Big Money Rose – Review: Yves Saint Laurent Majestic Rose

Dear Olfactoria’s Travelers,

Portia with you today from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse.

I have been testing all of the new Yves Saint Laurent releases. I have a problem with their price point, straight up, there you have it. The crew at YSL is re-using its bottles with merely a tweak and adding a gold embossed looking box very reminiscent of 1980s packaging, bringing out quite good fragrances for a designer brand but not really good enough to place in an exclusive line, and offering 80ml at £195 or $250. That’s more expensive than the Armani Privé Line, DIOR La Collection Privee and the CHANEL Exclusives line. It’s starting to make me mad. Rant over…..

Majestic Rose Yves Saint Laurent FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
May rose, honey, saffron, raspberry, balsamic oudwood accord, guaiac wood.

Gosh. I get rose, designer oud and furry musk in the opening. It is sweet, urinous, fruity and surprisingly attractive in a Montale kinda way. Nothing smells real, an aromachemical blast that if overapplied could easily burn out your nose and eat your brain. Essentially YSL has taken the good stuff and replicated it in a plastic mold.

It’s not bad, per se. I can see it being a big compliment getter because it is very noticeable and Majestic Rose has excellent sillage and projection. Up close it is searing and a bit toxic but when I wear Majestic Rose on my hand and get wafts of it in passing I really like it. From a bit of distance the roses have a full to overblown blousiness that hints at petals about to drop and they have not been afraid to add some ass. There is something disgustingly gorgeous about Majestic Rose but I I think much the same ground has been covered better in such wardrobe staples of mine as Midnight Oud by Juliette Has A Gun, The Aoud by Mancera and in a softer, more faceted and nuanced way Mohur by Neela Vermeire.

Majestic Rose YSL pink Rose TBreyer PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Scent story? Yes there are a series of changes through the fragrances life, the honey and fruits come in and over the top after a while and add a new interest with (I think) the saffron playing its lovely fusing song quietly that creates a patina over everything, drawing the whole creation together and giving it a glossy shine. This is a stayer of a fragrance, be aware that if you get Majestic Rose on your fabrics that they will smell like that for months, on your skin be prepared to run the whole show over a 10-15 hour period before it quietens enough to give you peace, and then Majestic Rose still carries on as an undertone virtually gone to me but still discernible to those around me. A dark woodsy dry down that is innoffensive and generic to Majestic Rose’s style, a bit mainstream masculine.

If this was a fragrance in the $100 range I would buy it, and wear it. At $150 I would still consider it, at least I will use up my decant. Majestic Rose is not groundbreaking or astounding, but it is wearable and does have a story. If you have pots of money to spend then it could be the one for you….

Old Blush, gr. Chinensis, sect. ChinensisPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Further reading: Katie Puckrik Smells and Kafkaesque
Limited Department Store Availability
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $5/.5ml

Go on, what are your thoughts about the money we are being asked to spend on fragrance?

See you soon, till then make time to do something you love. One hour a week can sometimes be all you need to refuel.

Portia xx

About Olfactoria

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23 Responses to Big Money Rose – Review: Yves Saint Laurent Majestic Rose

  1. Sandra says:

    Hi Portia! I too am cranky about perfume costs. Thanks for reviewing this but the cost will certainly turn me away. Xo

  2. Tara says:

    Portia, I don’t blame you for having a bit of rant. A high-end line should be giving you something extra special for your money, like the Chanel Les Exclusifs and Dior’s La Collection, but this just sounds like jumping on the bandwagon. Can’t believe the aspirational price-point. That really is a shocker. They may have priced themselves out of the game in a bid to get the “exclusive” dollar. That would teach them!

    “Disgustingly gorgeous” is a great description though 🙂

    • Hey hey Tara,
      I wonder if they have priced themselves out or if husbands are going in, know the label YSL and remember their Mums LOVING it. “At this price it must be good, and it’s YSL, and the box looks expensive and lavish like Mums used to too,” in their heads, “Wifey will have ALL the girls jealous if I grab her this brand new, super expensive perfume, that will make her happy. I will buy it>”
      That could be the way it’s working too?
      I’m glad you like disgustingly gorgeous, I gave myself several happy back pats for that. He He he
      Portia xx

  3. Sabine says:

    Hi Portia,
    I totally understand the rant and hope that Tara is right about the pricing themselves out of the game, but I fear that we will see even more of that policy in future. I can’t be bothered to even try the perfume.

  4. if I really want to play cool, for that price point I would gladly splurge and buy myself a Francis Kurkdjian, a Creed, a Tom Ford Private Blend ( list goes on ) perfumes I pretty much know and love rather than a plasticky, common scent. great post! xx

  5. cookie queen says:

    Methinks not. x

  6. Michael says:

    These YSL’s are $180 here in Australia, so like the Armani Prive line, significantly cheaper than Europe and the US. L’Oreal’s pricing decisions are very odd.
    Maybe these are a good holiday splurge for those visiting Aus?
    Even so, I’m not convinced when there are so so SO many rose oud fragrances available that are as good for less money.

  7. annemariec says:

    I checked out of the high end of the market ages ago. These days I hang out with a different crowd: good mainstream stuff like Bottega Veneta, Prada, Lauder, Elie Saab , mainstream Hermes, one or two classic Piguets. Patricia di Nicolai stops by my table occasionally if she sees me having a drink with a Hermessence. While I cross the street to avoid meeting reformulated Magie Noire or Dioressence, I also keep some pretty shady company as well: reformulated Femme, Calyx, and Coriandre. I do hope vintage Ysatis never gets hold of my phone or she’ll realize I have refor’d Ysatis listed as well.

    • I love that Patricia de Nicolai has kept her pricing so fair. Piguet is another house that doesn’t break the bank for sensational scent. Bottega Veneta are doing wonderful work as is Lauder, who owns SO MUCH.
      Who needs to play with the high rollers if smelling good is your destination, there’s a reason that a certain very expensive brand rhymes with Jerk Off.
      Portia xx

  8. anitathepianist says:

    I agree about the prices. I stopped spending too much money on fragrance, except for a splurge now and then. When I found out how much Vanille 44 was, I bought a decant, and that was it although I really love that fragrance. A bottle of Carnal Flower has been my extravagance this season. It would be interesting to know what the actual cost of producing these expensive juices are, and how much is pure profit.

    • Hi there AnitaThePianist,
      Yes, I think we would be mortified to know how much the fragrance in each uber expensive bottle costs. Though there are some like Neela Vermeire who use up to 8 times what most niche brands do in terms of cost.
      Portia xx

  9. Vanessa says:

    Hmm, I liked the sound of the notes, but the references to Montale and Mancera and oud and urine had me running scared. I am not even big on raspberries – I may just blow one at this.

  10. Hey Portia,
    Nice to see you!
    Ever since I smelled their re-do of NU ( which was not NU, but swathed in a terry cloth bathrobe, through which you could faintly smell NU) I’ve been cautious about the YSL LEs and re-issues. As for YSL ROSES well, I have an old bottle of Paris and “Top that!” is my feeling.

    • Ha Ha Ha! BlacknallAllen, you are hilarious. I have a Paris premieres Roses, the softly aquatic version from the early 21st century I think. It’s pretty and fresh but hardly a patch on the old PARIS! They can’t top that, it was sublime.
      Portia xx

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