eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Friday, March 15, 2013

Moody Rouge: Exploring mood and perfume with Rouge Bunny Rouge Fragrant Confections [a group blog]

One of the things I love about the little blogging group I'm a part of is that when it's each of our turns to choose the theme for the given post, there's always room for personal interpretation of the task. The lovely Birgit (Olfactoria's Travels) chose the theme this quarter-- and loosely, the task equates to choosing perfumes to enhance (or change) a mood. To my mind, this is a huge part of how we perfume-obsessed folks are hard-wired. Fragrance is a tool we can use to self-diagnose and self-medicate: pile it on or pare it down, move laterally or in circles-- it's what sets the tone for the day or evening. I also utilize music and fashion in similar ways. Whether I choose to push forward into reality or perpetuate fantasy is another consideration, as my moods are apt to change on a dime, which is one reason why I need a large collection of perfumes. The other reasons I really can't justify with any kind of viable logic, unfortunately.

I've become completely charmed by Rouge Bunny Rouge's initial perfume trio, consisting of Vespers, Chatoyant and Lilt. They are like girls I know and love. They're models and they're beautiful and full of easy, unaffected quirkiness and prone to spontaneous fits of joy/anger/sadness-- whatever the drama du jour may bring. Each girl/fragrance is quite different from the next, but you really must meet them in a group. Rouge Bunny Rouge calls their fragrances "Fragrant Confections", and there is a very charming enchanted garden theme (an extensive one, which falls in line with the brand's already well-wrought whimsical vibe) attached to it. I must admit that my attention can only be held for a few seconds when it comes to the marketing back stories-- I'm just a straight-up juice hound. These fragrances speak for themselves, which is what everyone hopes for: the perfumer, the brand, and the wearer. The gorgeous artwork that accompanies each fragrance is one of the coolest aspects of the entire collection (see illustrations below).

Vespers is the most youthful of the trio. Innocence is its strongest force, backed by the kind of self-confidence that is inherent in only a few, and exhibited humbly in even fewer. This composition is largely based on muguet, rose and a tart pop of green apple. It's a bubbly, decidedly un-serious yet tenacious floral fragrance and has the appeal of freshly-scrubbed beauty. The drydown features a somewhat predictable combination of sandalwood, vanilla, cedarwood and musk, however, that rose and muguet combo will stick with you to the bitter end. Lovers of warm floral fragrance-lovers will want this one for spring and summer.
[perfumer: Sonia Constant]


What Vespers would wear

Lilt is the edgy, funny girl. Her fragrance brief might state that she would like something that technically is a perfume to be worn, but that it shouldn't necessarily smell like one. It should smell like fig leaves and twigs being crunched under a pair of Balenciaga studded combat boots. Insanely verdant, an overdose of all the things you liked best about Premier Figuer and Philosykos, but GREENER. Not a grain of sugar in sight, but definitely a wink and a smile. This girl reminds me of the graphic novel character Death, who is undeniably goth, but has a cheerful affect about her. She may be Death, but she appreciates what it means to live, breathe, love and steal moments filled with curiosity and reverence. Other notes include peach, cocoa, violet, vetiver and musk, but once you get a hit of that green GREEN stuff, you won't want to move past it. Once you do though, it becomes the sticky, ripe fruit that its verdant beginnings promised us. Weird, beautiful, unforgettable.
[perfumer: Shyamala Maisondieu]


Death-- from the comics & graphic novel by Neil Gaiman

The first time Rouge Bunny Rouge sent me samples, they had all leaked and there was nothing left in the atomizers. I smelled the remnants of one perfume more than the others, and whichever one it was, I needed more of it as soon as possible. Enter Chatoyant. Its opening is all sparkling citrus with a bit of pepper, and after about 10 seconds, everything starts to groove together. I love it when that happens. Enter a deceivingly light floral heart of orchid, jasmine, rose and muguet. The base consists of sandalwood, cedarwood, musk and vanilla. Pretty similar to Miss Vespers, don't you think? Chatoyant is a very different animal. Her sartorial style dictates that she strategically highlight at least one body part at all times-- she's Jessica Rabbit; she's Angelina Jolie in the black dress with the slit practically up to her hip. Chatoyant is sex, maybe too much of it, barely contained and concealed. The effect of each note rising up to meet the others is one of  sensory rapture- and experiencing the full effect of the drydown adds another element of complicated emotion to this hot mess of a girl you just can't stay away from. The journey ends with surprising warmth and wisdom.
[perfumer: Franc Deleamont]


Chatoyant brings to mind this vintage Schiaparelli Shocking ad

So now that you've gotten to know these distinct personalities and their many moods, it's worth mentioning that wearing all three fragrances at once DOES actually work quite well. That's because this is a very well-designed collection, and I wouldn't believe for a second that anything here was a happy accident. Major props go to RBR creative director Alexandra de Monfort and all three perfumers for making a memorable first collection. This brand is officially on my radar.

Each 50ml EDP bottle is $129 and is available in the US at Beautyhabit.com.
[I should also mention that I'm in love with my Rouge Bunny Rouge lip gloss and eye shadow as well-- highly recommended]

For more explorations of the connections we make between mood and fragrance, visit my partners-in-crime:
Fragrant Moments
Candy Perfume Boy

[perfume samples provided by Rouge Bunny Rouge for my consideration]


  1. What a beautifully written post!
    I'm very interested in these perfumes (and the lovely bottles!!!) and your review only encourages that.
    My mood is definitely lifted after reading this, Carrie! xo

    1. Thank you so much, Birgit! I was pleasantly surprised by these perfumes-- you know how it is with cosmetics companies-- I approached the fragrances cautiously. They're absolutely delightful.

  2. Love, love your approach to the topic of choice Carrie. I never heard of Rouge Bunny Rouge. Could a guy wear any of them?

    1. Thanks Barney! Lilt is totally unisex, and I think a lot of men who love green scents would really appreciate it. The other two are very much in the feminine realm.

  3. These sound good and for some reason I really like the sound of Lilt. Perhaps with all the cold and snow here I need a good dose of green. The wind is picking up and it even sounds cold out right now. Yeah, I need some green.

    1. Lilt is so gorgeous, I hope you get the chance to try it! Thanks for stopping by, Poodle. :)

  4. Hello Carrie

    In a surfeit of cheeriness despite the weather, I bring forward some more suggestions (in addition to the ones I've made elsewhere).

    After all The Dandy is a very cheery chap...

    Penhaligon's Hammam Bouquet for Edwardian oriental clean and gleam
    Grossmith's Saffron Rose - for the spice gold rush
    Estee Lauder Aromatics Elixir - for when I just want to please myself.

    Thanks for spreading the joy.

    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    1. Hmm, a "spice gold rush" sounds extremely appealing! I've been wearing Penhaligon's Lily & Spice lately, it always makes me think of spring and summer. Thankfully I've got a decent stash of the stuff since it's been discontinued.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Dandy!

  5. Thanks for bringing these to my attention, Carrie. I hadn't heard of them before. And I love the word 'Lilt' as a name for a perfume!

    A great read, as always.