Excellent rose fragrance with light touches of cumin and amber. Turns slightly powdery after the opening but still mostly unisex. Quite captivating and would be great in any season. Would make a terrific date night scent. Unfortunately on my skin it fades too quickly and at LeLabo prices, I can find much better performance. I'll give it a high neutral rating.
This superstar is a far cry from its Nichier vintage 10 years ago. I had the older formulations and they were cumin bombs, unforgivingly so. Within the fragrance circles she was used to be called Rose with B.O./ Armpit Rose. Weirdly, it is the cumin rose combo that gained her pioneering fans, me included. Well like many niche things, superstardom takes over and if you're going to be supplies in Hotels, you can't smell like B.O. The extremely subdued current R31s will still get you hooked, I bet millions are. It's a lightly spiced cosmetic bag rose. The makeup bag accord is maybe from rooty iris. I swear if this was a little more crotchy and sweaty, like vintage Rose Poivree(JCE), it would be a whole lot more enjoyable. I would label this Carroty spiced Rose
Not your typical rose. This is a floral woody musk. The wood and musk really ground the floral. I'm not sure how unique it is although I've never smelled anything quite like this. I do think it leans more feminine however, I can see it manageable for a male as the wood really grounds the rose. Not much longevity, not much silliage but nevertheless a nice non offensive scent.
Le Labo Rose 31 is a beautiful, alluring, ethereal fragrance for those of us who adore the contained fragrance notes. While marketed as unisex, to me Rose 31 leans feminine, which is something I look for whenever I attempt an oud fragrance, or a perfume with oud listed as an ingredient. Lovely, calming, embracing...I just love this fragrance.
So yes, Rose 31 opens with the expected blast of rose, sharp cumin and the usual spices...notes that give the perfume a very spicy, bitter introduction. But within 30-60 seconds, Rose 31 morphs with drier, more subtle rose, some cedar, a beautiful oud scent, etc. The dry-down is more lovely, grounded "old" ROSE...a rose fragrance like something you might expect if you pressed a rose between the pages of an old book, cedar, woodsy notes, musk...and ROSE.
The end result is lovely for me, as many rose-oud-musky-woodsy fragrances tend to remain too "fresh," or too "green" on me. Not this one. The interplay between the various notes makes this an interesting, non-linear, peaceful & soothing fragrance. As an aside LL Rose 31 is not at all powdery, which is another note I dislike in many rose, violet, iris, jasmine, or other floral fragrances.
So, Le Labo Rose 31 is "old rose world" without becoming too "old-lady"-ish, or victorian. I like this fragrance a lot. Just wish the fragrance had more staying power, especially at this price point.
Now I'm torn between buying a full bottle of LL Rose 31 or Bella Freud 1971...
Le Labo Rose 31 is truly a unique and beautiful twist on the much tried, saturated rose fragrance perfume market!
I'm not denying that this is a fascinating rose unlike any I've smelled before. It's full of exotic spices and woods, never goes too powdery or sharp like some rose orientals wind up becoming. This is incredibly well done and unique, certainly worth it's price tag, for those who do not have a very specific scent association like I do.
I'll just briefly mention it so you understand why this fragrance and I will not be able to rendezvous again. When I was a girl, I had a babysitter who would take me to school and would also bring a few other girls to school. We would stop by their house and sometimes they wouldn't be ready so we'd have to go in and help them. There were four of them, so as you'd imagine the house was in total chaos. They had 2-3 chihuahua dogs and had a tendency to leave 'puppy pads' out everywhere. There house had the smell of this perfume. That's not to insult this fragrance, on the contrary I'm looking back now and I'm impressed that there house actually probably didn't smell that bad. I never thought their house smelled disgusting or anything, just that it was always a mess and I didn't understand why I myself had to help someone else's kids get ready myself when I was the same age as them and needed to get to school. But now I'm rambling, so I'll close...
It amazes me that some fragrances can take you back to a specific time or memory like this. I never experienced it before when I used to hear other people talking about it I thought they were just being overly fanatical or trying to sound more intelligent about fragrance, but now I totally get what they're saying. I can't explain it but I know it's true, and sadly in this case it's making this fragrance undesirable for me.
I still recommend this as a must try for anyone who likes rose fragrances and wants to venture into the niche realm. This is one of the most interesting ones I've smelled to date. I really do appreciate the craft and beauty of this, it's just my brain that can't love this one.
Sillage and longevity were good, but not amazing. Around 6-7 hours with average sillage on me.