Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Homme : Perfume Review

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Focus on rose in a fragrance designated for men seems like a radical offering, yet as my recent interview with sociologist Marcello Aspria revealed, there is nothing quintessentially feminine about rose, other than the meaning afforded to it in a given social context. In the Middle East, rose based fragrances are very popular among men, where rose plays an important role in the religious symbolism.

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For the newest offering from Les Parfums de Rosine, François Robert created a rose that is devoid of sunny sweetness and honeyed richness. Instead, the rose in Rose d’Homme is accented by the lemony coriander in the top notes and the earthiness of vetiver in the base. It is a rose that vacillates between waxy petal and woody stem, settling only in the heart, where the floral accord lightens and turns sweeter.

Lavender lends a soapy note to the dusky rose, creating an elegant crispness that differentiates rose fougère of Rose d’Homme from more traditionally feminine variations on the rose. The drydown is a warm blend of amber, vetiver and patchouli, shrouded by a whisper of dusky rose notes and soft leather. The sensual interplay between cool and warm notes makes Rose d’Homme an interesting composition that would appeal to both men and women. At the same time, I cannot help thinking that by rendering the flower more as an allusion than as a focal point, the finished result is somehow too tame to be truly radical. Nevertheless, it does not take away from its allure and elegance. For men who would like to explore other rose options, I would recommend Rose Poivrée by The Different Company for a rose that is marked by translucence and peppery warmth, as well as L’Ombre dans l’Eau by Diptyque for a rose layered with verdant blackcurrant bud notes.

Notes include bergamot, citrus, mandarin, jasmine, rose, vanilla, lavender, leather, patchouli, vetiver. Available at Aedes, First-in-Fragrance, and Barneys New York.

 

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24 Comments

  • MC: I must try this one. Rosine perfumes are also available in Palais-Royal, in the same arcade as Serge Lutens’ shop, though I can’t imagine anyone wanting to go in there after half an hour sampling the SL exclusives.

    Frederic Malle’s Une Rose is supposed to have a male following and I think l’Artisan Parfumeur’s Voleur des Roses has been recommended for men. Une Rose is very good but perhaps too much geranium to be properly ‘rosy’ for me. I don’t like Voleur des Roses at all, it has a caustic synthetic note that doesn’t work for me. October 5, 2005 at 4:25am Reply

  • Laura: What a perfect painting to accompany this review, V! This sounds worth sampling. (But I’m still got eyes only for Angelique Noire ;D). October 5, 2005 at 5:31am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Mike, I definitely recommend sampling it. Rosine fragrances do rose really well, and Rose d’Homme is an example of a subtle rose ornamented in a characteristic Rosine fashion. It is on a sweet side, but delicately so, with a really nice drydown. Lavender is my favourite touch. I would be curious to hear what you think.

    Une Rose dried down to lots of wooded amber, therefore it is not rose per se to me. Voleur de Rose is a fragrance I have been trying to approach for a while. I need to revisit it again. October 5, 2005 at 10:24am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Laura, thank you. I was thinking of our Picasso Blue Period discussion, and here is my take. Rose d’Homme is perhaps slightly sweeter than what Blue Period should symbolize.

    Keeping eyes on Angelique Noire should not make you avoid other things. 🙂 However, I admire you for staying focused. October 5, 2005 at 10:25am Reply

  • Robin: The combination of lavender & leather in this one did not work for me at all. It is a nice scent, but not one I am dying to wear…much prefer the Folie de Rose, which I think could easily be worn by either sex. October 5, 2005 at 10:29am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I agree that Une Folie would work well for either a man or woman. It has been made a permanent part of my collection. 🙂 October 5, 2005 at 10:38am Reply

  • Marina: Haven’t tried this Rosine yet, but it is a fragrance line that I love, I would get almost all of their scents (apart from Roseberry and Poussiere de Rose). I agree with MC and Robin about Une Rose, Voleur de Rose and Une Folie de Rose all being suitable for men…not just suitable- advisable…I would *love* to smell those on a man. October 5, 2005 at 11:19am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, you are right! If a man walked by me wearing a rose based fragrance, I can guarantee that it would a head turner. 🙂 Like you, I love Les Parfums de Rosine, and even the fragrances I like less are very well-done. October 5, 2005 at 11:25am Reply

  • mreenymo: Hello there, V!

    I tested this when it debuted at Barneys this summer. At first I liked it because of its dry take on rose. But the drydown was not satisfactory. There is something that perfumers use in men’s fragrances (perhaps too much patchouli?) that I don’t like at all.

    Thank goodness for all of the other wonderful Rosines!

    Hugs and love! October 5, 2005 at 11:27am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I agree! The line is so full of other interesting options that finding something that does not quite appeal should not be an issue. I think that it is the combination of vetiver and patchouli that you find too masculine. Patchouli is definitely there, although the leather note is a nice addition.

    Hope that your days is wonderful! October 5, 2005 at 11:30am Reply

  • parislondres: Dear V! I agree with dear R from LA – I liked it till the drydown which was unexciting on me. As you know I am not a huge patch fan. It is an interesting fragrance and I wonder if they sell a lot of this.

    Hope you are well. Mwah! October 5, 2005 at 12:26pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear N, it is indeed very interesting. For one thing, I would love to smell it on a man. 🙂

    Hope that your day is going well! October 5, 2005 at 12:44pm Reply

  • MC: I agree with you on Une Rose. Despite the wonderful earthy note (not truffle as advertised, unfortunately, but it would be great fun!) it doesn’t have the fresh green-ness I associate with roses.

    Perhaps it is because I’m from a northern country and I have no experience with headier Turkish or Damascus roses, but when I think of rose, I imagine the smell of the earth mixed with the perfume of raindrops on rose petals. It’s quite delicate and I haven’t come across it in a perfume before.

    And on the subject of mixed-sex scents, I tried the new Gaultier today. To me it’s a woman’s scent – sorry, Marcello – but it’s being promoted in Printemps Homme.

    Even though the tester bottle reads in large black letters “Try this on your skin” I strongly advise you to try it on a paper sample first. This is strong. So strong it hit me like a punch in the diaphragm and six hours later the paper strip still catches my throat. The strip is on my office table. I can smell it from the bedroom, two rooms away. One spritz. There is no way this is going anywhere near my skin!

    This, I think, will be another Poison: A restaurant-clearer and a lawsuit launcher.

    Some perfume fundamentalists will rejoice that a designer has revolted against the trend for subtle “skin scents.” Anyone who has to share an office, or indeed a building with them might think otherwise. Just as the creators of Segway claimed that in future entire cities would be designed around their scooter, offices will be resdesigned to keep Gaultier wearers away from their colleagues. Public transport, too, probably.

    It smells of creosote, of almonds, lavender, perhaps tuberose and amber. Reminds me of a Serge Lutens (I forget which) and also the Artisan Parfumeur tuberose, I forget its name too. It isn’t bad. Just as subtle as a brick. October 5, 2005 at 3:11pm Reply

  • Katie: One of my more recent men’s faves I’ve found is also rosy – Czech & Speake’s No. 88. It’s so elegant, really. I kind of miss that given the way men are “supposed” to wear fragrance now. They’re supposed to be butch or aqua-clean or smell mucho macho or… well, those styles have appeal, but it’s nice to find elegance amongst the masculine as well. October 5, 2005 at 7:09pm Reply

  • Judith (lilybp): That is one of my favorite paintings! I had a print of it in my room when I was growing up–it’s so nice to see it here! And your review is very intriguing–as the whole discussion on gender and fragrance has been. I’ve haven’t yet smelled a rose scent intended for men (although I enjoyed the comments on Rrose Selavy–and I do enjoy drinking single malt, especially Islay)!

    I just received a mini Rumba in the mail (with some other things). It IS potent–but so far, I am enjoying it. Hard to believe Ellena created it, though.
    Best wishes,
    J October 5, 2005 at 8:25pm Reply

  • KS: Victoria: I’m sure you know very well that every now and then one will enjoy an expensive cologne and then one day will find a $5 soap or $15 room spray that smells EXACTLY like the expensive scent? This happened with Rose d’Homme and me. I went to a lavender festival in the summer and bought a lovely eau de toilette for $17 with only lavender, rose, rosemary and patchouly (those were the only notes listed). It smelled almost exactly like Rose d’Homme…maybe even better! I was expecting MUCH more from R d’H…it was too tame for my tastes…it needed something jarring, a zing or snap somewhere in the mix. Thanks for the recommendations for other rose scents men would like. Kevin October 5, 2005 at 10:26pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Mike, I grew up fairly up north as well, therefore my conception of a rose is similar to yours. However, on my trip to Turkey I discovered the beauty of rosa damascena. It is a lush rich scent that can almost be felt in the air when roses bloom. It has a honeyed richness and a seductive heaviness. The trip started my love affair with rose, and I foresee no end in sight.

    Thank you for your impressions of Gaultier scent. I started laughing out loud over your proposition that offices should be built in such a way as to be suited for Gaultier wearers. Ah, I love such statement making fragrances, although in reality I wear them rarely on my person. I have bottles of Opium, Poison, Angel, but they are either dabbed very gently or worn in the privacy of my house. I am now more curious than ever to try Gaultier. Would you say that it reminds you of Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle? October 5, 2005 at 11:54pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Katie, Czech & Speake has some very interesting offerings. I am especially curious about Dark Rose, but I have not come across it yet. All in due course of time…

    You are right about the typical male fragrances, however the trends change, if more subtly than in feminine perfumery. Have you tried Be Delicious for Men? A wonderful choice that I would love on a man. It is plummy and crisp, with a clean finish, yet it is not predictable. Latest masculine offerings have been great–L’Instant Pour Homme, for example. October 5, 2005 at 11:58pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Judith, I am so glad to hear that you like the painting, because it is definitely one of my favourites from Picasso’s Blue Period. There is something very transfixing about it and melancholy without being sacchrine and nostalgic.

    I am glad that you are enjoying Rumba. Thank you for mentioning your impressions. It is not subtle, but what an unusual fragrance! I hope that you will have a chance to try Rose d’Homme and let me know what you thought about it. October 6, 2005 at 12:00am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Kevin, that is a great story! It is like me discovering that Alba Botanica Midnight Tuberose shower gel ($6 for a huge bottle) smells exactly like a similar product from L’Artisan La Chasse Aux Papillons (much more costly than $6). Do you happen to remember who made it, or was it a locally produced cologne? October 6, 2005 at 12:03am Reply

  • KS: Victoria: it was a locally produced cologne. They may make more for Christmas and if so I’ll send you a sample….I’ve used up my 1.7 oz bottle already! – it was addictive. K October 6, 2005 at 12:14am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Kevin, it is very kind of you! The cologne sounds wonderful. I have never imagined rose and lavender as a winning combination, but it really is. October 6, 2005 at 12:21am Reply

  • helg: Hi V!!
    Lovely review as always and I agree that this is an unsuaul and chic rose that can be worn by both sexes. Actually , having problems with rose and viewing it is a old-fashioned and not agreeable (even though the damascena variety is well known here), I was most pleasantly surprised of this one.
    Voleur de Roses is eathier and a little mustier , but very unusual. Please report when you do revisit it. October 6, 2005 at 2:35am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: E, thank you! I will definitely report back on Voleur de Roses. I think that Rose d’Homme does an excellent twist on rose that is unlike most typical rose fragrances. The drydown is actually my favourite aspect, especially the leather element. October 6, 2005 at 3:12am Reply

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