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Comme des Garçons’ Rose, which is one of five scents that made up the company’s brilliant 2001 Red series, always makes me think of Andy Warhol. The big, bright petals almost seem a parody of a rose, as if someone had over-drawn the edges in an attempt to turn a classic into a cartoon.
That isn’t a criticism though. Although it may not be my favourite rose fragrance, it is the most fun interpretation of the flower that I own. There is no darkness, no flickering incense or booze, and no prickling thorns (see Frederick Malle’s Une Rose if this is your bag) – brightest red is this flower’s only colour.
Rose is very nearly a soliflore (perfumes smelling of a singular flower) although there are many other notes listed including paprika, geranium, blueberry and pink pepper. The opening blast is juicy and a photorealistic portrait of a rose in bloom.
There is some hint of spice and as it wears on, the other note that you can clearly pick out is raspberry. There isn’t much more to it than that, it lasts all day on me and others will know that you’re rosy from a considerable distance. There is a sweetness to it but it is never overwhelming.
This isn’t necessarily a masculine rose, and more on that subject another time, but it is marketed as unisex as is everything the brand has made (Comme Man being the notable exception, I guess, although many women wear it) but I love wearing it on a cold gloomy day as it is cheering and full of life.
It isn’t as pretty as Jo Malone’s Red Roses, which is another straightforward rose scent, and maybe not as elegantly done, but it is more contemporary and versatile. You don’t have to be demure and dressed up to spray this on.
From Comme des Garçon’s halcyon years, Rose is a cloud of carefree summer blooms and berries.
Comme Des Garçons Red Series, Rose 75ml, £73