The initial notes of Roma are quite on the sweet-creamy side; ylang, vanilla, a hint of fruits, a balsamic-resinous breeze (myrrh, apparently: basically an Oriental spicy-incense-resin smell like olibanum), a minty note, heliotrope, delicate and aromatic citrus notes, aldehydes, supported by an earthy-animalic velvety base, refined and understated, which gives just a tiny touch of "animalic" à la Jicky but quite soft and hiding like a shadow behind a cloud of silky spicy soapiness. As minutes pass it darkens becoming smokier and more resinous, the balsamic incense is now more prominent together with woods and patchouli, always surrounded by a sweet talc creaminess of ylang, flowers and sandalwood. So in short it's all about flowers, resins, woods, quite on the sweet-bright side despite some interesting darker corners. Undoubtedly a pleasant scent, simple, friendly and elegant (not that sophisticated, though), versatile and iconic – you smelled this everywhere some fifteen years ago in the streets of Italy. The drydown is dry and unexpectedly more greenish, almost grassy and a tad metallic. It may sound weird, but given the similarity of the notes, it almost resembles to Zino Davidoff or Guerlain Héritage's "blond sister". Good and easy-going.
As Barbara Herman describes this, "a sweet spicy floriental, a combo of Shalimar with amber and black currant."
Quite accurate - a sumptuous oriental from the late 1980s. The currant, vanilla civet and amber add depth to the tried and true formula that spawned Shalimar and Emeraude.
Top notes: Bergamot, Pink Grapefruit, Black Currant, Mint
Heart notes: Jasmine, Rose, Muguet
Base notes: Sandalwood, Vanilla, Amber, Musk, Patchouli, Oakmoss, Civet
Sophisticated and sexy oriental
The opening has the sharpness of black current and bergamot, and the addition of the mint adds what seems like a pine note when all combined together. Very appealing and fresh without being too sharp.
The floral heartnotes are quite sweet, definately throwing this into the "oriental" category, as others have noted. Rose and jasmine are most prominent. I expected more of a chypre style of fragrance from the notes lineup.
The basenotes contain a load of resinous and animalic notes, yet they play out rather subtly on me. I suppose it's because of the EDT formulation. I enjoy the drydown for its musky resinous quality. The longevity is fair, going on 8 hours now, and sillage is good. I applied lightly, dabbing with a cotton ball, but if your spray I imagine it really stands out.
A definate two thumbs up for this fragrance--easier to wear than Rumba, lovely blended notes,and a sexy vibe that's very appealing. I think it's a great 3-season fragrance; you might want to avoid wearing in the heat of summer.
Pros: Complex, resinous, smooth
Roma is on my list of all time favourites that I'm not prepared to run out of. From the huge blast of grapefruit and black pepper, through all of the floral to the vanilla and musk that last for the rest of the day, it's an absolute gem and the number of people who have asked what I'm wearing because it smells so lovely kind of shows that they agree with me.
I agree with all of Darvant's descriptors [with the exception of "powdery" as follows;
"A green-floral powdery light oriental, with the dominant floral notes of hiacynth and rose and a woody-myrrh talky dry down. The final sweetness is tamed by musk and oakmoss and some animal note with its almost tart-salty undertone. The beginning is a bit citrus, green-aromatic and sour with a sparkling grapefruit waving around before the floral heart starts expressing its sophistication. The final sweetness is a sort of powdery-nutty sweet smell of sandalwood not cloying or too dense and with a floral-talky wake. I don't detect vanilla while is clear the link among amber-patchouli and wood. The patchouli enhances the distinctiveness of the juice."
...and also with Teardrop "herbal".
For me this perfume is like being thrown in cool and dewy pre-dawn dark from an alien spaceship, with a giant crash and crushing of sappy stemmage, into the steep, wet extreme bottom of the back garden. What happens after that; you struggle out into the growing warmth of a spring morning, straightening clothing and trying to project composure. But you are betrayed by an obtrusive contrary resiny?/ferny? green woodyness; the rank, out of bounds bottom of the garden asserts itself even as sweeter warmer floral notes emerge.
One of my very favourites, perfect for a bracing, windy spring or autumn day, though one review I once read in a book relegated it strictly to evening.
Roma is simply gorgeous. It's green, citrusy (grapefruit?), powdery, with a slight vanilla and maybe even black pepper. I've been wearing it since 1991, when a sales associate at Nordstrom recommended it because I also have Anne Pliska and Must de Cartier.