Friday, 20 August 2010

Floris Snow Rose: "Spiky" And "Fluffy" Scents Revisited

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 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:


"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.


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, photo of fairy cakes from, photo of snow leopard from Wikimedia Commons, photo of rabbit from flickr.


lovethescents said...

Now I absolutely cannot wait to try it! While reading your review, prior to you noting the Rose Kashmiri-ness of this, I thought of Rose Praline. How does Snow Rose compare to that? I wonder what Mr. B would say about that comparison?

Vanessa said...

Hi lovethescents,

D'you know, I thought about Rose Praline as well, but I cannot remember it distinctly enough to comment on, and I know I swapped my sample away. From memory though, I think it erred on the TOO sweet side.

hebe said...

ooh. I can't believe I haven't tried this one. My favourite snow-evoking scent is l'Eau d'hiver, which I think is rose-free, but really puts me in mind of chill snowy days. I absolutely adore that last photo, many thanks!

Unknown said...

Cake, kitties and white rabbits! Love the analogies in this review. Floris isn't available to me here, but I'll get a sample just to see what fluffy smells like :)

Vanessa said...

Hi hebe,

I am fairly confident you would like this one, based on what I know of your tastes. Does that little perfume and home interiors(?) shop near you carry Floris?

Vanessa said...

Hi kjanicki,

Floris has a US distributor in Virginia, called Londons Bathecary. If you are curious to try this scent, I wonder if they would mail out a sample?

Katy Josephine said...

For a review that is not proper, it is certainly descriptive and entertaining. Love Mr. Bonkers' comment - sometimes a nose once removed can offer incredible insight.

Neither White Rose nor Snow Rose feel like a rose I would love. But I did love the post.

Vanessa said...

Hi Josephine,

Mr Bonkers does have his moments, I'll give him that!

These are not your kind of rose scents, I am pretty sure. You need more of a black panther. : - )

hebe said...

No, they don't carry Floris sadly, but Mr Hebe is in London frequently enough to oblige if I ask nicely :)

Vanessa said...

Or indeed do as I did, and ring up the Floris mail order line and ask them to send you a sample. They didn't bat an eyelid at the request, unlike certain perfume houses I could mention!

hebe said...

aha, good idea!

Vanessa said...

Yes, and if you do, you may cause the people at Floris to puzzle over this sudden "spike" of interest in Snow Rose! : - )

Lolla Moon said...

The first picture of the perfume bottle is mine. Just a tip: "from Flickr" is not proper credit. In the future you may want to review that and link back to the full url from which you took the image from, as some photographers get very upset when their picture is used without credit and it's quite easy nowadays to find out.

Vanessa said...

Hi Lolla,

Thanks for the deserved slapped wrist re the photo credit. I wrote this post in the early days of the blog, and try to use either my own images now, Wikimedia Commons and Flickr Creative Commons. I do put more specific attributions now too. Unfortunately, I couldn't go back and amend all the previous ones, as I don't know now where I got them from. But I will edit this one accordingly!