February: A Month of Roses

At the start of February I joined Undina’s giveaway challenge (inspired by Chemist in the Bottle) to wear nothing but rose perfumes for the whole month. Being her usual fastidious self, Undina compiled a calendar with a different rose fragrance scheduled for each day. Me being me, I took a more scatter-bomb approach, grabbing whatever appealed on the day.

One of the positive side effects of the project, was that it made me go through my samples and decants to dig up the roses. I love rose perfumes anyway (obviously) but it was good to have the motivation to try – and use up – the samples and decants languishing around my house.



Here’s what I wore over the course of the month –

Tobacco Rose by Papillon Perfumes (Full Bottle)

This is a  rose bush in a bottle with leaves, earth and hay. A rose found in early autumn to hold on to as nature reclaims summer’s florid show. You can take comfort from it in the same way you might from a walk in the woods. It’s a womanly, over-blown rose with depth and throw to spare. One spray will last all day and it’s one of the few perfumes I’ve been complimented on.

Rose Oud, By Kilian (Decant)

This was the first western oud fragrance I came across and it’s still my favourite. The quality of the velvety rose is outstanding and the combination of saffron and oud complement it beautifully. It really is a deep red rose in the middle of an arid desert.

Wild Roses by Aftelier Perfumes (Sample)

Mandy Aftel’s intention was to capture the rose in situ within the garden. It’s easy to forget that these flowers have such varied scents. At its heart we have a balsamic, honeyed rose but there are also subtle fruity and animalic facets. Taragon absolute represents the herb garden and the leaves of the rose bush, while patchouli roots it in the earth. It’s incredibly complex and potent, especially for an all-natural fragrance.


Le Fille de Berlin by Serge Lutens (Full Bottle)

I love the vintage pin-up look but while the clothes and make-up don’t suit me, I can wear a beautiful retro rose/violet scent like this one. The softly musky amber base makes for a perfect finish. Unlike a lot of fragrance by Serge Lutens, La Fille de Berlin has a transparency that makes it extremely wearable. I wear this from spring through autumn.

Rozy Voile d’Extrait, Vero Profumo (Sample)

Rose may be the most recognisable facet of this oriental tour de force but there is so much more going on here. Smoked honey, amber and fruit swirl and buzz on the skin with a vital intensity. When I first encountered it, Rozy represented to me the complexity and power of untamed feminine energy – and it still does. Perfumer Vero Kern is someone l hugely admire and I can’t imagine anyone else making a rose-centred perfume remotely like this one.


Rose de Nuit, Serge Lutens (Full Bottle)

It was nice to give my bell jar an airing. Rose de Nuit is a rosy musk more than it is a pure rose fragrance. It’s not skanky or headache-y but oily and unctuous. It’s a nocturnal harlot in perfume form who doesn’t believe in any such thing as the walk of shame. She’s brazen but sophisticated and oh-so-enticing.

Mille et Une Rose, Lancome (Decant)

Appropriately enough I won this decant on Undina’s Looking Glass. Mille et Une Rose is a soft yet deep, somewhat sweet rose with an amber base and a trail of musk. It makes me think of one of those pretty peach coloured roses with a multitude of petals, circling around and around, layer after layer. It’s velvety, easy to wear and rather romantic.

Velvet Rose, Senoma Scent Studio (Sample)

Again from Undina’s prize package, Velvet Rose is a sparkling, dewy rose. It’s a frothy cascade of pale pink tea roses with a touch of greenery. Delicate but long-lasting, it has that vintage cosmetic association that I really love. The more I inhale it, the more I enjoy it. It’s incredibly pretty and joyful.

The Coveted Duchess Rose by Penhaligon’s (Sample)

This recent release is part of the Portraits collection.  At first I’m thrown by a metallic green note but this does fade in the heart which is a fresh and fruity rose soliflore with a swirl of powdery sweetness. The base is a rosy woody musk. Green and/or fruity roses aren’t really my style but it’s nicely done and will no doubt be popular.


Vaara, Penhaligon’s (Full Bottle)

Vaara has such an original and vivid start that the first time I tried it I was a tad disappointed that it ended up being a light and linear rose perfume. Now I just enjoy it for what it is – a refreshing rose perfume to wear in the summer with its striking opening of tart quince, creamy saffron and a splash of rosewater.


Did you take part in the Month of Roses? How did you get on? Could you wear roses day after day?







Filed under Perfume Reviews

18 responses to “February: A Month of Roses

  1. davina

    the tabacco rose sounds intriguing Tara. as you know i’m new to this magical world and bewitching community but your words and representations make these fragrances come to life! makes me want to learn more and try different fragrances. i havent purchased the duchess rose yet and good to know you still rate it in spite of its inital impression. i think i will ….as my first rose perfume 🙂


  2. Hi Tara – What a great list of Roses… I didn’t take part in the challenge but you’ve now got me thinking about what I do have on hand. one of my more unusual faves is 3Li (Lithium) by the company formerly known as nu_be. It’s a metallic rose plonked in a field of wildflowers, with some heavy leather in the base. Odd but interesting.

    xxx Tina G


    • Isn’t it great how many different fragrant settings you can roses in? It must be one of the most versatile materials. 3Li sounds pretty unique.


  3. Crikey

    What a lovely array of roses!

    I do wish I could wear mostly-rose scents, but they have a disappointing tendency to go thin and sour on me. Tobacco Rose is so lovely when I sniff from the vial, for example, but it goes all wrong when I wear it. The only one that seems to really work is Fille de Berlin, which is a winter favourite.


    • That is such a shame, Crikey. I know the same thing happens to Asali of Sounds of Scent with rose perfumes. Although I think she can wear Parfum Sacre by Caron, if you wanted to give that go.
      Good news about La Fille de Berlin at least. It’s such a beauty.


  4. Oh, you were dedicated in your approach to the rose challenge, though I should expect nothing less really given the name of your blog! You also reminded me of a few roses I could have worn such as Mille et Une Rose and Rozy Voile d’Extrait. I kept thinking I would wear Rose de Nuit but never got round to it, though I wore quite a few roses repeatedly such as Brulure de Rose, Attrape Coeur, and Rose Kashmirie.


  5. Nemo

    I got a sample of Tobacco Rose recently, and it is soooo wonderful! And the bottle is pretty too, I am definitely leaning toward putting it on my full bottle list 🙂 I have yet to find a rose-violet that really works for me, it might be a genre that generally reads as much more ladylike than I imagine myself? But I love rose perfumes in general, and never tire of looking for new iterations.


    • Hi Nemo,
      Nice to hear you’re so taken with Tobacco Rose. I can understand why. It’s also well worth the money because it’s really parfum strength.
      I know what you mean about rose-violets tending to be ladylike. You have to find the right one for you. What’s nice about La Fille de Berlin is that softly sexy base. Not too prim then 🙂


  6. It’s amazing how many great rose perfumes are out there! With me wearing different perfumes every day of the month, I wore only 4 from your list!
    It was so unusual today NOT to wear a rose perfume 🙂

    You made me curious to re-try Vaalara: I have a sample, I think, but don’t remember how it smells.


    • Oh how funny that you only wore 4 from my list! Hilarious considering you wore a whole month’s worth. It really does give an indication of just how many are out there. I’m glad though because I never tire of trying new ones.
      If you do fall for Vaara, I can send you a decant.


  7. Hi Tara, your description of your Rose scents are lovely. I have read alot about Les Fille De Berlin and that is def on my list. Paris by YSL is my only Rose fragrance I have I think…wow what a challenge and what fun it is xx Anna Maria


    • Hi Anna Maria, yes it was a lot of fun and not a tough challenge for me 🙂
      I love Fille de Berlin so much, I hope you get to try it. Paris is one classy rose perfume.


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