Perfume Directory

Rose 31 (2006)
by Le Labo

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Rose 31 information

Year of Launch2006
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 548 votes)

People and companies

HouseLe Labo
PerfumerDaphne Bugey
Parent CompanyEstee Lauder Companies

About Rose 31

Rose 31 is a shared / unisex perfume by Le Labo. The scent was launched in 2006 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Daphne Bugey

Reviews of Rose 31

Not your typical rose. This is a floral woody musk. The wood and musk really ground the floral. I'm not sure how unique it is although I've never smelled anything quite like this. I do think it leans more feminine however, I can see it manageable for a male as the wood really grounds the rose. Not much longevity, not much silliage but nevertheless a nice non offensive scent.
22nd July, 2020
A pleasant enough woody rose but almost no projection or longevity on me - more or less a skin scent within half an hour.
20th February, 2020
Le Labo Rose 31 is a beautiful, alluring, ethereal fragrance for those of us who adore the contained fragrance notes. While marketed as unisex, to me Rose 31 leans feminine, which is something I look for whenever I attempt an oud fragrance, or a perfume with oud listed as an ingredient. Lovely, calming, embracing...I just love this fragrance.

So yes, Rose 31 opens with the expected blast of rose, sharp cumin and the usual spices...notes that give the perfume a very spicy, bitter introduction. But within 30-60 seconds, Rose 31 morphs with drier, more subtle rose, some cedar, a beautiful oud scent, etc. The dry-down is more lovely, grounded "old" ROSE...a rose fragrance like something you might expect if you pressed a rose between the pages of an old book, cedar, woodsy notes, musk...and ROSE.

The end result is lovely for me, as many rose-oud-musky-woodsy fragrances tend to remain too "fresh," or too "green" on me. Not this one. The interplay between the various notes makes this an interesting, non-linear, peaceful & soothing fragrance. As an aside LL Rose 31 is not at all powdery, which is another note I dislike in many rose, violet, iris, jasmine, or other floral fragrances.

So, Le Labo Rose 31 is "old rose world" without becoming too "old-lady"-ish, or victorian. I like this fragrance a lot. Just wish the fragrance had more staying power, especially at this price point.

Now I'm torn between buying a full bottle of LL Rose 31 or Bella Freud 1971...

Le Labo Rose 31 is truly a unique and beautiful twist on the much tried, saturated rose fragrance perfume market!
03rd October, 2019 (last edited: 04th October, 2019)
I'm not denying that this is a fascinating rose unlike any I've smelled before. It's full of exotic spices and woods, never goes too powdery or sharp like some rose orientals wind up becoming. This is incredibly well done and unique, certainly worth it's price tag, for those who do not have a very specific scent association like I do.

I'll just briefly mention it so you understand why this fragrance and I will not be able to rendezvous again. When I was a girl, I had a babysitter who would take me to school and would also bring a few other girls to school. We would stop by their house and sometimes they wouldn't be ready so we'd have to go in and help them. There were four of them, so as you'd imagine the house was in total chaos. They had 2-3 chihuahua dogs and had a tendency to leave 'puppy pads' out everywhere. There house had the smell of this perfume. That's not to insult this fragrance, on the contrary I'm looking back now and I'm impressed that there house actually probably didn't smell that bad. I never thought their house smelled disgusting or anything, just that it was always a mess and I didn't understand why I myself had to help someone else's kids get ready myself when I was the same age as them and needed to get to school. But now I'm rambling, so I'll close...

It amazes me that some fragrances can take you back to a specific time or memory like this. I never experienced it before when I used to hear other people talking about it I thought they were just being overly fanatical or trying to sound more intelligent about fragrance, but now I totally get what they're saying. I can't explain it but I know it's true, and sadly in this case it's making this fragrance undesirable for me.

I still recommend this as a must try for anyone who likes rose fragrances and wants to venture into the niche realm. This is one of the most interesting ones I've smelled to date. I really do appreciate the craft and beauty of this, it's just my brain that can't love this one.

Sillage and longevity were good, but not amazing. Around 6-7 hours with average sillage on me.
20th March, 2019
Le Labo is strangeness for the sake of it, and puts odd quotes from Henry David Thoreau at the forefront of their "manifesto", and styles themselves in a very humorless scientific fashion, with their very name meaning "The Laboratory" in French. Furthering their artistic idiosyncrasies, they don't use any animal products but painstakingly replicate animal notes from synthetics, including their own house-made castoreum proxy, and will even make "fresh" batches of their compositions by compounding them in person at their boutiques (product sold elsewhere is ready-made), signing the name of the client on the empty lines beneath the scent title on the label of the bottle itself. Still not done, Le Labo also amusingly names their scents after a single note despite that note almost always not being the star of the composition, but rather a supporting player, making everything they sell an intentional misnomer. The "dirty yet clean" approach is on full display here with Rose 31 (2006), created by mostly-niche perfumer Daphne Bugey. Rose does indeed open Rose 31, but soon after, is overtaken by everything else in the compositon and leaves the wearer with a clean, musky, slightly animalic, clinically-pleasant fragrance that would seem just like what somebody devoid of levity in lab coat attire would create. Some of Le Labo's other scents, like Santal 33 (2011) actually go somewhere worthwhile with their avant-garde "it is but it isn't" shtick, ending up being something surprisingly enjoyable and if not worth the price, still worth consideration, but not Rose 31.

Rose 31 does a remarkable job of opening like pure rose petals, almost as if just the bud of the rose found in Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie (1980) was separated from the rest of the plant and suspended in ether for all to sniff. This opening moment only lasts literally but a moment, as arms reach up from chemical Hell to grab at that rosebud, with Iso E Super and ambrette followed by cumin and synthetic castoreum. The hay-like transition from what Le Labo calls a Centifolia rose are caused by a very dry medicinal oud/cedar mixture, vetiver, and olibanum. The base of gaiac wood and musk is where this finishes, with the dirty rolling into the clean laundry musk and soft woody notes, likely also bolstered with synthetics. Wisps of labdanum also come and go near the end, but all I get in the finish is a weak woodsy dry musk with hints of rose, like somebody yanked the Comet cleanser scratch out of Tom Ford Oud Wood (2007) and shoved some musk and rose in it before diluting to half-strength without dropping the price tag to compensate. For all the science and artistic esoterica on display at Le Labo, the performance of Rose 31 is pretty limpid, with just 4 hours of any real radiance, then skin scent for another 4 before reapplication is needed. I won't remind you that very little rose is here because as I mentioned above, Le Labo always makes a supporting player the star of the scent, maybe as some kind of joke, but overall this is probably one of the most "designer" niche scents I've smelled, which I hope is part of some intentional irony on the company's behalf or else this is an absurd ripoff. Rose 31 really is the rose perfume for somebody who wants to pretend they like rose because it seems refined, and as a cool edgy laboratory-themed bottle to show off to confirm their good taste.

I don't hate Rose 31, but there are much better scents in this vein, even ones that just flirt with being a rose and/or oud fragrance without actually committing, both at the price points this is found, and much much lower. Anything sporting rose and/or oud from the Tom Ford Private Collection or Mancera/Montale is better than this, and anything from more affordable lines like the Aramis Perfume Calligraphy series, or rose-inflected flankers of major designers like Cartier Déclaration d'un Soir (2012) and Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme Ultime (2016) will give more bang for the buck than this. Hell, even Cabaret de Grès (2003) does this better, albeit with a bit more noticeable synthetics, but at least gives performance where Rose 31 lacks. Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady (2010) would at least give people who dropped the similarly-exorbitant asking price for it a full dose of something rose and woodsy, but Le Labo Rose 31 really just sits there and tries to blow smoke rings with the tag line of "the future of luxury [...] lies in craftsmanship", tossing the aforementioned literary figure (and then some) at you while insisting that their little high school science fair presentation is something truly a cut above the norm. Well I'm not buying it, nor am I buying this fragrance. Definitely sample as your opinion may differ from mine, but the neutral rating here is a kindness considering this is one "rose" that should have stayed in the laboratory.
17th September, 2018
The best dirty-rose scent that I've smelled. Has a sexy feel to it from start to finish. I prefer this over Declaration d'Un Soir but both are high on my list of fragrance likes and tops for rose fragrances.

The rose is there throughout but always in support of everything else going on, like the cumin in the beginning and then the soft and spicy, woody drydown.

I actually like this better on my wife, so while I do still think its unisex, it leans feminine to me. I still enjoy wearing it because I just keep smelling it on my skin and thinking how good it smells.

Projection is above average while longevity lasts all workday for me.
19th March, 2018

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