7.5 7.5 8.0/10
Rose of Roses
Having sniffed through 81 rose perfumes last July in the forum topic, Sniff Fest: My Dear Roses, I consider my nose an expert in the queen of flowers. I didn't expect to find a star in this inexpensive little bottle, but I did. Had it been in the sniff fest, it would have made the finals. This is a substantial fragrance, the rose not arriving on its own but with an unexpectedly large and beautiful court to help sing its praises. It's not a realistic rose but an official perfume, complex and interesting. Pear, Mandarin and Black currant subtly herald the rich floral chorus which lies on a base of musk, sandalwood and vetiver along with shapeshifter frangipani which, apparently, can smell like almost anything. Pepper adds a bright edge. The result is a floral even husbands can stand (I field tested it). Sultry but not heavily indolic, depth without stank, it's a rose for a real woman who doesn't want to be mistaken for a little doll. Sillage and longevity are very good.