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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