Gabriella’s Top-Five Rose Scents 2015


Post by Gabriella


Hello fragrance friends! While I’m a huge floral lover, I’ve got to say that when it comes to rose, I’m pretty finicky. I tend to love darker, spicier roses or those with a chypre edge rather than the perfumes that make you feel like you’ve stuck your nose into a big bouquet full of blooms. It’s ironic really as the rose is where perfume all started for me. As a young girl (I’m quite sure many of you did this too) I decided to create my own perfume by plucking the petals off Mum and Dad’s rose bushes and soaking them in water, desperately hoping I’d get some glorious ladylike scent in the process. What resulted was a rank and fetid smelling water, but thank god, this did not put me off perfume or roses forever.
My favourite rose perfumes smell much more glorious than those failed experiments, so without further ado, I present to you:

Gabriella’s Top-Five Rose Scents 2015

Paris Yves Saint Laurent FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

1. Paris by Sophia Grojsman for Yves Saint Laurent 1983

Fragrantica  gives these accords:
Top: Bergamot and violet
Heart: May rose and iris
Base: Sandalwood

The formative rose. I was 14, I wanted to be all woman and this bold, shapeshifting scent in its iconic pink and black topped bottle was it. Paris, now vastly reformulated and lost in a mass of flankers, was a mesmerising concoction of violet, rose and iris, that managed to be bold and confident but demure and sweet all at the same time. I wore copious amounts underneath my school uniform and how I didn’t get expelled for overpowering the whole school with my sillage, I’ll never know.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Now Smell This
Fragrancenet starts at $43.99/30ml before coupon
Surrender to Chance starts at $3.00/ml

Stella Stella McCartney FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

2. Stella by Jacques Cavallier for Stella McCartney 2003

Fragrantica gives these accords:
Top: Rose oil, peony and a gentle touch of fresh tangerine
Heart: Rose
Base: Amber

The funny-story rose. I started to wear Stella around the time I was dating Mr M the first time around many years ago. I asked him what he thought of the green-tinged, but voluptuously warm amber rose creation. He said: “Smells like Grandma.” So, I stopped wearing it and it became my very expensive room spray. But then, every time Mr M came round, this is what my place and I smelt of. So, it was to my amusement a month or two later that he presented me with a bottle, completely forgetting the backstory and thinking that he done something wonderfully romantic because it “reminded him of me.”

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Now Smell This
Escentual starts at GBP35.70/30ml
Surrender to Chance starts at $3/ml

Agent Provocateur Agent Provocateur FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

3. Agent Provocateur by Christian Provenzano for Agent Provocateur 2000

Fragrantica gives these accords:
Top: saffron
Heart: Magnolia, Indian jasmine and gardenia blend together with strong woodsy-chypre scent
Base: Amber and musk notes

The va-va-voom rose. I tried Agent Provocateur firstly because the whole ethos of the scent was something I had to have. I was called “cute” even at age 30 and I all I wanted to be was a sexy and sultry goddess. The first whiff of Agent Provocateur had me in a spin because I had smelt nothing quite like it. A dark woody and utterly captivating chypre rose that says strength and sex all at the same time.

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Dear Scent Diary
Fragrancenet starts at $33.99/50ml before coupon.
Surrender to Chance starts at $3/ml

Lady Vengeance Juliette Has A Gun FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

4. Lady Vengeance by Francis Kurkdjian for Juliette Has A Gun 2006

Fragrantica gives these accords in one line:
Italian rose, vanilla and patchouli.  

The surprising rose. As I said, I’m finicky about rose. I’m also especially finicky when it comes to patchouli and as for vanilla and gourmands, they are usually no-go zones, but Francis Kurdjian has managed to create something with all four that I adore. It’s a sweet but dark rose that manages to be both pretty but voluptuous and vivacious at the same time with glorious sillage and lasting power.

Libertine Parfumerie has $186/100ml
Surrender to Chance starts at $3/ml

Gris Montaigne Christian Dior FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

5. Gris Montaigne by Francois Demarchy for Christian Dior La Collection Privee 2013

Fragrantica gives these accords in one line:
Bergamot, rose, patchouli, amber, cedar, sandalwood and oakmoss.

The new rose. I enter the Christian Dior boutique expecting it would be New Look 1947 or Grand Bal I would buy as my upcoming birthday present. And although I’d smelt them before, I was underwhelmed as I stood there, nose to wrist. The SA kept pushing me towards Gris Montaigne with the assurance that “This is the one for you.” One sniff and my eyes rolled back in pleasure as I softly cooed. Gris Montaigne is surprising, because, if you read the notes, one would expect a spicy chypre rose a la Agent. What it actually is a very pretty, sparkling and sophisticated rose bouquet that is imminently wearable and utterly special.

Further reading: Kafkaesque and Cafleurebon
Christian Dior Boutiques have $335/125ml
Surrender to Chance starts at $3/ml

So, do you like any of my choices? Is rose love it or leave it for you? If you like rose, what are your faves?

With much love till next time!
M x

33 thoughts on “Gabriella’s Top-Five Rose Scents 2015

  1. I still love YSL PARIS after all these years, since I was sneaking in my mother’s bedroom to put it on.
    I personally adore clean, clear rose perfumes that are true to the flower’s real scent.
    I adore L’Occitane’s older ROSE 4 REINES, which was substituted by the current, sugary and fruity version.
    I recently managed to find a bottle of the former perfume, and couldn’t be happier.
    That older formula was beloved by so many, that I find it odd that L’Occitane found it a good idea to alter it…
    Another real rose scent I love is Paul Smith’s ROSE.


  2. Hey there Madeleine,
    I love your list but my own list has Neela Vermeire’s Mohur right at the top and Ballets Rouges by Olympic orchids next, closely followed by Rosa sur Reuse by SOIVOHLE. I adore Paris and liked Gris Montaigne but it was not for me.
    Portia xx


      • Yes, 5 is a very short list. All of us have our own 5 and that’s why I love reading others top 5 lists. All different.
        Portia xx


  3. Must be rose day. You and Olfactoria’s Travels. I do like rose but don’t have a favourite although I must agree with Portia, Mohur is very lovely and I wear it a lot.
    Gris Montaigne sounds worth checking out although I am not a CD girl. At all. Very nice post today. Hugs. xxxx


    • Hi Cookie,
      Yes I chuckled when I saw Tara posted too. Yep, you’re a Vero gal, so i would have thought Rozy would be on your list.

      Hugs xxx


      • Well Rozy isn’t really a rose. More a vibe. And yes, I really only wear Vero’s anyway. :). xxxxxxx


  4. If you’re going to make me pick only five rose scents… well. 🙂

    For a light, charming rose, I love Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete. Yellow roses are my favorite, and this one nails their scent perfectly. YSL Paris (or its Printemps flankers) is still the romantic winner. I love L’Arte di Gucci’s b*tchy-diva rose chypre very much.

    Wow, actually, if I had those three I could probably limp along without the others. However, I’d probably miss my JHaG Citizen Queen, my Lyric Woman, my MFK Lumiere Noire pour femme, my Ballets Rouges… Mohur is lovely, though I’ve only had a sample of the EdP. I liked Agent Provocateur too, but not enough for it to kick my other rose chypres out of bed. I have, unbelievably, never smelled Stella.


    • Hey Mals,

      It was difficult to choose 5. I love Rose d’Ete! I haven’t smelt in ages as it was taken of the market here. Love Citizen Queen too.

      M xx


      • Madeleine,
        I have some Rose d’ete. next time you’re in Sydney we need to have a sniff.
        Portia x


  5. Hi Madeleine,
    I love other people’s lists. I always find something new to try, this time perhaps the Gris Montainge? Your descriptions are so much fun too. I was also “cute” until the age of thirty and now that I have more than doubled in age I have once again become a “honey” and a “sweety” and any number of other f…ing diminutives. What to do? I suppose just roll with it. Smelling like a “grandma” is often more of a compliment than we realize…the smell of love and comfort. How can that be a bad thing?
    Azar xx


  6. Hi, Madeleine — I am totally jazzed to try all of your selections. My current rose fave is Lyric Woman. But I am so intrigued by your description of Agent Provocateur!


  7. While I cannot do rose perfumes (they give me headaches and make me sick to my stomach), I love real roses and could do YSL Paris back in the day. It didn’t smell like roses to me, just very feminine and pretty. I’ve always wanted to try Agent based on the notes list, however I didn’t know it was a rose perfume. Perhaps I should skip that one. Thanks for the review!


  8. Hi Madeleine

    I haven’t tried any of these, but now I feel I must! I too loved rose and it was my entry way into perfume, but now I feel lost with roses abd haven’t found a rose I truly adore. I will give some of these a go. The Gris Montaigne sounds especially nice.

    Also, I loved your funny story 🙂


  9. I’m fickle with roses too. I just gave away my bottle of Agent Provocateur to someone who’ll love it more than I did. I do like La Fille de Berlin and Whips and Roses. Paris is beautiful but I never thought I could wear it for some reason. Maybe I should try it again.


    • Hi poodle,

      Fille de Berlin is fab…could have made the list MUCH longer. Don’t know Whips and Roses…intrigued!



  10. i really like une rose by freric malle and nahema and lipstick rose and drole do rose….looks like i love roses too : )


    • Hi flowergirl,

      Lipstick rose is awesome, especially love how the grapefruit cuts through the rose and violet. Wanted to love Une Rose, but it turns on me sadly….



  11. I have not tried any on your list–time to remedy that! My favorites are:

    Ormonde Jayne Ta’if edp
    Tauer Phi Une Rose de Kandahar
    Vero Profumo Rozy
    Lutens La Fille de Berlin
    Neela Vermiere Mohur
    Olympic Orchids Ballet Rouges


  12. Loved reading your list! Some beloved favorites of mine are on it, including Agent Provacateur (hard to believe how inexpensive this one is when you smell it,) Lady Vengeance, and Paris ( I love the original release with the black and gold cap). I would round out my top five with the insanely good L’Arte de Gucci and Lyric Woman.
    Thanks for a great post!


  13. Have to add that I agree with all the adoration for Mohur, but somehow I don’t think of it as a rose fragrance. It is on a more celestial plane, really in a class by itself, and I have no idea what to call it. To my nose, it is non-categorizable.


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