April 15, 2015
The Sick Rose by William Blake (1757 1827)
O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
Nick Knight Rose
This extraordinary short two-verse poem by visionary English poet William Blake from Songs of Innocence and of Experience is what I visualise as Vero Kern’s brutal and enormous rosaceous masterpiece detonates across skin. Blake’s poem is a mysterious, veiled work, analysed as an allegory marital infidelity, religious persecution and delirium, corruption of the flesh and the perils of temptation. Whatever Blake intended, the swirl of imagery is powerful and suggestive, a lusty rose, sick with discovery and illicit love. A tenebrous backdrop of lashing night, shadows and carnal enigma. As always with Blake, an undertow of religious mania added a frisson of danger and madness to proceedings.
Nick Knight Flora
Vero Kern’s burnished Rozy triptych is now complete with the official launch of her powerful extrait at the recent smorgasbord of niche concurrent with Esxence 2015 in Milan . Rozy Eau de Parfum and Rozy Voile d’Extrait launched last year, side by sensual side. The Voile concentrations are my preferred Vero formulae; they seem to have both transparency and fierce tenacity. The Kiki Voile d’Extrait is unbearably sublime. I wear it and vanish into a world of seared lilac skies, herbal loam and surreal candyfloss trees.
Nick Knight Isabella Blow Alexander McQueen 1997
Rozy Extrait is Vero’s abstracted rose, part real, part cinematic, part glorious imagining, inspired by the magnificent force of nature Anna Magnani, the great Italian actress whose personality and acting style has never been equaled. She combined a brutal sense of realism with earthy simmering sensuality. All things that swirl, howl and coalesce in all three incarnations of Rozy in varying degrees. The eau de parfum is sweeter, jammier and more voluptuous, the voile far more confrontational, a honeyed animalism tearing at the rose.
Nick Knight Flora
The Rozy Extrait de Parfum is quite the finale, a huge sunset of crimson and scarlet tones thrown across a brooding sky. An operatic rose, a coloratura voice on a windswept open stage. My oh my it packs quite the olfactive punch. The rose is a masterly marriage of naturals and fabulous plasticky synthetics, lending the finished bloom a bruised, angry tonality.
Daphne Guinness by Nick Knight
Vero adores her fruits for musky sexiness and playful fun so cassis and melon add a mix of bitter aquatic counterbalance to the incandescent rose. And honey… no-one drizzles honey through scent like Vero, it becomes animalic, sweet and waxen, pollen-like, smoky in the base. There is a porny dose of tuberose in the extrait, laced in alongside the rose; it’s hard to detect at first, but slowly unfurls its indolic presence as the rosy waves roll out over skin like shockwaves. The rose needs the whiteness, the colder reflection. Otherwise the rubicund array on swaggering show would burn out our minds.
Nick Knight Flowers
The addition of nutmeg and sticky labdanum reinforces the base against the roar of screeching blooms. It’s a very delicate balancing act and there are moments wearing the Extrait where the senses feel under assault. But this is Vero Kern’s work, nothing is quite what is seems; behind the enormous passion play of her deeply felt Rozy rose, there is immense personal calm and intricate sensuousness. Each part of this Rozy triptych has provided a different hue or facet of Vero’s imagined beauteous rose, a bloom she has defiantly re-orchestrated for a troubled and judgmental world.
Rozy Triptych Nick Knight Flora (EDP), Nick Night Fashion for Vogue (Extrait), Karlie Kloss Dandy Haze bottom left (Voile d'Extrait)
They may well be her masterworks; such is the definition and skill of each part of this trio. I will always worship at the shrine of Onda, but these Rozy works are troubling in their obsessional detailing. Each one has elements that demand revisiting: the Nahéma-like collision of peach, lilac and rose in the EDP, the strident 80s powerberry dazzle of cassis meets tuberose over rose in the Voile and last but not least the shocking bittersweet dream of animalic honey on petals and spice in the daunting extrait. Each one is a separate window into the rose’s complex soul, bold and exacting. There are those of us that are obsessed by these demanding perfumes, aware that Vero is a sorceress of the senses.
Nick Knight Lily Donaldson, British Vogue
Vero Kern's work is art, worn to provoke and seduce. Rozy Extrait de Parfum is an illicit bed of crimson joy. Lie down with caution, senses will erode and empires fall.
-The Silver Fox, Editor and Author of The Silver Fox
Art Direction: Michelyn Camen all photos copyright of Nick Knight the iconic British Photographer
Disclosure – Sample of Rozy Extrait de Parfum kindly provided by Vero Kern
Thanks to Campomarzio70, the distributor of vero.profumo we have a 2 ml sample sprayer for one reader anywhere in the world. To be eligible you must be a registered CaFleureBon reader. Please leave a comment with what you enjoyed about TSF review of Rozy and where you live. Draw closes April 18, 2015.