Launched in 2014, Épine Mortelle is part of the Back Label Collection from LM Parfums, the niche line founded by fashion designer Laurent Mazzone in 2011.
Épine Mortelle has a reputation for being a ‘challenging’ rose fragrance. For me, it’s a gorgeous rose fragrance that brings out some primal longing in me. I love it.
It opens dark, warm and spicy from pink pepper, black pepper, Sichuan pepper, bitter, earthy cumin and spicy-sweet nutmeg. The spiciness is tempered by licorice-like anise and angelica. The angelica is key here. It’s herbaceous, but also earthy and sweet with powdery aspects that give Épine Mortelle an unusual beauty. The earthy powderiness of angelica is carried into the heart by a note of violet, opening the way for the roses: the sensuous Damask rose and the opulent, creamy May Rose. These two complementary roses have honeyed, fruity, spicy aspects when combined that add dimension and depth to them. Simply put – they are better together. Blackcurrant adds a tart, sweetness that enhances the roses, making them darker and richer, while a note of mimosa adds a soft, vanilla-like sweetness that tips the fragrance into gourmand territory. Musk and vanilla at the base softens it so that the drydown is elegantly gourmand and, I think, very feminine. And, as an Extrait de Parfum of 20% perfume concentration, this juice has depth and staying power. No faded roses here.
The LM Parfums website describes Épine Mortelle like this:
"In the pursuit of the absolute essence of this dark, but comforting fragrance, I was walking inside this long and tortuous hedge maze.
I thought I was lost but these deadly thorns finally revealed themselves to me.
Suddenly, the absolute essence appeared from this angelic Rose."
Reading this now, I have to say that Épine Mortelle captures this beautifully.
As for being ‘challenging’, I find it complex, intriguing, unusual and straight-up beautiful.
If you love rose-based scents, there are hundreds of the out there, but not one of them is like Épine Mortelle.
Notes: pink pepper, black pepper, Sichuan pepper, cumin, nutmeg, anise, angelica, violet, Damask rose May rose, mimosa, blackcurrant, musk and vanilla.