A Favourite Bottled Rose – Rose de Nuit by Serge Lutens

Rose petals on hot skin…

Notes of Turkish rose, yellow jasmine, apricot, amber, musk, sandalwood and beeswax

If I was forced by The Perfume Police to wear one kind of fragrance for the rest of my life, it would probably be rose. Rose perfumes make me feel feminine, beautiful and loved, which all happen to be affects attributed to rose oil in aromatherapy.

Last week my gift to myself arrived from Paris: a glorious bell jar of Rose de Nuit by Serge Lutens.

Rose de Nuit bell jar

It was my treat for a year of pushing myself to do things I was afraid of and succeeding beyond all expectations. I’ve learnt that it’s not just important to do these things but to reward yourself when you do them. It marks the occasion and cements that feeling of accomplishment while encouraging you to keep going.

I’ve never drained a decant as quickly as the one of Rose de Nuit sent to me by my pal Val the Cookie Queen from her own bottle. Most decants end up languishing around the house, only partially used. This one I emptied in record time and mourned the going of. Proof if it were needed that I’d fallen for this perfume in a big way and it should be placed directly onto my Full Bottle List (which was completely empty).

I think of Rose de Nuit as a fur-trimmed rose the colour of dried blood. Dabbed onto my skin, it is as much about lightly fruity musk as it is about rose.  I find its character to be knowing and seductive.

Accompanying the dark rose and velvety musk are sticky beeswax, sultry jasmine and apricot flesh on an amber/woody base.

A wild, dirt-smeared bloom which has been weathered by the elements; this animalic rose chypre is most definitely a creature of the night, embodying the heady feeling of release after tortuous temptation.

Like a few of my favourite fragrances, it took time for me to fully appreciate its beauty. Sometimes you know it’s real love because you’ve taken the time to get the know the object of your affection, rather than fallen blindly for their superficial charms.

That’s how I knew Rose de Nuit was a keeper.


My full review on Olfactoria’s Travels can be read here.

If you could only wear one type of perfume for he rest of your life, what would it be? 






Filed under Perfume Reviews

43 responses to “A Favourite Bottled Rose – Rose de Nuit by Serge Lutens

  1. Sandra

    Hiya Tara! Ahh – one very beautiful review of a gorgeous perfume. I adore this one and I too will add it to my collection one day. Val is such the enabler!!! Sandra xo


  2. What a Beautiful review, Tara. Love your last sentence, it sounds as if That is like loving a person as Well. With a deepening love. And a wonderful gift to yourself. Interesting what you say about THE aromatherapeutic qualities of Rose and how Rose perfumes can work for you.

    I smelled Rose de Nuit Some years ago but THE scent was off. So Will have to try it Again, it sounds intriguing.

    If I could only wear one type of fragrance, not one specificly, it would be orientals, like Shalimar. But I would prefer to wear something lighter with warmer weather if it has to be from THE same group then Shalimar Light for summer.


    • Thank-you, Esperanza. I think it does apply to people as well as perfumes 🙂
      Learning about aromatherapy really coloured my appreciation of perfumes. A book I was particularly fond of was “The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood and Emotion” by Valerie Ann Worwood.

      Sorry to hear RdN was off when you tried it. I hope you can try again.

      Orientals give you lots of options – good thinking about the lighter flanker for summer!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sometimes love takes a little longer. I would love to hear of all your roses; why each of them is special to you 🙂
    Since, as you know, my skin and roses are not the greatest friends, I enjoy reading and smelling how it works for others.
    You write so it makes me wish I could run out and buy it, gorgeous.


  4. Desert island category-wise, for me it would be a toss up between orientals and rose perfumes, or rose-forward orientals maybe! Loved this review – as I did the earlier one – and am so pleased you sprang for a bell jar of it. Especially with such a short wish list, it would have been rude not to! I was strongly drawn to rose perfumes as soon as I hit 50, so I am sure my sudden ‘rose to Damascus’ experience was a lot to do with wanting to assert a feeling of femininity in the face of plummeting hormones, hehe.

    And I do agree this is ‘weathered’ and ‘dirt-smeared’ – sometimes when I wear it I find it a bit ‘strong meat’ as rose perfumes go, and it has been known to go a little urinous on me (which might be the beeswax/honey aspect), but I do like its dark depths all the same.


    • It was an offer of free delivery that pushed me over the edge,, V 🙂

      I know people sometimes get a urinous aroma from Une Rose but I never got it with that one or this, thank goodness. I’m rather intrigued by “strong meat” though.

      It’s interesting that you’ve stayed with orientals and roses all along. I was drawn to roses at first but gave up on them for ages because I only found bright/traditional ones which weren’t to my taste.

      Love ‘rose to Damascus’!


  5. cookie queen

    You helped me rediscover the beauty of this and it is fabulous. I cannot emphasise how important it is to reward ourselves when we achieve something tough. Whether it is a long hot bath or a perfume is irrelevant. It gives us courage to face the tougher times. And isn’t RdN a stunning colour? And a bell jar – sigh. Well done you. xxx


    • Val, how nice that you introduced it to me and in turn, I helped you rediscover it.
      I’m only just getting the lesson that it’s important to reward yourself, even for tiny wins. You’re quite right too – it doesn’t have to be a bell jar every time 🙂
      At first I was thrown by the colour but I think it’s really apt considering the musk, jasmine and beeswax.


  6. Sabine

    Well done for rewarding yourself, Tara.
    If I only had to wear only one perfume it would be a toss up between Musc Ravageur and Shalimar, I think.


  7. Hamamelis

    Thank you Tara for this sensuous review, I enjoy this kind of review that makes me think a little about my preferences, how certain perfumes affect me and why, and what at this point in time I gravitate towards. Iris! Hiris ofcourse (Road to Damascus Iris 😉 ), but then many other fragrances where iris plays a role, Dzongkha, Heure Exquise, La Pausa, Silver Mist, no 19…and I think it is the calmness and sort of grounded depth in those, more like a wide and blue ocean than a roaring fire! Besides iris being characterised as funerial (not by me!) or aloof, I haven’t come across many aromatherapeutic references. I like the Worwood book you mention, and also the one by Jennifer Peace Rind as she includes actual perfumes as well.
    I will keep Rose de Nuit in the back of my mind as a rose to try.


    • Hamamelis, I love the way you describe iris perfumes as having “grounded depth”. Very well said and I quite agree. Likening them to a wide blue ocean is also apt. I can’t seem to gel with warm orientals unless they have a degree of transparency like Rose de Nuit.
      I haven’t heard of the Jennifer Peace Rind so thanks for mentioning it.


  8. Lady Jane Grey

    I’m so happy you rewarded yourself, Tara – it was well deserved !
    Can you believe I’ve never tried RdN ? But you definitely made me curious now.
    That one type of perfume for the rest of my life would be an unsweetened vanilla scent (sadly, not found yet)

    Not long to go… 😀


    • Well, it’s not an easy one to get hold of. Let me know if you’d like me to bring you some when we meet next week!!!

      I’m also looking for an unsweetened vanilla. I’ve just bought a sample of Mandy Aftel’s Vanilla Smoke so we’ll see if that fits the bill.


  9. This is one of SLs I haven’t tried for some reasons but you made me feel like grabbing a decant (a bottle would hurt my bank account too much!) right away.
    It is great that you chose to give a gift to yourself. When I accomplish something or on special occasions, I do too. We deserve to be sweet to ourselves, don’t we? 😉


    • It’s great that you feel that way, Yukiko. It’s a lesson I’m only just learning. I’m trying hard to be my own best friend.

      Rose de Nuit is a fragrance which fills a gap in my collection for a wearable musk as well as being another beautiful rose – which I will never have enough of 🙂

      Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ingeborg

    So happy to have found your new blog, what a nice surprise that you changed your mind quickly about finding a new place for youe writing!

    If i had to wear only one kind of perfume, it would have to be something with lots of galbanum, neroli and orange blossom are other favourite notes. Rose is usually not for me, except when well blended with other notes. I like rose much better in short scented bursts (a Korres body butter comes to mind and shower gels).


    • It’s so lovely to have you visit my new home, Ingeborg! It took a lot to get me here but I’m glad I did it.

      Galbanum is fantastic, isn’t it? Sadly under-used these days. I need a good neroli perfume.

      Korres make great body products and reasonably priced too.


  11. “A fur-trimmed rose the colour of dried blood” – an evocative description if ever I heard one. This has almost gothic connotations and makes me think of Dracula in the movie ‘Brides of Dracula’. Don’t worry, he was played by a spectacularly handsome actor (David Peel, if my memory is correct!). I would love to try this fragrance on myself, as like Vanessa, I want to embrace the femininity of roses, but still have a little something else going on as well such as the musk and beeswax. Really enjoying your blog Tara!


    • Hi Annette!
      So happy to hear you’re enjoying the blog. It’s lovely to have you along for the ride.
      RdN is a gothic rose but perhaps more warm and sensual than that term might imply. Though your Dracula does sound fitting and we all know how sexy vampires have become of late 🙂


  12. [ I was plotting a rose blog post too..It is still in my head, though!!]
    oooh – this one has been on my list to sample for ages. You are reviving too many lemmings Tara!! Reading reviews of SL perfumes always gives me a feeling of coming home as they were among my first loves and whether or not I love every perfume, I usually identify with the line.

    And you are right! Slow loves usually last the ongest. Rose perfumes themselves were a category that I took my time opening up to (I thought I disliked rose as it is not my favorite flower). and now it is (believe it or not) one of my favorite notes too..though I usually don’t like straight up roses – I need them woodied and muddied and skankified..lol. Also I was plotting a rose blog post too..It is still in my head, though.


    • oops – sorry about the duplicate lines- I intended to ‘cut’ one of them..ah well.


    • Oh Lavanya, from what you’ve said, I think you would really love Rose de Nuit! Sorry to be the bringer of lemmings 🙂
      SL fragrances are something else. I don’t click with many – to put it mildly – but when I do they’re big loves. There’s so much to write about them too, so much going on. He makes my other favourite rose, Fils de Berlin, but that’s not to your taste, I don’t think.
      Really hope you write that rose post at some point. I’d love to read it.


  13. Wait… You rewarded yourself with just one (!) bottle? You are being too strict! Your last year was worth at least two! 😉
    I can’t remember whether I’ve tried this perfume… I must have! I need to check both my database and samples stash because now I want to try it [again].
    If I had to choose… I would rather go with a limited number of perfumes (let’s say 10) than with a type. But I’m happy I don’t really have to choose.


    • Ha! Thanks for saying that, I appreciate it. Perhaps if I clear out a couple of seldom worn bottles, I will treat myself to a new love.

      Your testing rate with Serge Lutens is very good so I’d be surprised if you hadn’t tried RdN but if you did, I guess it didn’t make much of an impression.

      Yes, thanks goodness we don’t actually have to choose 🙂


  14. Beautiful words Tara, yes a reward for our own achievements is much deserved!


    • Thanks, Anna Maria! I’ve learnt it’s really important to reward yourself each time you reach a goal or do well. It helps keep up your momentum.


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  16. rprichpot

    May be my favorite fragrance ever. Love at first sniff!


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