There are basically two ways for brands to make a splash when unveiling a new product: Introduce a cutting-edge ingredient that’s never been seen before, or reinvent a classic in a fresh new way. The latest winter 2018 scents fall neatly into the second camp, thanks to the unifying note that ties them all together. Rose perfume for winter 2018 is trending, not that it was ever out of style — it's one of the most storied scents in the history of fragrance, and was the signature perfume of both Cleopatra and King Henry VIII.
Don’t think that today’s rose perfumes — including new launches from Dior, Carven, Chopard — are of the stale, overly floral variety favored by your grandma. In contrast, most combine a mix of fruity, spicy, and musky notes that feel distinctly modern and so different. Because as it turns out, a rose by any other name doesn't smell as sweet. Varied classifications of roses — like Bulgarian rose versus tea rose — actually have unique scent profiles, ranging from citrusy to woodsy.
Bulgarian rose, as seen in The Harmonist’s Yin Transformation (which launched in September) and Chopard’s Rose de Caroline, is typically derived from damask roses and brings a rich, earthy aroma with a hint of spice. If you’re after a lighter, more herbal variety, opt for Beauty Pie’s debut fragrance or the limited-edition Chloé Absolu de Parfum Spray, both of which feature rose centifolia, otherwise known as the cabbage rose. Diehard rose fans will want to look for rose essence, which is the the most concentrated form of the floral scent — and also the most expensive (the $595 price tag on Eric Buterbaugh Floral Gardenia Oud will attest to that). That’s because it takes an astounding 250 pounds of petals to make just one ounce of essence, according to the University of Vermont.
Good news for those of you who prefer a unisex scent: Many of winter 2018’s new fragrances (like the aforementioned formulations from Beauty Pie and Eric Buterbaugh) feature rose as a middle note, subtly mixed with grounding, musky layers, for an effect that’s more universal than distinctly feminine.
Finally, if you need a little nudge to treat yourself, a scientific study done last year showed that the scent of rose has the power to ease the effects of anxiety and promote physiological and psychological relaxation. (I don’t know about you, but starting 2019 with less anxiety from a pretty bottle of perfume sounds like a New Year’s resolution I can actually keep.)
Ahead, discover the 13 new winter fragrances that reinvent rose in the most modern ways.
Shop New Rose Perfumes
Inspired by Japanese Kabuki theater, Dior’s take on rose is delicate and powdery, with notes of cotton and musk. In other words, it’s the perfect everyday scent.
Perfumer Alberto Morillas created this fragrance especially for Chopard’s co-president, Caroline Scheufele Chopard, with ethically sourced ingredients including “Bulgarian rose absolute more valuable than gold,” according to Chopard’s site.
If you love a fruity fragrance, look no further than the latest from Carven, with a top note of litchi rose. The brand calls it “a gift of vivacious Parisian elegance,” thanks to the unexpected combination of fruit, florals, and a sexy vanilla base.
A mix of heady florals and spicy wood, Floral Gardenia Oud features pure rose essence as a middle note, flanked by saffron and smokey santal, for a mix that smells like pure luxury.
For their debut fragrance, Beauty Pie wanted nothing less than the best. World renowned perfumer Frank Voelkl (responsible for the now-notorious Le Labo Santal 33) formulated this scent with bitter orange blossom and rose from Grasse, France — the perfume capital of the world. Even sweeter? The perfume's price is only $21.54 for members.
The first fragrance set from Shelli Segal (the fashion designer behind the brand Laundry) includes Metro Pop, a musky rose and warm amber mixture that can be worn on its own or layered with the set’s other two fragrances, Downtown Kiss (floral) and Urban Ice (citrus).
Rose petals mix with lychee and pink pepper for a light, fresh, slightly mysterious scent that's perfect for daytime.
More than just a pretty bottle, Dior's new J'adore Absolu makes a strong statement with pure notes of magnolia at the top, rose in the middle, and orange blossom at the base.
"Rain drenched rose petals" were the inspiration behind Alexander McQueen's new Celtic Rose Eau de Parfum. Mixed with spicy pepper, the fragrance feels ancient and modern all at once.
The lighter, floral notes of Bulgarian rose and orchid in Yin Transformation, which launched in September, are balanced out with “velvety almond milk” and ylang ylang for a fragrance that gives off a smooth, sensual vibe.
Gucci Bloom Nettare di Fiori, which launched in August, is a more intense take on the iconic Gucci Bloom. What's different? Notes of rose and ginger add sweetness and spice to the original jasmine-heavy blend.
Double up on rose with Chloé's limited-edition release, back just in time for the holidays. It includes both damask rose and rose centifolia, and the sweet florals are balanced out with warm vanilla and patchouli... making for a scent that works year-round.