A rich chypre with wonderful mossy depths, Risqué is a fragrance where you’d do better to just put the name aside and inhale happily. It is a scent from Roja Dove that is officially categorized (and titled) as being “For Women,” but Risqué (hereinafter just “Risque“) is truly unisex, in my opinion, in addition to being far too classical to really warrant such a dangerous name. But it is lovely, thanks to a complex verdancy that is laced with unexpected hyacinths, fresh chamomile petals, civet, and vetiver, along with the usual floral suspects of rose, jasmine, and ylang-ylang. At times, primarily in the opening hour, it bears a strong similarity to Amouage‘s gorgeous Fate Woman, but Risque preceded Fate by a year and is ultimately its own creature. [UPDATE: At the time this review was written, there was only Risqué for Woman, and no parallel version for men had been created. This review is only for Risque Femme, and the title of the post has been amended to reflect that fact.]
Risque was released in 2012, but is sold in America under the name Creation-R due to legal trademark reasons. It comes in two forms, an Extrait (or Pure Parfum) and an Eau de Parfum. This review is for the Extrait. On his website, Roja Dove indirectly tries to address the disparity between the name and the classical nature of the scent by saying its surface conformity is symbolic of social restraints and something that hides a wilder, sensual heart:
WARM, DRY, FRESH, SWEET, & LEATHERY
“When I created this I thought of how society tells us how we have to behave, think, and act. So I decided to create a perfume that seemed tailored and disciplined – but as it develops it starts to show its overtly sensual base, which gets warmer, darker and more overt with each breath”. – Roja Dove
HEART: Chamomile, Hyacinth, Jasmine, Rose, Ylang Ylang
BASE: Cedarwood, Civet, Labdanum, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Vetiver.