Lipstick Rose by Frederic Malle

Hey Posse, A couple of weeks ago I was hunting through the cupboards and found the Malle box. TBH I haven’t worn Lipstick Rose in ages and so I thought it deserved a spritz. Holy Everything and a bag of chips! No wonder I bought this and wore it quite regularly for a while. It is breathtaking. At the time I was too busy with other things to sit down and write about it but now I have some time I think you should all be reminded how divine Lipstick Rose is. Can you believe it turns 24 this year?!? Patty loves it so much she wants to marry it.

Lipstick Rose by Frederic Malle 2000

Lipstick Rose Frederic Malle

Frederic Malle gives these featured accords:
Top: Grapefruit; violet
Heart: Rose, iris, raspberry
Base: Vanilla, white musk

You’ll know Ralf Schweiger’s work: Hermès Eau des Merveilles, Mugler Womanity, and The Afternoon of a Faun by ELdO among others. These are the three other perfumes of his that I have bottles of in the wardrobe. He also did 2013’s Barneys + Greg Lauren that I’ve been searching for a bottle of for nearly a decade.

How does Lipstick Rose smell? Like the most glamorous, old fashioned, waxy, perfumed lipstick that Mum used to kiss us goodbye with when she and Dad were off on the town. Violet leaf, iris, a hit of raspberry confectionary, talcum powder, wax, hairspray and rock hard self confidence. It’s fairly linear but the dry down does have swirls of French vanilla ice cream and some vodka-ish booziness.

Lipstick Rose Frederic Malle Feb 2024

While Lipstick Rose is not a huge fragrance it is quite noticeable because that vintage make up smell is not what make up smells like now. So now it smells incredibly other and that makes it more of a standout. It is insistent and persistent though. If someone is sitting with you they may not remark immediately but about two or three minutes in they might ask if that gorgeous scent is you.

This veers traditional femme but I love the way it smells on me. I don’t make it anymore masculine but it seems to fit.

As you can see my bottle is over half empty. That’s a 100ml bottle, so lots of use for a perfumista.

Surrender To Chance has samples

Have you, would you or do you think trying Lipstick Rose may be in your future?
Portia xx

  • antsm68 says:

    I adore Frederic Malle (amongst other perfumers) of which I own Portrait of a lady and L’ eau d’hiver. I am a complete rose slave, and iris, and violet, and musk slave and…oh well I love many different notes but rose is in my top 5, and have been curious of Malle’s other rose fragrances so I thank you for this review.

  • Maggiecat says:

    You always make me want to try things, Portia, even though I know that neither violet nor raspberries are scents I enjoy. Clarification: I do love to EAT raspberries and enjoy raspberry-flavored things – I just don’t want to smell like one!

    • Portia says:

      So YAY for my enabler status Maggiecat and YAY also for you knowing yourself well enough to understand the conundrum. Money saved that you can spend on the fresh fruit. Pretty good outcome TBH.
      Portia xx

  • March says:

    What a lovely fragrance, and a lovely post! It’s a funny one for me, I adore the way it smells but don’t want to wear it, I think I used up my decant doing things like spraying it on a hanky to tuck into my handbag. A pillow spritz or two. Just spraying it in the air in my bedroom. I love its waxy, vintage makeup-y scent, you are spot on.

    • Portia says:

      Heya March,
      You know what? I bought a bunch of out there, boundary pushing weirdos early on and they never get the spritz unless there’s a group of us sitting around and it’s almost always on a blotter.
      We are tribe.
      Portia xx

  • ElizaC says:

    I also love, love, love this perfume. I get the scent of freshly picked, covered with dew raspberries intertwined with violets. Just makes me smile!

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I have never tried Lipstick Rose. The only Malle perfume I have is a 10ml spray of En Passant, which I adore since you don’t get too many lilac dominant perfumes. I might have to give this one a go.

    • Portia says:

      AHHHHH En Passant! So gorgeous Elfarwen22.
      Lilac isn’t popular here in Sydney and I had never smelled it in the wild until 2018 walking through Paris with my girlfriend Francesca and she spotted a hedge of it blooming like crazy. We must have looked loopy but we went over and spent the next 15 minutes with our heads buried in the inflorescences and making moaning love sounds. SO GOOD!
      Portia xx

  • Tara C says:

    I love this one and another sort of similar vibe, Rose Cherie by Guerlain which has that rose violet smell.

    • Portia says:

      Does it TaraC?
      I get my old fashioned lipstick smell hit from Insolence in the Guerlain range but now I need to go back and resell Rose Cherie.
      Portia xx

  • Dina C. says:

    This sounds gorgeous. I need to sniff Lipstick Rose. Adding to my Must Sniff list. Thanks Portia.

  • Kathleen says:

    I adore Lipstick Rose! The rose, violet, raspberry, makeup powder combination is gorgeous. I have a bottle of the perfume that I treasure and shower gel. Vintage makeup scent is a love of mine. This is one of the best. xoxo

  • MMKinPA says:

    I don’t think I have ever tried this – rose is just not my thing, much, so I probably decided not to sample. I think I’ll sniff it if I encounter in the wild, though (if I ever have a chance to shop somewhere with good perfumes again!!)

    • Portia says:

      Hey MMKinPA,
      I never think of Lipstick Rose as a super rose forward scent, though I suppose it is. It’s much more about old fashioned make up. You may just skate into this.
      Portia xx

  • alityke says:

    I had a travel size & had used it up a while ago. At Xmas FM were offering lux 3.5ml samples & LR was one that I chose.
    She has changed her brand of lippie! Whilst the notes might be in there my overwhelming impression was that of wax crayons.
    Maybe it needs to macerate or whatever but I was so disappointed.

    • Portia says:

      OH NO Alityke,
      This is a big bummer.
      Naughty Estée Lauder! We did kinda know they were going to revamp the line when they bought it back in 2015. Here’s proof.
      Portia xx

  • cinnamon says:

    Ack. I owned this near when it first came out and was fascinated by it. But I didn’t wear it — so gave it away to a better home. Your post reminded me of my mother’s huge Coach bag that had everything including the kitchen sink in it and smelled of lipstick. If you stuck your hand in looking for something you’d come out with pink fingertips. Sigh. Thank you.

    • Portia says:

      I love that your Mum had lipstick rolling around in her beautiful Coach bag Cinnamon. Glad to give you a moments memory too.
      Portia xx

  • Maya says:

    My mother never wore any makeup except red lipstick and I loved the smell of it. Lipstick Rose definitely reminds of it but there is something there that I don’t care for. It may be the rose and raspberry combo. There are other perfumes with that combo that I also don’t really like.
    Isn’t it great to discover a perfume love that you had somewhat forgotten about!

    • Portia says:

      So interesting Maya. You’re not my only perfume buddy that feels that way, Misia, Insolence and 1889 Moulin Rouge give her the willies.
      Yes, refinding beauties is extra fun.
      Portia xx

  • Tom says:

    I love this one. It makes me think of an evening bag you mom might have carried: a tube of Cherries in the Snow (or Victory Red, if your mom was older), dusting powder, and violet candies. I love it.