Schoolhouse Rock and De La Soul tell me three is a magic number. In perfumery that sometimes proves to be the case. Nina Ricci L’Extase Rose Absolue is another data point to prove this.
Nina Ricci has been producing perfume since 1948 starting with the classic L’Air du Temps. Over the decades since, the brand has had broad ups and downs. In recent times, it has become a steady European masstige brand. Because of my affection for the brand I always track down samples of the latest releases. Like all mass-market fragrances, Nina Ricci has started releasing a yearly spring rose fragrance. It started with 2015’s L’Extase which was just another forgettable rose even though it had rose damascene at its heart instead of the typical debutante rose. Last year it was L’Extase Caresse de Roses. This was no debutante rose either but it was also disappointingly linear as it was just rose and a whole lot of laundry musk. The perfumer for these L’Extase fragrances is Francis Kurkdjian who has become expert on how to create a tentpole collection within a brand but the first two L’Extase were missing something.
When I received my sample of this year’s version, L’Extase Rose Absolue, I wasn’t excited. Then I looked up the description online and found out M. Kurkdjian meant for this to be the rose for evening wear. That made me go dig the sample out and give it a try. It turns out this is a more formal rose with more depth than either of the two other members of the collection.
Rose can be a bombastic note but early on M. Kurkdjian decides to allow it to simmer a bit. It is still out front but in the early going black pepper and raspberry provide an interesting spicy fruity floral top accord. As it simmers there it eventually concentrates down to a more focused rose which is paired with orange blossom. Unlike the top accord the orange blossom is there for nuance; not really meant to be an equal partner. The base is formed of a woody duet of cedar and sandalwood. To this some vanilla, to add some light sweetness, along with some musk to provide some sensuality.
L’Extase Rose Absolue has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
This time three is a magic number as L’Extase Rose Absolue is much better than the other two L’Extase fragrances. It is much more than a spring rose as this would be great any time of the year. If you’re looking for a good evening rose three will be a magic number for you, too.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample I purchased.