A Room With A View captures the scent of the hills above Florence, Italy - the vineyards, the wild grass, the finocchio (fennel), the hot dusty Florentine earth, and, of course, a torrent of violets. Inspired by a passage toward the end of Chapter Six in one of the perfumer's favorite E M Forster novels. A Room With A View is a water perfume.
CB I HATE PERFUME A ROOM WITH A VIEW REVIEWS
Fragrantica: I think I fall for every single one of CB's "dirt" fragrances, including this one, which I love. Deeply happy -- the dirt here doesn't add edge, or humor, or grunge -- just earthiness, pleasure and fertility.
Fragrantica: Out of the bottle the dirt accord in here is so strong-like when you fall into the dirt playing an outdoor sport. HOWEVER upon application the dirt becomes somehow clean smelling, subtle and adds a wonderful kind of coldness which matches well with the violet. The fennel adds a very nice subtle touch with the grass. Smart. It just smells fresh and crisp and light and nice. I guess I am reminded why the CB shop in Brooklyn is a destination spot for even those who don't care for perfume.
Fragrantica: If I could afford it I would wear a lot of this perfume. The violet is more pronounced and spot-on than in any other violet fragrance I have found. And I have looked. It, in a way, killed other violet scents for me because they all seem so chemical and fake to me. This smells like the flower, with dew.
Fragrantica: I think we all like perfume because it gives us a window into someone's idea of what is "sexy" or "pretty" - it takes us into someone else's imagination. A Room with A View takes this one step further. The room with a view is not in a chic hotel - it's your friend's simple flat in Paris, where there is a terrace garden growing just outside the bedroom window. You don't just smell the flowers, but the dirt, the leaves, the stems. The flowers bloom, and you rush out into the city to see the sights. . . As the scent changes over time, it becomes less of a daytime scent, and more of a spicy violet (much like the Nina Ricci L'air du Temps drydown). It's as though you've spent a day sightseeing and traveling, and have now settled down for a glass of wine outdoors. While the opening is fresh and bright, the lingering notes are downright sexy. I am completely fascinated by A Room with a View. It's incredibly long-lasting - and even if it isn't on your skin, you'll definitely be thinking about it for weeks. . .
Now Smell This: Christopher Brosius created M4, or A Room with a View, for CB I Hate Perfume's Metamorphosis Series and designed it to evoke "the moment when one simple beautiful gesture can transform an entire life." In the passage that gave Brosius the idea for this fragrance, the young heroine of A Room with a View, Lucy Honeychurch, is picnicking with several other proper English tourists in the Tuscan countryside. She strays from her prim chaperone and, after passing through a wooded area, finds herself looking down a hillside blooming with violets; the only other person enjoying the view is George Emerson, an enigmatic and free-thinking fellow traveler. George impulsively steps forward and kisses Lucy, thus opening her mind and her senses to new possibilities (in romance and in life) and setting the rest of the novel's plot in motion. The fragrance's opening phase evokes (for me, at least) a field of damp grass being warmed by the sun and a breath of humid air, followed by a clear green note of fennel (finocchio) stalks and leaves. The mysterious heart of A Room with a View is a dark, satiny cluster of violets (far from the candied, face-powder violet of fragrances like Lipstick Rose). Those violets remain a bit elusive against a background of fresh soil (Brosius has made expert use of "dirt" accords since his early Demeter days), and this soil smells shady and moist to me, rather than hot and dusty. The later dry down of the fragrance is warmer on the skin, even — dare I say — sensual, with a sweetish patchouli note that lingers. This earthy phase of the fragrance reminds me of L'Artisan Voleur de Roses, with violet instead of rose and plum. I've been trying the "perfume absolute" of A Room with a View, which has a low level of sillage and average staying power. This fragrance could be worn by men or women, thanks to its emphasis on the grassy and earthy aspects of the Florentine landscape. I wish it had a little more violet, of course, but I could always try layering it with one of CB I Hate Perfume's individual accords, like Empress Violet or Wild Violet. This idea may require me to make my own summer journey, just to the CB I Hate Perfume boutique in Brooklyn.
cafleurebon: The most recent addition to the Metamorphosis Series is M4 Room With A View. The view from this room is of a field of violets in the height of summer, somewhere nearby is a vineyard and some fennel is drying underneath the window. Mr. Brosius keeps the violet from becoming too sharp and quite skillfully finds a way to round it off and make it feel softer than in other violet fragrances. Proceeding from the violets, the far-off smell of grapes ripening on the vine and fennel drying in the sun appear. The mix of the fruit and herbal quality takes the violet to a unique place. It is the next accord to appear that really makes this feel like summer as a dusty earth note arrives. This is that accord that I remember from kicking up dust when I walked through a summer desiccated field as a kid; an almost chalky, mineral feel to it. As all four of these accords co-mingle in the later stages of Room With A View I feel as if I am standing at a window looking out on a hillside colored purple with violets in the middle of August. M4 Room With A View has average longevity and below average sillage.