One Thousand Scents

Friday, November 27, 2009

Brief Encounter: Hermes Rose Ikebana

The deal is that when you come right down to it, Rose Ikebana is a fruity floral. That's what it is. It may be stripped down, aesthetically minimalist, and all angles, but it's still a fruity floral.

It opens with a gust of rose, exceedingly pretty, bolstered with peony, sharpened with grapefruit and rhubarb so astringent that they make you flinch; you can practically hear the rhubarb stalk snap. Nothing very much in the base: maybe a wee dab of vanilla. Lasting power is therefore pretty minimal, with the thing mostly gone in a couple of hours.

There is nothing wrong with any of this, if you are in the market for an insanely expensive and short-lived fruity floral. (It's about $200 right now.) And it is undeniably pretty. But you can get something just as nice for a whole lot less.

It would probably layer well, add a fresh rosy-citrus shimmer to something darker and weightier. In fact, playing around with the Hermessences I have at my disposal (the discovery set plus a sample of Osmanthe Yunnan) I am thinking that all of them, being mostly light and transparent and uncomplicated, would probably layer well, with one another and with any number of other things. Once I am done thinking about them as individual entities, I am going to start cross-breeding them to see what emerges.



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