Having hours to kill, for a moment I was undecided whether to return back home and then go out again later, or to spend the day in Yokohama. The decision was easy to make. There was no way I was going to be shut in on a day like this. A day off. Nothing to do. Glorious sunshine. A return to freedom. The shot finally in my arm.

So I just ambled slowly from spot to spot, reading Polly Barton’s Fifty Sounds, which arrived at the perfect time – an examination of all things Japanese, linguistic, social, psychological, very personal, and gladly surrendered to another person’s piercing mind for the day, ravished by the words and the ideas, sometimes putting it back down on the grass to just look up and watch the scene in Yamashita park, where I lay for so long in a stasis of one I got sunburn. People running; tai-chi against the backdrop of the ocean liners; rose gardens in full bloom; dogs leaping, the air alive with being.

Making my way through the park, people relaxed on the grass looking out at the water, lovers holding hands, old ladies chatting on wooden benches, (everything looks different when you have had the vaccine), I decided to mosey on down past Marine Tower and all the plush wedding hotels and have a look in Barney’s New York: a spacious, white, neo-art deco building I always enjoy a quick look in because of its prime location and marbled airiness; surrounded by space: on the top floor, you can have a coffee and cake in the cafe overlooking the sea (remember, Emma); hardly ever anyone in there; everything cool and white; ‘choice products’, rather than the onslaught of artificial lights, swirling crowds, and the intense novel mania for goods that is the commerce catacomb of Isetan Shinjuku.

No – in Barney’s, with its predictable quiet backdrop of light jazz standards, usually Sarah Vaughan, Chet Baker or Ella Fitzgerald, I could just move slowly, at my leisure, to the perfume counters, and (I genuinely felt different, the nano-technology running its course through my body; who knew what was going to happen; but I didn’t particularly care; I was just glad to be able to take my mask off and cherry-select just a few scents I didn’t know in a mindless state of day-lit, semi-somnabulant bliss).

Staring at the spartanly showcased shelves, it shocked me how many Roses De Rosines I was unfamiliar with (where have I been?)

I suppose I have neglected to smell the Ballerina series: though they have been out for a few years now, much as the frou frou of it all delights me to some extent (and what a perfect gift for a young daughter or niece) I’m not sure I have ever properly smelled this collection: perhaps I would have just felt like too much of a nonce picking over all the tulle and the netting to actually get to the nozzle, I don’t know. A man has his limits.

The Roses Absolument etc too – I love the boxes, that patterned embossed geometry: and let’s say I had a few thousand dollars to splash out on a frivolous whimsy, just for the fresh hell of it, I would probably have bought the entire series yesterday. There is something about Rosine: the perfumes themselves often very lovely, if not actually scintillating, but I feel they are somehow outside of the main niche frame; not quite commercial, not quite classical, something unsullied and porcelain that makes me just live in a huge glass house with a beautiful bathroom that has cabinets and cabinets to stock all of these bottles and boxes, so much so that you would never actually know how many you had or what was actually in there; lost in the mirrored madness of your luxuriantly oblivious purchases. To enter, and, on a flight of fancy, pick one particular rose, the one that has laid itself open for you, all the while enveloped in the fluffiest, dense white bathrobe.

The new, ultra-cute Rose Griotte struck me as rather delightful, as an example. I love cherry, and this is of course a cherry rose, but not done in the usual black forest gateau manner, all syrupy kirsch black cherries and oud. Non, non, cherie, this is a light and playful thing, with an ‘acidulous cherry taste’ that reminds me of the acerola juice drinks you get here in Japan, quenching with vitamin C: other fruit notes, Japanese nashi pear, cherry blossom, tangerine, heliotrope, jasmine sambac and osmanthus all contributing to make this a very pretty little perfume indeed. I think I want it.

Mon Amie La Rose is another very typically Rosine-ish light summer rose, with notes of bamboo and white tea, pear, lotus – you know the score – summery, refreshing and relaxing. Simple. Easy. Lightly aquatic. Perfect for the kind of young women who frequent Barney’s – an instant hit. I wouldn’t mind this one either, in the aforementioned imaginary Ali Baba’s cave of Pristine Endless Toiletry. Why not? After a nice bath, a spritz of a crisp, diaphanous rose can do the trick.

We like.

And as I was making all the right noises about the cherry, because it just felt so cheerful and perfect at that moment – the lone assistant – who I would give top points for being just helpful, friendly and knowledgeable enough; unpatronizing, polite and space-giving : cleverly directed me to the ‘sale section’, where a few Rosines from the evidently unpopular Les Extravagants were going for half price (still $150 though); the not dissimilar, similarly fruity Bois Fuchsia (and look at the boxxxxx……………..this has Neil Chapman written all over it: I love these 1920’s geometric designs………..) making me feel happy as a simpleton, in a blissfully childhood memory kind of way. Safe and cozy. Welcoming. A rather delicious combo of cassis, raspberry and litchi/lichee, iris, rose, and a sandalwood/patchouli finish I would have to test on skin before committing to (because you know how I am with woods), this perfume did something to me, and has lodged itself in my mind as a possible catch. Sometimes I like perfumes that are outside my pre-delineated territories.

Sampling the other three perfumes in the discounted Les Extravagants quartet, I found I was categorically not in the right mood for Vanille Paradoxe, a spicy ambroxan vanilla that I cowed away from; it is just not the kind of thing I am in the mood for right now. Too suffocating. Eloge Du Vert, a quite interesting scent centred around a very penetrating green peppercorn note, bolstered with other peppers and dry woods, rose and ginger, is a good option for those who really want to clear the air around them and get some zing, but I found it somewhat lacking in complexity.

Bleu Abysse, though, is what drew me in the most. I think mainly because of the sheer poetry of the name – those two French words together, which I find extremely beautiful, and which encapsulates precisely what many of us are slowly crawling out of now. This summer. An abyss. A blue abyss. Ulysses. The ocean depths – a seaweed rose. With mineral notes: algae, vetiver, elemi, incense, rose and bright citruses, this perfume strikes me as the furthest Rosine has ever strayed from its lovely, but somewhat narrowly rose-strewn path; darker, and more peculiar, the marine aspect of its athletic masculinity the one that somehow strayed onto my mask when I was reading, imbuing the day from that point on. Inspired by the scent of a particular species of French rose – the rosa moscata – a rambling rose on rocky shores, Bleu Abysse is a curious, rejuvenating dissident of the Rosine family that has struck a chord.


Filed under Flowers

24 responses to “LES PARFUMS DE ROSINES : : MON AMIE LA ROSE (2019) + BOIS FUSCHIA (2019) + BLEU ABYSSE (2019) + ROSE GRIOTTE (2021)

  1. Mon Amie La Rose sounds like something I would like. Those tasseled bottles are charming also. The notes, compositions, and bottles look very similar to Parfums de Marly that was so heavily hyped a few years ago.
    I wish to have a Turkish Seraglio with a proper hammam. After breakfast, I would spend the day being bathed, massaged, and anointed with perfume from my vast arsenal of cosmetics. I would emerge only when fully coiffed, coutured, and liberally scented to a lavish dinner. Then a little evening entertainment and off to bed to do the same thing the next day. #goals

  2. Can you believe I do not own a single Parfums de Rosine!!! I don’t know why I never really tried them or purchased them, but I have smelt a few and they were very nicely done. Rose Griotte sounds perfect for the summer. Oh how I wish Barney’s was still open over here in the states, but alas, it is no more. So no chance of finding Les Parfums de Rosine to sample and try.
    I love your fantasy of a bathroom with cabinets filled full of all the fragrances, just waiting for one to choose the perfect scent of the day. How lusciously decadent.

  3. Tara C

    So envious about your Barney’s! The Rosines are lovely, I’ve been to their shop in the Palais Royal and bought Rose d’Amour. Rose Griotte sounds delicious. I received a sample of Ballerine No. 5 which I quite liked and look forward to retesting this fall. I think my problem is there are too many and they blur together, kind of like the overwhelming Montale line. Too many choices!

    • Precisely. How is a person meant to smell FIVE ballerinas, when they aren’t even labelled. I became lazy. I haven’t smelled any of the Snob range either (I also went to the little boutique in the Palais Royal, and found it extremely charming).

      I may have smelled Rose D’Amour but can’t remember. As you say, there are Montale levels of oversaturation. I LOVE the presentation though. Love it.

  4. A true obsessive. Good to read at this moment. I love the Rosines. Got my first of three in that tiny Palais Royal shop on my first trip there. The yellow summer rose. Summer heat waves are getting scary here so it’s nice to vicariously experience other better gentler summer days.

    • I was reading about Canada this morning and mildly horrified. 44 degrees etc, like Riyadh. Are you in that area.

      Here it is around the 26 degree mark. Perfect for me.

      • Tara C

        I am in that area! Seasonal average is 22. I really hope this year does not become a trend, I left Montréal to flee the heat (among other reasons).

      • I know. I hope it be a blip x

      • I’m in Brooklyn, it’s the the third day of a humid heat wave, about 100 F ‘real feel’ into the evening w poor air quality. At least we have AC here, unlike Canada. It’s overbuilt, so oven like and humid outside and always about 10 degrees more indoors without AC. Hoping the power holds out. Luckily it will break tomorrow and rain and drop down 30 degrees. About six of these heat waves a year now, used to be about two in the Sixties. Climate change has really started and these extreme weather events are accelerating faster than expected. Personally i think they should declare car free days in NYC during the heat emergencies. It would be a start at least.Thanks for your kind worry. So glad you are vaccinated, i know it makes all the difference in the world.

      • Glad to have this entry into New York. A thirty degree drop terrifies me way more than the boilingness itself, but I know it will come as a relief to many.

  5. OnWingsofSaffron

    „Rosine“ means raisin in German, and I believe that‘s the reason, this perfume is nowhere to be found here! I mean, „The Raisin Perfumes“ sounds pretty absurd. Plus there are some further unfortunate associations: a „Rosinenpicker“ is someone who cherry picks, and worse, a „Korinthenkacker“ is a person who shits currants, i.e. who is a miserable pedant.
    So, no delightful cherry picking Rose Griotte here!

  6. Robin

    Ooh, the tutus on the bottles are so girly! I want them all. Never had girly stuff as a kid, and those appeal to my inner ten year old.

    We’ve talked about Les Parfums de Rosine before and share the same kind of fondness for them for the same reasons. They’re not for snobs or for those wanting their socks knocked off by originality and intensity. They’re mostly just really nice, mildly interesting, well-made things to wear. These sound good, too and I’m liking the idea that they’re pushing the creative envelope a little with Bleu Abysse. I want Rose Griotte. Strange that they are impossible to get here in Canada, at least as far as I know. Distribution must be teensy.

    I think 26C is the perfect temperature, especially with low humidity and a light breeze. Bone- warming and comfortable but not hot. That’s summer here on the coast every day (except for the ridiculous heat dome we suffered through until yesterday). Meteorologists are saying it’s climate change. Uh oh.

    • No low humidity here, but I don’t mind it. I think Rose Griotte might be TOO on the cooing toddler tip, but I liked the first impression. I actually want to go back to the shop again and try some of these out on skin – I was covered on Monday with patchouli chypres, a bit hot and sweaty and thought I wouldn’t be able to do them justice. I want to smell the Bois Fuchsia again because it had some kind of inner goodness to it on first impression that really appealed to me.

      • Robin

        I’ve tried all of the early Rosines through samples and own one bottle, which took moving heaven and earth to spirit across the border from its origins in San Francisco. It is Poussiere de Rose, which I recommend you try if you haven’t already. I’m pretty sure you have, though. It’s got a bit of that particular Feminite du Bois fruit/floral/wood balance which never fails to get me right in the happiness zone.

      • Yum. I have tried it and liked it. You would have to be seriously hardcore though to be able to know and distinguish all this pretty lot. It’s like an entire French girl’s academy all vying and coying for one’s attention.

    • As for the tutus etc, although a bit expensive for a tween or teenager, imagine a child’s sheer DELIGHT at being able to have one of those on their windowsill. D’s niece is a budding ballerina. We ought to get her one.

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