A Lab on Fire Rose Rebelle Respawn ~ fragrance review

A Lab on Fire Rose Rebelle Respawn

Last summer, A Lab On Fire launched Rose Rebelle Respawn, a "modern, feminine" fragrance developed by perfumer Sophia Grojsman. Like everything about A Lab on Fire, it's a bit mysterious: it's the third or fourth permutation of Grojsman's 100% Love, originally released in 2003 by S-Perfume (the parent brand of A Lab on Fire). The original 100% Love was followed by S-Perfume 100% Love {More} in 2006, and more recently, by A Lab on Fire Rose Rebelle in 2011, which I never had the chance to try. (I think it was available only in Paris, and it may or may not have been identical to 100% Love.)

Rose Rebelle Respawn has a composition of ivy, mint leaves, carnation, rose, musks, incense and cacao notes, and its description on the A Lab on Fire website reads:

Nothing can harm you. Nothing can drag you down.  When your strength is unlimited, it comes from the deepest, most fearless heart. Looking hard into the eyes of your future, you are steady and master it. It kneels before you, in awe. The allure of Rose Rebelle Respawn is boundless.

That really sounded like something I needed to try for the new year, so I ordered a small sample vial. I've been wearing it all week, and I'm enjoying it so much that I'm considering purchasing a full bottle. Not that I need a full bottle of anything, these days, but this one is awfully tempting for me. I admire and enjoy the original 100% Love (enough to have included it on a list of 25 must-try rose perfumes), but I personally find it too jammy-sweet in its fruit notes, too hot-pink in its florals, to wear on a regular basis. A small sample is all I need to own, for occasional weekend use. Rose Rebelle Respawn is indeed a close relation to 100% Love et al., but it's been re-interpreted in a way that makes it easier for me to wear in daytime, on mass transit, even (lightly) in the office.

To my nose, Rose Rebelle Respawn doesn't have the bright red fruit notes of 100% Love, and the volume has been turned down on its rose and chocolate notes. The opening contains a new, soft-yet-fresh green note; I wouldn't necessarily be able to identify it as mint or ivy on my own, but I do like it, and I admire the way it fades into the rose and carnation. The dry down is a blend of sheer, powdery chocolate and light musks that has a "skin scent" feeling for me. As usual, you should remember that my general tastes do veer towards the sweeter end of the spectrum; Rose Rebelle Respawn is certainly a softer, gentler version of 100% Love, but it's still a quirky-romantic "fleurmand." It has low sillage, but very good staying power for an Eau de Toilette. If I do purchase a full bottle for myself, I'll wear it often.

A Lab on Fire Rose Rebelle Respawn is available in 15 (approx $33) or 60 ($100) ml Eau de Toilette. For buying information, see the listing for A Lab On Fire under Perfume Houses.

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  1. Connie says:

    Thanks, I’ve been hoping of a review of this one for a while!

    • Jessica says:

      I can’t believe I didn’t try it sooner! July seems like yesterday. Time flies!

  2. mals86 says:

    Hmm. Interesting. I didn’t realize that S-Perfumes was involved in any way with A Lab on Fire. I’m still wary of those cocoa notes – I despise chocolate in any form in my perfume, though definitely not in my mouth, and I haaaaaaaated 100% Love with a passion. The rose was all screamy and the patchouli in it just killed me, but the texture was very pretty, a silky giving thing full of air. Sigh.

    I”ve come to realize that cocoa notes are often conflated in my mind with patchouli, the dusty earthy kind that I really really hate, and I just. Can’t. Do it. (I do think there is some actual relationship between cocoa notes and patchouli, not just a perceived one, but in any case, it is simply not my thing.)

    Yay for 15ml bottles, though.

    • Jessica says:

      It took me a while to notice the relationship between the two brands, too. And I really wish the 12 ml bottles were available in the US! I can only find them on the Colette website…

      • Jessica says:

        (I meant 15 ml, obviously!)

      • C.H. says:

        Oh rats–I was just about to say, me too, knowing it comes in 15ml is a big inducement for me to try! Hm well. Maybe they will hear our plea!

    • C.H. says:

      Oh!! Mals, I am so glad you mention that–I thought it was just my nose, that lots of patchouli scents smell chocolatey to me! I’m so relieved to hear I’m not the only one! I wonder how this happens…

  3. maggiecat says:

    I am now officially Tempted by this. I’ also usually turned off by cocoa or chocolate notes in perfume – like fruit, I prefer to eat it rather than wear it – but this sounds intriguing. Perhaps a sample needs to be in my future as well.

    • Jessica says:

      It’s not overly chocolatey — I don’t think anyone walking past me would think, “oh, cocoa.” It’s very well-crafted — not surprising, for S Grojsman!

  4. kindcrow says:

    I purchased a sample soon after NST announced this — it sounded very promising. It did not grab me, but I only tried it once. I guess that with a name like that, I was hoping for some real spiciness from the carnation. I will have to re-visit it.

    • Jessica says:

      It’s definitely less “rebelle” than its name! Hope you’ll like it more on the second round.

  5. nozknoz says:

    I have the original 100% Love, which I do really love. I don’t wear it often, but I don’t wear anything often, actually. I also remember ordering it via Sacré Nobi’s original website, which now redirects to Luckyscent, sadly, instead of the company that used to do it (it had a strange name like The Shaping Room or something). Not only was the customer service great, but they always threw in a free bottle of one of the other scents!

    I ordered some Lab on Fire samples from Luckyscent the other day but unfortunately did not order this one because I don’t like the name, which sounds like a mashup between Rihanna’s Reb’l Fleur and Lady Gaga. It sounds like I should give it a shot anyway.

    I forget, have you tried Lush Rose Jam? I’m surprised by how much I like that.

    • Jessica says:

      I love Lush Rose Jam!! I’m using my bottle verrrry slooowly.

      I wish we could order directly from A Lab on Fire, too. They’re so mysterious!

  6. solanace says:

    This sounds delightful, and yes, for once the press material speaks to me.

    • Jessica says:

      I know — I usually either roll my eyes over the press blurb or forget it as soon as I finish reading it (same old same old), but I like this one!

  7. happy888cat says:

    I have a bottle of the original Rose Rebelle and I love it. It is a very dark chocolate mixed with a ripe, ripe rose (a touch too ripe imo though). There’s nothing green in that version. I only use it in moments when I am dying to smell it (15ml is TINY!)
    I have been considering investing in this before it’s gone like the original but the green notes are kinda “hmmmm”

  8. theluscioushellcat says:

    Intriguing as heck.

    Almost completely off topic: When you mention “skin scent” I am reminded of a really good scent from The Body Shop of all places called ‘of a woman.’ Very skin, but something more. A tiny dot of blackcurrant, I think.

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