Friday, 15 August 2014

Persolaise Review: Rozy from Vero Profumo (Vero Kern; 2014)

Here's how you can tell that Vero Kern really loves perfume: the drydowns of all her creations - the epilogues of their existence - are always gorgeous. Like most die-hard scentusiasts - and, interestingly enough, like another grand-dame of the fragrance world, Patricia De Nicolaï - she understands that although the opening sections of a scent are important, it's the denouement, the pay-off, that really matters. This attention to the foundations of her olfactory work is in evidence once again in Rozy, the follow-up to 2012's much-loved green chypre, Mito.

As its name suggests, this is a resolutely crimson beast. Its soul is a rose, but it's unlike most of the wan ingenues who populate the genre. Here, the flower is defiant, gathering twigs and forest berries as it whips itself up into a show of assertiveness. Far removed from a pretty bloom contained in a vase, it is wild, tempestuous and impassioned, without ever becoming uncivilised. Like all of the other creations in the range, Rozy exists in two discernibly different formulations. The voile d'extrait - my personal favourite - begins its floral story with a purr of tuberose. But it doesn't display any of the ire characteristic of that material: its claws remain hidden. A flinty aspect appears too - shades of Onda's vetivert - which combines with animalic honey and the aforementioned berries to conjure nectar-filled petals crushed onto a rock of the shiniest black. It's a drydown reminiscent of the finest classic Guerlains: woody, balsamic and well-bred to the core.

The eau de parfum isn't quite as enchanting, partly because it plays up the fruity notes. True, its peach couldn't be further away from the garish, synthetic shrillness which passes for peach in air fresheners; it's so convincing, you can almost feel your teeth encountering the bitterness of the stone at the centre. But there's also a sicklier, sweeter facet - possibly the passion fruit cited in the notes - which renders the whole too bright and tawdry. It stops the rose from venturing out into the foreground, causing it to remain at a distance, its jaw clenched in consternation.

That said, both versions have a great deal to offer to fans of Kern's formidable work. It may not display the compelling strangeness of Onda, Mito and Rubj, or the irrepressible joie de vivre of Kiki, but Rozy is still a force to be reckoned with, especially in those moments when its redness takes on the heat and the urgency of arteries pumped full of blood.

[Review based on samples of voile d'extrait and eau de parfum provided by Vero Profumo and Bloom Perfumery in 2014.]


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