As recently as a year or so ago, the thought of rose perfume immediately made my nose wrinkle. Bags of potpourri, heady bouquets of red roses, and, sorry, my dear Grandma Evelyn's powdery-pink cardigans came to mind. Of course, all of the above are lovely and nostalgic in their own special ways, but the sampling isn't exactly what I'm going for when I'm searching for a new signature scent or when I'm reaching for a perfume pre-date. But then, something weird happened. Suddenly, almost every new fragrance launch I received featured rose as its MVP hitter (or a very dependable outfielder), and I found that I liked each new fragrance better than the last.
So, long story short, I'm now infatuated with rose perfumes, and in addition to rediscovering the cult classics that definitely aren't old-fashioned, plenty of the most coveted perfume houses have been debuting new iterations of the floral scent. Some are balanced with citrus or juicy stone fruits, while others veer warm and spicy thanks to musks, pepper, or vanilla. Regardless, some of the absolute best perfumes on the market right now play rose front and center as their compliment-inducing It factor. There are plenty more where this comes from, but below, I'm sharing 13 standout rose perfumes that absolutely disprove the notion that rose is old-fashioned or reserved for grandparents only. Keep scrolling!
Key fragrance notes: Grasse rose absolute, Damascus rose, Italian mandarin, white musk accord
I get sick of fragrances exceedingly fast, but this new featherlight rose perfume from Dior has held my attention since it first launch. It's classic and rosy, but thanks to the subtle tang of mandarin, doesn't feel stuffy or outdated.
Key fragrance notes: Sicilian bergamot, cassis, hyacinth, freesia, ylang-ylang, lily of the valley, rose, lacewood, violet musk, Sulawesi patchouli
The first time I smelled this new perfume, I was sitting opposite the iconic creator (Monique Lhuillier) at one of West Hollywood's most exclusive clubs. And this stunning, well-rounded floral scent fit right in. It's sophisticated and sweet but not too sweet. I'm of the opinion that even people who don't typically identify as the floral-fragrance type will find this perfume divine and exceedingly wearable.
If you're looking for a stunning rose number that's also clean, this lovely perfume is my best recommendation. The best words I can find to describe it are rich and dewy—not all old-fashioned or powdery like so many other rose perfumes on the market. The brand describes the scent as similar to dipping into a warm bath filled with rose petals, and I agree.
Key fragrance notes: mandarin, musk, violet, rose absolute, peony, lily of the valley
Velvety, vibrant, and soft, this highly rated perfume from legendary perfume house Acqua di Parma is one of the best options out there if you're looking for a well-balanced scent that still drips with the distinctive smell of rose. It's basically an Italian oasis, bottled.
Key fragrance notes: freesia, rose from Grasse, cedarwood
Designed to evoke the floral and bustling scene of a Parisian flower market, this luxurious rose perfume is far from your Grandma's signature scent. It's sweet, fresh, and delicate, wrapped into one very artful bouquet.
Key fragrance notes: pink pepper, Turkish rose petals, raspberry blossom, Turkish rose absolute, papyrus, white amber
Compared to other iconic perfume brands like Chanel and Dior, Byredo is a relative newcomer. Therefore, the fact that this signature rose perfume is one of the most highly coveted perfumes (rose and otherwise!) is telling as to how truly delectable and special it is. It's the kind of scent that racks in the compliments. (So prepare yourself.)
Key fragrance notes: lychee accord, Damascene rose oil, peony accord, centifolia rose absolute, musks
Prepare yourself because this delicious rose scent from Maison Francis Kurkdjian— it's in a league of its own. Not only does it feel like a sparkling accessory in its own right due to how pretty it smells, but each bottle is made from 400 freshly bloomed roses.
Key fragrance notes: orange, patchouli, Turkish rose
If you're a fan of warm, earthy notes like patchouli but want something that still feels light and floral, then famed Chanel perfume Coco Mademoiselle will probably be your poison of choice. The mix of delicate rose and jasmine is brought to life with vibrant hits of orange and patchouli to create a robust and memorable scent. It's lively while still chic and sophisticated.
Key fragrance notes: rose damascena, rose centifolia, Litchi accord, ambroxan
Prepare yourself because this is a limited-edition rose-heavy perfume from one of our favorite fragrance brands, Diptyque. As it states on its website, "Eau Rose is composed like an infusion of the finest damascena and centifolia roses."
Key fragrance notes: pink grapefruit, pink pepper, peach juice accord, rose water, Bulgarian rose, petalia, suede accord, white cedarwood, sandalwood
Spicy perfume lovers, take note. This rose perfume is right up your alley and so devilishly (see what I did there?) intoxicating. Unlike so many rose perfumes that are very straight forward, this one has twists and turns thanks to suede, grapefruit, and peach. Delicate but unexpected. Trust us. You'll get questions!
Any fragrance from Frédéric Malle is a work of art, but Lipstick Rose is known as one of the best and well-known perfumes within the industry, and it's a best seller within the Malle house. Created by master perfumer Ralf Schwieger, it's inspired by Old Hollywood glamour and, according to the brand, representative of a star’s moment of privacy at her dressing table with her lipstick.
Meet one of my all-time favorite perfumes. Yes, rose is a main player in the magic it creates, but it's also not the first note people will pick up on, which makes it all the more exciting and mysterious.