La Rose de Rosine

I was living my regular life and then last Thursday night I got a text from someone I haven’t been in contact with for 40 (yeah, really) years. I was so shocked. Someone from secondary school.

She was in London on holiday: could we meet up … on Saturday (reminder that she contacted me on Thursday night). I said, um no, Saturday wouldn’t work (I’m over 2 hours from London by train). So, in the end it’s going to be a phone or video call. Has that happened to you – someone from a long long time ago pops up after decades?

Anyway, on to the Rosine – and sorry for my sad, somewhat unimaginative pics today.

I tried this line at the now gone Bendels on 5th Avenue in New York City. Founded in 1911 by Paul Poiret and ‘revived’ (it didn’t survive the great depression) in 1991 these were mostly soliflores.

Les Parfums de Rosine used to be fairly strictly roses of different ilks. Now, it looks like the house has a load of different things.

Back in the ‘90s, when I knew it, the Rosine stand was at the back of the ground floor at Bendels – if I’m recalling correctly, sort of up a few steps on a curved staircase, sitting in a sort of landing. I don’t remember seeing more than a dozen different bottles.

The bottles were nice: hefty ovals, each with a decoration on the cap. A tassel, a ribbon — you get the idea. Now, some of them have frilly ballet skirts between the cap and the bottle.

I’m not sure why I ended up there. Rose soliflores really weren’t my thing. But somehow I came away with La Rose de Rosine. Which was a solid but not very exciting (violet, marigold, ylang, lots of different rose oils/attars, jasmine, iris, tonka, benzoin and Peru balsam) perfume released in 1991 (François Robert was the nose).

Even decades later I’m not sure what made me buy it. But clearly something did because I have a very strong memory of doing it (a lot of my purchases merge, particularly after online became a thing). I recall it being very rosy, of course, with a bit of powderiness (violet, marigold, iris?), not terribly complex and not much of a drydown (fairly unsurprising, given the base notes). I’m sure I ‘liked’ it, but it was never ever love.

(A bad pic of my yellow climbing rose which is covered in buds)

In any case, I know I wore it for a period. How long that was I can’t recall.

I don’t think I had the bottle terribly long before it got rehomed. I have this idea it got purchased during a period when I had a fairly significant disposable income and was searching for something to love, so was sort of happy to fork out for things in the hope I’d come to love them. And it was cheap (it’s now 130 euros for 100ml of juice).

So, do you own any Rosines? Do you have strong memories with regard to buying certain fragrances or do things now completely merge together?

(Pics: Pexels and mine)

  • Tom says:

    I don’t think I’ve tried these but I do have a lot of strong memories of buying frags that I think I have milked to death here and on other blogs.

    As far as last minute guests, I did used to have one. Someone I knew in college who would invariably call a mutual friend (they were in the same house at school) on a Friday to say that she was visiting on Saturday from back East and would we like to get together for lunch or something? I didn’t mind so much, but it kind of got up my friend’s nose a bit- she took it as an implied insult. I.E. “You clearly have nothing interesting or important going on so of course you will be available for a last minute meet-up.” I guess it didn’t bother me because A) we did have fun when we got together and B) She was right. I didn’t. (and I was about 2 minutes away, not 2 hours)

    So the last time the friend called mutual friend said no, noting that she didn’t receive much notice. Not sure how definite she was in communicating that, but out-of-town friend never asked again.

    • cinnamon says:

      The Rosine thing got me thinking about perfumes where I strongly recall the buying and those which got purchased but in a complete fog.

      • alityke says:

        I’m curious, are the ones you have a strong memory of buying ones that stayed the course?

  • monkeytoe says:

    I have a couple of Rosine’s in my perfume stash: Rose d’Amour and a decant of Rose d’Homme I cadged before sending the rest of the bottle to someone who loved it more. D’Amour is a great suit scent to me–it wears close to the body, relatively unchallenging but with enough interest to not be dull. It is for when I don’t want to go all aldehydes a-blazing with a dab or two of No. 22 or La Myrrhe.

    • cinnamon says:

      Sometimes unchallenging is just what we need. I don’t think I would actively seek out the Rosines again but if I happened to be somewhere they were stocked I might have a go.

  • March says:

    The perfume memories that stick in my mind are I think more when I “met” a house or smelled a particular fragrance and less when I bought a bottle? Probably because I lot of the stuff I was jonesing for came from places like eBay. Exceptions I’ve blogged about include perfume while traveling — iPdF in Florence, Annick Goutal in Paris, Worth Courtesan in Edinburgh. Travel certainly makes it memorable!

    • cinnamon says:

      Hmmm .. there is that too: the ‘meeting’ a new house. And totally agree that travel associations can make something very memorable.

  • Dina C. says:

    Never had the opportunity to try any of the Rosines. They sound very pretty, especially the one you chose. Yes, I can remember buying specific bottles, especially the ones at Art with Flowers, a quirky boutique that’s no longer there. It was a combination florist shop + interior design shop + perfume shop + tea shop + gift shop. And the proprietors’ taste was very eclectic. A fun place to explore. I still miss it.

    • cinnamon says:

      I don’t remember how I found out about the Rosines, but it was during a period when niche was becoming a thing in NYC and I was reading as much as I could find about stuff. Art with Flowers sounds wonderful. Def too bad when these sorts of places disappear.

  • rosarita says:

    I have a couple Rosines. Rose d’Homme is my favorite, leather and rose. I also have Un Zest de Rose, a deceptively simple tea rose with a lot more going on underneath.

    • cinnamon says:

      Leather with rose sounds like a lot of oomph. I recall the name Un Zest de Rose, and I may well have tried it when I was doing the Rosines, but no memory at all.

  • alityke says:

    There are a few purchases I have very strong memories of. My first “proper” perfume, Jicky, from House of Frazer next to the infamous “Hole in the Road” in Sheffield.
    Charles of the Ritz in the plum coloured can from a fabulous stand alone beauty & perfume shop in my home town. Why is there no buzz about Charles of the Ritz? It was GLORIOUS! I have never seen it on any resale site in the UK.
    Can’t say I’ve ever tried any of the Rosines. With notable exceptions (Lyric, Paris, Ta’if & Paul Smith) rose scents are just meh.

    • cinnamon says:

      One day you should try Lutens Rose de Nuit. It’s the only rose scent I own. Yup, I think there are a lot of things out there that are good but disappear into the ether.

      • alityke says:

        I did have a 5ml decant of SL Rose de Nuit & blew through most of it. Leaving a smudge as a reference. Of course said smudge went to live with the fragrant fairies.
        Now I’m retired SL bell jars are out of my budget unless I save for months, as I did for Hera.
        RdN is stunning but if I didn’t buy it back when I had the income it didn’t click enough with me.
        I saw you mention Jour de Fete in an earlier reply. Was it the Goutal or L’Artisan you regret letting go?

  • Kathleen says:

    I think I’ve sampled most Rosie’s and they are all wonderful. I have a few bottles including La Rose de la Rosine. I have very strong memories of my earliest perfumes

    • cinnamon says:

      I expect I must have sampled a number of the offering when I bought that bottle. I have strong memories of the early things I bought but the more I got into things the less I recall what I bought thinking I’d love it and just going meh after a few weeks or months. One thing I regret divesting is Goutal Jour de Fete.

  • Musette says:

    Pre-social media I got a call from my highschool counselor (he’d become a sort-of ‘pal’ – sort of – before graduation). There was a nearly 30yr gap before he got in touch, having gotten my number from another classmate who was Police and pulled my UNLISTED number. It was bizarre. I did not reconnect, though I kept it civil. Weird, though.
    My favorite Rosine is the leather one. I have the body cream and the perfume. Great Winter scent. There’s a green one (where the green is prominent ahead of the rose) that I loved, too. Un Folie du Rose…?
    I love the line, though the idea of ballet tulle gives me pause.

    • cinnamon says:

      Now, that one is just weird. I wonder what the counsellor was thinking. I’m curious about the green Rosine even though, as I’ve banged on about, I can’t really wear green stuff. No, I wasn’t taken by the ballet skirts. The tassels, however, are great.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Cinnamon,
    I’m such a poor perfume writer, it never hit me that Rosine was a retread..
    Yes, I love their fragrances. They all still seem to have rose as their start point but yet there is much more diversity even since I started on them. It was a shame they Dcd some of the mens range, they were spectacular. I didn’t purchase a couple in 2014 and by 2015 they were gone. GRRR!
    Their little shop up the back of the Palais Royale is worth a visit. Staff are always really well trained and there’s rarely another customer.

    I love that your school friend got in touch. That might have been worth the trek.
    Portia xx

    • cinnamon says:

      I managed to remove the key bit in the post (don’t know why) regarding the long ago friend: I’m still in contact with her parents, who are lovely people. Sigh. I’ll add the Rosine shop to the Divine one in Paris (if that’s still around).

      • Portia says:

        Oh yes, Divine was there last time I was. It’s just around the corner from l’Opera. The other end of the street.
        Portia xx