too thought of Eau Suave, but it does not have the citrus Raul mentions. Instead, there is a rather (to me) sharp raspberry (not sweet). Still, it’s got the stone, the earth, the flowers …

  8. solanace says:

    The parfums de rosine sampler set is a great idea. I ordered it, and it is a lot of fun! The samples are fairly big,and there are some good ones in there! These days I’m in love with Rose splendide, by Annick Goutal. Victoria at bois de jasmin says its opening smells of rose leaves and unopened buds, and I get this green, yet very rose ‘centered vibe. Really high quality, balanced and delicious, smell it if you can!

    • Karin says:

      Oops! I just posted this below, then read your post, Solanace! Great idea. :-)

  9. PetronellaCJ says:

    I usually have no luck w rose scents on my skin, I usually get everything else but the rose, but one that works for me and have a beautiful simplicity (at least to my nose) is Cartier So Pretty. Good luck with the sniffing, a lot of exciting suggestions already!

  10. Cybele says:

    try Yves Saint Laurant In Love Again

  11. Karin says:

    Raul – go to the Parfums de Rosine website and order a sample set! Fifteen samples for 25 Euros. They sent it to the US, so hopefully they send to Mexico.

    • solanace says:

      And they sent it to Brazil, no extra charges. Andy Tauer and Ormonde Jayne are other brands with interesting sampler sets that can be delivered here – and in Mexico, I’m guessing.

  12. farouche says:

    My suggestions for you are L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Aedes de Venustas and 34 Boulevard St. Germaine, Diptyque. Good luck and enjoy your sampling.

  13. SmokeyToes says:

    Tiempe Passate by Antonia’s Flowers sounds like it has many of the notes Raul is looking for: bergamot, clementine, sage, cyclamen, Montauk rose, orris, cedar, vetiver and amber. It’s a stunning, refined rose, NST has a great review of it….

  14. Merlin says:

    Hi, I know you already have L’Ombre dans L’eau in your rotation, but you did not specify whether it was the EDT or the EDP. The EDP has a much richer and more central rose. It is lighter on the green than the EDT…

  15. shellyw says:

    “Juliette Has a Gun’s Vengeance Extreme is an intense chypre which draws its sensuality from an unusual dose of patchouli and Bulgarian rose.”
    I have this as my scent for when I am feeling a bit more out there. It is definitely not a soapy rose.

  16. Antje says:

    Kerosene Santalum Sliver is a good option if you can get a sample. Citrus opening, rose and cucumber fades to wood – refreshing and interesting.
    Gres Cabaret might be easier to get, I always liked this on a guy.
    Lastly, for a true and linear rose try SL sa majeste la rose. I have childhood memories of my grandma’s bulgarian rose oil and this is it! Might be better for layering since this is just rose and nothing else for me.
    I have to check out that Rosine sampler…

    • lenika says:

      Second Sa Majeste la Rose. It’s a very realistic rose, slightly green in the beginning, warm and “happy” afterwards (and even sexy IMO).

  17. moore says:

    Eau de Campagne, Eau de Sisley 2.

  18. Emily says:

    Definitely try L’Artisan Voleur de Roses and Gres Cabaret. In addition, Caron Parfum Sacre, Comme des Garcons 2 Woman, and Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Beach Roses might be worth your while.

  19. mysterious_scent says:

    What a fun game!
    I also vote for Serge Lutens Sa Majeste la Rose, a green yet realistic rose with woody base, a bit spicy.
    Have you tried Teo Cabanel Early Rose? It’s drewy, lemonly rose, lightly green and a little bit sparkling, not soapy at all.
    How about Eau d’Italie Paestum Rose? Not very rosy to my nose, but I just love its woody base.

  20. Ginny M says:

    Continuing in the rose theme, Cabaret by Gres is a screaming bargain and a perfectly lovely woody rose. At first spray, it’s all pencil shavings (and takes me back to elementary school, sharpening my Eberhard Faber No. 2 on the classroom wall, by the door), but then settles into a lovely, comforting scent. And did I mention it can be had CHEAPLY? (And Luca Turin loves it.)

  21. Raul says:

    Thanks everyone! Hopefully, I’ll start on Monday sampling, I’ve been terribly busy. I start with everything I can find in the stores, the I’ll order samples-

  22. Raul says:

    There are pretty interesting suggestions!

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