Trust Me: This Chic French Fragrance Will Earn You Endless Compliments

When you think of rose perfumes, you probably associate them with the traditional floral fragrances worn by your grandmother. Cloying, overbearing, stuffy—and actually quite unlike the sweet, fresh scent you experience when surrounded by fresh-cut roses. Whilst many established (and indeed, iconic) fragrances revolve around it, rose has long since been a note that I've avoided and eschewed in favour of brighter green scents or trendy woody and musky ones. 

However, I was recently introduced to a new fragrance which totally took me by surprise and made me rethink everything I thought I knew about rose. I am rarely surprised by a perfume—my career as a beauty editor has taught me how to decipher ingredient lists, and so I'm able to look at a lineup of fragrance notes and make an educated guess as to how the scent will come together.

I fully expected to take one sniff of Tom Ford's Rose Prick and pass it on to my mum, but on this occasion, she wasn't so lucky. What struck me was the fact that, despite its name, the rose in this fragrance didn't overwhelm at all, and actually felt like it was taking a back seat to the warmer, spicier notes that I was greeted with. Further investigation revealed that rose is a heart note in this scent, and that pepper and turmeric sit at the top.

The base notes of patchouli and tonka bean are much more subtle, but give the scent an impressive longevity. Altogether, Rose Prick presents rose in a totally unique and truly refreshing way, and I've not stopped wearing it since.


(Image credit: @THATGRACEGIRL)

My experience not only totally humbled me, but has, over the past six months, led me on a mission to rediscover rose. I've learnt that the note really is undergoing a modern-day revival, in an attempt to banish its old-school, fuddy-duddy connotations. Unlike traditional rose fragrances with which a top note of rose seems to overpower all others, in modern rose scents, the flower plays a supporting role.

Rose works well with citrus notes for a light and fresh summer fragrance, or it can create a sultry, sexy vibe when combined with musk or oud. My favourite rose combinations, I've realised, are those which pair it with sweet, fruity notes; resulting in rich, jammy scents.

Ahead, I've picked out the best rose perfumes that are not only fresh, fun, and modern, but also bound to get you compliments. You can thank me later.

The Best Rose Perfumes:

1. Tom Ford Rose Prick

2. Boy Smells Rose Load

3. Obvious Une Rose

4. D.S. & Durga Rose Atlantic

5. BDK Tabac Rose

6. Maison Francis Kurkdjian L'Homme À La Rose

7. Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin

8. Maison Margiela Replica On A Date

9. Frédéric Malle Portrait of A Lady

10. Penhaligon's Portraits The Coveted Duchess Rose

11. Chanel Paris-Paris

12. le Labo Rose 31

13. Molton Brown Delicious Rhubarb & Rose

14. Byredo Young Rose

15. Tom Ford Café Rose

16. Diptyque Eau Rose

17. Jo Loves White Rose & Lemon Leaves

18. Jo Malone Red Roses

19. L'Objet Rose Noire

20. Who is Elijah Rebel Rose

Next Up: I Asked Editors to Share Their Best Beauty Product of 2023—Here's Our List

Giselle La Pompe-Moore
With contributions from