Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme, 2012. Perfumer Jérome Epinette.
The proposition of crossing the bright effusive tenor-like quality of an Eau de Cologne (the genre, not the dilution) with the concentration of an eau de parfum is a wonderful idea, but is not particularly new. Previous attempts have tried to make the classical edc notes (citrus, herbs, etc.) last all day. The only success from this approach that occurs to me is the typically male, cologne-like chypres from mid-20th century France such as Chanel Pour Monsieur, Monsieur Givenchy, Rochas’s Moustache and Eau d’Hermes. Rose Anonyme twists the challenge and brings the sentiment of an Eau de Cologne to new accords. Rose Anonyme comes off fresh-faced and pretty like a cologne, but has the patience of an eau de parfum. It’s simple to wear, but it is far from simpleminded.
Skipping the citrus focus of an Eau de Cologne, Rose Anonyme instead plays on a number of facets of Rose scents. The lighter, brighter aspect of rose, initially highlighted by bergamot, give way to a loud, rosy pink peony quality, and eventually to a dusky rosewood. This is all filtered through a cool incense and a metallic musk that when combined, approximate the oud band-aid scent. I think the “ginger” note is a red herring, redirecting our focus so that we read the synthetic quality of the musk as something more botanical. Not exactly Nature Boy, I say wear your synthetic proudly. This is a wonderful and inventive perfume. Don’t bother feeding me the nature trip.
Not just beautiful to wear, Rose Anonyme is that refreshing reminder that there are new ideas to be explored in perfumery.