One Thousand Scents

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Simplicity: Yves Rocher Rose Absolue

Sometimes, it turns out, you really can get a good idea of what something is going to smell like just by reading about it.

Last year, Yves Rocher launched the delectable Voile D'Ambre, the first in their line of higher-end Secrets D'Essences fragrances. The new scent, Rose Absolue, has just recently been made available in Canada, and as I said before, it didn't sound like something I'd wear, but it did sound nice.

It is, too. The ingredient list is

Cinnamon, apple, Turkish, Bulgarian and Morrocan rose, cedar, patchouli and tonka bean

and that's pretty much exactly what you get. The top is a little sweet and a little spicy, but it doesn't, thank goodness, smell like apple pie with cinnamon; the apple note is actually more of a generic modern fruit scent, and in any event it doesn't last long. The roses are very pretty; lush and petally, full-bodied without being cloying (the problem I have with Givenchy's Very Irresistible). It doesn't last as long as I think it should, particularly given those durable base notes, but that's probably a minor quibble; it's very well-crafted and appealing. (It also suggests, though it's in no way a copy of, a very good and now discontinued Yves Rocher scent, Cantata, another inexplicably failed gourmand oriental scent. The rose, the cinnamon, and the caramel overtone of the tonka bean all call Cantata to mind.)

Rose Absolue is not for me, for three reasons. I already have my rose scent, Midnight Poison, and I don't have any great interest in wearing something that's so single-mindedly rosy, and if I did, I'd wear Joy, the summit and pinnacle of all rose fragrances. But the price is reasonable: Yves Rocher is always having a sale of some sort so you can easily get a 50-mL EDP spray for 40% or 50% off the list price of $64, and for the holiday season there's a half-ounce spray for $12.50 in an attractively solid little chunk of a bottle (the one at the right, above), so Rose Absolue is probably a must-buy, or at least a must-try, for rose lovers.

Now I suppose we have to wait a whole year for the third in the Secrets D'Essences line, the recently announced Iris Noir. I'm not the world's biggest fan of the iris--I don't have a single iris-based scent, not even Dior Homme--but it sounds fascinating. It doesn't sound like the description, "a floriental scent over an iris-chypre base", because there's none of the requisite oakmoss in it (the notes are bergamot, coriander, ambrette seed, iris, patchouli and tonka bean), but I'm willing to give it a shot.

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