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Rose Absolue - New Year surprise (January 7, 2011 New Fragrance Listing) photo -Paris Roses

I always feel kinda blue in the first week or so of the New Year. Let’s face it, the run-up to Christmas is a lot of hard work, then there’s the cooking and the entertaining, not to mention all the emotional bits floating around in the pine-scented air which you invariably bump into. It’s exhausting. 

To restore my sanity and my strength I take some time to do things I love, like lying on the sofa and reading my Christmas books, taking the dog for an unexpected walk, and my favourite thing....searching out new perfumes. And buying some.   

Gwen’s blog on Rose de Nuit got me going on rose scents, so yesterday I bought Rose Absolue from Yves Rocher, forking over a modest amount of money for a pretty terrific perfume. Yves Rocher is a French mass-market skin care brand which has been around for years, whose focus is on good products made with botanical materials sold at reasonable prices, and they’ve never deviated from this strategy. Fragrances have always been part of their product line, but I’ve been underwhelmed by most of them – until now.  

Part of the more upscale Spirits d’Essences range introduced over the past few years, Rose Absolue is exactly what the name says – rose. The notes are cinnamon, apple, Turkish, Bulgarian and Morrocan rose, cedar, patchouli and tonka bean, but don’t let this list mislead you - it comes through the dry-down as a soliflore, and an extremely good one.

The opening notes have a just a hint of cinnamon and lemon, not apple, which I find a really unique and unexpected combo, but which quickly unveils the rose - spicy, blossomy and green as only a rose can smell. It’s light and fresh, like walking through a rose bower, and as the scent dries down after 15 minutes, the freshness warms up and thickens a little from the vanillic tonka and cedar mix, which amps up the spiciness and adds a nice woody note. In the dry-down, a subdued patchouli keeps the sweetness in check, and makes an earthy bed for the rose petals to settle on. 

Rose Absolue is a true, clear rose, and it’s an elegant, casual and modern take on a perfume standard that should be in every perfumistas wardrobe. Created by Christine Nagel, exceedingly well-blended and made from quality materials, it avoids the sugary, fruity “gag-me-with-a-spoon” sweetness of most contemporary florals and has an authenticity that shines through from the start. The scent develops perfectly and the lasting power is excellent, something you expect from a well-made fragrance.

If you’ve resisted rose scents because you think they’re old-fashioned, or too sweet, too heavy or just “too much” for you, try Rose Absolue. You’ll be surprised at how good it is – I know I was - and it’s a great introduction to more expensive niche-type perfume at a great price, since Yves Rocher sells the EdP in 5 ml. tester sizes, and the price of a 50 ml. bottle is under $70.

You'll banish those New Year blues at the same time. 


Rose Absolue is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00 for 1ml.