I have always been a little bit of an oddball when it comes to perfume. While I was growing up, I was discouraged from wearing any fragrance due to my mother’s sensitivity to it. Since I hit college, however, I have never passed up a chance to smell some perfume or cologne that’s new to my nose. I quickly fell in love with classic florals, rich orientals, and refreshing aquatic scents. I love to wear rose-based perfume, as it is both classically feminine and, as a single note, appropriate for discerning guys. I have gotten some flak in the past about smelling like freshly powdered baby butts or Grandma’s old dusty bowl of potpourri, but in the fashionable world rose is coming back as a sophisticated and versatile choice. Inspired by an article in a popular women’s magazine, here are some of my top picks for anyone looking for rose perfume (especially if you don’t have $100 or so to drop on a department store bottle).
- Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs
This is an online-only company with an enormous cult following and hundreds of perfume oils to choose from. The roses I have tried from their vast collection are Lucy’s Kiss, a soft, rich rose with warm spices and amber underneath, and The Rose, which smells exactly the way a fresh-cut rose bouquet does in person. Samples (called “imps”) are $4 each or six for $22. Full-size 5 ml bottles are regularly $17.50, though limited-edition scents are more pricey. http://www.blackphoenixalchemylab.com/welcome.html
- Kuumba Made
Their scent Arabian Rose has been my go-to for a single-note rose scent which is fresh, warm and true to the flower without being overly harsh or screechy. Kuumba Made makes roll-on perfume oils of many different all-natural scents (including another rose scent called Tea Rose), and are available online or in stores such as New Frontiers or Whole Foods. Each 1/8 oz (3.7 ml) roll-on is $9.50. http://www.kuumbamade.com/store/index.php?p=home
- Auric Blends
This is a company similar to Kuumba Made which I will be sampling as soon as my budget allows it. They also make roll-ons of perfume oils (as well as solid perfume), but are slightly more accessible. This range is actually famous for its incredibly popular scent Egyptian Goddess, which is more of an oriental musk, but I am interested in their Rose, Tea Rose, and Aphrodesia (rose with jasmine, sandalwood and vanilla) for the purposes of this post. Auric Blends are available online, at health food stores such as New Frontiers and Whole Foods, and occasionally in small stores or boutiques. Roll-ons are 1/3 oz (9.8 ml) for $7.50, and solid perfumes are $8.50 for a tub about the size of an eos lip balm. http://auricblends.corecommerce.com/
Some other scents I would like to try sometime include Anais Anais by Cacharel ($30-$40) and Tea Rose by Perfumer’s Workshop ($20-$55).
Speaking of scents, my favorite “guru” to turn to in this respect is Katie Puckrik of the Youtube channel and print blog Katie Puckrik Smells. She reviews everything from drugstore and celebrity perfumes to the most expensive, exclusive niche and luxury scents. Plus, I love her witty, sarcastic humor; it brightens up nearly every review…especially for the scents she doesn’t like. Have a wonder-filled (and wonderful smelling) day!
I was not paid, requested, or even contacted in any way to make this review. Katie Puckrik does not know I exist. All products mentioned have been bought with my own money or sniffed at a tester with my own nose. :)