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Rose fragrances are having a moment in the perfume world. For starters, forget everything you think you know about rose perfumes: This rose revolution is brushing off the rose perfumes of yore and shepherding in a revival of the world’s most famous accord that even the non-rose lover will love.
Rose can be a truly dividing note within the perfume category, with many fragrance aficionados feeling the tug of a love-hate relationship. But the truth is, there are quite a few different types of rose notes used in women’s perfume and each have a distinct aroma. New, clever pairings of rose with a variety of other notes ranging from fresh to funky, can add depth to verdant, crisp perfumes, lift heady ones and ground herbaceous, earthy numbers.
“The scent of a rose feels quite delicate and romantic, it can also be deep and complex,” says director of marketing at Diptyque, Eduardo Valadez before adding that rose “tends to be floral and fresh in tone.”
And contrary to popular belief, there are a shocking number of rose varieties, according to Valadez. “There are so many different kinds of roses,” he says, making the scent “well suited” for all seasons. “Some are fruity and light while others are musky, even spicy.”
Both Valadez and Tanaïs, founder of their eponymous fragrance house, are equal opportunists when it comes to rose perfumes.
“A rose-based perfume can be for anyone, you just have to find a rose-composed fragrance that you connect with and makes you feel great when you wear it,” says Valadez, noting that some of the most popular blends right now are musky and spicy notes with rose as well as the light, bright and sweet tones.
Not to mention, roses have been around forever. “Roses have been used for thousands of years and continue to be the prime ingredient in perfumery today,” says Valadez. So even if you’re “not a rose person,” we bet that rose is an ingredient in one of your go-to fragrances, and it certainly showed up more than once in our list of best perfumes for women. Just give one of the best rose perfumes a spritz and we promise, you may be surprised at what your nose likes.
Top Rose Perfumes of 2022
Diptyque Eau Rose Eau de Parfum
Best Green Rose
Rose is obviously a key player in this fragrance, but it’s also not the first or only note you’ll pick up on. “The upcycled Firad rose used in our new Eau Rose Eau de Parfum features a second extraction process of the damascena rose, which brings forth notes of litchi, artichoke and chamomile,” explains Valadez. The result? “A surprising bouquet that is quite balanced and vibrant.”
Boy Smells Rose Load Cologne de Parfum
Best Genderless Rose
This new Cologne de Parfum from Boy Smells, the queer-owned brand famous for their cheeky candles, is designed to be genderful, not genderless, by tapping into both masculine and feminine energies for a complex and long-lasting perfume. Smoky papyrus, deep agarwood and luscious raspberry notes sparkle with rose petals and rose absolute. How does a traditionally feminine rose fragrance become genderless, asks Robertet’s head of evaluation, Lauren Shyman, who works side by side with perfumers to create new additions to Robertet’s fragrance family. “You will see how the layers of smoldering woods and two rose ingredients define a new vision in modern rose fragrances,” she says.
D.S. & Durga Rose Atlantic Eau de Parfum
Best Summertime Rose
Indie brand D.S. & Durga craft scents of imaginary landscapes to inspire exploration and adventure. This one brings to mind a postcard-perfect, romance-filled lazy day at the shore with a salty, dune grass breeze, thanks to the blend of evocative seaside notes, like dune grass, salt water and white moss complimented by fresh lemon oil and salt spray rose accord. Most important of all, while you’re searching for the best rose perfume that sends your heart racing, “be excited about exploring,” says founder David Moltz. “Never fear making mistakes with fragrance.”
Byredo Rose Noir Eau de Parfum
Best Party Time Rose
There’s only one way I can describe this Byredo masterpiece: Decadent. A sophisticated mash-up of cardamom, freesia, grapefruit, red berries, jasmine and patchouli capture a rich, warm vibe that screams decadence. It’s perfect for date night — or any night you want to leave a lasting impression.
Tom Ford Private Blend Rose Prick Eau de Parfum
Best Luxury Rose
Tom Ford is famously known for his love of roses and his rumored private rose garden at his London home is the stuff of legends. Consider this fragrance his personal love letter to roses everywhere. Composed with the rarest roses in the world — Bulgarian, Turkish and Rose de Mai — balanced with fiery notes of Sichuan peppers, turmeric and Indonesian patchouli, this rose perfume evokes the beauty of roses and the sharpness of its thorns.
Miss Dior Rose N’Roses Eau de Toilette
Best Sweet Rose
Bursting with a floral-meets-fresh vibe, this juicy blend by Dior leans into a collection of exclusive Grasse and Damascus rose absolutes, brightened by zesty Italian mandarin and anchored by romantic white musk and bergamot for a finish that is delicate, soft and elegant.
Le Labo Rose 31 Eau de Parfum
Most Unique Rose
This brand is every millennial’s go-to, and Rose 31 pushes the envelope by blurring the line of what’s considered traditionally feminine. Designed to be born by all genders, this understated masterpiece is what Tanaïs calls one of her “absolute favorites” and it’s easy to see why. Hand-picked rose petals from the fields of the fragrance capital of the world, Grasse, are grounded with spicy notes of cumin, cedar and amber to give this perfume a rich, sensual warmth.
Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose Eau de Parfum
Best Vanilla Rose Perfume
Lipstick Rose is one of the brand’s most popular and bestselling perfumes by master perfumer Ralf Schwieger, who drew inspiration from old Hollywood beauty. Described as “retro” by the brand, think of this sweet rose scent as a glamorously feminine cocktail of rose notes soaked with grapefruit, violet, raspberry, vanilla and white musk.
Jo Malone London Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne Intense
Best Rose Oud Perfume
“I adore rose fragrances that have depth and are spicy,” says Valadez. “To me, it adds a mysterious and moody quality.” If Valadez is speaking your language, look no further than this work of art by Jo Malone London. Warm, dreamy and complex, it mixes dark Damask rose with a zing of clove and oud wood, finishing with creamy praline. And what does Valadez think of rose and oud perfumes? “Addictive!”
Nest New York Turkish Rose Perfume Oil
Best Perfume Oil
“Perfume oils are a more sensual and personal way to wear fragrance, a true moment of self indulgence,” says NEST New York founder Laura Slatkin. Although Slatkin admits she doesn’t often like florals, she can’t help herself when it comes to her newly launched Turkish Rose, describing it as “so beautiful I can’t stop wearing it.” This is one of the freshest takes on rose — it honestly smells as if you were wandering through a blooming, faraway rose field.
Maison Francis Kurkdijan L’Homme A La Rose
Best Masculine Rose
“Floral scents are instant mood changers,” says House of Bō founder Gerard Möller. “They’re perfect for the days where you want to feel uplifted.” While technically a men’s fragrance, lovers of all genders will fall hard for L’Homme A La Rose’s notes of Damask and Centifolia roses, grapefruit and a touch of sage, but it gets its woody depth from the deep amber wood accord.
Chloé Rose Tangerine Eau de Toilette
Best Eau de Toilette Rose
“Generally speaking, an eau de toilette is lighter and fresher in composition,” explains Valadez, adding that they may be “more appropriate for daytime or work and in warmer climates.” Rose Tangerine‘s fruity blend opens with tangerine essence and rose absolute before melting into blackcurrant undertones, steadied with cedar and white amber base notes for a light and bright zest.
Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile Eau de Parfum
Most Affordable Rose
No best-of list would be complete without Acqua di Parma’s Rosa Nobile. Ultra-floral, super clean and fully vibrant, this rose perfume smells like a fresh summer bouquet of roses, lilies of the valley, violets and peonies. It’s sunny and cheery and trust us, it will totally start your day off right.
Ellis Brooklyn Rrose Eau de Parfum
Best Natural Rose
Just like the intentional typo in Rrose, this is a perfume that will keep you guessing — it’s like the rose version of the no-makeup makeup trend, perfect for those who don’t immediately gravitate towards the flower. This clean fragrance was created as an ode to Marcel Duchamp’s feminine alter ego, Rrose Sélavy, and this musk and cashmere woods-based fragrance is punctuated with petals of Centifolia rose,
peony, rhubarb and Sicilian lemon for a rose perfume that only hints at its cornerstone accord.
Ex Nihilo Rose Hubris Eau de Parfum
Best No-Rose Rose
Let’s hear it for one of the most unexpected rose perfumes out there. Unapologetically earthy with a heavy dose of oakmoss spiked with the aromatic spice of fenugreek and patchouli, Rose Hubris is a cheeky scent that alludes to the foundations of all flowers…dirt. And we love it. Its heart notes of rose of May and lychee add a touch of sweetness for a composition that smells a little avant-garde, but a little old-fashioned, too.