Lipstick Rose opens with an aldehydic powder of violet and rose, a touch of citrus sparkles up top, and for a short while, the powdered rose reminds me of Traversee Du Bosphore by L’Artisan Parfumeur – almost note for note. The balance begins to shift though, and a thick, waxy texture mingles with the powder to take Lipstick Rose off on a different tangent.
The rose note smells clean, old-fashioned without being particularly soapy – with accords of Turkish delight, spicy potpourri, a tea-like bitterness and just a touch of raspberry- but from afar, it is just… a very traditional rose. The waxy texture makes me suspect there’s maybe a little magnolia in here, given away also by the hint of sweet, lemon-y, floral cream that runs in between the rose and violet. The violet/iris/heliotrope in the heart is what seems to combine to create the “make-up” accord that dominates the heart. This accord smells similar to the Guerlain Meteorites fragrance which matches their scented makeup, a slightly melancholy, simplified version of L’Heure Bleue. But Lipstick Rose, whilst beautifully pristine, is playful – and a joy to wear.
The base surprises me a bit with a subtle, salty, earthy vetiver sweetened with a touch of vanilla. The vetiver anchors the light-hearted powder and matures the fragrance as it dries down, made a little herbal by a bay-like culinary note. The vanilla does what you’d expect it to do, and a musk throws Lipstick Rose off the skin for a good couple of hours, a light, laundry-esque fuzz that smells satin-soft and feminine. There’s a little resinous amber underneath, very light, powder-filled (again) – a little warmth to make the synthetic association with makeup a tad more “human”.
Lipstick Rose is pretty straightforward from here on, a drydown mingling the “lipstick” floral accord with a sweet musk and green-tinged amber. It is a simplistic but charming composition that I’d love to have a small bottle of, but I have Putain Des Palaces to do a similar job for me :)
Lipstick Rose 50ml EDP Frederic Malle – £100 Les Senteurs