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]
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:
Candy Perfume Boy
[perfume samples provided by Rouge Bunny Rouge for my consideration]