In its promotional description of Coup de Foudre, Parfums DelRae promises that "regardless of your previous 'rose' experience, it is 'love at first sight.'" I'm always a little amused when new rose-inspired fragrances take this slightly defensive stance, as though we all carry negative preconceptions of rose perfumes and need to be reassured that this flower is actually very beautiful, sensual, and yes, "modern." I wore my first rose fragrance when I was about eight years old — it was Avon's Roses, Roses and it was memorably contained in a pig-shaped bottle — and I've never turned away from roses, so Coup de Foudre is preaching to the converted, in my case.
Coup de Foudre starts off as a just-picked rose and then turns gently romantic. Parfums DelRae mentions its use of true Rose de Mai from Grasse, in a composition that allows the raw material to shine through, and the natural rose note is definitely evident. It's bright and clear, with hints of lemon and mint. (If you've recently tried an all-natural rose scent like Strange Invisible Perfumes Prima Ballerina, you'll recognize this note right away.) Citrus and peony notes complement this fresh-from-the-garden effect. In its second hour, Coup de Foudre stays nearer to the skin. It feels softer and warmer, and more discreet — not that it was particularly bold to begin with. A few whispers of moss and jasmine emerge in the base; you'll need to get very close and concentrate to find them.
When the launch of Coup de Foudre was announced, a few of us speculated that it might resemble Creed Fleur de Thé Rose Bulgare. I think Annick Goutal Rose Absolue would be a more apt comparison. And I haven't tried the entire DelRae line yet, but I was surprised to find Coup de Foudre so demure. I have friends who love and recommend Parfums DelRae's Amoureuse and Bois de Paradis, but I somehow can't pull off either of those fragrances; I end up feeling that they're wearing me, rather than the other way around. Coup de Foudre, on the other hand, is a sheer veil of scent that doesn't announce itself prematurely or linger when it's not wanted. (And its staying power seems light for an Eau de Parfum at this price level, but perhaps that's due to the large percentage of natural ingredients.)
Overall, Coup de Foudre is well-crafted and well-mannered. I enjoyed my sample vial, but I already own so many different rose fragrances that I can't quite justify purchasing a full bottle of this one for myself. If I'm in the mood for an airy, green-tinged rose, I reach for my Les Parfums de Rosine Diabolo Rose or Six Scents No. 6 (Teen Spirit); if I want a lusher rose with added sweetness or depth, I can wear Yves Rocher Rose Absolue or Sonoma Scent Studio Velvet Rose. If, on the other hand, you're feeling the need for a rose soliflore in your collection, you may wish to take time to stop and smell Coup de Foudre.
Parfums DelRae Coup de Foudre was developed by perfumer Yann Vasnier; the notes include baie rose, lemon, pink grapefruit, rose de mai, peony, jasmine, magnolia, tonka bean, vetiver, white moss and velvet musks. It is available in 50 ml Eau de Parfum ($150). For buying information, see the listing for Parfums DelRae under Perfume Houses.
Note: upper left image is Rosa centifolia foliacea by Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759 - 1840) via Wikimedia Commons.
You sound kind of disenchanted with this one. Like “it’s beautiful, it is, but I just have so many others that fit the bill.”
I’m in the same camp.
I wish DelRae has injected a little something. Some sort of pizzazz or individuality.
The rose notes are beautiful but I have so many gorgeous roses… I suppose if I didn’t this would be worth checking out.
Have you tried Mythique? Mythique is definitely not overly potent, in fact I wish it had more sillage. It’s stunning.
How blase’ I’ve gotten…
I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to try some good-quality rose soliflores, of course. And I still need to try Mythique, and Eau Illuminee… it’s hard to try more than one DelRae at a time, since each one deserves its fair share of attention!
Thank you Jessica, for the thoughtful review!
I too am a rose lover, but I was damned impressed with this. Maybe it’s just that my collection is still on the smallish side, and I don’t have anything else that exactly fit’s this sub-category…. but, oh my, the way it just *shimmers* on the skin!
It remains to be seen if I’ll actually buy a full bottle, but I am hankering after a decant : )
The whole DelRae line is well-made and feels like “grown-up” fragrance; this is no exception, and rose-lovers should try it, by all means!
Jessica, you neatly summed up my own views of Coup de Foudre. ‘Demure’ is the word. It’s a lovely scent, but it’s such a different ‘volume’ compared to the others in the line, it leaves me puzzled. Is the first one by Yann Vasnier rather than Michel Rodnitska?
Nina, I just looked back in our “files,” and it seems that M Roudnitska did create the first four or five in the line, but Y Vasnier created Mythique (2009), which I really need to try!
Hi Jessica. Great and timely review. I really liked this one quite a bit, which surprised me, because I can see why copywriters sell rose the way DelRae is — there are SO darn many, and anytime I see a new one I just roll my eyes and say, “ANOTHER rose?” even though I could say that about *any* note, really.
And rose must be popular and well liked, or there wouldn’t be so many, right?
In any case, I found this one to be very fresh and citrusy, even more so than another recent rose I discovered I liked, Rosine’s Une Zeste. I can’t remember the lasting power, but I felt it to have plenty of presence for me (if a rose is too big, it kills me), even dabbed. Light citrus rose to me is great for warm weather.
I’m actually looking forward to Rosine Rossisimo to see if that’s even more citrusy — my perfect rose would be at least 75%-80% lemon/grapefruit/petitgrain and the remainder rose and other blended notes.
Hi, Joe — I always assume that the companies are fighting the “all rose fragrances are musty and old-fashioned” stereotype! Well, maybe enough people are finally getting over that idea; like you said, we see plenty of new rose scents these days. I have several favorites from Rosine; I just wish they were more widely distributed in the US.
Or maybe not even “musty,” exactly… but I find rose hard to wear because it’s so distinctive, and no matter how it’s embellished, to me sometimes it just evokes grandma’s or auntie’s “Tea Rose” fragrance. That is, for me, rose accord clobbers its companion notes unless handled very deftly.
Joe, your perfect rose sounds a lot like mine. Actually I think my perfect rose might me Hermes Pamplemousse Rose, except that it has zero lasting power on me. I assume you’ve tried this one?
I don’t know whether Joe has tried it, but I certainly have! My favorite from that Hermes group, definitely.
I bought Gentiane Blanche and sampled PR, which seemed to last 10 whole minutes on me. I should get a bigger decant and see what happens when I spritz LIBERALLY (meaning, wet my skin down with almost 5ml of juice in one wearing). I forgot that actually had rose in it.
Thanks, Jessica. I was on a huge rose kick this spring and got tangled up in the mass of rose-ouds out there and had to take a break. This brings up a whole new genre of rose fragrances for me to explore – the bright, citrusy ones that might even be tolerable in the heat of S. TX in July (the rose-ouds are not). I saw no mention of the grapefruit that is listed in the nots so I assume that means it was barely evident? Grapefruit can go really bad on me and I’m kind of turned off of it right now.
Hi, Julia — There was a rose-oud everywhere you turned for a while, wasn’t there?! Rose d’Ete and Un Zeste de Rose are both great citrus/fruity-roses for summer. Creative Universe’s Element of Attraction is lovely, and next time you’re at the mall, you should check out B&BW’s P.S. I Love You (really!).
Julia, I didn’t notice any GRAPEFRUIT – just a light citrusy cast. (Obviously Joe is getting more citrus out of it than I did.)
Same here… not grapefruit per se, just a light “citrus” idea in the topnotes.
Jessica – I really appreciate your review of this. I am eagerly awaiting a sample of CdF, and since I love rose fragrances A LOT, I want to see how it compares. I had a large decant of AG Rose Absolue, so I think I get what you mean with “demure”. And although I think RA really represents a kind of delightful true rose garden style soliflore, it actually kind of bores me when I wear it after it gets through the opening. Being as that is, CdF may be a little more interesting to me. Heck, I’m always looking for another rose to join my club, lol! My most demure rose is the PdN Rose Pivoine – which seems like it deserves some linen dresses, doilies and silver tea service, though still approachable. Today b/c I had a meeting, I’m actually wearing Cartier’s So Pretty, which is my top fav rose along with Nahema and SSS Velvet Rose. I knew the meeting would be boring so I wanted to wear a really interesting perfume.
Ann, I look forward to learning eventually what you think of CdF. As I’ve said, I’m not exactly a huge rose collector, but I think this one is well done — it smells of very high quality raw materials to me and has the zing I like.
Zing is always good!!! Glad you enjoy the Zeste!
AnnS, the word “zing” suddenly made me think of CdR Rose from the Red series. No idea why… must have been a mental note I made for that scent!
Joe, I think you’re getting more citrus out of this than I do – it’s definitely there, but gone-in-a-flash for me. But yes, definitely high quality raw mats. I was supremely annoyed to have paid $35 for 10mls and then used so much of it at each wearing, just to be able to smell it. Not doing that again.
Ah, see, I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a bit too short-lived!
PdN Rose Pivoine is so pretty! and I love PdN Balkis for a gourmand-berry rose.
Penhaligon’s Elisabethan Rose or Czech & Speake’s Rose are two more very nice simple soliflores, very light, which makes them work well in hot weather. Very “English garden.”
Oh, and I need to try So Pretty!
So Pretty is really one of the greatest roses out there. I got sucked into it last year by a small handful of reviews on other frag blogs and my wild curiosity. It is really amazing stuff- rich, elegant, interesting, and it lasts forever. There is little difference between the edt and edp, so test at will!!
So Pretty just killllllled me – you know I usually love rose chypres, but the fruit-rose-chypre thing was just hideous on me. Like mixing milk and orange juice.
(Hit post when I meant to hit “enter”, ooops.)
It is really nice to wear something interesting when you’ve got a mind-numbing afternoon ahead! I’ve been stressed lately, so I’ve been wearing wallpaper scents: MJ Daisy, Mille et une Rose.
MeuR I thought was waay boring when I first tested it in January, but I’m enjoying it better now. I’m finding it quite lemony, in a quiet, pleasant, tea-party sort of way.
I can definitely see how So Pretty wouldn’t work on everyone – it is a bit “chewy compote” briefly at one point with some bitterish gourmand notes (as I smell them) after the opening notes begin to transition into the heart. But that’s one of the reasons I love it – holds my attention. It has a lot of layers in the middle too. But the drydown is just amazing. I can appreciate why you wouldn’t like it though. Ah, but there are so many other roses to love that’s the great thing – there really is a rose frag for everyone.
And in the summer Mille et Une Roses is one of my comfort scents now. I used to underestimate it b/c the rose is so soft, but now I love the cuddly powder simplicity of it. And then I also discovered it layers super well with AG Eau d’Hadrien too!
Ann, I’m really glad that someone else loves So Pretty as much as I do. (And for being my supplier.) I think it was one of the first perfumes I bought based on complexity and richness. I was maybe 21 when I first stumbled upon it, and up until then had only really worn perfume based on a “this smells good so it must be good” basis. In fact, I think I just wore whatever anyone gave me until then. I think if I had had more access to a wider range of perfumes at the time (and if the internet was what it is today), it would have started me on the road to becoming the crazy perfume whore I am today. I feel bad that I forget about So Pretty sometimes, it really is wonderful.
You’ve all convinced me; I’ll check out So Pretty next time I see a Cartier counter!
Yes Another good one we can share!! I am glad I found it! It is funny how sometimes you run across a fragrance you love when you are young and then kind of forget all about it. Dune is that fragrance for me, which I wore a lot in my early 20s, but haven’t now for well over a decade. I need to revisit that one too….. So Pretty could easily have been released as a Guerlain!
now I feel badly for ignoring So Pretty in my cabinet for so long! I guess that’s the down side of developing a “collection” ; something is bound to get ignored…..I think I’ll go have a spritz right now…Thanks for reminding me.
Jessica–I love your review and totally agree with you, but apparently CdeF has been selling like hotcakes at Luckyscent. My favorite of th line is still Amoureuse.
I am holding out for the new AG Rose Splendide. From the little I have read about it, it sounds, well, splendid!
Yes – I can’t wait to smell Rose Splendide!!
Violetnoir, I’m very curious about that new Goutal rose, too! AG has done some wonderful florals over the year. Quel Amour! is one of my favorite fruity-roses of all time, and Heure Exquise is such a gorgeous rose-iris-sandalwood blend.
(that is… over the yearS, plural!)
Heure Exquise is one of my HG frags – I can never decide if I love it more for the rose, the iris, or the sandalwood!!!
Ann – I know this is one of your faves, so I need to know: do you prefer the EDP or EDT?
(I prefer the EDP! Much richer.)
Thanks, J. I’m guessing I’ll be an EDP girl, too.
M – it really just depends on what mood I am in. They are almost really entirely different fragrances, IMHO, as there is really a big difference between the edt and edp. The HE edt is much crisper, starting like the openings of either Chamade edt or No 19 parfum. All of of them with a lot of blended florals, aldehydes and galbanum. Heure Exquise edt then travels along a lovely dry path that has equal parts soft powdery sweet rose and dry but creamy iris (I know that sounds weird to be dry and creamy at the same time!). The HE edt is really outstanding then with a tremendously dry and rich sandalwood base which is simply gorgeous. It is totally swoon worthy! (Sometimes the edt doesn’t last very long either – sometimes about 2 hours… )
The edp of Heure Exquise is more “wet”. The opening is still aldehydes, etc, but it is less green and moves along much faster to a very round and wet sweet rose in the heart. The edp favors the rose more than the iris (IMHO), and the rose is richer, deeper. The drydown is more of a balance between rose and sandalwood, but the sandalwood is not as stunning as in the edt. There may be just a dash of something animalic in the base that I don’t get in the edt. I really mean just a dash – that gives it some depth without a lot of other woods or typical base things muddling the sandalwood. It’s lasting power it a bit longer than the edt – maybe 3 hours +/-
Actually, my fav version of Heure Exquise is the dry body oil. It is more like the edp, more simply rosy, more wet, sweetish in as much as a Goutal ever gets sweet, almost cuddly– really pretty stuff. It is more like the edp, but less complex.
Mals writes a great review of Heure Equise in a showdown with No 19 on her muse in wooden shoes blog. And there are a few other good reviews of it on the blogs, mostly paired up with No 19. I do agree that the edt of Heure Ex smells a lot like the opening and early middle notes of the current No 19 edt…… Both of them got me into iris last year btw….. Sorry for the tome!
I’m glad to hear that it’s selling well! Long may it help support the house that has made three of my favorite perfumes (Amoureuse, Bois de Paradis, Mythique).
Yes, indeed! Everyone needs to have the option of more rose fragrances and/or more well-designed niche fragrances in her/his life.
That one’s enticing me too.
I have to agree with you–Amoureuse is definitely my favorite of the line, followed by Mythique and Bois de Paradis. I have a sample of CdF and thought it was nice, but not me.
Sounds like another one for my “to sample” list. I would like to find a good rose soliflore–one that is neither too thin and sour nor too overly sweetened. So far I have liked YOSH Sottile and Czech and Speake Dark Rose. I am concerned about the comment about CdF’s staying power. My skin seems to eat fragrance. Sottile was one of the few fragrances I have ever tried that lasted more than 3 or 4 hours on me; maybe because it is a perfume oil, rather than an alcohol-based EdT or EdP? I don’t mind if the scent is quiet, as I wear perfume for myself alone. It is fine with me if no one else notices it, but not so good if I can’t smell it after an hour or two.
I found it so close to the skin after the first hour that I had to suck my wrist up through my nose, even after three sprays in approximately the same spot (and I NEVER do that with anything else). So, yes, disappointing staying power.
Now see, it lasted all day long on me….not heavy by any means, but a lovely waft of roses every time I moved around. It’s on my One-of-These-Days list.
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz American Beauty is another lovely rose soliflore with bit more “presence,” if you can find it!
I was disappointed in this one! Got very little rose at all, mostly just citrus in general, fading to sour after a bit. I think my nose struggles to smell anything else at all once it gets a whiff of citrus….I found this very similar to the Creed, which I do like and much prefer, even though I get lots of citrus in that as well, especially when I spray it.
I have also decided that the Rose de Mai note is probably the culprit in the roses I don’t like, that I clearly tend to like fairly heavy perfumes, with rich bases, and that I apparently prefer my roses straight up, as soliflores even; where do I turn in my perfumista card? (But may I try the So Pretty before I do?)
50 Roses, I love that Yosh, too….have you tried Annick Goutal Rose Absolue? (My SOTD!) It lasts a long time on me, unlike most her other ones have, and is very pretty and rosy, though also very linear!
I have troubles with Creed FdTRB – sometimes I wear it and it is so super lemony I can’t stand it and sometimes it is the perfect wet rose. It confuses me – rarely do I have such divergent opinions of the same fragrance, and since it is so $$$$ I am not going to try and figure it out.
AnnS and Jolie, Sometimes Creed’s FdTRB is a bit too un-ripe and sharp on me… sometimes it’s just right. I like it best on hot days. Wish Creed would sell it in smaller bottles!!
JF, I must agree with you that this one really disappointed me as well. I was oh so hopeful when I saw the announcement that I immediately ordered 2 samples from LS. There seems to be a berry-like note in CdF that bothers me as I don’t like the berry-fruity rose varieties. I also don’t find much sillage with this perfume – you have to get so very close to smell it. Oh Well –
I love rose soliflores, btw – my favorite since the mid ’90s has been AG’s Rose Absolute.
OF, I think I was doubly disappointed in this because I love the house so much. I just knew this would be a fragrance I’d adore, so much so that I almost ordered a bottle unsniffed! Thank goodness I listened to that little voice for a change….it was warning me about the grapefruit note! I could perhaps have lived with the lemon, had it not been for the additional sourness of the grapefruit, which I could easily smell above and beyond the tartness of the lemon, and which was the last scent that lingered…for hours!….on my skin.
I think AG is my favorite rose soliflore as well, so rich and rosy, yet not overpoweringly so. I also wear the Crabtree&Evelyn rose quite a bit, and think it’s rather nice for the price. Lacks the richness of the AG, but is pretty enough.
Jolie, I have fond memories of Crabtree & Evelyn’s Evelyn Rose (used to be called Evelyn)… I wonder whether it would smell the same to me, after all these years.
Jessica, Evelyn is slightly different than Evelyn Rose….it’s richer, though I get more peach in the Evelyn. I prefer the Evelyn Rose, but that’s probably just because it was the first one I tried. I found Evelyn one of the iffier webstores…Parfum1, maybe?
Evelyn Rose is definitely kind of powdery to me, and is a typical EDT in that light, airy feel (aldehydes???) but I get more compliments when I wear it than anything else….could be because I apply it with a heavier hand, though.
If I ever get brave enough to try the decanting thying, I’ll send you some of each, to compare…
Jessica, I’m with you – it’s just beautiful, but I can’t see shelling out the bucks for a bottle. Particularly with the very poor (on me, at least) lasting power. I think the drydown is lovely, but far too faint.
The only other scent I’ve tried that was even close to the fresh-picked rose scent was DSH Perfumes’ Rose Vert – another mostly-natural if not all-natural. It has more green notes, however.
Mals86, That’s one DSH I haven’t tried! but I did love American Beauty, mentioned above, and the others in that trio — La Rose Fleurette and Beach Roses. All lovely, in different ways.
I almost alwasy forget I have a small bottle of the DSH La Rose Fleurette – very demure indeed! It almost smells to me more like rose and fresh apple blossoms than anything else. It is on the DSH discontinued list right now… I found American Beauty very nice and fresh but a litte too much apple-y for my taste
Ann, me, too! I have to dab it or else I am in Lemonville all day long especially if I apply fresh out of the shower. I really noticed this after I sent my FB to some nurses in Iraq, and Daisy was kind enough to let me in on a split, which was in a spray bottle.
The rose is more prominent to me in colder weather, too, though that is probably more my nose than the perfume itself.
Oh, I think the weather affects the way we experience fragrance, Joliefleurs, so that doesn’t surprise me!
Thanks for the review, Jessica. This one sounds so hit or miss! Still, I’m hoping to see a sample of this sometime soon : ) . I’m ashamed to say that in spite of the fact that Rose has always been a favorite note of mine, I’ve tried only a fraction of the ones mentioned in the comments to day. Actually, now I feel like I hardly know Rose at all! Off to see if I can hunt down some samples…
Mjr, Happy rose hunting! Always glad to offer suggestions!
Really? Ok, so my two favorite roses are Rosine Rose d’Homme & Eau d’Italie Paestum Rose. Are there others in the vein of these two that you’d recommend?
Hm… have you tried Le Labo Rose or Miller et Bertaux Shanti Shanti yet?
Thanks for the review, Jessica! I tried this recently, too, and thought it was very pretty after the citrus fruitiness died down a bit (I think I like my roses best without much fruit, including citrus fruit). I’m going to give it another try, though. Amoureuse is the DelRae that remains firmly on my wish list!
Nice new gravatar!
Thanks, I was feeling like marigolds!
I like your avatar, too, H! Glad you enjoyed the review.
Smokrytoes and I got to meet with DelRae not long ago and I tried this one on. I like rose, but my hard time is the association with cheap hippie-store rose essential oils. If a scent is too “rose”-y, it’s tough. I found this to be a really beautiful, feminine rose, with just a hint of citrus and lovely dry-down. It is, however, quivering on the edge of the hateful rose. Just a little too much.
My fave roses so far are Stella, Yves Rocher Rose Absolue, LeLabo Rose 31 (I know, LT says “no rose” but to me it is more like a real, peppery garden rose), MPG Rose Muskissime, Joy, and of course the Tauers.
Tama, I’m a stealth Stella fan; I don’t know why I don’t wear it more often. Maybe because I smell it on so many other women in public!
I’m lucky I don’t work downtown or where there are a lot of people – I rarely smell anything on anybody!
I love rose fragrances – my curiosity because of all that I had heard and read about Joy is what started me down the perfume path. I am always looking and sniffing out new roses. My latest rose love I came across through Raphaella’s Roses on Sniffapalooza. It is Twilight Rose from Dorothy McCall’s Kingsbury Fragrances site. It is $75.00 per oz. but it is very near extrait strength and is just truly a purely beautiful rose scent with very good longevity. She offers non-talc powder and a body cream in this scent also and they are lovely layered with the parfum.