Legend has it that Rose Absolue is based on a signature mix of three very specific rose essential oils and, when there's a bad year and one of the three isn't up to snuff, they simply don't make the perfume that year. This came from an Annick Goutal salesperson, so take it with a grain of salt, but that's the official explanation for why Rose Absolue is almost impossible to find for years at a time.
If you can, it's definitely worth a sniff. The rose notes are fantastic, and notable for what they lack more than what's there. Without woody and green supporting notes, this never smells like burying your nose in a real rose - instead, it's like a pure rose petal smell you'd encounter in candy or rosewater more than a perfume. Also, it smells like rose oil, not that honey/lily/strawberry smell that passes for rose in most rose perfumes, so it really doesn't smell like a standard rose perfume that way, either.
I think this is what makes Rose Absolue such a love-it-or-hate-it perfume. Like I said, it doesn't smell like a normal rose perfume. Instead, it smells almost more functional, so it reminds me of candy (or, on a bad day, rose air freshener) more than perfume because it's rare to smell basically unadorned rose oils as a perfume - we tend to associate them more with cleaning or cooking.
What little ornamentation the roses receive, as far as I can guess, is a hyper-juicy orange note on top that mixes in a way that reminds me a LOT of Amouage's beloved Homage Attar, as well as a subtle soapy white musk in the base, but the real star is always the rose.
In the boutique where I managed to track down this fragrance, the tester bottle was hidden away due to many instances of thievery, with this fragrance being the most desirable to steal.
The sales assistant refused to spray this on a card or on my skin, and argued that Rose Absolue is best experienced when sprayed directly into the cap.
From what I can recall, which is not as vivid as other scents that I often review, was a rather strong, rich concoction of various roses.
The concentration of this fragrance is close to rose-scented oil. In some instances the amount of roses in this fragrance can seem like way too much. The name pretty much sums up this fragrance. If you don't like rose, don't bother trying Rose Absolue.
I can only imagine that this fragrance would feel like velvet on the skin. There's something so very majestic about it. Rose Absolue smells like royalty and the upper class.
Many mention the old-fashioned appeal of this fragrance, which I'm a huge fan of. That quaint, antique style is what makes me love Annick Goutal's scents in the first place.
Every single, unique and exotic rose blends together so naturally. In all honesty I love my rose scents when blended with other notes, like Rose Barbare with its honey and spices or Quel Amour! with its mint and peony. However Rose Absolue is beautiful in all its singularity.
Due to Rose Absolue's richness, I would recommend this fragrance for Winter wear or even romantic occasions. For a fresher, more Spring-like rose, Quel Amour! or Ce Soir ou Jamais are nice alternatives.
Is this is a soapy rose ? Yes !
But even so - it is nice .This for some reason makes me think of rose soap + warm humidity (and I am sampleing on a dry winter's day).The sum of the two is combining to form the impression of the pink bubble bath Katy Keene of Archie Comics took.This is the scent my 8 year old self thought it would smell like.
The drydown pretty much leaves you soapy slightly rosey clean .I imagine this would be a very nice scent in summer to feel fresh and clean.
Overall Rose Absolue is okay but not quite me.
A weak, one-note, overly sudsy rosewater fragrance. I simply do not understand the love for this - not only is it bad, it's terribly overpriced for what it delivers.
Rose, rose, rose, and rose: If you don’t love rose, don’t bother… If you love rose, Annick Goutal Rose Absolue presents the rose in the most elegant simplicity possible. It is totally beautiful and I love smelling this on women.
Quite delicate sillage but presents itself firmly when smelled close to the skin. Lasts forever…