Yes, I am rather late to this particular party, but wow – Rozy Voile d’Extrait is just incredible! This is a Vero Kern masterpiece worthy of all the praise heaped upon its shoulders. A bit of background – I had been playing around with the Rozy EDP for a few weeks now, liked it well enough, but wasn’t enthused enough to commit pen to paper yet – but then someone reminded me that the Voile d’Extrait versions are easier to understand, so I decided to try the Voile. And, by God, this is good. It’s better than good actually – the Voile is interesting, textured, intriguing, and ever-changing.
First of all, the Voile presents a rich, nutty vetiver-honey opening quite similar to parts of Onda Voile d’Extrait. I have started to appreciate this in the Onda Voile, so am delighted to see it featured here – it smells like hazelnuts pounded to a paste and mixed with vetiver roots and dry honey power, except that hazelnuts have a natural sweetness to them, and this nutty vetiver-honey accord is quite intensely savory and “mouth-dry” in feel. Compared to the fruity-minty EDP, the opening of the Rozy Voile feels darker, more subdued, smoother, and pleasantly ‘dank’.
Later on, I get a lot of sweet, dusty rubber, reminding me delightfully of strawberry-flavored rubber erasers we used to use in my primary school. I presume this must be some combination of the tuberose and the styrax – whatever it is, it fills me with a strange longing for the innocence of youth and the simple pleasures of the school supplies closet. The fruity, rubbery, and dusty elements peek out from below the nutty, savory honey and vetiver layer, and to my surprise, I begin to sense the shape, at last, of a rose, as if the disparate elements and notes I just identified are tiny pixels in a TV screen, only coming together to form a picture when you take a few steps back. The effect is extraordinary – the rose only appears when you peer at it indirectly and from afar.
Roses in perfumery are reconstructions built using many different notes and compounds, ranging from cinnamon and lemon oils to geraniol, so I really admire how Vero has seemed to build a rose using a whole set of unrelated notes, and ones that other perfumers don’t seem to be using – the rubber of tuberose and styrax to suggest the layers of wax on those big, fatty, nostalgic roses used in vintage rose chypres, the touch of honey to approximate the honeyed sweetness of Bulgarian rose oil, and the damp, nutty vetiver suggesting the grassy greenness of stems…..
And in fact, that is how I experience the rose in Rozy – a dry, honeyed, waxy, almost stale rose, which is exactly the type of rose I favor the most in perfumery. I like the idea of rose petals covered in wax and decaying slightly on the vine. There are some references here – slight ones but present all the same – to Lutens’ Rose de Nuit. It adds a vintage, retro rose feel to Rozy, and yet, at the same time, Rozy feels modern and interesting – not at all referential or ‘throwback’. It feels like Vero has created a new category here, and I love it.