A Deconsecrated Church: An Open Letter To “Queen” Plus Review of Etat Libre d’Orange Rossy de Palma

Dear “Queen,”

You are not Queen without Freddie Mercury. No one is Queen without Freddie Mercury.

Mr. May, I used to have the utmost respect for you. After all, you are the only person in the entire world that I am aware of that can be legitimately called both a rock star and a rocket scientist. But in this piece from Classic Rock Magazine you claim “This is the closest you’ll ever get to seeing Queen as it was in our golden days…we’re here live and real and we have a great singer.”

There is nothing live or real about you. I can’t even call you a cover band with any intellectual honesty. You are nothing more than a deconsecrated church– we may be able to discern your former purpose if we squint, but your soul is gone.

Your state in reference to the idea of your original bassist John Deacon joining you, “He doesn’t want to. He wants to be private and in his own universe.” Mr. Deacon’s is the only comprehensible response to the absence of Freddie Mercury.

Your intended replacement, Adam Lambert (against whom I have nothing other than his attempt to fill God’s shoes) states in the article “…this is pure. We’re not playing to a click, we’re not playing to tracks. This is all live instruments. In today’s age it’s very exciting for an audience to something [sic] that has this much heart.”
Mr. Lambert wants applause for performing live at an event billed as a live performance? This is the standard to which we have sunk? Can anyone imagine Freddie Mercury making such a statement? This is the inevitable culmination of a generation of Autotune, but I will protest it with every breath I have left in me. It’s an absolute obscenity, the same sort of obscenity as the EU regulating the soul out of the fragrance industry.

To cushion the shards of glass in my heart (and the harsher language I have had to edit from this piece) I am wearing Etat Libre D’Orange’s Rossy de Palma today. I have already discussed it briefly on CaFleureBon but the more I wear it, the more it reminds me of Freddie Mercury, even if it is named for and inspired by another celebrity entirely. (Etat Libre D’Orange, if you are reading this, I would love for you to come out with a Freddie-inspired fragrance. I know you already have one called Delicious Closet Queen but the name Queen has been forever besmirched in my eyes.)

Rossy de Palma is a loud, splashy rose with an astounding range. According to Luckyscent, notes are ginger, black pepper, bergamot, Bulgarian rose, jasmine, benzoin, incense, cacao, and patchouli. Like Freddie Mercury, this diva is dramatic, dark but sweet, unmistakable and irreplaceable.

The rose here is red and lush, in full bloom, but thanks to the spices it also carries hints of its future, dried and pressed between the pages of a memory book. (The memory of Freddie Mercury is sacred, and if forced to choose between recordings of him and live anyone else, I’ll choose the recordings every single time.)

In the opening, it is freshened by jasmine and by an unusual patchouli (I’ve smelled dusty patchouli before, and hippie patchouli, and green patchouli, and fruitchouli, but this is the first one I’ve ever smelled that could be described as wet). After a time a strong soapy smell comes through, and this is what I believe is responsible for the reviews of Rossy de Palma that claim it smells exactly like Maja. It does, but only for a brief period of time. In its finale, Rossy de Palma almost becomes gourmand, though the rose is ever present.

I am reminded of a writing workshop with the inimitable Stephen Dixon I took years ago, in which someone presented a story that depicted grief in conjunction with the imagery of a bouquet of roses. Mr. Dixon praised the story, but told the author that he had missed the logical ending: “There’s only one place this story can conclude. He has to eat the roses.” Freddie Mercury, for you I would eat the roses.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample I received as a gift with purchase of a different fragrance from Luckyscent.

This entry was posted in niche fragrances, rose, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Deconsecrated Church: An Open Letter To “Queen” Plus Review of Etat Libre d’Orange Rossy de Palma

  1. Sorry to get here late Nancy,
    I loved this. Freddie was the QUEEN. You’re right. Sadly I never knew him but the conversations I’ve had in my head with him: often while listening to the music of QUEEN…..
    Portia xx

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