Wearing Ralph Lauren Romance makes me feel that whilst working the casual vibe, my jeans should be pressed, my T shirt should be white and it’s OK to add pearls. It’s clean and bright and floral and pretty. It’s wholesome and harmless and you can wear it to meet the in laws for the first time.
Out of all the bestsellers I have been reviewing lately, I think this one is the one I would be most likely to buy and wear (not counting Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, which I would own by the gallon if I could). Some may argue that being the owner of the much cheaper Next Just Pink amounts to the same thing as a bottle of Romance, and there are indeed similarities, but I wouldn’t say no to owning both.
Ralph Lauren Romance opens with all things nice. The prettiest of the flowers in the garden are all present and correct especially the delightful Freesia and her friend Rose. This is SO floral and clean smelling at the same time that it reminded me of Estee Lauder Pleasures, another scent I would never turn down. There is a citrus note and the faintest hint of Ginger in the top notes, just enough to anchor down the flowers and stop them flying away.
The middle notes bring out a little of my old favourite Violet, but sniff once and it’s gone. The flowers in the middle are a little spicier: Carnation and Lily prepare us for the Musky, prickly base.
The basenotes very much remind me of the exquisite Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely, a bottle that will always be on my dressing table. Both Lovely and Romance start with flowers, all feminine and pretty, before bedding into a base of Woody Musks and Patchouli. In fact, this also reminds me of Lanvin Rumeur by St Francis of Kurkdjian, beloved by me but dismissed waspishly by Luca Turin. Both have a base that is so Patchouli and Woody that it almost, but not quite, scratches your nose, and I mean that in a good way. Bring it on.
Overall, Romance has been knocking around since 1998, and is still a steady seller. Flankers are almost too numerous to name. Shame really, as I always feel that if a good scent has too many flankers, people forget why the original was so good in the first place, so busy are we dodging the “Fraiche” or the “Summer” or the “Night” versions of all the pretty things on the counter.
Romance is reasonably priced at around 25GBP for 30ml. The only hard part is making sure you buy the original and not one of the eight flankers.