Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme : Perfume Review

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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…”

rose-anonyme

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.

rose-anonyme2

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.

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40 Comments

  • Ramona: I will have to put this on my “to try” list, sounds wonderful! I was a die hard Hater of All Things Rose until I bought a sample of Aftelier Wild Roses, which I really enjoyed. I am making it my mission to challenge my nose with notes I THINK I hate and it has been fun, educational and enlightening! The “darkness” you comment on with this one sounds delicious 🙂
    Ramona April 15, 2013 at 7:19am Reply

    • Suzanna: I don’t really consider Wild Roses a rose scent per se; it is nothing like the rose-hater roses (of which there are so many if you do not like the note). You might ease into this Rose Anonyme if you liked Wild Roses. They are not the same but both are not like commercial rose perfumes. April 18, 2013 at 3:38pm Reply

      • marina: Hi Suzanna,
        I am looking for a longer lasting version of my favourite – Armani Prive Rose Alexandrie. Would you have any suggestions?
        Thanks a bunch in advance, March 28, 2014 at 4:13pm Reply

  • Martha: I need to try this one. Recently, I’ve become a rose lover and am highly interested in rose fragrances. I have a sample of Mohur by Vermeire and a decant of Rose Extreme by Micallef. They are both luscious! Atelier makes some high quality scents so I would imagine that Rose Anonyme is lovely. April 15, 2013 at 8:21am Reply

    • Suzanna: You are doing well with your rose investigation, so I hope to hear more from you when you try this one! April 18, 2013 at 3:36pm Reply

  • AnnieA: Have to put in a No vote for this rose. Too bad, as I do like this line… April 15, 2013 at 9:23am Reply

    • Suzanna: Too bad, as you say! Why don’t you suggest scents from this line that you do like, since I for one have not tried nearly all of it. April 18, 2013 at 3:36pm Reply

  • Leah: Thanks Suzanna, will have to try this one. I enjoy the interplay between rose and oud and your review makes it sound positively yummy April 15, 2013 at 9:28am Reply

    • Suzanna: I’m all about the yummy. Give it a try! April 18, 2013 at 3:31pm Reply

  • solanace: I love rose anonyme. Now I want this candle! April 15, 2013 at 9:57am Reply

    • Suzanna: That’d be a good one, assuming it has good throw! April 18, 2013 at 3:30pm Reply

  • Lucas: Hello Suzanna!
    It is lovely to see your review of my beloved Rose Anonyme.

    I’m proud I could be the one that made you want to try and then purchase your own bottle of this beauty.

    Great review as always! It totally reminds me of my favourite sentence I used for reviewing perfume so far:

    [Rose Anonyme] smells like you took a fresh, deep red rose and mixed it with an older, almost black rose petals, sprinkled it with a little bit of rose water and combined it with traditional rose potpourri. It’s a rose of hundred faces April 15, 2013 at 10:25am Reply

    • Suzanna: I bought it directly because of your recommendation, Lucas, and I appreciate that you mentioned it. The fact that it was unisex strongly appealed to me as well since I adore earthy rose scents on men.

      Nice sentence! April 18, 2013 at 3:30pm Reply

  • Nancy A.: Hi Suzanna,

    Your review is on point with Rose Anonyme: the characteristics can be overwhelming in combination. Yet, once tested on one’s body, it can take on a very sensual, long-lasting and lovely fragrance. April 15, 2013 at 10:36am Reply

    • Suzanna: Agreed! And nice of you to point that out, since it is such a strong selling point for so many. April 18, 2013 at 3:29pm Reply

  • Elisa: Rose Anonyme reminds me of chocolate-covered strawberries. For some reason it doesn’t have great lasting power on me, compared to the similar Red Aoud from Montale, but I really like it while it lasts. I’m going to go put some on now! April 15, 2013 at 10:50am Reply

    • Suzanna: What a nice vision, chocolate-covered strawberries. Forever changes the way you think about the scent, doesn’t it? April 18, 2013 at 3:28pm Reply

  • Heather: Thanks, I’ll look forward to trying this one. I’m a devoted fan of Tom Ford’s Noir de Noir, and have come to love that deep earthy element in rose scents. Any other Noir de Noir lovers out there? Would love to hear what others like or dislike about it. April 15, 2013 at 11:01am Reply

    • L.: LOL would you *really* like to hear what I dislike about NdN? April 16, 2013 at 12:57pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Me too. April 18, 2013 at 3:28pm Reply

  • Nefret: I do enjoy this one. This is where I am starting to dip my toes into the oud pool. April 15, 2013 at 12:24pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Exactly. Go try Mohur and Portrait of a Lady next, then some of the others mentioned here like Citizen Queen. April 18, 2013 at 3:27pm Reply

  • Connie: I tested this a month or two ago and found it a bit too sweet -almost cloying- for my taste, and at least on my skin. Too bad, because I am very much interested in testing out the dark roses. Une Rose is winning so far, but PoaL is another that I found didn’t work well- lost its complexity very quickly. Oh well, the hunt continues! April 15, 2013 at 3:10pm Reply

    • Suzanna: It is a bit sweet, but you might like Mohur, which is less sweet. April 18, 2013 at 3:27pm Reply

  • Cassandra: I’ll say, if a story like that doesn’t whet one’s appetite, I don’t know what will! It somewhat reminds me of a published background “story” someone published for Cuir de Russie forever and a day ago.

    That aside, this sounds like something I’ll have to add to my sample list. I adore rose scents that cling to their original character but still have a touch of wickedness to them. 🙂 April 15, 2013 at 5:18pm Reply

    • Suzanna: You would probably like this, then, more so if you like that story. April 18, 2013 at 3:26pm Reply

  • Nelly: Thanks for this great review, Suzanna. I was wondering, do you think that this would be a perfect gift for my sister? She will be turning 25 next Saturday and she loves perfume so much. I was thinking of buying this for her. Thanks. 🙂 April 16, 2013 at 4:06am Reply

    • Victoria: Suzanna doesn’t have internet access right now, but we can still try to help you. What scents does your sister like? Maybe, it might be a nice idea to get her the sampler set of Atelier Cologne fragrances. If she likes perfumes, she will enjoy exploring it. April 17, 2013 at 12:39pm Reply

    • Suzanna: No, I don’t think so, and I will tell you why. Without knowing what someone already has, or likes, it’s impossible to predict. Also, perfume is very subjective and personal. Better to acquire some samples first or give a gift card to a nice store where the person can pick out her own present. April 18, 2013 at 3:25pm Reply

  • Squirrely: I own two FBs from Atelier and I love the line, though I have yet to try the most recent offerings. For $15, you can order samples of all 11 of their scents from their website. IME, the samples are decently sized. April 16, 2013 at 11:44am Reply

    • Suzanna: Well, that certainly seems like a bargain worth going after, doesn’t it? April 18, 2013 at 3:24pm Reply

  • L.: I do not like most Atelier colognes, but this one was a great surprise – a lovely, balanced oud rose. And wearable in lots of settings.

    Sadly the SA responsible for the Atelier line at my dept store has told me on many occasions that the line is 100% natural (the fact that my mixed bag o’ Atelier test strips smelled largely of Iso E by the time I got home just put the capital “F” in that little fiction for me). What’s the etiquette for when someone keeps selling something this way, which also perpetuates the myth that synthetic = bad/cheap. Are you allowed to politely correct the lie? April 16, 2013 at 12:55pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Oh, I just hate this. We hear this all the time about Chanel No. 5. “All naturals.” Sure!

      I’ve not tested much from the line at all, to be honest. I tested this one due to a recommendation from Lucas and I loved it. Glad to have your input on it and one day I might smell the whole line. April 18, 2013 at 3:24pm Reply

  • Beth: I haven’t tried any Atelier perfumes yet. The description of this reminds me of Lady Vengeance or Citizen Queen. I own Citizen Queen and love it, so I think I better add this to my sample list. It’s getting rather long now! April 16, 2013 at 1:13pm Reply

    • Suzanna: I bought it after sampling, following an encomium from Lucas. April 18, 2013 at 3:22pm Reply

  • nozknoz: If I didn’t already have BK Rose Oud, which I love, I’d probably order a bottle of this. It’s another well-balanced take on the theme. April 16, 2013 at 11:20pm Reply

    • Suzanna: I am really liking rose ouds now, while at the same time realizing that enough is enough. It certainly is fun to come to that conclusion and enjoy the ones we already have, as you aptly point out. April 18, 2013 at 3:22pm Reply

  • Suzanna: Just an apology to everyone here for my not answering perfume comments sooner. A bad storm knocked out my computer over the weekend and in addition to this I was found to have pneumonia after collapsing at work. I’ve been unable to muster any strength to deal with the computer issues until this time.

    In any event, I wish you all fragrant journeys! April 18, 2013 at 3:21pm Reply

  • Kasey: I would love an article from Bois de Jasmin about different layering combos for Atelier! April 14, 2015 at 3:25am Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t experimented much, but yes, it would be a fun idea. April 14, 2015 at 10:33am Reply

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