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Kimono Rose – Tender, feminine, and sensual – August 27, 2017

Pink silk and cream satin Kimono imported by Babani 1921,

Indianapolis Museum of Art, 18 Sept 2003 - Wikimedia Commons


If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that I have a thing about “those Italians”. You know, the ones responsible for  the architecture, the sculpture, the paintings, the furniture, the cars, the clothing, the movies, the operas, the wine, the shoes, the FOOD! All the beautiful stuff that we associate with elegant living, the Italians seem to have a special knack for creating it.

Add perfume to this list, too. Italians have been making perfume from ancient through modern times. According to Wikipedia “The art of perfumery prospered in Renaissance Italy, and in the 16th century, Italian refinements were taken to France by Catherine de' Medici's personal perfumer, Rene le Florentin. His laboratory was connected with her apartments by a secret passageway, so that no formulas could be stolen en route.” Aha! a little intrigue along with the art. Very Italian!

La Vaniglia is an example of a very Italian perfume. One a trio along with Kimono Rose and Notturno Fiorentina in the Le Voluttuose collection which was launched for women in 2010, it was created by Enzo Galardi of BOIS 1920, an Italian niche brand that was saved from extinction after Galardi inherited it from his grandfather and rebuilt it into a success story. BOIS 1920 now has over twenty fragrances in its offering and is sold through luxury retailers around the world.

The Italian words translate as The Voluptuous and La Vaniglia, which is all about the vanilla note, tells a seductive and voluptuous story as it unwinds slowly on the skin, from juicy and peppery, to boozy and creamy, to dark, smoky-soft and sexy. Read my post about La Vaniglia, “Good girls gone bad” and I guarantee you’ll want to try some.

As its name implies, Kimono Rose has a different kind of seductive power than La Vaniglia.  First, the importance of the Rose. As a symbol of beauty and true love, with the power to win and heal hearts, the rose is universal. In the perfume world, rose is the Queen of Florals. As the star player in a fragrance, the rose note can be anything she wants - powdery, lemony, spicy, woody, green, earthy, fruity, sweet, dank, romantic, sensual, seductive, bawdy, brooding, spiritual, otherworldly. In a supporting role, rose absolute creates richness and depth, and can make a fragrance feel like a tender caress, a passionate smooch, or a thousand lingering kisses.

Second, the meaning of Kimono. It connects to the ancient Geisha tradition, and tells us that this is a Japanese rose, soft and sensual, like the fluid touch of weightless silk on skin, luxurious, elegant, and achingly beautiful.

The opening of Kimono Rose has a similar juicy citrus accord as La Vaniglia, green bergamot but with mandarin orange not zesty tangerine, balanced with the tartness of black current and the unexpected musty-sweet of lychee juice. I’ve never smelled this unusual fruity accord before, it smells deliciously mouth watering, and leads directly into the heart of Bulgarian and Turkish rose absolute.

This is beautiful. I have the sensation of burying my face in a big bunch of fresh-cut roses, and breathing deeply the earthy spiced sweetness so perfectly blended with the airy vegetal scent of green leaves and cut stems, pollen, and dust from the garden. These are living roses, warmed by the sun. I can even hear bees buzzing. The distinctive rose note is not at all sweet, and is miles away from a traditional heavy “Rose” perfume, and I love it.

As the rosy heart of Kimono Rose dries down, lily-of-the-valley adds a delicate watery white floral note, which segues into the green woodiness of bamboo, and now I’m standing in a Japanese garden, imagining the faint scent of green tea wafting from a cedar tea house. The cedarwood note deepens as the scent dries down into the base, blending with patchouli and amber and the earthy rose into a rich warm scent that floats on skin for hours. It’s definitely sensual, but has a pure understated elegance that goes right to my core.

La Vaniglia is a big passionate smooch that can make good girls go bad. Kimono Rose is a like a tender caress and a lingering kiss, a Voluttuose that, like the flower in its name, has the power to heal, as well as steal, hearts.

Oh, those Italians!

Kimono Rose is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.