Cologne Intense: Rose’s Evil Sister

 You must know by now how much I love all things “rose”. I’m developing a whole category on the site dedicated to rose things – I just need to work through the archives and add old posts in too, but if you want to view the contents so far, then it’s here: Rose-Scented Things

There are lots of different rose fragrances out there – some are sweet, some are powdery and fussy, some are fresh and light – but never have I come across a rose scent so mysterious as Jo Malone’s Velvet Rose & Oud! It’s really quite stunning. If Rose had an evil sister who lived in a turret in the middle of a dark forest, then this would be it. Her. It? I’ve confused my analogy there, haven’t I? Oh, you know what I mean!

This Rose would paint her nails with Rouge Noir and smoke exotic cigarettes whilst planning an illicit meeting with her dangerous lover. The usual Rose would be digging up some potatoes from the kitchen garden wearing a gingham dress and a straw hat. You get the gist…

What does “bad” Rose smell like? Well, there is some of that floral sweetness that you’d expect, but don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. Velvet Rose & Oud is deep, rich, creamy and (because of the Oud) woody. It’s sensuous and sexy and it lingers on the skin far longer than a more ‘traditional’, purer rose scent might.

 As with all Jo Malone fragrances, this one can be layered with other scents to create a bespoke perfume. Whilst pondering which scents would work well, I came across Rose Water & Vanilla. How did I not know that this scent existed? I’m not sure that it would layer so well with the Rose & Oud, but I want to try it anyway. It sounds divine!

The Cologne Intense is £95 (for a huge 100ml) from

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  1. Tracy
    June 7, 2012 / 8:10 am

    I would love to know if you have ever tried Perles de Lalique. Its my all time favourite perfume, with Bulgarian Rose at its heart. To me it just the most beautiful smell ever and I’ve never yet come across anyone else wearing it!

  2. June 7, 2012 / 12:44 pm

    This sounds absolutely divine, exactly the combination for me!

  3. Jul
    June 7, 2012 / 1:52 pm

    Hi Ruth,
    I am 18 and from New York and have been watching your videos and reading AMR for quite some time now and absolutely love all of your tips and how-to videos! Speaking of all things rose-scented, I felt I should mention that I absolutely LOVE roses as well, and I would like to suggest you try L’occitane’s Rose 4 Reines Velvet Hand Cream. It’s my absolute favorite treat.
    Love from NY,
    xxx J

  4. sophia
    June 7, 2012 / 5:12 pm

    Ruth I adore your perfume descriptions! What an imagination you have! If you like rose fragrances let me introduce you to Rose’s sophisticated sister (ha ha) It is Knowing from Estee Lauder. The top notes are wonderfully woody and after a while the rose comes out… For me it is a classic

    I love your articles

    • Ruth
      June 8, 2012 / 11:09 am

      Thanks Sophia, I shall have a sniff next time I’m in town! xx

  5. Yulia
    June 8, 2012 / 6:13 am

    Oooh, I have to try both of these now! Speaking of rose perfumes, did you try Frederic Malle’s “Une Rose” and “Lady Vengeance” by Juliette Has A Gun? I am obsessed with both and would love to know your thoughts and feelings on the two. Great post, as always!

    • Ruth
      June 8, 2012 / 9:51 am

      @Yulia no, but I think I have little samples of them somewhere! x

  6. June 8, 2012 / 1:29 pm

    You are hilarious….I don’t think I would want to wear a rose perfume that invokes gingham and potatoes!! LOL!! But this one sounds absolutely divine. I adore the dark amber and ginger lily fragrance from the intense range…

  7. June 8, 2012 / 1:47 pm

    Oooo this is really tempting me! VERY partial to a rose scent myself (also become strangely addicted to growing them)! Might have to pop into Selfridges for a sniff.

    Great articles as always Ruth! I’m just starting out on my blogging journey, could you take a peek –

    Bowing to the oracle ;)

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