Voleur De Roses opens with a sharp hit of metallic, camphorous patchouli in the style of the recent Mon Parfum Cherie Par Camille. The metallic edge takes it away from the plush, cosy quality of Lutens’ camphorous opening in Borneo, and whilst the high pitch could be considered uncomfortable, the other leading notes help to take it down a level.
The rose is fresh and wet. Paired with the patchouli the freshness is pulled from the earth, adding a slightly dirty edge, whilst the “wet” I describe – is a literal translucent veil of water. There is a fresh rainwater note, gathering in a shallow puddle above the entire composition – it is not aquatic, salty, ozonic or marine, instead it is more reminiscent of the slightly soiled water in a vase of flowers.
A dusting a bright pollen, scatters across the now quieter patchouli, whilst the metallic edge dilutes under the rainwater. At this point, both the rose and patchouli are balanced enough for a purple, fruit note of plum to come into focus. The fruit appears as a facet of the rose, and that’s what I thought it was all along, until I read that the plum note is individual. Once I read this, I now see it almost as the centre point of the heart of Voleur De Roses. I smell it as though it is wedged in between the patchouli and the rose – three standalone notes, almost gothic when combined. They are brooding and intense, with the still present metallic note acting like the chains tying them together, but with a light-handed touch reminiscent of cold incense.
It remains translucent, the initial bracing dew of the fresh-out-the-earth rose drips from the top into the heart, it almost makes my mouth water! This water and pollen nectar create the naturalistic sweetness needed to calm the down the ugly aspects of the soil-filled rose and the mineral twang of metal running through the patchouli.
The simplistic but beautifully balanced composition becomes quiet on the skin, staying close but with an almost shadowed presence – it’s dark and mysterious, but with the fresh rainfall quality keeping it on the more summery side of seasonal wear. I do see Voleur De Roses as ideal for summer – it has a damp, crispness soaking your skin from the wet rose petals, the sodden patchouli and cool metallic edge, and the juiciness of a bright plum, all atmospherically composed to feel open and ethereal. An uncomplicated but elegant fragrance.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Voleur De Roses 100ml EDT – £78 artisanparfumeur.com