After reviewing Neela Vermeire’s wonderful rose perfume Mohur edp I was inspired to smell other rose perfumes. Le Voluttuose collection by BOIS 1920 was announced as a collection based on rose (according to a BOIS press release) so I started smelling after buying a BOIS sample set.
BOIS 1920 is an Italian perfume brand which very surprisingly was founded in 1920. BOIS (BOttega Italiana Spigo) is pronounced boys. Le Voluttuose is a series of three perfumes and is based on the rose theme: Rosa di Filare formerly known as Kimono Rose, Notturno Fiorentino and La Vaniglia. All are dedicated to different aspects of the female world, sophistication, confidence, elegance and mystery.
The intention behind the perfumes: Rosa di Filare is elegant and feminine, Notturno Fiorentino is mysterious and La Vaniglia is soft with an eastern heart. Quite an interesting idea one would think but how did it turn out ?
Notturno Fiorentino will be reviewed first. The whole collection is said to be based on rose but where is the rose in the Notturno ? I smell a boozy spicy perfume, a bit like the Dutch People of the Labyrinths Luctor et Emergo, but very little rose. After the top notes fade you might smell a very light rose in the heart notes but this is still overpowered by the spicy notes. The drydown is more earthly with patchouli and woods, finishing off with tonka bean and vanilla. I actually quite like the drydown.
As a woman I did not find this perfume very mysterious or intriguing, just another variation on the spicy oriental theme. Men might think otherwise. I did find the whole idea to portrait different aspects of the female world interesting; sadly this perfume did not turn out intriguing. The press release said men will not forget the woman who wore this perfume. But will women themselves want to be remembered by this perfume ? This might be quite different for the other two perfumes La Vaniglia and Rosa di Filare. At first sniff Rosa di Filare was a promising rose perfume. To be continued….
If you like spicy oriental perfumes just stick to/ first try Armani Prive Cologne Ambre Soie, Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan or People of the Labyrinths Luctor et Emergo.
Notes according to First in Fragrance
Topnote: Bergamot, Black Pepper.
Heartnote: Jasmine, Turkish Rose, Black Currant
Basenote: Vanilla, White Musk, Tonka Bean, Cedarwood
Neela Vermeire, a perfume lover herself, started her perfume house in 2011 in France. All her five perfumes are created and produced in France and have received very positive online reviews. The three first creations were Trayee, Mohur and Bombay Bling . They were made as a tribute to a different era in Indian history, the Vedic period, the Moghul British Raj period and modern India. Neela Vermeire perfumes were developed in cooperation with the perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. Being honest, I have no connection to India, Indian food or Indian scents and was not interested at first. But as the positive reviews continued, I wanted to try the perfumes for myself. At this moment I am very glad I did.
Three samples were sent to me by Neela Vermeire with a personal hand written note which was very thoughtful. The three perfumes were Bombay Bing, Trayee and Mohur. Mohur got most of my attention as it is a rose perfume. Rose perfumes are one of my favorites but many times they are not intriguing enough. Some rose perfumes can be a bit boring if they are very linear and only smell like light roses as Jo Malone Red Roses. But Mohur is a very interesting oriental multifaceted rose perfume. My first impresion was of a very sophisticated, refined and feminine perfume.These notes are listed on the official website: cardamom, coriander, ambrette, carrot, black pepper, elemi, rose, jasmine, orris, aubepin flower, almond milk, violet, orris, leather, sandalwood, amber, white woods, patchouli, oudh, benzoin, vanilla and tonka bean. Personally I smell saffron as well but this is not mentioned.
Oudh was quite in fashion several years ago in perfumes as you might know and many perfume houses came up with their own oudh versions. You have to get used to the note of oudh as it can be quite harsh at times. Mohur is a very good start if you want to start appreciating oudh. The oudh note is not harsh or dominant but refined, soft and well blended into the perfume.
Oudh was used in Mohur because it was a key ingredient in perfumes in the Moghul British Raj era. Mohur was created as a tribute to the empress and perfumer Noor Jahan and to the Mohur coin under British rule, the Moghul and British Raj period. Personally I thought this to be a bit confusing, a tribute to different periods. Noor Jahan was one of the most influential women of her time living from 1577 to 1645. She was the favorite wife of Moghul emperor Jahangir. He gave her the title of Noor Jahan, which means Light of the world. During the emperors reign Noor Jahan had the true power behind her husband as he often was not able to reign due to substance addiction. After his death Noor Jahan was confined comfortably where she spent her time making perfume.
I compared Mohur to other perfumes with the rose, oudh and saffron notes such as By Kilian Rose Oud and Armani Prive Rose Orient. Both start as an eastern perfume but after a while they turn more western. Mohur does the opposite though. At first it does smell more western, but after a while the more spicy notes start kicking in which you would normally relate to India.
Mohur has many facets and changes continuously like a DNA strand which is moving and showing another aspects, moving upwards. Everytime I wear Mohur I smell different aspects, saffron, powdery rose, oudh, sandalwood. Probably more will come up during time while wearing it more often. The powdery rose note stays with you during most of the time. Others commented on the multifacets of Mohur as well. Wearing it makes me feel like standing on a mezzanine level in a house and seeing different aspects inside the house everyway I look. Surprisingly after applying it smelled very lightly on my skin. A few hours later though it smelled at its best and was quite prominent. Normally you smell a perfume best at first when you spray it on your skin and if you are lucky after a few hours but this is exactly the opposite. Just when you almost forgot you sprayed Mohur on, you are taken by surprise as you smell a wonderfull perfume ! Of all the rose, oudh, saffron perfumes I have tried, Mohur is my favorite. Not only is it more subtle but it is without edges as well, as if all notes have been rounded and all edges have been taken away. Its staying power is very good: about eight hours.
Try Mohur if you like Rose Oud By Kilian, Rose D´Arabie Armani Prive, Aoud Red Flowers Montale or if you are lover of rose perfumes in general.
Everything in the line of Neela Vermeire has been carefully been thought through. There is a sample set available with 2 ml samples to try the whole line out. She sells a Discovery Set for quite a reasonable price at 110 euro for 4 sprays of 8 ml. You cannot stop but notice Neela Vermeire´s passion for her own perfumes and the art of making perfume. An extrait version of Mohur was introduced as well two years ago, an even more glorious perfume.
Rosine is a French perfume house originally founded in 1911 by de French fashion designer Paul Poiret. Paul Poiret was the first fashion designer to start a perfume house. The perfume house was launched in the same year as his sensational soiree inspired by harems of the sultan, The Thousand and Second Night. It must have been the party of the decade as many refer to this party for its extravagance and lavishness.
Paul Poirets couture was inspired by the orient, Russia and North Africa and his perfumes had names like Aladin and Maharadjah. The perfume house was named after Paul Poiret eldest daughter Rosine who died not much later in 1915 from an ear infection. Paul Poiret served in the First World War but after his return his designs became out of fashion and his fashion house had to close in 1929, leaving Paul Poiret impoverished. Some original Rosine fragrances can now be scented at the ‘perfume library’, the Osmotheque in Versailles.
The current Les Parfums de Rosine Perfume House was founded in 1991. Most of the Rosine perfumes are inspired by the rose theme. Secrets de Rose was introduced in 2009. The inspiration for this perfume came from the rare black rose.
The notes according to the Rosine website are:
Top note : Plum, Liquorice, Rose essence, Bitter Orange, Saffron
Heart note : Magnolia, Ylang ylang, Rose absolute, White Jasmine, Seeds of cumin
Base note : Sandalwood, Himalaya oak moss, Amber resin, Labdanum, MuskPerfumer: Francois Robert
Secrets de Rose is a very well blended powdery rose. It is natural but at the same time stylish and with a little spicy punch, not a natural light fresh English tea rose but more a modern classic rose. Although some websites refer to Secret de Rose as seducing I do not find it to be tempting at all. More a stylish velvet uncomplicated rose, very well suited for office wear. The powder note in Secrets de Rose reminds me of Kirsten Dunst in the movie Marie Antoinette.
What does it do ? And how does it make you feel ?
It eases and makes you feel more peaceful. Perfect for work or when you feel a bit stressed. But it keeps you sharp and focused.
It makes you feel like the picture made by Rene Gruau for Dioressence. The picture suits Secrets de Rose more than it does vintage Dioressence. If there is one perfume I would call seducing it would be the vintage animalic Dioressence made by the father of the perfumer of Secrets de Rose Guy Robert.
Although I am fond of rose perfumes I find it hard to find a rose perfume I really like. Secrets de Rose is one of my favourites at this moment and it was instant love. Many perfume bloggers are writing about rose perfume at this moment. Secrets de Rose has not gotten much attention lately. When it was introduced in 2009 it got some very positive reviews though. If you like rose and want a perfume with a little twist, Secrets de Rose is worth a try.
Try it if you like: Yves Rocher Rose Absolue, People of the Labyrinths A.Maze
Longevity: medium, up to 4,5 hours
Sillage: moderate, stays quite close to your skin
Fragrance family (via Fragrances of the World): Floral Oriental
All fragrances mentioned in this article are my own acquisition.
Originally published: February 24, 2014
Updated: March 28, 2015
Picture 1: Paul Poiret 1920 Theatre Costumes ”Paris qui Jazz” Revue, José de Zamora Designer