One Thousand Scents

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lots To Love: Une Rose Chyprée by Andy Tauer

Andy Tauer's Une Rose Chyprée ("a chypred rose") used to look like this little half-ounce bonbon

and now a whole ounce of it looks like this

(I think those tiny glass stones are meant to make up the difference between the 30-mL contents and the 50-mL bottle).

The first few times, I tried Une Rose Chyprée in tiny quantities, just tipped the mouth of the sample vial against my skin, and I flat-out didn't like it, despite the fact that I love chypres and I love roses, and that the perfumer is charming and talented and also adorable

(though that last is of course irrelevant). All I could smell was murky patchouli and roses, that murkiness that you sometimes find in natural perfumery (which could use a few synthetics to brighten and separate the other ingredients), and there are probably enough patchouli-and-rose scents on Earth already, I think. Some scents reveal unexpected facets of themselves when you smell just a tiny bit of them, and I guess that's true of this one, but in the wrong way: it seemed constricted and muddy, and I stupidly thought that was all there to it.

I thought I didn't like it, but finally I just sloshed some on, and oh my god, it opens up into this big luscious chypre, the kind they don't make any more: bright citrus top with a bitter-orange marmalade undertone, an armload of roses with patchouli leaves and vetiver tucked in for interest, oakmoss (real oakmoss!) swirling around the whole thing, and finally powdery vanilla in the base. It is consistently interesting and beautiful from start to finish, but the only way to find that out is to be generous with it. Don't just put on a tiny dab: you'll never experience its beauty unless you lavish it on.

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