A rose, is a rose, is a rose, right? All roses are not created equal, thank God. This time of the year, Spring, St. Valentine’s Day, always put me in the mood for rose-based fragrances. There’s something sensual attached to this delicate flowery, a phenomena I can’t explain, but one of these will be my scent of the night for Valentine’s Day.
Atelier Cologne- Rose Anonyme
Probably the most playful of the bunch. Rose, oud, patchouli, backed by a gang of fresh ginger, lime, and earthiness. Rose Anonyme starts off with a jammy rose, maybe, the truest to itself in this set. It turns a bit dirty as it transforms and herbaceous near the mid to dry down. Although, I feel as if I have to be dressed to the nines with any rose-based endeavor, Anonyme has a more playful side, it’s not as serious as the others and could probably be as casual as it is suit and tie appropriate.
Christian Dior- Ambre Nuit
I’d like a room diffuser, a 32 oz. candle, fabric freshener, bath oil, pretty much everything that could possibly be made, scented like Ambre Nuit. It’s just that good. The rose, is hidden in comparison to Atelier’s take, but it’s there, sparkling, very French and whispered, heightened by the presence of oh-so-peppery, pink pepper, and a dusty ambergris. There’s a heavy dose of ambergris and it makes this the most sensual composition out of the bunch. The ambergris comes of hazy, and fuzzy, borderline screechy, but it doesn’t cross that line. Ambre Nuit turns out to be a little bit too linear on my skin, I still wouldn’t mind everything in my life smelling like it, though.
Amouage- Lyric Man
Brash and masculine have never fit so well into the rose genre, then came Lyric Man. There’s nothing hidden or shy about Lyric, he announces himself immediately. I suppose, when worn by a confident man, that works, because the rose is full-frontal. Wear the suit, tie, hat, and don’t let it wear you, right? Well, this is an ongoing tug o’ war, Lyric Man could easily back the most confident man into a corner at a party. That’s where the role players come in, it’s something floral, and I think others will realize that, but there’s heaps of incense, lime and musk. So, fret not, put on your Sunday’s best and be reassured that after the first hour, people will only assume that you’re wearing something slightly floral and rose-y.
Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle- Portrait of a Lady
Yes, another rose, patchouli, and oud combination, but arguably, the best rose-patchouli-oud. Disclaimer for oud haters, it only peeks its head out deep, deep, deeeep into the dry down, somewhere in the 24+ hour mark on my skin. I get a dry rose, earthy patchouli, smoky incense, and dried berries. Luckily, the clove and cinnamon doesn’t clash like in Musc Ravageur, but POAL is ever-evolving. The dried rose and fruits, with a dusty patchouli note are mouthwatering, which I’m sure they’re not meant to be. This is eyes rolled to the back of the head territory for me. More men should take the leap, although the name is strikingly un-unisex, this is more than fit for a man.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian- Oud Silk Mood
Silk Mood is as opulent as they come. If this list had a hypothetical dollar amount that could be bestowed on any character fitting the fragrance, this would be a middle-eastern billionaire, with European sensibilities. The only reason I conjure up that image, is that, I believe I’ve come across this gentleman in the streets of Rome. He had a bouquet of red roses in his hands, while escorting his wife, I must have followed them for nearly two blocks, caught in the cross-hairs of his scent trail. This was at least a year before I ever smelled Silk Mood on a visit to Galleries Lafayette, but this man that I followed so aimlessly, wondering how anyone on earth could smell so majestic, immediately came to mind. Silk Mood is masterfully composed, velvety roses, oud, chamomile, I get very little of the latter, but OSM has a silk, maybe even cashmere texture. As opulent as this is, it’s very monotone and understated, nothing sticks out, other than its quality, in the air it doesn’t smell like perfume or cologne, it just smells better.