If you asked me to put together a list of 50 perfume things that I liked, I’m pretty sure that the words ‘rose’, ‘Francis Kurkdjian’ and ‘Elie Saab Le Parfum’ would feature. Each of these three things are associated with excellence – excellent beauty in nature, excellent fragrance and excellent couture, so it’s no surprise that when these elements come together, the result is something utterly pleasing, nay beautifully delightful.
Francis Kurkdjian is a bit of a magician when it comes to rose. For his own brand he has created a a number of perfumes featuring rose, each of which is different from the other, showcasing the many unique facets found within this bold flower. He has also created the tremendous Rose Essence for Elie Saab’s essence collection – a divinely delectable treat that truly is beyond compare (a must try). So what else can he and Saab bring to the table in the world of roses? Well, I have one word for you: transparency.
This year, Kurkdjian and Saab have once again teamed up to create a brand new piece of olfactory couture to join Saab’s ever growing wardrobe of scent. Rose Couture as it’s called, follows last year’s Resort Collection (a fig cocktail that was so St. Tropez it hurt) and is an ode to a peony-rose accord. Unlike many rose fragrances, which vary from rose water ditties to spicy oriental Goliaths, Rose Couture is unique because it presents a delectable gourmand quality with a dewy sensibility. I told you that Saab + Kurkdjian x rose = magic, didn’t I?
Top: Peony-Rose Accord
Heart: Orange Blossom, Transparent Jasmine and Rose Nectar
Base: Sandalwood and Patchouli
How Does it Smell?
Rose Couture is a transparent and effervescent take on rose. It opens dewy and almost drinkable with a pure aquatic feel that is reminiscent of slow-motion dew drops languishing slowly down the side of fresh berries in an M&S advert. Somehow it feels sumptuous and vivid, without being overtly bold or cloying. Immediately there is a rose water impression that, mixed with the berry effect creates a gourmand vibe that is much like a raspberry meringue, albeit without many of the calories. A great deal of the transparency comes from the peony accord, which lightens the boldness of the rode with a deliriously fresh floral mist that brings a little vivacity to the mix.
It would be safe to say that Rose Couture is not a straight-up rose affair and there definitely are number of other floral components working hard under the hood. Jasmine plays a big part, in a diluted fizzy sort of way, adding an underlying tone of white flowers that melt into the general warmth of the composition. There’s orange blossom too, the signature note of Elie Saab’s original Le Parfum. This note, which was a bastion of hot stickiness in the original, is a subtle wisp of honeyed sweetness in Rose Couture that plays right into the hands of that raspberry meringue accord. Delicious yes, but not tummy-achingly so.
In the dry down, Rose Couture becomes soft and supple, shedding away that floral gourmand vibe and replacing it with musk and sandalwood. The base maintains an airiness thanks to the musk, but it gives the fragrance much needed weight to lock everything in place. After a number of hours one is left with a rose-tinted base of smooth sandalwood that clings softly to the skin. It’s not as vibrant or as lively as the opening, but it has a silky texture that is wholly on brand with Elie Saab’s couture creations. In short, it’s a pleasure to wear from start to finish.
I’d classify Rose Couture as a diet rose gourmand. It’s edible but in a very subtle way, offering up a delicious rose-flavoured cocktail as opposed to a delectable pastry or dessert. As with all things Elie Saab, Rose Couture is ethereal and airy, evoking the idea of bright light and silk fabrics. Here the colour du jour is a transparent fuchsia that adds a warmth and extra layer of vibrancy to Elie Saab’s wardrobe of fragrances. Check this out if you like a dewy-fresh floral with a touch of glistening sweetness. Couture addicts will love it.