I always encourage my self-employed husband, “Why make money for someone else, when you can make money for yourself?”
… Well, that’s just what the ladies behind A Dozen Roses, a new niche fragrance house launched by a couple of old industry professionals, did. Sandy Cataldo and Lynn Emmolo are the brains behind the beautiful bottles which first caught my eye in last month’s issue of Marie Claire. There have been press releases seemingly everywhere, but I haven’t heard much about the actual fragrances. At the risk of losing the good will of the people who send free stuff, I’m diving in head-first to give you the whole truth, and nothing but.
The line launched with three fragrances:
Gold Rush: Mr. Howe selected this one first, and on his skin I immediately picked up a big blast of Ylang Ylang, followed the combo of rose, vanilla, sandalwood, and woods. A nice (if predictable) opening quickly developed a screeching pitch that sent Mr. Howe running for the Ivory soap.
Shakespeare in Love: This one I initially liked best, and for the first minute, the crisp pear note was interesting and uplifting. It very quickly turned into that woman you know who always has a giant, manic smile on her face, obsessed with being “happy!,” yet reeks of despair. This one was actually the most depressing for me, because it started so hopeful.
Iced White: Pale musk overload, effectively simulating an ice-pick to the brain. Stabbing sinuses, anyone?
Before getting my paws on the samples, I asked myself that perennial perfumista question, “Do we really want or need another niche perfume house?” The answer for me is yes. Yes! A thousand times yes! However, if a new niche house bothers to launch, it needs to do something different, something novel, or something BETTER than what is already being done.
A Dozen Roses is in the same approximate price range as Juiliette has a Gun, or the Etat Libre d’Orange fragrances. Whether you like the aesthetic (or scents) from either of those houses doesn’t matter much–they’ve cornered a coveted niche in the niche market, and in my opinion, they’re doing a good job of it.
Can ADR stand in such company?
N o p e. These are almost nice, perfectly forgettable scents… but each one actually ruined my mood while wearing. They belong in a grouping with Givenchy’s Very Irresistible, to be brutally honest. I feel like the machine behind these scents was built specifically to exploit the niche-loving perfumista market.
Currently exclusive to Neiman Marcus, $95, 3.4oz/100ml
My samples were provided to me by PR for A Dozen Roses.
*Interview of the creators of ADR at The Perfume Magazine online*