There was a time when I thought I'd never ever enjoy smelling cloves again. The reason for this is a trip to Malaysia me and some fellow exchange students did 20 years ago. Somehwere I'd read about Kretek, Malaysian cigarettes made of tobacco mixed with cloves. At the time, they sounded amazing! And, with the power of initiative only found in teenagers about to something that's bad for them, we did manage to get some. I can't say they were that spectacular. Yes, they did induce a spinning feeling in my head and the cloves made my mouth go numb. From a "smoking-weird-stuff"-point of view they were very lame but what they DID do was making me sick every time I smelled cloves for a very long time afterwards.
Fortunately, this has now passed. Le Labo Baie Rose 26 opens with rose, pepper, allspice and lots of cloves. It's a spicy rose fragrance, not soft spicy in the way orietals are spicy, full of vanilla and cinnamon, this is sharp and spiky spicy. The peppers and cloves are contrasting against the rose like a new punky haircut and a fresh facial peircing look on an otherwise sweet and innocent looking 15 years old.
As the scent wears the pepper dissappears, the spices soften, but they never leave completely. After about one hour, there is a metallic phase when I can almost feel the taste of iron in my mouth. This might not sound very pleasurable, but I don't mind. The rose part of Baie Rose 26 is deep red and prominent.
During the long dry down the rose softens and melds into the wooden notes. The scents mellows and matures just like I imagine the girl in the picture, first hanging out with her edgy emo friends at school but then going home, removing the eye liner, slipping into somthing comfortable and at the end of the day she's in bed, reading Nietzsche.
Official notes: aldehydes, clove, pink pepper, rose, pepper, musk, virginia cedar, amber
And, yes, I couldn't resist this image that came up when googling for kretek:
|This guy has very little to do with the smell of Baie Rose 26|