Une Rose Chypree starts out very dense and almost suffocatingly spicy. There is a dark, ancient-smelling rose nestled in there somewhere but it takes a while to reveal itself.
When it does appear, it is a blessed relief and the sombre mood is lightened a little.I would never wear this in the warmer months but at Christmas or on a snowy day it may just ring your bell.
Longevity is good and sillage is reasonable.
I find this scent to be to serious and gloomy to be enjoyable.
I'm surprised that some people seem to think the rose is lost in this one. It's not at all, it just comes on after the initial burst of dark pinewoods, citrus and spice - it is very much like I'd imagine a Middle Eastern forest to smell. It stays dark and then the rose comes on very strong and oily. Finally, this starts to merge into a deep green patchouli accord. It's really quite amazing but this is one that ultimately I think I'd like to smell on a woman more than on me.
Two of the most important things I have learned from reading (our very own) Jtd Jtd's magnificent articles on the rose chypre genre on Scent Hurdle are as follows:
1. Rose chypres are like snowflakes. Although the basic DNA is the same for each, the genetic variations from one to another are infinite in their potential number, thus ensuring that no two are exactly alike. This happy truth is down to both the infinite variations in tone that we perceive as being rosy and the unlimited number of ways in which one can move the three legs of the chypre stool (bergamot, labdanum, and moss) around. The sheer range of possible combinations is mind-boggling and reminds one of those films where the bank robbers are horrified to find a safe with a five-number combination lock, whereupon a narrator or a character will helpfully remind us that there are two billion different possible combinations.
2. The traditional affiliation between the rose and patchouli has ensured that the rose chypre genre has survived and thrived better in this oakmoss-free, post-IFRA world better than other types of chypre.
Testing Une Rose Chypree by Tauer has helped me crystallize a few thoughts of my own. First of all, although the number of combinations between the different tones of rose and the different positioning of the main chypre accords means that while Une Rose Chypree does technically fit into the category of chypre (seeing as it contains bergamot, labdanum, and moss), it does not feel or smell like a chypre to me. That makes me think that a perfume can meet all the technical preconditions for being classified as a chypre and still not actually smell like a chypre. To me, the chypre accord is an undefinable but completely recognizable accord, like a heat signature imprinted into the fabric of the fragrance. It is an abstraction, sure, but it is as unmistakable when you come across it as feeling around in the dark and suddenly coming across the face of a loved one. Ah, there you are, my love. I would have known you anywhere.
Une Rose Chypree, therefore, contains oakmoss, but lacks the mossy bitterness that gives true chypres their backbone. Ironically, a fragrance like Chanels 31 Rue Cambon does not contain any moss at all, but still somehow manages to identify itself clearly, unmistakably, as a chypre. Therefore, we have come to a puzzling proposition: some nu-chypres smell more like chypres than true chypres with all three chypre legs correct and present.
Une Rose Chypree smells like a spicy oriental, almost a spice-soliflor (yes, we are making up terms now, and why not?) and is comfortably in the same family as Coco and Noir Epices by Malle. It is a citrus-rose pomander fragrance, resinous and dark, perfect for drawing your loved ones in for a kiss under the Christmas tree.
Ive always had a bit of difficulty with the top notes of Une Rose Chypree, because it felt to me that any rose is subsumed completely by the pungent spices, herbs, and lemon. But once I let go of my idea of Une Rose Chypree as a chypre and started to think of it as a spice/pomander fragrance, to my surprise, I started to appreciate it more.
The opening is thick with hot cinnamon and clove, hot-spicy with bay leaves, and throat-catchingly green with geranium. But it is also strangely fizzy and sherbet-y, in that Andy Tauer way, ensuring that the dark spiciness is shot through with some light. Cinnamon and lemon fight it out with a nascent rose, and the rose loses. In fact, I only smell a general rosiness later on, in the heart notes, and even then I can only perceive it in the sillage and not on the skin. No matter. I have started to enjoy this for what it is, rather than worrying about where all the chypre pieces are fitting in. The far drydown is characterized by a resinous, almost bitter labdanum accord. All in all, this is a seductive, dark, intriguing fragrance that I enjoy quite a lot. Once I've let go of my preconceptions of this as a chypre.
The name had me expecting a floral chypre with a rose heart, but thats not exactly what Im smelling here. Instead, Une Rose Chyprée is a dark, sweet, and spicy floral-oriental with an especially deep, jammy rose note at its core. It reminds me very much of Nahéma, of Amouages two rose-based Lyric scents, and by dint of conspicuous cinnamon (and clove?) notes, of Frederic Malles Noir Epices as well. Ill take the perfumers word for it that the basenotes include the chypre staples oakmoss and labdanum, but what I smell in there is mostly smoky vanillic amber.
Whether you consider Une Rose Chyprée a chypre or an oriental is of little account. What matters is the scents smoldering, crepuscular beauty. The attempt to describe its qualities sends me scurrying after new words for dark. Yet for all its profundity, there is a paradoxical clarity to Une Rose Chyprées structure. (A quality it again shares with Noir Epices.) In olfactory character it brings to mind the tolling of a deep, deep bell, or the entrancing velvety blue glow of the evening sky just before it goes completely black. I wouldnt wear it during the day, and certainly not in hot weather, but I think Id have to pay attention to any woman wearing this scent in my presence. Une Rose Chyprée joins LAir du Desert Marocain among my favorites from the Tauer line.
A rose so heavily bracketed by the spice and citrus at the top and the labdanum rich resinous base, that its actually not quite a rose anymore. The overwhelming impression I am left with is of something pleasurable, wearable, warm and dense but somewhat undifferentiated, once the notes have blended after the first few minutes. Leaning more heavily in the oriental direction and with good tenacity yet contained sillage, its not in the Tauer top ranks for me. The main drawback is the density everything seems so thoroughly blended that it misses an enlivening quality, slumping on the sofa rather than kicking its heels.