Lipstick Rose has what people call presence. According to Frederic Malle’s official site, this perfume is “a rose note enhanced by violet, backdrop is musk and vanilla, with a hint of vetiver and amber.”
To me Lipstick Rose is this: dark, thick lipstick on the edge of a fine yet heavy crystal glass holding an expensive liquer. The opening is quite heady and sweet, candied violet confection. I found it slightly sickening, to be honest, and this is the first fragrance to which I can apply the word waxy. And the image that popped into my head was this: Joan Crawford.
After I’d worn Lipstick Rose for a few hours, it became more subdued. The vanilla still let out slightly liquory (liquor-like? liquorish?) fumes, but the rose note was more detectable to my nose than it had been for the first few hours. This is no fresh pastel bouquet in a silver vase; it's a florist's box full of thorny blood-red blossoms tossed carelessly atop the chaise longue by someone so used to being admired, she's started to take it for granted. The scent settled into this pattern for the rest of the day. I never detected even the slightest hint of vetiver. A scent could not be less sharp or green or earthy than this one. Lipstick Rose is the scent of elegant artifice, a glamorous mask that feigns indifference while underneath, it endlessly yearns to be noticed.
You can read a review of Lipstick Rose at Perfume-Smellin’ Things.
*photo from joancrawfordbest.com