3 ATOMIC ROSES : :: ROSE SIWA by MDCI (2006) + TRESOR VINTAGE EXTRAIT by LANCÔME (1990) + ATOMIC ROSE by INITIO (2019)


There is perfume for a private day out. And then there is perfume when you want to be noticed : to explode in the public realm. Particularly as Burning Bush, Big Perfume can be spectacular : I remember a lost couple in Tokyo from New Zealand in pursuit in Shinjuku shouting ‘Follow that hair! Follow that perfume ! (Giorgio’s Red, in Parfum and edp, people raving about my smell all night); Poison, Rogue’s Flos Mortis:(could I even stretch to Amarige……?) …… they all pack a delirium punch.


In Liverpool, back in the North, they are already having ‘social experiment ‘ raves to ‘see what happens ‘ epidemiologically (isn’t all this a little too soon?)….. In this picture you can see thousands of maskless party people, no hand sanitizer allowed inside in case you are secretly bringing free vodka into the club- all dancing ecstatically, let in to the space on condition they can prove that they have been vaccinated ( I understand fully their need to do so; I also can’t wait to go mad to music again in a room full of people, but you do have to wonder if this is all slightly – or in fact extremely , insane……)


If I do go out in a costumed context in a bacchanalian situation at some point in the foreseeable future though I have a secret urge to try a combination of vintage Tresor Parfum and Parfums MDCI’s Rose Siwa. A ravagement of roses. I would imprint myself on the ravers’ cilia and nose brains for eternity : the rich cedarwood musk rose of the vintage parfum a perfect launchpad for the neo- YSL Paris that is Francis Kurkdijian’s genius outlier for the usually more pretty and elegantly sedate niche brand MDCI : soaring violets and roses like the Laurent classic from 1986 (?) strafed gleefully with vivid lychee : I know that the scents would interlock stunningly to the point of mind alteration.

Alternatively, or even as a final revelation of my three acts, I might select, samples secretly concealed, a few moments of Atomic Rose by Initio – a steroidal tribute to Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau and a forceful roserush of Bulgarian, Turkish and hedione over vanilla and Egyptian jasmine that could be a fatal, strobal trip just over the edge

18 Comments

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18 responses to “3 ATOMIC ROSES : :: ROSE SIWA by MDCI (2006) + TRESOR VINTAGE EXTRAIT by LANCÔME (1990) + ATOMIC ROSE by INITIO (2019)

  1. Atomic Rose sounds kind of like something I’d love. How did I miss that?

  2. Robin

    What a crazy experiment in Liverpool. I bet it felt good to get out. Hope the experiment actually worked.

    I love the idea of combining massive roses to rock out with bacchanaliacally. Funnily enough, I wouldn’t myself include Rose de Siwa in that group, nor would I ever have drawn a comparison between it and YSL Paris. I’ve always thought of the MDCI as quite an understated, elegant, rather discreet rose. And with Paris, I can’t get past Sophia Grojsman’s signature soapy base; to me, her scents resemble nothing so much as each other. Of course, some recollections may well vary (!) Perhaps a double-whammy Grojsman rose combo of Tresor parfum and Paris proper would blow a fuse or two.

    • I have only tried the Siwa once but filed in my memory as something I knew I wanted to try with Tresor for some reason, just for the train-filling gargantuanness I felt it would create (for me I could only smell a very simple fresh fruity rose/violet which I liked better than Paris: I agree with you that there is something annoying about the latter, even if I was quite excited by it when it first came out.)

  3. Nancysg

    I have tried many of the MD I scents, but the only one I own is Rose di Sita. I love the petty pink rose. And perhaps the lychee you noted is what makes it unique.and no bust on my bottle. I like the simple and classic version.

    • Me too. It’s as if FK’s very fresh fresh fresh harsh work for his own brand he could leave aside for a moment and just make a really easy and direct rose that hits the spot.

  4. Tara C

    Oh, Giorgio Red, Dior Poison, that was me in the late 80’s!
    I also wore
    Trésor a lot in the 90’s. Rose Siwa is quite soft on me and the base of Initio scents doesn’t agree with me, but I can definitely see you as Burning Bush in an explosion of intense rosiness. Love the story of the kiwis trailing you yelling about your hair & scent!

    • They really were lost in the middle of Shinjuku, the busiest place in the whole world, and I had this huge triple Chaka Khan/George Clinton like hair and was DRENCHED in Red. They came running after me and jumped in the taxi to this cabaret party we were going to (those were the days).

      To us, Red and Poison are very datable/dated in a way, but it’s interesting that when a person doesn’t necessarily know anything about scent, they just experience it as intended, as a perfume, with no prior knowledge. I remember the guy saying ‘You smell PHENOMENAL’.

  5. Oh, Red by Giorgio in extrait version, that’s the magic stuf right there!!!!
    I wonder how this experimental rave will go? I certainly would not be brave enough to attend, maybe in a couple of weeks, once hubby is full vaccinated as well and after his wait period I would feel differently.
    I would adore being doused in Tresor exrait from head to toe, just so over the top and sumptuous, quite decadent. Rose de Siwa always strikes me as slightly more delicate, which I guess would balance out everything. Oh, Paris by Yves Saint Laurent would be over the top!!! Oh how I adore it! So very, very much.
    I remember going out to a club in New York City during the late 80s and being covered in Poison from hair to calves. I had the body creme on, the powder, the esprit de parfum, and a heavy dose of the eau de toilette sprayed on as well. I felt like a succubus mingling through the club, dancing and walking the night streets back to the hotel afterwards. Even after bathing I smelt as if I had just applied a heavy dose of the scent. Those were halcyon days.

    • AAGHH I LOVE THESE POISON DESCRIPTIONS: ‘HAIR TO CALVES!’

      Those were the days. And as far as I am concerned, like Janet Jackson they can Let’s Wait Awhile. I mean I am a party person, but I still think caution is required. You have been inside for a year though now,haven’t you? I expect you both must be getting frisky…. I think because my stress comes from being OUT in the world when I don’t want to be, I have less desire to re-experience all the old experiences. I can see every detail of all the places we usually frequent in Tokyo, for example; I can feel them in my body and mind, and for me right now this is enough.

      • While we miss certain places, we are also comfortable waiting awhile as well. We are frisky to have sushi again, as soon as Nate has his second shot we’ll go for take out, but other than that we’re fine. As for you my friend, until you and D are vaccinated try to take as many precautions as possible. Especially with the Olympics on the way😷

      • Thanks G. I do think that not being crazy right now is license to go crazy later. Short or long Covid is no joke.

  6. Robin

    I had a great dream about a book launch of yours, Neil. There was a big room set up with tables, tableaux, of your fragrance collection by house, theme, bottle/packaging colour, whatever suited best. Table after table. Just beautiful. It was one of those dreams that make you feel happy through the whole morning.

  7. rosestrang

    I can smell Tresor and Paris in my mind’s nose, that would be pretty fabulous I agree! I used to wear Tresor, Paris was so 80s and BIG. Curious to try the MFK.
    I can’t see how all those folks in the photo have their jab yet, not sure of their age but I’d guess a lot in their 30s? Anyway, a low risk group when it comes to the impact on themselves of the virus, but hopefully they won’t be mixing with older folks too much. I’m not sure yet of the efficacy of the jab on older people. Who knows? Time will tell.

  8. Z

    Sending you a Post-covid, twice vaccinated salute from the US. We have been doing such an abysmal job on vaccine outreach and education that i’m very surprised anywhere is worse, much less Japan. I hope you can worry less soon. I’m still approaching post-vaccine life tenderly, deconstructing the brick wall veeery slowly. Having a vaccinated and unmasked friend inside my house last week felt absolutely CHARGED and wild. And I couldn’t tolerate another person’s company for more than two hours. Bizarre.

    As ever, your words are a welcome reprieve from the madness, a palliative balm, a delectable dip in the familiar and refreshing pool of your mind.

    • Wow. To me my mind just feels like a stagnant whirlpool – I am so stressed out by the dangers I am in on a daily basis that I can only DREAM of the vaccinated bliss you talk about. I am envious!

      • I mean the last two days, for example, I have been in extremely crowded conditions that are simply not safe on any level; constantly exposed. Granted, everyone is wearing masks, but it is killing me. Glad you have had the vaccine and have tentatively begun venturing into the next phase. It is all rather psychologically fascinating.

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