Oh, boy! You asked for it!
I gather that you are looking for not-too-rosy rose fragrances for yourself.
One I like very much that is definitely unisex is Diptyque L'Ombre Dans L'Eau
, which is Bulgarian rose and black currant. The fragrance creates an impression of tomato stems, if you like that.
Several pricey roses suitable for men who like darker rose fragrances include: C&S Dark Rose
, Eau d'Italie Paestum Rose
and Malle Une Rose.
You may also wish to test several of the masculine rose based perfumed by Les Parfums de Rosine: Twill Rose, Rose d'Homme and Rosissimo.
The Rosine website sells 2 ml vial sample sets of any 3 or any 15 of their fragrances, and the price includes shipping.
Less expensive masculine roses include Azzaro Acteur,
which is very nice, and Perfumer's Workshop Tea Rose
(I do not like the latter, but some men do, and I've read where some use it for layering.)
So much for my recommendations of roses that I think many men might like.
However, you asked our personal favorites. I prefer rose perfumes that really smell like roses, and not so many men wear these.
However one that you really ought to try is Creed Fleur de Thé Rose Bulgare
, which is just gorgeous. While it leans toward feminine, I do know a man who wears it. It is green, not sweet, but it definitely gives the impression of rose
! Not a fresh rose, though; more like a rose liqueur.
Hmm, there is another "rose" fragrance but it doesn't much smell of roses: Hermessence Rose Ikebana
. The grapefruit and wood notes are nice. Use your rose imagination on this one.
At this point I'll get into roses that are distinctly more feminine.
I like Annick Goutal Rose Absolue
eau de parfum quite a lot; it is much like Montale Highness Rose
but it is a bit brighter. Rose Absolue
is a combination of six roses, we are told, but to me it smells mostly of rose de mai (also known as Grasse rose, rosa centifolia and cabbage rose.) If you sample this, be sure to sample the eau de parfum, not
the much weaker "eau parfumée" concentration, which was introduced in 2010. The edp comes in a bottle with a gold ribbon (50 or 100 ml); the eau parfumée has a deep pink ribbon and is only 100mls as far as I have seen.
I also love one that is now hard to find: C&E Evelyn
. This smells like the David Austin English rose of the same name. It was reformulated as Evelyn Rose
and lost its beautiful drydown. A shame.
Then I also like Provence Santé Wild Rose
. I think this may have a tiny bit of mint in it; it's sweeter than FdTRB.Yardley English Rose
is thoroughly feminine, probably too much so for most men, but I like it.Annick Goutal Ce Soir Ou Jamais
is a liqueur-like rose with a distinct note of pear. I used to wear this one but finally sold it as I preferred FdTRB. Once I knew I was smelling pear, well, it wasn't the same for me. The pear note stood out too much then.