Harper’s Bazaar

The fragrance industry isn’t immune to the fickle nature of the trend cycle, but it’s true that fads are few and far between. Rose is one of perfumery’s most enduring notes and, while it never really fell out of fashion, this year it’s having quite the boom in popularity. From big names to niche operations, fragrance houses are returning to the flower’s romantic trail this season, and there’s a whole host of sublime scents to try.

Rose’s fail-safe reputation hasn’t always worked in its favour, and there’s undoubtedly a host of predictable blends out there. But a rose perfume doesn’t need to be a ‘safe’ move – in fact, the best options on the shelves are brimming with surprises. Choose from verdant, fresh scents that pick out the flower’s green stems, or fall for something deeper with a prick of pepper or carnal patchouli.

Here, we’ll help steer you to your perfect rose perfume, be it an uplifting everyday spritz or something sultry for special nights out.

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As crisp as a clinking glass of gin and tonic, this is rose in its most refreshing form. A hyper-real cucumber note floats above botanical juniper, creating something cool and aquatic that’s perfect for summer evenings. The striking class flacon – inspired by a cut-crystal glass – is refillable, too.

Dior
£136

Dior’s latest addition to the iconic Miss Dior fragrance family is a celebration of the May rose harvest in the Domaine de Manon. This refreshing, romance-filled spritz spotlights the exclusively distilled rose water with supporting green vetiver and leathery guaiac wood. The composition contains less alcohol than traditional perfumes, yet the trail is surprisingly strong.

Tom Ford’s latest Private Blend launch pays homage to rose with three unique scents inspired by different corners of the globe.

Our pick is Rose de Chine, which sets the sweet petals of Chinese peonies against the carnal depth of myrrh. The result is a perfectly balanced scent that’s neither flippantly girly nor overly heady.

Aqua Allegoria is Guerlain’s sustainability-focused perfume line, with each fragrance made from 95 per cent natural ingredients and housed in an infinitely refillable glass bottle.

Rosa Rossa is a youthful and romantic treatment of rose, with natural partners lychee and blackcurrant bringing out the flower’s sweeter side. Juicy and joy-inducing, this one makes a perfect daytime signature.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian

£95.00

A favourite among the most fragrance-obsessed, Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s A La Rose spotlights the sharp, green side of the flower: think delicate, dew-dampened petals, not full-bodied blooms. Light and sparkling, this is the best choice for anyone looking for a simple yet sublime daytime fragrance.

Narciso Rodriguez
lookfantastic.com

£52.00

A true comfort blanket of a fragrance, Narciso Rodriguez’ original Musc Noir is adored for its powder-soft trail. The addition of rose takes things to truly addictive territory: with warm petals and jammy plum, this is a very sophisticated take on femininity.

White Damask rose forms the centre of Bon Parfumeur’s crowd-pleasing (not to mention brilliantly priced) musky floral scent. Lily of the valley lends a luminous sparkle, while gentle spice comes via cardamom. Think comforting white cotton blended with a fresh bouquet, and you’re on the right track.

Pepper makes a great partner to rose, steering a scent away from powdery predictability and delivering a sharper twist. Byredo’s latest rose perfume – there are several in the collection – is its lightest and most modern yet, with Sichuan pepper and ambrette seed rounding off a verdant scent with bite.

Decorte’s Komono Tsuya is a crowd-pleasing scent, but that’s not to imply it leaves a forgettable trail. Rose, peony and magnolia create a rich, sweet bouquet that’s grounded by a comforting musky base.

Frederic Malle is the master of memorable florals, and Rose & Cuir is a firm favourite (it’s even Alexa Chung’s signature scent). Simple yet impactful, this is simply a divine combination of rose and leather, with a twist of blackcurrant for juicy sweetness.

White Rose & Lemon Leaves

Spot-on for summer, Jo Malone’s signature rose perfume is one of her most popular for good reason. The refreshing twist of lemon feels bright and uplifting, while the cedarwood in the base brings just the right amount of depth.

Diptyque’s classic Eau Rose would have been the obvious choice here – and indeed, it’s a beautiful, pure floral fragrance – but we favour the complex, musky blend of Eau Capitale: a love letter to Paris. Tricky to pin down (and sure to elicit compliments) this blend of bergamot, pink peppercorn and blooming florals somehow feels warm and spicy yet suitable for summer.

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