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Friday, February 17, 2012

A Bevy of Rosy Beauties: Les Parfums de Rosine (Part One)

By Donna

Some years ago I received a sample of Une Folie de Rose by Les Parfums de Rosine when I purchased another fragrance. I fell under its spell immediately but it was not sold at my local shop, and at the time I had no idea that it was part of an entire line of fragrances devoted to the Queen of Flowers. I used up my sample and hoped that I would find it again someday. I did, and now I also have the amazing body cream, which is so rich and redolent that its scent lasts all day and is a great substitute for wearing the perfume.

Une Folie de Rose is a rose chypre, and its longevity on the skin is practically legendary. You have to really love chypres, not just roses, to appreciate it; the patchouli is pronounced, the resinous aspect of the fragrance is intense, and the rose is thick and jammy. It has become one of my favorite rose fragrances of all time and I feel elegant and just putting it on.

The next Rosine I tried was Rose Kashmirie, which is very nearly the polar opposite of Une Folie de Rose, a sweet Oriental rose and peony scent made interesting with saffron and other warm notes including myrrh, vanilla and benzoin. I like to wear it on the coldest of days when it is truly like being wrapped a cashmere garment, and it easily made my winter favorites list. It has a whisper of powderiness but not too much, and it’s about as cuddy as perfume gets, and very feminine; if it were a person it would be a teenage girl with a pink satin ruffled coverlet and lots of cute, fuzzy stuffed animals in her bedroom, where she would spend hours writing in her diary using hearts as punctuation. I am just crazy about it.

Next up, the wonderful Secrets de Rose, an almost “boozy” type of rose fragrance, not as spicy or warm as Rose Kashmirie but just as delicious, a dark plum-tinged velvety seductress with a resinous sandalwood and moss base and a heart that contains jasmine and ylang ylang along with the deeply jammy rose note. Even with all the Oriental notes it comes across as more of what I think of as a baseline rose soliflore in the rich style that I love, a classic composition that never goes out of style. To my nose it is serious competition for Serge Lutens’ Sa Majeste de la Rose, and coming from me that’s saying a lot. I want a full bottle of this for those occasions (and they are frequent) when I just crave deep red roses and nothing else will do.

On the lighter side is Rose d’Ete, a delightfully fresh rose composition with galbanum, green apple, lime tree flower, mimosa, and other spring-like notes. The rose note is characterized as yellow rose, a color that carries a distinctly different kind of fragrance in the living rose flower because of the genetic heritage of yellow roses; it is rather tea-like and mild. It works perfectly with the other components to make for a breezy and easygoing rose that would be better suited to warm weather. It got a little bit lost when I tested it over winter, so I am saving what’s left of it for summer, when it will really have a chance to bloom.

My continuing love affair with the Rosine scents came to screeching halt with Roseberry, which I was sure I would love it from the list of notes; its downfall is far too much blackcurrant bud, which imparts a metallic edge that overwhelms the rest of the notes; a hefty does of aldehydes only amps it up even more. Ordinarily I enjoy blackcurrant bud in fragrances, but I was hoping for more fruitiness here from the blackberry and chamomile and more expression of the Turkish rose character. It also has a “lees of wine” note which I expected to be rich and complex, but it’s sharp and thin to my nose instead, like a bottle of cheap red. For people who can wear this style, Roseberry is probably very elegant and sophisticated, as it has very little sweetness and a lot of green notes, but it simply does not work for me.

More to come soon as I explore more of this fascinating line of fragrances!

Les Parfums de Rosine has a very pretty and informative Web site and the product line includes scented soaps and candles as well as the liquid Eau de Parfum and perfumed body cream. The body creams from this line are outstanding and a great value for the money. It might take some searching to find a retail store that carries the line, but sample sets are available from the company, so you can try before you buy and have to pay the hefty overseas shipping charges from Paris.

Image credit: Pink roses from

Disclosure: All the perfumes tested were from my own collection, either purchased by me or from trades with fellow perfume lovers.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to see those Rosines getting a work out :-)

8:48 AM EST  
Anonymous mals86q said...

Glad you liked Rose d'Ete - it is so far my favorite from the Rosine line, but then yellow roses are my favorite. It's a summer staple for me, the very first niche bottle I ever bought, and still treasured.

Folie de Rose was too patchouli-heavy for me, and there is a raspiness to Rose Kashmirie that I did not like at ALL (I don't know what that note is, but it just kills me). I'm thinking, though, that I might very well like Secrets de Rose. PdR also did a LE beach-inspired rose scent a few summers ago - no, not Ecume de Rose - that I'd love to smell, but alas, have not come across...

9:21 AM EST  
Blogger dremybluz said...

My favorite has always been Rose Flaminco. I love the yellow rose and neroli combination.

2:23 PM EST  
Anonymous kym said...

Isn't Kashmerie discontinued? I've looked for it to no avail..

9:33 PM EST  
Blogger John Petter said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:46 AM EST  
Blogger John Petter said...

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12:50 AM EST  
Blogger Olfacta said...

Oh, no! Kashmerie is discontinued? I really meant to buy a bottle one day!

9:22 AM EST  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

I like your descriptions, ie "punctuating with hearts". It does paint a picture! I got the samples some time ago, and i will have to revisit them. I ended up with a full bottle of Rose Praline, which to me translated as a more refined sister of Angel, minus the patchouli (although I love Angel too). The presentation of their samples is very pretty.

10:37 AM EST  
Anonymous Jessica M said...

One of my favorite lines! And it makes me feel better that you didn't care for Roseberry... I thought it was "just me," and I felt disloyal to Rosine for disliking it so much.

12:39 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the overview Donna! I'm really looking forward to part two...

The few I've tried from the line I've liked very much, though the ones I'm sure I'll like best (Kashmerie and Secrets) are two that I have not yet tested--- your review confirms for me once again that I need to get my paws on them ;)

1:45 PM EST  
Blogger Flora said...

Susan, There is more to come! :-)

2:34 PM EST  
Blogger Flora said...

Mals, I want a bottle of Rose d'Ete just for those summer days when nothing else will do!

There is certainly lots of patch in Une Folie de Rose, but I have a high tolerance for it when it's in a rose chypre.

2:36 PM EST  
Blogger Flora said...

dremybluz, I am still trying to get my hands on that one - it sounds so good!

2:37 PM EST  
Blogger Flora said...

Kym, say it's not true, I love it and I want a whole bottle!

2:38 PM EST  
Blogger Flora said...

Thanks Cynthia! Their samples really are very pretty, and very generous as well.

2:39 PM EST  
Blogger Flora said...

Jessica M, it's good to know we are not alone - the authors of Perfumes: The Guide did not like Roesberry either. I normally enjoy blackcurrant bud in perfume but it is just too overwhelming here. I get almost no rose at all!

2:41 PM EST  
Blogger Flora said...

deeHowe, I think I like Rose Kashmirie and Secrets de Rose almost equally, as they meet my "ornate rose" standards. I like a good "natural" rose fragrance too of course, but these Oriental style roses with lots of embellishment are some of my favorite perfumes. I got hit with these early when I fell for Guerlain's fabulous Nahema and I never looked back!

2:44 PM EST  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

ooh-Une Folie de Rose and Rose Kashmirie sound right up my alley- will try to sample these

3:00 PM EST  
Anonymous gimena - juegos de mario said...

I love pink roses!!! They are my favorite ones!!

7:54 PM EST  
Blogger amola-tesouras said...

A shop just opened in my town selling Rosine, I'd never given much thought to the brand but I went in and tried some anyway... I left the store with a bottle of Rose Kashmirie and a very generous roll-on sample of Secrets de Rose, and I fell in love with that one as well! Lovely line, and the scented body creams are heaven as well!

7:42 AM EDT  

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