Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Absolu by Rochas

Another smooth oriental creation in the same olfactory neighborhood as TROUBLE, albeit quite a bit simpler, Rochas ABSOLU is so benzoin and tolu balsam and labdanum-rich that the flowers (lily and neroli?)--and whatever else is supposed to be here--lie below my threshold detection capacity. What is most salient to me about this creation is its creator, Jacques Cavallier, who seems to use some mystery component which marks many perfumes as his own. I've smelled it in not only TROUBLE and ABSOLU, but also Calvin TRUTH (the original--I am not familiar with the reformulation...), and the perfumes which he designed both for Yves Rocher and for Salvatore Ferragamo.

Of all of the many perfumes by Jacques Cavallier with which I am familiar, ABSOLU strikes me as the most streamlined and the most obviously Cavallieresque, devoid as it is of loud distractions--whether of the spicy or the floral variety. In fact, this one might have been named L'ESSENCE DE JACQUES CAVALLIER. To my nose this composition really is minimalist--I would not have thought to compare it to Moschino COUTURE, for example, since the spices are so much more dominant in that composition than in this one, which to my nose is essentially an oriental perfume base. Very understated and totally unisex, ABSOLU would be perfect for those who find hard-hitting orientals to be a bit overwhelming.

I myself like but do not love and could certainly forego ABSOLU without undue strife, but I really do love the sleek vessel in which it is housed!
17th September, 2011 (last edited: 18th September, 2011)
Decidedly feminine, balmy, rich and elegant creation with similarities with Jean Paul Classique (from the same nose Cavallier and which with Absolu shares some floral notes, the neroli accord with orange blossom, rose, musk, vanilla and woody amber) and  Moschino couture which with shares some fruity-floral elements even if in a different way of consistence and intensity. While Moschino is clearly more airy, light and fruity-floral, Absolu is more rich and resinous with a more evident foundation on creamy and mellow final notes as vanilla, smokey amber, benzoin and balms. Many detect similarities with Le baisser du Dragon because of the common influence of neroli, cedar and benzoin considering that the note of bitter almond could play the same creamy-tasty role played by fig leaves in Absolu; i don't detect this connection because the Cartier's one is more dry, incensey, bitter-rooty and decidedly less balmy, smokey, dark and creamy than this one. The initial lush link of orange and fig is the intoxicating fruity welcome of the first Absolu's blast and it's really pleasant and almost edible before the scent becomes intensily floral with the feminine explosion of a bunch of nocturnal lily, neroli and rose. This phase lasts few time because the smell slides soon in a sort of balmy and   mellow base that reminds me a bit the one of Amarige (milky vanilla, smokey amber, dry fruits and sandalwood, musk). The dry down is a shadow of smokey franckincense, animalic, slightly bitter-orangy and musky amber, vanillic balm with the undertones of toasted dry fruits. On my skin i detect a smokey-peppery-spicy (may be cinnamon or nuttmeg) sultriness that renders the fragrance as a seductive and mysterious concoction with a long wake though a faint level of persistence. A pleasant solution for a touch of sensuousness for a night out.
11th July, 2011 (last edited: 22nd May, 2014)
This fragrance is, to me, in the same genre as Shalimar and other vanilla-based fragrances.

It is full bodied, sweet, and dries down to a palatable powdery scent.

It is best worn for evening and in the winter months.

It's a pity it is not more widely available as it is reasonably priced and rather nice.
30th October, 2010
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Tolu Balsam Benzoin and i think there's
a note missing Myrrh gives it a dark woodsy scent and it dries down to a powdery texture

this can be weared by Men and Women
i love the color the color of Yellow Topaz Liquid and i love the Bottle
design it's shaped like a top or
the Top looks Like a old record Vinyl.

the Reason i like this then loving it
because of it's powdery drydown which
i'm not crazy about.

I give this a 4
16th August, 2010 (last edited: 23rd August, 2010)

The opening is interesting – I enjoy the combination of orange and fig leaf… a very nice combination nicely done. But then the middle notes get too floral for me. Since I don’t get any mitigating pepper, the lily and the orange blossom get too heady for me, too strong, and it’s just too much for a while. The top and middle accords simply do not last very long; Then, after, say…a half hour, absolu is already into its rather weak drydown, from which I don’t get labdanum or cistus, but rather an potentially cloying sweet vanilla / amberish accord. The entire fragrance is gone from my skin within an hour even after a heavy application.

I’m not used to florals raging so strongly on my skin – usually they don’t perform very well, but with this fragrance the universe is turned upside down… the florals dominate on my skin and I can barely smell them on the paper card. On the card the pepper is very strong in the opening, and then I get a lovely orange, fig leaf, reduced lily, accord that seems to serve as both the later opening and the heart. It’s not long before the labdanum moves in to provide a beautiful, somewhat resinous depth to a fragrance I had thought was totally uncomplicated. On paper the drydown is a soft, textured, balsamic elegance. Rochas Absolu performs much better on paper than on my skin. It’s a so-so, feminine ultrafloral with poor lasting power on my skin, and an elegant unisex soft-spicy floral with poor lasting power on paper.

10th August, 2009
AnnS Show all reviews
United States
A nice, well done light spices and sweet vanilla fragrance...like other nice, well done light spices and sweet vanilla fragrances.
13th May, 2009