Is it possible to have too many rose perfumes? Not really, if you ask me. On the other hand, it’s entirely within reason to limit one’s wardrobe to the best of the best, especially since we’re spoiled for choice. Unfortunately, L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Rose Privée doesn’t make the cut. While made from quality materials, it has neither an interesting character nor does it offer anything you can’t find elsewhere (and for significantly less money).
On the rose spectrum, Rose Privée is on the light and sparkling end, although it has some dark touches. From the moment you apply it, you notice fruity notes—sweet raspberry, tart pomegranate peel and other juicy, bright effects. Rose essence naturally shares many elements with the aromas of berries, so the fruity nuance is a pleasant, harmonious touch. A green, spicy note underneath the pink froth should be a great contrast, but instead, it turns bitter and musty, a flower on the edge of withering.
What happens later is more of the same—bitter, stale petals mixing with fresh, delicate buds, with a handful of shredded cedarwood for good measure. Rose Privée is not quite a dark moody fragrance, but it’s also not much of a bubbly, lighthearted blend. It feels as if the perfumer couldn’t quite pick a single theme and instead you get something in between, without a distinctive point of view. On the plus side, if you find most light roses to be fleeting, Rose Privée won’t disappoint, because it grabs onto your skin and lasts beyond all expectations.
So I don’t care for Rose Privée, and instead I’d like to point out a couple of other roses that achieve the light-dark effect better. For one thing, you have the bizarre but oddly compelling The Different Company Rose Poivrée. Originally, it was a raunchy number, but over the years it has been reformulated into a subtler, tamer earthy rose. Eau d’Italie Paestum Rose starts on pink petals and ends on incense and sheer amber.
If you want just rose champagne bubbles, minus the hangover, then consider Balenciaga L’Eau Rose and Serge Lutens Sa Majesté la Rose. Pretty much anything called Rose and tinted pink at the department store is in the same category. Or throw caution to the wind and reach for Annick Goutal Grand Amour. It has much more than just roses, but if you like dramatic florals and all things voluptuous, it will be just the right choice.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Rose Privée includes notes of the absolute of rose de mai, magnolia, basil, lilac, carnation, and patchouli. Available at the brand’s boutiques and department store counters. 50 ml Eau de Parfum/£77; 100ml/£95
If you want more rose perfumes, please click on “Perfume Reviews by Note” and scroll down to Rose for a full list.