Frederic Malle Une Rose fragrance review

orange rose

Continuing with this week's rose theme (see Lancome Mille et Une Roses and Bond no. 9 West Side & Bryant Park), today we have Une Rose from Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums, an entirely different sort of rose, far from the quiet elegance of the Lancome or the stylish modernity of the Bonds. Une Rose was created by Edouard Fléchier, a perfumer best known for Christian Dior Poison, and includes notes of geranium, blue camomile, wine dregs, Turkish rose absolute, and truffle accord (patchouly accord, vetiver and castoreum absolute).

The Frederic Malle website describes Une Rose as "the intoxicating, earthy aroma of a garden rose pulled from the ground with its roots", but that only just begins to prepare you for the experience. The top notes are innocent enough: a lovely fresh rose, balanced by the geranium but still very dewy and bright. As it dries down, it is joined by a hint of chamomile, which I recognize only because I drink chamomile tea on occasion. The chamomile and geranium give the early stages a carefree, outdoors-on-a-summer-day feel, far from the dozen long stemmed roses in a box that so many rose perfumes call to mind.

Une Rose takes its time in developing on the skin, and if you stop paying attention for a time, the next sniff might surprise you: there are the wine dregs, there is the damp earth, there is something meaty and thick that might be truffles, I suppose. The rose is still there, and still quite true — the rose never takes on the over-ripe aspect that it does in many "sexy" rose perfumes — and it still feels like the outdoors more than a hothouse, but the lighthearted aspect of the opening is entirely gone, and has been replaced with something much deeper and richer.

The longer it is on skin, the meatier and earthier and more animalic it gets, and the lasting power is excellent, so you are in for a long ride if you are fooled in the beginning into applying too much. It is often described as dark, but I do not find it so, although you wouldn't call the dry down bright. The wine notes accent the sweetness of the rose, but not much, it is more dry than not. Beautiful, yes, and sexy (very), but not a pretty rose in the conventional sense, and it has little in common with its sister in the Frederic Malle line, Lipstick Rose.

Frederic Malle Une Rose

Une Rose is available in 50 and 100 ml bottles, or in 3-packs of 10 ml travel sprays. It is also sold in the new body butter (Buerre Exquis). For buying information, see the listing for Frederic Malle under Perfume Houses.

Note: top image is rose [cropped] by kuchingboy at flickr; some rights reserved.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Ooooo, I love this one- it is the one I most regret not buying from FM. (Although that line is just something – there are many I could happily purchase.) I find it quite dark, actually, and need to be in the mood to wear it, but I love the winey aspect. That body butter calls my name, too, but I'm covering my ears lalalalalalala…..

  2. Anonymous says:

    You are not alone — most people describe it as dark. I'd call it dirty, but not dark ;-)

    And resolutely refusing to try those body butters, since they are supposedly fabulous, but out of this world expensive!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I definitely get the roots and the earth and the darkness. It was quite harsh on me last time I tried it, but I have to sample it again.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Une Rose started off all shiny-cheeked and innocent …'Look what a good little rose scent I am!'…and then turned into yesterday's Chianti on me when my back was turned. 'Wine dregs' suggested something kind of yeasty and fruity, but I wasn't expecting it to be quite so alcoholic. This, like Voleur de Roses, is one I wouldn't wear to the office for fear of arousing suspicions I'm a closet drinker. And I got the mushroom, too. OK, truffle if you must…but it was mushroom on me. Certainly not a cosy scent, nor a predictable one, but fascinating.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I don't find it harsh, exactly, but more than one spray and I feel like I'm overpowered by the earthiness in the dry down.

  6. Anonymous says:

    No, not cozy at all, is it? But Voleur is a bit too much for me — it has a way of sticking in the back of my throat — Une Rose is just right.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have to say that I am really enjoying this rose theme!

    Excellent and accurate review of Une Rose. It is *too* earthy and winey for my skin, unfortunately, although I do admire it. I'm just more of a Lipstick Rose woman. :)

  8. Anonymous says:

    I too get mushrooms in the drydown. Love it. Mainly roses, chamomile and mushrooms. The first time I tried this was just a little dab from a tester vial, then off to work. Boy did I feel self conscious – it is very powerful stuff – a little goes a long way and it certainly isn't something I would wear to work. I don't find it dark either Robin.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I thought it was the most wonderful, fresh, dewy thing. A perfect, pure rose.
    Then one day I sprayed it on too heavily on the way out the door and I've not been able to face it since. The fragrance equivalent of getting sick on margaritas and never wanting to see tequila again. It was just terrible.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The “pulled from the ground with its roots” aspect makes me think that it's the rosy equivalent of Jardenia. I'll have to try and see.

  11. Anonymous says:

    And Lipstick Rose is “too too” for me, although I think of Drole de Rose as an easier to take version of the same thing (?) Glad there are enough roses for all of us :-)

  12. Anonymous says:

    It isn't a work fragrance, is it? Glad someone else agrees it isn't dark.

  13. Anonymous says:

    LOL…you know, I always got over it and went back to tequila eventually ;-)

  14. Anonymous says:

    Interesting…going on memory, I'd say it is considerably earthier & less sweet than Jardenia, but I've never had a sample of Jardenia so have only tried it in person at BG. Will be curious to hear what you think.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I found an Arabic perfume oil which is a very earthy and carnal rose scent, and like Une Rose, it becomes very earthy and animalic. It's the Gypsy's Flamenco and not the Rose Garden Romance variety nor the young and vibrant as YSL's Paris nor the sophistication of Patou's Joy. Spicy from the start, then develops to a rose that's fleshy, earthy, sultry, then to a rose that's green and serene. I guess you could call it dark too, as in mysterious, but not dark as in forlorn or funereal.

    Here's the notes:

    TOP: Rose, Saffron, Geranium

    HEART: Shamamatul Amber, Saffron, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Coriander

    BASE: Musk, Sandal, Amber, Cedarwood, Agarwood

    The rose at the top seems deceptive, as it really carries itself all the way down to the base, from one carnal bed of delights to the other (that's one interpretation, I guess, hehe). The notes at each phase of the pyramid just does something to keep the rose expressive, but won't upstage the rose note. The real plus to it is that it's all natural, no traces of that synthetic cold cream note. Glad I experienced this one.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Love the notes, and love rose blended with agarwood. Who makes it?

  17. Anonymous says:

    It's called Muna by Swiss Arabian Perfumes. Such a pure, obsessive, wild beauty about it.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I have a nice sample of this that I just got yesterday. It is a deep rose scent, but I like it a lot. Smells quite seductive, not for the faint of heart who's expecting a virginal rose scent. Luckily, I am a fan of most rose scents!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Glad you're liking it…it is one of my favorite roses, although I don't wear it often.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone been overwhelmed by the geranium note in this one? I just can't get past it — which is a shame, because I love the voluptuousness of the rose and the heady richness of the earthy, truffle-y base notes. It really screeches and it's driving me CRAZY!! I want to love this one.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I didn't find it that strong, but it isn't a note I dislike so it wouldn't be likely to bother me in any case :-)

  22. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, Robin. Just found your reply. *Post comment* doesn't work at work! I know what you mean about Lipstick Rose and that Too Too element. Fortunately for me, it's Too But Not Too Too!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, R., I meant ticking the box that allows me to receive comment notifications.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Ah, gotcha. And LR is very popular, so it's just me ;-)

  25. Anonymous says:


  26. Anonymous says:

    Unbelievable. I smelled the wine dregs, truffle, and also found that it had a very strong incense note to it too, which made it all the more interesting. I am in love. In a fit of recklessness, I may actually buy a bottle of this.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Isn't it gorgeous? One more reasonably-priced way to get it is to find 2 others to split the travel spray 3-pack.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Haha, I put on Une Rose this morning and walked into my kitchen in search of cereal. My roommate then walked to the kitchen, stopped short, and started sniffing the air. She told me she smelled alcohol, and sniffed all around to try to figure out where she was smelling the wine. I didn't let on, mainly because she's not a perfumista, and would therefore think I'm crazy for wearing a scent that smells like wine. I just stood there and repressed laughter. That was my funny Une Rose incident of the day- I didn't realize the wine dregs were such a strong note!

    I thought you guys would like that one.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Hi iMav, how do you get hold of this perfume oil? I did an internet search, but I can't find anywhere to actually buy this.

    I am intrigued.

  30. Anonymous says:

    LOL — they will figure you out eventually! And then you might have to share your Une Rose :-)

  31. Anonymous says:

    Haha, perhaps it's better if they do… I don't want people to think I'm a closet drinker. :P

    I have to say though, that alcohol notes or not, this is one of my favorite perfumes to date. I'm going to have to buy a real bottle of this (I'm still sparingly using up a sample).

  32. Anonymous says:

    I've searched everywhere for this perfume oil online, but no luck. Any ideas?

  33. Anonymous says:

    I've no idea, but they have contact information on their website

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