"The Muse" by Anne Kushnick
After over seven years of buying and writing about perfumes, we have an amazing selection of decants in our Decant store, any of which you can order and try for yourself. Here’s a niche fragrance that you may not be familiar with, although we’ve sold a lot of samples over the two years since I originally wrote about it. It’s called Muse by Rouge Bunny Rouge, and it continues to be one of my most favourite niche scents. I wore it today, a cold sunny winter day in Toronto, and enjoyed its gorgeous waft all day long. I fell in love again with Muse. Read on….
Originally posted as Muse – Falling in love - June 13, 2014
Rouge Bunny Rouge is a quirky name for a cosmetics company born in Moscow and raised in London. I discovered this niche line while trolling the beauty blogs. I loved the somewhat retro vision of Alexandra de Montfort, the creator and Artistic Director of the brand, described in detail on the Rouge Bunny Rouge website. She sees make-up as “intriguing and mysterious” transforming women “into whoever they want to be”. Also, she makes credible products – she’s dedicated to merging craftsmanship with technical prowess.
I met Alexandra de Montfort at the Elements Showcase in NYC in February 2014. She was there to introduce two new scents to her Fragrant Confections range, Allegria and Muse, among others. We talked for a while as she described the new scents, I can tell you that she is charming, very passionate about her perfumes, and extremely knowledgeable about fragrance in general.
Petite, quietly spoken, Alexandra explained that she set out to create her olfactory visions using the best quality standards in every aspect of the design process, from the noses she sourced for the individual scents, to the ingredients, the bottles, the graphics and the packaging. She also emphasized that it was very important to her that all the Rouge Bunny Rouge Eau de Parfums are phthalate-free, paraben-free and suitable for vegans.
The scents in Fragrant Confections and Provenance Tales represent “vapours of captured memories”. Both ranges were born in the “Enchanted Garden of her imagination”, and Fragrant Confections are the florals, truly beautiful and unusual florals. Muse is the one that captured my imagination.
Muse is dramatic. Created by Nathalie Lorson - Encre Noire for Lalique is one of her best – it’s been listed as a woody floral or a floral chypre, both of which are clumsy descriptions, because in fact the fragrance is a sensuous delight that slips in and out of the light, creating an intriguing aura as it unfolds over several hours.
The top notes are bergamot, freesia, gardenia and green leaves, so Muse opens bright with creamy florals with an undertone of earthy unripe greens. Then the jasmines join the crowd and everything changes.
Muse goes from light to dark and takes on a deeper tone, the scent thickening, becoming damp, even more earthy from moss, and then the jasmine indoles add a true animalic note. When mixed with the sweet labdanum and the musk and ambergris from the base, Muse for me, becomes almost hypnotic, with a dangerous edge. Resins from cedarwood and oud add woody leathery notes, which bring Muse back into the light, and when joined by the musks and soft florals, it transforms into a warm and comforting scent in the drydown.
I love Muse. The jasmine note can sometimes be like chalk on a blackboard for me, especially if a big dose of aldehydes is included. But, in Muse, Alexandra and Nathalie take the white florals, including Jasmin Absolute and Jasmin Sambac, and create a fragrance that feels very modern, yet other-worldly at the same time. Light and dark, earthy and heavenly, mysterious and familiar, Muse has an emotional pull that surprises me.
The bottle is gorgeous, too. A frosted cube with etched design, topped with smaller silver cube, it has real heft, like the scent inside. Alexandra gave me samples of several of her other scents. I can feel the love building.
Muse is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00 for 1 ml.