Maybe it’s spring and its buddy “spring cleaning,” or maybe it’s my wasted state of mind from doing taxes, but I’m feeling the “get it done” attitude. Let’s skip the usual framing about rose or flankers or budding leaves or whatever and jump right into a review of Elie Saab Le Parfum Rose Couture:
The facts: Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian developed Le Parfum Rose Couture. The notes listed in its initial press materials include peony, silken petals (whatever that is), rose, vanilla, jasmine, sandalwood and patchouli. Nordstrom’s online description adds orange flower, rose nectar, vetiver, mandarin tree blossom, gardenia and warm honey rose to that list.
Does this really smell like a flanker to Elie Saab Le Parfum, or is it something that smells entirely unrelated but cashes in on the original’s name? This is a bonafide flanker. Le Parfum Rose Couture shares detectable DNA with Le Parfum, although it falls short on spirit.
What does it smell like? Le Parfum Rose Couture is essentially Le Parfum minus the hint of cinnamon and cedar, but with a helping of candied rose and a few teaspoons of syrup from a can of cling peaches. Le Parfum’s glorious, trilling orange blossom is played down, and the fragrance feels less like an oriental and more like a sweet floral backed with the synthetic musky woods that I feel sure will one day come to signify a classic 2010s department store fragrance.
The sandalwood and patchouli in Le Parfum Rose Couture, as in Le Parfum, are muted and blended well enough not to draw attention to themselves. Instead, once the orange blossom, honey, and vanilla-inflected rose fade, Le Parfum Rose Couture’s dry down is sweet musky wood with a hint of bug spray about it.
I love roses. Should I sample this? Le Parfum Rose Couture’s rose is drenched in burnt vanilla and non-feral honey. It doesn’t smell like garden roses, and it isn’t a dark, sultry rose, either. In this fragrance, rose seems to serve more to make the fragrance “easier” and more friendly than the original, rather than to actually showcase rose.
If I like Le Parfum, will I like Le Parfum Rose Couture? It depends on why you like Le Parfum. For me, I adore Le Parfum’s over-the-top, piccolo-sharp orange blossom and jasmine, and how it fades into a sweet, spicy oriental. In short, part of what I love is its attitude. Rose Couture pulls its punches. It seems to say, “Ha ha ha, ignore my sister, Le Parfum. She doesn’t know how to keep her opinions to herself. My manners are better. Why, except for my sweet tooth, I’m hardly distinguishable from my brethren here on the perfume shelves.”
If it’s the honey and orange blossom in Le Parfum you love, and you wouldn’t mind if Le Parfum weren’t so danged in-your-face, you might prefer Le Parfum Rose Couture.
Oh, come on. Were your taxes really that bad? I don’t want to talk about it. I’m going to spritz myself with Chanel No. 5 and go lie down.
Fine. How much will this set me back, and where can I find it? Elie Saab Le Parfum Rose Couture Eau de Toilette is for $80 for 50 ml and $108 for 90 ml. Right now, in the United States it’s exclusive to Nordstrom. (There is also a 30 ml size in some markets.)