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 oriental 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.