Union Gunpowder Rose EDP Perfume Review

Union Gunpowder Rose EDP

Rose Week 2014

Union is a niche British perfume house inspired by the British Isles that if now available in the U.S. As a rose love, I have to admit that I was immediately drawn to this one.  And I was drawn to the name, Gunpowder Rose. It’s difficult to not think of an ill-fated love story set in the time of war. But, most likely being such a British house, this perfume is inspired by Guy Fawkes Day.

Gunpowder Rose opens as a delicate violet rose that reminds me faintly of Malle Lipstick Rose. It’s a “vintage cosmetic” sort of rose-violet with a hint of face powder. And there’s a glass of Kir. At this stage, Gunpowder Rose brings to mind rosy cheeks and pouty lips. The heart of the fragrance becomes greener. It’s still a violet-rose but there’s bitter greens, both fresh and dried, reminding me of early summer meadows. At the base, it continues to wear as a powdery green floral with an addition of aged oak barrels.

The weird thing is that when I smell this on paper, I actually do “get” the gunpowder. On paper, it smells like a green, smoky rose.

Disappointed by the lack of “gunpowder”, I had David try this one. This perfume is technically marketed to masculines. It wears differently on him. The opening is much more green and herbal on him. It turns into this green, yes, slightly mineral rose, with dare I say, coal. It’s a green, smoky rose on him and resembles what I smelled on paper. And then it dries down to an herbal green rose with smoky woods.

I didn’t expect so much variation from wearer to wearer. However, both “versions” are a really excellent rose so I’m not complaining. This really could be one of those “shared” scents. It wears exactly as I want it to on me and exactly as I want it to wear on him.

Rhett and Scarlett

Notes listed include English rose, coal gunpowder, violet leaf, black currant, oak, oakmoss, wildflowers and herb flowers. Launched 2013. PERFUMER – Anastasia Brozler

Give Gunpowder Rose a try if you like unisex rose perfumes. Or if you like perfumes like Malle Lipstick Rose, CREED Fleurissimo, Le Labo Rose 31 and/or Balenciaga Florabotanica. It’s really difficult for me to compare this fragrance to others since it wears so differently on me than it does my husband. I would say that this is a “green” rose and the level of herbalness will vary from wearer to wearer. And yes, completely unisex.

Projection and longevity are average.

The 3.4 oz EDP retails for $185 at Henri Bendel and at Selfridges & Co. (UK).

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONA green, meadow rose. I’ve already explained that it smells like a greener version of Malle Lipstick Rose on me and like a coal-rose on my husband. I really enjoy both “versions”. Being such a rose lover, I really enjoy this one. And to my surprise, David has said that he loves to wear this one too.

*Unrelated to the perfume, but related to the image. One of my favorite family stories is the story of how my Creole great-grandmother walked out on Gone With the Wind at a movie theater since it was “the worst garbage she has ever laid eyes upon”. She did keep the Depression glass though. But, I do agree with my great-grams. Such a boring, racist piece of garbage cinema.

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*Disclaimer – Sample provided  by the brand. I am not financially compensated for this review. My opinions are my own. Product pic from Bendels. Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable pic from

2 thoughts on “Union Gunpowder Rose EDP Perfume Review

  1. I’m with you on Gone with the Wind. Sat through the whole thing in college with a boring boyfriend, regretted the time spent on both.

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