A Dozen Roses for December (or February) The Perfumed Dandy’s Twelve Days Before Christmas Part V


Surely nothing in the floral world is as luxurious as roses at the Yuletide.

Being able to defend myself against everything except decadence… I give you, dear readers, a dozen…

Knowing by Estee Lauder

Winter roses emerge as forces of will against nature.

They are determined, know their own minds and come replete with thorns.

Lauder’s animalic, oakmoss-heavy floral chypre may not seem in the least bit festive.

But get further acquainted and she has a generous heart.

The Dandy knows her of old… why not read the full review.

La Fille de Berlin by Serge Lutens

Perhaps because I tried it in a Paris gripped by snow and frosts in February.

Maybe because it recalls a world of black and white movies, which is most certainly so very Christmas too.

Or simply for it hints at something darker, a casual pain that must be gone through to taste pleasure.

Who knows? But there is an element of the advent about this scent.

Acteur by Loris Azzaro

What could be more seasonal than a visit to the theatre?

If you’re British, a pantomime fits the bill perfectly in all its manifest imperfection.

Acteur is no burlesque, but has enormous personality and character, and one imagines it as the kind of man, or charismatic woman, who could carry a party.

Stella by Stella McCartney

The roses here are dried, dessicated even.

Their accord calls to mind, in a good way, floral lining paper for drawers.

The kind of hidden, or nearly never opened drawers where a careful mother might store secret presents.


Rose en Noir by Miller Harris

Darkness and light.

Spicy and slightly green, these purple flowers come swathed in dark tobacco velvet.

An illicit kiss one is convinced into after too much mulled wine.

Rose Barbare by Guerlain

Plush. Luscious. Luxurious.

A grande dame rose arriving in a cloud of aldehydes.

Up close she turns sweet and yielding, all honey and dark herbaceous.

A limousine riding movie star of a scent.

Hammam Bouquet by Penhaligons

The Dandy makes no apologies for raising a glass to cheer this antique curiosity once again.

Tinctured roses with a medicated air start slightly sour then broaden to amber and wood with a swarthy warmth that befits the perfume’s name.

Light shone through a Ottoman lantern with semi precious stones for glass.

Les Fleurs : Rose by Molinard

Tea roses and gingerbread.

A concentrated slice of Indian summer all moist lawns, late blooms and unexpected sunshine.

A wonderfully concentrated, in a jammy sense, way to recall the year just past.

Ce Soir Ou Jamais by Annick Goutal

All the best presents come beautifully wrapped.

All the best perfumes must have a name that speaks… and is there more of a sexy whisper in the olfactory word than this?

‘Tonight or Never’… the question is what will one get?

For this chameleon fragrance changes afresh each moment pear, Turkish rose, honey… a very polite Mata Hari.

Armani / Prive : Rose d’Arabie by Armani

Rose and oud go together like Christmas pud and brandy sauce.

And whilst some may become jaded over time to such classic combinations, when done well, as here, they remind one of just why the parts came together.

A Selfridge’s pudding with Fortnum’s topping this.

True Rose by Woods of Windsor

Powder and boiled sweets, scented handkerchiefs and lipstick kisses.

Yes, there is an element of a great aunt’s visit about Woods’ long-lived scent.

But what would Christmas be without such pleasant smelling guests calling by?

Or et Noir by Caron

No great aunt’s aroma this… unless you happen to have a Dowager Duchess in the family!

The great lady holds a self-possessed bouquet of three sorts of rose, geraniums and carnations bound together with a wooden band and decorated with oakmoss.

Perfume aristocracy.

Something there for everyone to give or better still receive.

Whooops, that’s not how the saying goes, is it!?!

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy


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19 responses to “ A Dozen Roses for December (or February) The Perfumed Dandy’s Twelve Days Before Christmas Part V

  1. Nena

    Oh my, Rose Barbare sounds amazing! Another Guerlain exclusive to tempt me away from my saving goal, maybe?

    • Dearest Nena
      The Dandy really does rather like it, though I read it’s been much-dismissed elsewhere. It is a little on the sweet side for some, but stay well clear of Turkish Delight cloyingness.
      Better get those pennies put aside!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Nena

        Oh, I shall! For I’m planning on taking a break from the convention I’ll be attending in Melbourne to visit some perfume stores and the Chanel boutique, and I will definitely be picking up some perfumes (Portrait of a Lady, Fracas, and maybe a Chanel exclusive). Those should make up for my no-buy.

  2. rosestrang

    I do love a good Rose! I must try Ce Soir ou Jamais – turkish delight and honey sounds lovely. Apparently Isabelle Adjani wears it and from your description it would suit her Snow White sort of look. I also haven’t tried the Miller Harris, though I’ve liked all the MH perfumes tried so far.
    Hammam Bouquet is timeless in its own way, a friend and I were in Penhaligons with her 7 year old boy who sniffed all the perfumes and declared it his favourite – ‘a Dandy in the making’ I said!

    • Dearest Rose
      Yes, that’s exactly it, Ce Soir Ou Jamais is the right kind of Turkish Delight, where the flavours are honeyed rather than sprinkled with oodles of icing sugar.
      Isabelle Adjani, Just the words. Beautiful.
      Hammam Bouquet is one of The Dandy’s all time favourites…. what amazing taste that young man has!!!
      Better buy it now for him though as I’ve heard it may not survive too much longer… plus, you can never start too young. He smiles.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  3. Hey Dandy,
    This is a great time of year on the blogs because I can run around and read everyone’s faves of all descriptions. You’ve picked a favourite note of mine, rose, and introduced me to some newbies, as well as reminding me of old faves. Ce Soir Ou Jamais and La Fille de Berlin are so good aren’t they? MMMMM
    Portia x

    • Dearest Portia
      How lovely to hear from you… I’m still not properly hooked up to you at your new location, but am always reading and admiring from afar.
      Ce Soir Ou Jamais (quite apart from having one of the greatest names in all perfume) is just a delight and La Fille de Berlin has grown with me as the year has progressed.
      Merry Christmas to all Down Under!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  4. Divine juxtapositions, selections,and inspirations.

    The Narcissus salutes!

  5. Lilybelle

    What a delicious bouquet of Christmas roses! It’s hard to decide which one I want to try first (or again). Lovely to give, SUBLIME to receive! Tee hee!

  6. Fabulous rose treats – have only tried La Fille de Berlin. Ouch – need to expand my repertoire. Merry Christmas – don’t think I’ve commented before but your story telling is superb. Certainly hope I’m receiving some perfumed treats myself this festive season.

  7. Plush. Luscious. Luxurious/A grande dame rose arriving in a cloud of aldehydes/Up close she turns sweet and yielding, all honey and dark herbaceous/A limousine riding movie star of a scent.

    darling chap – a sonnet indeed.

  8. Reblogged this on The Perfumed Dandy. and commented:

    With snow a foot deep in North America and wind and rain sweeping in across dear old Blighty. We are all weather-beaten lovers this year in the Northern Hemisphere. So, with real flowers somewhat thin on the ground, why not consider picking up the sort of fragrant rose that comes in a flacon? These may have been suggested for St Nicholas’s feast but will do just fine as a token of adoration whatever the object. Happy St Valentine’s all! Yours ever The Perfumed Dandy

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