Lipstick Rose – Frederic Malle

Lipstick Rose

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

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8 thoughts on “Lipstick Rose – Frederic Malle

  1. lucasai says:

    On my skin Lipstick Rose had a strong make up vibe. Smelled like combination of lipstick, face powder and foundation. Funny scent.

  2. poodle says:

    I love that old time makeup smell. I haven’t tried this but I have sampled Putain de Palaces and I like it. It sounds like you find them rather similar. Does that mean I could just save some money and get the ELDO instead?

    • I find what they’re all about to be similar, rather than the smell. Putain Des Palaces does have that kind of make-up vibe, but then there’s the ginger up top and the base is a little rougher. Lipstick Rose smells more like the heart of Traversee Du Bosphore, with a touch of PdP in there :) That’s the best way I could put it. Oh and with a touch of Tauer’s Rose Vermeille.
      They are different fragrances, but yeh, the ELdO does the job that Lipstick Rose would do for me if that makes sense. I have a bottle of Putain and love it!

  3. Kafkaesque says:

    I had great difficulty with this one. On my skin, it was just enormous baby-powder, roses and violets — but they were all cloyingly synthetic notes. It gave me a migraine and the perfume was one of the rare few that I had to just scrub off. :( I think I might do better with the ELdO that you love so much. It’s on my list of things to try. :)

    • Really? No way, I find it pretty much, harmless? That sucks though :(
      Definitely try Putain, it’s not a mind blowing fragrance, or anything even particularly original, but I really love wearing it.
      I do love make-up/powdery smells though, before I got into niche fragrances, Vivienne Westwood’s Boudoir was my signature, for about 4 years? I adore it – and Putain is kind of like my new Boudoir.

  4. I like the concept of this fragrance. But I spritzed some on when I was in NY last year and it was just too too much and girly to boot… well at least too girly for me. Maybe I didn’t get it enough of a try, but there are plenty of other to move on to.

    • Hey Houndy! Have you tried any make-up/powdery fragrances that you like?
      Aw I don’t find it that girly with the vetiver and herbal notes in there – but I guess they are super subtle…
      There are plenty others definitely! :D

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