Sonoma Scent Studio Rose Musk





by TOM



Okay, this is a big rose.  A big huge cabbage rose the size of a globe artichoke.  One that’s almost blowsy-looking.  The kind that smells of spices, the kind that if you have a bouquet of it had better be in a room the size of a small branch library lest its big, fat rosiness threaten to strangle you.


It’s exactly the kind of rose that I don’t like.  It’s Just. Too. Much.  So much that I am not going to wear it more than this one day to see if I can stand it.


But you know what?  I had three strangers compliment me on it and by BFF raved about how great it smelled when we were having coffee.  So it may not be me; perhaps it’s you.


$75 for 34ML at IndieScents, where I got the sample

  • Annunziata says:

    Oh, I love all of her roses — I wear Rose Musc as well as Velvet Rose and Vintage Rose. I think they are all very well done, and certainly pleasing to any big, lush rose enthusiast.

    This is one is a perfect summer rose, in my book.

  • Flora says:

    In other words, I will love it, right? I can wear several generous spritzes of vintage YSL Paris without turning a hair (although I can’t say the same for people around me) so this is must-try for me!

    • Musette says:


      (you are either Heaven or Hell to sit next to on the subway, depending upon your seatmate’s @};- love (or hate). I’d sit next to you in a nanosecond! ^:)^

      xxoxoxo >-)

      • Flora says:

        Yeah, but Tom would jump out the window! :-D

      • Flora says:

        Update – I just got a sample of this in a swap! And yes I LOVE IT! Somebody sent me some Velvet Rose a while back which I also love. Guess I better see if SSS has any other roses I “need” to try.

  • sunsetsong says:

    Your review made me laugh. I am a lover of rose in all her forms and this is definitely a Big Rose. It is lovely in winter, I haven’t sprayed it so much recently.

  • kathleen says:

    I like her Vintage Rose. Mmmmm…plummy

  • AnnieA says:

    As a complete non-sequitor, I was reading a Serge Lutens interview and now am trying to think how to work the phrase “The chrysanthemum is tinged with bitterness” into a conversation.

    • nozknoz says:

      That IS a great phrase! Sounds like a great answer to a lot of questions, too, LOL! For example, the answer to “How are you?” on Mondays.

  • minette says:

    fun review.

    i was left with one question: any musk in this one? i don’t mind a good rose, and i love a good musk. so… how does the musk rate?

  • KirstenMarie says:

    If we’re starting to talk rose scents in general, I have to recommend Evelyn, by (I know, I know!) Crabtree and Evelyn. But this one isn’t as generic-market-y as the name brand implies. The company worked with David Austin, the breeder of English roses, and he actually named Evelyn for the rose which produces this perfume. Owning the perfume – and growing Evelyn roses in my backyard – I’ve compared the stuff in the bottle to the bloom on the bush. I think they’ve nailed it. If you’re looking for a soliflore rose scent, give Evelyn a try.

  • Rappleyea says:

    Great review, Tom! I’m not a rose fan either (only Nahema and only on certain days) but I am a huge fan of Laurie’s, although more her non-rose scents: Champagne de Bois and Incense Pure are two favorites. I’m testing some new ones for her now that are gorgeous and also not rose.

    For the rose lovers here, I’d also recommend her Cameo, a soft, romantic rose/violet combo. It’s more rose on me however.

  • AnnS says:

    Tom – I love your review of Rose Musc. It is actually one of my favorite roses of all. I.LIKE.BIG.ROSES.

    What I like most about Rose Musc though is that about 7 hours after I’ve worn it, up to even the next morning when I wake up, there is this amazingly wonderful labdanum still lingering, like it melted all over my skin. I can’t get enough of that rose-labdanum combo which is a match made in heaven.

    You will appreciate this though: one time I put it on, and dear hubby of mine who actually likes rose fragrances said: “did you open a bottle of wine?” It took me a minute to realize he was smelling the deep rose in RM. Ha. I love it.

  • jen says:

    Perfect summer scent; I already smell like the first two!

  • Joanna says:

    I’m finding that rose scents are growing on me and to be honest that sort of freaks me out. I’ve always associated rose perfumes with either women of my grandma’s generation and/or the gutter-punk chicks from high school who always smelled like b.o, stale cigarette smoke and Tea Rose perfume. Oh gawd I’m going to have that scent memory stuck in my head for days…
    I blame it all on Safran Troublant. It was my, “Oh! A rose I like.” moment which was followed by experimenting with rose in other formulas. So thanks, I like SSS and I will be ordering my sample of this today! Please someone shoot me if I start smelling like b.o, stale cigarette smoke and roses.

    • Tom says:

      Ha! I’m sure that Etat Libre will be coming out with a little something soon with just those notes!

      • Joanna says:

        I had to order a sample of their Jasmin et Cigarettes just to see if it was similar to that scent memory! Thankfully no! Although Divin’Enfant is #1 on my odors I never want to smell again list.

  • Musette says:

    I just plucked a rosa rugosa (ow!) and thought of your review – you make this sound wonderful – in a very weird way! ;)) Can’t wait to try it!

    xo >-)

    ps. I second (third?) the haiku!

    • Tom says:


      Do Japanese roses do well in pots?

      • Musette says:

        I don’t know any roses that do well in pots – but I live in Illinois, where a potted rose doesn’t do well outside of a conservatory – at least not in the >-) ‘s garden. Rugosas are very sturdy and do very well here. In the ground. Pots, no. For you? Prolly. And I envy you for it!


  • rosarita says:

    This has been on my *need to sample* list forever. Love SSS in general, but haven’t found just the right rose yet, altho Velvet Rose is close. Your writing is marvelous in it’s succinctness, Tom; I’ve long admired your style. If anyone can pull of perfume review haiku, it would be you. :)

  • Masha says:

    I love a big rose some days. I just recently (yesterday!) became acquainted with Sonoma Scent Studio, and I’m pretty smitten, so I may end up trying this one, too….

  • nozknoz says:

    Tom, I always marvel at how you manage to totally crack me up AND make me want to sample something with so few words. Death by rose – bring it on! :-)