Tuesday, October 17, 2006

L’Artisan Drôle de Rose

Drôle de Rose means "special rose," according to L'Artisan, but really, I think there's something else going on here. Drôle can mean funny or amusing or peculiar, all depending on context, but it can also mean whimsical. Whimsical rose.

Whimsy, often considered a feminine trait, may mean fanciful, or it may mean prone to sudden change. Ah yes, that's our rose. Prone to change she is, depending on her surroundings. Plop her down in the middle of violet, musk, vetiver, vanilla, and amber, and you get Lipstick Rose, that waxy dark specimen who hurls Baccarat crystal when she's angry and eats her men for breakfast.

Let her cozy up with violet and iris powder, and see how soft she can be, how well she plays with others, like a kitten holding her nails back so as not to scratch. For this is only play, after all. We're amusing ourselves here.

If Lipstick Rose is Joan Crawford, then Drôle de Rose is Scarlett O'Hara. When she wants something, when she's the absolute center of attention, she's the ultimate feminine specimen, soft and flirtatious. She's powdered decolletage and wide-brimmed hats and fans.

But upon closer inspection, realize the kitten is really a cat, and the cat has claws. And on a whim, that soft violet can turn waxy and a bit hard, that soft whisper becomes a shout, and you realize that soft powder masks a boozy vanillic note you didn't detect before.

Truly, Drôle de Rose to me is Lipstick Rose without its edge. The rose and violet are beautifully subdued into a lush powder, but I can't help knowing what else it is they're capable of.

(I find it odd that the L'Artisan site, although it distinctly says this is a "concealed powdered rose with freshly picked violets," lists the notes as orange blossom, rose, and iris powder. As a serious lover of orange blossom, I must say, I don't detect any here. Orange blossom would make for a decidedly lighter rose scent, with a bit of sparkle, even with iris to calm it.)

*photos: top and last from Yahoo; middle from movieweb.com