Tag Archives: best rose perfumes

L’Occitane Roses et Reines: The Sublime Queen of the Roses

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One of my favourite Christmas presents this year was a box of miniature perfume that my lovely friend Rachael bought me from L’Occitane.  Not only do I love the brand,  but almost nobody ever buys me perfume.   Maybe they labour under the misapprehension that I already have “enough”? You and I know there’s no such thing when it comes to perfume.

Loccitane box

L’Occitane Roses et Reines is a radiant fruity floral. It just about zings off my skin like rosy sunbeams and wafts pleasantly about in my wake.

Now although I’ve called it a fruity floral, make no mistake. This is first and foremost a  big, gorgeous, girly rose, but it is supported by a  bijoux fruit bowl that brings out the different facets.

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There’s raspberry: one of the more delicate of the red fruits. It’s not bold or overly sweet like strawberries or pink pepper. Out of all red fruits and berry notes, raspberry is just about the only one I really enjoy. It complements the rose particularly well.

Secondly, there’s a touch of apricot. Apricot has the fruity heart of peach without the overly sweet aspect, nor the frequent synthetic territory that peach often wanders into.  There’s bergamot too, but I only noticed this when the perfume first bloomed on my skin. It’s a tart accompaniment that sets the tone. This rose may be as feminine as a ballerina, but it’s never sickly or cloying.

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Roses et Reines has a wonderful vintage feel to it. The beautiful bottle itself runs with the heritage motif and would look at home on any dressing table, especially mine. This is a wonderful, classic rose. The fruit adds a playfulness, and the base gives me a whisper of good old fashioned powdery notes. There’s nothing about L’Occitane Roses et Reines that I don’t love.

 

Stockists

You can buy Roses et Reines from L’Occitane stores and online. You can also buy L’Occitane products at John Lewis and Amazon UK to name but two.  My beautiful mini was a gift and opinions are of course, my own.

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Bvlgari Rose Goldea: The Essence of The Jeweler 2016

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Bvlgari Rose Goldea was launched in 2016 as a flanker to Bvlgari Goldea, which I haven’t tried so can’t compare. The nose behind Rose Goldea is Alberto Morillas, who also created almost all of the Bvlgari range for women, and to whom I owe gratitude for creating Voulez Vous Coucher Avec Moi for By Kilian, which I plan to review soon. perfsocpreciousperfume

I puzzled over Rose Goldea since I couldn’t figure out why this rose scent smells so distinctive. I spotted the peony, notable for adding feminine prettiness to many florals, but couldn’t put my finger on why this rose smells both sharper and lighter than other rose fragrances. The answer is pomegranate. Now, whilst red fruits can often add a Haribo sweetness that repels, rather than attracts me, pomegranate has enough bite and bitterness to put the petals in sharp relief and showcase their unique properties. The pretty peony builds it up, and the pomegranate leaves a strangely pleasing bitterness in its wake.

Bvlgari  Rose Goldea is a mufti faceted rose that has none of the Turkish Delight notes, nor the jammy sweetness of other rose perfumes.  Jasmine adds a headiness and there is s tiny bit of vanilla in the base, but the frankinscsence and sandalwood sober it up and keep it in check.

All in all, this is an interesting scent that brings out the botanical sharpness of a rose, rather than going down the romantic route. I would go as far as to say that, despite the impossibly pretty bottle, this could make an excellent unisex choice. It showcases strength and delicacy at the same time and is most certainly worth looking into should you come across it on your beauty counter trawling travels. I liked it very much and I am pretty much marinated in it. Gorgeous.

Stockists

My sample was in the Perfume Society Precious Perfumes Discovery Box. You can buy the boxes from their website here. Alternatively, you can buy full bottle of Bvlgari Rose Goldea from Escentual or John Lewis. Opinions are my own.

Tauerville Rose Flash: Review

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Nobody can accuse Andy Tauer of not being good to his fans. Whilst the Tauer range remains one of the highest quality niche fragrance brands in the world, the price tag isn’t always within everybody’s reach. This doesn’t mean they’re not worth every penny: Andy sources ingredients, makes it, bottles, it and posts it himself. With niche, you know the money you spend goes on ingredients and not the supermodel fronting the ad campaign.turkish-delight-pic

There are now five scents in the Tauerville Flash range and at around £50 for a 30ml bottle, I call them all excellent value. Under the Tauerville banner, Andy has made a series of cheaper scents that are consistently high quality with excellent longevity, yet the price makes them accessible: so accessible, that I’m thinking of getting the lot (eventually).

Today I am reviewing Rose Flash. What makes Rose Flash powerful is that this rose has many facets. It opens like a kitchen in which strawberry jam is being cooked. There’s a hint of burnt sugar before the strawberries fade into roses. The rose segues from jam into Turkish Delight, yet manages to never be too sweet.

rose-close-up The Turkish Delight, in turn, starts to bloom like a flower fresh from the garden: similar to a chrysanthemum: that spring time “clean” scent. Then the rose, still on its journey, turns into the familiar deep red rose of Valentine’s Day, with a sweetness that reminds me of rose creams, but thankfully, and this is the real saving grace for me- no vanilla! This would have become a cliché if vanilla had been added as a co-star, as it has been in mainstream scent way too often lately,  but with Rose Flash, Andy lets the rose speak for itself.

There is additional support from woods and resins, and I got some musk and amber in there too, which serve to enhance the smoky, woody base that borders on rose incense sticks. This is rose to the core and gets very addictive once it’s on your skin. I love the way it unfolds, like a dance of the seven veils.

This is a superb rose perfume and I would go as far as saying that this is one of the best ways you can spend £50 on perfume. Quality, long lasting artisan perfume at these prices? It’s a steal.

Stockists

You can buy Rose Flash from Tauerville (check shipping regs) In the UK Rose Flash is also available from Les Senteurs. In the USA, you can find it in Lucky Scent. My sample was kindly given to me by friend of the blog Lisa Wordbird. Thank you Lisa! x

Photos: Top photo: Fragrantica, Turkish Delight from RosannaPansino.com, Photo of a rose from happyvalentinesday2015.org, photo of rollerball from tauerville.com

Balenciaga Rosabotanica: Roses Among The Greenery

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Now the kids are back in school, I finally had the chance to skulk around in Debenhams Perfume Hall without reprisals.  Bravely soldiering through the enticing displays, I managed to whittle my list down to Perfumes I Hadn’t Tried Before, rather than revisiting old favourites. I was aiming for Florabotanica, but the Tester wasn’t there. I’m quite glad, because today, reader, I found a fragrance to fall in love with. Call it serendipity, or call it Rosabotanica.

rosa-adRosabotanica opens with an abundance of green notes:  glorious leafy fig and tomato leaves. Even greener were the orange leaves, aka petitgrain, which added a zingy bitterness that was most welcome.  This delightful opening was enhanced by touches of citrus, namely grapefruit.  After this vibrant opening, the roses and hyacinth start to come in. The rose smells authentically deep: red and velvety.  I could almost feel those cool, waxy petals. The green figgy notes stop it from being cloying. Not that I mind cloying rose- I’ll take my rose in any old form, I’ve never turned one down. The rose hooks up with the fig and all settles down into a beautiful floral scent with a good dose of woody cedar and earthy patchouli as the base notes settle down for the day.

My only wish is that it were stronger, because I wanted to really marinade in this. Rosabotanica has all the best bits from a fresh garden: grassy cuttings, fresh figs and green tomato vines. The rose is delicate yet rich and the hyacinth always says spring to me. I’d wear this all year round and every day.

Stockists

You can buy Rosabotanica from Debenhamsallbeauty.com or Amazon UK.

 

 

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Annick Goutal Rose PomPon 2016: Roses Come Out To Play

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With a name like Rose PomPon you might expect a pretty, playful fragrance, and you’d be right. Annick Goutal Rose PomPon is a delightful rose scent that is made green and quirky with the addition of both raspberries and blackcurrants. Sometimes blackcurrants can smell like cat pee, but not here. Here their bitterness and greenery is brought out alongside creamy centifolia rose until I was reminded more of fresh tomato leaves than Ribena.

The flower petals add to the feminine feel of PomPon: rose and peony make it their own. I always think peony is the textbook note when “light and girly” is required and this is no exception.

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The base is long lasting and has hints of clean white musk and faint woods. There is patchouli here, but it is only a whisper.

With the combination of raspberry, blackcurrant and the ubiquitous pink pepper (a berry, not a spice), this could be placed in the fruity floral category. However, the roses and peony are allowed to dominate, whilst the fruit makes both even greener and lighter, skipping any hints of fruit cocktail or overpowering sweetness. It’s not typical of the genre: it has a lot more to offer.

This is a rose for a modern girl. If I had to sum it up I would call it a rose fraiche. I wouldn’t turn a bottle down any time soon. The only thing about Rose PomPon that isn’t pretty, is the greed it brought out in me. There have been so many Must Buys lately that 2016 is shaping up to be a superb year for fragrance and a terrible year for my bank account.

Wear with a tea dress.

Stockists

I got my sample from the Perfume Society Exquisite Essences Discovery Box. You can buy a full bottle from Escentual, Harvey Nichols or House of Fraser.

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E Coudray Iris Rose: A Perfect Blend

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E Coudray Iris Rose was just one of twelve scents contained in The Perfume Society Exquisite Essences Discovery Box . I have been dipping in and out and liking what I sniff but this one coshed me with a club and dragged me back to its cave. I’m in love and powerless to fight it.

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I have had a chequered past with iris. Some iris scents make me run in the other direction (Editions Frederic Malle Iris Poudre, I’m talking to you) while others drew me in like a smitten kitten. E Coudray Iris Rose is the latter and it has shot to the top of my lengthy wish list, which is no mean feat if you saw how long it is.

Opening unsurprisingly with Iris and Rose, this is a dominantly iris fragrance that reminded me of Chanel No 5, but with fewer aldehydes. Imagine a version of Chanel No 5 where they took almost everything out except the flowers. Now add some musk and violets. If that sounds good to you, then you will love Iris Rose.

According to Fragrantica, there is also Labdanum, vanilla and tonka bean in here somewhere, but I could find no trace. There were violets and heliotrope alongside the iris, which made me think of Guerlain Apres L’Ondee, only this is more floral. The base has musk, woods and patchouli, but its the musk that emerges as the frontrunner when all’s said and done. The iris is like ironed sheets and clean parchment, and has none of the rooty carrotty-ness that it sometimes has in other scents.  The blend of rose and iris together is seamless and beautiful to the point where I feel I should Brangelina its name to Riris or Rosis. There is a hint of powdery lipstick-ness as it finishes with a long lasting flourish and this gives Riris/Rosis a retro feel that cries out for a vintage dressing table.

Stockists

You can get a sample of E Coudray Iris Rose in the Perfume Society Exquisite Essences Discovery Box. You can buy a full 100ml bottle from Escentual or Amazon UK.

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4160 Tuesdays Raw Silk and Red Roses

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I wanted to make a really rosy rose, a 1980s style scent, like a walk through a rose garden. I love my rose fragrances, and although I’ve been dabbling with rose and violet, rose and herbs and rose and vetivert, I’d wanted to take the plunge with pure rose. – Sarah McCartney

When I received my box of treats from 4160 Tuesdays last week, looking like Quality Street for grown ups, the first one I tried was Raw Silk and Red Roses. It was instant love for keeps. It is no exaggeration to say that this is one of the best rose scents I have ever smelled, and I’ve smelled A Lot.

At first spray, this smells delicate and retro, like breath sweets or rose water ( only amplified), and then I smell a bunch of my beloved violets. There are no violets, but maybe the rose breath sweets are so intrinsically linked with violet ones that I can’t help it. The sweetness is Middle Eastern aromatic- yes, I’m going to say Turkish Delight, without sugariness, and that’s a compliment because I love that too. However Raw Silk and Red Roses then drops its veils one by one. There’s peppery geranium to add a little oomph. There’s peach and plum,( don’t panic peach-dodgers, its great) and vintage musk.

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However, what I got was an almost creamy almondy hint, that makes this a proper grown up lady perfume to me. The patchouli and musk gives this a real clout that showcases the rose and makes it the star.

It makes me feel like I should put my pearls on and make witty retorts. It makes me feel that to wear scruffy clothes whilst wearing it would be rude. If this had been available ten years ago when I got married, I would have worn it on my wedding day.

Longevity is great- at the end of the day I was catching little whiffs as I got comfy on the sofa in the evening ( in my pearls, whilst making witty retorts).  When I wear it, I feel like showing off. That’s good enough for me.

Sarah, please don’t stop making it. I’ll be wearing this for a very long time.  Superb. I’m calling it a classic.

Stockists

All 4160 Tuesdays scents are available online  and a selection is available from Escentual and in store at Fortnum and Masons. The 4160 Tuesdays postal service is excellent. They send it to you like its your birthday.

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Pell Wall Pretty in Pink: The Perfect English Rose and More…

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I first stumbled across Pell Wall Pretty in Pink on the pages of The Perfumed Dandy’s blog. His site has been quiet of late and I miss his flamboyant and unique reviews.  However, if the Dandy likes it, it’s usually worth liking and Pell Wall Pretty in Pink was as delightful as I had hoped.

As mentioned in my previous post where I reviewed Pell Wall Deep Purple, Pell Wall Perfumes are the creation of Chris Bartlett, who fits that marvellous category of independent UK perfumer. He does everything himself and the buck stops with Chris.  To me, our independent perfumers are national treasures and we need them.

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Pell Wall Pretty In Pink lives up to its name and yet avoids modern cliché.  It is indeed feminine and pretty , but what stands out for me is that Pretty In Pink smells like it was created in the 1950s to go with a tea dress, bone china and a powder puff.  It’s not just the rose, you see, it’s the fact that the Lily of the Valley takes off from the starting blocks at the same time and instead of a rose soliflore, you have a jammy rose with my favourite ever flower alongside it, floating around in a wonderful time warp that makes me go misty eyed. (Its no coincidence that my two all time favourite perfumes are Gucci Envy and Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange. Lily of the Valley Fanatic?  Moi?)

The top notes are lime, mint, and neroli, and the hint of sharp greenery in the opening adds a lovely botanical garden tang to this most English of rose perfumes.

www.theweddingcommunity.com
www.theweddingcommunity.com

So here I am wafting about in a cloud of rose and lily of the valley and feeling rather pleased with myself.   The ingredients are high quality: hand selected and sniffed by Chris himself. I can smell actual petals.  I can pick Lily of the Valley out anywhere and here it is pleasingly measured alongside the rose. There are other flowers too: jasmine and lily to name two, but once I’d latched onto the lily of the valley, I couldn’t let it go.

As the day wore on, I could still smell Pretty in Pink clearly and although some of the initial floral sweetness has gone, sandalwood and musk start emerging very agreeably.  There is vanilla listed, but I didn’t get any.  The roses and lily of the valley never completely go away, but they become muted versions that stay on skin with an almost patchouli like finish which reminded me of the base notes of both Narciso Rodriguez For Her and Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely.

Longevity was extraordinary.  I sprayed my neck and crooks of elbows and the ends of my hair and the following morning, a full twenty one hours after first trying it, I could still smell it around the ends of my hair and on my pillow.

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Not bad for £36 a bottle is it?  Pretty in Pink would suit just about anyone but would go especially well with vintage Laura Ashley or Royal Doulton or in a wedding photo. It also goes very well down the park in January playing hide and seek with people shorter than me.

You can buy Pretty in Pink right here, or why not treat yourself to a Pell Wall sample pack?

 

PS Is it just me or are The Psychedelic Furs singing Pretty in Pink in your head too?

 

Tauer Incense Rose: I Could Never Leave You

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It’s hard for me to pick a favourite Tauer: it changes day by day. However, if a cruel person made me only choose one, it would be Incense Rose.

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I have been looking at a lot of rose perfumes recently but this one makes the rose smell so unique, whilst keeping its characteristics.

It opens with a blast of sparkling aldehydes. If Rose and Bergamot were made into sparkling lemonade this is what it would smell like. The opening phase lasts and lasts and then starts to change and move into ecclesiastical territory- which is fine by me as I am huge fan of Comme Des Garcons Series 3 Avignon and I do love a bit of church.  The incense here is High Church and High quality.  I have sat through enough High Masses to vouch for this.

The incense is rich and resinous and makes me think of ancient stone walls and that particular hushed atmosphere of a cathedral.  The rose is still there, but it’s not a pretty rose with frills and lace.  It is the peppery, paper like rose petals that you would find in a good pot pourri. The leaves are faded and fragile, but the scent of rose is there- spicy and dry.

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Civray Church, Poitou Charente-my own photo

The third phase would please any fan of Andy Tauer’s L’Air Du Desert Marocain (or LADDM to fans).  The scent has now become smoky and dry, like the desert mentioned, but still the rose lingers.  What started as a light, zingy aldehyde has matured as the day has worn on, and become a Grand Dame of aged smoky Rose petals. I love a perfume that tells a story and changes as my day changes.  It begins with light optimism and energy and ends as a smoky, sandy sunset with the prickles of petals fading as the scent finally gives up after a fourteen hour day.

As usual with Tauers, ingredients are top quality and longevity is unbeatable.  Wear this and bloom.

Stockists

If you are in the UK, you can buy  both 2ml Tauer samples and full bottles from  Les Senteurs.  In Europe, try the Tauer website, and in the USA, try LuckyScent and even Amazon.com for a slection of Tauer fragrances.

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Andy Tauer PHI Rose de Kandahar-It’s Here!

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I am an unabashed fan of Andy Tauer. That doesn’t mean I blindly love everything he does: for some reason Reverie au Jardin disagrees with me, but I’d pretty much take a Tauer scent any day of the week.

What I love about Tauers is that Andy is a one man show.  He’s not a boardroom full of shirts looking at focus groups and trends.  He doesn’t have to go through a comittee and he’s not part of a global organisation (apart from having a distribution partner).  He’s a lone wolf and that makes things very interesting right from the start.

The development of PHI Rose de Kandahar has been well documented via Andy’s blog and Facebook page and it’s finally available in the UK.  This is a limited edition as Andy’s vat of Rose de Kandaher absolute is not bottomless (hence its inclusion in the “Collectibles” range). So now I finally have my treasured sample. Was it worth it?  Oh yes.

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PHI Rose de Kandahar has a Middle Eastern richness to it. Initially it’s honeyed roses and almonds and dried apricots: it reminds me of a scented Souk. At first this edible combination was very Turkish Delight, just for a moment.  But what happens next is that it transforms into, unless I’m mistaken, something not unlike a good Arabian Oud.  I often find Oud too strong for me, but in Rose de Kandahar it’s like a robust backdrop to something altogether more delicate. The irony is that there is no Oud in it, but the combination of tobacco, ambergris, vetiver and patchouli gives this a very rich and almost prickly base.   It’s like serving an aromatic Bacchanalian feast on a rough granite table. The contrast of the rough with the smooth enhances the delicacy of the ingredients.

Here are the notes as listed on Fragrantica:

 apricot, cinnamon,
bitter almond, bergamot

Rose of Kandahar essential oil,
Bulgaria rose absolute, Bourbon geranium, dried tobacco leaves.

patchouli, vetiver, vanilla,
tonka beans, musk, ambergris.

 There is an interesting Feel Good back-story to this.  The Kandahar roses that produce this absolute were grown in Afghanistan by farmers that have been subsidised to produce roses instead of growing plants that provide the base materials for drug use (“Hungerhilfe”). In other words, Make Roses, Not Drugs.

The wonderful fragrance alone is reason enough to love this, but  add the milk of human kindness and  you have just one of the many reasons to love PHI Rose de Kandahar.

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