Sunday, September 08, 2013

Rouge Bunny Rouge- Embers, Silvan, Cynefin (Provenance Tales Perfume Collection)

Later this month Rouge Bunny Rouge will release a second fragrance collection, Provenance Tales. The three perfumes come in a black bottle that sets them apart from the first four Rouge Bunny Rouge perfumes in the white packaging. I have little to say of the original trio (Chatoyant, Lilt, and Vespers) because they bored me out of my ever-loving mind with their musky floralness, and I never got to try Incantation, which joined them earlier this year (this Best Things In Beauty review told me that it's more than likely not my thing). Thus, my expectation from Provenance Tales were pretty low, despite being a major fan of Rouge Bunny Rouge makeup (in fact, it's on my shortlist of desert island cosmetics brands).

[For a different perspective see more on Best Things In Beauty: Charleston Girl is my friend and evil scent twin, and she's very much in love with the original foursome- Incantation above, as well as Vespers, Chatoyant, and Lilt.]

Apparently, someone at RBR got my unsent memo and decide to up the game. Embers, Silvan, and Cynefin- the three Provenance Tales perfumes, have more character. The collection was inspired by the four elements: Fire, Water, Air and Earth (which makes me assume that a fourth fragrance will join this trio at some point); one can actually feel  these abstract ideas and the atmosphere they create. That said, there's still something about the base of Silvan and Cynefin that smells ubiquitous and synthetic.  Here's my impression after spending several days of quality time with these Rouge Bunny Rouge perfumes.

Embers (pink pepper, nutmeg, clove, incense, freesia, jasmine, labdanum, wood notes, peru balsam, styrax) is my favorite. It's hot hot hot: zesty spices, burnt incense, and a good whiff of smoke Embers is woody and somewhat dark; it sends little smoke rings into the air and has an air of mystery around it . There's enough sweetness to satisfy me, great longevity (12 hours), and a good ambery base that holds its own against other perfumes of the genre. It might not be very innovative, but I'd like to think that a Rouge Bunny Rouge makeup customer who will get a sample of Embers might find herself intrigued and curious enough to venture out of the safe floral zone (it's utterly gender-neutral, by the way).

Cynefin (artemisia, angelica, violet leaf, muguet, amber, wood notes, musk) is something I liked in theory, on a blotter, and during the first few minutes of wearing it. Afterwards, the fragrance falls apart on my skin to the point it's just a blur of green leaves and flowers that take a nose-dive into a musk and calone dry-down. Cynefin is supposed to be the most masculine in the bunch and represent the "air" element (or is it water?),  hence the violet leaf and ozonic notes. At its best, the perfume is like an open meadow in an alpine fantasy, but the skin reality is the worst reformulation of Grey Flannel.

Silvan (grapefruit, juniper berries, pepper, incense, gaiac wood, patchouli, cedar, musk) is an earthy little thing. I mostly smell incense with a side of patchouli; both are cleaned up and well-behaved, making them easy to wear and enjoy. The dry-down of Silvan more of the familiar Rouge Bunny rouge musk, but it's mostly saved by the foresty junipery incense that has some good persistence, especially if you spray yourself good and well. Tenacity isn't quite as impressive as Embers, but the relative lightness ensures that you will not be mistaken for a dirty hippie.

Rouge Bunny Rouge- Embers, Silvan, and Cynefin (Provenance Tales Perfume Collection) will be released in the upcoming weeks. The other Rouge Bunny Rouge perfumes are priced at $129 on, and I assume the price for these new ones will be similar. They'll also be available from The samples for this review were provided by the company's rep at the Elements Showcase in NYC.

Top image: Wonderland by the incomparable Kirsty Mitchell.

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