Lipstick Of Independence – Review: Edition de Parfums Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose

I am quite good at matching people to perfumes, if I may say so myself. But I am astonishingly bad at knowing what I will like and what I will hate. This is a bit embarrassing for someone who spent a fortune on therapy, where you supposedly get to know yourself better, and also for someone who blogs about perfume.

But what can I say, this inability to divine my likes and dislikes in advance, make for surprising and interesting encounters. I have often heard from other bloggers and perfume friends that my taste is hard to determine. Well, that is probably because I have none. 😉

Or rather – my taste is all over the place and furthermore, it is highly susceptible to change.

So, would you like to hear what this fickle perfume lover discovered lately?

Lipstick Rose was created by Ralf Schwieger in 2000, and includes notes of rose, violet, musk, vanilla, vetiver, and amber.

I love Malle and many of the perfumes in his line. En Passant was my very first niche love, closely followed by L’Eau d’Hiver and Bigarade Concentrée. Over time I explored the line and had samples of all of them at one point.

I had my faves, and there were the shunned ones. Lipstick Rose was definitely a shunned one. Why? I have no idea.

A few weeks ago, I was at the boutique in Vienna that sells Malle perfumes, and – for the sake of thoroughness, nothing else really – I applied Lipstick Rose on my hand. and to my utter astonishment, I immediately fell in love. That is not really grounds for excitement yet, since I tend to do that often and fall out of love just as quickly, but with Lipstick Rose, I remained enamored.

Many lovers and haters of this perfume alike are reminded of pinups, frivolity and general lighthearted feelings associated with blonde hair and lipstick. I think that is underestimating Lipstick Rose.

To me the combination of violet and rose, undeniably retro, undeniably associated with cosmetics in our minds, is something very grown up and elegant. I was expressly forbidden to wear lipstick or any other make up as a teenager. Feeling pretty, being feminine, God forbid even desirable, was a big no-no. That restriction directly resulted in a rebel phase in my twenties when I accumulated lipsticks like there was no tomorrow.

When I apply Lipstick Rose now, it is not carefree and fun, but rather daring and a deliberate gesture of independence.

Lipstick Rose is strong, powerful – in sillage and wear time as well as in character and it delivers a message that only I can hear: You made it. You are your own boss now, and if you want to show the world how pretty you can be, you just do it.

Nothing frivolous about that.

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47 Responses to Lipstick Of Independence – Review: Edition de Parfums Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose

  1. Alexandra says:

    Lipstick Rose was my first niche perfume, and it still something of the odd one out in my collection. I am a traditional brunette who would rather channel Sophie Loren than Marilyn; at work I tend to live in black and navy blue (with the odd slash of scarlet to cheer me up), and at home you would be hard pushed to get me out of jeans. Lipstick Rose flies in the face of all of that thus the reason it works for me. It’s the perfume equivalent of a sharp business suit hiding expensive French silk underwear, and I love it!

  2. Sandra says:

    I loved your review of one of my favorite perfumes. I love violet in perfumes and was surprised of how much I liked this one. You and Alexandra above describe it perfectly.

  3. masha7 says:

    I’m curious, did you take the online quiz on the Malle site and did they send you samples of the two perfumes they thought would fit you best? I was sent Noir Epices for “everyday wear” and Iris Poudre for “evenings out”. Love them both, though the IP is a little powerful for me! Must try Lipstick Rose.

  4. Tara says:

    I think it’s great that your taste in perfume is so broad and you never rule anything out completely.

    Vanessa very kindly sent me the last of her sample of LR but the waxy note in the opening threw me rather. Of course, that is the whole point of the smell of a vintage lipstick, so I won’t give up yet. Especially as you love it so much.

    Maybe you will learn to love Portrait of a Lady next, like me … 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      The first fifteen times I smelled it I was rolling my eyes and hating it. Then it clicked… 🙂

      Portrait is beautiful but I get a headache almost every time, so I am rather wary of it by now. 😦

  5. Melina says:

    love this post!! i haven’t had the pleasure of trying “lipstick rose”, as the frederic malle collection is not available in argentina (though i often make blind purchases through kind-hearted friends who travel abroad, i’m afraid to risk such an expensive blind buy…but i just know there is a frederic malle that is perfect for me! masha7, i am going to take that quiz! :)) …anyway, i had the same experience growing up, i dreamed of glamour and in an alternate universe would have been rita hayworth. as soon as i had my own money (independence), i started buying dior, guerlain and clinique lipsticks (chanel – which recently opened in argentina – is next on my list) and i wear reds, pinks and fucsias everyday, even to work! it just feels “me” and i don’t care what anyone else thinks about it (people here are quite conservative in that respect)…through lip color and wonderful perfumes is how i let my inner diva (repressed for so long) manifest 😀 much love and thanks for your always-inspiring writing, birgit!

  6. Vanessa says:

    I love your take on this scent, and how it is significant to you. Quite an apt choice for Valentine’s Day as well, with it being a rose perfume and quite glamorous in its retro starlet kind of way.

    I can confirm that you are excellent at picking out scents for other people (!) and also that your taste is all over the place, hehe! Mine is fickle too, but within narrower limits to start with, : – )

    You have a textbook perfect mouth, all the better to show lipsticks off to their best advantage. And you have some fine ones in your collection, as with your perfume bottles! In short, you, lipsticks, and Lipstick Rose were all clearly meant for one another…

  7. Suzanne says:

    Birgit, wow, you weren’t allowed to wear makeup as a teenager? I can see why this fragrance is such a declaration of independence to you. I wasn’t expecting this to be a revealing post, but it is.

    I love Lipstick Rose so much. For me, it’s girly-sexy but with that wonderful retro vibe, such that it feels glamorous too. I used up my travel-vial ages ago, so have been living on samples. Must fix that at some point when I’m feeling flush.

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you. Are you and your sweet husband doing anything special?

    • Olfactoria says:

      Happy Valentine’s Day to you too! We are doing nothing tonight (husband is working late) but we will have a nice breakfast tomorrow morning.

      I did wear make up as a teenager, although not officially. I was very good at stealth application. 😉 The issue was an ongoing fight with my mom, until I moved away for college.

  8. deeHowe says:

    Happy Valentine’s day! LR is a great choice for today 🙂

    Violet/Rose scents are beginning to appeal to me: CItizen Queen (oil), and Putain des Palaces both give me delight in wearing, but I haven’t explored much outside of them. I have a sample of SSS To Dream, which I’ve only given the most cursory test (I need to remedy this, stat!), and I’ll have to dig around to see if I have an unsniffed sample of Lipstick Rose somewhere…

    I love the “cosmetic” vibe from New Look, and in Love, Chloe, but I’m not sure about the specifically waxy lipstick note; further research is called for!!!

  9. Alexis says:

    I have tried this perfume many times because I always loved the scent of Chanel lipsticks, that classic light rose scent. This is the closest I can get to replicate that, unfortunately the mix of violet and rose doesn’t bode well on me. I think it’s too sweet. I’m not giving up hope just yet. Maybe I need to keep my sample on reserve for date nights or just when I need an extra boost of femininity. It is a pretty scent, there’s not denying that and that’s why I’m not giving up just yet!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I can see how LR can turn very sweet on some people. As I said to Dee above, a “tamer” rose-violet I love very much, is SSS Lieu de Reves. Maybe this could be a better fit for you.

  10. I really enjoyed this review and your take on Lipstick Rose. I can’t tell you how many times I have shunned a fragrance only to find out that I love it later. It’s annoying isn’t it?

    As for LR, well I certainly don’t love it (as you know), but after about four hours I do enjoy the rose/violet in the dry down.

    Your little travel spray will be on its way very shortly I promise!!! 😀

    • Olfactoria says:

      It is annoying, especially if you give away the samples. 😉

      Please keep the LR travel spray for yourself, you might need it eventually! I think I will get a bottle soon anyway… But thanks so much for offering! xoxo

  11. Georgy says:

    B! Let me reassure you, although I as well have spent some time in therapy 🙂 , I often don’t known what I want. Or whats good for me, but I certainly know what’s best for other people…….lipstick rose sounds like a perfect valentine’s day scent

    • Olfactoria says:

      Yeah, yeah, not everything is perfect after therapy… 😉

      LR is indeed a great Valentine’s Day fragrance. Did you get samples of the Malles at Pure Day Spa? They are very nice and generous with samples, if they have them available.

  12. Natalie says:

    Happy valentine’s day! Lipstick Rose is perfect for today, I think. (As others have said) And I really like that it strikes you as independent and strong. I agree, it is no namby pamby cosmetic rose! It is actually one of my favorite of the Malles, and one that I knew from reading about that I would like. That’s rare, but it does happen sometimes. 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      To you too, Nat! I hope you had a lovely day! 🙂

      Sometimes I have such an experience as well, I read about a perfume and just know that it is a perfect fit.
      Lipstick Rose fits you perfectly from what I imagine how you are and look like.

  13. Warum says:

    I also have quite a surprising taste in perfume, cannot guess what I will and won’t like, and the more I learn about myself, the less I know 🙂

    I do love Lipstick Rose too and I have both carefree phases with it and more assured ones. Maybe these two for me are more similar than not 🙂

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  22. I went to the Frederic Malle counter at Liberty here in London, and I told them what I usually wear – Coco by Chanel, Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford and Dolce and Gabbana’s The One. All were gifts: the first from a boyfriend, then a gay best friend, and lastly a best friend. Ultra feminine, sweet fragrances that get under your skin – they all know me well. I was ready for something to mark a new beginning – I’ve just begun a new job as a doctor. When the sales assistant pulled out Musc Ravageur, I understood where she was coming from, but this wasn’t something I could wear every day. For evening, but not at work – I knew I’d feel overdone, inappropriate in the hospital. Then, Lipstick Rose? It seemed so frivolous. But all day I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It’s like having a perfect bouncing curl at the bottom of your ponytail all day. It evokes bittersweet memories of my mother, rolling up the deep plum Lancôme lipstick she’d always wear. Despite my oftentimes steely, intimidating armour that I must wear at work, it belies comfort, glamour, warmth, beauty and nostalgia. It tells my secret. Isn’t that what a fragrance should do?

    • Olfactoria says:

      It should!!! Thank you for sharing that beautiful story. I’m glad you found a perfume that gives you the opportunity to save a little bit of your softer side despite the daily need for a professional suit of armour.

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  24. allgirlmafia says:

    Love this review : )

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