Dolce & Gabbana Rose The One ~ perfume review

Dolce & Gabbana Rose The One perfume

Dolce & Gabbana Rose The One, a flanker to the company's 2006 release The One, definitely can't be faulted for its promotion and packaging. It has a print advertising campaign and an accompanying television commercial created by the photographer-director Jean-Baptiste Mondino; the commercial also features a soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. The fragrance’s muse, Scarlett Johansson, is shown looking delicately radiant in these ads, every inch a human meringue: her platinum hair tinted a soft strawberry blonde, her creamy skin set off by a rose-colored mesh gown (Dolce & Gabbana, of course), her lush figure reclining on a bed with a pink tufted-satin headboard. Rose The One’s bottle and the fragrance’s “juice” itself are also shaded pink, in case you missed the point.  With visuals this tactile and boudoir-oriented, you might expect a powdery gourmand rose fragrance along the lines of Parfumerie Generale’s Brûlure de Rose.

Unfortunately, reality intrudes with the experience of the actual Eau de Parfum inside that blush-colored bottle and its layers of well-crafted marketing. The official description of Rose the One’s notes includes black-currant, pink grapefruit, mandarin, lily of the valley, rose, litchi, peony, Madonna lily, ambrette seed, sandalwood, musk and vanilla, a list that seems like something of a “greatest hits” compilation of mass-market floral perfumes of the past five years. The predominant note in Rose The One's opening is the grapefruit, but even throughout the development of the fragrance, the namesake rose is pushed to the sidelines. Rose The One’s core is a very familiar-seeming accord of lily of the valley, peony, and unripe mulberries that recalls other recent fragrances released by everyone from Mariah Carey to Bond no. 9. It’s unapologetically synthetic and somehow high-pitched, sweet with a sour edge, and although it lasts a while on skin, it never deepens into anything more reflective or seductive.  There's a wisp of vanilla in the base, but not enough to add any warmth or texture. If this fragrance were a garment, it wouldn’t be a Dolce & Gabbana gown that some starlet has worn on the red carpet. Instead, it would be a knock-off of that Dolce & Gabbana gown, as devised with cheaper materials and skimpier workmanship by a trend-based chain store like Zara. It might serve as a cute and flattering option for one night out at some venue where everyone dresses more or less alike, but it’s definitely not durable or particularly well-tailored.

I wanted to try Rose The One because I’m curious about any new interpretations of my favorite floral note. Sorry to say, there isn’t anything especially new (or memorable) about this scent, and since I’m not a particular fan of Scarlett Johansson’s acting or Dolce & Gabbana’s style, the rest of Rose The One’s appeal is wasted on me. If you’re similarly uninterested in all this promotional apparatus, and you’re just looking for a light, citrus-berry rose fragrance, keep walking through the shopping mall and try out The Body Shop’s Moroccan Rose. If you’re browsing online instead, you’d be better off hunting down any of the Stella Sheer releases, Creative Universe’s Element of Attraction, or Crazylibellule & The Poppies’ Rose à Saïgon. All of these are more interesting, fruity-bright iterations of the rose, without an inflated “prestige” label.  Nevertheless, Rose The One may do very well in stores, if it attracts enough Scarlett fans and wearers of Dolce & Gabbana’s other fragrances. Should I just cut to the chase and give a two-word review? Okay, fine. Light Pink.

Dolce & Gabbana Rose The One was developed by perfumer Michel Girard and is available in 30, 50 and 75 ml Eau de Parfum ($60-90).

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87 Comments

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  1. Royal says:

    The funny part about the Zara comparison is that I like many of the Zara fragrances much more than this!

    • Jessica says:

      Zara has fragrances?! I didn’t even know that. I’ve peeked into one of their stores a few times, but it’s always so crowded that I don’t last long!

      • Royal says:

        Zara has some very nice fragrances! Their newer ones are a lot nicer than their older ones. The Perfumed Water series is very well done and very unisex.

        • Jessica says:

          Well then, I’ll brave the crowds on 34th Street and take a look/sniff. Thanks, Royal!

          • Royal says:

            The bottles you’re looking for look a lot like the Exclusif’s bottle by Chanel. There should be three masculines (Ambar, Vetiver, and Sandalwood) and three feminines (the Rosa Bulgara is a much, much, much better “rose” scent than this!)

          • platinum14 says:

            You may want to call them first as here in Canda they were taken off the shelves last summer.

  2. RusticDove says:

    Looks like this is exactly what I anticipated – another ho-hum offering from D&G. None of their scents come close to the beauty of their couture creations. Beautiful perfume is an art too, but that point seems to be lost on so many mainstream releases.

    • Jessica says:

      Strange, isn’t it? They have a very distinct style (and plenty of financial resources, I’d imagine), but they’re not bothering to translate that into fragrance.

  3. alltheprettythings says:

    (hiding my Zara jacket from NST’s sight)

    • Jessica says:

      Alltheprettythings, no! lol. Don’t do that. I wear many, many dresses and tops from H&M, for example, and I love them. It just bothers me when something *claims* to be luxurious, very high-end, innovative, what have you, and then turns out to feel more mass-market.

      • alltheprettythings says:

        True, but H&M and Zara are at least more original than J Crew and BR … :)

        At any rate, I was surprised by Turin’s review but not swayed by it. This is going to be a non-sniff for me; thanks for saving me the trouble!

        • Jessica says:

          H&M and Zara can be a little bit naughty about copying higher-end brands… sometimes. But I still love H&M. It fits my budget!

  4. Absolute Scentualist says:

    I liked the first D&G for women that came out way back in the early 90′s. But ever since then, I haven’t liked the newer scents I’ve tried. I couldn’t stand Light Blue, which was funny because I was smack in the demographic when it was launched.

    The most recent rose scent I’ve fallen really hard for is LPR’s Rose Praline. It’s dreamy and amazing and I can’t wait to get some when my little sample runs out.

    • Jessica says:

      Absolute, Sometimes I just watch women applying Light Blue in Sephora, and I see the look of delight in their eyes… and I really feel like I’m missing something!
      I agree with you about Rose Praline’. I have a few favorites from Les Parfums de Rosine, and Rose d’Ete is a very pretty example of a fruity-rose perfume!

    • perfumegeek says:

      Ditto on Light Blue. I remember a pushy sales girl who was literally shoving the bottle trying to convince me that this should be my signature scent. NOT!

      • Jessica says:

        Um… how could it be *anyone’s* signature scent when it’s been a best-seller for years?! That’s funny. ;)

        • Bela says:

          Not sure I understand what you mean, Jessica. For a fragrance to be someone’s signature scent doesn’t depend on its being niche or rare. It depends on someone wearing it exclusively. Lots of women have Chanel No.5 as their signature scents, for instance.

          • Jessica says:

            I think that’s just how I define “signature” in my own mind… unique to one person, like handwriting (although I know that’s impossible, unless you have the scent custom-made). I used to bristle when I sniffed Bellodgia on one of my co-workers from time to time… I felt territorial! ;)

        • perfumegeek says:

          I agree, to me it smells too common. On me it just doesn’t do anything…no evolution, no interaction with my body chem. I would want my signature scent to be unique, to not be what everybody wears. I think I’ve fallen into that trap before though, recognizing a smell is pleasant, but not really paying attention to whether it suits me well. Just that it smells…delightful.

          • Bela says:

            I now understand what you meant, J, but, if a best-selling perfume *really* suits one’s personality, really melds with one’s own natural scent, I see no reason why one shouldn’t make it one’s signature. As we know (although LT refuses to acknowledge this), skin chemistry is all. The search for a ‘unique’ fragrance is not the same thing at all, as you have discovered, Perfumegeek. And one couldn’t accuse, say, Chanel No.5 (to use that illustrious example again) of being ‘too common’, meaning ‘bad’. It is (used to be) ubiquitous, but it is still an amazing and beautifully crafted perfume.

          • Jessica says:

            Bela and Pgeek, This is *all* true… hence my inner conflict over the “signature” issue! And I adore No. 5… sublime.

    • alltheprettythings says:

      The first one is the one with red cap? That’s a good one… It hums on me with all the different notes (vanilla, aldehydes, soap, floral).

      Light Blue is always number one in our seasonal Top Ten Perfumes for D-bags. :D

  5. raluca says:

    I came back from Sephora with a huge headache after trying Rose the one. I agree in detail with Jessica’s article, the thing is high pitched, synthetic, no rose to be detected, only musty green apples (bitten and left like this few days) and on top of the chemical disaster, it lasts so long, I had to wash my wrist several times.

    • Daisy says:

      Oy! nothing by D&G has ever appealed to me so I’m not wildly surprised. But your comment reminded me that the other day I sampled something…..hmm, can’t even remember what it was….anyhow, came home, had to get it OFF and fast…..recalled that Robin had mentioned Tide laundry detergent. Grabbed a bit of Tide powder ….scrub, scrub….ahhh bad smells all gone….whew!

      • boojum says:

        You’re luckier than I…Tide never worked for me. Fortunately, those poison ivy soap towlettes do…but they’re not the cheapest option.

        • Daisy says:

          they buuuuuurn….but it’s the alcohol and I have really dry skin….not that Tide is easy on skin either….sometimes it’s almost better to just live with the stink until it fades….but if you can scrub and then slather on some shea butter, it seems to lessen the problem enough to resume breathing.

          • Julia says:

            Ouch! I’ve found that makeup remover followed by soap do a good job on most scrubbers and don’t leave me too dry. Sometimes I do have to use alcohol first, but sometimes witch hazel works and it isn’t nearly as drying. When I’m out, I keep a little package of “feminine personal cleansing towelettes” in my purse and they do a pretty good job of getting perfume off in a hurry. They seem to work better than baby wipes, which worries me a little bit when I think too hard about their intended purpose. If I’m at the mall I ask for makeup remover because I usually have lipstick and eyeliner all over my hands anyway, or use the stuff they have out at Sephora, then I go see my friends at LUSH who will let me wash my whole arms in their sink with their yummy soap.

    • Jessica says:

      Raluca, It lasted a while on me, too, which surprised me… since it’s mostly topnote-like ingredients!

  6. Dolly says:

    Wow. The opening and the additional notes are staring to sound a lot like J.Lo’s Live Luxe. Angela- I love your description “greatest hits compilation of mass market floral perfumes over the past five years.” Also, I think now would be a good time for you to come out with that violet, patchouli dark perfume you mentioned a month ago.

    • Robin R. says:

      Dark violet and patchouli? Go, Jessica, go! Please add me to your wait list. ;-)

      • Jessica says:

        Thanks, Dolly! Robin R, I think that was an idea I had in conjunction with my review of Anna Sui’s Rock Me! a while ago… my wish for the fragrance her company should release someday!

  7. flittersniffer says:

    I found this more powdery than Jessica and I did get a sort of greenish rose that seemed rather realistic to my nose, though it kept weaving in and out. Some readers may be surprised to learn that Luca Turin rates the rose accord in this very highly, and says it will soon be taught at perfumery school. I think a re-sniff may be required!

    • Jessica says:

      Flitter, How interesting! I hadn’t heard that. I wish it had been more powdery and more rosey on me.

      • monstabunny says:

        That’s not the first time anyone’s disagreed with Luca Turn’s olfactory. I find myself disagreeing – sometimes vehemently – with him about half the time.

        Me too, I love Rose D’Ete. But it’s so expensive! I got Rose Ikebana in one of the Hermes travel combos, and it has that grapefruit with an undertone of rose. Like RTO, it doesn’t have enough rose, though, so I find myself adding a drop of Sa Majeste La Rose for a boost. Still, like Jessica, I’m still on the lookout for a light crisp dewy rose.

        • Jessica says:

          Oh, Rose Ikebana… that *is* a nice one. I like the rhubarby note.

    • odonata9 says:

      i was thinking about this too – I remember reading that in the UK times article posted here.

      “Rose the One (Dolce &Gabbana) complicated rose
      Some perfumes exist because of art direction, some in spite of it, in a manner reminiscent of Monty Python’s credit to the BBC “without which anything is possible.” This is one of the latter.
      The contrast between the skillful perfumery work and the unrelenting naffness of everything else,—bottle, advertising guff, etc.—is unusually stark. Perfumer Michel Girard, in my opinion an
      underrated talent, has achieved something stealthily remarkable. Charged with a nauseating brief for a fragrance aimed at the “mischievously beguiling yet tender coquette” and given what does
      not smell like a vast budget, he has done a rose accord that is neither sour, banal nor cloying. Perhaps the most interesting thing about his composition is an astonishing basil heart note,
      clearly made from parts. The prevailing molecule in basil, ocimenol, is not chemically stable and in any event does not reproduce the plant aroma well. Girard’s mysterious inner-voice accord does, and I’ll wager it will be taught at perfume school before long. LT”

      • RusticDove says:

        Sounds like LT was referring to the basil accord?

        • Jessica says:

          I wish I could have read that brief! Sounds entertaining. :)

          • odonata9 says:

            his short descriptions are hilarious! vile floral, hissy citrus, garish floral, boring retro

            here’s the nst link – click on the PDF which has much longer reviews
            http://www.nstperfume.com/2009/11/23/more-luca-turin-perfume-reviews/

          • Jessica says:

            Odonata, Oh, I’m familiar with much of LT’s work… I was just wishing I could read more of the “briefs” that the clients send to the perfumers, like the one LT quoted here!

          • odonata9 says:

            ah, now i see what you mean! they probably are as entertaining as some of the ad copy we see!

      • miss kitty v. says:

        Well, much love to Luca, but the two of us aren’t always in agreement. He can like it all he wants, I’m with Jessica on this one.

        • Jessica says:

          ;)
          Plenty of room for various opinions!

        • Tama says:

          Sometimes I think he appreciates the chemistry of something without much regard for how it actually smells.

          • flittersniffer says:

            I completely agree with you here. Complex technical artistry often seems to impress him to the exclusion of all else.

            Case in point: S100%Love. To my nose = chocolate and Hoover dust. He gives it five stars!

    • scents4me says:

      I just bought this yesterday, after trying Dior Addict (which I also liked), Armani Diamonds (did NOT like) and Rose The One. I had tried The One and didn’t care for it, did not go with my chemistry I guess :/

      But out of the three noses I “borrowed” I got 2 votes for Rose The One and one for Addict. I could not decide on those two. One sales lady said it smelled like “my scent”. So, I don’t know. I will try it longer…I can always exchange it ;)

      And yeah, I’m new here :)

      • Jessica says:

        Welcome! I’m not a big fan of Addict, either… but if you’re looking for a daytime floral that you can wear to the office, you could certainly do much worse than this one!

  8. parfumliefhebber says:

    Didn’t like D&G Rose The One either, although I like The One EdP. I found Rose The One nothing to remember, somehow boring.

    • Jessica says:

      It’s very different from The One, isn’t it? “Flanker” doesn’t always seem to mean that there’s any obvious relationship between the actual fragrances…

  9. Blimunda says:

    I havn’t tried this, and have no interest in doing so, especially after reading Robin’s review which I trust is spot-on. However, I HAVE to comment on the hideous promo photo of Ms Johansson whose mouth is unattractively hanging open like a gormless fly-trap. I’ve seen photos of her that are 100% more attractive than that!!!

    • Jessica says:

      Hah, yes… see my comment below! Her mouth is consistently ajar in the D&B beauty/fragrance ads.

  10. teachesofpeaches says:

    agree i did not liked it a bit , my favorite rose so far is lady vengeance of juliette has a gun and kelly caleche eau de toilette .

    • Jessica says:

      Teaches, I like Kelly Caleche, too! So many good roses out there already… this fragrance just doesn’t feel “necessary” to me.

  11. Bela says:

    Oh, look, there she is – with her mouth half-open, as usual, and that vapid look! As I said elsewhere on this blog, the day Serge Lutens uses her to promote his scents I will start to worry. Luckily, there isn’t much chance of that: she suits D&G too well.

    • Jessica says:

      She does seem ubiquitous these days, doesn’t she?! And I suppose the mouth is part of the whole 21st-century-Marilyn-Monroe image, but I can’t say I’m that crazy about it either. And I doubt that Serge would find her too alluring. ;)

      • monstabunny says:

        I doubt she’d do Serge anyway. He can’t give her free clothes.

  12. annemarie says:

    Oh my goodness – I do love the particular shade of pink that we see in the ad! What would you call it? Sepia pink? I have a beloved pair of jeans in that colour and I’m wearing them now. It’s the weekend so it’s okay.

    But not even LT’s intriguing review is going to tempt my nose towards Rose The One. Enjoyment is confined to the signature colour.

    • Jessica says:

      A propos of nothing, I suddenly remembered a funny line from the movie “Steel Magnolias”… “My colors are blush and bashful!”

      • annemarie says:

        Nice one! Thanks. Interesting points can emerge from a discussion of an uninteresting fragrance …

  13. DanaNewton says:

    Hello,

    I am new to NST and wanted to ask a question. Does anyone know what perfumes still contain natural musk, especially civet? I read chilling information about the way it is harvested, and I am carefully avoiding it.

    Thanks!!!

    • Tama says:

      I don’t think natural animal musks or civet have been used in quite some time. But don’t quote me.

      • DanaNewton says:

        Thank you for the answer! If anyone else knows of any holdouts that are still using real civet musk, please let me know so I can avoid them.

        • RusticDove says:

          You’ll probably want to avoid vintage perfumes as the original formulations of many fragrances will have the animal derived ingredients you want to steer clear of.

          • Jessica says:

            As Tama and Rusticdove have just said, the use of actual civet (rather than a synthetic re-creation) is pretty rare these days. You probably don’t have to worry about it when you’re shopping for fragrance in drugstores or mainstream department stores. However, a few high-end companies may still use it; they just don’t advertise the fact. It’s hard to get this kind of information. If there’s a particular scent you’re worried about, you could try contacting the company directly.

          • DanaNewton says:

            Thank you, everyone! I will let you know if I find out anything of interest after I contact various perfume houses.

    • annemarie says:

      The Wikipedia entry on Chanel No 5 makes reference to that perfume containing civet, and the entry has an interesting link. Apparently Chanel claims only to be using synthetic civet now. I sometimes wonder if they are telling the truth but I presume natual civet must be very $$, so if they can get away with a substitute I guess they will. I hope so, as I wear No 5 a lot and I do feel uneasy about the civet issue. I wish the environmental and ethic aspects of perfume production would attract more discussion.

  14. AnnS says:

    I had the opportunity to sniff this a few weeks ago. And while I don’t think it is a masterpiece (and didn’t notice any groundbreaking basil accords), I didn’t think it was awful either. It smells to my nose like a well done, rather plain, rose soliflore sitting in a soft musk base. Maybe it treads a bit into dryer sheet territory, but a person could do a lot worse in mass market. I like it a lot more than most of the blah at the counter… and I think it would be a nice fragrance for a young woman or someone who wanted something really basic. How do they say it? A fragrance for someone who doesn’t really want to wear perfume, you know? It is different from the other fruit florals though, and as you say, it does remind me as well of the Stella flankers….

    • Jessica says:

      Ann, That’s all true: for someone who is easing her way into rose scents, and wants a floral that still feels clean/fresh, it’s a valid choice. I just expect something lusher from D&G, and I would still rather see companies spend more money on the actual scent — making it unusual, interesting — than on the model, ads, etc. Not much chance of that, I suppose…

      • lsnuing says:

        D&G *do* have a habit of flashy ads – I’m thinking to the ad campaigns for The One and the Anthology line, all populated with sultry sexy people and lots of lights!

        • Jessica says:

          Exactly… I liked the concept behind that line (tarot!), but it was overshadowed by the expensive models, and the scents themselves were a bit bland overall.

          • RusticDove says:

            I KNOW! As an Astrology enthusiast [don't hold that against me LOL], how disappointing that whole line is. I was expecting, hoping for fragrances that were exotic, ethereal, complex, etc. They couldn’t be further from that.

    • lsnuing says:

      Agree with you Anns! I sniffed this once, then sprayed it on my arm twice and still liked it. It’s not on my To Buy list only because I already have 3 rose fragrances in my current collection.

      Now the success of Light Blue baffles me – it smells sour to me.

    • scents4me says:

      Yes, I guess that would be me ;)

      As a everyday, work scent ;)

      I have Coco, Shalimar, Miss Dior Cheri ( I think i really like the Dior and Chanels. Am not experienced as some/most of you here, but learning!). But want a softer scent. Not too crazy expensive or hard to find either.

  15. monstabunny says:

    What three roses do you have, Isnuing. Just curious.

    • lsnuing says:

      Hi monstabunny!

      The roses I’ve got are:
      - YSL Paris Eau de Printemps 2007 (it came in 125ml and I’m only half way through!)
      - The Body Shop Morrocan Rose (quarter way through)
      - Givenchy Very Irresistible Limited Edition 2007 (not even opened yet)

      Are you a rose fan? I’m thinking of SSS Velvet Rose to buy next. I think I’ll give Rose The One another try to make sure … I tried out Parisienne a couple of days ago and while the opening smelled like Paris to me, it ended up being fruity sweet.

  16. Kankuro says:

    Well, another perfume I don’t need to buy! Thanks for your review :-)

    It’s a little bit offtopic but I don’t know were to say it:
    Bond No. 9 will launch a new perfume. It’s name is Saks Boca 2.
    http://tinyurl.com/yguhgnr

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks! Robin may have mentioned that lately, not certain… it’s difficult to keep up with Bond!

      • Kankuro says:

        That’s true! 4 Fragrances in 3 months, that’s amazing…!!

        Andy Warhol Success is a job in New York (october)
        High Line (anounced in november)
        Saks New Orleans (december)
        Saks Boca 2 (december)

  17. Kankuro says:

    That’s true! 4 Fragrances in 3 months, that’s amazing…!!

    Andy Warhol Success is a job in New York (october)
    High Line (anounced in november)
    Saks New Orleans (december)
    Saks Boca 2 (december)

  18. SignatureScent says:

    Don’t know if it’s just me, but this fragrance seems to smell entirely of apples. But perhaps that’s just my nose.

    • Jessica says:

      I get quite a bit of pink grapefruit in the beginning, and the a more general fruity-citrus note, but I’m sure there’s an apple idea somewhere in there, too. They must have been aware of Stella Sheer.

  19. DannyAngel says:

    I was so dissapointed with this! I am a huge Scarlett fan, the ad is to die for and I love rose fragrances, and yet it smells horrible! I went to sephora with a friend and she tried it on; first, passionfruit then vegetal in the worst sense possible! Like potato peels or wilted lettuce (I’m guessing this was supposed to be the basil?) she covered it up with some Coco and that was that. I just dont understand, why cant d&g get it right? The anthology series is a blah-feast, light blue is better (I rather like it allot actually) but this, this is bad, very bad. It has that shampoo smell thats in everything lately, from Paris Hilton by Paris Hilton to Parisienne by YSL (another horrid, rose accident). I’m going to march down to Milan and give Stefano and Domenico a piece of my mind!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Danny, I agree, it’s pretty disappointing… I don’t think I disliked it *quite* as much as you did, but I somehow keep expecting something *more* from these glamourous fashion lines when they cross over into fragrance. And hey, a trip to Milan sounds great, for many reasons! ;)

  20. *lol* I know what it smells like. Light Pink.

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