Rose Essentielle by Bulgari (2005) {Perfume Review & Musings}


As the summer approaches, I want to retain the mood of spring and I crave freshness and dewiness more than at the end of winter when all one can think of is about the forthcoming warmer days. As the temperature heats up I anticipate some of the more scorching days of summer realizing that I want to cultivate a freshness which is precisely that of spring - not that of winter nor of summer's cooler days. Perfumes help us cultivate the moment and turn the wheel of time a little.

Rose Essentielle by Bulgari feels just right for today's purpose of slowing down the advance of the season putting back the arm of the clock to that position in earlier spring when the new chilliness was too close to the rough cold to be fully appreciated. Especially in New England, where temperatures can swing from one extreme to the other in record time, fragrances may prove helpful in making one not feel entirely deprived of those more subtle-feeling days...


Rose Essentielle (Essential Rose) was created in 2005 by perfumer Béatrice Piquet of IFF. It is said, according to Bulgari, to be "...the richest and most sophisticated fragrance in the Bulgari Pour Femme Collection." The opening includes top notes of fruity Ottoman rose and pure Prelude rose. The heart showcases notes of blackberry, violet leaves, living mimosa, and jasmine sambac. Base notes are patchouli, gaïac wood, and sandalwood. It is described by Bulgari as a floral rose chypre and it comes across as a fresh and luminous soft chypre.

This is a rose fragrance for people who enjoy the scents of roses in nature but who are not necessarily rose perfume afcionados as they find that the note is often treated in too conventional or old-fashioned a way or smells too perfumey.

A counter-example might be Une Rose by Frederic Malle, which although being a brilliant rose fragrance in many respects is a little bit more difficult to appreciate because it smells somewhat ancient referencing in fact the heavy liquorishey aspects of rose absolute rather than a bed of roses in a garden. Not so in the case of the Bulgari treatment of a rose fragrance as the reference here is more to the living flower. It recreates the illusion of a peach and pink-colored rose bouquet fresh out of the florist's cooler with its perfectly dewey and satiny petals on which pearlescent drops finish rolling down their smooth edges.


The perfume opens on subtle notes of roses that are a work in constrasts between deeper fruity accents and fresh, aerial ones. The nuances are perfectly controlled and there is great balance to the scent. The second stage of the perfume brings in very realistic notes of soft blackberry and then slightly tarter blackcurrant. These add subtle wine-like nuances making the scent fruitier while creating an effect of depth which is slightly nocturnal as suggested by the dark robes of the fruits. There are also some pruney accents. The dewey roses bloom on a bed of forest fruits - a vision suggested also by the green fresh notes of violet leaves. The perfume with time becomes more exquisitely powdery and slightly sharper with a sexy and elegant note of sandalwood coming to the fore. The powdery mimosa soars softly. The patchouli note is very elegant and never obvious. The drydown is woodsy, fruity, and richly rosey. The fruits in fact betray an animalic, near-leathery quality which is very attractive - darkening the perfume further but in a very subtle fashion. The result is a fresh, dewey, and luminous scent that is in fact more secretly complex in its heart, thanks to a sensitive and refined work on complementary olfactory contrasts - almost more felt than smelled. It is like moving from the lighter outer edges of a rose to its fruity intoxicating heart while feeling the caress of spring air and catching exotic whiffs emanating from a sandalwood jewelry box.

Sources: Bulgari, Sephora, Osmoz, Au Féminin

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2 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. This scent is by far the best one I've ever worn. It's uniquely feminine without an overly sweet nuance. I get a definate surge of confidence and strength and seem to carry myself just a bit "higher" than when not wearing it.

  2. this is my absolute favourite fragrance - it is perfection. mademoiselle piquet is a genius!


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