I'm not sure if Rose Anonyme by Atelier Cologne would make my list of "Rose Perfumes For Anti-Rose People", but it's very very close. It's still quite rosy, in that leathery rose-oud way, but if I were pressed to choose one to wear for myself, Rose Anonyme could have been a serious contender (alongside Rose Oud from Parfums de Nicolai). Just like everything else Atelier Cologne do, this fragrance is so precise and well-balanced that it showcases even the most difficult notes and makes them palatable. But the reason I like Rose Anonyme so much is not the rose. It's all about the leather note.
Rose Antonyme opens with an almost boozy slightly gourmand spicy-citrus blast. There's rose in there, but I'm distracted by the bright and zesty feel. Not that it stays in the rose scented cocktail territory for long. There are other, darker things, lurking underneath, from a very polite and sheer incensy oud thing (chances are there's not one bit of real oud in there, but it's the impression of oud that counts). But then there's leather. Smooth, supple, well-worn but beautifully kept and conditioned. Floral leather, boozy leather, vanillic leather, patchoulied leather. And the sweet red rose sits on top of it all looking pretty.
Rose Anonyme has a polite but defined sillage and a highly satisfying longevity. It's the kind of perfume that you spritz once or twice in the morning, go about your day smelling like a million dollars, and perhaps refresh with half a spray before going out at night feeling utterly fabulous.
Notes: bergamot, ginger, rose, incense, oud, patchouli, papyrus, benzoin.
Atelier Cologne- Rose Anonyme ($80, 30ml EDP) is available at Luckyscent, select department stores, and Sephora.
Photo of Claudia Cardinale via Stirred, Straight Up, With a Twist.