As I read the press release for Les Parfums de Rosine's Bulle de Rose — "rose bubble — I realized that very few perfumes have been inspired by bubbles, which is surprising, now that I think about it. Bubbles and fragrance can be described in similar terms: both are fragile, transparent, and ephemeral, shaped by a delicate dynamic between between liquid and vapor, temperature and pressure. Yet, apart from a few scents purporting to evoke bubble bath, there seem to be very few parallels between perfume and the airborne orbs of bubbles.
Now, however, we have Bulle de Rose, created for Les Parfums de Rosine by perfumer Serge de Oliveira. Bulle de Rose's composition includes top notes of bergamot, elemi and blackcurrant; heart notes of "soap accord," Turkish rose and tomato leaf; and base notes of cypriol, patchouli, ambroxan and sandalwood. And Rosine has committed to its theme with Bulle de Rose: the bottle's customary tassel has been replaced by a mesh pom-pom, and the box design surrounds the perfume's name in a circle rather than the usual diamond-shaped outline.
Bulle de Roses's press release describes that "soap accord" as a simulation of "the mythical Camay," which made me giggle — in my part of the world, at least, Camay is completely mundane and anything but mythical. Yes, there's a soapy note to Bulle de Rose, but it's not the whole story. Overall, I'd describe Bulle de Rose as a soapy-powdery rose with subtle shadings of violet and iris. It does start off feeling lively and almost "fresh," with hints of tart berry and citrus. It's not a fruity-floral composition after its initial phase, however: the heart of Bulle de Rose is all pink rose and white musk, with an intriguing anise note hovering around the edges. In its dry down, Bulle de Rose has a soft violet-iris base with some sheer sandalwood in the mix. This fragrance wears close to the skin and has longer-than-average staying power on me; you don't have to love rose to wear Bulle de Rose, but you might have to love fragrances that smell like fancy baby powder!
Bulle de Rose isn't the first powdery rose to enter the Rosine catalogue: we already have the fruity-pink Ballerina No. 1 and the heliotrope-heavy Rose des Neiges, neither of which could be confused with Bulle de Rose. (Yes, I realize we're getting deep into this sub-sub-category!) I've sneaked Bulle de Rose into my office routine by wearing just one or two light spritzes, but I'm enjoying it even more as an evening-at-home perfume when I can apply it more generously and curl up in some soft pajamas. And, since this winter promises many such evenings, Bulle de Rose is entering my fragrance wardrobe at just the right time.
Les Parfums de Rosine Bulle de Rose is available in 50 (€108) and 100 ml Eau de Parfum (€140 / $170); for buying information, see the listing for Les Parfums de Rosine under Perfume Houses.