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August 03, 2005

Fragrance review: Lipstick Rose Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle


I might be influenced by the description of the fragrance noting that Ralf Schwieger's aim was to create a scent conjuring a woman who is half Gilda, half Silvana Mangano, but every time I put it on I envision Mangano, a sultry voluptious Italian actress singing "Hay! Tengo ganas de bailar Un nuevo compas..." in her film from 1951 "Anna". Intended to imitate the old-fashioned scent of lipstick, Lipstick Rose (2000) is indeed a fragrance that makes me want to pull out my tube of Chanel Coco Red. The blend of roses and violets exudes a classic femininity and elegance. It is not a fragrance that is sultry in the sense of Guerlain Nahéma or Serge Lutens Tubéreuse Criminelle, however it is unmistakably an alluring scent. It is slightly powdery initially, however the powderiness lightens once vetiver lends its earthy note. Raspberry note is quite obvious in the drydown, and it saturates the base with a sweet glow. Lipstick Rose is hardly a modern take on a rose, however occasionally it strikes me that its vintage image borders on self-conscious.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Drôle de Rose (1996), provides a similar treatment of the rose, ornamenting it with violet and raspberry. Between these two, I would choose Lipstick Rose, because its richness makes the vintage reference quite appealing, whereas in the case of Drôle de Rose, the less voluptuous body leads to an overwhelming powdery sweetness.

Photo: Silvana Mangano (1921-1989), actress of Italy's neo-realistic period.



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