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.
Ellen 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
Photo 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.
Photo 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.
Photo 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.
Have you tried Ballets Rouges? What is your rose?