Ballets Rouges by Ellen Covey for Olympic Orchids 2012


Post by Portia


Hi there Independent Perfume Lovers,

It’s no secret how much I love Ellen Covey’s work as a perfumer. There are numerous full bottles of her work around here but only 2 have made it to the 30ml Parfum strength spray; they are Olympic Amber and Ballets Rouges. So it’s weird for me to discover that I have only briefly mentioned Ballets Rouges and never done a complete post on it. TBH I thought I had done one.

EllenCovey HeadshotEllen Covey wears a lot of hats. She is a perfumer, scientist, runner, loving partner and general great girl who lives in the USAs Pacific North-West, near APJs Azar (they are great friends). I think I’ve missed a few of her astounding talents too, yes overachiever dot com. Her range of fragrances is one of the broadest, from very pretty florals through to the beastly Dev series, and so many of them speak to me. They are 100% original, even something as ubiquitous as amber becomes an intriguing and marvellous new genre once Ellen gets her teeth into it.

Ballets Rouges by Olympic Orchids 2012

Ballets Rouges by Ellen Covey


Ballet Rouges FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, bergamot, mandarin orange, red thyme
Heart: May rose, rose, ylang ylang
Base: Musk, oakmoss, patchouli, labdanum

Ballets Rouges is the ultimate rose soliflor for me. Yes it has the smell of roses on the bush, it also has the smell of the earth that the roses grew in, the humus, fertilisers, mulch, add to that the smell of the cut stem and the torn leaf and on top of all that it has the smell of life and living to my nose. There is something of the uneasiness of finding yourself alone in the dusk dark swampy forest and yet it has all the joyful pleasure of a sunny summer meadow. Bright and dark simultaneously, Ballets Rouges is everything I love about Independent Perfumery: it has not followed a formula, never been panel tested, is full of gorgeous ingredients that are probably banned in 27 languages and it has a wonderful big voluptuousness and scent story.

Ballets Rouges by Olympic Orchids ballet_by_pakyuka76 DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

There was much talk around the release of Penhaligon’s Iris Prima and how it was lovely and floaty yet completely failed to capture the agony beneath the facade that ballerinas project. It was all about the pastel glamour that 6 year old girls dream of when they want to be dancers. In Ballets Rouges Ellen has captured the stark beauty of a rose, the glittering deep plum sparkle of the dream and also managed to capture the gruelling and monotonous solo hours of perfecting the art, the heartache of watching your feet turn to pain wracked bleeding caricatures of themselves, the relentless drive and dark heart of ballet. Ballets Rouges is a little insight into The Black Swan.

Ringaren i Notre-Dame Koreografi: PŠr Isberg Libretto efter Victor Hugos roman Notre-Dame de Paris Musik: Stefan Nilsson Orkesterarrangemang: Olov Helge Scenografi: Bo-Ruben Hedwall Kostym: Jerome Kaplan Ljus: Torkel Blomkvist Medverkande Quasimodo Oscar Salomonsson / Jens RosŽn Esmeralda Marie Lindqvist / Nadja Sellrup Claude Frollo Brendan Collins / Anders Nordstršm Phoebus de Ch‰uteupers Pascal Jansson / Dragos Mihalcea Pierre Gringoire Nikolaus Fotiadis / Olof Westring Phoebus trolovade Anna Valev / Katja Bjšrner Clopin Trouillesfou Aleksander Nikolaev / Olaf Kollmannsperger Clopins fru Nathalie Perriraz / Kristina Oom En domare Christian Rambe En bšdel Christian Rambe Dirigent David Bjšrkman Ensemble Kungliga HovkapelletPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

It’s open of green and scintillating herbaceous citrus which quickly morphs into a dark plum and citrus scented rose, still on the bush and planted in a freshly turned and fertilised bed, you have excised some of the dead heads so there is a brittle green of torn leaf and the wet/dry oxymoron of cut stem. I am fully and divinely fragrant, Ballets Rouge is not the scent for close quarters it’s a prima and needs its space to shine. As we progress the dark heart warms through considerably. While we never lose sight of the starring rose the oakmoss, amber and musks come in and form a magnificent corps, dancing around and through till full dry down around a day later.

Orchidscents has parfum travel $18/5ml
Olympic Orchids has samples and EdP $120/100ml

Have you tried Ballets Rouges? What is your rose?
Portia xx

3 thoughts on “Ballets Rouges by Ellen Covey for Olympic Orchids 2012

  1. Hey Portia! I have this and am growing extremely fond of it. It is so lovely in rain and fog. And even though you beat me to writing about it, I am gonna do it anyway. Smelling it puts me right back in Ellen’s home – and that was sucj a great evening. Bussis. xxx


    • Hey Val,
      Do please write about it. I love to read other peoples reactions to fragrances I adore. Ballets Rouges is on my 20 Desert Island Frags list. Can’t imagine life without it.
      You went to Ellen’s house? THUD I thought you all went to Azar’s. Jealous and thrilled for you in roughly equal measure.
      Bussis back.
      Portia xx


  2. Hi Portia and Val,

    It was a lovely evening!! Ellen and Michael are great cooks, the perfume studio is so much fun and the orchids and Jasper the cat are awesome. When you are next in the PNW I’d love to see you at my house too. We don’t make perfume here but, who knows, we may have some passable chamber music (Schumann, Brahms and others) ready for you by then, if you like that sort of thing.

    Roses? My favorite rose list is quite long: La Rose Jaqueminot, Ballets Rouge and Agar Aura’s Al Jazzab, Rosarium Blends The Rosarium, Kenneth Cory’s Rosa Ardiente…

    Azar xxx


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