Ombre Rose (Jean-Charles Brosseau)

The previous owner of this bottle must have been a decant hound, or a librarian, or both. Rather than the exquisite octagonal vessel that originally housed it, the juice now resides in the most generic of splash bottles-- but one that has been "cataloged" with a carefully typed spine label, implying that it was part of a larger collection.

How I wish I knew more about its provenance. I imagine similar bottles arranged in rows, alphabetical first by house, then by name-- just like a real library.

Designed for Jean Patou by Jean-Charles Brosseau in 1981, Ombre Rose is a mildly smoky floral which approximates in scent the tone of that old-fashioned hue called "ashes of roses"-- a dry pinkish-mauve with a crepe-papery feel like that of dessicated petals. Its incense drydown shades off into powdery beige and office-safe grey. It's Anaïs Anaïs all grown up and graduated from the eyelet-lace ruffles of youth to mature suit dresses in low-key monochromes. I like it just fine and can easily imagine it as a perfume for the workplace-- clean-cut, corporate, and unobtrusive.

But maybe that's because I'm not seeing it in its resplendent original flacon, where all the mystery and shadow resided.

Scent Elements: Aldehydes, peach, Brazilian rosewood, geranium, sandalwood, iris, rose, vetiver, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley, cedar, honey, tonka bean, cinnamon, musk, vanilla, heliotrope