Le Labo Rose 31 Perfume Review

Le Labo Rose 31

ROSE WEEK 2019 – The Cedar Rose

It’s Rose Week on EauMG! This is the annual celebration of rose-centric perfumes! This week I’m reviewing 5 fragrances that display a different aspect of rose perfumes.

I’m always surprised when I hear or read reviews that Le Labo Rose 31 isn’t a rose. Because to me, it’s very much a rose! This brand is so popular that I smell at least three people on mass transit wearing a Le Labo product daily. If I smell something noticeably rose in public, then it is most likely the delicate sillage of Le Labo Rose 31. I feel like over the years I have developed some sort of Marvel-like superpower where I recognize it 200 yards away.

Rose 31 opens as a green, dewy cottage rose but you can tell immediately this won’t be the usual rosey-cheeked rose soliflore. Underneath there is a sweaty cumin that is trying to be masked by a hefty dose of laundry musk. Does the laundry musk mask it? It really just depends on your skin chemistry if it will or not. For the most part, Rose 31 is a tea rose with cedar. Really when I think of cedar and rose, all I can think about is this Le Labo…which has spawned many copycats since its launch over a decade ago. The dry-down of Rose 31 is my least favorite part. It’s dry, bitter woods. It’s one of those ambiguous “dry woods” that dominates so much of modern perfumery. But, I can’t really fault this perfume for that because, as I’ve mentioned, it’s had a lot of influence on other perfumes and brands. It’s possible I’m tired of this base just because Le Labo popularized these sort of bases.

I always feel like I should love Rose 31 more than I do. It’s nice, but I have so many other rose soliflores collecting dust that I can’t justify $200 of more rose soliflores. And the rose soliflores that I own just work better on my skin. However, I have been tempted by the body products even though I have heard they aren’t that good. Anyone tried them and have thoughts?

AND another final thought on this perfume since Rose Week is wrapping up and I probably won’t talk about Rose 31 again: My dogs love this perfume. I can not wear it without them going nuts. This actually makes me not want to wear it. The only other perfume that gets a response like this from them is CB I Hate Perfume CBMusk and some cheap unlabeled rose oil that I bought in a store in Turkey that also sold dried eggplants too.

Cathee Dahmen

Notes listed include rose, cumin, vetiver, cedar, musk, guaiacwood, olibanum, labdanum and oud. Launched in 2006. PERFUMER – Daphne Bugey

Give Rose 31 a try if you like woodsy roses. Or perfumes like Penhaligon’s Much Ado About the Duke, Bois 1920 Rose e The, L’Artisan 9 Arcana Rose, Etat Libre d’Orange Rossy de Palma and/or Pirouette Rose Musk.

Projection and longevity are average. However, this is one of those that I don’t notice but then someone later comments on it. So, it must last longer than I think it does.

Rose 31 comes in a few sizes with the 1.7 oz retailing for $184 at Nordstrom.

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONWoody rose. I like it but I don’t love it. I get to smell it enough in a day anyway without having to invest in a bottle 🙂

Want more reviews? Try…

The Candy Perfume Boy


The Sartorial Silhouette

*Sample obtained by me. Product pic from Nordstrom. Cathee Dahmen in Brooklyn circa 1969 by Claude Guillaumin in NYC. Post contains an affiliate link. Thanks!

6 thoughts on “Le Labo Rose 31 Perfume Review

  1. I wanted to love it. Freshly on, it was a dirty, androgynous rose. After drydown, my skin ate it all, and all I had left we’re some woods that while nice, came off on me as, hmm, a certain kind of very pretty but a bit vacant young man who defies disinclined to call back. Alas.

    1. Lol, OK I am actually laughing at this because this is what it is on me. The dry-down just goes to nothing on me, completely fizzles out and your description is my experience.

      It’s really pretty in the opening. Totally agree that there is a captivating androgynous thing going on that I absolutely adore.

  2. Rose cedar is the perfect way to describe this one. I don’t get much musk, but that’s just fine with me. I tend to like this one, but I also don’t live in a saturated market for Le Labo.

    1. I still like it but just don’t love it enough to ever buy it. The base just really “turns to nothing” on me. I am curious about the other formats such as the solid or the oil. A different medium may preserve what I like about it…or not.

      Le Labo is crazy popular in NYC. Even my elevator where I live seems to always smell like one of theirs. There’s something about the brand that really resonates with people.

  3. Yeah, I just don’t love Rose 31 either. I’ve been trying to throughout the years, but it just does nothing for me. I feel like the time I liked it most was the very first time I wore it, and it’s steadily gone downhill from there. I’ve been giving away all the samples I’ve accumulated, and soon I’d like to swap away the basically unused decant I have. It’s definitely been a big influencer on this style of rose scents though. I’d rather wear the Pirouette Rose Musk any day.

    1. I definitely think it is something that you’d be able to swap/sell fairly easily since it is a popular scent.

      I love Pirouette Rose Musk so much. It’s a similar theme (cedar and musk) but it works so much better on my skin than the Le Labo. I am always trying to turn people on to that perfume. It’s a great value for what it is too!

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