I am obsessed with this perfume. Discovering it only recently, there is something in the florid jasmine aldehydic rush of the opening moments followed rapidly by the full bodied greenness and warm softness thereafter that I find intensely emotional.

What is the cause of this powerful sensation in me, one that gives me an almost out-of-body, Proustian feeling of ecstacy ? I think it is that gorgeous overdose of jasmine in the top ; a very beautiful natural essence of jasmine pressed deep into a snowdrift of pure aldehydes, and an out-of-reach Javanese vetiver lingering somewhere underneath like someone who has tragically drowned under ice. You can never quite reach it, but you know it is there; floating forever below…

While compared by many perfume people – quite understandably, with its rose, iris, green bergamot, and oakmoss/sandalwood in the base – to vintage Chanel Nº19, to me, in truth, this has far more in common with the glorious emotionality of Van Cleef & Arpel’s First from 1976 (has any perfume ever been more lushly orchestral, more full of human vivacity and life?). The perfume I most associate with my mother – who still sometimes gives First a go when it feels right for her – Rogue’s Vetifleur isn’t exactly a homage to that perfume, but the heartrending jasmine that soars up to the skies when you spray it on prompts a similar reaction in me to that from Jean Claude Ellena’s dizzying classic. The grime and noise of the world is banished in an instant: all is beautifully distanced and contained. In texture, on my skin, Vetifleur is something like a combination of the understated Paco Rabanne Calandre with its muted roses and seamless green aldehydic eiderdowns, one of my ultimate daytime comfort perfumes – and the fuller bodied, white modern soapiness of Pure Distance’s Opardu.

(Note: for those who dislike even a hint of aldehyde – and there are many who feel this way, especially in league with an indolic jasmine – you may well find aspects of this perfume potentially ‘soiled or baby diaperish’ at certain stages; there is a danger that this (in some ways deliberately, even provocatively anachronistic) perfume might thus turn sour on you or become unwantedly ‘geriatric’: perfumer Manuel Cross, whose work I greatly admire both for its modern and innovative take on classical perfumery structures and his readiness to ignore an overly restrictive IFRA environment (I love his rebelliousness) is purposefully here dousing the perfume in proper aldehydes that don’t go with modern trends, even if in essence, in my view, this is a quite contemporary interpretation of the classic aldehydic due to the fact that the end notes don’t taper off into the expected erotic animalia of deer musk and civet, those notes that back in the day always seemed to signal that the elegance of the evening in public was done, that now was the more pliant moment for the intimate retour à la chambre…Nevertheless, not a few reviewers on Fragrantica- deterred by the ‘dirtiness’ of the jasmine and its connotations – find this very modern/old school aspect a no-no, so do try a sample first).

In my own case, I feel completely differently. For me, the perfume is perfectly imperfect, and very beautiful. Wearing Vetifleur, I am at once a child, in rapture at my mother’s perfume floating in the air around me before she goes out for the night, drinking all the contrapuntal swirling elements into my young brain cells: a synaptic lighting up in my mind and body from the rich cornucopia of flowers and mosses and woods that all sparkle together, yet are simultaneously so very smooth; but also a more experienced, adult man, not world weary, but far more sharply aware of the realities, happiness and sadnesses of life, its joys and its fragilities, upon whom this aesthetically pleasing, romantic and moving fragrance confers an immediate feeling of euphoric grace.


Filed under Flowers

29 responses to “ROGUE VETIFLEUR (2021)

  1. I love this perfume, but hardly anyone talks about it. I am glad I’m not the only one who really enjoys it.

  2. Gregory

    I love these Rogue perfumes — but I thought they were limited to US distribution due to not conforming with international allergy-something laws.

    I’ve not smelled this one, though Ishtar is a favorite of mine. I confess, possibly a biological condition, aldehydes make me nose blind to everything else. All perfumes that have them smell exactly alike to me, regardless of whatever else may be in them: Chanel No 5, Tom of Finland, Rien Intense Incense, Sacred Scarab. All of them smell like urinal cake, powdered laundry detergent. I wish I could appreciate these — so many people love them. Some perfumers say aldehydes “lift” a fragrance, or give it a “fizzy” quality. To me, they just drown out everything. Is there a name for this condition?

    • I wonder ! I can imagine the urinal cake thing in some ways – hence my warning in the middle of the piece – what smells glorious to me might smell of incontinence to another – I feel similarly about all aggressive woods amber notes : I DETEST them beyond language.

      You were right about not being able to buy them outside the US – I was lucky enough to have some sent to Hawaii for my Honolulu Museum Of Art workshop. D likes Bon Monsieur – even if to me it is a little TOO retro barbershop – we have both worn Rosactro, which is excellent and which I will also review.

      Hurrrah for Manuel Cross!

    • Ps truly fascinating how differently we react to particular scent components

  3. That was such a beautiful piece of writing to start my day with.
    I wish I had an equivalent perfume, to sweep me up and float me through the day.

  4. Hilly

    For UK readers – there is a stockist here:
    I haven’t ordered but I’m now very tempted by the sample set.
    (Not affiliated etc)

  5. Hanamini

    You are killing me softly with these reviews; I will be bankrupt soon. It sounds like everything I love, so I’ve just bought it, thanks to Hilly’s link above. First is a favourite but I think my old bottle may just have gone off, or my hormones have. On different reactions: my street is a mix of different wonderful smells from the spring tree flowers. To me the hawthorn smells like glorious, nutty raw dough; to him, like semen. A 3-year-old down the road said her front garden stinks (a hawthorn bush) and held her nose. I walk down the street stopping every few metres like a dog, to inhale; if I could also lick without anyone noticing, I’d be tempted. I may get the sample set too, and yes, it would have been wiser to do that first…

    • No I was thinking of you specifically when writing this : the base is quite unspecific in a way but I have come to love it. Honestly this is gorgeous. If you don’t like it I will buy it off you ( I adore the packaging too ).

    • Re the semen trees, I HAAAATE that smell in the air more than I can describe. Stomach churning – it’s out here right now.

      Hawthorn – I am following right behind you sniffing like another hound of love : I LOVE it . Aubepine!

      • Hanamini

        My oh my, bulls-eye. I bought a full bottle of Vetifleur, as well as the sample set. From Vetifleur, I’m getting both my beloved Weil de Weil and black-bottle Shiseido Zen, both pretty strongly, and Paloma and First…oh, I don’t know, I’m am even more inarticulate than usual when faced with such a combination of favourite smells…So, unfortunately for you, I’m keeping my bottle. In the sample set, nothing has made me recoil so far though the animalic one is pretty persistent, as is the smoke in the Rostracto, but I keep having to resniff them, so it’s all looking very promising so far. Thank you, you, and your mother, for hitting my target so perfectly with Vetifleur for starters.

      • YATTA !!!!!

        I literally thought of you immediately.

        It’s gorgeous, right ?

        I am sure we will both be in Vetifleur this weekend x

      • Re Rostracto, I detest smoke in perfume but there is something hard and addictive in this one that pulls me in. I know on certain precise occasions it will work perfectly for me.

      • Actually I don’t know all of the range : would love to know what the animalic one is, for instance …

        Chypre Siam is quite nice in a golden yellow kind of way but I can’t quite fall in love with it completely ..

      • Mousse Iluminee and Chypre Siam perhaps are more animalic than most of the others, but another one I really like that no one talks about is Flos Mortis.

      • I do ! It’s one of my signatures !

      • I am glad to hear that! The opening may be a bit sweet for some people but The sweetness is not sickening to me and dies not dominate the fragrance.

  6. Nancysg

    I am a fan of Vetifleur and bought a bottle shortly after smelling a sample. I am not a huge Jasmine fan, but this one worked so well with the vetiver. It all so well blended that no one note screams at me. A great green spring fragrance for me.

  7. David

    I bought a full bottle of Vetifleur 2 years ago, knowing it would sparkle, and that is indeed what it does on my skin. My skin soaks up perfume like a sponge, but Vetifleur lasts and lasts on me–or should I say it sparkles and sparkles on me. I am a big fan of Manuel Cross. He takes chances and really delivers. I am also a fan of Bon Monsieur. I remember recoiling from fragrances like Drakkar Noir when I was a teenager–so many of my classmates bathed in it after gym class–but BM transports me to a very, very refined and sensual post-shower locker room.

    By the way, have you tried any fragrances from Olympic Orchids Perfume? I am happy because I finally found an aquatic I can love in Kingston Ferry. It only took 35 years or so.

  8. Deanna Wisbey

    After reading your ecstatic review of Vetifleur I just had try it blind,and ordered a bottle which arrived yesterday.
    I am definitely not disappointed!
    This is beautiful, it could be an undiscovered Guerlain masterpiece, so classical.
    It does remind me a little of the vintage Chant d’aromes that my mother used to wear, and which I dismissed at that time as being too floral, ( !) preferring Vol de Nuit, and Shalimar.
    Agree it sparkles and lasts, what a treasure.

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