Beginner’s Rose – Review: A Dozen Roses Shakespeare In Love

Hello to you at Olfactoria’s Travels.

Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse here and so excited to be back guest-writing for Olfactoria’s Travels.

Today we are going to look at a decant I bought in a split recently. I was reminded of my sample when I saw the house displayed in Fortnum & Mason in London recently. I try to keep up but honestly there are too many releases to maintain even the most cursory knowledge of many of the newer houses coming out, let alone all of their offerings. I know it’s been said before but it would be so much better if lines kept to a couple of original releases and then a couple each year, more than that and I get overwhelmed and often bypass them completely. A Dozen Roses brought out three perfumes in 2011, two in 2012 and one in 2013. Now that’s a sensible amount!

Shakespeare in Love was released by A Dozen Roses in 2011.

Shakespeare in Love A Dozen Roses FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Pear
Heart: Jasmine, gardenia, rose
Base: Vanilla, woodsy notes

Sadly I did not pick the bottle of Shakespeare in Love up to see how it felt but I love the look of them and on other blogs I have read that they are a feel good style, heavy and easy to use. I could imagine this being a solo bottle on a vanity for those that only need one fragrance and who receive it as a gift.

WHOOSH! Shakespeare in Love opens sweet and remarkably like a freshly cut pear on open, including the cool wetness and even the slightly metallic knife but this sensation only lasts momentarily and then the pear is joined by rose and the white flowers but my skin throws up a predominant rose, the sweet, fruity and spicy rose accord of a Just Joey in the early morning when it is beginning to let its fragrance go.

Shakespeare in Love A Dozen Roses Just Joey Geoff Penaluna FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Though Shakespeare in Love has a story from its juicy pear and to its slightly generic vanilla/woods tail it is essentially a soliflore with a twist, as you would expect by the companies name it is all about the rose and as a rose fragrance it delivers with a very low level murmur of white flowers bolstering but never really showing themselves. Over the last couple of days I have been enjoying it immensely and my decant is more than half gone. I like the price too, very reasonable.

Do you ever wish for a fragrance that is both elegant and fun? Shakespeare in Love is a happy combination of the two. If you like to smell freaky and unusual, if fragrance is not fun for you unless it’s a challenge then Shakespeare in Love will be too perfumey, to pretty and probably too easy to love. This is comfortable fragrance that I would be happy to wear as a dress up or to meet a mother in law, fragrant but not overpowering and jammy enough that it could very easily be a gift to someone just discovering that there is a world of good smells that do not have designer or celebrity names attached.

Shakespeare in Love A Dozen Roses Fashion Girls DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

Shakespeare in Love is quiet but noticeable, it has a sneaking projection that becomes evident after you have sat still for about 30 seconds but does give a good sillage in the initial 2-3 hours after which it settles to a pleasant rose/vanilla/wood wash that is pretty but not groundbreaking.

Further reading: Natalie at Another Perfume Blog hates Shakespeare In Love, The Perfume Magazine does an interesting interview
A Dozen Roses has $125/100ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

Do you like roses? What are your favourites? Tried A Dozen Roses?

Portia xx

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30 Responses to Beginner’s Rose – Review: A Dozen Roses Shakespeare In Love

  1. Tara says:

    Portia, I love that bottle. I agree it sounds like a nice gift for non-perfumista types who would appreciate an easy to wear rose. The fact that you have used so much of your decant is a good sign too.

    I have grown to love rose perfumes after discovering that you can find them with a twist. Some of the best roses in my view are Portrait of a Lady, Brulure de Rose, Ta’if and both Epic and Lyric by Amouage. I’m sure there are others that have slipped my mind though…

    • We have quite similar rose tastes Tara, WOW! The only one of your faves not in my collection is Brulure de Rose. I will look it out in my next sample order, thanks for the tip.
      Also, thank you for the by Killians. There will be a revue of one that has particularly sparked my interest soon.
      Big smooshy hug,
      Portia xx

  2. Alice says:

    I love roses too, in almost all guises except very powdery, in fact along with narcissus it’s a favourite floral note. Some I like are: Yves Rocher rose absolue, FMK lumiere noire, ELd’O eau de protection, Liaisons Dangereuses, Voleur des Roses, Patricia de nicolai musc intense…

    I also like pear, so this one appeals to me, especially as it seems carefree and un-fussy. Thanks for the lovely review!

    • Hey there Alice,
      The only bottle you mention that I own is Voleur de Roses, though I have tried Liasons Dangereuses and Musc Intense.
      Yves Rocher does great fragrances for so little money, I will look out for their Rose Absolue. I have their Vanilla Noire and another amber one, MMMM
      What is the FMK like?
      Portia xx

      • Alice says:

        Modern, translucent, with lots of pimento and narcissus, manages to feel light and deep at the same time. Patchouli appears in the dry down so is a little like voleur, but less winey and more refined.

        • Hey Alice, When you say modern and translucent do you mean like a SJP Lovely and Ellie Saab? That hefty shimmer that is quite strong but feels weightless?
          The whole thing reads so beautiful. MMMMM Must try.
          Portia xx

          • Alice says:

            A bit like lovely, but darker, especially towards the dry down – it’s dark and weightless. I could swear there is some papyrus – there is definitely a green element to ‘lift’ the rose and patchouli – and some oud, but neither are listed. The only one in my list I don’t own. Very beautiful, do try it Portia, and let us know what you think!

  3. Sandra says:

    Hi Portia! I have never tried A Dozen Roses. I do love rose perfumes – in particular Rose de Siwa and Ta’if. Xo

  4. ringthing says:

    Nice review Portia, thank you. A Dozen Roses has some lovely bottles, this one is really striking. I love roses and rose perfumes, especially dark roses – a few favorites are Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Inner Sanctum, Rosine’s Rose d’Homme and Nahema. This winter I’ve rediscovered Theo Fennell Scent which if you’re not familiar is a thick, rich oriental with prominent rose, very nice for penetrating layers of fleece.

    • Interesting that you pick Rose d’Homme RingThing, while we were in Paris recently Michael my traveling buddy bought one of the masculine Rosines but I can’t remember if that’s it. The one he bought is being discontinued soon. Personally, I love their original fragrance and Kashmiri, so full and lavish.
      Nahema, I think mine has turned because it smells pretty nasty. I will have to go try a tester in a store.
      Portia xx

  5. Alexandra says:

    Ooh I am definitely having a rose moment, and it seems I am not alone. Thank you for the great review, this does sound very nice, if not ground breaking, and the bottle is gorgeous – I feel a trip to Fortnum’s coming on…

    In terms of roses I am currently wearing Histoires de Parfums 1876 a lot (and Amouage’s Epic is a standard), I’m also very eager to try the new PG Isparta and PdNicolai’s Rose Oud.

    • I am so jealous that you can just pick up and go to lovely Fortnum & Mason. Do go have a sniff, I love their fragrance floor, so calm and quiet compared to Selfridges and Harrods.
      We tried Isparta at Bloom London the other day, a winner and PdN’s Rose oud is on my list too.
      What type of rose is the Histoires de Parfums 1876?
      Portia xx

      • Alexandra says:

        Living in London I am COMPLETELY spoiled for choice…

        1876’s full name is ‘1876 Mata – Hari’ and it is meant to be a full blooded dirty rose. Histoires de Parfums lists the notes as: ‘rose, cinnamon and sandalwood’, but reviews seems to differ wildly. On me, in the depths of winter, it surprisingly quiet and falls on the warm, sweet side. I am looking forward to wearing it in the summer to see if I can coax any of those more animalic notes out to play…

  6. Anka says:

    Thank you for another wonderful post, Portia!
    “Elegant and fun” sounds right up my alley. I love roses in perfume most, when they are not smelling too naturalistic.
    My favorites are:
    Sweet and musky: Musc Intense
    Funny rose: Juliette Has a Gun – Lady Vengeance
    Cheerful Rose: ELdO – Eau de Protection
    Wonderful and interesting Rose: Parfum d’Empire – Eau Suave and YSL – Paris
    Holy Roses: Guerlain – Nahema and Neela Vermeire – Mohur
    Next month I’ll get a sample of Any Tauer’s Une Rose Chyprée and there are so many yet to explore…

  7. Vanessa says:

    I have tried Shakespeare in Love(!), indeed I have a sample of it still and umm-ed and aah-ed about whether to take it to our meet-up as an offering in my ‘Bag of Indifference’, then decided I actually quite liked it and would rather keep it. ;) It does smell mainstream and all of that, but the notes are pretty and as you say, it would make a great beginner’s scent. My taste in rose perfumes otherwise is similar to Tara’s: Brulure de Rose, Ta’if, Lyric, also Lady Vengeance, Floris Snow Rose, Les Parfums de Rosine Poussiere de Rose, Rose Kashmirie and Ecume de Rose. I also like Armani’s Rose Alexandrie – I am a bit of a rose fan on the quiet, I guess…

    • Yes Vanessa,
      I think lately there have been such a lot of roses and many of them incredible that it’s hard not to have a few that you love. Rose Alexandrie was a bit of a washout for me sadly, my skin ate all the good stuff really quickly and left a vague wash of nothing interesting, it was really nice for a short while though.
      I’m glad you like Kashmiri too, YUMMY! I have brought back a sample from the Palais Royale store and now wish I’d taken the plunge.
      Portia x

      • Vanessa says:

        I know what you mean about Rose Alex being a bit weedy – I would describe it as ‘wan’. ;) The SA at the Armani counter urged me to layer it with Eclat de Jasmin, so he may have known its limitations too, plus it would have been two sales had I fallen for this wheeze!

  8. FeralJasmine says:

    Hi dear Portia, thank you for maintaining perspective about the fact that sometimes we don’t feel like puzzling over our perfumes. If SiL is uncomplicated and pretty, well, a perfume can be far worse than that. I haven’t tried it and likely won’t, because last year I lucked into full bottles of a Mohur and Lyric Woman, and those are my roses. They satisfy me and I am not inclined to stray (however, can be a real slut for gardenia and jasmine.) But let’s be glad that there are some pretty perfumes in pretty bottles that you don’t sit and ponder. You just spray them, and spray again, and when they are gone you buy another.
    I have an impish fantasy about going to one of those perfumista gatherings and wearing Kate Walsh Boyfriend instead of my vintage Opium. But then, if I went to one of those gatherings I would wear no scent, so as to better smell what everyone else was wearing.

    • HA! FeralJasmine you have just described the eternal perfumista conundrum, two of them really.
      Easy fragrance to love is often treated as rubbish because you don’t have to climb a mountain to get it and the wearing or not of fragrance to a gathering.
      My take is that if I like it then I will wear it, usually more often than the spendy or freaky ones because it’s just plain easier. For meetups I go scent naked so I have more skin real estate for fragrances. Boyfriend is a great frag too BTW.
      I love your two rose choices, interesting and hefty roses, very me.
      Portia xx

  9. isabeau1977 says:

    Tank you for the review Portia! I have not seen a Dozen roses around here in Holland, but my husband travels a lot to the USA and I thought many times he should bring back a bottle..but the problem always was, it is a blind buy..so which one..so maybe this one ;-)
    I love Rose de Nuit, Rose 31, Brulure de Rose, Mohur, Rose Barbare, Rose praline, Rose de Kandahar…

    • You pick some lovely roses isabeau977,
      Parfumerie General’s Brulure de Rose is getting heapsd of love from people with similar taste to mine, I think I will give it a go.
      That’s what traveling husbands are for, to be fragrance pack mules. I would buy samples first so you can tell him to get you something you love. Try First In Fragrance, Surrender To Chance or Posh Peasant.
      Portia xx

  10. empliau says:

    I love all your rose appreciations! I grow roses, and absolutely adore the rose in reality … but on my skin, not so much. One rose I love when I’m in the mood is Ce Soir ou Jamais, but I’ve never managed to make any other roses work. Perhaps I’ve been too easily discouraged – this has given me so many others to sample! Is there an exit from my white floral obsession/rut? Will keep you posted!

  11. Natalie says:

    Much belated thank you for the link, dear Portia (and hi, B)!

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