Ladies of the Night – Night Roses

Miller Harris’s Rose en Noir is responsible for today’s visit into Roses of the Night – Rose en Noir, Caron Or et Noir and Serge Lutens Rose de Nuit. 

There are no notes for Miller Harris’ Rose en Noir.  It was created exclusively by Lyn Harris for Liberty in England. It starts off a little jammy, but not overly sweet, this is its flirting stage.  Then she drops her girlie sweetness and starts whispering in your ear about love and loss.  While this appears to be a big blooming rose, and it is, there is something dark and brooding about it.  It is lush, almost overripe.

Rose de Nuit from Serge Lutens has been a rose staple for me since I first smelled it.  It has notes of Turkish rose, yellow jasmine, apricot, amber, musk, sandalwood, beeswax.  This is not a rose that shows up shyly or dressed in her best frock.  It shows up in leather pants, a corset, has a whip in its hand and is holding the rose hostage… in the basement, where you can smell it wafting up very lightly… or is that something else? This one is more about the leather and musk in the base, and the other notes just float around the darkness. The dominatrix of roses and completely gorgeous.

Or et Noir was created in 1949 by Caron and has notes of Bulgarian rose, centifolia rose, geranium, Anatolian rose, lilac, carnation, oakmoss and woody amber.  While Rose de Nuit holds the rose hostage, Or et Noir is like a Tournament of Roses float, except they send it out at night in New Orleans, when the crowds and the voodoo and the dark has woven its spell around it.  Rose is the central theme of this, but this is no rose that you could wear to your Sweet 16 Party.  It is covered in pitch black and the red blooms up through it, its beauty unmolested.

Now, I know y’all rely on me for television recommendations, so here’s this week’s tip.  Rent/buy/borrow The Wire, start at Season 1 and just work your way up through Season 4.  The final season is airing on HBO now.  This is a series about flawed people on all sides, nobody gets a whitewash.  Like the roses of the night, there is beauty and ugliness, contrasts forming the patchwork human quilt we all are.  It’s not just good, it is great. 

Also, if you ever want to buy yourself or have someone who loves you lots buy one luxury fragrance/presentation that’s to die for, do the three 50 ml Annick Goutal Les Orientalistes parfum coffret. it comes in a white leather case, with the three little bottles nestled in the top, then it has a little drawer that pulls out below that would be perfect for some cute little samples and things.  It’s just flat-out freaking gorgeous.

  • Puddin' says:


  • Patty says:

    Sorry for the lack of responses guys, one of those work things that intervene and leave no time in the day for about anything except sleep!

  • erin k. says:

    rose de nuit was the first perfume that ever made me think, “this is me.” i love it to distraction, and it’s extremely sexy to me. i wore it to work one day, and a friend of mine said, “mmm, you smell like a european man.” i took that as a compliment! 🙂

    i can’t wait to try the other two you mention, they sound wonderful.

    i’ve also tried fm une rose, which is gorgeous, and le labo rose, which, as i said above, smells oddly bright and happy on me.

  • Kim says:

    I have been floored by how much I am loving rose notes – who’d have thought?
    I like extreme roses, either dark (Guerlain’s Nahema or Lutens’ Rose de Nuit) or fruity/spicy, and heavy on the rose notes but not sweet. I’m definitely pining for a full bottle of both Nahema and Rose de Nuit! Also, Guerlain’s Rose Barbare – it’s not very noire on me but soooo gorgeous, even if a tad sweet.
    I’m with elle above – on my skin, Or et Noir is a nice rose in the garden, brightness and sunshine, no noire anywhere 🙁
    Gotta love that skin chemistry thing!

  • sweetlife says:

    *heart palpitating*

    Dark Roses! Dark Roses! How I love them. And I haven’t tried Or et Noir or the Miller Harris. Thanks for the beautiful descriptions, Patty.

    My DH is a HUGE Wire fan.

  • Catherine says:

    I love your description of Roses, Patty! Rose has always been one of those more difficult notes for me–often too powdery for my tastes. Or et Noir is gorgeous–although the vintage Dioressence carries the same flavor and works better with my skin. Ormonde Jayne is the line that truly turned me into a rose fanatic–Ta’if for dusk, Seraphim for day… Hers remain my favorites. A very beautiful person send me a decant of Guerlain’s Rose Barbare–and I must have this some day! SL’s Rose de Nuit sounds so amazing that I’m sure to fall under its spell if a sample fell my way. Ahhh, another impossible lemming. I am going to check out the Sonoma Scent Studio that Maria mentions…or, do I really want to fall down another rabbit hole?!

    The AG coffret looks so beautiful…

  • Louise says:

    A lovely new rose that Chara introduced to me is Neil Morris’ Gotham-starts out rich and spicy, calms down to a lovely rose cypre.

  • March says:

    Squeeeeee! You bought the coffret!!?!?!? Do the parfums smell that different? Oh, I bet it’s stunning.

  • IrisLA says:

    I recently became of the critical praise for The Wire, and with your rave, I have to get it now.

    My favorite deep rose is Guerlain Nahema. It is gorgeous while being cuddly at the same time because of the beautiful honey note.

  • AngelaS says:

    Patty, your description of Or et Noir is poetry! Thanks.

  • Maria says:

    I love Rose de Nuit. It is stunning–definitely a nighttime rose. Or et Noir is lovely but not particularly dark on me, and it doesn’t last very long. Still…wonderful.

    One rose I’m loving these days is Cameo from Sonoma Scent Studio. It’s a rose-violet mixture on a resinous labdanum, ambergris, sandalwood, musk base. Love it, love it, love it. My DH got me a bottle for my upcoming birthday. Laurie Erickson (of SSS) is working on a plum-rose fragrace that also seems promising.

  • Debbie says:

    I just don’t know if I can bring myself to try any more rose scents. It’s been a note that I haven’t been able to stand in the past. Just recently, I tried Montale’s Sweet Oriental Dream and White Aoud…I liked the rose scent in those. Black Aoud was too much for me, but it wasn’t because of the rose. What rose?

    As for the Wire, my husband has been wanting to purchase the DVD sets. I’ve been resisting it because…well, not ANOTHER tv series set. However, based on your recommendations (and others), I guess I’ll have to give on this one. So if you like The Wire, have you watched Homicide? That is a fantastic one too. Got the last three seasons this Christmas.

  • G Knight says:

    When I think of a rose scent for women the first thing that comes to my mind is Patou’s Joy it was such an outstanding composition in my opinion and may still be the gold standard…I would love a more masculine rose scent myself but that seems to be a futile chase or at least for the moment….

    • Maria says:

      Have you tried Le Labo Rose? I haven’t, but it’s supposed to be masculine.

      • erin k. says:

        i just tried the le labo rose yesterday, and was shocked – on me it was bright, happy, almost sheer rose the whole time. nothing dark or earthy, and nothing masculine, as i had read. (well, i’m female, but i still wanted it to smell masculine!:)) i was really disappointed, but i’m gonna try it a few more times to make sure i’m not crazy.

        i ADORE rose de nuit, and a man could easily wear that one.

        • G Knight says:

          I haven’t had the fortune of trying Le Labo’s Rose yet but I will make a point to try that out…sorry that it wasn’t as masculine as u’d like erin lol…I will have to try the rose de nuit thanks for the recommendation:d

  • Robin says:

    Does the MH Rose en Noir smell really Miller Harris-ish? I have to say that only a few of her scents work on me, mostly the lighter ones. I know everybody loves Lyn Harris’s work, but I find her “house base” to be kind of overbearing. *runs away*

    I keep meaning to rent the Wire, it gets such great reviews. For now, thrilled that there’s a new House on tonight.

  • Suzanne says:

    I haven’t tried the three you mentioned but they sound luscious.

    I’m with Matt–my favorite rose is Black Aoud, but I actually wish the Aoud part lasted longer. And I also love Malle’s Une Rose and get many compliments on it.

    I think of the three you mentioned in your post, the Or et Noir sounds the most intriguing. You got me with the voodoo description…plus, it’s a Caron! 😡

  • Sara says:

    I love dark-side rose scents. I would add the sadly-discontinued L’Arte de Gucci and Montale’s Aoud Queen Roses to your wonderful list. I encourage everyone to watch The Wire. The writing will tear you up. I would suggest renting its pre-cursor, The Corner, which has several actors from The Wire in distinctly different guises (picture Lester Freamon as a junkie!)

    cheers, Sara

  • donanicola says:

    yep, Rose de Nuit for me too. It was the first SL which I loved on first sniff (and I’d tried a few). I keep hoping it or ISM will be the next exclusive export. (Optimist!) The Miller Harris is a bit jammy and Or et Noir needs to be tried again as it turned into an ambery mess first time I tried it. My other nomination for a dark rose has to be L’Arte di Gucci. When you can get hold of it.

  • Divalano says:

    You win for the most seductive rose scent descriptions ever. Jeez. You make I wish I could do roses & if I could, that SL is the one I’d wear. Wowza. Well, this one & also Columbina’s write up of Malle’s Une Rose about the roses & the dirt & wow, it sounded lovely. I’d love to wear that one, too. Alas, I can’t. Roses, even snuck in roses, usually make me sneeze. The one exception so far is Fumerie Turque. I’ve read that there’s a rose in that but really it must only be a few petals waved over the bottle because so far, FT & I are good friends.

    So, The Wire, eh? I’ll make a note of it for next time I’m in Kim’s Video trying to remember what it was I wanted to rent …

  • Malena says:

    rose en noir sounds stunning – can´t wait to test it 🙂 !!!

    i also love rose de nuit, one of first rose scents i fell for. sweet roses aren´t for me, too boring.

    le labo rose 31 is wonderful as well, so is montale black aoud.
    i should give caron or et noir another chance, i found it a bit too much when i tested it a while ago.

    parfum ´d empire eau suave is a lovely chypre rose on me. fromt he notes i expected it to me much sweeter & more fruity, so it was a nice surprise that it turned out to be completely different.

    i´d like to include divine l´inspiratrice as a lady of the night, as well. though it´s not really dark, it has something femme fatale-ish about it, it reminds me of a woman of the 1940s. one of my biggest rose loves.

    patty, have you already given SIP black rosette a try? i´m so curious about that one 😉

    • Patty says:

      I did try the Black Rosette, but I need to spend more time with it. It is very dark at the start, but then I keep getting busy and lose track of where I dabbed it!

  • Judith says:

    Rose de Nuit is one of my all-time favorites: simply beautiful. I had a brief affair with Rose en Noir, but while I like it, I don’t love it anymore. Or et Noir is lovely, but I don’t find myself wearing it too much.

    I’m watching the Wire avidly this season, after having only dipped into it before. I know, I know, I MUST get those DVDs.

    I will gladly accept that coffret if anyone wants to buy it for me. 🙂

  • Elle says:

    *Adore* Rose en Noir and Rose de Nuit. However, my freakish skin chemistry does strange things w/ Or et Noir and the Noir *absolutely* refuses to make a showing. Voodoo? Night? Pitch Black? SOB! No, I get none of that. I get a rose garden at noon on a bright summer day. I’m over my geranium phobia, but it still is a note that acts like bottled sunshine on my skin and amplifies the light, bright qualities of any scent that contains it.
    Don’t have HBO, but must check out The Wire online.

    • Kim says:

      hmm – I also get no noire – wonder if geranium does the same thing on me? The Or et Noir is so bright and crisp on me, I can never understand why it is classified as a dark rose. Will have to run off to the Perfumed Court to check out geranium.

  • Anne says:

    You know, I DO rely on you for TV recommendations. You totally turned me on to Friday Night Lights. Spent a weekend holed-up doing that catch up to the current season thing. So, The Wire it is.

    I haven’t found my rose scent yet. I am attracted more to the darker ones though.

    Hope it rains next weekend (it’s a Catholic, less guilt thing). I’ll dig out samps of all of these, spritz, turn on the DVD player and have myself a Partay.


  • Divina says:

    May I vote Nahema as the queen of night roses? I still can’t believe its stunning viciousness!

  • MattS says:

    I spent a large portion of the summer looking for the perfect Dark Manly Rose scent. It was a brief obsession, searching for something cool and dark during the bright summer heat. I tried Le Labo Rose 31, Voleur de Roses, A*maze, the Regina Harris rose oil. I think I finally stopped searching with Montale Black Oud, reckoning that what I really wanted was just a lil’ bit of rose in something dark and brooding. Didn’t try any of these scents or Czech & Speake 88, so suddenly I feel this obsession could rear it’s head again. That Or et Noir and Rose de Nuit sound pretty tempting. I almost think I’m looking for the scent of cruel heartbreak. Sometimes I get that from the Black Oud, but at moments, I wouldn’t mind it being a little bit darker. Something to go with a black topcoat…

    • harper says:

      matt —

      what you want is strange invisible perfume’s black rosette.
      and it’s also obscenely over-priced.
      which is why i don’t own it (5ml for $185.00 or some such insanity.)
      but it *is* wonderful: rose. blood. mud. (it *says* it’s rose, tea, smoke, leather, adn that, too, is in there.)
      may sound horrid but is really divine

  • chayaruchama says:

    I’m with you on the roses, babe.
    Haven’t smelled the Miller Harris yet.

    I love them dark and dishy.

  • Lee says:

    Rose de Nuit is the stand-out of the three for me. Though it’s a little scary in a ‘just emerged from the Jacobean age’ kind-of-way.

    The Wire. Un-frickin-believably good. I don’t watch it on tv here as it’s on some obscure satellite channel that I don’t get with my digital service. But I’ve watched lots of it online. And I’m collecting the dvds. I hate having dvd collections in the house, but the wire is worth it. Critics here argue that it’s the best TV ever made, and I often feel like agreeing. It’s the closest TV has ever come to the sweeping social networks depicted in the best Victorian novels, and it never patronises the intelligence of the viewer. And it’s the first ‘mainstream’ thing I’ve seen where black people are people – the majority of people too! – and not (stereo)types. Love it.

  • tmp00 says:

    that coffret is stunning and I would love to have it. Oy, pricey, though… :((