Jo Malone Red Roses is like a fastidious gardener's dream of a red rose scent. It is the second red-rose composition included in this series after Comme de Garçons Red Series: Rose. Of the two it is the less apparently stylized and the more natural-smelling one. If Comme des Garçons Red Rose appeared to be a hyper-realistic rose in the sense of conveying the impression of being intellectually constructed and painted with progressive, economical little touches, Jo Malone Red Roses just feels as if you had crushed crimson rose petals on your skin in an attempt to release and retain their scent.
The scent evokes the sensation of smelling ripe red roses in a dewy garden in the early hours of the morning. The flowers are fragrant, subtly spicy, crisp and heady as when one is struck by the natural richness of a cut flower scent rather than the headiness of a perfume. The accent here has been put on freshness thanks to the balancing out of the floral, fruity, and metallic nuances of red roses by green sappy ones. The perfume is included in the family of light green florals by the brand and like their other perfumes offers a clean signature......
Red Roses was released in 1996 for Valentine's Day. Similarly to S-Perfume 100 % Love in this respect but in a more classic way, it feels very much like a scent for the occasion. According to the press ad copy, the perfume "includes seven rose oils from all over the world because a rose is something a man can give to a woman anywhere in the world"
The two most striking features of Red Roses are first its balanced character - it smells like natural Bulgarian rose essence but better, without some of the less controlled aspects of a raw product - and second its naturalness as a result of the craft of the perfumer. The rose essences have been made to smell slightly fruitier and prettier thanks to citrus notes while the innate heavy aspects of rose essences have been lightened up by green notes of violet leaves and spearmint to mimic the effect of outdoorsy roses. Discreet honey nuances were added with beeswax. Otherwise one gets the every alcoholic, wine-y, jam-y, and stem-y nuances of live roses. The dry-down even offers an interesting salty-sweet nuance.
Despite its fresh personality, the scent is long lasting. This is a scent for red roses lovers, pure and simple. As part of the Jo Malone layering aesthetics, you can also envision layering it with other scents from the same brand. For example, they suggest layering "red roses body lotion with a spritz of Nutmeg and Ginger Cologne to add warm woody notes."
The whole collection of scents looks like the catalogue of a naturalist. There is a certain 18th century encyclopedic rationalist charm to this library of perfumes, which invites you to see each scent as a potential building block while inviting you to a learned exploration of nature. It is the perfume equivalent of a butterfly collection.
Top notes: lemon, spearmint. Heart notes: violet leaves, Bulgarian Rose (alternate description: Benjamin Britten, Scarlet Velvet, Songs of Praise, Rouge Royale, Don Juan, Hansa and Deep Secret Roses.) Base notes: Beeswax.
A 30 ml cologne retails for $50, a 100 ml one for $95. A bath oil retails for $60 and a body lotion for $60.