A Few of my Favorite Roses

rosesfrontThis is the view coming up first set of steps to my house.  My roses are just ridiculous, especially the one on the right, which is about 7 feet tall  and 4-5 feet wide and deep. The one next to the house is about 6 feet, and that’s after I trimmed it to within an inch of its life early this spring.  The small one by the lamppost is, well, a little disappointing compared to the others.  Walking in any direction from or to my house right now is a scented heaven.  Nothing can match the scent of fresh roses.  It is so delicate and ephemeral, but at the same time almost fierce in its relentless “I’m going to make you happy if it kills me” attitude.

Unfortunately, when it is the centerpiece of most perfumes, it can often be tragic, capturing a plastic fierceness, but none of the delicate spiciness.

But I do have some favorites that seem to “get” the rose.  Miller Harris Rose En Noir, an exclusive to Liberty in London, is really magnificent.  Slightly jammy on the open, it slowly descends and undulates into an incredibly sexy leathery rose that I think is one of the best dark roses out there. That it is exclusive to Liberty is unfortunate, but I believe they do mail order.

Serge Lutens Rose de Nuit is a little woody and fruity, veering away into a more dark forest rose than Rose En Noir. But it places the rose in its natural surroundings to some degree, then the rest in some smoky nightclub full of women who have embraced their flaws and stopped running from their past.

MDCI Rose Di Siwa couldn’t be more different in approach from the other two.  Where they go dark and woody or leathery, Rose Di Siwa lilts and for me is the closest to that smell I get as I walk through my front yard that always makes me smile and feel so glad to be alive – and like I’m about 12 – and that’s a feeling that I can’t live without.

Those are my three favorite modern perfume roses. What are yours?  I am going to post some pictures of my kitchen on Thursday so you guys can finish helping me paint it. Well, I wish you could help me paint it, but just picking the paint would be fantastic. It will have swatches of some of the colors I’m thinking of on the walls.  BTW, thanks to everyone who suggested links, paint colors, etc., it was incredibly helpful, and I was happily googling.  This kitchen is doing a short-term cosmetic makeover for now until I get around to gutting it and redoing all the cabinets and reconfiguring it.  Hopefully I’ll also put up a picture of what I hope to be my finished foyer as well and my bathroom, which is painted, but needs a touch-up.  It’s incredibly helpful to get more opinions on things that I might not have thought of, y’all are wonderful!!!  xoxox

  • mals86 says:

    I forgot one… DSH Rose Vert. Simply gorgeous. I only have a sample at the moment (which is why I forgot it), but I’m saving up for that one.

  • Elizabeth says:

    How could I leave this one out! I love Paestum Rose.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Today, my favorite rose scents are Diptyque Opôné, Czech and Speake Dark Rose, and Ava Luxe Rasa. As you see, they all share similarities! I also love Voleur de Roses. but I don’t really discriminate – there aren’t many that I don’t love. 😛

  • Kathy says:

    How I love roses, but the deer love them even more!

    Till we can plant them in a fenced area it is impossible to get more than a few buds befire the little stinkers chew them to the ground, thorns and all~

    Only one rose perfume does it for me, Paestum Rose, and i’ve tried many!

  • carter says:

    How could I have forgotten Nombre Noir and Shiseido White Rose? Two of the best, ever.

  • Eva says:

    I absolutely adore the smell of real roses but every rose scent I try makes me truly violently nauseous – maybe it is the particlar rose chemical compound they use these days, who knows??? I can just take a tiny bit of Rosine’s Ecume de Rose. I have tried them all including Private Reserve Snow Rose which smells divine in the bottle but once it hits my skin YIKES! There was a perfume made by La Prairie called One Perfect Rose many years ago. For me – it was pure blissful heaven and perfectly made from actual, you know, roses!! It cost an arm and a leg decades ago but worth every cent. I wept when they discontinued it.

  • veuve amiot says:

    Roses in perfume are among my most dreaded notes, but ticking the ones I love off in my head actually produces quite a list. Most aren’t soliflores, though.
    I consider Safran Troublant and Il Profvmo Touaregh roses, for example. But I have to admit I love (more-or-less) straight-up roses like Rose 31 (ouch, spendy), Voleur de Rose, Opône and C&S Dark Rose, too.

  • carter says:


  • carter says:

    Homage Attar, squared. Rose de Nuit. Ta’if. Roses Petals. L’Arte di Gucci. A special shout out to my first rose love, vintage Tea Rose (extrait) by Perfumer’s Workshop in it’s sweet, chubby little round buddha of a bottle.

  • candyrabbit says:

    Semi-lurker chimimg in about rose fragrances… it’s not my favorite perfume note, so I’m thrilled when I find one that works for me. My favorite is C&E Evelyn, a fresh, dewy David Austin rose (which? I don’t know) that’s just slightly peachy on the drydown. I’m also loving my new Rose Praline, which does double duty as one of the few gourmands that work well for me.

    I remember loving my 1000 et une rose, but it’s been stashed/forgotten for a while. Same with Byredo Rose Noir– bought, forgot.

  • Shelley says:

    Going to toss Twill Rose from the Rosines into the list gathering here. And have to add a Magie Noir. Otherwise, I am in with some usual suspects: FM Une Rose, Rosine Poussiere de Rose. And, to be honest, sometimes a hit of the Bulgari Rose Essentiale is just right–and can be found for a good price.

  • AnnieA says:

    While I’m not a big rose fan Rose Absolue by Yves Rocher is pretty nice, and they often have sales…

  • March says:

    Oh, that’s gorgeous! As you know (ahem) I am not the queen of roses, but I also like MDCI Siwa very much, and Rosine Ecume de Rose (?), the salty one.

  • Robin says:

    Oops! And how could I forget Amouage Lyric Woman????!!!!!

  • Robin says:

    Rose lover here! I love everything that’s been mentioned, and add a few more — surprised no one’s mentioned them:

    SL Sa Majeste la Rose — like fully-opened roses pulled straight from the soil; Montale’s Highness Rose extrait — incredible intense, honeyed pure rose and worth every cent; FM Lipstick Rose — campy, vampy candied rose and violets.

  • Disteza says:

    Roses are one of the few flowers that do well on me, and were one of the few florals that I eagerly wore back when I was just getting into perfume. I l-l-love Rose de Nuit, and have favorites all over the rose spectrum: Paestum Rose, Rose Barbare, Rose of Kali (with nag champa, squee!), Rose Ikebana. I usually dig rose in the supporting cast of a ‘fume as well, which has led me down the tr&#233s spendy path of arabian oils and Amouage.

  • violetnoir says:

    So pretty and lovely, Patty. You have a real touch with gardening! I wish I had it.

    Favorite rose fragrances include TDC Rose Poivree, Lady Vengeance and just about anything from Rosine.


  • Judith says:

    Beautiful roses. . .
    Among my favorites are SL Rose de Nuit, TDC Rose Poivree, Montale Oud Roses Petales, Czech and Speake Dark Rose, and sometimes FM Une Rose.

  • Sweet Sue says:

    Beautiful house and flowers.

  • OperaFan says:

    Hi Patty,
    Roses are easily my favorites as well. My mother-in-law has over 25 tea roses in her bed and I currently have 3 David Austins (but still adding)- we share the same yard space but different flower beds, so summer’s really a-bloomin’ at our homes.
    My favorite modern Rose scents? I would say AG Rose Absolute, Ce Soire Ou Jamais, Montale Oud Queen Roses and Taif Rose, and ALL of the SSS roses (Laurie now has 4 and each is stunning).

  • Jarvis says:

    Hello, Patty. I love roses, but have a hard time finding a rose perfume that I really love. Earlier this year, I was totally mad for FM Une Rose, but over time the woody amber in the base (Luca says it’s Karanal) has taken over, and now it’s all I can smell. I then went crazy for Rose Barbare, with its lovely rose liqueur, but lately it hasn’t been working for me either. Rose de Siwa, as you say, is completely different: fresh, pale, almost a cool rose. I do also love the rose in Amouage Homage.

  • Rappleyea says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous roses, Patty! What’s the big one? I am firmly in the category of long time rose gardener who has despaired of ever capturing the true scent in a bottle. Even VERY expensive rose essential oil doesn’t smell like the living flower – maybe the essence can’t take the heat of distillation. But after reading the comments, I’m inspired to try again to find a rose scent.

  • mals86 says:

    I am, among other things, a Rose Ho. I adore Ta’if and Lyric and all those Mysterious Deep Roses (Parfum Sacre, Gres Cabaret, L’Arte di Gucci, Dark Rose), but they don’t smell like blooming roses. For that scent, I like SSS Velvet Rose or Montale Aoud Queen Roses, which is not very oudy on me.

    SSS Vintage Rose was one of my few scrubbers; I’m still not sure why. And I cannot smell Nahema at all, at all… I mourn that circumstance.

    Your roses are gorrrrgeous, Patty. I do hope you have some time to just enjoy their voluptuousness and luxuriate in it! Five years ago my own yard was pasture – we’re still hoeing thistles – and I have not planted any roses yet. It was scheduled for this summer, but we’ll have to have the septic drainfield dug up first(don’t ask, it’s highly unedifying). I’ll just have to enjoy your roses vicariously.

    • tammy says:

      Mals, I would think an old septic drainfield would be a great place for a flower bed, and I envy you your old pasture for planting in, if not the thistles!

      • Musette says:

        I ditto Tammy’s thoughts on the drainfield. Your roses will probably go hog-wild!


        • mals86 says:

          Um, it’s not old… we’re still using it, but it’s Gone Wrong. My parents lost two apple trees and a grapevine once when they had to dig up their septic drainfield, and it traumatized me. I’m a little afraid to plant anything over it!

          • tammy says:

            I’d be traumatized, too! And it’s a pity, because I planted a garden right over top of the old leach-line that belonged to the original owners of our property in Arkansas. (I didn’t know what was under the grass, just noticed that it was 10 times more luxurious in that location and thought it’d be ideal for a garden. My uncle is the one who told me what was under it!) It is amazing how much better this garden is compared to the others I have on the same property, even though they all have compost enriched soil.

            “Gone Wrong” sounds as though it could be the next release for the Etat Libre d’Orange line!

          • Shelley says:

            LOL @ Gone Wrong…any Wallace & Gromit fans? And it would be a great frag phrase…

  • Lora says:

    I love your house! I would love to walk through all those roses coming and going – lucky duck!

    Rosine’s Ecume de Rose is the only rose scent I’ve tried thus far that doesn’t smell intensely chemical on me. I love it – I feel like I should be standing on a cliff overlooking the ocean. 🙂

  • Kim says:

    Nahema by Guerlain all the way! okay, once in awhile Luten’s Rose de Nuit or Ormande Jayne Ta’if. Just the other day I had a craving for Nahema, a wonderful scent memory – sprayed it on as soon as I got home and it was even more wonderful. And even more amazing in hot humid conditions than inside with the AC on – the humidity seems to bring out the ‘dirty bits’ that are lurking in there. But I fear for the reformulation!!!

  • EileenS says:

    Your roses are lovely! You must have just the right conditions for them.

    TDC Rose Poivree is my current rose pick, with C&S Dark Rose right up there. Plain rose scents aren’t as interesting to me as a dirtied up rose. For some reason Voleur de Roses hasn’t been quite it.

  • NancyN says:

    Last year all I planted was roses and more roses. The first ones were planted lovingly in amended soil. By the time I got to the last one, the hole was barely bigger than the pot for the rose.

    I haven’t been bowled over by too many rose perfumes until I tried Parfums de Rosine Ecume de Rose. I love, love, love it.
    This post reminded me that I want to try the Sonoma Scent Studio’s Vintage Rose.

  • tammy says:

    Musette, it’s probably Dr. Huey. Is it kind of a darkish red?

    • Musette says:

      I dunno. That was 4 houses ago (I tend to move more than I ought, methinks – but somehow it’s never ‘the’ house). It was a basic, deep rose color. Double. It got intertwined with Buck’s Country Dancer, for a beautiful display. That was a gorgeous garden. The buyers ripped out 10′ high Buck roses to make way for bare fencing and some swings. Oh, well….their house, their garden. But it really broke my heart. Had I known I would’ve taken the roses with me!


      • tammy says:

        I feel your pain…a similar situation happened near me. Gorgeous garden, front and back, highlight of many garden tours, featured in several gardening magazines, antique ironwork from New Orleans, you name it. Perfection.

        Owner had to relocate because of her husband’s job. Specifically asked the buyers if they intended to keep the garden, otherwise she had plenty of people (myself among them) who would be happy to come and remove the roses and other choice perennials for free, and replace them with plants of the buyer’s choosing. No, the buyers loved the garden, part of the reason they bought the house, blah, blah blah.

        Less than a month later, it was solid concrete with a little patch of sod. It still hurts thinking about it.

        • Shelley says:

          Ow ow ouch!!! Going down this tangent line, but I left behind a carefully tended, slowly augmented, often life-event-connection planted garden, with a similar offer to remove or leave, and the same thing…ripped, gone, redone. Fortunately, I *did* take divisions of almost every sentimental plant (such as irises from maternal & paternal grandparents, which they had gotten from their childhood homes)… [sigh]. It is what it is.

  • Musette says:

    Patty, your roses are lovely! I had an Austin that died back and the graft it was one went hog-wild! That blasted thing shot up about 8′ over a beautiful trellis…and down the other side. Just gorgeous – never did know what it was, but who cares? It was lovely (smelled nice, too!)

    The only rose I can manage so far is PdR’s Poussiere and that’s a crapshoot. I can barely figure out Malle’s Une Rose – based on Melissa’s experience it sounds lovely – but all I get is sort of waxy plastic. hmmm….

    I do have a lovely rosa damascena essential oil that I will dab on a wrist, when I’m feeling rosy.


    ps. your reno sounds like it’s humming along. It’s so blasted hot here right now, we can barely get anything done. Just walking the dogs a block is exhausting – and I love heat and humidity!

  • tammy says:

    Your roses are exquisite! If I lived anywhere near you, I’d probably have lunch on your curb everyday. In my former life, I had nearly a hundred David Austin roses, as well as the wonderful old-fashioned type. Heaven.

    Rose is my favorite note in perfume, but I have trouble detecting it in anything other than straight soliflores. L’Arte di Gucci, Voleur de Roses…straight up patch. and The Amouages and Montale rosy ouds go so intensely Frankincense on me that I get the urge to go looking for the star in the east. I have only ever gotten one whiff of rose, one time, from my beloved Fleurs de The Rose Bulgare.

    The Private Reserve Snow Rose is by far the best I have ever smelled, and I cherish my small sample of it the most of any of my perfumes. AG Rose Absolue is my favorite of the roses I will actually be able to own a full bottle of though, and I’m anxious to try the OJ Taif, and FM Une Rose.

    I haven’t tried the first two you mentioned, but Rose de Siwa smells exactly like Ban roll-on deodorant on me.

  • Silvia says:

    I second Rose Kashmirie, so soft and fluffy yet with that nice saffron bite.

  • Silvia says:

    My fav roses are: MDCI Rose de Siwa, FM Une Rose, Eau d’Italie Paestum Rose, Montale Aoud Queen Rose, L’Arte di Gucci. Used to love OJ Taif but my bottle has sadly and badly gone off.

    Will try again the MH Rose en Noir at Liberty, which on first impression smelled like a lovely and expensive hand cream, but not as exciting as a scent.

  • Melissa says:

    Rose is not always easy to wear and I have to be in the right mood. My favorite “true” rose fragrance is FM Une Rose, which I find to be a strong, clear, rose with no plastic notes and a bit of an earthy presence. It is a masterpiece in my opinion.

    Of the blended roses, which feature other identifiable notes, I like LPDR Rose Praline with its tea and gourmand notes, Le Galion Snob (rose and jasmine), and a few of the Montales. Montale Aoud Damascus doesn’t seem to get much mention, but this is one of my favorites in the rose/oud line.

  • Olfacta says:

    Right now I’m loving Rosine’s Rose d’Homme, which like most of the rosines is more an intrepretation of the rose idea than a soliflore; my favorite of the line remains Poussiere d’Rose, with it’s sweet dust. I started a rosebush next to the front door this year, a David Austin “Glammis Castle” with the most beautiful white flowers with a slight pink blush; the blooms are supposed to smell like myrrh. We shall see!

  • Tania says:

    My favourite rose perfume is Sonoma Scent Studio’s Vintage Rose. A lovely plummy rose witn amazing lasting power. I’m not mad about rose in general, but this one, I wear happily.

  • Louise says:

    I was slow to come to appreciate any rose perfume, after too many exposures to the exquisite real thing growing up in the City of Roses…the scents just didn’t live up.

    Now I like my roses, but well blended. Several Montales work for me-White and Black Oud, Petals, Roses Ta’if. I also like Rose Kashmirie, and my Arabian Oud shop rose/saffron/oud blends. Will have to check out the Miller Harris in a few weeks 😉

  • dinazad says:

    Seconding C&Z Dark Rose. And then there’s Etro Via Verri which made me look for roses in bloom in February, just because there was a tissue which had been sprayed with it in my pocket. Annick Goutal Ce Soir ou Jamais (the body lotion applied before bed? Like going to sleep in a bouquet of roses). Sigh… aren’t roses great? Nevertheless, if somebody came up with a fragrance which smells of elderflower, I wouldn’t be at all annoyed….

  • Joe says:

    What an impressive garden. My faves include:
    – Czech & Speake Dark Rose
    – Une Rose
    – Black Aoud

    I’m also a huge fan of Voleur de Roses, but I really don’t get one hint of discernible rose from that fragrance.

    Painting is so satisfying in the end (er, if you get the color to match the fantasy that was in your head, says he with the only-slightly-brighter-than-hoped-for yellow-glazed bedroom), but such a dang chore with the taping and masking and all that business.

    • mals86 says:

      (Hey, Joe – my bedroom’s yellow, too. I love it. And yes, painting is a pain in the patoot, especially when the ceiling is 10 feet away from the floor and you only stand 5’4″… I spent a LOT of time on the blasted ladder as The CEO refuses to paint on the grounds that it’s Artsy, and he sucks at Artsy.)

  • carmencanada says:

    Patty, I *love* painting my walls, though I haven’t done it since my divorce… There’s something so gratifying in seeing the whole vibe of a room changing with the brushstrokes!

    As for roses: I’m not a big rose perfume fan, but I definitely need to try the Miller Harris (any kindly Londoner willing to send scrounge a samp for me?).
    Mine are the two most over-the-top roses: the grandiose Nahema (reformulation alert: it’s being tweaked, so fans should get it now) and the Gothic Frédéric Malle Une Rose.
    I wasn’t bowled over by Rose de Siwa but I’ll give it a re-try based on your impression — rose-laden air sound wonderful.

    • Tania says:

      I’m planning to visit Liberty soon, I’ll see if they have a sample to spare for you!
      They ought to hand one over, if they have them at all – I spend a fair bit of money in there… 😉

      • carmencanada says:

        Tania, thank you so much!

        • Tania says:

          well, I tried, but sadly Miller Harris don’t give Liberty any samples of Rose en Noir. All the SA could suggest was a card, which she admitted would probably smell of nothing much at all by the time it got to you. I’m sorry… ;-(
          Perhaps you could try Miller Harris themselves? I know their sample program doesn’t include that one, but if you make the point that you can’t get a sniff of it any other way, perhaps they can do something for you. Otherwise, I guess maybe a decant site..