Parfums de Rosine Le Magnolia de Rosine : Fragrance Review


The best rendition of magnolia I’ve tried was Pierre Bourdon’s Sous Les Magnolias from his eponymous perfume line. It had the lemony ice cream richness of the southern flower, but instead of rendering it photorealistically and flatly, Bourdon structured the fragrance around a mossy-earthy chypre accord. It was a genius decision. Unfortunately, Sous Les Magnolias can be hard to find.

When I read about Les Parfums de Rosine offering Magnolia signed by Bourdon, I assumed that it would be close to his own magnolia.

It turns out that Le Magnolia de Rosine is a different perfume. The fragrance is surprisingly bland for being both a Rosine and a Bourdon perfume. The house doesn’t specialize in avant-garde compositions, but neither do they do completely commercial and forgettable scents, to which Magnolia comes dangerously close.

Overall, Le Magnolia de Rosine is an airy floral, with a citrusy twist and a musky finish. The main thing I like about it is a luminous rose accord that at one point seems like a mosaic of petals–freesia, jasmine, lily of the valley. Unfortunately, it becomes flat and thin soon thereafter and stays this way. (If you happen to like it, however, it does last well.)

For a niche house (and at a niche price), Magnolia is too much of a wallflower. It’s nicely crafted–Bourdon, after all, is one of the industry legends, but I wish Rosine allowed the perfumer more leeway to explore the theme. My search for magnolia continues.

If you have magnolia favorites, please share them.



  • rosarita: This sounds disappointing but I am at a place where I really have to be deeply in love to buy a new perfume.

    My favorite perfume with magnolia is En Voyage perfumes Zelda. It has many facets so the different notes waft in and out but it smells fantastic to me. I have another magnolia scent from Bourbon French perfumes in New Orleans but I can’t think of the name…it’s on their website. Thanks for the review, V! December 3, 2018 at 7:54am Reply

    • Victoria: I also like the way they’ve interpreted magnolia. It’s very polished but still nature-like. December 6, 2018 at 4:53am Reply

  • Matty: Thank you for this review. December 3, 2018 at 9:14am Reply

  • Sandra: Money saved, I’d say.. December 3, 2018 at 9:59am Reply

    • Victoria: I still wanted Bourdon’s magnolias. December 6, 2018 at 4:52am Reply

  • Jillie: I love Sous les Magnolias and reading this inspired me to search for my bottle, but having just moved house, it has got lost somewhere and I can’t find it. It is pretty perfect to my nose, probably because of that chypre and lemon tang you mention. Do hope it surfaces soon …… December 3, 2018 at 11:21am Reply

    • Victoria: I love that perfume. It was so well-crafted and elegant. December 6, 2018 at 4:52am Reply

  • Old Herbaceous: Oh dear, I’m about to go full nerd here, so I apologize, and please forgive me if you already know all this! The picture that goes with this fragrance is not the classic Southern magnolia grandiflora, it is the pink magnolia soulangeana, sometimes called the Japanese magnolia, that blooms in the spring. Magnolia grandiflora is an evergreen, it blooms in the summertime, and it has white flowers with a heavy, narcotic scent. Gorgeous, but heavy (and creamy, as you wrote). The pink magnolia’s scent is light and lemony, closer to freesia, and I actually prefer it when smelling living blossoms.

    From your description and their picture, it sounds as if Rosine ended up creating something closer to a pink magnolia scent, with mixed success, although the PR copy clearly talks about the tall, dark evergreen magnolia grandiflora which blooms in August. I’ve been searching for a great PINK magnolia, so I’m intrigued to try this one, without high expectations. I’ve heard good things about Bvlgari’s Splendida Magnolia Sensuel, but I haven’t tried it yet. Have you? December 3, 2018 at 8:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: It doesn’t smell like the Asian magnolia either. Sadly. Just a generic floral with no particular focus. December 6, 2018 at 4:51am Reply

      • Old Herbaceous: Oh no, more magnolia disappointment. I’ll have to keep searching! December 6, 2018 at 7:52pm Reply

        • Victoria: Let’s see what the new Bulgari magnolia is like. December 7, 2018 at 4:16am Reply

  • OnWingsofSaffron: A year ago, I managed to grab an ebay sale of Bourdon‘s „Sous les magnolias“ for a reasonable price. I willing to play the devil‘s advocate: I was rather underwhelmed! I find it pretty wane. Pretty like a good quality lemon scented body lotion. Sillage next to nothing; longevity surprisingly good. I remember reading that there is oakmoss inside this perfume: well none that ever arrived in my nose. I wonder am I anosmic to this scent? December 6, 2018 at 12:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: Not sure. It’s quite musky in the drydown, which may be an issue. December 6, 2018 at 12:57pm Reply

  • Iolanda: I’ve just bought Bulgari’s Splendida Magnolia sensuel and I like it, especially its persistent lemon accord December 7, 2018 at 3:43am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m going to sample it soon. Thank you! December 7, 2018 at 4:16am Reply

  • Aurora: It’s an opportunity missed, magnolia must be a very difficult note to reproduce successfully, however I like Jardins de Bagatelle’s rendition of white flowers, magnolia among them, but it has a lot of competition and makes only an apparition, I would love to try Sous les Magnolias. December 8, 2018 at 6:31am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t remember where it used to be sold in Paris, but I know that it was very elusive. The whole line was very nicely done, so it’s a shame it didn’t make it through. December 8, 2018 at 8:00am Reply

  • merylam: I tried this one a while a go and found it indeed quite timid and wan. It wasn’t my cup of tea. I liked the magnolia note in Hana hiraku by parfum satori, although that definitely is not a magnolia soliflore by any stretch of the imagination. December 10, 2018 at 2:52pm Reply

    • Victoria: Agreed. Hana Hiraku is nicely done. December 11, 2018 at 4:55am Reply

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