30 Roses (30 perfume reviews)

I had an amazing opportunity to participate in a sample circle with some other members of Basenotes (an
online community of perfume enthusiasts).

This circle was started by a member called "30 Roses". In her generosity, she (and a few other folks) provided some perfume samples for the group to try. In fact, to be specific, we each get to sample thirty perfumes; each has a rose note or element to them.

Two boxes have been sent around. I got the first go at one of them. Members of the group each take turns sampling the scents and, if they like, writing up their impressions.

I have never been a huge rose fan, to be honest. Well, I mean, I love roses... they're beautiful! I don't really have the patience to grow roses. And I don't particularly want to smell like them. Or so I thought...

Here are my thoughts on the thirty (THIRTY!) perfumes I got to try:
  1. Une Rose Chypree (Andy Tauer)
    I could write poetry about this scent! Well, if I were poetic, I could. Instead, let me just explain my experience. First: a little goes a LONG way. This is potent stuff. It opened with what seemed almost like a candied rose, but with that not-so-spicy cinnamon-sugar we used to sprinkle on toast when I was little. I started to smell a citrus - I guessed orange, but I'm clearly not good with citrus notes yet. It was clementine. Bergamot, which I still can't pick out, is also listed.

    I was starting to imagine roses in a bowl of Fruit Loops (sans milk), but somehow it wasn't childish or foody. Definitely a "green" aspect I couldn't guess (notes say Bourbon geranium - I guess that's it). About 10 minutes in, the rose opens up fully, but still has a slight tangerine tinge.

    Twenty minutes later, I started picking up some slightly-spicy woody nuances, and a half an hour after that: cinnamon + rose + vetiver, all undulating. This has a definite vintage flavor and is neither bright nor brooding. It's amazingly grounded but light, somehow. I'd wear it anywhere, but with only a slight dab... Like I said: powerful! I'm going to get my own sample and decide if this is FBW. I bet it is. :)

    NOTE: I stupidly dabbed this near a slight scratch on my hand, and it's itching like mad. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to consider that, though it's probably just me.

    Edited to add: the drydown also features an amazing oakmoss and labdanum and vanilla and patchouli blend that make everything super creamy and velvety. I love this scent!

  2. Voluer de rose (L'Artisan Parfumeur)
    Patchiuli. Dry patchouli. On me a lot of the time, patchouli takes over all else. This is one of those times. It's a nice patchouli, though!

  3. Rose Praline (Parfums de Rosine)

    Bergamot and rose when wet, which then becomes a very linear caramel sugar-dipped rose. It's sweet, like a praline, but not teeth achingly so. I think that's because a faint, gentle tea note balances the sweetness. This is an excellent perfume and I will be getting a decant or sample and then, probably, a bottle.

  4. Harrod's Rose (Bond No. 9)
    Perfume + a rose. A blast of sparkling perfume and a rose. It really smelled amusingly like an effervescent generic-but-nice perfume and a big rose to me! It made me giggle. That was only for a moment, then it became big white florals (tuberose, mainly) with a huge white rose in the middle! Not too-much tuberose, not too-much rose. Well-balanced. Really nice, but it reminds me of something (not Fracas) that I think I have...maybe the heart of Carolina Herrera?

  5. Citizen Queen (Juliette Has a Gun)

    Attempt One: Opens with uber-quick aldehydes, and then totally disappears. WTH? Must be a musk I can't pick up. Hubby and eldest child can smell it. Eventually (5-8 minutes later) a soft violet-rose with a touch of powder lying over a base of a faint amber. Despite the very faint nature, I want to say I love this. I get more from sillage than up close; this is the first time I've encountered that as a fledgling purfumista-ita.

    Second wearing: Aldehydes? Check.
    Missing minutes? Nope. Straight into a rose-tinged, creamy violet and iris. There may be a pinch of patchouli in the base, but only a little. I'm going to have to get my own sample to experiment with. For one thing, I saw a review that suggested the rose is more prominent when sprayed instead of dabbed. Also, I think I love this...or maybe I want to love this. That's not the same thing. Something is bugging me about this. Maybe I just want it to be... more? Have some oomph it doesn't currently have? More research needed. 

  6. Cannabis Rose (Fresh)

    I was interested to smell this, since I enjoy the real deal smell. I was crushed to find Canabis Rose started with a metallic anise note that briskly turned into a pile of sweet tobacco. That's it - linear for about an hour at which point I scrubbed. Tobacco notes give me migraines. I wasn't fast enough and the migraine is here. In case you were wondering, the throw is good - hubby asked me from across the room what I was wearing (and said "thank god!" when I washed it off).

    I tried to put on another scent but the tobacco kept rebounding - that sh*t is tenacious! I took a hot and long shower to get it off. I never smelled rose, nor did I get the munchies

  7. via
    Coriandre (Jean Couturier)
    Gorgeous green opening, with oakmoss and vetiver and a floral blend taking over. The slight bite of coriander is perfection! This is pretty linear, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Will seek out a vintage bottle, definitely.

  8. via
    Rose of Kali (Neil Morris)
    The first thing I smelled was a pear + chocolate blend, which sounds a lot weirder than it really was.  That was quick. The first main theme is a green, chocolatey rose blend. There's a hint of pear there, too. This is so strange, but smells amazing!

  9. Aqua Allegoria Rosa Magnifica (Guerlain)
    Sharp, astringent wet rose. Hyacinth + rose. Some might call this "soapy". Soliflore. Linear.

  10. Lipstick Rose (Frederick Malle)
    Fuchsia rose. Red rose. Lotsa big red rose.And then all of a sudden it pulls back and tingles with a raspberry note (which I would have noticed, but not been able to identify). Then it turned to plastic. :sadface:

  11. American Beauty (Dawn Spencer Hurowitz)
    Very sharp and chemical scent. I scrubbed. :(

    I hate saying that. I haven't tried any other DSH scents, but aim to do so. This vial was marked "prototype" and I wonder if it has turned? I have to admit, I was so repelled I wouldn't even try this again! I'm sorry, DSH fans... I wanted to be wowed, I really did! I won't be holding this against the line, though, because everyone speaks sooo highly of it.

    Edited to add a GIGANTIC retraction/correction! I took a look at Warum's comment below and chastised myself into trying American Beauty again. The opening was a little rough for me (somewhat mentholated and minty - not my favorite), but it wasn't whatever-the-hell-happened the first time! Slowly, a rose bloomed. And bloomed. And bloomed some more. A big vaseful or gorgeous roses. Gradually, a wonderfully woody base was exposed. And I do mean gradually. It's almost molecule by molecule, a subtle switch to a gorgeous base that, on me, is patchouli-dominant but not at all overbearing. Really, really nice. Warum, thanks for unintentionally guilting me into a re-try!

  12. Fleur de The Rose Bulgare (Creed)
    Lemon rose.
  13. Une Rose (Frederic Malle)
    It's pretty much rose to start out (a pretty rose), though there was a tiny bite of something sharp and nasty for a moment at the beginning. I often pick up base notes then, so maybe it was the castoreum?
    A rose frozen in amber? I dabbed a bit on a second time, and really loved the ambery dry-down. Must try a decant and experience this more!

  14. Evelyn (Crabtree & Evelyn) (pre-reformulation and renaming as Evelyn Rose)
    Pure rose. Pink and pretty. I want to say "tea rose" but I'm not sure that's right.

  15. La Rose Jaqueminot (Coty)
    Spicy deep dark rose. Amazing. Gorgeous. Carnation? Dark base - civet? Yum!  This lasted FOREVER on my skin and was so sultry and lovely. Crazy beautiful!


  16. True Rose (Woods of Windsor)
    Damask rose? Very much a pretty rose soliflore.
  17. Diablo Rose (Rosine)
    Minty rose. Toothpaste rose.
  18. Quel Amour! (edp)(Annick Goutal)
    Minty rose spice turns to fruity rose.
  19. Tea Rose (The Perfumers Workshop)
    Tea rose. Really pretty. Intense.

  20. English Rose (Yardley)
    Very pretty red rose.

  21. Rose Absolue (Annick Goutal)
    Really strong, multifaceted rose! Sadly it faded quickly on me and I'm a bit disappointed.

  22. Ce Soir ou Jamais (Annick Goutal)
    Soft, powdery rose. A little fruity touch. Sweet.

  23. via
    1000 (Patou)
    I love this. Stunning. Woody and honeyed and lovely glowing florals. I am short on words with this one not because it's basic or simple, but because I think it's got so many facets and movements I don't dare talk about it when I only got such a brief sample period with it.

  24. Paris Jardins Romantique (YSL)
    Floral burst, slightly soapy. Roses and lilacs are prominent to my nose. Very Spring-y and pretty. Would be a lovely young woman's or wedding scent.

  25. Paris  (YSL)
    Powder spice rose and violet, then...gone!
    It's back. And a little orange spicy, maybe?
    The violet and rose are taking turns on the dancefloor.
    Far drydown is powdery rose.

  26. Fleurs de Bulgarie (Creed)
    Bergamot, bulgarian rose, ambergris, musk (per bN). Sharp and astringent -yuck. A tad bit of rose.
    Bergamot, a bit. That's the astringency, I guess. Maybe a bit salty It's like sniffing a rose from afar ... Very afar.
    Honestly, this is like a vase of old roses that have wilted and are molding a tiny bit. There's a whiff of soapiness, but it's like... Dirty soap? Old rose soap!
    Checking the notes, I suppose the ambergris is contributing the soapy scent (and that early salt)? If there indeed is musk here, it's one to which I'm anosmic.
    Two hours later:  gone.

  27. Rose Splendide (Annick Goutal)
    Lemon? Something bitter, but soft.
    Green. A yellow green. Something I couldn't place- checked the notes: pear. Exactly! About 7-8'min in, a little spicy powder.
    Pear? Rose? Pear? Rose? I'm getting whiplash.
    Really lovely and sweet and new. Dewy, green pear-rose. Young. The ideal fruity floral.

  28. Lierre Rose (Parfums 06130)
    Ylang-jasmine bomb. An 80's scent like Sung meets Chinatown (Bond No. 9) minus the peach and patchouli (though I do believe there is some patch here, just not a ton). Pretty, strong, floral.

  29. L'Ombre Danse L'Eau (Diptique)
    Leaves. Take some strongly scented leaves, toss in blender. That's the opening to this perfume. PS: pine needles are pine trees' leaves - don't forget one or two in your brew! You know... I really like this! Very green. It's pretty intense, though, so memo to self: go lightly.

  30. Sa Majeste la Rose (Serge Lutens)
    A pretty Moroccan rose. It starts strong, then becomes a slightly powdered, honeyed beauty on top of some pretty woods. Should I ever want a rose soliflore, this would be it.

So, am I a rose convert? Totally! Well, to a degree. I will give rose scents a chance, definitely, but I think I only need one good rose soliflore in my life. I'm not so into smelling like a giant rose. But rose in a blend? Absolutely

A few of the scents I got to try will definitely find their way into my collection. In fact, a few already have! I stumbled upon a mini Paris and a mini Coriandre while antiquing this past weekend! I'll still add large bottles when I encounter them, though.

Others I will be testing a bit more, with an eye towards a full bottle eventually: Une Rose Chypree (Andy Tauer), Rose Praline (Rosine), Citizen Queen (Juliette Has a Gun), Rose of Kali (Neil Morris), Une Rose (Frederic Malle), La Rose Jacqueminot (Coty) (if I can find it!), 1000 (Patou), and L'Ombre Danse L'Eau (Diptique).

Do you "do" rose scents? Are you a fan or do you find them too potpourri and sachet? What suggestions do you have for me for more rose adventures?



  1. Love this post. Love roses and rose perfumes. Lately adore the combination of rose with citrus like Amouage Homage - the best rose scent ever!!!

  2. Worth a try is also Dark Rose-Czech&Speake, Lyric-Amouage, Deep Roses - Montale,Chloe Intense, Une folie de roses-Les Parfums de Rosine, Taif - Ormonde Jayne, Rose Oud - Kilian....

  3. Hey, I am the one who added the American Beauty prototype in the mix. Prototype means that it was not the final version. Dawn Spencer Hurwitz was having a sale of these in her Essence studio. She told that it is very similar to the final version.

    I am sorry you did not like it, it's an unusual rose I think, but she has other roses as well.American Beauty is Rose #1, and she has roses #2,3, and 4. Her June bride features a rose as well.

    A blend that strongly features rose: L'Heure Exquise (Annick Goutal), Amouage Lyric Woman, and Lancome Sikkim.

  4. Great blog, Jen! you went above and beyond with the reviews, which were a pleasure to read.

    Just one comment about the poor longevity of AG Rose Absolue. This is because the sample included is not the Eau de Parfum, which is quite a bit stronger and longer lasting, but the newly released (2010) "Eau Parfumée", which is being sold in 100ml bottles.

    Rose Splendide is also a 2010 Eau Parfumée release. The third 2010 Eau Parfumée is a lighter version of Quel Amour; however, the sample in this box is the stronger edp.)

    I would particularly caution readers that if they see 100ml bottles of Rose Absolue edp on eBay, they should assume they are actually the weaker Eau Parfumée, and check with the seller before buying. The unfortunatel similarity between the two terms creates confusion among buyers and sellers alike.

  5. bosnishmuslima
    Thanks so much for your comment and suggestions! I'm deligently taking notes. I admit to being wary of Amouage, though. It's not just the price point, but I'm also confused and overwhelmed by the website and broad selection. Homage is a great place to start, so thank you! Also, I keep hearing about Taif - must check it out.

  6. Warum, thanks for the kick in the pants! I ammended my notes above to reflect my second try with American Beauty. This time it turned quite lovely, though the opening is still not my favorite. Thanks again!

  7. 30 Roses
    Thank YOU for the opportunity! How marvelous. I appreciate the feedback on Rose Splendide; that *is* confusing. Thanks for coming by ye olde blog.

  8. I'm with bosnishmuslima, definitely Lyric by Amouage.
    It was the one that made me realize I actually might like rose in perfume. Well, that one actually made me love it. :)

  9. jen, you perfectly described what my experience with Citizen Queen was! That is so bizarre to me... that first you put it on, then BLAMO, then nothing... then... love? I spent more time with this one before making a decision about it than almost any other perfume in my collection. It's a little challenging, but in a really good way. I've since come to adore it, and, since I have the oil version in the purse bullet, I keep it close to hand at all times. A little whiff is guaranteed to make my day!

    Oh, and adding my support of Lyric---it's so stunning!


  10. Ooooops, dear, do you believe that kick in the pants was NOT what I meant? Do I come across not as my normally funny, cheerful and reflective self? :) I did not intend to send you on a guilt trip, but I am glad that you retried. More than one fragrance I tried and got the wrong impression, then tried again and found it lovely! (this is my story of Sensuous -- first try: peppery bugspray, 2nd try -- liquid honey!)

  11. I am so glad you tried American Beauty again. I would have guilted you, too. :)

    I also love DSH's Beach Roses. And Juliet Has a Gun Lady Vengeance. And Agent Provocateur.

    I need to stop now. But I love roses. :)

  12. @dee Howe: you mentioned you have the oil version of Citizen Queen. Did not know that Juliette has a Gun is available as oil perfume. Can you please tell me where you have it from?


  13. I had similar experiences with American Beauty (found it harsh) and Citizen Queen (I think I am anosmic to something in there, as well as HYPERosmic to a woody amber material in it; I felt it was both harsh and not very rosy). We must have similar noses! (Also, Bond No. 9 Saks en Rose reminded me of Carolina Herrera -- I wonder if the Harrods version is basically the same?)

    I do love roses and some of my favorites are Rossy de Palma, Une Rose Chypree and Incense Rose, Agent Provocateur, Clarins Par Amour, Broadway Nite, MH Geranium Bourbon, SSS Vintage Rose .... I could go on. :)

  14. What a great post! I love rose fragrances.(Unfortunately, my husband does not, so they are a special treat saved for time alone)

    My favorites roses are Estee Lauder Knowing (a powerful Rose chypre - a little goes a long way), Rosine Rose d'Homme, Czech & Speake Dark Rose (soooo gorgeous!!)....I could go on...

    I'm happy to hear you like Neil Morris Rose of Kali! I just ordered a sample last night. I was unsure of the chocolate note, but Neil himself recommended it upon learning I was a rose lover. He has a new rose fragrance called "A Rose is a Rose" which I also ordered. It's not listed on his site yet, but if anyone is interested in buying a sample, you just order any "Vault" sample, and say you want "A Rose is a Rose" instead. (not affiliated, btw)

    I love your blog. I look forward to catching up on your past entries and new posts to come.

  15. Ines, Lyric is on The List now. Thanks.

    Dee, Citizen Queen is so puzzling I can't not follow u' on it.

    Warum, I have nothing but thanks for your kindly kick. :)

    Diana, Beach Roses is on my must explore list, and I have a sample of Agent Provocateur and really like it.

    Elisa, I have to track down Bond No. 9 Saks en Rose. Could they be the same? It *is* Bond...

    JoanElaine, Thanks for the nice words. Did you get your Rose of Kali? And how is A Rose is a Rose?

  16. WOW I haven't seen this post - so giddy that you also chose Queen Rose by Lutens as your soliflore as I did too! Nice to see some of my favorites up there too!

  17. Frida, we have some picks in common? Cool! That's always valdidating.:) I wonder if I smelled some of these now what I'd think, now that my nose is a bit more mature? I did end up with Citizen Queen and Une Rose Chypree in my stash, and am searching for a few of the others here. Fun sample pass!


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