Diptyque Eau Rose : Fragrance Review

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Veratea2

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Whenever I am given a bouquet of roses, I instinctively lean in to smell them. What a disappointment! Most roses are bred to be completely scentless, and the only fragrance that clings to them is that of green foliage and wrapping paper. Being deprived of perfumed roses, I have a sentimental fondness for tea rose scents that remind me of freshly cut flowers. My most recent contender for a pretty English rose is Diptyque Eau Rose, a composition so uncluttered and straightforward that it manages to succeed where many rich blends fail.

At first glance, Eau Rose does not appear to be exciting—it is a bright rose etude painted in pastel colors. What quickly becomes apparent is that it retains this effervescent, uplifting character throughout its development. The fragrance does not have any metallic sharpness that sometimes accompanies fresh rose notes, nor does Eau Rose veer into a powdery direction. It hums the same happy tune, but it sings well.

Eau Rose opens up on the zesty notes of lemon and bergamot, with the bright accent of crushed leaves. This lemon tea effect soon fizzles out and gives way to an airy rose impression. The first time I smelled Eau Rose, it reminded me of my favorite pick me up trick—spraying my face with plain rosewater. Unlike rosewater, however, Eau Rose has decent lasting power and a good sillage. The drydown of musk and blond woods takes a while to reach, but it is so predictable that I do not regret having the rose linger longer on my skin.

Although I like Eau Rose very much, it is not a masterpiece of rose perfumery. Unlike Diptyque’s other rose, L’Ombre Dans L’Eau, it is less original and memorable. On the other hand, those who like fresh delicate rose blends will find it compelling for delivering what it promises—the impression of holding a bouquet of fragrant pink roses. I do not know about you, but these days I rarely get to enjoy such a treat.

Diptyque Eau Rose includes notes of bergamot, blackcurrant, rose, musk, cedarwood, and honey. It is available at Aedes, Saks5th Avenue Barneys and other retailers carrying Diptyque. Eau Rose is available as Eau de Toilette in 20 ml roll-on ($48) and 100 ml spray ($98). Diptyque also launched a limited edition matching Rosa Mundi candle (6.5oz/$68.00.)

Sample: my own acquisition

Photography by Vera Klokova

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51 Comments

  • Lily: V, i look forward to trying this. So many rose fragrances are flat – missing the requisite zing and verve. How does this compare to Sa Majeste, and to Le Rosine’s Un Zeste? January 17, 2012 at 8:01am Reply

  • Suzanna: This sounds ideal for spring. Better than the Jo Malone citronella-infused Red Roses that was last year’s rose purchase.

    I like my roses fairly straightforward and simple and without the metallic and overly green notes. January 17, 2012 at 8:09am Reply

  • Anne: This sounds like an ideal floral to me. Thank you!!!! January 17, 2012 at 8:42am Reply

  • kjanicki: Oh, it sounds like something I would like. I use a rose water toner for the same reason as you, for a nice pick me up. I’m also not too fond of Silver roses or powdery roses. I’m going to go try this. (You’ve also reminded me how much I love my L’Ombre dan l’eau!) January 17, 2012 at 9:59am Reply

  • Victoria: I love Eau Rose for its simplicity, but it still smells fresh and bright. A mood lifter, to be sure. It is far less zesty than Un Zeste, but it is likewise petally and radiant. It is far less rich than Sa Majeste, but it has a nice tenacity anyway. January 17, 2012 at 10:34am Reply

  • Victoria: Oh, yes, far better than Red Roses that smell to me exactly how you’ve described. It is not too green, definitely not metallic. It captures the scent of rosewater with all of its nuances, and much to my surprise, it works! January 17, 2012 at 10:36am Reply

  • Victoria: Based on what you’ve described in the thread a few weeks ago, I think that you would like it. Do give it a try! January 17, 2012 at 10:37am Reply

  • Victoria: It is hard to find a fresh rose that is neither too metallic nor too green. So, while I’ll be the first one to warn that Eau Rose is fairly simple, it is well-crafted and does what it promises.

    On the other hand, I also realized how much I miss Opone! That’s another brilliant rose from Diptyque. I also hope that Diptyque goes back into the business of making big, dramatic scents. I like their latest but I miss the odd and beautiful characters of their earlier launches. January 17, 2012 at 10:41am Reply

  • OperaFan: Dear V – What you just said!
    I like it very much for its straightforward simplicity. A rosewater that sticks.
    It won’t knock AG’s Rose Absolue off its pedestal, but it’s definitely a close relative and belongs in its company.
    a;) January 17, 2012 at 10:55am Reply

  • Victoria: You are the rose guru! 🙂 Glad that you agree on the rosewater part. The first time I smelled Eau Rose at Saks, I felt as if I just splashed myself with rosewater. I came back for a sample and then compared it to my favorite Heritage rosewater brand. You know, it is pretty close.

    A fresh, true to nature rose is so hard to make, so it is an accomplishment. January 17, 2012 at 11:10am Reply

  • Marko: I’m so looking forward to testing this! Roses are one of my favorite “smells” – my mother planted a slew of rose bushes outside me and my brother’s windows in the house we grew up in and I always loved the beautiful aroma of roses as they warm up during the day. I used to love it when my parents would go out to dinner with friends because mom would inevitably wear Tea Rose by Perfumer’s Workshop and the house would be filled with the smell of roses for at least an hour after they left…..sometimes when my parents were gone, I would spray some Tea Rose on my “cleavage” because that’s where I saw my mom spray it (I don’t remember my father wearing after shave or cologne, so I didn’t have him as a “Fragrance Model”). It wasn’t until I got older that I was told that “roses are for women – not men” and I was completely flabbergasted!….it seemed so unfair that women got to smell like roses but men shouldn’t!!! As an adult, I still harbor some hard feelings over the “genderazation” of fragrance – but at this point in my life (soon to be 50!), I could care less what people think about me and what I smell like. As I mentioned before, I really can’t wait to test this – right now Montale’s Roses Musk is the closest thing I can find to those rose bushes outside me and my brother’s windows….but this new Diptyque sounds wonderful. January 17, 2012 at 11:48am Reply

  • Nikki: Fleur de The Rose Bulgare by Creed is my favorite rose fragrance so far. Nothing smells better than an old fashioned rose in the morning sun..or a sterling silver rose with its mossy scent… January 17, 2012 at 12:16pm Reply

  • skilletlicker: I’m still recovering from learning that roses are bred to be scentless. Why?!? And does the Rosine line have, in your opinion, a rose Masterpiece with a capital “M”? Thanks!!! January 17, 2012 at 12:31pm Reply

  • Victoria: In India and Middle East men wear roses, and they smell fantastic, so the gender boundaries in perfume are artificial. You might enjoy reading this interview:
    http://boisdejasmin.typepad.com/_/2005/10/perfume_and_gen.html

    OperaFan mentioned Annick Goutal Rose Absolue above and Nikki (one comment below yours) brought up Fleur de The Rose Bulgare by Creed. Those are excellent tea roses, very nature like. January 17, 2012 at 3:21pm Reply

  • Victoria: I agree, it is a pretty, bright rose. Another close contender for smelling freshly cut tea roses. January 17, 2012 at 3:22pm Reply

  • Victoria: The commercial roses are bred mostly for looks and their lasting freshness, so the petals of these hybrids are so thick that even if they contained essential oils, they would be difficult to smell. That’s one explanation I was given by the florist. Another is that the gene for fragrance in roses is recessive. If they are bred for scent, they lose on many other qualities that the consumers value. Sad, no?

    Hmmm, not for me, to tell you the truth. I like many fragrances in Rosine’s line, but so few truly stand out. Un Zeste and Rose d’Ete are still my favorites. January 17, 2012 at 3:29pm Reply

  • skilletlicker: Yes, that’s very SAD. Another 21st Century downer. Thanks for the elucidation, nevertheless. And thanks for recommending blogger Self-Styled Siren a while back. She’s wonderful! January 17, 2012 at 3:47pm Reply

  • Victoria: Smart, funny and erudite–that's our Siren! I love old movies, but I would read her posts on any topic whatsoever. Did you see her Perfume in the Movies series? Hers is the one and only complete series on this fun topic. It made me discover many great movies (and enjoy spotting various perfumes.) January 17, 2012 at 3:51pm Reply

  • behemot: I smelled Eau Rose last Sunday. It is a classic rose, simple and easy to wear. I have to mention the price is quite reasonable. Roll on EDT is about $50.
    I liked ER much better than Jo Malone and Delire de Roses by Caron, however, the other rose by Diptyque, L’Ombre Dans L’Eau is probably my favorite. January 17, 2012 at 4:55pm Reply

  • Victoria: Good point about the price! It is quite reasonable, and for a niche brand, even more so. 

    L'Ombre Dans L'Eau always scores top points for originality. I get so many compliments on it, but unfortunately, I find it hard to wear. Just too green and resinous. 

    And to Marko's point above, I think that L'Ombre Dans L'Eau would smell great on a man.  January 17, 2012 at 4:59pm Reply

  • alyssa: Hey there, skilletlicker–I did a couple of pieces for Now Smell This on why roses are bred to be scentless and some folks who are bringing back scented roses, both as cut roses and as “antique” or “old” roses (pre-hybrid tea) in the nursery. Thought you might want to know that not all is lost. In fact, the tide might be turning back toward scent! January 17, 2012 at 6:52pm Reply

  • alyssa: This sounds delicious. I see a decant in my future… Agree with you on the odd scents–I’m wearing L’Eau Trois today, which is surely one of the strangest in the backlist. They were selling bottles on a limited basis at the NYC boutiques to celebrate their anniversary. Not sure I saw Opone, though. 🙁 January 17, 2012 at 6:54pm Reply

  • alyssa: P.S. That photo is so funny! January 17, 2012 at 6:54pm Reply

  • behemot: Yes , I forgot to add. L”Ombre Dans L”Eau is my favorite..on other people, and sprayed on paper.. Apparently we have similar problem with this fragrance, Victoria. It is very green, too green on me. January 17, 2012 at 6:57pm Reply

  • Perfumista8: Hi Victoria – I’m a little late to this party but I wanted to share that I once read that the more colorful the rose the less scent their is because it’s nature’s way of leveling the playing field so to speak. This way either the color or the scent will attract the insects neede for pollination. It’s been some time now so I can’t remember if this was someone’s theory or if it was actually “proven.”
    I was wondering – I’d love to have a rose-centric perfume but the rose note often turns sour on my skin. Should I look for a greener rose, a fresher rose? For example Tea Rose smells very sour after about 10 minutes. Thank so much! January 17, 2012 at 7:42pm Reply

  • bulldoggirl: I love the smell of roses and am amazed at how varied they can be in real life. I do my sniffing at a local library’s rose garden and nearly all the blooms are vividly scented. My favorite is a deep red hybrid tea whose smell is unbelievable–rich and spicy and unlike anything I’ve ever smelled.

    That being said, I’m usually disappointed in most rose perfumes. Haven’t tried this one, though, so there’s always hope! January 17, 2012 at 10:01pm Reply

  • Victoria: Opone has been discontinued, unfortunately. At least, no stocks list it anymore. It was a gorgeous spicy dark rose. January 17, 2012 at 10:09pm Reply

  • Victoria: It was from Vera’s Alice in Wonderland theme. Had a lot of fun with this one. January 17, 2012 at 10:10pm Reply

  • Victoria: I sometimes spray it on a blotter and leave it to scent my bedroom. So good! January 17, 2012 at 10:20pm Reply

  • Victoria: This party never ends! 🙂 How interesting about colorful roses being less fragrant. You know, the roses used for the perfume industry are not particularly brightly colored. They do not have much in terms of looks, but the scent…. I have a bag full of rose buds from my last trip to Grasse this summer, and although the flowers are dry and faded, the scent is still very strong.

    In testing various roses, I’ve noticed that overly citrusy roses tended to end up sour on my skin. How about Annick Goutal Rose Absolue, which is fresh, but honeyed and sweet? Or Stella MacCartney Stella? It is another fantastic rose with a crisp, luminous character and a lush floral heart. January 17, 2012 at 10:28pm Reply

  • Victoria: My favorite rose perfumes are usually those that blend roses with the oriental, sweet or woody notes: Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle, L’Artisan Voleur de Roses, Ormonde Jayne Ta’if. It is such a winning combination. I like rose scented dessert for same reason. I even have an Omani bread recipe that is scented with saffron and rosewater. It has been on my list of recipes to try for a while, so I hope to do so this weekend.

    On the other hand, fresh, lighthearted roses like Eau Rose are the instant mood lifters! January 17, 2012 at 10:34pm Reply

  • behemot: I have to try this! January 17, 2012 at 11:00pm Reply

  • bee: I’m so happy I still have a big bottle of Opone, love it only in winter though. L’ombre is too green for me, and this one could be too airy, finding the perfect rose scent is tricky! January 18, 2012 at 4:06am Reply

  • Victoria: I know what you mean. 🙂 If you use a blooming rose as an exact reference, then it is even more so. I am still looking for a perfume that smells like the raspberry scented roses my grandmother grows. January 18, 2012 at 8:00am Reply

  • Victoria: An expensive home scent for sure, but if you have any unwanted samples around, it works. 🙂 January 18, 2012 at 11:52am Reply

  • Perfumista8: Thanks so much for the suggestions, Victoria. I have several of the Annick Goutal’s and I wouldn’t be surprised if the one rose scent that finally works is from their line.

    Thanks so much for your work. You are so generous with your knowledge and your time and I’ve learned so much from you! January 18, 2012 at 3:09pm Reply

  • Victoria: You are most welcome! 🙂 Please let me know if you end up finding your rose. These quests are just so much fun. January 19, 2012 at 9:56am Reply

  • Hannah: I just got a new bottle of L’Ombre Dans L’Eau, and it must have been reformulated slightly (or my body chemistry has changed or something) because lately I don’t get any rose notes from it at all… just brash green notes. I remember getting more rose from it in the past. I am suspicious that some Diptyque fragrances have been slightly reworked since the brand has become available in more stores…

    My point being, do you think Eau Rose would layer well over L’Ombre Dans L’Eau to kick up the rose note? Would the rest of the notes clash? I’ve been looking for a pure rose to layer over L’Ombre Dans L’Eau. January 31, 2012 at 10:17pm Reply

  • Victoria: I haven't smelled it recently, but fragrances are constantly reformulated, so if that's what happened, I wouldn't be surprised. 
    Eau Rose is quite light and sheer, and I think that you might do better with a richer, thicker rose against all of those strong green notes of L'Ombre dans L'Eau. Something like Sa Majeste de la Rose even. Or Annick Goutal Rose Absolue. Seems like a very expensive way to get L'Ombre dans L'Eau to work though.  January 31, 2012 at 10:38pm Reply

  • Marie: Instant migraine from this heavy, cloying artificial. aerosol like fake rose smell. My mind and heart get drawn in by the writing skills of fragrance reviewers, but my nose can’t be fooled. June 9, 2012 at 6:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: Good to know that it may not work for everyone! With perfume, a saying “your mileage may vary” applies 100%. Thanks for your input, Marie. June 10, 2012 at 3:37am Reply

  • Sam: What about Bulgari Rose Essentielle? I found that one by following someone’s sillage! August 6, 2012 at 1:14am Reply

    • Victoria: That’s a very pretty rose. Might be another good choice for those who like their tea roses crisp and fresh. August 6, 2012 at 7:31am Reply

  • bloody frida: Am testing this today, and it’s oh so pretty and just perfect for what it is. Why did it take me so long to sniff this? I must have more. I love Sa Majeste and Creed FdB but sometimes I want a simple beautiful rose – this is it! August 30, 2012 at 11:21am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s so uplifting and happy of a perfume. Glad that you’re enjoying it too. I’ve been reaching for Diptyque perfumes over the past few days too, they just suit this late summer mood so well. August 30, 2012 at 11:47am Reply

  • kelly: It’s my 21 wedding anniversary this month. I told my husband I would like a bottle of this. To me it’s just simple and pretty. Really pretty. Sometimes simple, pretty, and uplifting is just all I need. September 5, 2012 at 12:26pm Reply

  • kelly: Oops forgot to hit the submit button. My original comment is above. I love your reviews Victoria. You always have a nice and positive way of writing. September 6, 2012 at 3:37pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Kelly!

      Your choice of Eau Rose is a nice one. It’s such an uplifting, happy fragrance, and one cannot have too many of those. September 6, 2012 at 3:37pm Reply

  • Michelle: I just purchased Eau Rose and I just love it.
    It reminds me of YSL Paris, but prettier. It smells current and not old fashioned. A beautiful scent indeed.

    I enjoy analysis and am glad I found your blog! May 5, 2014 at 9:59am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Michelle! I like your comparison to YSL, and I think that you’re right. Eau Rose has the same feel of petals brushing against your skin, and it’s so pretty. May 5, 2014 at 1:25pm Reply

  • Allyssa: Have u tried Rose by L`Erbolario? I think it smells similar like Diptyque. Very linear rose note. August 9, 2014 at 12:12am Reply

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