Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Quick Break

Just a brief note to say that I am back, yet again, in Ontario, as my "Aunt" (actually, an older cousin) has died suddenly. Quite sad, as I didn't really have a chance to say goodbye, and she was only my father's age, but I was glad to get back to help my whole family give her a wonderful send-off. My cousin loved a good party and she'll be mad as a hatter to have missed this one. She wore Ungaro's Diva, an underrated perfume. I hope to post a review of a summer fave later this week.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Les Parfums de Rosine Diabolo Rose

So... it has been over a month since I posted a review. What have I been doing? Looking for a full-time job as well as for child care for my daughter - and indulging in my own blue period.* Luckily, I have been drowning my sorrows in perfume (and in Starbucks Iced Black Tea Lemonade, one pump sweetener) so I should have plenty of material for the next weeks. I swear.

Let's start with Les Parfums de Rosine's Diabolo Rose (2007). I always try to keep up with the new releases from the resurrected house of Rosine, the home base of which is so often overshadowed by a little store a few doors down called the Salon du Palais Royal Shiseido. As explained by Marie-Hélène of The Scented Salamander, this scent is a rose-tinged tribute to the diabolo menthe, an extraordinarily popular drink I saw in every café when I visited France. A mixture of green peppermint syrup and carbonated lemonade (NOT 7-Up or bottled water, as all the American websites would have you believe), the diabolo menthe combines the pleasing childishness of sweet, gem-bright syrup with the refreshing counterpoint of mint and citrus, reminiscent of that adult cocktail favourite, the Mojito.** Diabolo Rose is a mixture of bergamot, peppermint, rose essence, lily of the valley, centafolia (rose) absolute, tomato leaves, peony, maté, sandalwood, amber and musk, and is composed by François Robert.

My skin magnifies acidic, citrus-like notes to a really astounding degree. A large cloud of bergamot usually accompanies me wherever I go, and I have difficulty with many rose-centered fragrances going quite sour on me. It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that the lemonade facet of Diabolo Rose is extremely prominent on me for the first half hour. While I don't get a lot of mint up front, there is a languid thickness to the the top and heart notes that suggests syrup; from the ingredients and inspiration, I was expecting this one to be a refresher, but on me Diabolo is heavier than either of my Rosine favourites, the sparkling Ecume de Rose and the warm but airy attic atmosphere of Poussiere de Rose. The sillage is not huge, but there is an almost boozy body to the core of the scent that didn't work in our spring-like weather. Later in the development, though, there is a touch of peppery tomato leaf followed by a sheer base of dry maté and musk. That final hour (out of three to four) is my favourite: like a chypre, the base of the scent juxtaposes refreshment with a skin-like intimacy. A gentle breath of the drydown managed to lift me above the car exhaust on my walk yesterday. Diabolo Rose will likely not be a purchase for me, but there is a sense of fun about it that makes me glad to have spent time with it.

Diabolo Rose is not yet at beautyhabit, which carries the rest of Les Parfums de Rosine. You can order from the line for 70 Euro (50 ml) or you can (shhhh!) buy a decant.

* I was also back in Ontario for a while for the wedding of my lifelong buddy, Dave, who is the friend who met me in Paris this February. For those of you who heard about my perfume piggy nose, you can check out a picture of me at said wedding here. I am accompanied by my wonderful, dashing brothers, Thom (left) and Jay (centre).
**Having gotten on the Mojito train early, after being introduced by a Cuban acquaintance, let me say how distressed I am by the abuses perpetrated on this noble drink since it became ubiquitous. A Mojito is not blended with crushed ice, and you should not attempt to cover up a shameful, miserly amount of mint with an injection of some random red, orange or purple fruit puree.