You Rousse Up My Life

What Leo said. This goes on like a cinnamony blast furnace. Did you ever make those homemade cinnamon toothpicks? No, not the ones you buy in the package, those are for the weak. I’m talking about the ones where you took your toothpicks, stuck them in a bottle filled with cinnamon oil (which I don’t even think they will sell anymore), sealed them up and let them soak for three days. Then you took out the toothpicks, put them in a baggie and used them when you needed to either rise from the dead or set your mouth on fire just to have something to do. The only other thing close to that was those Fire Stix, but even that was a pale imitation of full-on cinnamon oil on the tongue.

Shortly after that fiery opening blast of Rousse, this turns into spicy goodness. It’s a country kitchen during apple harvest time when they are making the spiced applesauce. This is dry comfort and a wonderful hug. If you do not like cinnamon or the associated spices, you will hate this with a passion. I have a friend at work who got really sick on Cinnamon Schnapps once and can’t bear the smell of cinnamon. I won’t wear this to the office unless she, well … upsets me. I’m trying to think of the layering possibilities, and there are a lot. It would be great with Rahat, might even make the drydown of Rathat (spelling intentional) palatable more often than it is. Chergui maybe too — oh, and Fumerie Turque! Anyway, I predict this will be a great seller for them, especially in the fall and winter. I think it will be a little too heavy for the summer months. I’m lining up for my bottles now. Last word on release date is early February.

Update on the uber-expensive candles. Um…. I got the other three, Opium Den, Salem and Ex Libris. Don’t kill me, but all three of these candles should be made into perfumes along with a couple of the other three I already reviewd. The throw on Salem and Ex Libris isn’t as good as the other four, but I think that’s by design. As potent and smokey/leathery and dark as they are, a little goes a long way, and the scent could quickly become overpowering. Opium Den is slightly less throwy than the other three. Salem is maple, hickory, walnut and fire, so think blazing smoky wood and you’ll have it. It’s really marvelous. Ex Libris is leather and parchment, and it is dark, old leather. Again, the throw on this is less, but I think that’s perfect, more scent than what it puts out would be overwhelming, and this one DEFININITELY should be a perfume. I mean, damn! Opium Den — resins, opiates and tobacco fumes. I honestly don’t know what an opium den smells like, but this is exactly as I would think it would smell, rich and sweet, cut with smoke and tobacco. Another of these three that should be a perfume.

So I pronounce this entire Modern Alchemy line of six candles perfection. They are unique and different, have decent throw (again, I use them in a candle melter, I never put flame to my candles), and most of them should be perfumes. Can we get someone to do that for us? Anybody know a guy? Available at Candle Delirium.

Caron Tabac Blond extrait… hello! Where have you been all my life, soldier!? I had no idea tobacco/leather could be this great in a perfume. My last exposure to a tobacco perfume was that awful Lorenzo Villoresi Tobacco room spray that I know a lot of people love, but I think his perfumes are just a muddy mess (sorry!!!!). Tabac Blond parfum is just amazingly wonderful.

Right now I have Tabac Blond around my neck, Rousse on my right arm and Shalini on my left with the Salem candle perfuming my house. If I could just find a good spot for a shot of Doblis, I would have achieved fragrance nirvana.

(I’ve put up in my sample/decant store pre-orders for a decant set of the Chanel Les Exclusifs (available in February) at a special pre-order price. The link to the store is over in the upper right, the Fragrant Fripperies one. If you pay with Visa/MC or personal check and order it on its own, the shipping is free and your card won’t be charged or the check cashed until the decant coffrets ship.)

  • Meg says:

    Tabac Blond is the most addictive fragrance I’ve ever come across. I do believe it has enslaved my nose and all my senses. If only there were a Caron boutique in the Los Angeles area…sigh… (Is there an emoticon for “craving Tabac Blond”?) @-)

  • aimtx says:

    Oh, I lurrrrrrve cinnamon, and it lurrrrves me. AAMOF, Musc Rav is one big snuggly cinnamon-y spicefest on me — it turns me into the World’s Biggest RedHot candy. In a good way. So now I need to get some Rousse up my nose…

  • Judith says:

    Actually, NK incense is not similar on my skin; there is something in the LV that really disagrees with me, but I like NK–I find it just needs to be applied with caution (because it’s SO strong). But the wonders of chemistry clearly make for different reactions!!

  • March says:

    P — hey, wait … wasn’t Spezie the one we sent to Marina for a blind swap many moons ago? You sent it to me, then I USED it in the swap:-”

    You, predictably, loathed it. Marina really liked it. I swear, it was Spezie. I wish the blog fairies would come clean up our messy archives so I could double-check…:-w

  • Emotenote says:

    The toothpicks! the Toothpicks! How I loved these. I didn’t realize you could just dunk them in th cinnamon oil for a while and Ta Da! Must make some now… I was just wondering a couple of days ago if I could find a scent that really captures that cinnamon smell, and, as usual, there you guys are to the rescue, I can’t wait.

    Geez, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks incensi is weird. I thought I was a lover of all things incense, but that’s not incense, at least not in my monastary.

  • sariah says:

    Lee and Judith – just tried LV incensi today – I’m with ya, makes me want to hurl too, and blow chunks. Norma Kamali Incense is similar but even more horrible. The horror. It’s one I’ve kept around just to scare myself occasionally, like the Miel de Bois sample.

  • Judith says:

    Agree with Lee that there is something seriously wrong with LV Incensi (and I am one who liked many of his others). At least, this + my skin. . . well, yes, it does make me want to hurl.:o

  • I see this Serge in my future, because, you know, I don’t have enough fall/winter fragrances already.

    I’m going to look for that candle melting thingy that you’ve mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Another fragrance addiction- here I come.

  • Leopoldo says:

    Very late to the party as a storm has left me without electricity for 24 hours. That’s living in the middle of nowhere for you. I’m at a friends, using his pc while they all watch the racist debacle on Celebrity Big Brother unfold… Shortly to go home to pitch black AGAIN

    Count me in as a LV disliker. In fact Incensi makes me want to hurl. Even Piper Nigrum chills me to the core.

    Apart from its opening that makes me tense with quiveration, I adore TB. That opening is simply edgy startling though.

    And I knew you’d like Rousse. I need to do my own charting of all us perfume fans and our tastes – I see lots of post-its, elaborate venn diagrams, hell even a mind map or two… fwiw, I’m in the quite small (amongst us lot) don’t get Messe de Minuit at all camp…

  • Patty says:

    Lisa, we are all shallow in our attachment to perfume and very fickle. 🙂

    Thanks for the news on cinnamon oil. For some reason I had heard it was hard to get ahold of, but now that I know it is still available, I’m back to making my own cinnamon toothpix!

  • Patty says:

    Robin — I’m guessing you will land in the “love Rousse” camp of me, Elle and Leo.

    Ah, the lines are being drawn on Serge. :d

  • Patty says:

    Maria — a perfume that does neat tricks! That TB is a marvel in the magic it creates.

    Candle burners. I far, far prefer to get the ones that have the little bulb at the top, and it melts from the top down. The others work okay, either the crock pot or the little coffee warmer one, but since it is melting from the bottom up, I keep thinking it is taking too long and heating up more than needs to be of the candle and releasing, unnecessarily too much scent.

    But I’ve considered that maybe what I need is to use the candle in the top down melter for a while, then switch to the bottom up to get the most fragrance out of it. I think doing a little burning in the middle may not be a bad thing either, to get rid of some of the wax so you can get to more fragrance in the bottom.

    What, you didn’t want a dissertation on this?

    Now, the top down melter is hard to find online, but I got mine at Bed, Bath & BEyond, but I’m not sure if they have them listed online.

    Last note, the crockpots are the only ones that will assure you that knocking over a melting candle off of its pedestal will not be a mess. So if you’re really clumsy or have kids, I would highly recommend the crockpot as the safest of the three.

  • Patty says:

    E — I was pretty sure you would like that one, but I’m pretty sure you would like most of the other five too. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    T — The Brit Boy knows some shady undergrand character type who had a little of it that he was kind enough to share. check your mail.

    TB is just glorious. I mean, how did I miss this for so many years?

  • Patty,

    First off, I notice that the vintage Tabac Blond I have has, not surprisingly, evolved over 20 years. It smells sharper than in my memory, w/ the sandalwood being more present. The base is more deeply animalic than what we’re used to smelling these days. I’m going to get a sample of the nowadays parfum version and do a comparison. I’ll do a post in the near future, something I have been meaning to do for a while. I have also brought back vintage versions of L’Autre, Sables, Shalimar, Mitsouko etc. in anticipation of posting about those too.

  • Patty says:

    Victoria, I think you will find it interesting. It seems so straightforward for the first 30 minutes, just cinnamon, but then it starts developing in really nice ways.

  • Patty says:

    R — I know! You should see what I did today. Or et Noir, with a light dusting of Pretty Princess on top. Lord, I am just a walking conflict, but it somehow works beautifull together. Will post about that next week!


  • Lisa S says:

    arrrrghhhhh! another thing to sample and likely crave to what depths there are of my rather shallow soul…

    Cinnamon oil is still sold. Any essential oil supplier with anything resembling a good stock will have it. I have a little 1/16 oz bottle of real cinnamon oil. mail me if you want.

  • Robin says:

    Yes, yes, I remember those toothpicks!! Can’t wait to try Rousse.

  • Maria B. says:

    I’m glad you love the Tabac Blond. I had a strong feeling you would. I’ve read that the acrid beginning is supposed to evoke the smell of opium-laced cigarettes. But just as the perfume contains no tobacco, it also does not contain opium. 🙂 It just leaves the wearer in a reverie over how great she smells.

    I learn from this blog all the time. I had no idea candle melters existed. Do you use the ones that look like little Crockpots or the ones that look like coffee warmers?

  • Elle says:

    Patty, I didn’t cave. A sainted being (aka Marilynn :x) sent me Ex Libris, which is just as stunning and perfect as I thought it would be. It’s going into my “candle classics” list w/out doubt.
    Tried to post this earlier, but it didn’t go through. But on the off chance that it’s just moseying its way through cyber space and does eventually pop up here, sorry for the double post!

  • tmp00 says:


    That sould read of course “ladies and gentleman”

  • tmp00 says:


    What line am I not standing in that you ladies get these so early! Whaaaaah!!


    I can’t wait for Tabac to show up! Wheeee!

    I did sniff a couple of LV’s but they frankly didn’t make an impression. The LA Sniffapalooza is stopping at the SMN store on Melrose that stocks them, so I will investigate further. Since I will be there with other perfume-types, perhaps they will hand over a couple of samples, rather than looking at me if I suddenly had spoken in Mandarin Chinese or something.

  • Victoria says:

    Hmm, Rousse sounds like a wonderful composition. You are definitely making me curious about it. 🙂

  • violetnoir says:

    You certainly have achieved fragrance nirvana, my love. I can’t wait to test Rousse.

    And thanks for the inside scoop on the Chanels. I think I’ll order them!

    Hugs and love!

  • Patty says:

    Marina, I would have guessed that you would hate it, at least at first, but the drydown didn’t work for you? Did you get the Gris Clair effect, which makes absolutely zero sense to me. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Helene, do you detect much difference between the vintage TB and the current version, or have they done pretty well with keeping it the same?

  • Patty says:

    Judith, so strange! I never really looked up the notes of Tabac Blond, but it’s a masterful thing to create that feeling of beautiful, soft tobacco with no tabacco. Warren smelled it on me and pronounced it perfection, so then he put a little on himself and scrubbed it off. That darn CAron base. I warned him…

    Be strong on the candles! They will still be there and available for sale in a couple of months!

  • Patty says:

    Elle — this makes perfect sense now. March and Marina hate it, and we love Rousse, now we know where this one is going to fit on the love/hate scale. 🙂 I wish I had more of a sample to try the layering!

    You caved on one of the candles, didn’t you?

  • Patty says:

    March — Spezie was like the worst thing. It’s like the whole spice cabinet went into the perfume. Just not subtle at all, ugh. The Garafano is the only one that I liked okay, but it never compelled me to buy it.

    You are bitter, and you know it. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Sariah, Tabac Blond was new to me, can you believe that? i just never thought I would like it, but it’s really pretty wonderful.

  • Marina says:

    I tried Rousse yesterday, finally, and was so disappointed 🙁 I almost cried. :((
    Tabac Blond, on the other hand, is The Stuff. 😡

  • Tabac Blond is one of the greats! I brought back an old bottle of the parfum from Paris this time. It’s one of my early memories of a special perfume purchase.

    Great idea w/ the Chanels!

  • Judith says:

    On LV–I do love Piper Nigrum, but mostly to layer with others! Also love Garafano on its own. And I like Spezie. Not a great fan of the tobacco, though I’ve always thought I should be.

  • Judith says:

    I’m so glad you like Tabac blond. It is a work of true genius! It doesn’t, btw, really have tobacco or a tobacco scent in it; it just creates that feeling.

    Can’t wait to try Rousse. I wonder why March gets gris clair here–and I wonder what I will get!

    You are making me want these 3 candles; they were my first choices–and they sound great!

    Oh, and the Chanels—ack! Trying to hold onto my No-Buy a little while longer.

  • Elle says:

    Great review! Brilliant comfort scent. And what is *wrong* w/ me that I didn’t already start to think of the myriad layering possibilities???

  • March says:

    Seconding (thirding?) you guys on the LV; I too like Garofano. Although some people like Spezie, right? And I can’t remember what it smells like … P, I think that sounds like a wonderful combo of smells. Am I bitter about the Rousse? Hell no, I’m not bitter —[-(


  • sariah says:

    You have inspired me to wear some Tabac Blond today, not that I need convincing. You know, I kind of agree about the Lorenzo Villoresi’s being a bit of a “muddy mess”, none of them have agreed with me at all except the Garofano which I find wonderfully weird.

    Super idea with the coffret! Have a great weekend P.