Les Parfums de Rosine Secrets de Rose ~ perfume review

Rose hip

Secrets de Rose is a new fragrance from Les Parfums de Rosine — at least, fairly new, since Rosine's releases usually travel to the United States at a leisurely pace. This Eau de Parfum, described as "a rose in black…mysterious and disturbing," was created in 2009 by perfumer François Robert. It is an "amber floral" with top notes of plum, liquorice, rose essence, bitter orange, and saffron; heart notes of magnolia, ylang, rose absolute, white jasmine, and seeds of cumin; and base notes of sandalwood, Himalaya oak moss, amber resin, labdanum, and musk.

Les Parfums de Rosine has designated Secrets de Rose as the "seductress" of its fragrance family, but this scent really isn't as heady or animalic as the promotional text would have us believe. Its opening note of bitter orange, accompanied by a breath of cumin and anise, is almost androgynous; there's also a hint of something that I can't place, except that it reads as "sour green" to my nose (perhaps galbanum?). Within a half hour, however, Secrets de Rose blooms into a feminine rose-saffron heart that's smoothly blended and long lasting. A little saffron goes a long way in my personal preferences, especially when it's combined with floral notes — The People of the Labyrinths A.MAZE, for example, had too much saffron and not enough rose to please me. Secrets de Rose, on the other hand, keeps the saffron light and sheer, so that it doesn't overwhelm the velvety idea of rose petals. As the fragrance dries and deepens, this pairing is framed with a wine-y plum-and-woods accord that reminds me of Sonoma Scent Studio Vintage Rose. The final impression of this composition, lingering on the skin for hours, is the sort of dusky, ambered rose note that I'm always happy to encounter. The fact that it appears late in this fragrance's development makes me savor it even more.

Les Parfums de Rosine Secrets de Rose

To draw an art-historical analogy, Secrets de Rose's "rose in black" isn't quite the seductive and shocking Madame X that Les Parfums de Rosine promises, but that's just fine, because it turns out to be more like John Singer Sargent's Portrait of Elizabeth Winthrop Chanler, artistic and poised and just a bit elusive. Secrets de Rose could could be applied lightly for daytime in the fall and winter, and more generously for evening wear all year round. Overall, this fragrance is nicely done, and I'd choose it over several of the other recent Rosines. Secrets de Rose will probably never rival Poussière de Rose (my favorite!) or La Rose de Rosine  in my affections, but I wouldn't mind owning a full bottle of it at some point. I've heard that Secrets de Rose is a limited edition. Fortunately, Rosine's limited editions tend to stay around for a while, so I'll look forward to revisiting it.

Les Parfums de Rosine Secrets de Rose is available in 50 ($110) and 100 ($140) ml Eau de Parfum; for buying information see the listing for Les Parfums de Rosine under Perfume Houses. A matching candle, soap, and body cream are also available.

Note: top image of rose hip via Wikimedia Commons.

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57 Comments

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  1. olenska says:

    Intriguing list of scent elements… and a very haunting image to go with them.

    • Jessica says:

      I’m glad you like the image! I thought it fit the idea of the fragrance.

  2. dee says:

    I’ve been hankering to try this one since I saw Katie Puckrik’s perfume collection vlogs… this and the Kashmiri one sound so good!

    • Jessica says:

      See, Kashimie is another one that I keep jumbling with Feu and Amour and Flamenca… even though I know they’re not really that similar!

  3. victoriaf says:

    Hi Jessica,
    Thank you for this review! I have been curious about it.
    How does it compare to Une Folie de Rose?

    • Jessica says:

      Hello, Victoria! I wouldn’t group Secrets with Folie… it’s lacking the “chypre” idea of Folie. The greenish note in the transition from the top to the heart might remind me a tiny bit of Folie, but the rest of the composition does not. Does that make sense?

      • victoriaf says:

        Makes perfect sense! I was wondering, because I heard it described as a chypre.
        Poussière de Rose is my current favorite too, whereas it was my least favorite when I first tried the line. Tastes do change!

  4. KRL says:

    This sounds kinda yummy…how would you compare it to Ta’if, another Saffron Rose which I adore?

    • Jessica says:

      Oh, I love Ta’if… definitely my favorite from Ormonde Jayne. But Secrets doesn’t have Ta’if’s distinctive peppery note… I’d say that Ta’if is drier and a bit darker, while Secrets is a little more traditionally feminine and has that rose-plum-woods idea I like so much.

  5. Haunani says:

    Very nice review, Jessica! I usually don’t like fragrances that are described as “disturbing”, but it doesn’t appear that you found it so. My favorite Rosines, so far are Ecume, Poussiere, Kashmirie, and Flamenca.

    • Haunani says:

      (pretend there’s a comma after “so far”) ;-)

      • Jessica says:

        H, I like Ecume, too, especially in summer. If you love Poussiere, you should sample Secrets de Rose… something about the rose/plum/wood accord does make the two fragrances feel like “relatives.”

        • Haunani says:

          Oh, good! My bottle of Poussiere went “off” – first time that has happened to me. :-(

  6. Marina says:

    Was curious about this one. How much plum is there? (hoping for a lot :))

    • Jessica says:

      M! There’s more plum than I expected, not as dried-fruit as the notes in Poussiere, but not a juicy summer fruit, either. :)

      • Marina says:

        Thank you. That doesn’t make it an unsniffed must-have, but it does make it a must-sniff :)

  7. Karin says:

    I had never tried any of the Rosines, then I went on their website and ordered the complete sample set. It’s 20 Euros (about $26 US) plus free shipping. Nineteen 2ml vials for $26??? Amazing deal. Secrets de Rose is included.

    I’ve only tried Rose Praline (nice!) and Zephyr de Rose (not so nice) so far…will have to dig out the Secrets. :-)

    • Jessica says:

      Karin, That *is* an excellent offer. I find the website a bit tricky to navigate… Samples/Echantillons is located in the Boutique Online section, for anyone else who may be curious.

      • annemarie says:

        It’s one of those websites that make shipping costs and info very hard to find. In Australia, if anyone is interested, Mecca Cosmetica carries some of the Rosine line. I might swing past today and have a closer look. I’m not a fan of Mecca Cosmetica tho’. Seems to me like one of those places where you feel mainstream for wearing Chanel lipstick …

      • Well dang it. Was ready to take advantage but it won’t accept my bankcard. (It’s not a balance problem.) Ideas?

        • Jessica says:

          Oh no… that’s strange. Does it only accept certain cards?

        • bogsc says:

          My guess is that the 3 digit security code (from back of your card) you typed in is incorrect. On most of my credit cards, that security code becomes virtually illegible after a period of use. I just tried one of my cards and guessed at security code (based on almost illegible impression). My transaction was rejected. I then used card for which I could clearly read the security code and purchase sailed through just fine.

        • bogsc says:

          So…just got call from 1st card I tried to use (which was rejected for what I thought was incorrect 3 digit verification code) and was told that charge was rejected not because of verification code (which WAS wrong, btw) but because in addition to wrong verification code, it kicked off fraud alert since it was viewed as an unusual charge for me (in this case a perfume site in foreign country). So it could be that card you tried to use has unusually high fraud setting. You might want to call them, explain that you are trying to make perfume purchase from France from Parfums de Rosine, and then retry the card.

          • Thanks for the tips! I seem to remember this same card charging me a fee for paying in a foreign currency, so perhaps I’m just not supposed to be using it outside the U.S. ;-)

          • Daisy says:

            my cards have rejected my foreign perfume purchases when I’ve used the card somewhere else that day—like: how could I be in France and also at the Ace Hardware store in Michigan in the same day? (because they’ve never heard of the internet….duh)

            ALL credit cards AND also paypal will charge 3% for foreign transactions. Because obviously it’s so very much work to press the button that does the electronic exchange. (bastards!)

    • BlackCat says:

      Thank you for the wonderful tip. Just ordered a set of all of them. Although I already have samples of Folie de Rose and Rose de Ecume, it’s a great deal, and you can’t have too many Rosines!

    • nozknoz says:

      Thanks, Karin, and also to Jessica for explaining where to find the samples within the Parfums de Rosine website. I wonder if they will notice the sudden uptick in sample sales? ;-)

  8. dora says:

    Just smelled this one and I found your review accurate and informative. The sour green turned me off a bit, but I still would consider buying since dried down well and lost that note.

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks, Dora! That greenish note did worry me for a minute, but it was only temporary. I love the drydown.

      • Daisy says:

        I may have missed the sour/green note entirely….but I have to agree: the dry down is the thing with this one—and it’s fabulous!

  9. Dixie says:

    Nice review Jessica! I haven’t cared for many of the Rosines, but I am curious to try this one!

    • Daisy says:

      Secrets has a different tone than the others….clearly a departure from the norm for Rosine. So this might be the one for you.
      Dixie–we should chat….I have a split for you and seems like I know what to send you as a sample! ha!

      • Dixie says:

        Really? What split is that? I have too many going on, I can’t keep up! You know my email! Figure you have this scent already ;-)

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks, Dixie! I think it’s worth a sniff, if you usually like soft woody roses.

  10. Daisy says:

    For my favorite Rosine It’s currently a tie between Secrets de Rose and Rose d’Homme…tough decision! I think the common factor is that they both seem to have more depth than the other Rosines. Most of the Rosine line seems “happy” to me (love Zeste de Rose) and these two seem a little more moody. I think if you like things like C&S Dark Rose or JHag Citizen Queen or SL Rose de Nuit—then you’ll probably also enjoy Secrets de Rose as well.

    • Jessica says:

      Rosine does do bright, springtime roses very well (I also like Diabolo Rose). And Rose Twill is my favorite amongst their masculine scents!

      • Daisy says:

        Rose twill is one of the few Rosines I have not tried. I know I tried Diabolo Rose a long time ago…don’t remember what it was like…I think I still have the sample, must search!

        • hongkongmom says:

          daisy, the only one i have is ecume de rosine,, a fabulous scent…makes me feel happy, bright and fresh and whenever I wear it, i wonder why i don;t wear it more often….great for summertime

          • Daisy says:

            HongKong—I have a decant of Ecume—it really is a bubbly, happy summer rose! It makes me feel all giddy and frothy! I should wear it more often :-)

  11. Flora says:

    I will definitely want to try this after my good experiences with other Rosines.

    • Jessica says:

      Rosine is one of the first “niche” lines I ever explored, and still one of my favorites! They do a lovely job.

  12. Rappleyea says:

    I haven’t tried the first Rosine, but thanks to your excellent review, Jessica, I will have to check them out.

    Also, thanks to Karin for the heads up on the great deal!

    • Jessica says:

      Rappleyea, They really do have a nice selection! Definitely worth sampling a few, if you have any love at all for florals.

  13. TexasSnow says:

    I have the big bottle of Rose Poussiere, so this review has piqued my dormant interest in acquiring new scents! Saffron-rose is sadly under-used in modern perfumery, at least for my taste, and cumin doesn’t scare me – I also own and (carefully) wear Rochas Femme. Thanks for the great review.

    • Jessica says:

      Texassnow, I’m not a cumin-lover, but this fragrance has just enough to add something unusual to the opening, without making everything “sweaty.” ;)

  14. Valkyrie says:

    I get a lot of licorice out of this one, the only frag with licorice/ anise that I like. I think of it as a Halloween rose cause the candy, perfect for Fall.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi, Valkyrie — I like that idea! It *would* make an excellent autumn floral.

  15. yvashche says:

    Beautiful bottle. I love this brand. I will have to get this.
    http://theperfumedveil.blog.com/

    • Jessica says:

      I love the Rosine bottle design, and the black cap and tassel are very dramatic!

  16. Katherine says:

    I know this is a newish frag for Rosine, but it has quickly become one of my absolute favorite rose scents. I’m a girl who loves masculine scents (actually, I pay no heed to gender marketing), and I have had such wonderful compliments about it. It’s rosy with some nice incense and musk base notes. Sexy enough to wear at night, demure enough to wear at the office.

    • Jessica says:

      Katherine, I think you nailed it! This is slowly becoming one of my favorite Rosines, too. Thanks for your comment. :)

  17. Zubi says:

    Ah… always so nice to see a winner in my books (or nose) get a positive review on NST :) Interesting that I get a licorice rose with “stuff” in the background which I dont want to bother dissecting.

    Just tried this and I am in love with the licorice rose… Might this replace my Amouage Memoir on the number 1 spot on my wishlist??

    • Jessica says:

      Zubi, This has become one of my favorite Rosines, just after Poussiere de Rose and a bit ahead of La Rose de Rosine! It’s really a beauty, isn’t it?

      • Zubi says:

        It really is! I havent even tried most of the others in the sample pack yet; I just saw “licorice” and went OKAY LET’S GO and sprayed myself :D

        Also, non-related but I’m so excited so I want to share! I just started this whole perfume journey very recently, and I’m super excited to say that I now one note I know I’ll love in anything (hopefully it stays that way): Violet! :D one of the eau de toilette samples helped me confirm my “what is that note I love” question :D

        Also, quick question: Does Secrets remind you of Coco’s drydown by any chance? I just keep thinking of Coco.

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