A Lab on Fire Rose Rebelle Respawn : Perfume Review

Patricia on rebellious (or not so rebellious) roses.

I approached Rose Rebelle Respawn by A Lab on Fire with some trepidation, since its older sister, perfumer Sophia Grojsman’s 100% Love by S-Perfume, was the only perfume to date that made me gasp for air. I wondered how the masterful Grojsman, creator of many of my favorites including Yves Saint Laurent Paris, a beautiful violet rose that I wore throughout the 80s, Boucheron Jaipur, Bvlgari Pour Femme, Estée Lauder White Linen, and Prescriptives Calyx could have created this monster? 100% Love is deeply polarizing, with many fans and many detractors. Its supporters praised its originality, while its naysayers found it unwearable.  If I tell you that I referred to it as 100% Nasty in my perfume notes, you’ll guess in which camp I belonged.

berries-roses

But I needn’t have worried about Rose Rebelle Respawn. Although it contains many of the same notes as 100% Love, such as rose, cacao, and musks, it handles these elements in a completely different way. Where 100% Love has a sour, fermented note, Rose Rebelle eschews it in favor of softness and warmth. It’s blended with a lighter touch and from top to bottom it’s a cozy, powdery confection.

In spite of her tough-girl name, this rose isn’t much of a rebel. Imagine a chocolate soufflé dusted with cocoa, confectioner’s sugar and liberally garnished with rose petals. Pretty and coquettish is how I see Rose Rebelle.

The perfume opens with a cool note of mint and ivy, providing freshness and an element of surprise, followed by a fruity, sheer rose and lots of peppery carnation. Incense and cacao in the dry down add warmth and keep the musks from taking over. The overall effect is light and gauzy, not likely to offend anyone.

Rebelle is a sheer rose, more on the order of Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme or Parfums de Nicolaï Rose Intense than the big crimson rose of Frédéric Malle Une Rose or Yves Saint Laurent Paris. If you are expecting a classical rose fragrance—rich, opulent, honeyed, you will be disappointed.

Rebelle stays very close to the skin and has moderate longevity. I couldn’t help but wish that this fragrance had a bit more projection, as it clung to my skin timidly and I wanted more drama. Still, it is charming, and if you want 100% Love without having to commit to its pungency, Rose Rebelle Respawn is your girl.

rose-rebelle

A Lab on Fire Rose Rebelle Respawn includes notes of ivy, mint leaves, carnation, rose, musks, incense, cacao. Available at Luckyscent. 60ml/$100

Photography (1st image) by Bois de Jasmin

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19 Comments

  • Allison C.: Thank you for the wonderful review – I am now very curious and will have to try it. I also couldn’t bear 100% Love, and I had looked forward to testing it because the combination of notes were so intriguing. November 22, 2013 at 10:32am Reply

    • Patricia: Thank you, Allison! Although I usually prefer a more classic rose, the unusual and beautifully blended notes of RRR won me over. It would make a perfect daytime or office fragrance. November 22, 2013 at 10:50am Reply

  • Elisa: I have always been curious about 100% love but never had a sample. I also need to explore this line more — I had a sample of Liquidnight which was delicious! November 22, 2013 at 11:53am Reply

    • Patricia: Rose Rebelle Respawn is definitely worth a try, Elisa! November 22, 2013 at 7:34pm Reply

  • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Patricia, thanks for the review. Light and gauzy rose with a twist? Sound like something I should try. I usually like fresh, dewy roses but lately, I’ve also started exploring darker roses and found some I like. How many stars would you give to this perfume then? November 22, 2013 at 12:33pm Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Anne, I think you might like RRR. It’s beautifully crafted and a bit out of the ordinary. The notes are unusual and somewhat surprising. November 22, 2013 at 7:38pm Reply

  • Ashley Anstaett: It does sound nice! I have been wanting to check this out for awhile, and I really like the idea of the mint and ivy in the opening. I would also really like to try “What We Do In Paris Is Secret”. A Lab on Fire sounds like such an interesting group, and such great noses.

    Thanks for the lovely review! November 22, 2013 at 1:23pm Reply

    • Patricia: Thank you, Ashley. I haven’t tried What We Do in Paris Is Secret either, but it is one I’ve been meaning to sample.

      As long as you aren’t expecting a “big rose,” I think that you will be very happy with RRR. November 22, 2013 at 7:45pm Reply

      • Phyllis Iervello: Patricia, the only fragrance I have from A Lab on Fire is “What We Do In Paris is a Secret”. It is a nice fragrance and I get compliments on it. I like it but am not compelled by it…if you know what I mean. But I will say it is different than the other several hundred fragrances in my collection. November 22, 2013 at 11:55pm Reply

        • Patricia: Phyllis, Sometimes it’s just enough that a fragrance fills a particular niche in our collection that nothing else does, isn’t it?

          I will definitely try What We Do in Paris. I may even have a sample kicking around here somewhere. November 23, 2013 at 9:52am Reply

  • nozknoz: There must be synthetics in 100% Love that smell completely different to different people. To me, it smells like a raspberry chocolate truffle, very soft and smooth – far from pungent. Or maybe they had reformulated it by the time I tried it? I also tried S-ex but couldn’t smell it very well.

    Thanks for reviewing this – I very curious to try it now! November 23, 2013 at 12:08am Reply

    • Patricia: Hi nozknoz, I love it when different people have completely different reactions to the same perfume. I wish I still had my sample of 100% Love to try again, but sadly I don’t. November 23, 2013 at 9:56am Reply

  • Annikky: Patricia, you have made me really curious to try 100% Love. Rose Rebelle Respawn sounds nice, too, but I suspect it might be a bit too pretty for my taste.
    P.S. How many stars? November 23, 2013 at 4:53am Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Annikky, RRR is indeed very girly and pretty, but I found that the ivy and mint opening took it out of the cloying category.

      Try both and let us know what you think! November 23, 2013 at 10:00am Reply

  • Jillie: Hello, Patricia, and thanks for this – I hadn’t heard about it before.

    The notes remind me of those in Parfumerie Generale’s Brulure de Rose, but I suppose that, just because they both have rose and cocoa in them, this doesn’t mean they smell alike. I would love to test them side by side. November 23, 2013 at 7:21am Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Jillie, If I weren’t covered in a new sample of Epice Marine, I would test them side by side right now! However, relying only on memory, the Brulure de Rose is a much deeper and warmer fragrance, like the scorched top of a creme brulee, while RRR is lighter and fresher thanks to the green notes that balance the gourmand. November 23, 2013 at 10:12am Reply

  • Emma M: I’m intrigued by your description of this Patricia. I love rose and I love powdery scents, and the idea of a cocoa-dusted rose is certainly inviting! November 23, 2013 at 1:27pm Reply

    • Patricia: I hope you try it then, Emma! It is very pretty indeed. November 23, 2013 at 4:00pm Reply

  • Fragrance Genie: I love your description “chocolate soufflé dusted with cocoa” as that really sums up this scent for me. It is rich and indulgent if not a little sickly when first applied but that softens within a short period. November 30, 2013 at 10:45am Reply

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