How quickly they grow up! It seems like yesterday I was trying out Les Parfums de Rosine's "tender and innocent" Ballerina No. 1 and now we're already up to the "shimmering and rich" Ballerina No. 5. Like other Ballerinas in this series, No. 5 was inspired by a specific ballet — in this case, La Bayadère, which made its debut in 1877 with music by Leonard Minkus and choreography by Marius Petipa. La Bayadère is an opulent but tragic tale of a romance between a beautiful bayadère (temple dancer) and a warrior.
La Bayadère's passion-fueled plot and its Indian location help to set the scene for this rose-centered perfume. Ballerina No. 5 was developed for Les Parfums de Rosine by perfumer Delphine Lebeau and in addition to rose, its composition includes top notes of tangerine, fig and orange blossom; heart notes of crystallized violet, lychee, almond blossom and heliotrope; and base notes of benzoin, tonka bean, patchouli, cedar and gaïac wood.
Rosine describes Ballerina No. 5 as a floriental but I'd call it a fleurmand: it's a floral-inspired fragrance with a strong gourmand influence. It starts off with a burst of juicy tangerine and then lots of bright, jammy rose with something vanillic underneath. If you like rose-petal preserves or rose-flavored lokum confectionery, or you're a fan of Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel, Ballerina No. 5 will make you want to dance. (Sorry!) I adore Rose Jam but I haven't had much luck with its matching perfume or body spray, both of which turn thin and a little harsh on my skin. Ballerina No. 5, however, feels rounded and "shiny" throughout its fruity introduction and candied-floral heart. There's something a little sharper later in its evolution, when some of its resin notes emerge. But its base turns smoother again, with the sweetness of tonka and benzoin playing off some low-key wood and musk notes for an amber-y effect. Plus, there are still lingering hints of full-blown rose.
Overall, Ballerina No. 5 might be able to secure a spot in my "Rosine Top 5." It has moderate sillage and longevity for an Eau de Parfum and I was able to wear it to the office when I applied it lightly, although its mood feels more festive and appropriate for a party or an outing with friends. It's a well-timed launch for the holiday season. I don't know much about classical ballet and I haven't attended a dance performance in a while, but Ballerina No. 5 makes me want to point my toes and smile.
Les Parfums de Rosine Ballerina No. 5 is available as 50 ml (€108) and 100 ml (€140) Eau de Parfum. For purchasing information, see the listing for Les Parfums de Rosine under Perfume Houses.
Some good related reading: Kevin's post about making actual rose jam!
Note: top image is detail from Rosa ‘Ballerina’, PAN Botanical Garden in Warsaw, Poland via Wikimedia Commons.