Sunday, December 4, 2016

Ballet Inspired Perfumes: Les Parfums de Rosine Ballerina No.1, 2 & 3


Every year the week before Christmas one of our family traditions is to attend a performance of the Nutcracker Ballet. There is an order to the tradition. It starts with pre-theater fondue and champagne in the formal living room which gets used about five times a year, fire blazing and tree lights twinkling. Then in our dressy finery we go to the Bass Hall in downtown Fort Worth, the two trumpeting angels adorning the building setting the mood even before we enter. The atmosphere is festive with young children in their Christmas outfits getting photos with the Mouse King or Nutcracker beside the towering tree. Then the familiar music starts and we are immersed once again in the magical world of Clara and her cast of characters. This ballet, which was first performed in St. Peterburg in 1893 to rather tepid reviews, is now a mainstay in cities around America during the month of December.

Flickr Photo Lindz

Les Parfums de Rosine is a French perfume house founded in 1911 that didn't survive the harsh economic reality of the Great Depression. The house was revived in 1991 by Marie-Helene Rogeon, whose grandfather had worked with the original owner. The perfumes all feature a rose note and so far the house has created 37 variations. One of the newer introductions was in 2014 with the debut of Ballerina No. 1, followed in 2015 by Ballerina No. 2 and No. 3. The perfumes are meant to represent the three stages of a ballerina's life. No. 1 is the young student just learning the craft; No. 2 represents the maturing dancer as she becomes more polished; and finally No. 3 is the prima ballerina in her prime and at the top of her game.

Les Parfums de Rosine Ballerina No. 1 is a fruity floral but if you're not a fan of the genre don't be alarmed . Despite the achingly cute pink bottle bedecked in its own frothy tutu, this is a fruity floral designed with tight reins on both sweetness and fruitiness. It starts with a touch of innocent white rose, followed by notes of pear and peach. The fruit notes are mellow and smooth. I can smell the freesia if I put my wrist to my nose and inhale. Middle notes of rose, peony, and violet smell softly floral and the merest touch powdery. What is really interesting is the dry down where a milky note combines with musk, sandalwood, and vanilla. On my skin the vanilla is very mild and the milky note adds a creaminess to the sandalwood that is very appealing. This would be a perfect perfume for a young woman you're trying to introduce to finer perfume styles. I'm too old to be their target market but I wouldn't turn down a bottle if it came my way. It is a pretty, proper, and a happy fragrance.

Les Parfums de Roseine Ballerina No. 2 opens with a beautiful strong rose note. It smells extremely freshly picked and organic. As it settles the rose intensifies and a raspberry note gives it a jammy sweetness. This perfume is classified as a woody floral and there are a long list of notes:  bergamot, raspberry, and orange blossom in the opening; rose, magnolia, violet and iris in the mid range; and at the base sandalwood, patchouli, ambrette seeds, vanilla and amber. I'll be honest, for me it predominantly is a rose perfume although in the later stages I get a whiff of leather shoes scuffing the wooden practice floor.


Les Perfumes de Rosine Ballerina No. 3 represents the prima ballerina as a confident dancer with a stage presence. This rose is deeper and more multifaceted right from the beginning. Top notes are fuchsia flower, rosebuds, black pepper and pink pepper. The opening is much more opulent and deep than the other two perfumes. Mid notes are black rose and violet leaf. Base notes of sandalwood, oud, cashmeran, patchouli, cedarwood, carmalized vanilla and amber make this perfume even darker as time goes on. The patchouli is the first base note I smell, lending an earthy quality. Then the cashmeran, vanilla, and amber kick in and the perfume becomes slightly sweeter and denser like rosy hued amber.

All three perfumes are pretty. No. 1 and No. 2 are more feminine. I would say No. 3 is unisex. I was surprised how much I enjoyed wearing the girly Ballerina No. 1. No. 2 has a beautiful opening rose note, but after that it kind of fizzled for me. There was no real development on my skin. I most enjoyed wearing No. 3. In warm weather I found it  to be more fierce and demanding it's moment in the spotlight. In cold weather it softens to a more comforting rose cashmere on  my skin. In the United States www.beautyhabit.com carries these perfumes. You can also order directly from the company here. Their samples are called enchantillons. I ordered a full set about six years ago and it was one of the prettiest sample packs I've ever received from a perfume company.

Finally, here is one of my favorite moments from The Nutcracker, The Dance of the Snowflakes.


Top photo Google image. Second photo of Bass Hall from Flickr. You tube video is the New York City Ballet. Samples are my own from Beautyhabit.

2 comments :

Undina said...

I also bought some samples from the brand many-many years ago and since then even owned a couple of bottles. Recently I was eyeing the set again but they do not say online, which 12 from the range they'll include, so I do not pull the trigger yet but I might: I like the brand and would love to find one more perfume from them to like and add to my collection. And I like ballet... (it seems like I'm trying to talk myself into something :) )

Cynthia said...

Yes, the website is a little confusing. When I ordered my set it included all of them, but there are more than 12 now, so ??. I would write and ask them before ordering. I own Rose Praline from the brand, and like a few others. I think it was Rose Kashmiri I liked, and it was discontinued.