Friday, November 15, 2013

Parfums de Rosine Majalis: fragrance review & sample draw

Les Parfums de Rosine, Marie-Helene Rogeon's outfit borrowing only the name of the original Poiret line, do their utmost to stretch poor rose to the limit, like on a Procrustean bed, but I admit that I quite like Majalis, their newest launch, thanks to its tawny cinnamic and peppery blast which is sweet music to my ears. This style never fails to make me want to break out the flimsy scarves and the rusty sunsets lipstick and belly dance a bit in front of the mirror as if no one's watching and no one's ever the wiser; a gift to myself alone.

Photo of Leda Petit by Jocelen Janon (originally the photo was larger and copyrighted but where I found it it was cropped) 

As announced a little while ago, the newly launched Majalis is inspired by the unique Rosa majalis, native to the Asian mountains, to render a soft oriental with spicy complementary notes of pink pepper and nutmeg on a woody background. Bulgarian rose absolute contributes a bright and heady heart note.

It is essential to like cinnamon (see a bit of cinnamon's history on this article) and peppery stuff to appreciate Majalis, because the content in cinnamic elements is so high that I almost can hear IFRA's breath down its neck itching to wield the axe and go off with its head. Les Parfums de Rosine affectionally call the inspirational rose a "cinnamon rose" and it's not hard to see why. But although we have come to associate cinnamon with orange & cloves from the classic Christmas melange sold in specialized tea shops and the festive pot pouri mixes originating from the medieval pomander, the composition of Majalis insists on more peppery (rather than clove-y) elements which pique and give a short rather than prolonged nasal pinch. It's also rather different from Rose Kashemerie by the same brand which is more resinous and saffron infused, less powerfully spicy. [In fact Majalis nicely falls into the "mellis accord" more on which you can read on our Oriental Perfume Basics. ]

If I were to draw a perfume comparison, I'd mention Cinabre by Maria Candida Gentile, a composition built on some gorgeous naturals which is as honking loud and as gorgeous as Sophia Loren in Marriage Italian Style. Cinabre is rather more ambery and with a distinct ginger note, while Majalis is less so, but the style is not miles away, so if you like one, you'll like the other. Although Rousse by Serge Lutens is another fragrance that immediately leaps to mind when thinking about cinnamon scents (and to a lesser degree Auburn by Tauer Perfumes), I find that the treatment there is different from the orientalised Taif rose that dominates the heart of Majalis by Parfums de Rosine and its milky sandalwood drydown.

Majalis just launched and is available through Rosine retailers and online. The bottle is beautiful as you can see, in all its coppery and fuchsia glory.

Notes for Parfums de Rosine Majalis:
Top: Bergamot, Mandarin, Grapefruit, Nutmeg, Cinnamon bark
Heart: Cinnamon leaf, Taif rose, Tea rose, Rose absolute, Jasmine, Black pepper, Pink pepper, Coriander seed
Base: Vetiver, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Amber, Musk

One carded sample of Majalis is available for one lucky reader. To enter the draw please let us know in the comments if you have a particular spicy cinnamon scent/food/association (pleasant or unpleasant!). Draw is open internationally till Sunday midnight and winner will be announced sometime on Monday.

In the interests of disclosure I was sent a sample by the company. 


  1. Anonymous13:28

    Curious: is this spicy rose in any way akin to Tauer's "Une Rose Chypreé?" I did not think I liked my roses this way until this beautiful fragrance. I'd say that's my favorite cinnamon/spicy association in fragrance (and of course, thanks for the education on the mellis accord...I knew there was something in common between Youth Dew and Coco, and now I understand). I'd love to sample this one.

    And speaking of beauty, I don't think I've ever seen a more provocative, beautiful presentation of the female form, from the elbows down, than the image you have featured here. Where can I buy the book?! If this fragrance conjures images like this, it's goes to the top of the buy list. I'm grateful for this blog for so many reasons, not the least of which are your choices for images, and your fearlessness in defending them. Terrific.

  2. When my Mom made pies, she often would have leftover dough that she sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and baked with the pie. Lots of yummy associations for cinnamon...NONE negative.

  3. I think when speaking of cinammon it'd be a crime not to mention an apple crumble, which I actually just made yesterday. Probably the only unpleasant association I have about it is the taste of cinammon chewing gum. Just no!

  4. I love cinnamon, as a taste and a smell. It reminds me of Fall coolness, warm Thanksgiving dinners and pleasant memories. I like Serge Lutens Rousse and will probably like this perfume as well, seeing as rose with spice is one of my all time favorite combinations.

  5. cinnamon reminds me of christmas and baking and all my favourite perfumes, cinnabar and jungle (kenzo). A warm feel good smell guaranteed to lift my spirits.

  6. My earliest memory of cinnamon is the warm, homey aroma that my mother's cinnamon toast produced on cold mornings...just bread, butter, and cinnamon! Mmmmmm...

  7. I just adore cinnamon! In Portugal we liberally sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on many fried sweets such as churros and "rabanadas" (a sort of french toast that's a Christmans tradition) and also on sweet rice. The scent of cinnamon thus brings many sweet and cozy memories.

  8. I too am curious to know if this is in any way like Un Rose Chypree. My childhood memories of cinnamon include Red Hot candies and the cinnamon-flavored toothpicks that all the tough kids bought to keep in the corner of their mouth. I shudder to think how many accidents they were involved in!

  9. Anonymous16:00

    My favourite experience of cinnamon:
    coming home from school to find the kitchen windows fogged up which meant freshly baked bread, and even better, fresh cinnamon buns! My mom made them from plain bread dough spread with butter, sugar, raisins, walnuts and the all important cinnamon. And of course I had to eat it by unrolling it. Never did develop much of a taste for the more common cinnamon buns made with a sweet dough.
    Would love to try a cinnamon rose scent. Thanks for the draw opportunity.

    -- Lindaloo

  10. Mary K16:13

    Comptoir Sud Pacifique used to make a perfume called Vanille Cannelle, and it had lots of cinnamon. I loved it!

  11. Anonymous16:55

    Cinnamon suckers that looked like blocks.

  12. I haven't quite figured out cinnamon-dominant perfumes yet, but this sounds so tempting! My biggest associations with cinnamon are the swirl cookies I used to make when I was little- called elephant ears.

  13. I have only positive, sweet comfort association with cinnamon. My mother baked pies every week and my sister and I were given the scraps of crust to roll out, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and bake. Delicious! Thanks for the draw.

  14. i love the smell of cinnamon, both in perfumery and in food and beverages...the only cinnamon i don't like is the artificial version often encountered in mass-market candies and "air fresheners". it's as foul as the real thing is delightful.

    and i think that cinnamon plus rose could be very beautiful...

  15. Yelena18:32

    Sitting in the latteria in Florence, sipping on a cappuccino with a sprinkle of cinnamon. One of my favorite memories.

  16. Anonymous20:12

    i love cinnamon, and rose, and have been hoping for a cinnamon-rose perfume!

    my love of cinnamon is perhaps best expressed in my love of cinnamon toast - white toast with salty butter and sugar and cinnamon - enough to make it a brown swirly delicious coating. highly recommend it!


  17. Anonymous20:13

    oh, and i love cinnamon imperials, or red hots, as they are also known. little red candies with hot cinnamon flavor. and of course, i put it in anything i am baking, and also on cappucino.


  18. Rednails20:25

    Any American child of the late 20th century knows that cinnamon is what powers Red Hots, one of the best candies ever! Please enter me in the draw.

  19. My grandmother's homemade spiced peaches... Words fail! Please enter me in this wonderful draw. The scent sounds amazing!

  20. I have actually a bad association with cinnamon. I used to light cinnamon candles at a time in my life when a lot of bad things happened all together in a very short amount of time. Can a perfume exorcise these memories? I surely hope so.
    Thanks for the draw, Elena and have a wonderful weekend!

  21. I love spicy cinnamon baked apples and pears. My grandmother used to make them for us cousins on Sundays. She didn't have much money so she couldn't afford to make more sophisticated things but I didn't care. To me, it is the smell of love.

  22. Elia21:44

    Cinnamon sprinkled over rice pudding.
    ty for the draw

  23. cinnamon reminds me of Big Red gum, and Pentachord Auburn! Thanks for the draw.

  24. My first real experience with a spicy cinnamon flavor was at a sleepover, when I used my friend's toothpaste - couldn't stand it! It burned my mouth like crazy. Thanks for the giveaway!

  25. SniffingAround01:44

    Love cinnamon! As kids, for a special treat, my mom would sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on buttered toast for us. Delicious!

  26. SandyVasalos04:19

    I have used cinnamon with my rose water in homemade loukoumi and I also put cinnamon and cloves in my spaghetti sauce. Please enter me in the draw, this sounds yummy.

  27. Miss Heliotrope06:04

    Cinnamon & sliced oranges - with a little orange blossom water, too.


  28. Irina06:32

    Love cinnamon in fragrance, always reminds me winter sweet mets back home
    would be happy to be able to try this special rose
    thanks a lot for the draw

  29. Solanace06:38

    The first cinnamon perfume I tried was the original Karl Lagerfeld, many years ago, and it is still the first one to jump to my mind when I think of the subject.

  30. Stephan09:11

    Like many others in this comment section, I immediately thought of that lovely cinnamon facet in Andy Tauer's Rose Chyprée. I also adore sucking a small cinnamon stick used to stir the cappuccino, while every now and then biting off and chewing small bits from tip.

  31. meganinstmaxime10:12

    I love cinnamon like nearly everybody else posting. In perfume it smells great in Eau d'Epices - a really fragrant spicy Tauer. I just bought cinnamon incense as well for the kitchen as it makes me feel quite relaxed and in the mood for cooking.

  32. It's quite humble, but I love cinnamon toast!

  33. Holly F.10:45

    I do like cinnamon. Cinabre is gorgeous, to me. I'd love the chance to try Majalis. Thanks for the draw!

  34. Cinnammon is my classcic winter treat- I am adding it to my hot chocolate (with hint of cardamom and chilli), coffee, sometimes I am also using it in Greek food.
    Lovely note in perfumes- Lumiere Noire is one of examples. Thank you for a draw!

  35. That cinnamon touch is interesting and the recent PHI Une Rose de Kandahar has it, also. Thank you for the draw opportunity.

  36. FabioP11:38

    I enjoy cinnamon so-so - it is nice in breads and cakes - but my girl friend loves it. She likes to make cinnamon spiced milk to drink before bed.

    Thank you for the draw!

  37. Anonymous12:54

    I so envy the waist/hip ratio or the woman in the photo!

    This perfume sounds lovely. I think of cinnamon as quite a sexy as well as comforting smell.

    I shared a flat with a extraordinarily cute German artist a few years ago, and I discovered he had a guilty secret - he was often to be discovered in my kitchen cupboard sniffing my jar of cinnamon bark!

    My favourite cinnamon in food combination is -

    Sliced bananas fried in butter sprinkled in dark muscovado sugar, cinnamon and flambed with brandy - served up with a dollop of cream (well,ok a dollop of natural yoghurt with a nod the health!)
    Takes all of five minutes, smells divine and if coked correctly the sugar turns slightly crisp and caremelised

  38. Anonymous13:09

    Dearie me- my spelling mistakes - 'cooked correctly' not 'coked correctly' what must people think!

  39. Ariadne15:00

    Whole cinnamon sticks and cloves tied up in squares of lace to tuck in my dresser drawers and blanket chest. No moths ;+) I am very excited by this review and drawing!!

  40. oh, potpourri,cinnamon sticks tied with satin ribbon, in oatmeal and of course cookies...would love to sample this new scent. guess i'm new to spicy scents

  41. hotlanta linda15:53

    Besides the good things about cinnamon that make it great for baking :-),it fights sinus infection and queasy tummy!!

  42. Anonymous18:19

    I like cinammon smell on greek desserts like: loukoumades (fried muffins), melomakarona( on Christmas), halva(cake with semolina) and fanouropita
    I like smellingcinammon as a room scent or a in perfume

  43. Cinnamon is a tough one for me. I like the smell but not the flavor. does that make sense? If I smell a freshly baked apple pie I drool like a baby but I cannot eat it.
    Thanks for the give away.

  44. Merlin20:02

    Cinnamon is one of my favorite notes, but I cannot find any particular memory. The coffee shop I go to has shakers of cocoa and ones of cinnamon to shake over ones cappuccino and I have to admit I end up preferring my coffee cinnamoned!

    The dominant note in Musc Ravageur is cinnamon for me, but for some reason I find it slightly claustrophobic...

    I like cinnamon's sweetness, but also love its zingy aspect.

  45. Marcela20:22

    Chai tea of course. Delicious smell and taste powered by the cinnamon. Thank you for the draw!

  46. Oh no - I do not like cinnamon so this will not be for me.

    Yes Helg - how much more can you make of roses - I wonder if Rosine will stop at 100 ! LOL

  47. Ellen21:44

    I liked Cinabre a lot actually, so I'm looking forward to sampling this fragrance. Thanks for the draw.

  48. Hmmm cinnamon. I always think of my great Aunts hot apple cider w/cinnamon sticks served along side her Cinnom snicker doodles which she only made in the fall & winter months, regardless of how much I begged

  49. I do not like cinnamon in food but some fragrances use it just to a degree that I find enjoyable.

  50. Unknown,

    thank you for your comment and compliment. Glad to be able to provide optical material that intrigues and fascinates on occasion.
    Unfortunately I do not know where the photograph comes from exactly, as I found it posted while Google searching randomly on a -of all things- porn tumble! (admittedly one with great taste, IIRC).
    I agree with you and others that this woman's body is incredible, especially the waist-hip ratio; luscious and very Venus-esque.

    @at everyone asking about Rose Chypree in relation to Majalis

    As to the comparison with Une Rose Chypree, no, the cinnamon here is more elevated in percentage, the nutmeg and pepper are perceptible in pushing this firmly into the spicy territory while in the Tauer the feel I get is mossier, with a chocolate-y touch in the background (no doubt thanks to patchouli). Here it's orientalized with sandalwood, not chypre-ish or coolish.

  51. You're all making me hungry by the way!!! :-D

  52. Rosestrang,,

    don't worry about the spelling/typo mistakes, we all do it, me most of all. I correct what I can upon second reading and hope for the best during the rest of the time.

  53. Phanie,

    you have given me prompting to share a fanouropita recipe here next ;-)

  54. helical gnome,

    cinnamon is bitter in taste, but sweet in scent, does that make sense? I have a favorite extract from a film where this very contrast is elaborated on very lyrically, should post it sometime.

  55. Merlin,

    I also love my cappuccino cinnamon-ed! :-)

    And yes, claustrophobic is a great way of describing Musc Ravageur. I find this is an oriental with a very perceptible spiciness on the opening, which fades into an amber accord later on, but it feels somewhat more oppressive than I'm used to. I much prefer the oil version to the EDP. (try it!)

  56. Lady Jicky/M,

    looks like it won't be for you indeed (neither will be PHI perhaps? I don't know, there the cinnamon is much more subtle).

    Rosine has pretty much exhausted the rose, but who knows, there are tiny variations they're doing that have rose lovers excited. I did love Majalis, so if they got me, then they can catch anyone. :-D

  57. A small note to the rest of the commenters I haven't personally responded to: It doesn't mean I haven't read nor appreciated your comment, because I have.
    Carry on!

  58. I like a cinamon rose. At the moment I'm wearing Lubin's Black Jade a lot. I might like this one too, so thanks for the draw.

  59. I love rose used for culinary purposes, and I love cinnamon too. I haven't yet encountered a perfect melange of the two, but I would sure like to! Favorite cinnamon use of the season is in pumpkin pies with ancho chilis.

  60. Morticia23:14

    DUHH!!! I'm from the U.S. and I may be dating myself but I'm going with "Red Hots" candy. :-)

    E. I'm thinking you may agree with me on this one. I remember helping my yaya making Baklava when I was little for the first time too. Of course I would love to be entered in the draw.

  61. Anonymous22:53

    I am the photographer who took that picture above:

    1. Thank you Jocelen for providing this essential bit of information. As I αλρεαδυ said above to someone asking about the "book" this photograph comes from: "Unfortunately I do not know where the photograph comes from exactly, as I found it posted while Google searching randomly on a -of all things- porn tumble! (admittedly one with great taste, IIRC)."
      In hindsight I can see that the copyrighted sign and info has been actually CROPPED from your original photo before circulating widely on the internet. Duh.... :(

      Ι totally see your point about your work being exploited to sell or push things (believe me, it happens to me too, my own words copied and passed as another's opinion), but let me assure you that here it is not a commercial venue and we're NOT *selling*/promoting perfume. We just review it, discuss it, idolize it...

      The incredible photo above matches the spirit of the perfume in question, which is why I chose it in the first place. Since there is no copyrighted information on it (the bit I found at least, as I now find out there was a copyright info in the original uncropped photo), or at least it has not been publicly mentioned as such, I could not possibly find the original source to credit it. Usually when there's someone mentioned as credited with taking a photo, it is clearly mentioned either right below the photo or under the post with "photo credit" quote.

      After your comment I'm left a bit wondering about whether you would like it to remain on this post (surely you took a screenshot for your own site), with the updated credit of the photographer, you, of course, OR whether you'd like it to get edited out. As I also mention on my page: "Photos do not belong to us unless we personally shot them. The bulk of them are borrowed, credited and linked whenever possible, for educational purposes only. If you object to any material you are the rightful owner of on this site, please contact me using email, to have it properly credited/removed. Thanks!"
      Let me know in an email (see Contact), if you want it removed. I'd be happy to accommodate if so.


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