L’eau de Emblem Rouge by EnVoyage Perfumes


Dabney Rose, creator of artisanal flower waters, is the woman behind one of my favorite face treats, which is loving called Pretty Face Spray. Dabney distills organic and wildcrafted flowers- many of which are grown in her own garden- into beautiful hydrosols which retain the plants’ nutrients and subtle scent. Pretty Face is one of my favorites since it contains the hydrosols of camelia, rose, green tea, evening primrose and tuberose.

It’s only been in the past few years that I have become a regular user of hydrosols which are different than toners. While some toners do have hydrosols in their formulas, they are more astringent than hydrosols which act more like “softeners”, preparing the skin for a moisturizer or providing a refreshing mist in the middle of the day. I also spray hydrosols on my foundation brush after dipping it in mineral makeup to give some extra hydration. I find this helps impart a more satiny finish and decreases the chance of the powder becoming chalky.

When I received word that Dabney had collaborated with Shelley Waddington of EnVoyage Perfumes to create a hydrosol from her newest perfume, my interest was more than piqued. I was intrigued that L’eau de Emblem Rouge is a flower water distilled with L’Emblem Rouge the perfume. But if you’re like me, I was having a hard time wrapping my brain around the perfume-hydrosol hybrid, so I wrote Dabney for clarification.

She explained that she began the process of L’eau de Emblem Rouge with Bourbon roses which are known for their lush and fruity scent. Along with the fresh roses, she also used Bourbon rose water that had been previously distilled, which is called double-distillation allowing for a stronger rosy fragrance. Once the water, Bourbon roses and Bourbon rose water were steaming, Dabney added L’Emblem Rouge on top of the distilling rose petals and let the magic unfurl.

The resulting flower water is extraordinary. Its sweet scent is rose happiness with a gentle measure of sandalwood and benzoin. But remember, this is not a perfume so the fragrance of L’eau de Emblem Rouge is meant to be light and ephemeral, which is how I prefer hydrosols. As a “softener” L’eau de Emblem Rouge feels nourishing, comforting and does a terrific job at prepping the skin for a moisturizer whether it be cream or oil.

The notes for L’Emblem Rouge are listed below and a lifetime gift of five percent of all L’Emblem Rouge proceeds are donated to Broadway Cares, a leading  nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organization.

Top Notes: Cassie, Mace, Cinnamon, Bitter Orange, Juicy Grapefruit, Green Pepper, Iranian galbanum, Violet, and Cistus

Heart Notes: Iranian Rose Otto, Ylang-Ylang, Heliotrope, French Jasmine sambac, Violet, and Honey

Base Notes: Guaiacwood, Sandalwood, Copaiba, Vetiver, Cedarwood Virginia, Tolu Balsam, Benzoin Siam, Tonka, Vanilla and Ambergris.

I have my own collaboration going on today with Carrie Meredith of eyeliner on a cat. Please head over to her blog for a full review of the perfume, L’Emblem Rouge. She and I are hosting giveaways for a mini roll-on of L’Emblem Rouge edp and a mini spray flacon of L’Eau de Emblem Rouge, so leave a comment on both our posts and increase your chances of winning! Drawing is now closed.

L’eau de Emblem Rouge is available at EnVoyageperfumes.com $25 for 0.35oz. L’Emblem Rouge, the EDP is $115 for 0.5oz or $40 for 0.25oz.

Image from The Glory of Roses by Allen Lacy


Solid Perfume Lovelies from Dabney Rose

Since I am a natural perfume blogger, it should come as no surprise that I prefer scents that wear close to the skin and refrain from too much public boasting. I also like that they (typically) don’t last into the next day or cling to my clothes like a tenacious sheet of Bounce. In the realm of fragrance, this tender intimacy is best captured in solid perfumes; fragrant balms applied with fingertips and softened by the warmth of touch.

Dabney Rose has created two beautiful solid perfumes, Amberleah and Rose Aimée, that are indeed intimate skin-scents but with a flirty, girlish playfulness. Rose Aimée is the more youthful of these two lovelies, bearing half opened buds of roses that are bereft of overripe powdery sweetness or earthy decay. Rose Aimée is dewy and honeyed, she’s pristine and a little childlike in her beauty but entirely suitable for a grown woman.

Rose Aimée has a fitting name as I do adore her, but I would love her even more if she weren’t so *fleeting. I know I just mentioned that I actually prefer the ephemeral quality of most natural perfumes, but Rose Aimée leaves a little too soon as the fragrance holds at about an hour and I’ve gotten used to most naturals lasting at least three, if not longer. I need to experiment with layering but I hope my next pot of Rose Aimée is longer lasting, but even if it’s not I will still revel in this beloved, or aimée, perfume. (Dabney, if you’re reading, I think Rose Aimée would make a fabulous body butter or soap!)

*Update: Dabney let me know that I had an older version of Rose Aimée and sent me her new formulation. The newer Rose Aimée is just as soft and lovely as the original, but does indeed last longer and the rose is a bit more pronounced. Love it even more now!

Amberleah, being the more mature of these two jeune filles, is not as shy as Rose Aimée as she’s willing to stick around longer and share her gourmand essences with not only the wearer, but those who lean in a little closer. Amberleah is true to her name with a delicious amber base of labdanum, benzoin, and vanilla. This aromatic triad sets the tone for a sweet and cozy scent that beckons for a warm fire and a plush blanket. Orange blossoms heighten Amberleah’s sweetness with a floral flourish and a tincture of ghee provides a buttery slip. Cardamom is also present in the mix and because it is a sweet spice, it also augments the sugared texture of Amberleah. Cardamom is warm and slightly earthy as well which brings out the resinous, mossy quality of labdanum.

So whether it’s a youthful rose or a sweet amber you prefer, get ready for some playful cuddling when you wear either one of these natural beauties.

All fragrances created by Dabney are 100% natural and the solid perfumes are in a base of organic jojoba oil and locally sourced beeswax. She also makes wonderful hydrosols and liquid perfumes which I have previously reviewed).

Dabney Rose solid perfumes are $25 for a 0.25 ounce tin or $55 for a 0.25 ounce brass compact in a handmade vintage kimono silk pouch: at DabneyRose.com

Disclosure: Samples were sent to me for consideration by Dabney Rose. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Posted by ~Trish

Image: Flaming June by Frederic Lord Leighton, 1895 at artmagik.com


Dabney Rose: Handmade Hydrosols and Natural Perfumes

La Femme Biker

There’s a serious chill in the air here, so much so that we’ve turned on the heat in our house. That’s when the dry skin appears. My face starts to feel dry and tight a few hours after applying moisturizer and I need to pull out the heavier face creams that have been relegated to back of my bathroom drawer. Dabney of Dabney Rose sent me some of her handmade hydrosols a few weeks ago, just in time for me to spritz on my parched face. Previously, I had thought of hydrosols as a refreshing summer mist for a cooling effect, but it’s been lovely to use them for some moisture either before applying lotion or just as a quick hydrating pick-me-up during the day.

Typically when I have used a hydrosol or toning mist, it’s either been lavender or rose. Dabney does not limit herself to these traditional florals as her hydrosol range covers a variety of essences such as lemon blossom, mango, tuberose, and frankincense. Her hydrosols are steam distilled and contain both the oils and the water soluble components of the plant. When working with flowers, Dabney takes the time to remove the blossoms from the calyx at the base which she says can lend a “bitter edge” if they are mixed in with the distillation process.

I sampled her cacao and raspberry hydrosols separately and together. The raspberry truly smells like fresh raspberries and the fine mist was instantly refreshing and hydrating. The cacao had the same toning/moisturizing qualities as the raspberry, but the scent experience was completely different of course. The cacao was a warm, roasted chocolate scent that lingered for about 5-10 minutes. Just perfect in my opinion as I don’t like tenacious smells on my face. It’s enough to soothe your senses, and help you get on with your day. And spritzing the cacao and raspberry together was like a hydrosol truffle for your face.

On the Dabney Rose website you will find much more detail about Dabney’s uses for the hydrosols: they are edible, they have healing properties, and you can read in detail how they are made. You will also find her exceptional Face Treat Hydrosol with cacao, raspberry, rose, rock rose, vetiver, frankincense, rose hip seed oil, and Bach Flower Essence. I’ll be taking this yummy hydrosol blend to work with me, another enclosed and dry winter environment with temperature fluctuations that leaves my skin moisture starved.

You might be wondering about the image uptop…the gal on the motorcycle. That’s the image for La Femme Biker, one of Dabney’s all natural perfumes. The notes are listed as jasmine, rose, vanilla, cognac, labdanum, frangipani (plumeria), cacao, blood orange and ambergris. But it’s truly the jasmine, vanilla and labdanum that fuel La Femme Biker. It’s a note triad that flows seamlessly. Jasmine’s floral contours lend depth and range, vanilla’s familiar sweetness provides comfort and a touch of sensuality, and labdanum’s earthy rawness gives La Femme Biker a slight edge that it requires. The fragrance is beautiful and subtle, and I found it to be wearable in any situation I found myself, be it work, an evening out, or at home taking care of my boys. In fact, mentioning my boys makes me think that despite its name, La Femme Biker is perfect for cuddling up. It smells of skin that wants to be nuzzled.

Update 10/27/09: I just received an email from Dabney and over the last month or so she has been distilling several new and exciting plants, and has created a Décolleté Spray. You can read about it here.

Dabney Rose products are available at the website.

Posted by ~Trish

Disclosure: Samples from the company were provided for this review. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.