Rose Barbare is part of the L’Art et la Matière line, but it stands out, together with Cruel Gardènia as the only floral in the line. My favorites (Angelique Noire, Cuir Beluga and Tonka Imperiale are traditional Guerlainesque gourmand-orientals. Not so Rose Barbare. It is a rose chypre, characterized as “heady and incisive” by Guerlain.
In my opinion it is neither.
A soft, plush, dark and jammy rose it evokes the word delicious in my mind, and thus fits perfectly in the more gourmand direction of the others in the line.
Rose Barbare was created in 2005 by Francis Kurkdjian and includes notes of honey, rose and spices.
Rose Barbare opens spirited and lively, with a rose that is fresh and dewy. The spices are present, but very discrete and in the background. The longer it is on skin, the more prominent the base of honeyed patchouli becomes, darkening the rose petals. This rose morphs from pastel pink to deep fuchsia over time.
There are not many rose perfumes I love. Most of them are dark and heavily ornamented roses (Ta’if, Lyric, Mohur) no fresh, cute ones for me. Rose Barbare is not as dark and dense as those others, it is the freshest rose I have ever fallen for. If you want to compare, it is closest to another gourmand rose I have in my collection – Brulure de Rose by Parfumerie Générale.
It manages to walk the line between good cheer and thoughtful depth, between carefree sunshine and darkest night. It is a perfume of dusk and dawn, of the the times that bridge night and day.
A perfume that belongs to the space in between sleep and wakefulness. The place where dreams are still palpably near, but their colors are already fading. Where emotions are not yet entirely under rational dominion. A place very close to your true self.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
Prospero, The Tempest. W. Shakespeare
A perfume that makes me not only remember, but cite Shakespeare with abandon in front of toddlers, is by default considered a winner in my book.
What perfumes make you hear poetry in your head?