Chloe Roses de Chloe and Balenciaga Rosabotanica : Perfume Reviews

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Lots of roses ahead! Today, Elisa reviews two recent rose-centric flankers, Roses de Chloé and Balenciaga Rosabotanica. For more on flankers in general, check out “Flankers 101.”

Chloé Roses de Chloé 

By all rights, Roses de Chloé is what the first Chloé release should smell like. The original Karl Lagerfeld Chloé from the mid-70s was a voluptuous white floral, but Chloé relaunched it as a clean rose in 2008. The problem is, it’s too clean, with so much white musk overwhelming the formula that it smells far more like a laundry room than a rose garden.

rose de chloe

Last year’s L’Eau de Chloé, a greener version with more patchouli, was an obvious improvement – and so is this one, with its clearer, more realistic floral accord of tea rose with gestures toward springtime-y linden and lily of the valley. There’s nothing particularly unusual about it (this is a rose soliflore folks, not a moon walk), but it smells fresh, young, and pretty without smelling faux-fruity (though I do pick up a crisp apple note) or cheap. In fact, it reminds me at times of pricier niche scents like Annick Goutal Rose Splendide, Parfum de Rosine’s Rose d’Été and Yosh Sottile. If you’re looking for a simple rose scent at Macy’s or Sephora, you could do far worse and these days, couldn’t do much better.

Roses de Chloé is authored by perfumers Michel Almairac and Mylène Alran. It includes notes of bergamot, magnolia, Damascena rose, white musk, and amber and retails at $70 for 30 ml.

Balenciaga Rosabotanica

If I was surprised that Roses de Chloé smells good and like roses at all, I was even more surprised by Rosabotanica, the new flanker to last year’s Florabotanica, which was supposed to contain off-kilter notes like mint and cannabis but could not have been tamer or more forgettable, and really failed to live up to its beautiful bottle. Rosabotanica’s bottle is even more gorgeous, and the juice inside is also more interesting.

The top notes are downright funky, with a creamy tang like buttermilk and a big fresh herbal note that reminds me of basil, dill, and tarragon – a weird savory cocktail that seems to be built from fig leaf, citrus, and spices. Sadly, this fascinating sour stage doesn’t last very long on skin, and it quickly transitions into duller territory: a soapy, somewhat astringent rose with grapefruit and hyacinth. I quickly used up my sample respraying for more of that initial herb salad.

The star rating on this one is a little misleading. Rosabotanica is really a 2-star fragrance with 4-star top notes. My recommendation is, don’t buy it, but definitely try it. (I still think Marni is the most buy-worthy recent mainstream rose.)

Rosabotanica, created by perfumers Jean-Christophe Hérault and Olivier Polge, includes notes of hyacinth, fig leaf, petitgrain, “experimental rose,” grapefruit, pink pepper, cardamom, cedar, vetiver, and patchouli. It’s available at Sephora in a 0.33 oz rollerball for $25 or $70 for 30 ml.

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80 Comments

  • Melissa: I got (and I think I’m not the only one) the Sephora gift with a Rosabotanica mini and a silk scarf with the bottle’s floral pattern. The points were no doubt worth the scarf and the cute bottle. The juice might suit work days when it’s really hot during the summer, but I can’t imagine buying a bottle after it’s gone. March 4, 2014 at 8:42am Reply

    • Elisa: I wonder if it would work as a room spray? Or you could spray it on the scarf to hopefully make those kooky top notes last longer! March 4, 2014 at 11:13am Reply

    • Daisy: I got the Rosabotanica scarf too! I get the feeling that I am going to like it more than the fragrance, which I haven’t tried yet. The bottle is so pretty that it sounds such a shame that what makes the scent interesting is fleeting.

      When the weather warms up, I’ll give it a whirl. Thanks for the great reviews, Elisa! March 4, 2014 at 12:05pm Reply

      • Elisa: Hi Daisy! I don’t suppose the top screws off? It would be cool to get rid of the perfume and use the bottle for something else! March 4, 2014 at 12:08pm Reply

        • Melissa: I’m going to try it on the scarf! Tres medieval princess. It’s one of those mini splasher bottles, like… a glass cylinder with a little pinhole in, kind of? Mine will probably get passed down to a young friend after I use up the juice — it’s the perfect size for a doll! March 4, 2014 at 3:55pm Reply

  • Aisha: It’s hard to top Marni. The funny thing is that I didn’t care for it when I first tried it. But then I kept on trying it and found myself loving it even more. 🙂

    I’m glad you reviewed Roses de Chloe, as I’ve been very curious about it. I’m still trying to get my hands on a sample of it. March 4, 2014 at 8:56am Reply

    • Elisa: I was so surprised by RdC! I expected nothing and it’s really pretty nice. March 4, 2014 at 11:13am Reply

      • Aisha: I finally got a sample of Roses de Chloe. Oh, it’s so beautiful and delicate! Unfortunately, not worth buying a bottle. The scent didn’t last very long at all. What a shame. :-/ March 25, 2014 at 10:56am Reply

        • Elisa: Ah, too bad it didn’t last on you! On me the lasting power is decent enough, but those delicate top notes are the most beautiful part. March 25, 2014 at 10:58am Reply

          • Aisha: Yes, those top notes are ethereal. I’m not giving up on it quite yet. I want to try again, but this time using an actual tester bottle. I have a small spray sample, and I don’t think the spray part works very well. March 25, 2014 at 12:03pm Reply

  • Karen: The search for the perfect rose perfume! It seems to be as much of a challenge as finding the rose from my childhood! (finally figured that out, though!) I love love love Une Rose Chypree but it doesn’t last on me, and La Fille de Berlin is gorgeous but not for every day (which I’d do with URC if my decant wasn’t already half gone). Oh well, it’s a beautiful search! March 4, 2014 at 8:58am Reply

    • Julie: I’m with you Karen. I adore Une Rose Chypree! In fact I ordered samples just because of the postings here about it. I too am constantly in search of my perfect rose, and I’m enjoying the sampling all the way!
      I’d love to try La Fille De Berlin; sounds interesting! March 4, 2014 at 10:45am Reply

      • Karen: La Fille is really stunning – I was thinking that layered with one of the Lutens ambers, might work to give that yumminess of Une Rose Chypree with longevity. I found a vintage Lanvin, Crescendo, which dries down to amber so I might give that a whirl with La Fille. March 4, 2014 at 11:02am Reply

    • Elisa: Karen, I’m so surprised URC doesn’t last on you! It’s one of my longest lasting perfumes. If you’re looking for something similar, try Rose d’Homme which has that same powdery amber angle. Or for a bright rose like LFDB, try Rossy de Palma. March 4, 2014 at 11:15am Reply

  • Lauren: Rosabotanica is poorly named. It is not a rose fragrance and calling it one only invites poor comparison. As a floral fragrance, it sucks. As a slightly floral woody fragrance it is great! The wonderful herbal notes remain prominent for hours on me. Oh, skin chemistry, you fickle mistress! March 4, 2014 at 9:13am Reply

    • Elisa: I’m so jealous that your skin amplifies the herbal notes, which are the best part! And you’re right that the rose note is pretty subtle in it. March 4, 2014 at 11:17am Reply

  • Heather H: Hi Elisa,

    I have tried all of the fresh, light rose scents you have mentioned except for Marni, whiich I am excited to try. Although i have found my favorite dark rose, I am still searching for my favorite light rose. I tried Annick Goutal Rose Splendide, and hated it. I couldn’t believe it, because I heard so many great things about this perfume. I also tried Parfum de Rosine’s Rose d’Été and Yosh Sottile–much better, but not the one! Recently I did try Van Cleef’s Rose de Velours. This could be the one, but so darn exspensive. I guess it is hard trying to find the perfect fresh, rose scent when I am getting older, and not so fresh anymore. Maybe I should just face the facts, and stick with my dark rose–I know too much and have been through too much. March 4, 2014 at 9:15am Reply

    • Heather H: I also tried Aerin Lauder’s Rose–gorgeous. This could be the one. March 4, 2014 at 9:27am Reply

      • Sandra: Have you tried Stella? Its a nice rose and inexpensive March 4, 2014 at 9:49am Reply

        • Heather H: Yes, I have. I know it’s popular, but it didn’t so it for me. March 4, 2014 at 12:48pm Reply

    • Elisa: Please try Marni! It’s quite light and really really good.

      FWIW, I can see Rose Splendide being kind of a love it or hate it perfume. It’s got a bit of a vinegar note to my nose, but I like it (I’m a pickle fiend).

      Another beautiful fresh rose: La Vie en Rose from DSH, which is lightened up with lots of violet. March 4, 2014 at 11:19am Reply

      • Heather H: Thanks Elisa, I am going to try it! March 4, 2014 at 11:34am Reply

        • maja: I guess I’m the only one who didn’t like Marni. 🙂 March 4, 2014 at 12:16pm Reply

          • Elisa: Not the ONLY one! 🙂 I’ve heard a few people say it left them cold, but I liked it enough to buy a purse spray. March 4, 2014 at 12:24pm Reply

          • Canadianpetite: It didn’t work for me either. I didn’t get any rose or beautiful notes – just harsh chemical. I know it’s my skin chemistry. March 4, 2014 at 11:41pm Reply

        • Heather H: Elisa, you are an angel. La Vie en Rose is the one. I liked it better than Paris too. Thank you so much for the recommendation. I ordered my perfume:) I also tried E. Coudray Jacinthe et Rose. I ordered the purse spray from Canada(I live in US)-fabulous as well! March 9, 2014 at 11:32am Reply

          • Elisa: Oh, wonderful! LVER and Jacinthe et Rose are both just so fresh and pretty! March 9, 2014 at 12:02pm Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Heather, have you tried Diptyque Eau Rose? It’s a straightforward but very pretty rose perfume. March 5, 2014 at 6:31am Reply

  • Sandra: It was so fitting that you wrote about Roses this morning since I dropped some dried Rose petals in my tea this morning to add a little floral flavor. I usually don’t do this, but its -10 C here in NYC and I can use a little piece of spring any where I can, to pick up my spirits.
    Great article Elisa. I think you are right on point with Rosabotanica. Wasn’t love and first sniff for me. The orginal Chloe gives me a headache. I kept trying a sample I got but its not for me. Maybe Roses De Chloe will be a better fit.
    For roses I have 3 that are my go to: La Fille de Berlin ( I dab the scent-so I never put on the spray piece that comes with it) Stella and recently I fell in love with Nahema. Nahema is very beautiful March 4, 2014 at 9:15am Reply

    • Karen: I just put a dab of Nahema on, and agree that it is beautiful! March 4, 2014 at 11:04am Reply

      • Sandra: So happy to find a kindred spirit that finds Nahema beautiful. March 4, 2014 at 11:43am Reply

    • Elisa: Thanks Sandra! Your rose tea sounds inspiring. Do give Roses de Chloe a go, I think it’s much less headachey than regular Chloe.

      So many Lutens scents are better dabbed than sprayed, don’t you think? March 4, 2014 at 11:20am Reply

      • Sandra: Yes! I little dab goes a long way March 4, 2014 at 2:10pm Reply

  • Patricia: I’m on the lookout for a nice lighter rose, but it doesn’t sound like these two are exactly what I want.

    Will try Aerin Lauder’s Rose and Stella next time I go to the mall.

    Great article, Elisa! March 4, 2014 at 10:23am Reply

    • Elisa: Thanks Pat! Have you tried regular old Tea Rose? It’s not exactly light but if you spray from WELL away from your arm, it might do the trick! March 4, 2014 at 11:21am Reply

      • Patricia: Tea Rose is just too much for me. I swapped my bottle away.

        However, I just read on NST that Vero Profumo is releasing a rose fragrance “Rozy” in May in Extrait, Voile de Extrait, and Eau de Parfum.

        Sadly, it’s not likely to be a bargain :). March 4, 2014 at 11:35am Reply

        • Elisa: I would guess not!!

          What about L’Ombre dans L’Eau? March 4, 2014 at 11:37am Reply

    • Ann: Hi Patricia,

      I’ve been enjoying SSS’s Velvet Rose… I would say it is a medium rose…it manages to feel like I’m wearing a fresh cut rose in my lapel, but without all that over the top joie de vivre FRESH of some of the Annick Goutal roses…but I wouldn’t call it a dark rose either. It is the rose on your favorite walk that you stop and smell whenever you pass it. March 5, 2014 at 12:58pm Reply

      • Elisa: “Medium rose” is a perfect description for Velvet Rose! March 5, 2014 at 1:11pm Reply

  • kjanicki: I will give the Chloe a try. On the topic of mainstream roses, what do you think of Bulgari Rose Essentielle? March 4, 2014 at 11:55am Reply

    • Elisa: I haven’t tried that one in years and can’t remember my impressions. Maybe Victoria can jump in. (I do like Bulgari pour Femme!) March 4, 2014 at 11:58am Reply

    • Sassa: FWIW, I enjoy both Roses de Chloe and Bulgari Rose Essentielle; they give off similar vibes.
      Funny, I always considered myself “rose adverse”, but I realize that I may like it more than I thought! March 6, 2014 at 4:24pm Reply

      • Elisa: When I first got into perfume I was obsessed with tuberose. But over time I’ve found that rose is my true love. March 6, 2014 at 4:26pm Reply

  • maja: A friend has sent me a sample of Roses de Chloe so now I am really looking forward to it. 🙂 My loves for roses is endless. March 4, 2014 at 12:11pm Reply

    • maja: *love March 4, 2014 at 12:12pm Reply

    • Elisa: Same here! I’m a rose nut. March 4, 2014 at 12:16pm Reply

  • Solanace: I really like Rose Splendide as a good dreams – bed time scent, but now that my decant is over, I’ll give this new Chloe flanker a try. The original one was worn by the most gorgeous woman on my street as I grew up, she was such a fashion icon for us girls, and I was sad to smell the new, über tame version. March 4, 2014 at 12:37pm Reply

    • Elisa: Yes, I wish they’d given it a different name. Chloe 2.0 or something. March 4, 2014 at 1:59pm Reply

  • Lucas: Thanks Elisa for your two rosy perfumes. Nowadays I rarely get a chance to visit a perfume store like Sephora so I might not give them a try soon but when I get a chance I will give them a try, just to satisfy my curiosity if I agree with your judgements. March 4, 2014 at 1:44pm Reply

    • Elisa: Hi Lucas! RdC is probably also available at places like Nordstrom. It’s really not bad! March 4, 2014 at 2:00pm Reply

  • Mals86: I’ve been snarky ever since I realized that somebody went messing with my old love KL Chloe (I can’t wear it now, it’s too High School Drama, but it was so good). Roses de Chloe sounds like an improvement on the other thing, though.

    You know I love my Rose d’Ete. March 4, 2014 at 3:29pm Reply

    • Elisa: Hi Mals! Since you’ve got Rose d’Ete you wouldn’t need Roses de Chloe, I’d wager. But I was really surprised by it. They hit a similar sweet spot.

      Like you I find the updated Chloe rather an insult to the KL version. March 4, 2014 at 3:37pm Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: The 2008 re-boot of Chloe is an anemic travesty- the original Lagerfeld scent is so rich, lush, voluptuous and sexy the new one smells like dishwater. I was surprised that I liked Rosabotanica, because Florabotanica is such a ghastly pong I nearly gagged in Neiman Marcus when the fragrance lady showed it to me. The fact that Kristen Stewart, who always looks to me like she needs a shower is the ‘face’ of the perfume should have been my first clue. It’s so strange to me when these distinguished, even hallowed fashion houses stick their names on horrible scents. Valentino disappointed me time and time again until Valentina, which I adore now, YSL has launched some real clunkers and Ralph Lauren has never come up with a scent as elegant as his clothes. It continues to puzzle me. March 4, 2014 at 3:55pm Reply

    • Elisa: LOL “ghastly pong.” YSL has gotten pretty boring/disappointing as a house considering how great they used to be. I hate the bottles for the “La Collection” scents too — they look like factory prototypes to me. March 4, 2014 at 4:10pm Reply

    • Mals86: The OLD Lauren was good. Very grassy sort of floral, but somehow perfect with the RL image.

      It doesn’t smell like itself now. March 4, 2014 at 9:29pm Reply

      • Elisa: I do like Safari (galbanum bomb) and I keep hearing good things about Pure Turquoise, but I haven’t tried it yet. March 4, 2014 at 11:02pm Reply

  • Nataliya: Thank you for the review of spring rose perfumes. Have you tried a new Marni Rose? March 4, 2014 at 6:06pm Reply

    • Elisa: No but I’m dying to! Robin at NST liked it and Marni with more rose sounds great to me. March 4, 2014 at 7:23pm Reply

      • Nataliya: In fact. I have a Marni perfume and like it. It is fantastic incense rose spicy perfume. I thought it was similar to Paestum Rose of Eau D’Italie but it is not. So I am just looking for to try the new Marni Rose 🙂 March 5, 2014 at 2:56am Reply

        • Elisa: It’s also similar to Rose 31 from Le Labo. March 5, 2014 at 10:36am Reply

  • Ashley Anstaett: I was very disappointed in Florabotanica, as I was super excited for its release. I really love, and I know a lot of people find it boring, Balenciaga Paris, so I had high hopes for this one. It was just a drag. I would be curious to smell Rosabotanica now, although I doubt I’ll be buying a bottle, the top notes do sound interesting!

    The Rose de Chloe sounds really lovely, and I’m a sucker for Linden, so I will have to smell it next time I’m out and about. It might be a nice, fun summery perfume. March 4, 2014 at 9:02pm Reply

    • Elisa: I think Paris is quite nice, especially for a mainstream release! And its bottle and ads were also great. Definitely sniff Rosabotanica just for those wacky top notes, but in the end it’s pretty forgettable. March 4, 2014 at 11:01pm Reply

  • Anne of Green Gables: Thanks for the reviews, Elisa. I’m glad that you reviewed Roses de Chloe because I was curious to hear other people’s opinion. I didn’t intend to try it but a couple of months ago, a SA was handing out perfumed blotters and I got one. I was actually surprised that I liked it because I wasn’t expecting much. There’s nothing spectacular or original about it but it’s a clean, fresh, slightly green and not fully bloomed rose. I liked that it wasn’t too sweet and it smelled quite natural to me. It’s definitely a pink and not a red rose if you know what I mean. I haven’t actually tested it on my skin yet.

    I still haven’t tried Rosabotanica but your description of top notes have made me really curious. I’ll definitely give it a sniff during my next trip into town. March 5, 2014 at 5:08am Reply

    • Elisa: I agree completely! I wasn’t expecting much and so it took me by surprise. And yes, pink is the color! March 5, 2014 at 10:38am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: I tested Rosabotanica last weekend. I also tried Florabotanica alongside since I’ve never tested it before. I labelled them correctly but I was really confused which one was actually Rosabotanica since Florabotanica smelled more strongly of rose. Later in stage, it smelled quite similar to Roses de Chloe. On the other hand, I liked that interesting milky-sour note that you described for Rosabotanica. The drydown was less interesting and I wished that it could have stayed more green and less sweet. In conclusion, I think Florabotanica is the one that really should be called Rosabotanica! 🙂 March 11, 2014 at 4:20pm Reply

        • Elisa: I should have smelled Florabotanica again to better be able to compare them, but I trust your assessment! I too wish Rosabotanica stayed weird longer. March 11, 2014 at 9:00pm Reply

  • Ann: Your review was sort of like perfume counter whiplash! I need to go back and give the new Chloe a whirl.

    I’m testing Ramon Monegal’s Mon Patchouly this morning, which reminded me so much of CK’s Euphoria that I had to go and try that one on the other wrist, and now I smell pretty insufferable! Even the cats are wary.

    A light rose with a crisp apple note sounds just about right at this particularly errrrr fragrant moment. March 5, 2014 at 1:24pm Reply

    • Elisa: I know how that feels, I put on something yesterday that ended up being way too sweet and heavy and I just had to wait for it to die down. March 5, 2014 at 4:02pm Reply

  • noseknows: I tried Rosabotanica and thought it would be pleasant for warmer weather when I need something light and not at all taxing. If I ever find it half price I might buy it for the bottle. March 6, 2014 at 12:15am Reply

    • Elisa: The bottle is so great! And yes, I think it’s definitely a warm weather perfume. March 6, 2014 at 12:24pm Reply

  • maja: Elisa, I sampled Roses de Chloe as my sample has arrived and I find it really enjoyable. It does remind me of Rose Splendide but sort of less sour. It is a lovely pink rose! I am thinking of a 30ml bottle. 😉 March 7, 2014 at 3:24pm Reply

    • Elisa: Yes, that’s it! Less sour. So glad you’re enjoying it! March 7, 2014 at 3:42pm Reply

  • Lana: what is the difference between roses de chloe and prior version chloe rose edition? March 10, 2014 at 7:54pm Reply

    • Elisa: I am not positive but I believe Chloe Rose Edition was a limited edition from 2011. I have not smelled it, but if someone has, please jump in! You can find descriptions of both fragrances at Fragrantica. March 11, 2014 at 9:08am Reply

  • Dave: Excellent and very informative blog post, I’m definitely buying this fragrance for my girlfriend! March 13, 2014 at 10:42am Reply

  • Gonzalo: Roses de Chloe looks delicate and beautiful. If it lasts long enough, I’ll get a sample and try it out. March 27, 2014 at 3:43pm Reply

  • Carmen Kaiser: A nice perfume, and a good review! April 5, 2014 at 7:02pm Reply

  • Hildegerd: Moment de Bonheur from Yve Rocher is a less expensive alternative to this two. April 12, 2014 at 10:08am Reply

  • Savita: I finally got a chance to try Rosabotanica after wanting to for months. I was sorely disappointed, it was nothing like I expected. It smelt like stale water in a vase that had flowers in it for days. My apologies to those who love it. I’m longing to find a gorgeous rose scent. July 10, 2014 at 11:01am Reply

  • Adriana: Well, I am a Florabotanica lover, I confess, for the ambary dry down which on my skin is wonderful. But that too, I came to love after 2-3 tries and decided for a bottle. Rosabotanica, I liked it in the first ten minutes, there after being left with nothing on my skin to like or dislike as it was gone as if no there, kind of little bit like everything out there, that something which hits u on when U enter a perfume shop and the nightmare goes on accompanied by all those aunties too happy to spray on You everything they are supposed to sell ASAP! And what a prise tag!
    If anyone for a creamy rose musk combo, I warmly recommand a sniff on “Voile de Parfume”. March 18, 2015 at 4:24pm Reply

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