Trust Me—This Trending French Fragrance Will Get You Endless Compliments

When you think of rose perfumes, you might initially associate them with the powdery fragrances worn by your grandmother. While many established fragrances revolve around this iconic fragrance note, rose is undergoing a modern-day revolution—and so many new perfume launches prove it. While French houses such as Dior and Chanel are very well known for their rose notes, there are now hundreds of iterations of rose perfumes that have shaken off their fuddy-duddy connotations. Rose works well with citrus notes for a light and fresh summer fragrance, or it can take on a sultry mood when combined with musk or oud.

“Some people think the rose theme is old-fashioned. However, an ingredient does not mean anything in fragrance, and there are so many ways to twist a note to come up with something new,” says expert perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, founder of Maison Francis Kurkdjian. “Rose can be very modern. It depends on how it is used and what you blend it with. Roses are very famous flowers and are very common in feminine fragrances. But rose itself does not have a gender. It’s the way you use it that makes the difference.”  In fact, the past two times that I have been complimented on my fragrance were when I spritzed a rose-based perfume. The first was Diptyque’s Eau Capitale at dinner one evening, where the lady at the table next to me asked what perfume I was wearing. “I knew it,” she said, before making a note to top up on a bottle herself. This one blends rose with patchouli, making it warm and so great for evening—the tiniest of spritzes lasts for hours. The other was Chanel’s recently launched Les Eaux de Chanel Paris-Paris, which features Damask rose as its main note but feels fresh combined with citrus notes of mandarin and lemon. It smells exactly like a sunny spring day in Paris.  Ahead, we’ve picked the best rose perfumes that are bound to get you compliments—you can thank us later.

Among beauty editors, this is considered as one of the modern classics of rose perfumes. Every 100ml bottle contains 400 Turkish rose flowers, which give this scent its intoxicatingly beautiful rose scent. The spicy notes of patchouli, sandalwood and frankincense give it a spicy edge that will have strangers asking you what you’re wearing.

Who What Wear’s affiliate editor Emily Dawes got me on to Bon Parfumeur’s incredible fragrances, which smell far more expensive than their price tags suggest. This rose is balanced with creamy lily of the valley and earthy patchouli. 

This chypre scent is utterly divine. It smells like an expensive bouquet of flowers but is tempered with patchouli and has serious staying power on the skin. Expect compliments to roll in.

Chanel’s latest addition to its Les Eaux range smells just like a sunny springtime day in Paris. It has zingy notes of lemon and mandarin, which dry down into Damask rose and woody patchouli. 

The entire Who What Wear team adores Le Labo’s scents, and this rose offering from the brand is no exception. It has an unexpected earthiness with cumin and cedar, which give it a warm and comforting mood with velvety Centifolia rose.

When this fragrance first launched, it sold out almost instantly, and I can totally see why. Grapefruit and zesty yuzu open the scent before drying down into tart rhubarb leaf and vibrant rose. 

This rose scent from Byredo is divine. It has warm notes of ambrette and musk, which balance beautifully with the rose notes.

There are some people who just have a mysterious vibe about them. They’re very sweet on the surface, but underneath, there’s something a bit darker going on, something that’s hard to define. That’s exactly what this perfume feels like. On first spritz, it smells exactly like a sparkling rose lemonade before giving way to a sensual hit of deep spice and woods. It’s the olfactory equivalent of “to be continued.” 

This bright take on a rose perfume is the ultimate antidote to dreary days. It’s vibrant and springlike and reminds me of carefree days in my childhood spent frolicking around my grandparents’ garden. We honestly get so few opportunities to frolic as adults, so this damask rose mixed with fruity cassis, tangerine and a dash of comforting vanilla is a wonderful alternative. If you’ve been anti-rose, this is the one that’ll change your mind.

While it may not smell like Turkish delight, it somehow manages to capture the plump, pillowy bounciness of a Turkish delight, as it’s so full and well-rounded. There are three variations of rose packed into the bottle, creating a scent that’s as spicy as it is sweet with notes of turmeric and Sichuan pepper that ensure it doesn’t stray too far into dessert-like territory. This assumption-breaking scent is beyond anything you thought a rose perfume would be in the best possible way. 

When the Secret Intelligence Service realises its mistake in not recruiting me earlier, this is what I’ll be wearing in our clandestine meeting at midnight. It basically smells like a smoke-tainted leather jacket that’s been stored with a rose and patchouli drawer freshener. It’s incredibly dark and woody, and whenever I wear it, I find myself playing a game of “guess what’s in it” when people ask about it. 

This is guaranteed to bring a smile to your lips and maybe even a self-hug. Rose is the star of the show and meets up with a bright and sunshine-filled blend of tangerine and blackberry. There’s no better scent for pairing with a floral-print dress and a springtime walk around a botanical garden. 

So apparently, it’s possible to bottle an entire rose. The rich, earthy soil, green stems, fragrant petals, and the wood from the trees nearby… You can smell it all. I find myself reaching for this complex scent when I’m lazing around the house, about to head to bed, going out, and anything in between. This modern ode to the rose is such a rarity, as there’s something in here to delight everyone. 

If you want a rose in its purest form, this is exactly it. It’s simple, fresh, delicate, and pretty fruity. In my daydreams about spending my days writing on a Parisian balcony wearing red lipstick and a crisp white shirt, this is what my signature scent would be. Elegant and uncomplicated is such a mood, and this fragrance is all you need to get there.

This perfume is water based, and it’s rather fancy. When I went to Marrakech, all I wanted to do was bring home the divine spicy aroma that can be found in the souks and medinas. Luckily for me, that’s exactly what’s been bottled here, and it’s surprisingly spot-on. Rose, saffron and oud instantly grab your attention before the perfume dries down into warming amber and vanilla. It’s a scented treat for the senses without racking up the air miles. 

If you find rose perfumes to be too intense, this refreshing take on the classic prioritises gentleness. The light fragrance is everything you want from a fruity floral that lingers on the skin and gets even better as it wears. It’s honestly like scented air, and you’ll want to stay in it all day.

Both clean and peppery, this reminds me of coming home to a freshly cleaned apartment and the gratitude of a bouquet of white roses decorating your coffee table. Paired with the scent of lemon drop sweets, this is a zesty way to add some rose to your life. 

There had to be an unapologetic powerhouse red rose on here, and this is the best one around. For the scent of rose in its purest form, you can’t beat this. It brings to mind every single word, image and memory associated with roses, and it’s an absolute classic. I like layering this with an intense wood or oud perfume to add some softness. 

Up Next, I’m a Perfume Snob, But These High-Street Fragrances Smell So Expensive

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