Golden hued memories… Rose Velours by Van Cleef & Arpels The Perfumed Dandy’s Festival of Roses

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A moment from late summer.

A morning, sunny, dew-sodden.

Petals start to fall a second time

Preserved, but not pickled in aspic,

Fossilised in honey instead.

The ripeness of the flower as full as fruit

Its odour, jam-rich, fills the air

Makes it viscous

Sets lovers swimming in

A sea of gelatinous, velvet, joy.

Fronds like fine fabrics fragrance

This farewell symphony.

Soon all that will remain:

A few scattered natural confetti

Collected by her hands and crystalised

In jars, placed on high shelves,

For February comfort.

Rose Velours from the Collection Extraordinaire by Van Cleef and Arpels belongs to a distinguished sub category of floral perfumes: the rose preserves.

If other sweet rose scents are budget label jams, this is finest Fortnum & Mason floral confiture.

Here cheap refined sugar is replaced with violet infused honey, iris introduces a sweet caramelised vegetal note, all is amplified and extended by benzoin and the much-maligned, but in this instance well-used, ambroxan.

Eventually, the rose powders and a woodiness intrudes to lend a sweet dusty antique shop quality to the late dry down.

For the most part though this linear fragrance is exquisite conserve served with silver spoons and eaten straight.

A rare sweet treat, probably best kept for infrequent indulgences.

Like bad weather, February and Tuesdays…

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “Golden hued memories… Rose Velours by Van Cleef & Arpels The Perfumed Dandy’s Festival of Roses

  1. Lilybelle

    What a lovely golden rose reverie, Mr. Dandy. These are the ones that keep us going on bad weather Tuesdays in February. Chin up. spring is around the corner. xo

  2. Dear Mr Dandy,

    I like the sound of this but I hesitate about the honey. I’d still try it though, I have often been persuaded into loving a scent quite unexpectedly.

    Your Friend
    IScent

    • Dearest Iscent
      Perhaps The Dandy should have been a little clearer, the honey here is almost not an independent note, rather it gives the rose the sweetness that lends the whole its jam-like quality.
      But being honey, instead of the saccharine that prevails in so many modern scents, that sweetness has a fullness and rococo roundness that other perfumes distinctly lack.
      Not much in the way of beeswax here… just the breathtaking price tag to put one off!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Dear Mr Dandy

        You had me at “rococo roundness”!

        I do quite like a jammy note since it is distinct from the sugar/vanilla/cake note that seems to be everywhere today. Now jam, I can get on board with.

        Your friend
        IScent

  3. Sounds like the perfect scent for Valentine’s. Who wouldn’t want to touch their lips to a honeyed rose?

  4. SallyM

    Dear Mr.Dandy,
    Positively scrumptious. I love the poem which perfectly captures the journey of the falling petals from flower to jam pot. I’m not a big rose lover – I have a traumatic memory of making rose petal “perfume” when I was 10 (but therein lies another tale ;-) ) but I might just like this one. We have a wonderful organic farm shop near us that has all manner of strange and unusual jams and chutneys etc – I will look for a rose themed one next time I’m there. And based on your appetizing review, I will avail myself of a sample of RV…

    • Dearest Sally
      Thank you for the very kind sentiments.
      I too have strange memories of ill-fated attempts at rose-water production, but, fortunately, left in the hands of the professionals, as here, the results are far more pleasantly perfumed!
      Rose jam, in fact rose food stuffs of all kinds are quite common place in what we used to call the Levant and still do term North Africa. Turkey and Morocco have such wonderful teas, tinctures, waters and yes, james made from the wonderful flowers.
      Just the thing to have on toast for a Valentine’s breakfast!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  5. Alice

    Sounds wonderful! Do you like any others in the range? I’ve sniffed them quite a few times, and always been impressed, they all seem very well composed. I think there is an oud that I liked (which makes a change), plus the iris was lovely.

    • Dearest Alice
      Yes I do.
      I think that VC&A’s Collection Extraordinaire is that rare thing: an exercise in subtle quality and serene good taste. Everything about them is in the composition which invariably beautifully balanced and the exceptional refinement of the ingredients.
      Why they seem to get so little attention is quite beyond The Dandy… perhaps I will give them more!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Alice

        You inspired me to dig out my little pack of samples (the original six, not eh oud or rose velours).. and decided that the Muguet Blanc was my favourite, the gentlest muguet perfume I have ever come across. I then checked who had created it, it was Antoine Maisondieu, also the nose behind Rose Velours, Feerie, and many others, including Rossy de Palma (which I have) and Shanghai Lily (excellent Tom Ford launch), That’s quite a line-up,clearly an exceptional talent!

      • Dearest Alice
        Now The Dandy is always delighted by muguet… and not just in May!
        I don;t think I’ve sample the one from Collection Extraordinaire though, so once more into the breach.
        Interesting note on the nose behind these scents I too am a big fan of Feerie (quite the most underrated of scents) and Shanghai Lily shines above many of the other rather bland Tom Ford releases (of which there are simply far too many).
        Maisondieu (wonderful meaning, non?) is definitely a name to look out for.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  6. Nena

    Now this I CAN buy in NZ! And thanks to this, I really want it.

  7. Oooh liking the sound of this one: I quite liked all the Van Cleefs: very quality, very simple, which I occasionally, to be honest, prefer. Rose jam is delightful: I need to go and try this.

    • Dearest Ginza
      Simple but supremely well executed. Surely there will always be a place for such scents!?! IF not, the olfactory world would be rather a sad place.
      Yes, rose jam is very bees knees, might head towards my favourite Moroccan traiteur for fresh supplies today.
      Hope stress levels are falling on your side of the world.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  8. Honey is hard for me unless it is on toast. But you make this sound wonderful!! So maybe I will test it out.

    • Dearest Lanier
      Yes, as I was saying to Iscent just a moment ago, I can see your point. honey’s not for everybody fragrance wise.
      But here, the note’s deployed so wisely, subtly and part of such a beautifully conceived whole that it’s irresistible and wrapped up into a confiturely wonderful whole.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

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