To be or not to be ...
I am unfamiliar with the creations of Mona di Orio, so I was gratified to receive a large sample of Rose Etoile de Hollande as a gift with a recent souk purchase. Being a huge fan of Rose, my initial testing of this lovely fragrance leads me to believe that I have been remiss in not investigating this house.
I tend to enjoy my Rose fragrances slightly spicy and definitely 'blousy'. Offerings like Guerlain's Rose Barbare (my all time favorite Rose) and Eau Protection by ELd'O are up there with classics like YSL's Paris, PW's Tea Rose and newly released Declaration d'Un Soir by Cartier. Rose Etoile de Hollande adds one more dimension to the ever changing kaleidoscope of Rose based fragrances I enjoy.
This fragrance, however, presents my nose with more of a classic take on this exalted flower, probably due to the addition of Aldehydes up top, sparkling away as is their wont to do! I generally dislike fruit in fragrances, but the Peach note here is not bothersome ... rather giving this creation a soft fuzziness, like caressing a perfect specimen of the fruit between one's hands. I do find that the spiciness here could have been a little more pronounced, but then Clove can be overwhelming and it has been used in just the right quantity here.
Many of the notes in Rose Etoile de Hollande seem to play a fixative supporting role ... things like Patchouli and Leather here are not leads but simply there to bolster up the very beautiful climbing Rose that has been implemented in this fragrance. Unfortunately, the relatively heavy base notes in this composition become strident too soon imho, trampling a little roughshod over what could have been delightful. My favorite part of this creation is the first hour or so, after which Rose Etoile de Hollande becomes sluggish and altogether too heavy.
I'm not sure how much the late Ms. Di Orio had to do with this fragrance, my research leading me to believe that it was launched after her untimely death as an homage. I have to agree with my fellow parfumisto below, Drseid, that this composition does feel unfinished, however beautiful the first impression of it may be.
In closing, even though this fragrance is marketed as unisex, I very much doubt that the average male would find it appealing.