Living embers, smouldering, sultry – this is a perfume made for when the nights draw close and the wolves are running.
Pink pepper, nutmeg, clove, freesia, jasmine, cistus, incense, styrax, peru balsam, sandalwood.
Rouge Bunny Rouge are a fantastically imaginative brand who do a make up range as well as two lines of perfumes. The blending of their offering may cause the odd perfume purist to pass them by, but that would be a mistake, because they make beautiful scents which are easily good enough to warrant a place on the shelf of even the most discerning scent collector.
We’ve previously reviewed Incognito and Silhouette by this brand. We also felt that if you like Embers, you may get along well with Plein Jeu III-IV by UNUM or even Eau de Protection by Etat Libre d’Orange.
Embers starts off dry and aromatically spicy. It reminded us of that cupboard everyone has where they store infrequently used spices like nutmeg. The wood absorbs the scents so they linger long after the aromatic materials have been removed. That’s what we got at the start of the scent, pink pepper, dry wood, and nutmeg. The aromatic ingredients are whispering rather than shouting their arrival, like their scented shadows lingering in the back of the cupboard. It’s not that Embers doesn’t smell of these notes, it does, but there is something about the way that they play together along with the clove which makes them form something new in their joining. It’s a bit like the Upside Down in Stranger Things; objects are familiar and yet like a shadow of themselves. Here, the spices are recognisable and yet somehow shadowy at the same time.
Thankfully, unlike the Upside Down, there is a strangely comforting nostalgia about the start of Embers; it smells like the presence of memories, like the itch at the back of your mind when you struggle to recall the scent of something pleasant from your childhood that you know is there if you could only unlock the right synapse.
As Embers develops it seems to intensify in potency. A delicious curl of smoke rises in the heart as the incense kicks everything up a notch. The jasmine adds all those beautiful indolic tones that give Embers the feeling of being part-scent part-animal and gradually it begins to feel as if the perfume is alive, creeping over your skin. It grows to feel like a witch’s familiar, purring about you, rubbing alongside you, protecting, enveloping.
There’s a beautiful and almost seamless blending in the heart of Embers, the spices recede a little, the woods hum away in the background, and the floral notes wash over the scent but nothing sticks out and there are no hard edges. This is organic, it’s flowing, it’s almost like lava in the way it rolls around you, creeping warmth, reminiscent of the natural environment at its most primal.
In the base of Embers a beautiful, chewy, resinous quality appears. You can almost feel it yielding beneath your bite. It’s warm, but not hot, a little spicy, a little sweet. If you inhale it close to the skin it smells like the pages of an old book warmed by the fireside, dry, old, beautiful, and full of secrets. There’s a dry papery note, a hint of leather, an ambery sweetness and then a delicate curl of the smoke from the fire, or a candle extinguished in another room. If you inhale the scent a little further out into the sillage, you get much more of the vanilla sweetness and this peculiar but delightful resiny thickness.
There’s also a your-skin-but-better vibe about Embers. The sandalwood, jasmine and resins all hum along in this vibration which feels not unlike clean skin, but better, sexier, wilder. If they’d called it ‘Naked by the Fireside’ we would have thought the name even more appropriate, but perhaps a little less classy.
One of our pet hates is when a perfume’s name doesn’t match the experience of naming it, but Embers isn’t like that at all. It’s a very well-named scent. This isn’t the hot, dancing flame of an open fire, nor is it the smoky sting of incense being wafted in church. It’s something else entirely. Much quieter, much slower, but full of power and potential. Very much like a glowing ember, waiting for the right conditions to precipitate flames. There’s a sultry quality, something primal and almost animalistic about the way that the perfume wraps itself about you, waiting for you to rise. And it has to be said, when we wore this we really wanted to roll ourselves in it, joyously, with abandon, like a labrador in something unmentionable.
The other stuff
The longevity of this scent is great, we got a good 12-16 hours wear out of it each time we tested it. What a joy to have this beautiful fragrance with you for the entirety of the day.
The sillage of the scent seemed to go to just beyond handshake distance, but somehow it felt more like a scent that should have stayed closer to the body.
Embers is definitely a scent which could be worn by people of all genders, however, it appealed to our wannabe femme fatale sides so we are shelving it more towards the feminine end of the spectrum.
Embers is performing really well at the moment with the cooler days and darker nights upon us. It makes us positively yearn to be curled up by an open fire with a good book. It’s probably more typically an evening scent, but we enjoyed it so much that that isn’t going to stop us wearing it all day as well!
Embers is available from Bloom Perfumery London where it is priced at £150 for 100ml EdP or £125 for 50ml.
You can also buy Embers from the Rouge Bunny Rouge web boutique.
Rouge Bunny Rouge kindly gifted us a no-strings-attached sample of Embers, for which we are very grateful.