Je vois la vie en rose
It’s nearly impossible to beat the romantic appeal of roses. They’re the ultimate symbol of love and affection, and even though it may be cliché, everyone loves getting roses. In keeping with that, rose scents are among the easiest to give as a gift. They’re also a more unique option than a classic bouquet of flowers.
The floral note transcends generations and is versatile enough that a spectrum of other notes can complement it. And while the best rose perfumes might be most associated with the spring and summer seasons, they actually work well year round.
What is Rose Perfume?
Rose perfume is both intense and delicate, made with essential rose oils extracted from the rose’s fragrant petals. The most common rose fragrances use Turkish rose, Damascene rose, or the south of France’s Rosa Centifolia, and most perfumers consider rose the most important flower in perfumery.
In fact, three out of four fragrances that define themselves as “feminine” contain notes of rose. Yet even though modern rose scents are widely popular, their story is ancient. According to legend, when Cleopatra lured Mark Antony to her bedroom, her bed and floor were covered with the scent of freshly picked rose petals.
For more on this very special note, see our list of the 10 best rose perfumes of all time below.
When it comes to fragrances, Hermes is a favorite in the luxury space and is one of the best rose perfumes on the shelf. Rose Amazone is a fruity take on a rose scent that’s fresh and bursting with energy.
If you’re having a low moment, lightly spray it all over, take a deep breath, and watch your worries drift to arm’s length. This is a classic scent where notes like grapefruit, lemon, and Mandarin orange complement the rose, while hints of red currant and black current leaf add dimension.
Recommended related fragrances: Juicy Couture By Juicy Couture, Pink Sugar By Aquolina, Ariana Grande Cloud By Ariana Grande
This rose-smelling perfume from Issey Miyake is a fairly recent launch, but it has quickly become one of the brand’s most popular scents. The sweet juice delights with raspberry, pear, and Bulgarian rose.
Those sugary notes are perfectly balanced by woody and soft/spicy cashmere wood, amber, and patchouli. This is one of the best rose perfumes to use as a date night fragrance for women of any age.
Recommended related fragrances: L’eau D’issey Florale By Issey Miyake , Light Blue By Dolce & Gabbana, Bright Crystal By Versace
There’s no piece of luxe jewelry more en vogue at the moment than the Bvlgari Serpenti watch. We’re not quite sure what prompted the return in popularity of this classic design, but we do know it’s out of reach for most consumers because of its exorbitant price tag.
The next best thing? Bvlgari’s best rose scent perfume! Splendida Rose Rose (so good they named it twice!) is a beautiful blend of rose with citrus and woody notes (think musk, patchouli, sandalwood, and vetiver). Those deeper notes give this scent a sexyness that makes it a great after-dark option whether you’re going on a date night or dancing with friends.
Recommended related fragrances: La Vie Est Belle By Lancome, Alien by Thierry Mugler, Versace Pour Femme Dylan Blue
Obviously if Tom Ford does a rose scent, it’s not your run-of-the-mill frilly rose women’s perfume. Café Rose is an indulgent, seductive, dark, and decidedly modern take on rose fragrances. It’s one of the best rose perfumes for a blind date or an evening in front of a roaring fire.
It has smoky, woody, warm and spicy accents, but also floral and fresh ones, making it as great for a woman as it is for a man. Be forewarned, though, that the sillage isn’t as strong with Café Rose as you might expect from a Tom Ford scent.
Recommended related fragrances: Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge By Tom Ford, Narciso Rodriguez By Narciso Rodriguez, The One By Dolce & Gabbana
If you’re a fan of layering scents, this Jo Malone rose fragrance is a fantastic option. Red Roses works beautifully day-to-night in the summer or spring. When the weather is cooler, you can easily layer it with something a bit heavier.
This is also a great option for anyone looking for a classic rose scent. It’s pure romanticism with very few notes clouding the pure Bulgarian rose. If you want to smell like a bouquet of roses — or you’re looking for an alternative to a bouquet as a gift — it’s hard to beat this wonderful perfume.
Recommended related fragrances: Paloma Picasso By Paloma Picasso, L’air Du Temps By Nina Ricci, Cabotine By Parfums Gres
Miss Dior Rose N’roses is an intoxicating scent launched very recently in 2020, but many women already say it has become their signature scent. This is a perfect choice for a teenager because it’s appropriate both in school and year round. It’s also one of those rare scents that will grow with the woman who wears it.
Rose notes dominate here with both Grasse rose and Damask rose. That said, don’t be afraid as the rose notes are so well blended with a woody and fruity backbone. There’s nothing the least bit offensive here, which is why it’s among the best rose perfumes no matter where your day or night takes you.
Recommended related fragrances: Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet by Christian Dior, Versace Eros By Versace, Versace Yellow Diamond By Versace
This fairly recent Gucci launch isn’t as complex as many of the brand’s other scents. But that’s not to say it’s boring — far from it! The Bulgarian rose is mixed with musk and other woody notes for a sexy take on a classic feminie scent.
There’s a very Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde duality here. The notes of rose aren’t the most long-lasting, but it’s nonetheless a wonderful after-dark, year-round option. Just keep a small flacon in your purse to re-spray as needed!
Recommended related fragrances: Chance Eau Tendre By Chanel, Coco Mademoiselle By Chanel, Euphoria By Calvin Klein
If you’re in the market for a rose scent perfume with hints of citrus, Infusion De Rose is a spot-on selection that works beautifully from day-to-night in warmer months. This is a clean, natural-smelling floral that smells like real, blooming roses without being stereotypically sweet.
It’s also very long lasting with top-notch projection and longevity. That said, Infusion De Rose by Prada isn’t one of the best rose perfumes for the young or hip. It’s best suited for a “lady who lunches” or for formal occasions.
Recommended related fragrances: Light Blue By Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci Mémoire D’une Odeur, Prada Luna Rossa Carbon
This rose-smelling perfume screams “rose garden,” but with masculine undertones for a unique appeal. It’s a conversation-starting fragrance that isn’t in-your-face. While it has plenty of freshness, that’s balanced by intriguing pepperiness.
This is definitely a daytime scent with a hint of sexyness. Note that the masculine undertones make this Byredo favorite work just as well for a man as for a woman.
Recommended related fragrances: Gucci Bloom Nettare Di Fiori, Prada Infusion D’iris Cedre, Ange Ou Demon Le Secret Perfume by Givenchy
This aptly named rose scent perfume is a green (think ginger and mate tea) take on the rose. It doesn’t get much attention, so it’s possibly Valentino’s most under-appreciated scent. (The gorgeous bottle doesn’t hurt either.)
It’s beautifully blended, youthful, and wonderfully refreshing, making it one of the best rose perfumes for a hot summer day. If you’re wary of green accords, have no fear. The green notes here are bright and fresh instead of sharp.
Recommended related fragrances: Prada Infusion De Fleur D’oranger By Prada, First By Van Cleef & Arpels, L’air Du Temps By Nina Ricci
The Best Rose Perfumes – In Summary
Rose is a unique note that it can be a perfume on its own. It’s that exquisite. That said, while the best rose perfumes are often thought to be soft and feminine and commonly are, they aren’t exclusively so. If you’re looking for darker pleasures, you’ll find plenty to love in rose fragrances as well.
For more guides to the best perfumes from renowned brands, read on: