Rouge Assassins, "Killer Lipstic", from Jovoy Paris is a tribute to the women of the 1920s. It was a time of great social change which included the way women saw themselves, dressed, and behaved. It was also the era when some of the greatest perfumes appeared on the scene: Shalimar, Cuir de Russie, Emeraude and many others. It was the beginning of modern times and we tend to romanticize that period quite a bit, probably because of the striking aesthetics. Which brings us back to Jovoy and to Rouge Assassins, a seductive full-bodied fragrance that aims for vintage but to me smells quite modern.
Many people who tried Rouge Assassins find it very feminine (you can read Ron's review on Notable Scents). I have to say that other than that buttery iris-rose accord I really don't see it. Rouge Assassins obviously doesn't smell pink and not even very red. It's powdery but not excessively so. This is not Frederic Malle's Lipstick Rose, I promise. I mostly get a very beautiful woody oriental that leans heavily on a rich multifaceted musk (white musk and the slightly dirty ambrette seed). The wood notes (a mellow sandalwood fortified with cedar) are streamlined and elegant- nothing there is extreme or very loud, but the sum of all these parts is quite robust and rather sexy, though I still don't see it as gender specific.
I had the Husband test Rouge Assassin blindly on his own skin- I didn't even tell him that this was a Jovoy fragrance. His reaction was "nice". No va-va-voom, no excitement. Just "nice". He says that this is all musky base and almost nothing else. It's an interesting reaction, don't you think? I may have to spray him with some other iris and rose perfumes and see if he really burns through them so quickly.
Notes: bergamot, rose, elemi, solar accord, iris, rice bran, ambrette seed, Virginia cedar, white musk, sandalwood, vanilla, tonka bean, benzoin.
Jovoy Paris- Rouge Assassins ($180, 100ml EDP) is available from Luckyscent and Henri Bendel.
Photo of Tamara de Lempicka by Madame D'Ora, 1929.