Crown Rose (1873)

Crown Rose by Crown Perfumery
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6.0 / 10     12 RatingsRatingsRatings
Crown Rose is a perfume by Crown Perfumery for women and was released in 1873. The scent is flowery-spicy. The production was apparently discontinued.

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Perfumer

William Thomson

Fragrance Notes

Spices, Woods, Rose

Ratings

Scent

6.0 (12 Ratings)

Longevity

7.9 (7 Ratings)

Sillage

6.8 (7 Ratings)

Bottle

7.5 (11 Ratings)
Submitted by Kankuro, last update on 10.07.2014
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Reviews

jtd
2
tea rose plus
Crown Perfumery’s Crown Rose (1873) is a pretty tea-rose perfume. Tea-rose perfumes tend to fall on the quaint side of pretty rather than the stunning side of gorgeousness. Crown Rose messes with you a bit, though, and subverts your expectation. The top-notes tell you that it will be a simple, sundress of a rose soliflor. Your first hint that your first impression might have been wrong is a rising tartness, almost a sourness that quickly dispenses with the dewiness of the simple rose top-note.

Crown Perfumery is not longer. Clive Cristian closed the line kit and caboodle not long after he bought it in 1999. I’ve tried two others in the line, Malabar and Eau de Russe. I never imagined that Crown Rose would be the most intriguing of the bunch.

The odd thing about Crown Rose, the wonderful thing about Crown Rose, is that where it seems that it will be a simple tea-rose perfume (Roze-Lite ™) it’s in fact a meditation on sandalwood. I don’t know the exact vintage of my bottle of Crown Rose, but it’s old enough to have been made with a large helping of sandalwood. Sandalwood easily passes the jolie-laide test. Yes, it’s creamy, rosy, sweet, thick. But it’s also curdled, sour, sweatband at times even foul-smelling. I can see both why it was a perfumer’s dream and why so many perfumes, like Samsara, let the sandalwood speak for itself. The sandalwood here is particularly tart, possibly due to age and a diminishment of the top-nots of the sandalwood itself. But I think there’s more to it. There’s a cleverness to this perfume that gets hidden by our assumption that the tea rose is like the dumb blonde and that we’ve fallen for the Marilyn Monroe screen image. If we accept that Monroe was the characters she played, if we accept that Crown Rose is for the ditzy, the joke is on us.

We tend to look at classic perfume houses with excessive reverence. Add to this case British class consciousness and it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing the the bottle and the story: the Creed Syndrome. Crown Perfumery is just fucking with us. Bravo! Crown Rose takes a particularly pungent, acidulated sandalwood, one with more yogurt and sweat than candied sweetness, and then to use it to underline a rose note that 50% of people, on smelling, would simply say, “oh, how pretty!”

I very well might be falling for Crown Perfumery’s hidden shallows. But there’s nothing that smells ‘off’ in this perfume and sandalwood, especially in quantity, is a famously long-lasting fixative. Crown Rose skirts another inherent problem in tea-rose. Tea-rose soliflor perfumes tend to make up for the directness of their intention with sillage and a volume that can make them tiring even with brief exposure. In Crown Rose, the rose that had seemed like an over-flattering portrait very quickly starts to become sinister, as if, though the portrait was finished years ago, just now the proportion is starting to change, to warp.

Jadedness is not often cited as a virtue, but there is something wonderful about the loss of illusion. Seen from 2014, this perfume is like a mash-up of Doris Day’s version of “I feel Pretty” and Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck You.”

Splendid.
1 Replies
Bottle 7.5/10 Sillage 7.5/10 Longevity 7.5/10 Scent 7.0/10
4
I love the smell of dried roses in the morning...
Crown Perfumery is basically my only experience of vintage perfumes acquired as vintage perfumes--rather than perfumes which become vintage because they joined my collection before having being reformulated (which automatically turns them into vintage perfumes!). No, the bottles from Crown were discontinued a while back, when the house shuttered its stores, but they are lingering about in some dark warehouses here and there. Because no one cares about them, apparently, they are invariably inexpensive, so blind buys are not too much of a risk.

CROWN ROSE intrigued me because its description explicitly stated that one of the notes was "old roses"! What? I thought to myself, as I added it to my shopping cart. Turns out that the description is right: old roses, as in dried rose petals, are in abundance in this composition!

The perfume opens a bit discordantly, but I write that off to what all of the vintage lovers say about their treasures: that the top notes "have burned off". I never really understand what that means, to be honest, but I'll take it on faith that the short-lived jarring opening of CROWN ROSE is simply the price which one must pay when one opts to don an "old" perfume. This one could be more than twenty years old--who really knows????

The drydown, on the other hand, is quite nice and even reminds me of Creed FLEURS DE BULGARIE. I am nearly certain that there is ambergris in the base, and it's likely to be the real deal, given how old this perfume is. My bottle obviously was not produced in 1873, when the formula was created, but it also was not produced in the twenty-first century...

The scent of dried roses is decidedly vintage, which I distinguish from the scent of dowager roses (which I dislike). Nor is this a tea rose. CROWN ROSE reminds me of the spirit of vintage clothing shops, where I once bought a Vogue design purple wool jacket. This perfume, too, is sophisticated in a retro way.

I consider this to have been an excellent score--true vintage lovers, this one's for you!
1 Replies

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