Smolderose fragrance notes

    • damask rose, bergamot, saffron, roasted seashells, frankincense, elderflower, patchouli, cade, agarwood, labdanum

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Latest Reviews of Smolderose

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Smolderose (the EDP version) is beautiful and arresting, but I have to admit straight up that I cannot smell the rose in it. What I smell is primarily the head-spinning fumes of a room where tins of black boot polish are stored, a smell that is tarry and (pleasantly) chemical rather than smoky.

I smell the lemony-minty green sting of geranium in a minor key, which is a rosy note, I guess, as well as the leathery undertone of choya nakh (roasted seashells), a distillate used in very careful doses in traditional Indian attar perfumery to add a marine-leathery tone. Choya nakh is also used by Mandy Aftel to give Tango its smoky, skanky-leather undertone, and indeed, there is a somewhat similar tarry boot-rubber effect in that perfume too.

But, for me, that almost benzene-like honk of black boot polish is what prevails. This seething, fizzing, gaseous miasma of fumes joins with the scent of our old Calor Gas heater, whose electric bars, when heated up, emitted an addictive aroma of heated electrical cogs and springs. I have a fondness for this accord, which I smell also in Gris Clair (Serge Lutens), because it seems to occupy a physical space in the air, charging the oxygen particles with ions and static electricity. I should mention that Smolderose takes up such a firm physical presence in the air that my head swims if I inhale too deeply.

Some may be offended that I don't pick up on the charred rose or the other multi-layered complexities that I'm sure are actually there, in the fabric of the scent. But what I smell works for me anyway. If you, like me, loved the cozy smells of the school supplies closet, with its vaporous, almost intoxicating fumes of glue, polish, paper, ink, and other chemicals, or have experienced the particularly Irish childhood experience of hugging the Calor Gas heater until it heated up enough to thaw your frozen limbs, then perhaps Smolderose EDP will strike a memory chord for you too.
17th August 2020
A very interesting and unique take on rose. I haven't smelled anything like it. There is rose all the way, but paired with what smells like gasoline to me. Not oud or wood, but more like gasoline from a petrol station. There are other notes of course, likely resins and florals and even sea shell is mentioned in the notes pyramid above.

It is an intriguing fragrance. I like it, but because of its uniqueness I suspect one might get bored with it after some time. Although it is a rose-focused scent, it leans more masculine in my opinion.
28th August 2018

A bright blast of citrus. It sparkles. The rose seems to change its character throughout the top, heart, and the base - from spicy sweet, honeyed, then earthy. I get a smoky, sugary wood vibe from time to time. This has an incense-y, patchouli base that goes on and on. Overall I love this stuff. I'm a huge fan of rose perfumes. And, this one is different from all I own. A decant of this will be in order one day.
5th August 2018
Opens bittersweet, smoky-oily and jarringly chemical, pretty much like a noxious petrol spill. It settles quickly enough to reveal a drier a little less unpleasant but no less weird melange of fruity/smoky notes that reminds me of cheap shampoos.

I'm disappointed. I've heard wonderful things about Smolderose and had looked forward to sampling it. I love rose scents and I'm familiar with rose-oud combos but this oddball is definitely not one of them. I don't smell any rose of any known genre or subspecies here either.

Maybe I'm hyperosmic to the ‘fruity floral shampoo' note but IMO it has no business being here. In any case the ‘petrol fumes' introduction to rose & resins has been done before and with much greater finesse in Histoires de Parfums Rosam. It makes this effort by January Scent Project seems amateurish in comparison.

Ultimately it boils down to the scent. I didn't enjoy it, couldn't scrub it off soon enough. And that's why I'm giving it a ‘THUMBS DOWN'.

4th June 2018
Smolderose is a delicious jammy and smoky rose. It is mysterious and alluring. Gypsy rose! Esmeralda. Add some incense smoke, olibanum, patchouli and wow, mind blowing. Perfect for Fall days. Excellent work by John Biebel.
30th March 2018
A beautiful Rose and an unusual and novel way presenting it. In structure it is reminiscent of Dusita Oud Infini using the Bouquet of the Sea, rather than the Deer Musk. This has an effect of having the Rose as a Star rather than the Star and from a background of animalic.
Agarwood presents itself much the way of
Heeley's Agarwoud.
Is it the Cade and Labdanum working together to produce a gentle Smokey, Petrol, Leathery tilt?
Bergamot and Frankincense provide an acidic, slicing Pepper to counter to the sugars.
Not your average Rose Oud.
Now, laying down a layer of the Oil on my skin, I first meet an impression which is.
Working all day splitting Springs, wrapping in Cedar boughs, laying against the bonfire. A trinity perfume of: the Sea, the Forest and the Burn.
Anyone who has nosed a number of, particularly Moroccan, Damask Absolutes, will recognize the opening Spiciness and Fire.
Biebel highlights the Natural Smokiness of this nectar and expands upon it, just enough to have me recognize "Of Course", the Smoke.
The Rosiness whispers around the edges and with Absolutes the Rose comes into focus.
With John's creation he has managed to present a fuzzy Static Picture of the Rose's olfactory development.
For me, that is Art. I, will wear this, often.

Another beautiful and stunning, John Biebel Masterpiece.
10th March 2018
Show all 8 Reviews of Smolderose by January Scent Project