Written by: Viola Levy
Contained in almost three quarters of women’s perfumes, the rose is a classic fragrance note and for good reason. One of the most romantic ingredients there is, the rose is also incredibly versatile. Some rose perfumes can be sweet and girly, others woody and musky, or laced with oud for a more darkly seductive concoction.
Over the years, rose has been appearing more and more in male fragrance too – while in certain parts of the Middle East, men are traditionally known to wear rose scents more than women. The most popular types of rose in perfumery are the Turkish rose, the Damask (or Damascene rose) and Rosa Centifolia – also known as ‘Rose de Mai’ as it usually blooms around May and is considered to produce the highest quality of rose absolute there is.
Here are our top ten rose perfumes worth trying…
Modern Muse Le Rouge by Estée Lauder for Her
A scented love letter to 1950s-style chic! This unique and memorable scent is unashamedly girly (but not in an OTT way) and is wearable for both daytime and evening. It spices up the central rose top note with pink pepper and saffron, combined with rich patchouli and magnolia. Just heavenly!
Narciso by Narciso Rodriguez for Her
This fragrance wraps the Bulgarian rose in a soft blanket of musks and woods for an incredibly dreamy bouquet. Inspired by the women of New York, where the designer Rodriguez is based, this subtly sophisticated scent captures the ‘laid back yet polished’ style that characterises The Big Apple so well.
Rose & Rose by Issey Miyake for Her
Parisian fashion house Issey Miyake’s Rose & Rose pays tribute to the rose’s wildness. It serves up a double helping of Bulgarian rose and rose Damascena, contrasted with fruity top notes of raspberry and pear, together with the subtle spice of pink pepper. It’s classic French glamour, with a modern twist!
Diamonds Rose by Armani for Her
If you’re after a rich rose scent that will cut through the cold as winter draws in, Armani Diamonds Rose combines Bulgarian rose with earthy notes of amber and patchouli that warm up on the skin for a cosy and downright addictive concoction.
Miss Dior Rose N' Roses by Dior for Her
Miss Dior is a well-loved fragrance and this rosy incarnation is just as alluring as the original. Its enveloping double-rose heart is given a boost with fresh cheery notes of mandarin and bergamot, combined with the added sharpness of geranium – before drying down to a soft base of white musks. Trés belle.
Noir by Tom Ford Noir for Him
The fantastic Mr Ford has done it once again with this irresistible and seriously sexy scent. It combines the richness of Bulgarian rose with creamy nutmeg, Tuscan iris, and vanilla, topped with fresh notes of bergamot, pink pepper and violet.
Guilty by Gucci for Him
This scent exudes a gorgeous retro vibe, putting a twist on the traditional masculine scents of the 70s (sans handlebar moustache!). With striking top notes of rose and chilli pepper, this woody scent has added richness of patchouli and vetiver for extra staying power, reminiscent of the smooth, smouldering charisma of 70s stars Robert Redford and Richard Roundtree (aka ‘Shaft’).
Smoked Oud by Vince Camuto for Him
This beguiling bouquet combines the richness of oud and rose with spicy, leathery accords. Yet it also contains sweet, playful notes of tonka bean giving it a versatile appeal. This will smell good on sophisticated silver foxes as well as Gen Z club kids looking for a signature scent.
Blue Jeans by Versace for Him
If you’re looking for a go-to masculine scent, this classic concoction from Versace sets the standards. Here the rose has more of a subtle role, delicately enhancing the other notes which include bergamot, lavender and patchouli to create a spicy warmth, characteristic of popular scents for the gents.
Toy Boy by Moschino for Him
If the cute and oh-so-Instagrammable bear bottle isn’t enough to catch your attention, the cheeky scent inside it most definitely will. Elegant yet playful, it combines rich rose absolute and an earthy accord of patchouli and Haitian vetiver with bright pink notes of berries and bergamot.
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