If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…
Coriander, pimento, nutmeg, rose petals, atlas cedar, sandalwood, vetiver, cade wood, musk, ambergris, vetiver, guaiac wood.
Rouge Bunny Rouge are an eccentric brand whose imagery fuses enchanted Victorian gardens with a pinch of something a little bit steampunk, a dash of those privet hedge mazes that always hide naughty things (and people) around every corner, and a healthy dose of good old fashioned confident sexiness. It’s a bit like Alice in Wonderland on an iPad and all grown up.
Rouge Bunny Rouge sell make up and cosmetics but they also carry two lines of perfume; Fragrant Confections and Provenance Tales. Silhouette is from the Provenance Tales collection which is their slightly more complicated and nuanced scent line. Don’t be put off by the fact that they appear (at least online) to be a ‘cosmetics first’ brand. We were lucky enough to try some of their cosmetics recently and they are REALLY good, but even that aside, the scents are really interesting and definitely worth checking out in their own right. If you feel weird buying something for yourself from a cosmetics-y website, then take a trip to Bloom Perfumery in London, where Rouge Bunny Rouge are stocked alongside other niche brands – and they really do belong there.
Silhouette is, for us at least, one of those perfumes that doesn’t quite match its name; there’s something impersonal about a silhouette, something about it being viewed from a distance, detached from the viewer, threatening almost. When we tested this scent, we didn’t really feel like any of those applied. Silhouette has an intimacy about it, a feeling of being really close-up to the perfume, it wraps you in a blanket of scent and almost feels like it is protecting you from harm. Yes, it is a powerful, confident scent, but there is something about it that makes it feel like it is on your side, rather than something to fear.
Spritz the perfume on your skin and immediately a glorious bouquet of spices rise up to meet you, backed with delicious, clean and crisp woods. The nutmeg is really apparent, and it is honest and real smelling, it’s wonderful: dry, spicy, warm. The pimento is there too, bolstering the nutmeg and giving it a sourer pizazz. And then, very low, and very fleeting is this rose note. Barely discernible, we experienced it as a softening, and a sweetening of the dry spices. It’s really interesting and delightfully surprising.
Make no mistake: this is a perfume with wood at its heart, and they are really precise, delineated and moreish woods. Once the perfume has properly settled these really come to the fore.
Cedar is the first wood we noted in the composition. It’s a lovely white-wood note here, no harshness to it all. There’s a note in the background which smells a little green or camphor-like, but it’s at just the right level for you to want to smell it again and again to capture and identify it. It never becomes overpowering.
There’s sandalwood too, and the quality that it lends the perfume is a beautiful, soft, powdery feel. Where some wood-based scents can be quite harsh and scratchy, here the wood is beautiful and soft, not at all abrasive. The woods all work in harmony, softening one another. Despite having personality, the scent feels as if it has been handled by an elegant, gentle touch.
At times, there is a thin, metallic vein in the perfume. It’s rather like the coolness of a mineral-enriched stream springing up between rocks, or old tools. Again, not overpowering but it lends an interesting nuance to the scent and stops it being all woody and obvious.
True to the garden imagery of the brand, Silhouette makes you feel as if you have wandered into a clearing in the woods, and that you’ve just laid down on a bed of fresh wood chippings to take a nap in the warm sunshine. Maybe some lumberjack has set his tools down on a tree stump a little way away and at times you can just catch the scent of the sun warming the oil and metal. Ferns waft around your head, the air is fresh and unsullied by city pollution, and you feel like you can rest here, safe and surrounded by nature.
As the perfume ages, the woods feel like they thin out until they become a pleasant, powdery hum. They’re still identifiable as wood, but they lose a little of the clarity they had in the heart. There’s a languid, soporific quality which grows in the fragrance and it’s here that we got the real sense of the perfume being very close up, very familiar, intimate. At times the scent does become a bit incense-like, because it is dry and spicy, but the green notes scattered here and there throughout the composition really stop that being much more than a fleeting impression.
The ambergris and vetiver together in the base made us imagine that we could smell the breath of a herbivorous creature standing over us as we napped on the wood chippings. Not threatening per se, but the notes convey a sense of difference, of something animalic. It’s almost as if some handsome prince had been enchanted and turned into a stag and he’s standing over you, willing you to wake to break the enchantment.
It’s fair to say that we really liked this perfume. It’s one we would wear ourselves, one we would encourage others to wear and one which we felt would outlast our changing moods and seasons.
The other stuff
The longevity of the scent is really good. It lasted to mid to late afternoon before the perfume went quiet when it was applied at 7am. The sillage of the scent is moderate, but pleasant, perhaps just over or around handshake distance. We definitely caught it several times throughout the day when we wore it.
We would imagine this scent working very well for those who are looking for something on the more masculine side of the spectrum. The fact that it contains so many woody notes make it hard to break away from that, but it is definitely something that should be worn by anyone who likes it regardless of gender.
The bottles that Rouge Bunny Rouge come in are really rather gorgeous. A sexy addition to anyone’s dressing table.
Silhouette by Rouge Bunny Rouge is available at Bloom Perfumery London where it is priced at £150 for 100ml EdP, or £95 for 50ml EdP. You can also buy Silhouette online at Rouge Bunny Rouge’s web boutique where it is priced at €175 for the 100ml and €125 for the 50ml.
Rouge Bunny Rouge kindly supplied us with a sample of this fragrance when we visited them recently at the Esxence 2018 trade fair.