Roses for Men (and not only)

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, everything is rose embellished, from florist shop windows to perfume columns. I love roses, but I don’t see any reason why they should be reserved just for women. Don’t guys deserve their own bed of roses too? Just as gendered color coding (pink for her, blue for him) is a 20th century marketing invention, the division of perfumery into “pour elle” and “pour lui” is fairly recent. One only needs to examine fragrance habits around the world to see how arbitrary it is. So in my FT column I explore some of my favorite rose perfumes that can be worn by men (and of course, women).

renoir

Jasmine attars are shared in India, while rose is a favourite essence among men in the Gulf countries. But try to convince a chap in Europe to don some flowers and you are met with a quizzical look. Aren’t roses just for women? François Robert, the “nose” behind the niche line Les Parfums de Rosine, doesn’t think so. To continue, please click here.

Any other interesting roses to add to the list?

Charles and Georges Durand Ruel by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, via wiki-images, some rights reserved.

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121 Comments

  • Austenfan: The two that I thought of instantly are marketed as unisex anyway: Une Rose Poivrée and Paestum Rose. I love your mention of Rossy, a brilliant bold and daring scent for just anyone.

    Driving back from work just now I heard an interview on language and sexism, very interesting. Dutch is situated between German and English in this matter, English being the most gender neutral in most words. The interview ended with a fragment from a Bavarian comedian, I can’t remember her name, who after a long summing up of how certain words ought to be altered ended with the statement that ‘Frau’ (woman) was a sexist word. It ought to be; “Mensch mit Menstruationshintergrund” (Human being with a history of menstruation) February 12, 2016 at 7:28am Reply

    • Michaela: I can’t stop laughing. This Bavarian comedian is brilliant. February 12, 2016 at 8:54am Reply

    • kayliz: Oh Austenfan, that’s made my day!

      (It’s from the PC German term for ethnic minorities: people with a background/history of migration. Such a clever send-up!) February 12, 2016 at 9:59am Reply

      • Austenfan: I realised that when I googled the German word. It nearly made me crash my car ( well sort of), it’s such a clever joke. I looked her up on Wiki and found out that she is actually from Kölln.
        I think translating “hintergrund” by “background” is even better. As I’m Dutch I can fully appreciate the art of just ‘sewing words together’. February 12, 2016 at 10:30am Reply

        • limegreen: 🙂
          I like “background” even better than “history” — it’s even funnier that way! Thanks for the chuckle! February 12, 2016 at 11:05am Reply

    • Victoria: I was thinking of those two as well later, and especially Paestum Rose which I like a lot, on anyone.

      There is a great article in The Economist this week (p. 80 Double-Edged Words) about the double standards in the language.
      http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21692842-secret-meaning-feisty-double-edged-words
      They explore some common words and their connotation, using Google data. “Rounding out the top ten words following ‘feisty little’, intriguingly, are ‘Irishman’ and ‘bastard.’ This closes the case on whether you should call anyone ‘feisty,’ and especially a woman, if you want to pay a sincere compliment.”

      The comedian’s comment is funny, especially so in German. February 12, 2016 at 12:12pm Reply

      • Austenfan: What was so interesting about this discussion is that both Dutch and German have gender specific words for certain jobs but in some cases both words have evolved from a verb and are sort of classed equally. However in a lot of German words the ‘root word’ is the masculine version and the word for it’s female counterpart is derived from that, and therefore regarded as less. Apparently some feminists object to the split and want unisex words and others don’t. Me, I don’t know.
        And I’ll read that article, thanks for the link! February 12, 2016 at 4:02pm Reply

        • Victoria: This is sort of like the Swedish debate on hon (“she”) and han (“he”) and a compromise being “hen.” But I wonder if hen is actually used. February 14, 2016 at 1:45pm Reply

          • Mia: As far as I know, it is not used in real life. Instead, it is made fun of in Swedish comedies. But the intention’s to have a neutral pronoun is quite genuine I assume.

            In my first language Finnish, there is only a gender neutral pronoun ‘hän’ – or ‘se’. This is one reason why Finns often make embarrishing gender misreferences when speaking e.g. English or Swedish. February 15, 2016 at 8:38pm Reply

          • Therése: Hen is used more and more, both in everyday speach and in writing. I find it extremely useful. April 19, 2016 at 3:19am Reply

    • Karen (A): Too funny, thanks for the laugh! February 12, 2016 at 3:04pm Reply

    • solanace: Very good! February 13, 2016 at 9:27am Reply

  • limegreen: What do you think of Cafe Rose? Tom Ford fragrances are all “shared” fragrances (not my description) with the intention of not drawing gendered lines.
    It must have been hard for you to select only a handful from your long list of roses! Fun article. Would like to try some of the ones mentioned.
    I have been layering Sa Majeste La Rose with Kyoto a lot in the cooler temps, rose and incense, guess I have been creating my own shared rose. 🙂 February 12, 2016 at 8:15am Reply

    • limegreen: P.S. Don’t know when you wrote the article, Victoria, but I had to laugh at your use of of an one-word sentence “Irresistible” — was this a “wink” reference to an earlier post/review, perhaps? 🙂 February 12, 2016 at 11:08am Reply

      • Victoria: The article was written last year, so, no, I didn’t connect the two. 🙂 February 12, 2016 at 1:42pm Reply

    • Victoria: I agree on Cafe Rose. Most of Fords can be shared easily, but Cafe Rose is a particularly good rose for a man whose tastes are on the conservative side.

      Love the idea of Kyoto and Sa Majeste de Rose! February 12, 2016 at 12:14pm Reply

  • Aurora: So happy to see you devote a lot of space to Les Parfums de Rosine. I still remember how fun it was to discover the line from their sampler and have sounded like a broken record suggesting it when questions about rose offerings come up in the recommend me thread. But it reminds me that I’ve felt shy of passing on Rose d’Homme to my brother or boyfriend anticipating a recoil at the word Rose. I remember your mentioning that your husband smells great in Womanity but that he – I must say understandably – he doesn’t care to be associated with a scent with this name. As you describe, our conventions in the west are just that though, and in principle I rejoice at gender bending in perfumes if only for a much needed dose of originality, I’m devoted to Dior Homme Intense after all. What a great article and I’ve read the one on sillage as well. You are such a great writer and make your reader long for anything you write about: a great gift. February 12, 2016 at 9:01am Reply

    • Michaela: Hahahaha. I read the article on sillage, too.
      Great gift, right.
      Thank you, Victoria. February 12, 2016 at 9:13am Reply

      • Aurora: Like Michaela I should say of my list of roses I would share Majalis and Lyn Harris La Rose. February 12, 2016 at 9:57am Reply

    • Aurora: Sorry forgot to mention rose perfumes I enjoy: well let’s stay with Rosine a moment, I am very fond of Majalis, also from a temporary lineat M&S 2 years ago: La Rose by Lyn Harris, very well done dusky rose. A perennial classic I know you love which never disappoints me: Nahema for its passionfruit like rose, and last but probably should come first Caron Rose extrait both you and I were raving about quite recently and I was quite crestfallen when you mention the quality wouldn’t be the same nowadays. February 12, 2016 at 9:15am Reply

      • Aurora: Oh dear, ‘mentioned’ of course sorry for the typo. February 12, 2016 at 9:17am Reply

        • Victoria: Please don’t worry about it! Otherwise you will make feel very bad for the typos in my comments. 🙂 February 12, 2016 at 1:28pm Reply

      • Victoria: Thank you for this rose list. I need to try Majalis.

        Caron Rose is slightly mustier and thinner, but it still has enough of its retro character. I also tried Tabac Blond recently and liked it a lot. Not the original formula but very good nonetheless. February 12, 2016 at 1:26pm Reply

      • Karen (A): Isn’t Nahema beautiful? I just received a bottle of the EdP to stretch out the extrait which I scored after reading about it being discontinued. February 12, 2016 at 3:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: I like this line very much overall, and while it’s large, it still has Francois Roberts’s fingerprint and feels coherent.

      My husband has become much more open over the years, and if I leave a sample on his perfume tray, I noticed that he will wear it. He wore Cartier Panthere to work the other day, and I must say that it smelled amazing on him.

      Thank you. I’m so pleased that you liked the piece! February 12, 2016 at 1:22pm Reply

  • Michaela: Your article is very interesting!

    As much as I like to think myself ‘open’ and willing to share, Sa Majeste la Rose, Tresor, Tocade and White Linen are mine, all mine. I would share Agent Provocateur, Soir de Lune or Voleur des Roses.

    Thank you for mentioning Grey Flannel. Never thought rose is starring there. I’ll smell this one again and again, I’ll still like it even if I won’t find the rose 🙂 February 12, 2016 at 9:08am Reply

    • Aurora: Oh, I hope you’ll let me share Tocade with you Michaela please? February 12, 2016 at 9:34am Reply

      • Michaela: Sure, anytime! 🙂
        I forgot to mention: I would share with him… February 12, 2016 at 9:37am Reply

        • Aurora: I knew you would be generous, and you’re right all of your list would smell great on him too. February 12, 2016 at 9:42am Reply

    • Elisa: Ooh, Agent Provocateur would be great on a man. February 12, 2016 at 10:10am Reply

      • maja: My husband sprayed Agent Provocateur once because honestly he just sprays the first thing he finds in the bathroom. 🙂 It was beautiful although a bit perplexing. February 12, 2016 at 4:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: You’re still very generous. 🙂

      In Grey Flannel rose is more of a supporting character, and it’s citrusy and metallic. It works really well to push the fresh part of the composition. February 12, 2016 at 1:22pm Reply

  • Nick: Sharing something with cloves, geranium, neroli, and even lemongrass, I think that rose perfumes are not as difficult to wear as, say, any number of white flowers like orange blossoms, gardenia, tuberose, and jasmine. But then again, there was a time when men sported boutonnières of muguet, gardenia, and carnation to accompany the ladies and their scented corsages. Interesting how things change over time. February 12, 2016 at 9:44am Reply

    • Victoria: So true, Nick! I’m thinking about it too. Have you tried Arquiste’s Boutonniere no 7, a very dandy-like gardenia? February 12, 2016 at 1:38pm Reply

      • Nick: Unfortunately, no! After I saw your reply, I did some digging of my local parfümerie to look for Arquiste today. I didn’t see both Boutonière N.7 and Sables. The latter is what I stumbled upon in your archive of immortelle, which is a note that I like and have been looking for ever since L’Occitane Immortelle de Corse was discontinued.

        In any case, I ended up with twelve decants from talking to a really passionate shop owner! February 13, 2016 at 1:26pm Reply

        • Victoria: Nice! What have you tried so far from these samples? February 14, 2016 at 2:37pm Reply

          • Nick: I recalled that La Violette is overdosed with a of isomethyl alpha-ionone and beta-ionone, so I asked to decant that. Also, galbanum possesses trace amounts of macrolide musks, and thus Untitled would be a good green-bitter orange-musky example, aside the overdose in Vent Vert, of course.

            Then, while learning that Lubin has been around for two centuries, I received samples of Idole EdP, GinFizz, Inédite, Upper Ten, Itasca, and Bluff to try.

            And, I happened to spot ‘100% natural’ on Vetiver Veritas, so she gave me that and a new chypre of our century, Chypre 21 — feels like Miss Dior Original and Aramis minus the brutal woods and ferocious animals. February 14, 2016 at 2:51pm Reply

            • Victoria: That’s a great collection of samples, to study and to enjoy. I’m curious what you think of Idole by Lubin, one of my favorite woody orientals. February 14, 2016 at 5:14pm Reply

              • Nick: Of dark spices, burning incense, and fragrant wood chips. It is viscous and thick with rum. There is some nutty saffron.Then, piles of cloves..lemony and pungent. Then, frankincense dryness, nutty saffron, ans sandalwood whispers — all like an accord here.

                The opening is a bit pungent and resinous, but it takes 30 minutes to get to the wondrous accord 🙂 Excellent. February 15, 2016 at 9:31am Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: One of my favorite Rose perfumes (besides Portrait of a Lady) is Mohur. Today I am wearing MFK’s A la Rose. February 12, 2016 at 9:45am Reply

    • Victoria: I have a sample of A la Rose and you’ve inspired me to revisit it. February 12, 2016 at 1:38pm Reply

      • Phyllis Iervello: A la Rose is very pretty. I lightly sprayed it 7 hours ago and I can still smell it…yet it is not so overpowering as to get negative remarks from my coworkers (most of whom do not like fragrance). February 12, 2016 at 3:20pm Reply

        • Victoria: It has a very soft, polished drydown. February 14, 2016 at 1:40pm Reply

          • Phyllis Iervello: Yes it does. I enjoy wearing it. February 14, 2016 at 2:58pm Reply

  • Surbhi: I tried Atelier Rose anonyme. I love the initial burst and I like the smell too. But through the day it becomes little too sweet for my liking and for others too as well. Anyway to reduce that? I am thinking to try just one small spray next time. Any other suggestion? I even thought about layering with something else but can use suggestions. February 12, 2016 at 9:58am Reply

    • Victoria: Sweeetness is easy to add but difficult to tone down. Perhaps, something with incense or woods? February 12, 2016 at 1:39pm Reply

    • sparris: While neither is fresh in my mind right now I remember thinking Rose Anonyme is similar to JHAG’s Midnight Oud…just a suggestion. 🙂 February 12, 2016 at 2:22pm Reply

    • Karen (A): If you like Amber, rose pairs very beautifully with it. Ambre Sultan is not overly sweet – I paired it with some rose oil (thanks Limegreen!). February 12, 2016 at 3:09pm Reply

  • rosarita: I really enjoyed this article! Rosine Rose d’Homme is one of my favorites for myself. My husband rarely wears scent but sometimes he likes a dab of something – Shalimar smells great on him and so does Nahema. I could see Dawn Spencer Hurwitz American Beauty being nice on a man as well, it’s such a rich soliflore. February 12, 2016 at 10:01am Reply

    • Victoria: Nahema is a great perfume to share. Jean-Paul Guerlain said that he wore it himself, so why not? February 12, 2016 at 1:39pm Reply

  • Elisa: I think Rose d’Homme is so good and so underrated! If I had a bottle I’d wear it all the time.

    Tauer’s roses are good for men too. February 12, 2016 at 10:11am Reply

    • Victoria: Underrated it is. Rose Kashmirie is another one I’ve been enjoying lately. February 12, 2016 at 1:40pm Reply

      • Elisa: Me too! Rose Kashmirie smells just like my grandmother’s makeup vanity. February 12, 2016 at 1:49pm Reply

        • kayliz: That’s exactly my association too. February 13, 2016 at 5:26am Reply

        • Victoria: I also notice this retro, glamorous feel. February 14, 2016 at 1:40pm Reply

  • Surbhi: I think PoAL can be very interesting. February 12, 2016 at 10:17am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, I can’t agree more. February 12, 2016 at 1:41pm Reply

  • Jeanne: I was using L’Occitane Roses et Reines hand cream on a long flight a couple of years ago. The guy sitting next to me asked if he could have a little bit for his hands. He said his hands were really dry, but that mostly, he loved the smell of it. When we landed, he asked for another little dab so that he could smell good for his girlfriend! I’d always thought of Roses et Reines as very girly, but I have to say, it really smelled great on this cute guy! February 12, 2016 at 10:38am Reply

    • Victoria: A nice story. I had a friend who wore Yves Saint Laurent Paris (Roses 4 Reines is a loose take on it), and it smelled so good on him. February 12, 2016 at 1:42pm Reply

      • maja: My husband used all of the Roses 4 Reines body products, the scent was sublime on him. February 12, 2016 at 4:14pm Reply

        • Jeanne: I don’t know why, but I like the scent of the body products better than the cologne. February 12, 2016 at 4:20pm Reply

        • Victoria: I can just imagine! February 14, 2016 at 1:45pm Reply

  • Nick: Love wearing rose frags.

    In my rose rotation (for men) are Voleur Des Roses, Paestum Rose, Ag Provocateur, low cost pleasure Zino by Davidoff, Eau De Protection, Gres Cabaret layered with something seriously woody or Encre Noir, or the CDG Incense series or a little dab of Patchouli.

    Yup seems I have a Rose/Patchouli thing going on. February 12, 2016 at 11:33am Reply

    • Victoria: Such nice choices, including Zino.
      Rose’s character can be changed very easily. Add some fruit, and you have a fruity-floral cocktail. Add patchouli, oud or sandalwood, and you’re in the dark and mysterious domain. It’s a great note. February 12, 2016 at 1:44pm Reply

    • Katy: Zino is so lovely! On my personal list of criminally underrated perfumes. I wear it often in the winter. February 12, 2016 at 2:41pm Reply

  • john: Though it’s only a touch: Eau Sauvage! February 12, 2016 at 11:37am Reply

    • Victoria: All of Roudnitska’s perfume can be worn by men, even Rochas Femme. He was a genius with using floral notes in different contexts. February 12, 2016 at 1:44pm Reply

  • Andy: Rose d’Homme sounds gorgeous–will need to test. I’m awaiting a sample of Declaration d’Un Soir, in hopes that it will be a sort of rose-y take on the woody Declaration theme. If anyone has smelled it and has any input, feel free.

    Off topic, but, rather delightfully, I can’t seem to avoid that wonderful Renoir painting above, having seen it twice last year, once at the exhibit “Discovering the Impressionists” in Philadelphia and also “Inventing Impressionists” in London. Must be destiny or something, that it keeps popping up everywhere I go! February 12, 2016 at 1:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: You’re lucky to have caught those exhibits. I don’t remember where I first saw this painting, but the air of confidence and ease of the two men made an impression on me. It felt like the right illustration.

      I look forward to your comments on Declaration d’Un Soir! February 12, 2016 at 1:48pm Reply

    • rosiemay: The Durand- Roucel; Inventing Impressionism exhibition, at The National Gallery was wonderful!- Victoria, the wonderful portrait of his sons, by Renoir was there, i was so pleased to see it, heading you’re article! February 14, 2016 at 7:43am Reply

  • Karen (A): Besides PoaL, Malle’s Une Rose could work for a guy, especially if paired with something woodsy (just tried a paper test strip with Coromandel and it’s working quite beautifully) If wanting more depth. Bois des Iles may work for layering – at least on paper with Une Rose it is really nice.

    Any of Stephane Humbert Lucas 777 roses, Rose de Petra is insanely potent and stunning.
    And Jo Mallone’s Velvet Rose and Oud would certainly work on a guy.

    Another beautiful gender-free rose is Isparta by Perfumerie Generale. February 12, 2016 at 3:24pm Reply

    • SilverMoon: Hi Karen,
      agree with all the rose suggestions. I was very interested to read your suggested pairings/layering. I might try the Une Rose and Bois des Iles. I rarely layer, so wanted to know if you simply do one spray over the other right away or do you leave a time gap between the two?

      I agree with Victoria and many others here that roses are one of the best flowers for men (along with carnations, lavender and geraniums). And while some perfumes are seemingly more feminine, I think the context within which they are worn really shapes the perfume experience and impact. I don’t know if this makes sense.

      I love rose rich perfumes. My special favourites being FM Une Rose, Paestum Rose, and Nahema. On my recent trip to Paris, I stopped at the Perfumes de Rosine shop. I loved smelling all the different roses, especially La Rosa, but also Rose Kashmiri and Roseberry stood out. One disappointing rose that I recently tried is Caron’s Delire de Roses. February 12, 2016 at 4:16pm Reply

      • Karen (A): I layered these combinations on paper as I have been wearing Nahema today and just wanted it, but got curious as Une Rose on me is a very fresh rose and I wondered how it would do with something additional.

        On paper I sprayed Une Rose first, but smelling it now 1-1/2 hours later, both Bois des Iles and Coromandel are much more predominant. Because I have an allergic reaction to Coromandel, I use it only on a scarf – I just have a large sample and I love it so much, but can’t use it on my skin.

        So, if I were to layer anything with Une Rose, I would use the deeper scent first and Une Rose over it. I don’t do a lot of layering, but Bois des Iles worked surprisingly well with L’heure bleue.

        I’ve really got to try Perfumes de Rosine – but have to let my wallet recover from some purchases first! February 12, 2016 at 4:49pm Reply

        • SilverMoon: Thanks for explaining how you did it. Will try it out tomorrow. Ah, L’Heure Bleu and Une Rose are probably among my top 5 favourite perfumes, but would never have thought to combine them.

          I know what you mean about recovering from a buying spate. 🙂

          The Rosine perfumes are very lovely, pleasant and even pretty, but I would not put them in the spectacular category. Still certainly worth checking out for any rose lover. February 12, 2016 at 6:17pm Reply

          • SilverMoon: Oops, I see you combine L’HB with Bois des Iles. Also, lovely sounding idea. Will experiment. February 12, 2016 at 6:21pm Reply

            • Ariadne: I had a ‘wild hair’ the other day I layered Ce Soir ou Jamais over my new Bulgari Black and it blew me away all day long! February 12, 2016 at 9:11pm Reply

              • Karen (A): Very fun! Here’s to wild hair days! February 13, 2016 at 7:09am Reply

              • SilverMoon: Ariadne, that sounds like a great combination. I love Black and have a FB. However, I only tested CSoJ once. I really liked its floral and honey smell if I remember correctly. Maybe I need to do this layering thing. 🙂 February 13, 2016 at 8:41am Reply

                • Ariadne: Hi SilverMoon, CSoJ is a unique rose and I have read here that it turns sour on some, perhaps like a real rose decaying in a vase? It does not do so on me. Layering it over the Black made it really last and stay as first application intense for the entire day. It occurred to me also that layering with the green and spice of Black may also prevent it from souring.
                  At the suggestion of another contributor here I have also tried CSoJ over Encre Noir with much pleasure. February 13, 2016 at 8:50am Reply

        • Notturno7: Karen A-Thanks for Bois des Iles plus L’ heure bleue tip. I have them both in Extract ( snd BdI also in EdT I think)and can’t wait to see how they would go together!
          I love Rive Gauche, Paris and Nahema but wasn’t crazy for Une Rose to get the whole big bottle of it. I just read the old thread about La Fille de Berlin, and can’t believe I never tried it. Can’t wait to go to the store now for some happy perfume spraying ?? February 13, 2016 at 5:36am Reply

          • Karen (A): Ohhhh, you are in for a treat! La Fille is Gorgeous! Only a little left in my bottle, since becoming a perfume junkie I rarely empty a bottle since I switch fragrances frequently but La Fille is one I never want to be without (which isn’t true for many).

            I think you will enjoy it – the rose in it is just beautiful and it’s got a lot of depth (maybe why Une Rose wasn’t a love for you? It’s a beautiful rose, but perhaps you want a little more) without any “heaviness” for lack of a better term.

            Let us know how it works. One part of me thinks I should just throw in the towel and basically wear only rose perfumes! (But then there’s Carnal Flower, Chamade -my current crush- La Fleur de Cassie….) February 13, 2016 at 7:08am Reply

        • Victoria: Les Parfums de Rosine is a nice line, but I wouldn’t give my last pennies for it. If you do end up looking for samples, I recommend starting with Un Zest de Rose (green, citrusy rose) and Rose d’Ete (fruity, warm rose). February 14, 2016 at 1:49pm Reply

          • Karen (A): Sadly, my pennies have all gone to recent purchases – but those purchases are making me very happy! February 15, 2016 at 7:21am Reply

    • Victoria: I can see how all of these would be great choices, and your layering combination with Bois des Iles sounds fantastic. February 14, 2016 at 1:41pm Reply

      • Karen (A): Bois des Iles surprised me with its ability to smooth out and add a wonderful depth to a variety of fragrances. February 15, 2016 at 7:22am Reply

  • Theresa: Rose perfumes I like: Andy Tauer’s Rose Chypree’ and Rose Vermeille. The Chypree would be appropriate for men; the Vermeille is very sweet and jammy – but maybe good on the right guy? One drop of either is good for hours! February 12, 2016 at 3:54pm Reply

    • Victoria: My husband tried Rose Chypree, and it did smell great on him. February 14, 2016 at 1:43pm Reply

  • silverdust: If I love, love, love Agent Provocateur, are the odds in my favor of liking Une Rose Poivre? February 12, 2016 at 4:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: They’re nothing alike. AP is an old school chypre, but the rose and lots of spices make it unusual. The Different Company is a peppery woody rose that can smell raunchy. Some people love it, others find it overly animalic. February 14, 2016 at 1:48pm Reply

  • Alicia: Paestum Rose, POAL, and any Oud rose seems to me a given. I happen to wear a few masculines with pleasure, and one of my favorites is Chanel Egoiste, with its rose note. February 12, 2016 at 5:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: Egoiste is one of my favorites too. February 14, 2016 at 1:49pm Reply

  • Elizabeth: Great article! I don’t think I could ever get my husband to cross over to the rosy side. He remains devoted to his Van Cleef and Arpels Pour Homme and Knize Ten. It’s okay because I wear enough roses for both of us. I’m wearing two small dabs of Portrait of a Lady right now! Any more, and the musk overwhelms me. February 12, 2016 at 6:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: He has great taste, and Van Cleef and Arpels Pour Homme has a big rose note as part of its key accord. February 14, 2016 at 1:50pm Reply

      • Elizabeth: Really? How funny! I must pay closer attention the next time he wears it. February 15, 2016 at 2:59pm Reply

  • behemot: Aramis Calligraphy Rose can be great on a man.. February 12, 2016 at 9:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yes! Thank you for reminding me of it. February 14, 2016 at 1:51pm Reply

  • spe: Pamplemousse Rose and Noir Epices. February 13, 2016 at 1:42am Reply

  • Notturno7: Victoria,talking about a rose perfume- thanks for the La Fille de Berlin review. And that photo of Dietrich is gorgeous. February 13, 2016 at 5:39am Reply

    • SilverMoon: Another fan of La Fille de Berlin here, though I probably like Une Rose more. Also, Marlene Dietrich associated with Berlin and roses is special for me, since my father is buried close to Marlene’s grave in the same cemetery. February 13, 2016 at 9:25am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much. 🙂 February 14, 2016 at 1:57pm Reply

  • Patricia: I would love to see a man in either Rose Anonyme by Atelier Colognes or Le Labo Rose 31. Safran Troublant would be another good one!

    In desperation, I’ve taken to leaving little spray samples on my husband’s desk, hoping that he’ll be intrigued enough to try them. 🙂 February 13, 2016 at 9:05am Reply

    • Martyn: I really hoped someone would mention Rose 31. I’ve been wearing it now for 18 months, from time to time, and I really love it. And layered with Le Labo’s Oud 27 it takes on a new dimension entirely. February 13, 2016 at 1:23pm Reply

      • Patricia: I bet, Martyn! Too bad I just swapped my Oud 27 away. It was just too much Oud for me. February 13, 2016 at 2:57pm Reply

    • Victoria: Has it worked so far? 🙂 I used to just tell him that I need skin for testing. February 14, 2016 at 2:02pm Reply

      • Patricia: No. He always tells me that there’s a sample he really likes, smelling of tobacco, “at the office” and he can’t remember the name! February 14, 2016 at 5:01pm Reply

        • Victoria: Aha, very clever! 🙂 February 14, 2016 at 5:14pm Reply

    • Surbhi: I found Rose Anonyme too sweet. February 14, 2016 at 4:46pm Reply

  • Michael: Thanks for the information and perfume suggestions Victoria. I have never understood the whole differentiation of “masculine” and “feminine” perfumes. Most of my favourite scents have distinctive floral notes in them, either in a bouquet or a single note, and I have always received compliments whenever I wear them. I was once stopped by a security guard at a firm I was visiting for work because he wanted to know what scent I was wearing (it was Ormonde Jayne Woman btw).

    Slightly off topic, but I recently discovered a slightly used bottle of Chanel No 5 parfum whilst helping my mum sort out her perfume wardrobe. She can’t remember exactly when she bought it but it is a 7ml bottle. I’m guessing it would have been the 80s. Does anyone know how I can check the production batch? I looked around the box but there doesn’t seem to be any information on it. February 14, 2016 at 3:55am Reply

    • Karen (A): Raiders of the Lost Scent blog may be able to help you figure out if there are marks somewhere. I’ve used the site for figuring out a couple of treasures I found in antique stores. February 14, 2016 at 8:32am Reply

      • Michael: Thanks for the heads up Karen (A)! Oh btw my mum’s bottle of Chanel No 5 still smells absolutely gorgeous, much better than the one I tested recently. It actually has more heft and at one point it even reminded me of the EDP, especially in the dry down. February 14, 2016 at 12:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: You might check the bottle design, but I’m not sure about the production code. Either way, you’re lucky to have such a gem. February 14, 2016 at 2:41pm Reply

      • Michael: Thanks. I’m also the proud owner of a bottle of Chanel Le Exclusifs Bois des Iles parfum now. Thought I’d died and gone to perfume heaven the first time I smelled it on my skin! LOL

        Oh btw the SA at the Chanel Parfum Espace store told me that sometime this year all the Les Exclusifs EDT will be replaced with their EDP version. Interesting … February 18, 2016 at 7:45pm Reply

        • Victoria: Oh, that would be exciting. I love the parfum, but Chanel’s different concentrations are really more like different perfumes.

          Enjoy your Bois des Iles. You smell amazing. February 19, 2016 at 9:42am Reply

          • Michael: Thanks. I just discovered, via the Raiders of the Lost Scent website, that according to the bottle shape and label, my mum’s Chanel No 5 parfum originates from a batch in the 1970s. I’m amazed that the extrait had kept so well even after 4 decades! February 22, 2016 at 11:30am Reply

            • Victoria: Chanel No 5 when it still had nitro-musks would keep really well. I have a bottle from the 50s, and it’s in great form. February 22, 2016 at 3:41pm Reply

  • Old Herbaceous: I was so happy to see your discussion of Rose d”Homme and Les Parfums de Rosine! I wrote about that house’s fragrance Rose d’Amour this weekend in honor of Valentine’s Day: https://wordpress.com/post/thewisekangaroo.wordpress.com/847. Now I’ll add a link back to your piece!
    I love Aramis’ Calligraphy Rose — smoky, spicy, ambery rose, intended for men and women. I also love Gres’ Cabaret for women: another rose with smoky incense but also with patchouli and other flowers; I think a man could wear it. Now that I think about it, both Rose d’Amour and Cabaret have been described as being a “rose chypre.” February 14, 2016 at 9:02am Reply

    • Victoria: Cabaret would definitely work too! February 14, 2016 at 2:47pm Reply

  • Patricia: I’m wearing Lady Vengeance (JHaG) today (my Miami Beach scent), but it has worn off so I’m going to put on a rose I really like: La Fille de Berlin. 🙂 February 14, 2016 at 5:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: Same here. You and Notturno were talking about it today, and I now want to wear it too. February 14, 2016 at 5:16pm Reply

  • Mia: I’m in a phase not standing any roses on me. Awhile ago my husband adopted my sample of Piquet’s Alameda with strong amber – another no no for me – and rose. It smells wonderful on him! Roses fit men in general wonderfully imo.

    Thanks for the once again inspiring post which I only got to read days later! February 15, 2016 at 8:56pm Reply

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