Rose Week 2018 – The Blackcurrant Rose
It’s Rose Week on EauMG! This is the annual celebration of rose-centric perfumes! This week I’m reviewing 5 fragrances that display a different aspect of rose perfumes.
When Diptyque launched Eau Rose in 2012, their copy emphasized how they were finally paying tribute to the beauty of a rose. This was odd for a few reasons, but the biggest one being that the brand launched something very similar in 1983 – L’Ombre dans L’Eau.
L’Ombre dans L’Eau is a fruity, green rose. What makes it both fruity and green is the blackcurrant. For me, blackcurrant has became so synonymous with rose soliflores, that I sort of view blackcurrant as homogeneous to the rose, especially fruity roses. I don’t know if this is because this sort of fruity rose soliflore is 35+ years old so now it’s sort of some folksy knowledge of what a rose perfume should smell like. Or is it because some fresh roses display blackcurrant facets so it’s easy to think of blackcurrant not as something separate but as a rose itself?
I’ve sniffed and worn a lot of roses in my day. And oddly enough, I think of L’Ombre dans L’Eau as one of the more polarizing of rose soliflores. It’s this cottage variety rose. It conjures up delicate roses with almost puritanical undertones because it’s one of those. It’s one of those “proper”, traditional roses. A traditional rose, in itself, is polarizing. But, then let’s add odd pissy, ammonia-like notes with sulfuric ones. Yep, that’s going to make L’Ombre dans L’Eau very polarizing.
L’Ombre dans L’Eau opens with bitter crushed greens and sulfuric grapefruit peels. The more I wear it, the more I pick up tomato leaves and green tomatoes. This is a fragrance that is bitter, green and sulfuric. If you read EauMG, you know I love roses. You also may know that I love any perfume that reminds me of tomato leaves. And this perfume does. I can smell the leaves’ fuzziness so vividly that I can *feel* the fuzzy leaves. At this stage, this city dweller who’s apartment can’t get enough sunlight to feed a shade plant, has been transported to the most idealistic vegetable garden ever. Like most folks, this is going to transport me to childhood. It smells like long summers, dirty knees and fried okra. The heart is a green rose with fruity, minty blackcurrant. This brings to mind cottage gardens but also the sort of green fragrances associated with “sports” in the 60’s-70’s. Like summer and childhood, it fades. L’Ombre dans L’Eau doesn’t really dry-down as much as it just becomes a memory of summer with a lot of musk.
I love L’Ombre dans L’Eau. It’s one of those roses that’s really pretty (in the traditional sense of the concept), but it’s also a little weird. I can see how some people may think this smells like bug spray or something sharp/weird (green scents get compared to things like this a lot). But, for me it’s like summer. It also reminds me of a great aunt, who I later realized wore this in the late 80’s, as well as Annick Goutal skincare (which also smells similar). She also had green bottles of Sisley Eau de Campagne in the bathroom. Like tomatoes and fried foods, she was another part of my summers. (I stayed with her throughout the summers when I was older and probably less annoying). So, I feel like from angle, one can see this as a pretty, proper rose. But, from another, it’s a little bit of an aloof, green fragrance (another genre I adore).
Notes listed include black currant leaf and Bulgarian rose. Launched in 1983. PERFUMER – Serge Kalouguine
Give L’Ombre Dans L’Eau a try if you like green, fruity roses. Or perfumes like Mistral Lychee Rose, Jo Malone London English Oak and Redcurrant, YSL In Love Again, Le Jardin Retrouvé Rose Trocadéro, Diptyque Eau Rose and/or Annick Goutal Rose Pompon. I could also see liking if this if you like green perfumes like Sisley Eau de Campagne, Miller Harris Le Pamplemousse or Jo Malone London Wild Strawberry & Parsley.
Projection and longevity are average (to above average). Please note that I’m reviewing the EDT.
L’Ombre Dans L’Eau comes in a few sizes with the 1.7 oz retailing for $90 at Beautyhabit and Nordstrom. There are also bath/body products in this line that I highly recommend. A shower oil? Yes, please.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Blackcurrant, tomato leaves and cottage roses AKA a fruity green rose. It’s one of those classic roses that I love. I love it for what it is but I also love it for nostalgic reasons.
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*Sample obtained by me. Product pic from Beautyhabit. Aida Overton Walker pic from www.fanpix.net. Post contains affiliate links. Thanks!