Sniff Test: Eric Buterbaugh Oud Rose
Eric Buterbaugh Oud Rose (EDP Spray) 100 ml
Los Angeles floral designer Eric Buterbaugh was a member of the the Gianni Versace and original supermodels jet set. These days the impish bon vivant has a warm and entertaining instagram presence, peppering boldface BFFS like Demi and Naomi among his beautiful blooms. Little wonder Oud Rose is an ‘an ode to fabulousness and extravagance’ inspired by the exclusive lifestyle of Beverly Hills and its denizens. Spiky oud is a natural counterpart to velvety rose (that’s why brands from Cartier, By Kilian and Frances Kurkdjian, to Jo Malone and L’Occitane have explored the pairing). More stealth than brash, but still powerful. Rewind a few more decades and it’s the sort of rich sensual scent you might catch a whiff of on night out at Romanoff’s, circa 1950, if you brushed up against Jayne Mansfield or Barbara Stanwyck on your way to powder your nose. 2.5 out of 4
I’m a huge fan of floral design. I remember walking through London the weekend before the Chelsea Flower Show one year and seeing the most incredible floral creations decorating the store fronts around Sloane Square. There were a pair of massive white swans crafted solely from flowers in front of the Hermes boutique. And literally a field of flowers surrounding the Rag & Bone shop. Designers had draped and twisted an exotic white and orange floral rope with orchids around the NARS store. It was phenomenal.
Eric Buterbaugh channels this same outrageous creativity in his floral installations for Hollywood celebrity friends and Silicon Valley tech executives. Google his name and you can truly appreciate his talent and transforming rooms and outdoor spaces into magical escapes thanks to massive flowering trees, rose sculptures and tiers of orchids like those created for the Chelsea Flower Show.
When I heard that Eric was relaunching his signature fragrances, I had high expectations. If anyone was going to turn the traditional fragrance approach upside down, it would be Buterbaugh. I expected to smell some very unique notes.
My first sniff is a disappointment. I can immediately smell the Centifolia Rose and the rich oud. Soon a little warm vanilla appears with a hint of vetiver. Balancing delicate rose notes with rich oud is a delicate art and this feels like it has gone awry. The oud overpowers. When I look at the press release, I see that his scents were created by Alberto Morillas who has created almost half the fragrances on counters today – from CK Everyone to Philipp Plein No Limits. He’s the fragrance equivalent of Danielle Steele, turning out dozens of scents each month. Perhaps Eric would have been better served selecting a more niche perfumer who could capture the brilliance of his floral creativity. 1.5 out of 4.
Sniff Test fragrance reviews are the personal opinions of Nathalie Atkinson and Dave Lackie.