Hard on the heels of lovethescents' successful custom purchase for me of Chanel Paradoxal and Particulière nail polishes (pictures to follow...), the other day I managed in return to "custom blag" a sample of the new Floris Snow Rose for her. And one for me, as luck would have it. And Snow Rose isn't all that new to be fair, but the tide of new perfume launches moves at a glacial pace round these parts, "glacial" being on the face of it an appropriate image for a scent purporting to be "snowy" and "icy" - of which more anon.
I scoured Google - and by "scoured" I mean I went as far as Page 4, which is pretty darn deep, given that most people click no further than the first hit on Page 1, I am reliably informed by Mr Bonkers' website whiz - and I could not find a single review of this scent. A few short features announcing its launch, with some note information (Now Smell This, The Scented Salamander), but no proper reviews as such. And as anyone who isn't a first time visitor to this blog knows, you won't be getting a proper review from me either. Coming to Bonkers about Perfume for an authoritative critique of a fragrance is not unlike those hapless Japanese tourists who turn up in Stafford town centre, and ask the way to Anne Hathaway's Cottage (Shakespeare's childhood home.....in Stratford-upon-Avon).
But I digress...
Lovethescents' febrile keenness to try Snow Rose piqued my curiosity, and while we don't like exactly the same sorts of perfume (I hope she won't mind my mentioning her greater capacity for booze - in fragrance, obviously : - ) ), there is still considerable crossover between us.
So here is the lowdown on Snow Rose (with note info) from Floris's website:
FLORIS SNOW ROSE
"A sunlit unfolding of warmly scented rose petals crystallised within a winter wonderland.
Icy cool leafy green top notes introduce the rich and vibrant floral heart of rose, enriched with geranium and jasmine. Warmed with soft sweet oriental base notes of vanilla, musk and sandalwood."
While we are here, it might not go amiss to post the notes of White Rose, another scent from the Floris line with a quite different vibe.
FLORIS WHITE ROSE
Top notes: aldehydic, carnation, green
Heart notes: iris, rose, jasmine, violet
Base notes: amber, musk, powdery notes
Both these rose perfumes are powdery, but while (to my nose) Snow Rose falls squarely into the category of a "fluffy" scent - as explored in my earlier post on the subject here - White Rose is definitely a "spiky" scent. In brief, by "fluffy" I mean a comforting and feminine scent that enfolds the wearer in a powdery cocoon. Snow Rose is in the same vein as Parfums MDCI Promesse de L'Aube (if a tad more powdery), but falls short of the marshmallow fluffiness of Kenzo L'Eau Par Kenzo Indigo Pour Femme (this is good). Nor is it AS powdery as M Micallef Note Poudrée or Lorenzo Villoresi Teint de Neige (which is also good).
Important to mention that Snow Rose is also slightly sweet, like some kind of cachou or dainty patisserie, though it stays well the right side of cloying. Snow Rose is also billed as "icy", and the opening green notes are a little on the chilly side, but this wears off in a matter of seconds, or it does on my warm, hormonally challenged, drydown-grabbing skin. It so happens that I am a sucker for vanilla and sandalwood, and the geranium and green notes probably stop Snow Rose from becoming the sticky sweet mess of Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb and its ilk.
Now Mr Bonkers' take on this was most illuminating, and surprisingly near the mark for him - he described it as "sweet and sickly, like a poncy fairy cake". I apologise for the un-PC tenor of his comment, but I was pleased that he picked up on the cake aspect - we will simply have to agree to differ on the level of sweetness. And Mr B has got me thinking now of intricate cake decorations in icing sugar, like the "snow rose" pictured above...
Floris White Rose, on the other hand, is most definitely "spiky", a term I defined in my earlier post as any of the following: "austere, craggy, cold, uncompromising and complex". White Rose has a pinched and aloof quality to it. It is...dare I say it?...borderline "old lady", by which I mean powdery in a frumpy way, rather than in a "vintage" way that still feels current. I think the particular combination of aldehydes, iris, violet and especially carnation (an über spiky note!) give it that dated feel, whereas Snow Rose feels like a classic scent for a modern girl.
Stylistically, I'd say that Snow Rose has a fair bit in common with Agent Provocateur and Les Parfums de Rosine Rose Kashmirie, though AP has a flinty edge to it which Snow Rose lacks, and Rose Kashmirie is spicier. Snow Rose also has little in common with the "disgruntled purple talc" that is YSL Parisienne, one of my major disappointments of last year.
Another powdery, slightly sweet scent which I love, and which I believe pulls off this "one foot in the past, one foot in the present" stunt very well, is Guerlain Plus Que Jamais, but even Plus Que Jamais has a slight hauteur about it by comparison with Snow Rose. So Snow Rose is the best "powdery, classic/modern crossover, girly, slightly sweet vanillic" scent I have smelt. It is guileless and accessible. Perhaps too accessible for some people's tastes, possibly even for mine. Time and repeated wearings will tell..
Now in my "spiky" and "fluffy" post, I riffed off rabbits quite a bit, and the moment may have come to riff off furry creatures again, starting at the most "spiky"/"dangerous" and working down. I may need to annexe a few felines to complete the set...
Floris White Rose - a Snow Leopard
Agent Provocateur - a Lynx
Rose Kashmirie - a Lynx in a Sari
Guerlain Plus Que Jamais - a Maine Coon (a house cat, but only just)
Les Parfums MDCI Promesse de L'Aube - a long haired, non-pedigree white cat (not a Persian, as they can have an "attitude" problem)
Floris Snow Rose - a white rabbit
In short, Snow Rose is no glacial beauty, no Snow Queen or platinum blonde Scandinavian model. It is more like a platter of frozen petits fours, served just before they have completely defrosted. A "Sensodyne" scent if you will. Or a fluffy bunny called Snowy.
Photo of Floris Snow Rose from flickr, photo of Floris shop from flickrivr, photo of white rose cake decoration from partykiosk.co.uk, photo of fairy cakes from elizabethjamescakes.co.uk, photo of snow leopard from Wikimedia Commons, photo of rabbit from flickr.