Elizabeth & James Nirvana Rose EDP Perfume Review

Elizabeth & James Nirvana Rose

Mainstream Monday – Sniffing a Popular Perfume

I have a type and that type is usually rose. I may like many types of rose soliflores, but I’m also really picky.¹ And I can be picky because there are a lot of rose perfumes on the market. But, one thing that I’ve noticed is that there’s little competition for designer/mainstream roses that are actually worth wearing. There are a few excellent roses that retail for under $100 but for the most part, I’m attracted to the sort of roses by Serge Lutens or Malle. When I heard that Elizabeth and James was launching two new perfumes, I knew as a rose lover, that I must try Nirvana Rose.

Nirvana Rose is the sort of rose soliflore that reminds me of raspberry jam. It opens as a greener rose like a sharp, cool rose geranium. But, this top quickly evaporates and what’s left is a jammy, boozy rose with hints of stone fruits and Merlot. Actually, the more I wear it, the more it reminds of a Merlot. There’s that fruitiness paired with something green and herbal like oregano or thyme. And there’s the tobacco. For most of the wear, Nirvana Rose reminds me of a jammy rose and blonde tobacco. The tobacco is dry, bitter and green (because it’s really vetiver but to me, it comes across as blonde flue-cured tobacco barn of the Carolinas). The dry-down is still that tobacco/rose but now there’s an addition of patchouli. “Dark roses” need patchouli so Nirvana Rose is finishing with that. The patchouli in this isn’t overly patchouli. It adds a depth, a darkness, to the base of this bitter rose fragrance.

Honestly, my expectations were incredibly low for this fragrance.² I’m usually disappointed by designer roses because they are boring interpretations of better perfumes. I think that the Elizabeth and James perfumes are good for mainstream perfumes but I never developed a relationship with them. Nirvana Rose is the sort of linear rose soliflore that I’m going to wear frequently.

Mariangela Melato

Notes listed include May rose, geranium and vetiver. Launched in 2016.

Give Nirvana Rose a try if you like rose perfumes. Or if you like perfumes like Tom Ford Cafe Rose, Estee Lauder Amber Mystique, Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme, Montale Dark Purple, Malle Portrait of a Lady, Stella McCartney Stella and/or Juliette Has a Gun Midnight Oud. All perfumes are unisex, but let me emphasize that this is a really unisex rose (to those that may otherwise not try it).

Projection and longevity are average to above average. I think this is one of those perfumes that benefits from being sprayed in large quantities. I also want to mention that I love the vintage lighter inspired bottle.

Nirvana Rose is available in a 1 oz or 1.7 oz bottle with prices ranging from $65 to $85 at Sephora. There’s a rollerball too. I hope they come out with body products in this scent!

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONMerlot, roses and blonde tobacco. I love that there’s a rose soliflore like this being sold at this price in places like Sephora.

¹Here’s the rose perfumes that I wear and own.

²Actually, this perfume made me not hate new perfume releases in 2016.

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*Sample obtained by me. Product pic from Sephora. Mariangela Melato from Post contains an affiliate link. Thanks!

11 thoughts on “Elizabeth & James Nirvana Rose EDP Perfume Review

  1. Hi Victoria! I love Nirvana Rose, I also own Juliette has a Gun Lady Vengeance. I am wondering can I mix those rose fragrances with Nirvana Bourbon? I want to sort of “winterize” the rose fragrance that I love so much! I am also debating mixing TF tobacco vanille, I own it but don’t like it on myself, I would love to know your thoughts! Is that ruining the fragrances to Mix?!

    1. I joke that mixing is controversial but that’s really only to perfumers who think they’ve already created a perfect product 🙂 I have friends that are masters at it brilliant combos. It takes some practice and not all combos are created equally. Like I wouldn’t experiment and then go out to work or some social event without knowing the “final” result.

      I have not tried this combo yet but I want to. I keep saying the next time I’m at Sephora, I’ll do it. I’m thinking Rose could layering wonderfully over a spray of Bourbon or Black. I like Bourbon and Black but they don’t smell as good on me as they do other people. However, I think they really could mix well with Rose. If you try, please let me know! I’ll try to get to Sephora by the weekend to try it too 🙂

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