Ambra, Gomma, Heliotrope, Lemon Sorbet, Magot, Messe de Minuit, Palais Jamais, Patchouly, Royal Pavilion, Sandalo, Vetiver, Shaal Nur. I've owned all these Etro perfumes. A new bottle of Vetiver arrived at my home last week, and I've bought many bottles of Magot, Sandalo and Messe de Minuit, too. When ManRose1 was released I had to try it (though my love of Etro perfumes stops around 1997...recent releases have been "nice," but don't appeal to me like the older fragrances).
I love the scent of roses and almost go bankrupt each (dry) Northwest summer watering the plants that keep my home smelling rosy from May till October. Rose appears as a note in many men's fragrances these days, though it's usually a bit player (you can't let your attention wander or you'll miss it). I'm not afraid to wear full-on rose fragrances as long as the rose is deep and rich and augmented with some gusty ingredient like black pepper, cumin, cardamom, leather/saffron, vetiver, wine/booze, resins/woods or musk (even musky strawberry, currant or pineapple). I like my roses so red they're almost black.
Enter: ManRose, my favorite Etro fragrance in ages. If someone had given me an unmarked vial of this perfume to sample, I would have guessed it was one of Jean-Claude Ellena's Les Jardins fragrances from Hermès — perhaps Un Jardin à Isparta (where Rosa × damascena oil is distilled).
ManRose, like my favorite Les Jardins fragrances, has a playful air. It begins with vibrant citrus and lots of pepper, geranium leaf and a 'liquid' rose. The image and scent that came to mind was a rose garden situated by a lake or river...where fresh air flows through the blooming rose bushes. (No, there are no annoying aquatic notes in ManRose). Even the base of ManRose is refreshing, with some light patchouli, woody vetiver and a hint of cedar. The rose note lasts from start to finish.
Judging from the week I wore ManRose, it's a crowd-pleaser, appealing to perfume haters, the finicky, and even those who don't usually wear perfume. ManRose isn't a challenging fragrance: it's charming and fun to wear. (It's also a great layering scent; it smells good worn with Etro Vetiver; the left side of my body gets one, the right side the other.)
ManRose is certainly unisex but maybe more women will wear this than men? American men may not want to answer the question: "What cologne are you wearing?" with "ManRose." ManRose's bottle is also a bit "fancy" for macho types. ManRose may be styled for the Etro man, a man who loves color and outrageous textures and pattern in his clothes, and who would happily wear these shoes:
Men: what are your favorite rose perfumes? Women: what rose perfumes do you wear that you feel men would enjoy?
Etro ManRose Eau de Parfum is €130 for 100 ml. For buying information, see the listing for Etro under Perfume Houses.
1. Listed notes of bergamot, pepper, cardamom, Turkish rose, geranium, patchouli, vetiver, musk, elemi, incense, leather, amber and woods.
Note: top images of roses by the author. Shoes available for viewing (and buying) at Etro.