EauMG’s Favorite Rose Perfumes – 2016 Edition

Turkan Soray

Rose Week 2016

After almost eight years of perfume blogging, I figured now is the time to share my favorite rose perfumes. If you read EauMG, you probably picked up on the fact that I love roses. I love rose skincare, bath/body products and of course, rose soliflores. My personal perfume collection is dominated by roses.

I love roses because a rose has many pesonas. A rose, to me, is the Cindy Sherman of perfume notes. A rose can be green/fresh, velvety, powdery, dark, fruity and/or sweet. In my culture, rose perfumes are attached to many feminine stereotypes. There’s the matronly “stuffy”¹ rose. There’s the sweet, innocent and dolly roses. There are the roses that shout “decadence” which could also mean “jezebel”. And then there are the roses that are paired with “exotic” notes that come across as mysterious. I love how transformative a rose can be. I love how a rose, like a shade of lipstick, can become my “costume”.

When I started this list, I wanted to keep it to ten perfumes. Who wants to read a list of rose perfumes? Nobody. That’s boring. However, when I started the list, I just couldn’t be stopped. These are the roses that I wear. And I wear more than ten. I felt like for this list to be accurate, I need to include them all.

These are the perfumes that I own and wear in no particular order:

My full-size (and in some cases manufacturer travel-size) bottles: 

Serge Lutens Sa Majesté La Rose – A huge, honeyed rose over slightly raunchy musks and woods. This is by far one of my favorite roses ever. I like how Sheldrake works with roses.

Stella McCartney Stella – This is the designer rose that made roses modern again. I don’t feel like this scent gets the credit it deserves. At this time, gourmands and fruitichoulis were the mainstream norm. Stella made rose style perfumes hip again. I love this boozy rose and amber. It really is the epitome of “vintage modern”.

Guerlain Nahéma extrait – As far as rose-centric perfumes go, this is my all-time favorite. This is the perfume that made me love roses – peachy, powdery rose with lots of 70’s-style aldehydes². I stick to the parfum because it’s the diva out of all the concentrations. And if you are going to wear this, go big.

Yves Saint Laurent Paris – This is my favorite powdery pink rose and violet. This is the one that made me become a Sophia Grojsman fan girl. It’s my “flirty” rose.

Lancôme Trésor – Speaking of Sophia…this is one of hers that conquered the world. This powdery rose and iris is sweeten by a heavy dose of milky peaches. If you actually lived through the 90’s you remember how popular it was. If you can get past its nostalgia, you can see it for the excellently crafted perfume that it is.

Sonoma Scent Studio Rose Volupté – In my opinion, this is the best rose soliflore, probably ever. It’s a spicy, velvety rose that’s dark and moody. I also love Velvet Rose which is a crisp, green rose soliflore. Laurie does really amazing things with roses.

Frederic Malle Editions des Parfum Une Rose – The perfect rose. It’s perfect. Why? It balances all the different aspects of rose – spicy, fruity, green, honeyed – and puts it all into one sleek bottle. It’s so perfect it could be make me cry.

Frederic Malle Editions des Parfum Lipstick Rose – This is my favorite cosmetic-y rose. It’s Pop Art perfume. Actually, this is one of my favorite perfumes of all time. Review here. 

Frederic Malle Editions des Parfum Portrait of a Lady – When I want a rose that has everything and the kitchen sink, this is my go-to. There’s rose, incense, spices, woods. It makes me smell fancy AF. Because of that, I don’t wear it that much. But, it’s great.

Turkish roses

Chanel Les Exclusifs Misia – Now this is how Chanel does rose! I wear this rose/violet so much that I’m starting to think I’m really boring.

L’Artisan Voleur de Roses – This is the OG of rose patchouli perfumes. It’s goth. It makes me think of vampires and catacombs. Wearing this is like wearing black lipstick and a cape. So yeah, I love it. Full review. 

The Seven Virtues Noble Rose of Afghanistan – Up until I tried this, Annick Goutal dominated this category of “dazzling” roses in my collection. But, I tried The Seven Virtues and fell hard. It’s a fresh, living rose that is so beautiful. Added bonus, this company is amazing. Review here.

Pirouette Rose Musk – When I want a skanky rose, this is what I reach for. It’s a sweaty cedar, skanky honey and velvety rose. This was the first perfume that I bought when I moved to Seattle and it’ll always remind me of that time. Review here. 

24 Platinum – This is a cheapie that smells much more expensive than it is. Gold seems to be this brand’s cult favorite, but I love Platinum. It’s a cool rose mingling around the party with a champagne cocktail. It has major projection and longevity so I have to wear it wisely. Full review. 

Neela Vermiere Creations Mohur – “Professor Mohur” is a gourmand rose with leather that is really intellectual. I wear it when I want to be all broody and pensive. Review here. 

Juliette Has a Gun Midnight Oud – Because sometimes I want a rose disguised as an oud-leather. Full review here. 

Charenton Macerations Asphalt Rainbow – This is an industrial rose with all sorts of other notes that I love like bitter, green galbanum and a milky magnolia. Really, this is such a “me” fragrance that it’s hard for me to talk about. When I wear, it’s so fitting that I don’t think about it. As corny as it sounds, it’s like my skin because that’s how comfortable I am in.

Turkish roses

On my to-buy list: 

By Kilian Rose Oud – I’ve been so close to buying a bottle so many times (currently using a travel refill). I keep trying to convince myself I can find something “better”. But, I haven’t. It’s rose jam and oud. Review here. 

Aftelier Wild Roses – I call this a psychedelic rose because of how the notes all “swirl”. It’s a fruity rose with apricots and green tarragon over patchouli. I have no excuse as to why I don’t have a bottle. Full review here. 

Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin – I was on the fence about this one but I’ve decided I need it. It’s a crisp rose with a cool cardamom. Plus, the juice is red. Full review here. 

Bvlgari Pour Femme Rose Essentielle EDT – I really didn’t know I wanted this until recently. It’s a blackberry rose with mimosa. It’s subdued yet elegant.

There are plenty of other roses that I like,  but these are the rose-heavy fragrances that I wear. I’m sure with time, there will be more added. But, as of today, these are the roses that I wear the most.

What are your favorite rose perfumes?

¹The “grandmother” rose that you read about in so many perfume reviews. The “grandmother” rose that sales associates refer too. For some reason, we are not supposed to like “grandmother” roses. But, I do. I love a matriarch rose.

²With reformulations and possible discontinuation, I may have to start wearing Mona di Orio Rose Etoile de Hollande, which is similar. And I’m OK with that. It’s good too.

*Türkân Şoray loving the rose just as much as I do pic from The other pic is mine from Turkey and those  roses smelled like rose plum jam. The coral roses were nice and citrus-y. Beautyhabit, Sephora, Nordstrom and contain affiliate links. Thanks!

41 thoughts on “EauMG’s Favorite Rose Perfumes – 2016 Edition

  1. What a fun post! Enjoyed it.

    I love rose perfumes too, but we only have a handful of favorites in common – which is just another indication of how versatile the Queen of Flowers can be, isn’t that cool?

    1. That is cool 🙂 And that’s why I love rose.

      What’s bad is that after posting, I realize I “forgot” a few. That also shows that I may have a slight obsession with rose…

  2. What a great list! Last spring I went on a quest to find my favorite rose. So far Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile is #1, but I’m still sampling. The journey is just as fun as the destination in this case! Like you, I’ve been wearing Misia to the point where I seem boring! Humorous description 🙂 Your list includes quite a few I still need to try. Thanks!

    1. Thanks!

      That Acqua di Parma one is really gorgeous. I need to spend more time with it though. I’ve only tried it in store (a few times, but I need some “alone” time with it).

      I went weeks in a row wearing Misia a few times last year. That’s unheard of for me. And I still love it!

  3. I love roses! Talk about them all you want! I really have to try Sonoma and Aftelier. My fav rose scents are Stella, Ce Soir ou Jamais, La Fille De Berlin and Rossy de Palma Eau de Protection and I’m sure I’m forgetting something. Les Soft Perfumes’ Ne des Roses is pleasant, too. And yes! Totally agree that roses can be so different. Before I really got into perfume, I only thought of rose perfume as tea rose by perfumer’s workshop. How wrong I was! I hadn’t heard of the 7 virtues of perfume but what a wonderful brand. I just purchased a bottle and look forward to it!

    1. I know I forgot some because I remember them now 😉 But, I’ll save it for a later date. This list is long enough! I do like that ELdO and Ce Soir ou Jamais was one of my favorites for many years.

      Oh, you did? You bought the rose, right? I hope you like it. I think if you like Ce Soir ou Jamais, then you should enjoy it. It’s “replaced” my Annick Goutal roses. I’m not affiliated with 7 Virtues but I think it’s an amazing brand. I was introduced to them at a tradeshow in NYC. They’ve since launched two more, Vetiver and Patchouli and I must try those. The rose one, I was shocked by the price. I mean, I’d be surprised if they aren’t losing money on that one because it’s a really high-quality, organic rose, plus all the other stuff – packaging, importing of the rose oil, distribution. I flat out asked and they said, this (or at least at the time) was the most expensive one in their most costly to produce.

  4. I haven’t tried that many rose perfumes because of the dagger-to-the-brain propencity it has on me… But that said I do have some rose… well not favorites really because none of them make my top ten, or even top 20, list… but I have some that I can really like and/or admire. Those are: Mille & Une Roses, Rossy de Palma, Papillon Tobacco Rose, Rose Ispahan, KM Loukhoum (and flankers), Slumberhouse Sådanne, PHI Une Rose de Kandahar and recently Tauer Rose Flash. Mostly dark/resinous/tobacco or sweet/gourmand roses I guess…

    1. I was going to add Mille & Une but I think it’s discontinued which really isn’t a reason for me to leave it out.

      I haven’t tried most of the ones you like. I have tried PHI, which is very good but I like it better on my husband than on me. I really, really need to try Rose Flash. That one keeps getting brought up (some people mentioned it on Twitter too).

      I’m still on this hunt for the perfect loukham since I didn’t like the Serge Lutens. I’ve only tried the original one from KM and that was actually at Scent Bar. So, I don’t feel I can say much about it. Al Haramain sent me samples of most of their line. I picked up one of their roses, or maybe it was a musk (?), and it may be that Turkish delight that I’ve been looking for (but they don’t market it as such). I do like a gourmand rose though and realize I don’t own many of those.

      1. I’ve tried Rahat Loukoum and Louve too, and they were nice and all but a bit too play-doh/dolls head. Maybe it’s the almond note… I like the KM Loukhoums much better. I have a bottle of the original KM Loukhoum but unfortunately I can’t wear it right now, the rose in it is just too headachy. The flankers are great too, Poudree is indeed a more powdery version, and Soir is more resinous. Rose Flash also has a bit of a turkish delight feel but the sweetness is more honey than sugar, and it has lots of resins. I also really like Montale Sweet Oriental Dream, but maybe mostly because it has the least rose of all of them… 😉

        Of the ones I mentioned I definitely think you should try the Papillon and the Slumberhouse. They are rather unique takes on rose! Tobacco Rose is a syrupy, almost fruity rose with beeswax and oakmoss. (No idea why it’s named Tobacco because I certainly can’t smell any…)
        Sådanne is a rose with lots of strawberry wine and a nice animalic hint.

        1. They both have a lot of dollhead going on.

          Basically if something is called “Poudree” that’s the one that I’m going to fall for. I always do.

          On my list 😉 I need to make a Luckyscent sample order anyway.

  5. Could not agree with you more on Nahema Extrait, even as I am a man! We middle eastern men especially from Gulf countries Looooooooove Turkish and Taif Rose oils. Nahema Extrait is on the expensive side while the juice as I remember was 30 ML if not mistaken.

    1. I think of roses as unisex but sadly, most of the men in the US and Canada, do not. It drives me crazy because men smell great in roses. But, they tend to avoid them here because of silly reasons. With the Middle Eastern influence, some men here are FINALLY starting to wear roses. I’d rather smell a woodsy rose a man over something like Cool Water any day.

      Yes, Nahema is on the expensive side and the extrait is 30 mL. I can’t remember exactly how much I paid, it was many years ago. But, I remember seeing it for 300 euro, or close to that. However, I can’t deny that it’s a gorgeous rose/floral. I also like how the bottle looks vintage 🙂

    1. Try Pacifica Persian Rose if you don’t mind reapplying perfume throughout the day (it’s like $20 but reminds me very much of the Aerin one). Other similar ones are Yves Rocher Rose Absolue (which you can often find for real cheap if you wait for one of their sales). And my other suggestion is Juliette Has a Gun Miss Charming.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  6. Nice post! I love the “granny rose” as well 🙂

    I recently bought a travel spray of Yves Rocher’s Secret d’essences Rose oud, and I quite like it. It’s mild, woodsy rose jam with the oud held back a bit, and I quite like it for everyday use. Longevity is short on my skin, gone by lunch time.

    1. Oh, I forgot they launched that one! I want to try it since I do like many of the Yves Rocher fragrances (some last longer than others though). It sounds really, really good. If it is cheap enough, I don’t mind reapplying. But, it sounds like something I shouldn’t pay full retail price for (which is fine since they run a lot of sales).

      Yay! Club Granny Rose!

  7. Shout out on the Rose oud. On their Norwegian site the price for 50ml + 15 ml travel spray now is down from nok 719 to nok379, and free shipping. Are the doing the same offer all over? Worth checking out if one is interested in buying it.

    1. I went to the USA site and apparently Rose Oud isn’t available in the US yet! That’s frustrating. Hopefully, we’ll get it in the States sometime this year!

Comments are closed.