Les Parfums de Rosine Majalis ~ perfume review

Les Parfums de Rosine Majalis

I had to raise an eyebrow at the most recent issue of Allure magazine, which featured an article discussing "the return of the rose" in contemporary fragrance. I didn't realize the rose had gone anywhere, since I've been wearing rose-inspired perfumes most of my adult life. Furthermore, Les Parfums de Rosine has been offering rose-centered fragrances since the company was revived in 1991, so they would seem to have been ahead of this trend (?); when I first began exploring niche perfumery a decade ago, I found many scents to love in the Rosine collection. (I would have liked to include more of them in my list of 25 must-try rose fragrances, believe me; I was just trying to keep things balanced!)

Majalis is the latest launch from Les Parfums de Rosine, a "seductive and sophisticated" floriental with top notes of bergamot, mandarin, grapefruit, nutmeg, and cinnamon bark; heart notes of cinnamon leaves, taif rose, tea rose, rose absolute, jasmine, black and red pepper, and coriander seed; and base notes of vetiver, sandalwood, cedarwood, amber, and musk. It was developed by François Robert for Marie-Hélène Rogeon, and it pays tribute to rosa majalis, also known as the "cinnamon rose."

I don't particularly enjoy strong doses of cinnamon, either in my food or in my fragrances, so I was pleased to discover that cinnamon makes less of an impression in Majalis than you might expect. That's the good news. The less positive news is that nothing else really seems to make a strong impression, either. Majalis's opening is something of a mish-mash of spice (really more nutmeg than cinnamon, to my nose), something plasticky-sweet like ylang ylang, and a green, vegetal note like cilantro. There's a pleasing saffron note, and much less citrus than I would have expected, going by the list of notes, but that's fine with me — there are already enough citrus-rose fragrances on the market, thanks to the success of our old friend Stella by Stella McCartney (which I still do enjoy, actually).

I prefer the heart of Majalis, when the more discordant top notes fade and a soft, dusky rose emerges. I also like the gentle sandalwood and cedar of the base. It's a very pleasant fragrance,  once it develops a bit. Strangely, it doesn't last very long on the skin; I applied it just before I sat down to watch a movie on television, and I was left with very little scent by the time the film ended. Majalis just doesn't have the presence or personality of my favorites from Rosine. Secrets de Rose, for example, is a richer, more rounded composition of rose and spice and amber, while Poussière de Rose combines rose and cedar in a much more memorable way. As for spice, Rosine has already released Rose de Feu, Rose Kashmirie, and others. I'm not sure whether Majalis really adds anything new to the collection. I wish I liked it more; fortunately, there are still many other noteworthy fragrances in the Rosine collection, and plenty of other spiced-rose fragrances on the market. Feel free to name your own favorites in the comments section!

Les Parfums de Rosine Secrets de Rose is available in 50 and 100ml Eau de Parfum; for purchasing information see the listing for Les Parfums de Rosine under Perfume Houses.

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31 Comments

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  1. egabbert says:

    I’m a huge fan of Rose Praline as well as Rose d’Homme.

    • C.H. says:

      Oh good to know–I have a sample but never got around to trying Rose d’Homme, I will have to get on that. Thanks!

      • Jessica says:

        I love Rose Praline — dark rose with spiced chocolate tea! So good in fall and winter.

        I remember liking Twill Rose (another masculine) when I tried it, but I’m a little fuzzy on Rose d’Homme…

        • egabbert says:

          To my nose Rose Praline is all fruity rosy candy and I don’t pick up on a lot of chocolate. Either way, mouthwatering.

      • egabbert says:

        I’ve gone through two small decants, maybe I’ll eventually buy a bottle!

        • Jessica says:

          I’d definitely recommend it to someone who likes Be Delicious but is ready for something that feels a little more special!

  2. Omega says:

    Haven’t sniffed this one, want to though:). I like the Zeste out of this line so far.

    • Jessica says:

      Some of the fruity ones are really nice! Rose d’Ete makes me feel happy.

      • C.H. says:

        Yup Zest and Rose d’Ete are my two favorites from the line!

        • egabbert says:

          I’ve always thought of Rose d’Ete as the niche/upscale version of DKNY Be Delicious.

          • Jessica says:

            Oops, commented above, meant to put it here!

          • mals86 says:

            I love Rose d’Ete but can’t stand the DK – which seems much more “green apple” shampoo plus jasmine partials to me.

          • egabbert says:

            To my nose they both have a lot of green apple and mimosa but Rose d’Ete has better materials. DSH recently did a linden scent that reminded me of Rose d’Ete too.

        • Omega says:

          C.H. I think we are scent twins. Really.

          • C.H. says:

            That is SO exciting to hear–maybe we can make use of that in the upcoming split meet??

  3. floragal says:

    I found that article in Allure interesting as well. I don’t particularly like rose notes, but I do keep seeing rose-focused flankers and so wonder if this is a trend?

    • Jessica says:

      Floragal, there do seem to be more rose fragrances in the mainstream market than there were 10 years ago, and you’re right, many of them are flankers!

      I have a funny feeling that part of the rose-flanker appeal is the pink color of the juice and/or bottle… the color pink does have a lot of fans.

  4. C.H. says:

    Thanks Jessica–I do like spiced rose but it doesn’t sound like this is going to displace any of my favorites (with Le Labo Rose 31 as leader of the pack!)

    • Jessica says:

      Hi, C.H.! If you love Le Labo Rose, this one will probably fall a bit flat for you — oh well!

  5. Bee says:

    my favourite: une folie de rose. I guess there’s a rosine for just about everybody, if you enjoy a hint of rose, it does take time to work through the collection, though

    • Jessica says:

      I’m not usually a chypre lover, but I do like Une Folie de Rose! I agree — it takes a while to try all the Rosines (there are still a few I haven’t sampled!), but the range does offer something for almost everyone who likes rose/floral fragrances.

  6. Merlin says:

    Just wanted to echo Floragal above and agree – that there does seem to be a trend for ‘oud-focused flankers’ over and above the usual presence of rose – everywhere in perfumery.

    I have to admit I have not yet found a Rosine to love. Every now and then I’ll be ‘taken’ by a particular one, but when i return to try it again, the 2nd, or the 3rd time, the lemming always dissipates.

    • Jessica says:

      I guess the brands figure that almost anyone will try either a rose flanker or an oud flanker for a fragrance that they originally loved!

      • Merlin says:

        And I think La Rosine has not yet get on the oud bandwagon:)

        Perhaps the La Rosine rose-oud accord will be the winner for me, lol!

  7. austenfan says:

    Lovely review, although I don’t think I will need to add this one to my collection.
    I love Ecume, un Zest and Rosa Flamenca, the first one being my favourite Rosine, and probably my favourite “airy” rose.

    • Jessica says:

      Ecume de Rosine was my second Rosine, if I recall correctly. It’s still one of my favorite airy/marine roses!

  8. Marjorie Rose says:

    Early in my perfumista craziness, I tried several Rosine scents and didn’t care for any of them–I remember them seeming “thin.” However, rose as a note has become more welcome to my nose this year, so perhaps they’re worth another try . . .

    • Jessica says:

      Do give La Rose de Rosine another try, if you can… it’s lovely aldehydic rose-violet with benzoin in the drydown!

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        Ooh. Rose-violet is one of my weaknesses! I will have to check and see if that’s one of the samples from way-back.

        • Marjorie Rose says:

          Update–not one I tried! Will add to the sniff-list. . . Thanks!

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