Voile d'Ambre, the first entry in Yves Rocher's Secrets D'Essences line, was so nicely done (even to this amber-hater) that I was tempted by their new Rose Absolue fragrance as soon as I heard about it. Adding to my "why I should buy Rose Absolue" list: it was developed by perfumer Christine Nagel, who also did the lovely 2000 et Une Rose / Mille et Une Roses for Lancome, and best of all, 5 ml miniatures of the Eau de Parfum can be had for $3.
When I purchased Rose Absolue last month, Yves Rocher was running a 2-for-1 special, so I got 10 ml for my $3 investment. I won't be at all surprised if that turns out to be the biggest perfume bargain I manage to score in 2007, as the fragrance itself turns out to be lovely. It starts out creamy and dewy-sweet, with a hint of spice (the notes: cinnamon, apple, Turkish, Bulgarian and Morrocan rose, cedar, patchouli and tonka bean). The rose is slightly fruity, but I don't smell apple, and it is just as well — I was a bit worried that with the apple and cinnamon, this might end up smelling like a rose-apple pie. Rose Absolue does have a bit of a gourmand feel, but it isn't overwhelmingly foody by any means, nor is it cloyingly sweet.
The dry down is woody, and has a warm, earthy-spicy buzz that wears well in cooler fall weather. It never gets truly dark or intense though, and while Rose Absolue is clearly about rose, it doesn't have the fussy, old-fashioned character that some find objectionable in a true rose soliflore. I would place it in the same camp as other modern roses like Stella McCartney's Stella, Bond no. 9's West Side or Bryant Park, or the Lancome Mille et Une Roses mentioned above. Rose Absolue isn't as elegant as the Lancome, and like the Stella, is more casual than sexy.
Yves Rocher Rose Absolue is available in Eau de Parfum (5 ml for $3; 50 ml currently marked down from $47 to $25 and they throw in a free necklace), Parfum (not in the US as of yet), Shower Gel & Body Lotion. The lasting power of the Eau de Parfum is about average.
If you spend any time at all on the Yves Rocher website, it quickly becomes clear that spending full price is crazy: another sale is undoubtedly right around the corner so you might as well wait.