Barely there roses for late summer and a giveaway

Now as some of you may know, I’m not the biggest rose fan on the planet. In the past year or two, I have, however, come around to roses somewhat, and enjoy the likes of Amouage Lyric for Woman, Gucci’s L’Arte di Gucci, Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady (body cream preferred) and several others, including the recently sampled Ramon Monegal L’Eau Rose.

But I just cannot quite bring myself to wear them in the summertime. Yes, yes, I hear some of you saying, those heavy-hitters just bloom in the heat and get more beautiful. And I’m glad, really I am, that they work so well for some of you. But I can’t do it as it just feels uncomfortable to me, almost suffocatingly so.

roses 2 However, as I was poking around in the perfume drawers, I did spy two lovelies with a toe or two in the roses that work nicely this time of year.

First up, Armani Prive’s Rose Alexandrie. Notes are bergamot, Italian mandarin, neroli, yellow mimosa, rose and benzoin. Rose is not the starring player here, but a hint of it pairs nicely with its accompanying notes, for a soft, sweetly effervescent veil of scent, delicate even. I have a small decant and have worn it on and off for several year and always feel supremely ladylike and graceful in it. The fragrance never seemed to really take off among perfumistas and I’ve seen it compared to SweeTarts. And, yes, it does have a candy quality about it. But as lightweight as it may be, I feel I owe it a wee debt of gratitude for being the first fragrance with “rose” in the name that I have worn in years.

A more recent acquisition gives rose more of the spotlight but makes it share the stage with a burst of citrus and a touch of jasmine. Oscar de la Renta’s Granada could almost qualify as an eau de cologne, but it wears somewhat longer, plus its ribbon of rose sets it slightly apart from the pack. It’s fresh, bright and pretty, and unlikely to offend, even for those who detest roses in fragrance. I’ve enjoyed this one frequently this summer and that’s saying a lot for me.

I have a bit more of this one, so I’d like to share. I’ll be giving away two samples of the Granada. If you’re interested, please leave a comment. I’ll put your names into one of my big straw hats and let my son close his eyes, reach in and pick the winners. If you don’t want to be entered, just mention NDFM (no draw for me) in your comment. Thanks!

  • Lauren SC says:

    Rose is so tricky. I love the smell of roses in a garden, but somehow most fragrances with rose just don’t do it for me. So strange.

  • taffyj says:

    My Mother had a beautiful rose garden, so when I wear rose perfume, I think of her. Rose may not be my favorite note, but it is the one that makes me feel loved.

    • Ann says:

      That’s a lovely scent association to have, Taffy. Fragrance is amazing that way, giving us wonderful memories and feelings of love and comfort.

  • Azar says:

    My neighbor’s rose garden is exquisite. If I could bottle her garden I would surely be in the Gulistan of Saadi! (Saadi’s rose garden).
    Thank you for the draw!

    • Ann says:

      Oh, how fortunate you are to live near a beautiful garden like that. What rose perfumes do you already wear or like?

  • windicindi says:

    Roses remind me of my mom and this fragrance would do so on a
    daily basis! Many thanks, Cindi

    • Ann says:

      What a nice scent memory to have of your mom! What fragrance(s) did she wear, do you remember?

  • Edward says:

    Mmm, this one sounds lovely, please enter me!

  • ncmyers says:

    Always looking to try new things! Please enter me in the draw and as always, thank you for the informative posts!

  • maggiecat says:

    Oooh, rose and jasmnie and citrus? Why haven’t I heard of Granada before now? I’m starting to love rose scents again, after a fair while off them (but really, who doesn’t love Lyric?). Thansk for the review and the draw!

    • Ann says:

      Hi, lady! You’re so right — Lyric is an easy rose to love. This OdlR Essential Luxuries line was a little hard to find — was only online for a while at Saks and now I think Neiman’s has them in-store to try. But take a peek on eBay; I see sample sets of the whole collection on there from time to time.

  • I’m not a huge rose fan either, but would love to have my mind changed (I figure the more smells I like, the better!). Thank you for the drawing!

    • Ann says:

      Love your thinking — an open mind is so good to have when exploring fragrance. I bet you’ll find a couple of roses to enjoy as there are so many different treatments out there. Something for everyone!

  • Maureen says:

    I’m not really sure if I like roses or not, as I do not have any strictly rose scents. I would love to try this Oscar de la Renta, as I remember I liked his original scent, applied lightly. Thanks for the generous draw.

    • Ann says:

      You’re very welcome, Maureen. With OdlR scents, even if you don’t like them, you can at least appreciate that they’re pretty well done.

  • eldarwen22 says:

    The only note I probably actually fear is citrus. I don’t have issue with most notes, sometimes it is how is it presented in perfume. I love Patou Joy’s rose and indolic jasmine combination. The rose and jasmine don’t fight for center stage but they take turns. For an hour, the rose will have the lime light and the jasmine will have a supporting role and then the next hour, it’s all about the jasmine. I love the rose in no. 19 EDP form and I adore Amouage Lyric. Amouage Epic is a really good rose too

    • Ann says:

      What a great description of Joy! As for your citrus aversion, I guess we all have a note or two that send us running away. Cumin is even worse for me than rose. I like your other rose picks, too, but need to try the actual Epic juice.

  • Terry Shaw says:

    I always love roses! It’s one of the best scents for me. I don’t know, perhaps it’s just my taste.

  • AnnieA says:

    Not in the rose fan club myself, but I do wear tough-rose Eau de Protection by ELdO.

    • Ann says:

      Oooh, not familiar with that one but it sounds interesting, like a rose scent wearing a black leather motorcycle jacket.

  • rosarita says:

    Good morning, Ann, NDFM thanks, as I already love roses – heck, my user name is rosarita, after all. Have you tried Rosine In Zest de Rose for summer? It’s light citrus and tea rose, like rose lemonade but not sweet, just very pretty.

    • Ann says:

      Hey, lady — I’m thinking that you are one of the officers of the Rose Perfume Appreciation Society, ha! Must try that Rosine you mention (it sounds a bit like Granada), and several others in the line. Thanks!

  • Musette says:

    Ann, darling! Hi! just stopping in to say I’m with patrick ^^^ . I love roses, as you know – but a rose carelessly done or OVERdone (thinking the original Tea Rose scent from the 70s? 80s?) A well-crafted rose, otoh, (Paris, Homage, Lyric, Nahema and pretty much all the Rosines, even if all are not to my exact taste)….a well-crafted rose is a thing of beeeyoutee!

    And a good rose otto can send me to the moon with delight!


    • Ann says:

      Hi, sweets! I am right there with you on the Tea Rose (apologies to its fans) — as I mentioned above to Patrick, that’s the one that sent me around the bend years ago and down Anti-Rose Road. 🙂 But those you mention are indeed lovely. I’ve seen the Rosines somewhere around here and passed them by, but now I may have to thaw out my cold shoulder, stop and take a moment with them.

      • Ann says:

        Oops — my bad! It was the A Dozen Roses line I saw at Neiman Marcus, not the Rosines. Oh, well, should probably give several of them a shot anyway, too. 🙂

  • poodle says:

    Roses don’t like me usually. They go sour. I did buy a bottle of Whips and Roses recently which works great on my skin so not all roses are bad. I’d love to try these. Thanks for the draw.

    • Ann says:

      Yay, Poodle — at least you found one to love! I will have to sample that one now as well. Keep on trying them as you might find another couple that you like.

  • solanace says:

    I enjoy a good rose and would love to try this, thank’s for the draw! If I have to mention one rose, I’ll say Epic.

    • Ann says:

      That is a great choice. I know Musette is big on this one. Alas, I have only tried it in the body cream, but when the weather turns chillier I will try a little dab o’ the juice.

  • Yulina says:

    Thank you for the giveaway! I have always wanted to try from Oscar De La Renta. Fingers crossed!

    • Ann says:

      You are so welcome, Yulina. Oscar is a nice line that offers a little something for everyone, and always seems classy and well-done. It just gets overlooked sometimes, I think.

  • Nadja says:

    I am currently trying to understand why so many people love rose in perfume. At the moment I have no idea why, but I hope that will change as I try some quality rose scents!

    • Ann says:

      I understand completely, Nadja. I think it’s a matter of experimenting and finding out which roses work for you. If you find one that looks interesting, perhaps just spray it on a card and see how you feel about it. Then if you think it might work, try a little dab or tiny spray. I feel sure you can find something in the rose family to love, just like I did.

  • Elia says:

    I’ve not tried any feminine De la Renta yet, but I’d like to.

    • Ann says:

      His Essential Luxuries line has quite a few nice scents in it; all seem pretty well done, even if you don’t particularly like the notes. The tobacco-ish one, Santa Domingo, I think, was not good for me, but I think would work nicely on a guy.

  • Portia says:

    I love roses Ann. Especially done beautifully in a perfume. MMM Rose Alexandrie. You smell good.
    Portia xx

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, dear Portia! So you have actually smelled the Rose Alexandrie? Finding Armani’s Prive line was kind of hit or miss there for a while so I think a lot of folks never got to sniff this one.

  • greennote2 says:

    I, too, seem to like the idea of rose, but can only do it in combination with other notes. I recently tried Le Labo Rose 31 and loved the spices, I’m still not sure about the rose in it though. I would love to try rose in combination with citrus, please include me in the draw.

    • Ann says:

      Hi! I’m glad you mentioned the Le Labo rose; I’ve always meant to try it and then end up forgetting to do so. The spices sound good. Maybe they subdue the rose quite a bit?

      • Mary P. says:

        At the time I tested LL Rose 31 I felt the rose was too funereal and the spice too pungent, but so many people love it that I feel I should give it another go :))

  • Jackie b says:

    It seems I am not alone in searching for a rose that I can actually wear, it tends to get sour and screechy on my skin. I did spray Tom Ford Cocoa Rose the other day, it was OK but not my style.
    Would like to try Granada, please enter me.

    • Ann says:

      Hey there, Jackie! I’m with you on that Tom Ford rose; I know Patty really likes it, but it was just a bit too much for me. Maybe I’ll try it again on a cold day, but just one tiny dab …

  • Maren says:

    I’ve been on a quest to find a perfect rose scent this summer. The Granada sounds great, so yes please, include me in the draw!

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Maren! This really is an uplifting, pretty scent for summer — think you would enjoy it.

  • Sally McSweeney says:

    I hate to say it but I shudder when I think of rose perfume and this goes back to a previous life – well, many moons ago when I was a child. My paternal gran was a character. She would roll her own cigarettes, drank a glass of stout every evening, could read playing cards like the Tarot, and was never seen without a hat whether she was indoors or out. She also used to let me liberally douse myself in her perfumes and put on lipstick, something I was never allowed to do at home, so needless to say, I loved visiting her. One such visit, she gave me a box of empty perfume bottles, the result of a drawer clean out. I was thrilled with this delightful treasure trove and even more excited when she informed me that I could make my own perfume to put in them,with flowers from my very own garden. Yes, you’ve guessed it – Rose Water was about to be concoted by an 8 year old. Denuding the entire neighborhood rose bush population, I gleefully filled every available receptacle that my long suffering mother would give me with water and my stolen flora, and waited for the next Chanel to be born. “Let them steep good and long in a sunny window” Gran advised and so I lined them up along my bedroom window ledge. Trouble is, “good and long” wasn’t actually defined. I spent about 2 weeks enveloped in an increasingly nauseatingly sweet smell of eventually rotting petals and to this day cant smell a rose without wanting to run shrieking into the far distance. Needless to say, Coco had nothing to fear…
    I thank you for your generous offer of a giveaway but I beg you, please give it to someone else 😉

  • Bridget C says:

    I love the smell of roses. My significant other loathes them. So the idea of a perfume where rose isn’t the star player might be my only chance to sneak roses home!!!! Thanks for your generosity!

    • Ann says:

      I love it, Bridget — rose subterfuge: sneaking them in whenever you can. I think the Granada would work pretty well for that as the citrus goes head to head with it, but I wouldn’t overapply it either as it can get pretty zesty.

  • Ellen Covey says:

    I generally avoid all types of florals, but rose mixed with other things, especially oud, somehow works. I haven’t tried either of these, so please include me in the draw.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Ellen! I agree completely; rose mixed with something else seems to do best on my skin as well.

  • Caroline says:

    Still have yet to try any of the Armani Prives. I enjoy rose in compositions, like no 19. and am just coming around to vintage no 5.
    I’d love to try the somewhat more prominent rose in Granada….

    • Ann says:

      Oh, yes, Caroline, it’s very nice in No. 19. We are on the same page with the vintage No. 5; I recently tried a drop of it and am starting to see its appeal, although I doubt I’ll ever be a No. 5 girl.

  • Lynne Marie says:

    Hi Ann,

    I am a recent convert to roses. I always thought I disliked them or that “my allergies” couldn’t handle them but then I fell head over heels in love with Tom Ford’s Noir de Noir. That little bit of chocolate suddenly made the roses a whole lot more palatable and since that eye-opening experience I’ve gone back to roses with a much more open mind. Isn’t it funny how one perfume can completely turn your head around? I love how my perfume “tolerence” has changed as the years go by. Tonight I am wearing Chanel No. 5 Elixir Sensuel – unthinkable a year ago – but now I just totally love it, it’s the most feminine perfume, ever!

    • Ann says:

      Hello, dear! So glad you mentioned the Noir de Noir — I remember liking that one a lot, but haven’t worn it in ages. Must go dig up my sample to try on the next coolish night we get. BTW, that Elixir Sensuel is nice, isn’t it? I find I can wear that and the No. 5 Eau Premiere pretty well.

  • Kandice says:

    I’m with you – I would love to love perfume roses, but they usually just gives me a terrible migraine because most of them are too strong. The few I’ve found that work are those where the rose is surpassed by something else. I love Oscar de la Renta and would enjoy trying Granada. Thanks for the generous draw!

    • Ann says:

      Exactly, Kandice! You are right on the money — the rose has to be in tandem with something else that either balances it or outweighs it a bit. That’s why I think those darker, wine-y or incense-y roses work better for folks like us.

  • Sonia says:

    I’m not a great lover of rosé either but I do love eau de colognes and citrus notes and would love to experience the combination. Please also include me in the draw.
    Thank you.

    • Ann says:

      I’m right there with you on the eau de colognes, Sonia — never met one I didn’t like. It sounds like this one might be one you’d enjoy.

  • leathermountain says:

    Granada sounds wonderful! Yes, draw for me, please.

  • Martha says:

    I was pretty crazy about rose perfumes last winter and spring. By no means, am I a connoisseur of the genre, but I do really enjoy the fragrance. One that I own is Rose Extreme by M. Micallef – I sprayed some on about a month ago and had to wash it off because in the heat it overwhelmed me. Just the other day I was thinking that soon the weather will be more suitable for roses (and me). Please include me in the draw.

    • Ann says:

      Martha, lucky you to be able to love so many roses! I’m sorry that you had to scrub that Micallef; but as you say, the temps soon will be more conducive to wearing some of the more potent ones.

  • Mary P. says:

    I haven’t explored the rose’s too much. I adore the scent of real roses but my experimentation with rose fragrances has been a mixed bag. The one rose fragrance that I truly adore though is Nahema.

    • Ann says:

      Ooh, Mary, I have heard so much about that one — can’t believe I’ve never tried it! Glad you mentioned it and put it on my radar to sample.

  • patrick says:

    From reading just about all of your posts, I did not realize that you had reservations about roses. I remember that you loathe lavender and Iso E super and it seems that Oud is growing on you. I get the sense that rose soliflores or rose prominent scents are not your cup of tea. I generally dislike soliflores because they either bore me or fatigue my nose with a few exceptions such as POAL or Carnal Flower, both by Malle. I guess I am curious about which fumes are iin your daily rotation. I reckon that a bunch of your readers are curious about that

    • Ann says:

      Patrick, what a good memory you have! I don’t mention roses much because I don’t do well with them. I think the root of my trouble was that I had a college roommate who doused herself in Perfumer’s Workshop Tea Rose, and in the close quarters of a smallish dorm room, it did me in. But back then, that was pretty much the only rose soliflore out there. I couldn’t imagine how many iterations of rose there would be, once the fragrance market exploded. As for what’s in my daily rotation, I’m like a lot of you, just sampling new things. I love Carnal Flower as well, but it’s not an everyday (or even every week) scent for me.

  • patriciaC says:

    Oh yes love roses! I love fresh perfumes as well. Sounds wonderful and i love Oscar de la renta. Thanks for the drawind and info on the perfumes.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Patricia! Glad you like the OdlR line, too. Sometimes it seems to get overlooked, but it has some nice fragrances.

  • Mary K says:

    i do like to wear rose perfumes in the summer, along with all of the other florals in my collection of scents. The jasmine and rose sound lovely in Granada, Please include me in the drawing. Thank you!

    • Ann says:

      Mary, glad you’re one of the lucky ones who can pull off summer + roses. But come fall and winter, I’ll dig back into the heavier hitters.

  • Nemo says:

    So far I think I may love the IDEA of roses in perfume more than I have loved any rose perfumes so far. That said, I am still looking! The combination of fresh rose and jasmine sounds delightful 🙂 Thank you for the generous giveaway.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Nemo! I love your phrase about loving “the IDEA of roses in perfume.” The Granada comes up a bit more citrus and rose on my skin, and less jasmine, but YMMV.