I find endlessly fascinating the “stories” created around perfumes; the one concocted for Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme is briefer than many but is still dramatic: “She turned the dial until the safe opened, revealing the diamond. She had stolen jewels before, but none compared with this one. She left a single rose and the scent of her perfume in its place for him to find. In a moment she’d be halfway around the world and he would be in pursuit. The chase began again…”
More useful for someone wondering whether he or she might enjoy the fragrance is a sentence about “a breathtaking seductress caught in a stolen affair between light and dark.” Forget the seductress and go right to the light and dark part. This isn’t fiction. Rose Anonyme contains mostly dark elements that can easily topple a less carefully considered fragrance. But it’s so smoothly blended that the perfume feels like something that one slides into rather than something one sprays on.
Created by perfumer Jérome Epinette (who also worked on the bright and zesty Vetiver Fatal), Rose Anonyme is a cologne centered around rose. Oud and vanilla-like benzoin provide the foundation for the red petals, which in the beginning feel soft as velvet and then become dry and dusky. Light incense wafts about at a distance, just enough to barely notice.
Rose Anonyme contains a mild oud note that is wonderfully earthen against a creamy, spiced rose. The subtlety of the oud is not likely to wow hardcore oud lovers, but for me, with my limited oud appreciation, it’s dark enough. Enough notes are weighed against the rose that it isn’t always dominant, so even if you don’t care for rose perfumes, Rose Anonyme is worth a try. Finally, its lasting power is excellent and sillage on the low-moderate side, which creates a sensual, intimate aura.
Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme lists notes of Calabrian bergamot, Chinese ginger, Turkish rose, Somalian incense, Velvet oud, Indonesian patchouli, Indian papyrus, and Laotian benzoin. Available from Sephora, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Luckyscent. 30ml/$70, 200ml/$185.
Update: Suzanna lost her internet access after a storm raged through Florida last night, but she will reply to your comments as soon as she can.