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Rose Bohème – Dirty and divine – April 17, 2015

Image - Rose Boheme bottle - Providence Perfume Co.

The best thing about this perfume obsession is the element of surprise. I just can’t predict when I’ll feel the air suddenly sucked from my chest, or the rug snapped out from under my feet, or kaleidoscopic visions filling my head whenever I sniff something new, but when any one of those things happen I immediately know that I’ve connected with a very special scent.

It happened a couple of nights ago when I sniffed a single spritz from my new bottle of Rose Bohème from Providence Perfume Co., my favourite natural perfume line. I couldn’t breathe for a few seconds, and when I took my next sniffs I was paralyzed with anticipation. Whatever I was  smelling shocked me at first, but I intuitively knew it would dry down into pure unadulterated beauty. I’ve come to expect that from natural perfumer, Charna Ethier, the creator of Providence Perfume Co.

Rose Bohème opens with fresh damp earthy patchouli  which is soon joined by a jammy fir note, slightly pissy and unmistakably evergreen and woody. It forms an unusual accord, so intriguing because of the natural herbal patchouli note that hasn’t a hint of vintage or hippie about it and smells pure and real, mixed with the resinous green fir note, creating a scent that's off-kilter, unconventional, un-nerving. It smells louche and barnyard-y, and it’s perfection.

After five minutes or so the accord drifts into soft patchouli as the resins burn off, and it’s joined by oud, red tea (roiboos), and saffron - woody, sour and aromatic - another surprise mix that brings me from the barnyard into the stable, smelling of clean horse and fresh hay. So far Rose Bohème feels earthy and funky, and then the rose appears.

Rose, rose, and rose. Spicy, pure, velvety. Turkish rose, rare white rose, and rose petal infusion. Not sweet, just deep and dark, Rose Bohème goes straight to my heart, stirring feelings of melancholy and yearning. The rose and patchouli soon cleave together in perfect balance, so that the rich nectar of the rose notes and the earthiness of the patchouli make a warm, divinely elegant accord, framed by the woody oud and aromatic saffron.

It’s an accord that goes on and on, slowly softening with hints of honey, but never sweet or powdery, feeling cozy but vibrant right to the very end, many hours later. And because of this unusual perfect balance, this rich but un-sweet depth, I think Rose Bohème can easily be worn by women and men, regardless of their rose or patchouli note preferences.

In an interview with Michelyn Camen from CaFleureBon August 28, 2011, Charna says:

“I adore what I do, and love that I can express myself and my vision through scent.  I work independently to translate a memory, place or emotion into a scented snapshot. My most classically American scent is Rose Bohème. A nod to my bohemian parents, and a childhood filled with patchouli tamed with rich red rose and a touch of jammy green fir.  It's rich and big ...”

I adore what Charna does, too. In fact, I’ve bought and written about three of her fragrances - Moss Gown, Tabac Citron and Branch & Vine. I can’t stop myself from buying more and more of her fragrant natural perfume creations because I’m always surprised by her creativity.

Rose Bohème, Bohemian Rose, dirty, and divinely beautiful, is my new love.

Rose Bohème is currently OUT OF STOCK. Decants are $7.00 for 1 ml.