A collaboration with film and fashion icon Chloë Sevigny, Little Flower is Régime des Fleurs’ provocative take on Sevigny’s favorite bloom — the rose. . . . Thérèse of Lisieux, a late 19th century French nun who died at the age of 24, was referred to as 'The Little Flower' and became the Catholic patron saint of flowers.
Well, if you were trying to come up with a fragrance that would sound irresistible to me, you couldn't do much better than that. I'm a life-long lover of rose perfumes and a former Catholic schoolgirl still deeply influenced by my religion's iconography. I've also been following Chloë Sevigny's work (and style) ever since her 1994 profile in The New Yorker, so I already know that she's a serious perfume fan who used to wear Comme des Garçons Rose. (Her scent-heritage also includes the Tea Rose she wore in elementary school and Benetton Colors after that; memories of her mother's Lanvin Arpège and Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche; and the encouragement of a perfume-collecting aunt.)
Sevigny consulted with Régime des Fleurs while Little Flower was being developed by perfumer Jérôme Epinette, and the result is a composition that includes notes of black tea, pomelo, blackcurrant bud, bleeding heart, peony, rose, honeysuckle and palo santo incense. (The surrealistic promotional images are the work of fashion photographers Inez & Vinoodh.)
Little Flower is definitely a rose perfume — specifically, a newly bloomed rose crowned with tart blackcurrant and sharp green leaves. It opens with the quickest hit of citrus and a smooth note of black tea that gives the composition a contemporary and androgynous feel, and then things definitely turn more flower-based. Little Flower's rosa damascena accord holds its own amongst the green and fruity notes, smelling fresh and "natural" while adding a dose of floral romance. The sheer incense and woods of the base are very tightly meshed with the rose and blackcurrant, supporting the fragrance's main theme rather than overtaking it.
After the first half-hour or so, Little Flower feels linear (but still well-balanced) and stays close to its wearer. It has average staying power; it lasts through most of a work-day on my skin. And it's turning out to be an addictive scent for me, so I've already decanted some fragrance from my bottle into a little roll-on that I can use to "refresh" before heading out for the evening.
Little Flower is smart and well-composed, and it does feel like a perfect accessory for Chloë Sevigny, whose downtown edge has always been balanced by her (acknowledged) suburban-preppy background and her appreciation for classic glamour. After all, she says she started collecting perfume bottles as a child because she was "obsessed with their design — the lady-ness of them."1 For the full experience of Little Flower, I recommend listening to the "sonic poem" that Chloë Sevigny recorded for Régime de Fleurs in 2016; you can find it here.
If you're a fan of Diptyque L'Ombre dans L'Eau, Les Parfums de Rosine Roseberry or Hermès Amazone Rose, you may appreciate Little Flower as a refined take on the blackcurrant-and-rose pairing. If you enjoy rose-and-tea blends like Vivienne Westwood Anglomania (discontinued, alas) or CB I Hate Perfume Tea/Rose and you're looking for something more flowery, or if you liked the cassis top note of Miu Miu Eau Rosée but would have preferred more rose, Little Flower might be calling your name.
A final comment: media coverage of Little Flower reassures us that this fragrance with a "granny-approved" rose theme is "a rose perfume you'll actually want to wear" due to its "cool girl spin."2 Will the (inaccurate) perception of rose as something fusty and dusty ever be put to rest? I thought we'd crossed that bridge with Stella in 2003; apparently not. Let's see whether Chloë can change a few minds. As for me, I've always been on her rose-loving team.
Régime des Fleurs Chloë Sevigny Little Flower is available as 100 ml Eau de Parfum ($205) via the Régime des Fleurs website.
1. "Chloe Sevigny Says Her New Perfume Is About Being a Lady, Not an 'It Girl.'" Los Angeles Magazine, August 23, 2019.