Yves Rocher Rose Absolue ~ fragrance review

Yves Rocher Rose Absolue fragrance

Voile d'Ambre, the first entry in Yves Rocher's Secrets D'Essences line, was so nicely done (even to this amber-hater) that I was tempted by their new Rose Absolue fragrance as soon as I heard about it. Adding to my "why I should buy Rose Absolue" list: it was developed by perfumer Christine Nagel, who also did the lovely 2000 et Une Rose / Mille et Une Roses for Lancome, and best of all, 5 ml miniatures of the Eau de Parfum can be had for $3.

When I purchased Rose Absolue last month, Yves Rocher was running a 2-for-1 special, so I got 10 ml for my $3 investment. I won't be at all surprised if that turns out to be the biggest perfume bargain I manage to score in 2007, as the fragrance itself turns out to be lovely. It starts out creamy and dewy-sweet, with a hint of spice (the notes: cinnamon, apple, Turkish, Bulgarian and Morrocan rose, cedar, patchouli and tonka bean). The rose is slightly fruity, but I don't smell apple, and it is just as well — I was a bit worried that with the apple and cinnamon, this might end up smelling like a rose-apple pie. Rose Absolue does have a bit of a gourmand feel, but it isn't overwhelmingly foody by any means, nor is it cloyingly sweet.

The dry down is woody, and has a warm, earthy-spicy buzz that wears well in cooler fall weather. It never gets truly dark or intense though, and while Rose Absolue is clearly about rose, it doesn't have the fussy, old-fashioned character that some find objectionable in a true rose soliflore. I would place it in the same camp as other modern roses like Stella McCartney's Stella, Bond no. 9's West Side or Bryant Park, or the Lancome Mille et Une Roses mentioned above. Rose Absolue isn't as elegant as the Lancome, and like the Stella, is more casual than sexy.

Yves Rocher Rose Absolue is available in Eau de Parfum (5 ml for $3; 50 ml currently marked down from $47 to $25 and they throw in a free necklace), Parfum (not in the US as of yet), Shower Gel & Body Lotion. The lasting power of the Eau de Parfum is about average.

If you spend any time at all on the Yves Rocher website, it quickly becomes clear that spending full price is crazy: another sale is undoubtedly right around the corner so you might as well wait.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    You meant “rose-apple clafoutis”, didn't you?

  2. Anonymous says:

    LOL — but of course!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hmphh. Those 'try me' sizes aren't available via the UK site. Is the shower gel a good indicator of the scent, I wonder? It's affordable, at £5.25!

  4. Anonymous says:

    They're not? That isn't fair! Do you have YR boutiques near you? I used to have one close by, but it closed :-(

    Sorry, didn't try the body stuff. Am tempted to get the lotion next time they run a 2-for-1.

  5. Anonymous says:

    How nice to see a rose review! I like Rose Absolue very much. I ordered it over the phone a few weeks ago (before the full bottles were available on the website) and got two 50mL bottles for the price of one, plus a full-size face cream, a set of mini lipsticks, and a travel cosmetics bag as free extras. Yves Rocher is great!

    Also, I'm wearing Mille et une Roses today. It's one of my favorites!

  6. Anonymous says:

    So… when is the last time you posted a Cheap Thrill? I wonder if, pretty soon, anything less than $75 ($100?) will fall into that category! A fragrance you like very much for $3 is cause for celebration. I think you should eat some chocolate. I'm having some Vosges in your honor.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wow, you got 100 ml very cheaply then, good for you! I was sort of shocked at how much free stuff YR threw in the box. Also got 2 bottles of the new Chocolate shower gel, but haven't had the chance to try it yet.

    Last I looked, Mille et Une Roses seemed to be gone from the Lancome site. Have a feeling its second run is now over, and we'll have to hope for a third.

  8. Anonymous says:

    HA — we started w/ $25 and under, and have sort of crept up to $30 and under. It ain't easy — I haven't posted a cheap perfume since June, though Angie & Kevin have done a few over the summer.

    And no eating Vosges unless you brought enough for everyone!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I've read that Lancome is planning on discontinuing their La Collection scents this year. In a fit of panic, I emailed them back in February to find out if Roses was on the chopping block. I was informed that there are no plans to discontinue it. One can only hope that this information is accurate!

    And I just checked the Lancome website. Mille et Une Roses is still there! :-)

  10. Anonymous says:

    I must have been on lancome.fr — can't find it there at all, but you're right, it is still on the US site. Weird.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Rose Absolue is very pretty,different from what I am used to but I like it….I loved voile d'ambre when I first smelled it on my mom then ordered it,worn it once and wasn't that crazy about it anymore…oh well it's not like I had spend tons of cash.
    I just received the body wash and lotion of Neonatura cocoon today,i just love the perfume…that's my favorite.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Don't temp me, peepole! :)

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am very pleased with this one! I have the mini – sorry UK, that is very unfair – and sometime when YR runs a sale, I plan to pick a bigger bottle that I can spray with abandon :)

  14. Anonymous says:

    They really do have some great deals! I have never tried any of their fragrances. Are they usually created by well known “noses,” R?

    I just wish they would bring back the pineapple body wash. :( It smelled exactly, and I mean exactly, like fresh cut pineapple!



  15. Anonymous says:

    Sounds lovely. Wow, well done Rocher!

  16. Anonymous says:

    No miniature available in the UK, and the 50ml bottle currently costs $25 in the US (i.e. £12.49) and £32 in the UK!!!! The normal US price is $47, which is £23.50. That's a huge difference. Grrr!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Oops, didn't see someone had already complained about the lack of minis. The difference in price is outrageous anyway.

    As far as I know, there are no YR stores in the UK any longer. They closed down quite a few years ago.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Ah, synergy.

    Because of good reviews like this one, today I bought a 15ml bottle of this (along with a basketload of other goodies, including Voile d'Ambre) from the local Yves Rocher shop in Switzerland where I live. It seems like it's a big brand over here – there are YR shops in most big towns. (They have the best window displays at Xmas and easter, with little mechanised figures moving around.)

    My 15mls cost me £7.60, so I was perfectly happy to shell it out. And the perfume is very nice – I'm still on my first test of it but it hasn't put a foot wrong yet.

    And the Cocoa shower gel (had to get some after what I'd heard about it)smells like chocolate orange to me. It's nice; I'll be buying another bottle.

    By the way – I also got a bunch of samples of the new Iris Noir in the same range. I suspect I'll be scoring a bottle of that when it's released too.

  19. Anonymous says:

    OK, Robin, I think some kind of graduation from newbie to amateur perfumista status has occurred for me today since I was wearing this *before* I read your post… As you know, I hold you and your excellent reviews responsible for getting me into this whole thing–just about a year ago today!
    I'm very pleased with my 5 ml bottle (after waiting *forever* for it to get here–the UK does have some advantages!). The opening is a bit too sweet for me–like a rose cupcake–but the whole thing has a kind of carefree quality to it that is so pretty and easy to enjoy. And I totally agree with you about the amount of free stuff–I got the cedar and gardenia body washes along with try-me sizes of Voile Ambre and Neonatura plus a face cream and a set of mini-lipsticks for $17–and that includes shipping.
    The Blue Cedar wash is great, BTW, if you like cedar…

  20. Anonymous says:

    Maybe there aren't any in the US either, I'm not sure. I think I read that they ship to the US from Canada — didn't check my package, but it did take longer than usual to get here.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I got a mini of the Neonatura Cocoon too, but haven't opened it yet. Hear it is really nice. The newer Neonatura Souffle, which hasn't made it to the US yet, sounds good too.

  22. Anonymous says:

    The markdown at the moment is pretty good, but perhaps a better one is coming.

  23. Anonymous says:


  24. Anonymous says:

    R, I don't think all of them are of this quality. Lots of those I tried when there was a local store were just ok — sort of like what you'd expect for the price. The Secrets d'Essences is actually a more expensive line w/i YR, and they've done a really nice job on it. Looking forward to trying the Iris one, but they take a long time to get to the US.

  25. Anonymous says:

    M, think you would like this one, although maybe not so well as the Voile d'Ambre.

  26. Anonymous says:

    J, maybe they just run sales at different times? The regular price here ($47) is actually pretty darned high. I should think you'd be crazy to pay it when it is so frequently either marked down, or 2 for 1 or something.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Ah, chocolate orange — can't wait to try my shower gel then. Sort of bought it for my son, but maybe I'll use it myself :-)

    If you pass back through, do tell more about the Iris! Won't be surprised if we don't get it 'til 2008.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Good, then, because the Blue Cedar wash is the other thing I bought. Waiting to clear out some of the shower gel collection in the bathroom before I use it. Also got a makeup remover, but it isn't what I expected at all so that was a waste of $4 or something.

    Agree the opening is a bit sweeter than I'd like, and can see the cupcake thing as it is creamy at the start. Settles nicely though.

    And welcome to amateur perfumista status, LOL! That is where I am and where I'll stay :-)

  29. Anonymous says:

    Neonatura Souffle? I just checked it out on the uk site,it does sound nice doesn't it,now I cannot wait for a little sample! :)

    thanks for the update,just bookmarked the uk site as well.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Excellent review, and I concur. Very, very pretty scent. I'll probably get this for my mother in an effort to keep her from lusting over my very large, yet dwindling, decant of FdTRB.

  31. Anonymous says:

    LOL — a decoy! Sure, that'll work.

  32. Anonymous says:

    It does look nice. Not sure when it launched, so not sure how long we have to wait to get it in the US.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Yves Rocher has been my guilty pleasure for years—the stuff is very affordable (like a French based “Avon” or “Victoria's Secret”) and the lines smell surprisingly sophisticated for their prices.

    “Rose Absolue” is a very pleasant kind of rose fragrance–it almost reminds me of a rose that's been sweetened with chamomile or crystalized in sugar…not a tea-rose, but “Roses at Tea-time”. It does trail off pretty quickly, though, but leaves behind a faint rosy sweetness.

    I've used the “blue cedar” bodywash before and it's refreshing; however, like many “frugally-priced” lines, you might notice distinctive chemical undertones that might not be as obvious in costlier fragrances. For example, “Bath and Bodyworks” always has this strange sugar/caramel/berry undercurrent that runs throughout their fragrances. “Victoria's Secret” fragrances appear to have some kind of lipstick-berry-tropical-drink mix in all their body sprays, regardless of distinction.”Yves Rocher” seems to have traces of simulated tonka bean (trying to mimic “Guerlain”, like Avon tries to mimic “Ralph Lauren”, perhaps?) in nearly everything…but I find tonka bean to have the same soothing qualities as other gourmandesque notes, without the foody overload that can sometimes occur with the use of cocoa, sugar, anise, dairy or amber.

    “Ode `a l'amour” is incredibly berry-sweet; “Ode au reve” is a very interesting scent ( it almost seems like they were attempting a “l'heure bleu” mixed with “Lolita Lempicka”) but it can become sort of drony…”Ming Shu” reminds me of “L'issay miyake” cologne–very crisp and aquatic. “Cocoon” smells like chocolate mixed with patchouli and tonka bean; “Yria” has a subtle tonka note running throughout it that radiates a warmth of sweetness–like chocolate and incense (can be heady for some). The other “Neonaturas” have a green, vegetal feel to them. Last but not least, “Comme Un Evidence” sticks out as unique in feel from the others; it is a crisp chypre-type and smells very grown-up at first. Once it develops, it smells like a sweet, grassy dew. I was actually quite impressed with it–and Yves Rocher must consider “Comme Un Evidence” their star creation because it's available in a high concentration and is one of their highest priced fragrances–at $42.00.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I don't usually wear rose scents but this one sounds really nice. Rose and patchouli are usually not favorite notes, but for some reason they sound like they'd be nice together! I'm curious about the forthcoming Iris one too.

  35. Anonymous says:

    The patch is not at all heavy in this one, and the rose isn't overwhelming either. I really think a non-rose-lover might like it. Anyway, for $3 you can hardly lose. Maybe wait for the iris to come out and get both minis?

  36. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much for the detailed run-down! I do wish the local store hadn't closed, although I didn't appreciate it adequately while it was there. Looking forward to trying my Cocoon, and sounds like I need some Comme Un Evidence in my next order.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for detailing “Rose Absolu”! I think you'd like “Comme Un Evidence”…but I'll have to wait for a future review :). I actually hadn't heard about an iris release, but I'd love to try it when they do. Like you said: At $3.00 a try (and the minis are generous) it's certainly worth it!

  38. Anonymous says:

    I received a mini of this last week (and am now kicking myself that I didn't order the amber as well… and the cocoon… and and and…). It's nice, it's not particularly me, but I'm already thinking of it as something my daughter may enjoy when she's older.
    She's now eight months old. Yes, I'm predicting her perfume tastes, 16 years or so into the future.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Way too strong for me. I would rather take the room sprays from “Au Nom de la Rose” and spray them on myself.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Indeed, R, but even if there is a sale in the UK the starting price will be £32, that is $64, not $47. I'm told the discrepancy is due to VAT.

  41. Anonymous says:

    The iris is Iris Noir, and it officially launches in France next month but I think you can already buy it overseas. Sounds nice. I'll buy almost anything that cheap, LOL…

  42. Anonymous says:

    LOL — somehow I doubt your mini will stay fresh that long, but who knows ;-)

  43. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I didn't find it that strong. Of course, I've got a splash mini so haven't tried a full-on spray.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Ah, VAT. We don't have that worry, although w/ the way the exchange rate is going, we've plenty of other worries with perfume prices.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Maybe slightly off-topic, but I've come to rely on reviews and comments here for propelling my mania (shall I enumerate the purchases I've been “coerced” into and loved? Bois d'Iris, Phiosykos, D'Orange Verte…). So, here goes:

    Since you mentioned the woody dry down of Rose Absolue, what would you recommend as good examples of an extremely dry, “woody” rose (dare I say masculine?). I'm also not fond of vanilla notes, so all the better if those are left out, but spicy/oriental can be ok. I'm imagining some kind of perfect dry, cedar/rose.Thanks in advance, and as always, love the reviews.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the compliment, although I guess for legal reasons I should object to the term “coerced”, LOL…

    Can think of quite a few, too many to dash off quickly — promise to be back with a list by the end of the day.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Better late than never!

    Les Parfums de Rosine makes 2 rose scents for men: Rose d'Homme & Twill Rose. The first is woodier, IIRC, but either might be worth a try. L'Artisan Voleur de Roses is rose & patchouli, but might not be as dry as you'd like. The new CD Midnight Poison has vanilla, but not tons, and lots of wood.

    Then Montale has a whole bunch of rose/wood combinations: Aoud Roses Petals is my favorite, but there are 3-4 more. Czech & Speake Dark Rose would fit your bill, but is very hard to find (not sure but might be discontinued), then there are 10 Corso Como, The People of the Labyrinths Amaze, Eau d'Italie Paestum Rose.

    And Ormonde Jayne Ta'if, although that might also be a bit sweeter than you're looking for.

    Will be back if I think of more!

  48. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and can't believe I left out Le Labo's Rose 31, although it isn't exactly centered on the rose note.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Thanks a lot, I really appreciate the recommendations. I've been looking for an excuse to check out some Le Labo scents, and Rose 31 has been on my radar. I think I'll also have to look into the Rosines, Aoud Rose Petals and the Czech & Speake.

    Sigh… The Perfumed Court beckons. I think you should have a post soon asking everyone to comment on the length of their “must try” lists. This is starting to feel like a real obsession, you know? Thanks again.

  50. Anonymous says:

    It is a very short road from “interested” to “addicted”, isn't it?

  51. Anonymous says:

    All the above conversation about Rose Absolue and its bargain price (plus samples) inspired me to check out Yves Rocher and I'm happy to report I am truly enjoying Rose Absolue. (I had tried a lotion of Yves back in the 1980's and didn't like the scent or the fragrance then used in it or in any of their sample products, though their lipstick was good quality for the price). Thanks for reviewing this bargain treat.

  52. Anonymous says:

    So glad you like the rose! I have to say that I didn't love everything I ordered from them either…but everything was so cheap, I didn't mind. I will certainly reorder the rose, and can't wait to try the new iris.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Bought the mini of this in Sept, but it was unwearable (too sweet) when the weather was so hot here. Now that fall is really here, it is wonderful! Perfect with a rosy colored sweater and a cup of tea. Will have to give some of the others I bought from there a second chance too. All I wanted this summer was citrus and tea (to drink and to wear!).

  54. Anonymous says:

    Fall took a long time getting here this year, so can see why it was too sweet for you in Sept!

  55. Anonymous says:

    Oh Robin, apparently Yves Rocher has Iris Absolute as well, have you tried it? is it nice?

  56. Anonymous says:

    I have not — I'm waiting for it to get to the US YR website, then hopefully they'll have minis.

  57. Anonymous says:

    i see. currently they are doing this 40% off with a traveller size gift on yvesrocher.co.uk, am still struggling whether i should give it a go or not (cos I am not very good at picturing a scent just by reading a description of the top/middle/base notes…) but please remember to review on this wen you laid your hands on! thanks!

  58. Anonymous says:

    I will!

  59. Anonymous says:

    omg I am so excited and definitely have to share ^^
    I have just received a sample of Rose Absolute from Yves Rocher (for free, without request!). Have to say it's too sweet and strong for my liking. I don't like food scent and I find the vanilla base notes too strong, so I am actually very pleased that I hadn't bought the scent.
    I have, however, bought the iris one. They have a traveller's size here and I bought it immediately, but now I realised that the iris one too has tonka bean and patchouli as basenotes so I am not sure if i'd like it.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Glad you saved yourself the trouble of ordering the rose if you don't love it! Can't wait for the iris to get to the US…

  61. Anonymous says:

    I absolutely LOVE 'Comme une Evidence'. On my way to work in the subway, I smelled it on a stranger and just could not resist myself. I had to find out what it was before I lost my chance!! So I mustered up all my courage and approached her. Needless to say, the name was burned into my brain and teased me until I could finally make it to my local Yves Rocher.

  62. Anonymous says:

    sorry to keep posting to this thread, but I don't know where to go… and I am too excited cos I finally got Iris Noir delivered!

    When I first tested the rose absolue sample, I was a bit worried that the Iris one would be as sweet and gourmety as the Rose one. It turned out that it was not. It was clearly floral to me, a bit drier and “cleaner”(as in no vanilla-note) than the rose one. And the best thing is, I like it :)

    Aw …can't wait to read your review on it! :)

  63. Anonymous says:

    It is a very good reminiscence of some tale where fairies used to drink morning dew out of rose petals.
    I don't want to smell like a rose, but still this fragrance is very nice.
    My mother takes a little bottle of it in her purse to work. And if she has a headache instead of taking some medicine she opens the bottle and takes a sniff. She sais she is allright then.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Oh, lucky you! So glad it isn't too sweet, and still waiting for it to appear at YR in the US…

  65. Anonymous says:

    A headache remedy, no less, how cool!

  66. Anonymous says:

    i just got the rose absolute – and wearing it today at work two women told me they smelled tobacco – the word they used was “humidor.” i get tobacco from it, too – but that doesn't show up in the list of notes. they liked it very much (as do i). wish i could smell the cinnamon, though – i've been looking for a good cinnamon-rose scent.

    also got cocoon (which has gotten a couple of raves from folks at work), and comme une evidence, which i haven't worn out in public yet (reminds me a lot of libertine!). also ordered vie privee – and it is quite nice – like a clean cabotine (i tried cabotine and it side by side, and the vie privee is more crisp in comparison). so far, i am favorably impressed by yves rocher.

  67. Anonymous says:

    How interesting! Maybe there is tobacco in there; lists of notes are never comprehensive. Maybe layer the YR Rose w/ Serge Lutens Rousse? Or Comme des Garcons Cinnamon?

  68. Anonymous says:

    Do you know if the perfume concentration has better staying power than the EDP? I have a major problem when it comes to this.


  69. Anonymous says:

    Anyone tested Rose Absolue the pure perfume concentration? How long does it last on you? Does it have good sillage?


  70. Anonymous says:

    No, I haven't, sorry!

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