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Hippie Rose – A rose, not a hippie – July 19, 2013 New Fragrance Listing

Photo - Wikipedia - Hippie Bug - Mathias Deser, July 2007

I didn’t make a very good hippie. I tried the no make-up, long hair and headband look and wore the bell bottom jeans and tie-dyed T-shirts (custom dyed by me and my boyfriend in the basement laundry tub one night, with the aid of some excellent homegrown weed), but the whole peace-love-freedom stoner thing lost its appeal for me pretty fast after my California hippie cousin and his hippie girlfriend camped out on my pull-out the summer of 1968. Free-dom morphed into free-load….

A Canadian, my cousin didn’t want to be drafted, and needed to spend some time in Canada, which I philosophically agreed with - I mean who in their right mind wanted to go to Vietnam - but I soon learned that although he was the son of my favourite aunt, and a very nice guy, he was also a loser. A real loser. And his girlfriend? Tall and bikini-perfect, she was spoiled, self-absorbed, and had a very under-active brain. She was useless, but gorgeous, with lustrous long California corn-silk blonde hair, that she scented lightly with patchouli oil. She smelled really good, which, since I was already a perfume-lover, was the only thing that endeared her to me.

James Heeley’s 2011 fragrance, Hippie Rose has that same light patchouli note magically mixed with fresh rose, which is why I had to buy it. I have a big love for James Heeley’s scents. I think his Paris-based line is one of the best that current niche perfumery has to offer. Heeley’s artistic style exudes quiet confidence, creative artistry, cool refinement.  His scents speak contemporary chic, and are totally beautiful.  Read descriptions of Iris de Nuit, Cardinal, Sel Marin, Cuir Pleine Fleur in our Decant Store.

As James describes on his website, Hippie Rose is “The rising sun of a new, care-free day. A warm wind filtering through the Californian desert….. Freedom is not far. Against a rose coloured sky of dusk, we dream of love and peace and better days.”… the free wild music of Jim Morrison, the image of California girls like the actress Daria Halprin seem to have been some of his touchstones for this fragrance.

So Hippie Rose opens with a fresh accord of a new day, an accord of oak moss, bergamot and green notes, which likely includes musk because right way I detect that soft salty-skin undertone of musk mixed in with the citrusy mossy earthiness of the top-notes. In the first few minutes, it does smell earthy, like a garden with its coating of early morning dampness - this fresh accord is sitting on top of patchouli, lovely green-herbal natural patchouli, not dark-musty-sweet-heavy-head-shop patchouli. It all smells light and airy, and full of promise.

And then the rose starts to come up through the greens, clear and pure and spicy. I adore this kind of rose note – it’s a young fresh rose newly opened, with green leaves and soft thorns. No sweet powdery mature rose vibe. And this is the heart of Hippie Rose, this aromatic-realistic rose and the airy green-patchouli accord swirling together.

As Hippie Rose dries down, it warms up with more musk and amber, and a hint of smoky incense, so that the scent becomes slightly sweeter and definitely richer and deeper, the greens fading into a grassy vetiver, which floats on the heavier basenotes. The scent has lasting power and a light, persistent sillage that never overpowers, one of the hallmarks of James Heeley’s style.

I love this rose fragrance – and it is truly a rose rather than a patchouli scent. Heeley’s inspiration may have been from times gone by, but his creation is very modern, and very un-hippie-ish, despite its name.

Although, I have to admit, I have an overwhelming urge to try some in my hair.

Today, we’re adding Hippie Rose to our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00.