Rozy Voile d’Extrait has triggered so many images, thoughts and feelings in me, that at times this post may read more like the ramblings of a woman possessed than a straight-forward review. It has truly captured my imagination.
At a recent workshop, Vero Kern talked about the similarities between tattoos and perfume. How they are both linked to identification and how perfume, like a tattoo, goes onto and under the skin. Well, Rozy is a perfume that has gotten under my skin in more ways than one.
Vero also told us that she had wanted to create a rosy perfume rather than a rose perfume. This is worth bearing in mind because this is not a rose soliflore. While rose is central to the theme there is so much more to it. Rozy Voile d’Extrait is intense, multi-faceted and forever evolving. A rose unfurls slowly to expose its heart and so does Rozy. Each wear seems to reveal something new.
The Italian actress Anna Magnani, star of the 1955 film “The Rose Tattoo”, was the muse behind this new release from Vero Profumo. Magnani was described by Time magazine as “‘the most explosive emotional actress of her generation”. She had a genuine intensity and fearless honesty that captivated audiences and won her a Best Actress Oscar. With unconventional looks by Hollywood standards, it was the expressiveness and authenticity of her acting which set her apart.
The notes given for Rozy Voile d’Extrait are rose d’orient, tuberose, cassis, honey, spices, sandalwood and labdanum.
Cassis (blackcurrant) and melon first take over my skin with just a brief waft of camphor from the tuberose. This is the only time in its development that I’m aware of the tuberose and it works well at off-setting the ripe fruit. It is a bold and vibrant beginning to a long, rewarding trip.
How to describe the honey? It is unlike any honey note I have encountered before. It’s dark and and smoky with an oriental quality to it, as if laced liberally with incense and dusted with spice.
The deep, languid rose sits at the core of it all, pulling everything together through centrifugal force.
In the early stages the whole effect is hot and steamy, extremely close and almost airless. It’s overblown but never suffocates. It stays on just the right side of the tipping point.
The base depicts the she-wolf at rest. It reveals a downy soft underbelly of labdanum, vanilla and sandalwood, with just a little powder and a few twists of smoke. It is warm, seductive and sweetly balsamic.
This is not a perfume to be taken lightly or worn casually. Although it’s not the sillage bomb you might expect, you can’t just spray and forget about it. It’s incredibly potent and its longevity is unparalleled. To put it on your skin is to make a commitment. You let it identify itself with you and you with it, just like that rose tattoo.
If you’d prefer a perfume with a more stable personality, then try Rozy EDP. By comparison, the Voile is unrestrained and unrepentant. I love it all the more for that. It’s a very special perfume full of drama and presence.
On reflection I don’t see more darkness than light in Rozy Voile d’Extrait because it is so perfectly balanced. There is as much raucous laughter as there is fiery temper. Some have the impression that it is scary, but while it’s not a placid perfume by any means, I don’t find it unsettling either. It has too much vivacity and radiance for that.
“Whenever Magnani laughs or cries (which is often), it’s as if you’ve never seen anyone laugh or cry before: has laughter ever been so burstingly joyful or tears so shatteringly sad?”
- John DiLeo, Film Historian
It may not be relaxing to spend any length of time in the company of someone who expresses such extremes of emotion, but you will feel all the more alive for it.
In Rozy Voile d’Extrait, Vero Kern has found a unique way to present the rose in perfumery. It’s not natural and photorealistic, merely innocent or purely dark. She has eschewed the traditional rose stereotypes and gone for something entirely abstract and all encompassing.
Like people and the rose itself, Rozy Voile d’Extrait is full of contradictions but still feels cohesive. The flower has its velvety petals and its thorns, its vivid greenness and its earthy roots. In the same way, Rozy has its fruit and its smoke, its flowers and its spice, its honey and its resins. Vero reconciles all these elements, making them as one.
Nothing about it is superfluous. Immense time and thought has clearly gone into every nuance. Rozy Voile d’Extrait is a fully formed, vital personality with all its inherent complexity. Its character has a wild side, a sensual side, an irreverent side and a purring feline side. All are integral and all are embraced.
So often women fragment themselves or are fragmented by others. They are labelled “the homemaker”, “the career woman”, “the ingénue”, “the whore”, “the spinster”, “the femme fatale”, “the ice maiden” and so on.
For me, Rozy Voile d’Extrait integrates all these disparate archetypes and represents the woman as a whole. She refuses to be defined or confined.
This is female liberation reflected in perfume and it is breathtaking to behold.