Paestum Rose by Eau d’Italie ~ perfume review

Eau d'Italie Paestum Rose fragrance

Paestum Rose is the second fragrance release from Eau d'Italie. Described as a "contemporary take on the legendary origins of Italian perfume making", it takes as its inspiration the roses of Paestum (for background, see here).

Like Eau d'Italie's eponymous fragrance release of last year, Paestum Rose was created by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour and is designated as a unisex scent. The notes include davana, cinnamon, black pepper, pink pepper, coriander, black currant buds, Turkish rose, peony, incense, osmanthus, elemi, tea, papyrus, benzoin, myrrh, opoponax, vetiver, patchouli, cedar, wenge wood, amber and white musk.

Paestum Rose starts with a rush of peppery spices, but it quickly settles into a softer blend, with the black currant adding a touch of sweetness. The florals come on slowly, and like the spices, they are soft: the rose is the main player, but it is used here with a light touch, and the peony and osmanthus are but mere whispers. From the list of notes, one might expect a dark, heavy oriental base, but the reality is something quite different: a subtle mix of incense, resins and woods, more cloudy than dark, and not in the least heavy.

It reminds me vaguely of another Bertrand Duchaufour fragrance with similar base notes, L'Artisan Timbuktu, but Paestum Rose is a brighter, more wearable scent, with less of the "sweaty earth" notes that make Timbuktu, as much as I love it, rather difficult to wear on a hot day. Like Timbuktu, it is more dry than sweet, but unlike Timbuktu, which to my nose tips the scales towards masculine, Paestum Rose smells like a true unisex. Highly recommended.

For buying information, see the listing for Eau d'Italie under Perfume Houses.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I just LOVED this one! You captured it perfectly — it is both unusual and extremely wearable, and I find the incense/resin/wood/rose combo stunning — actually, I probably couldn't identify the “rose” as such without knowing to look for it, it is in the background. I have even been wearing it in the heat.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Happily the heat is not so bad here this week, but yes, you could wear it in almost any weather. This is yet another scent that I wish came in a smaller size. I can't bring myself to buy 100 ml of anything these days.

  3. Anonymous says:


    so it seems there is another one on my “to-try-list” – sigh! We were talking about Bertrand recently regarding the new L'Artisan perfume Dzongkha and how much I like Piment and Poivre. Seems you have seduced me to try a rose perfume (oh miracle)! But what's the motto of every perfume-addict? Never say never…



  4. Anonymous says:

    I am either going mad or it doesn't let me Post a Comment, only Reply to a Comment. Hmm. Anyway…I liked this one too, very much. It's just the way I roses, not too soliflorish, but made intersting by all sorts of other notes :-)

  5. Anonymous says:

    A, Paestum Rose is not so heavy on the rose to bother someone who doesn't care for rose perfumes. Do try it!

    And Dzongkha also has some of these same notes. I got a chance to smell it briefly on a card, and although I only got a vague impression, I think I am going to want a bottle. Bertrand Duchaufour is moving up on my list of favorite noses :-)

  6. Anonymous says:

    M, several people have reported that to me, but it seemed to start while I was on vacation and so I haven't done anything about it yet, sorry!! Will report it today.

    And I do like soliflore roses in theory but never wear them, so will have to agree!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hah — yeah, gazing into the sample drawer, I think my ideal bottle size keeps shrinking — how about 15 or 20 ml? 30 max.

    Can you share any further impressions of Dzongkha (I know I just spelled that wrong!) It is my biggest hope for this fall…

  8. Anonymous says:

    I liked this a lot, but I have a number of dark and darkish roses, and I can't decide if this one is unusual enough to warrant a FB. Your wonderful review is leaning me towards “yes”–but I'd like to smell Dzongkha first, since I'm trying to put a cap on my spending (HA!)

  9. Anonymous says:

    M, only just hardly…it was a no longer new scent strip, so at most I smelled the base notes. All I can say is that it smelled good. It is my biggest hope for fall too!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I do hope Dzongkha at least will come in a 50 ml size! I am also trying not to spend too much, but even more, am trying not to end up with gallons of unused perfume.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh yeah! Who need 100ml bottles or the 250ml mega-monster splash bottles? ;-)

    I,m really waiting impatiently for my delivery from ALZD (or FIF) with the Dzongkha sample… Now I need an inspiration where I get a sample of Paestum Rose ;-)

  12. Anonymous says:

    Lucky you, I'm still waiting for the Dzongkha to hit the US…too cheap to have a sample shipped overseas.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I got a sample of this today in the mail, along with a few L'Artisans. I put it on my ankle (I'm out of space on my arms and am flexible enough to be able to sniff the spot, which is probably more information than you wanted) and am not so happy. It smells quite sour on me. It's not bright-citrus sour; it smells strangely like buttermilk. I'm thinking this isn't gonna work on my skin. There is rose in there, and an earthy note that I'm not well-versed enough to correctly identify.

    Overall, I'm really disappointed. However, I really liked The pour un ete and a sniff in the vial makes me think I'll enjoy Tea for Two. And they were free from luckyscent with my purchase of Dzongkha ( SO HAPPY! x3) so I guess I can't really complain. I guess this is just another one to add to my list when I finally get up the nerve to attempt swapping.

  14. Anonymous says:

    You know, “sour” was how I felt about Timbuktu (also Bertrand Duchaufour) the first few times I tried it. There is definitely a common thread in the base notes. I just grew to love it. Ah well, you love Dzongkha and that will eat plenty of your $$ :-)

  15. Anonymous says:

    I guess I'm lucky; I got a sample of Timbuktu as well and it turned out nicely on me. Nothing sour, just strong spices. It's not I'm-gonna-need-a-whole-bottle nice, but I'll probably use the whole sample. Gawd, I'm gonna have to start limiting my fragrance purchases; this habit is getting quite expensive. D=

  16. Anonymous says:

    Yes – I love this too and I have been wearing it in the heat, I agree you can wear it any weather. I also would like to add that it reminds me a little of Comme de Garcon KYOTO – I had bought it for my man and I love it so much, it is no longer available, so I sought to get something like it – and I found this! its more feminine on my skin and i can certainly smell the “rose” – even hours later.

  17. Anonymous says:

    You know Kyoto is still made, right? Don't know if that means you can buy it near you, but it is still made.

  18. Blimunda says:

    i’m very disappointed as Liberty’s no longer carries this line. I showed-up on their doorstep last week, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, chirpily asked where they were and……NADA! No more! Discontinued! I’ve had to order samples from TPC. (luckily the exchange rate seems to be tipping back in our favour, so i’m not complaining.)
    Liberty’s is my favourite place to test scent. They have L’Artisan, Le Labo, Frederic Malle, Piguet, Goutal, Mecheri, and lots more that i cannot bring to mind immediately. Very, very cool.
    Can;t wait to try Paestum Rose (I also ordered Bois D’Ombrie, which sounds luscious).

    • Robin says:

      Oh, what a shame! Sorry you had to pay to get your hands on PR, hope you like it after all that.

      • Blimunda says:

        Thanks Robin. I absolutely loved it. A truly gorgeous rose scent. Funny, but even though I love most floral scents I choose to sample, I have never been moved enough to purchase one other than Ta’if. I don’t think Ta’if is more beautiful than Paestum or Une Rose, for example, but for some reason it just enraptured me that little touch extra. However, I am STILL waiting until I have enough money to sample Tubereuse Criminelle! I love Tuberose, but Fracas is too sweet for me and Carnal Flower was not interesting enough for me. I ordered Criminelle from TPC once but they had run out so refunded me. By the time they got it back, I was too broke to afford a sample! And still am! Ach! One day……..

        • Robin says:

          So glad you loved it. And I’m still praying that either Tubereuse Criminelle or Iris Silver Mist is the limited edition export next year — they’re both such wonderful fragrances, and it would be nice to make them easy to sample/buy.

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