Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Divine Spirituelle: fragrance review and samples draw

Certain perfumes give an illusory first impression like people who come into a party seemingly underdressed only to impress you with their smarts and true chic as the night unfolds. Spirituelle, the latest Divine fragrance, an at once delicate and spirited take on the rosy powdery floral, took me a cursory first sniff and then a much more attentive one to appreciate its twists that put the chic into the chica. It ended up winning me and might win you too if you're either a floral phobic or a rose hater, so lend me your eyes for a sec.

Bulle Ogier via Photobucket/francomac123

Two major themes play into the blueprint of Spirituelle. The first one is a dessert-worthy succulent note that derives from the two rose absolutes (one from Turkey, the other from France), flanked by rosy, fresh spice on one side and a smooth lightly ambery caress on the other. The feeling is not unlike the deliciousness of Neela Vermeire's Mohur eau de parfum, rendered here more ethereal and a bit less dense. Never too sweet, but inviting.

The second theme is the wink of a smoky cigarette note that rises only from a certain distance. The French are known for their predilection for smoking and I don't smoke myself as a rule, so the illusory effect is not a trail off my clothing or skin. Rather it recalls the practice of French perfumes of yore which had a compatible ambience to human habits: food, sex, drink and smoke. The hand is quicker than the eye (or the nose, as circumstances apply): the effect is lightweight and imperceptible if not told about beforehand. Chapeau then for such a clever little conjurer's trick which makes Divine Spirituelle go beyond the polite, prim and beige rose perfume that so many fragrance companies issue for Victoriana admiring fans, without on the other hand falling into the commonality of either patchouli nor oud.

Spirituelle comes as the 11th creation for Divine, the small niche brand by Yvon Mouchel, founded in the small town of Dinard. Perfumer Richard Ibanez who worked on Spirituelle has been a longtime partner with the Divine brand: he was the one composing the word-of-mouth cult first Divine scent, Divine by Divine.

I have 6 perfume samples for an equal number of lucky readers. Please let me know your experiences with rose in the comments to be eligible for the draw. Draw is open internationally till Friday midnight and winner will be announced in the weekend.

Fragrance notes for Divine Spirituelle:

Top: pink pepper, Sichuan pepper, geranium, cistus
Middle: May rose absolute, Anatolian rose absolute
Base: Texas cedarwood, white amber, white musk, incense.

Spirituelle is available as eau de parfum (50, 100, 200ml splash bottles or 30 and 50 refillable spray bottles) and as pure parfum extrait 20ml.


  1. The spirit lifting qualities of Bulgarian Rose Otto were what first drew me to exploring perfume. Since then I've amassed quite a collection of rose perfumes: rose with spices, rose with amber, rose with patchouli, rose with oud, rose with other flowers. Do I need more roses? Of course I do. Spirituelle sounds divine. Thank you for the draw.

  2. I love rose fragrances so much. The type I adore the most though are edible roses so Spirituelle sounds right up my alley.

  3. Anonymous17:09

    I never really knew I loved rose until I started studying perfume. It was in several perfumes I loved, I just never knew that was the ingredient I liked. Aramis 900 comes to mind where it has a marvelous sweet herbal effect and also quite airy. Today I am wearing Diva, which has a marvelous sweet rose effect similar to Bulgarian roses. I love Divine (original) so I am anxious to try this.

    Jeffrey Apodaca

  4. Missionista17:21

    Thanks for the draw. I love rose notes. The first time I can remember realizing that different roses had different smells was when I was a kid and first encountered tea roses (as opposed to the standard roses in my aunt's yard.)

  5. would love to try it.

  6. I love the scent of roses but have struggled finding a rose perfume that really affects me the same way as the flower. The combination of rose/smoke might help balance the oversweet note that turns me off so many rose scents. Sounds intriguing!

  7. Anonymous19:23

    I've always stuck my nose in roses and breathed deeply, but as a perfumer I've been particularly taken with Morrocan Rose absolute. So sensual

    I.D. Adam

  8. Thanks for the draw, this sounds really sumptuous!
    I love real life roses but usually have a hard time with them in perfume. They belong to the florals that frequently turn sour on my skin.
    Cartier So Pretty is lovely however. I bought Juliette Had a Gun's Midnight Oud and Miss Charming on a whim, but am not sure how I feel about them at the moment.

  9. Oh, rose for me for years- it was classic Tresor de Lancome. Sadly reformulated, but I have found another holy grail within same brand- Mille et Une Rose, known before as 2000 et Une Rose. So beautiful! Other rose fragrances I do enjoy are: Portrait of A Lady, Rose Cut and of course Paris. Best festive greetings! Ela

  10. I have had mostly bad experiences with rose perfumes. Strangely enough, I adore body oils, face oils, shower and bath oils that smell like roses as well as body creams, lotions, candles (my favorite candles are rose scented!!!) but perfumes? not too lucky. They turn dusty in a potpourri kind of way on my skin. I dont have a good explanation. From Nehema to sa Majeste...Maybe this can be the one?

  11. This sounds really interesting. I used to think I was a rose fan but lately I have been unsure. I didn't have the best experience with San Francisco Rose and didn't love Une Fille de Berlin as much as I thought I would. I'd love to see how this one fares!

  12. I love most rose fragrance, Andy Tauer Incense Rose is a favorite.. Thank you for the chance to try a new one.

  13. Anonymous00:14

    Thank you for the draw. I spend an inordiinate amount of time on my roses from April until October. Nothing in my garden makes me more happy. Sadly, most rose perfumes do nothing for me. The only one that has interested me was Paestum Rose from Eau d'italie. I'm happy to keep an open mind - maybe this one will work.


  14. Gina01:48

    I love rose so much in perfume from rich and winey to neon bright rosiness that I was actually completely surprised to learn that there are actually people who can't stand it. I still don't quite get why but I know they are out there :)

  15. I love rose fragrances, though many do not work well on my skin (a sour, overripe-ness is particularly common). A nice peppery rose sounds lovely!

  16. Mariantu03:50

    Hi you all!!
    I don't think I'm a rose lover, but I do love Paris (YSL). I just like so many different notes, that I might end up being a roses fan as well.
    Thanks for all you teach us and the opportunity you give us to have a try :)
    Greetings from Argentina!

  17. Thanks for the draw! I love roses and rose fragrances. Growing up, my grandpappy had this amazing wild rose bush in his yard that had these delicate little pale pink flowers that smelled heavenly. They had to have been a variety of tea rose, with such a delicate, airy aroma. As for rose perfumes, I love pretty much all of them. Fille de Berlin has been a regular recently. C & E's Rosewater, Portrait of a Lady, VC & A Rose Velours, Dior Gris Montaigne. So much to love about Rose!

  18. Anonymous05:26

    This scent has my name all over it, down to the pic you chose as well!
    Rose is mainly a nostalgic scent for me. It connects me with a very soft side of my personality. My all time favourite is YSL Paris (esp. vintage) as it reminds me of my mother arriving home from Paris in the 80's, dressed in electrical blue and gray cashmere and me thinking I had the most amazing smelling mother in the word. Living in South America we did not have much access to new releases so Paris made a huge impact on me.
    Thanks for the draw,

  19. I do love the roses! My first goal was some years ago to find the "perfect" rose perfume, but after a while I've changed my mind and now I "collect" the variations and combinations of roses. This one sounds incredibly interesting, because I also like the smokey scents, so it would be nice to try this fragrance. (And I am very curious about the brand too, because in my country it is not available.)

  20. Anonymous06:29

    I love the sound of the 'dessert worthy rose'. I encountered a rose like that in MFK's Uod Sil Mood recently, but it was dominated by oud for me.

    It’s amazing how much variety rose brings. There are some I loathe, like Frederic Malle’s Un Rose, even though I know it’s high quality it’s shriek y and sharp on my skin, smells nicer in the bottle!

    I never liked YSL’s Paris either, it seemed very cold to me. Come to think of it I don’t usually like rose unless it’s blended well with other distinct notes.

    Ones I like are Drole de Rose, though I wear it more as a soothing perfume indoors than any other occasion. I also love La Fille de Berlin, which reminds me of an Elizabethan women somehow – it conjures up medieval tapestry and velvet (I love wearing it with a deep red velvet dress! )

    But the nicest rose I’ve encountered, is Dr Organic’s Rose Otto body lotion. It has a Turkish Delight-ness to it, and makes a nice base for smoky perfumes I find. I also love the rose in Lumiere Noire Pour Femme by MFK, it’s so perfectly balanced with narcissus, oh and the rose de mai in Chanel 19 EDP is lovely – so soft, slightly sweet and dewy, I’d love to know what gives it that quality. And since I’m on that subject, the recent No. 19 EDP I tried had an odd, powdered cayenne pepper-like note, I wondered if that was a stand in for oak moss, very strange.

  21. Anonymous06:31

    'Oud Silk Mood' I meant!
    (it's 6:30am here, I need another coffee!)

  22. A wonderful perfumer sent me a smidge of Rose de Mai. I uncapped the vial and the room was filled with this most beautiful aroma. I take the vial out and smell it occasionally. What a lovely experience.

  23. Anonymous08:00

    I used to hate rose fragrances due to the Bulgarian Rose products overdose I smelled during my childhood. I love them now but it took me quite a while and effort to really appreciate them.


  24. I've always loved rose scents. My current favourite rose is Ormonde Jayne's Ta'if, which is a delicious gourmand floriental.
    I'm very curious to sample Spirituelle, thank you for offering us the opportunity!

  25. Long time ago, I used to think I didn't like rose.
    Luckily it all changed with Lyric and then almost spiraled out of control (I went through a rose phase).

  26. Anonymous08:45

    Please enter me in the draw. Like Ines above, I didn't think I liked rose until Lyric, and I still prefer it dark and blended. When you say "desert worthy", it reminds me of the story of the desert princess who discovered rose attar by touching the oil that forms on top of rose petals in water. This kind of rose I think I would like.


  27. I love roses in my garden and in some perfumes. My favourite one is "Rose" by Paul Smith. I like many others, too, but when I bought a decant of "Rose Nacrée du Désert" by Guerlain, I had to sell it. It was too "strong" for me...

  28. I have so many roses that it's hard to choose just one. Love the Les Parfums de Rosine line and their Rose Praline and Rose d'homme. Like the deeper, richer, spicier roses so been drawn to SL Fille de Berlin and lemming that for Christmas. Ritually use Fresh Cannabis Rose as a bedtime scent. Spirituelle is definitely right up my alley due to a love of Miss Balmain. Something about that french blend of floral and smoke is just intoxicating!

  29. annemarie10:36

    I don't always get on too well with rose fragrances but I keep trying. Rose and smoke sounds intriguing so I'd love to sniff Spirituelle. Thanks for the draw.

  30. I love roses, especially the type of big cabage-y flowers that are garden roses. Regarding rose perfumes, I haven't had much luck finding one that I can call my own.

  31. Aline11:08

    I thought I hated roses till I tried Tai'f by Ormonde Jayne which you yourself had generously sent me a long time ago. Sorry to say that I haven't found another to claim as my own since, but hope dies last!
    Thanks for the draw.


  32. Oh, how I love me some roses!!! Spirituelle sounds like a different rose reading with this smoking cigarette trick!
    My list of beloved rose-centered perfumes is quite long, but I have to mention 4 Reines by L'Occitane, Voleur des Roses by L'Artisan Parfumeur, eponymous Chloe and all its flankers, Agent Provocateur, CdG 2, Lady Vengeance...
    But I was stunned to find such a variety and exquisite blending in the rose perfumes of Teo Cabanel - the dewy Early Roses, the sweet Alahine, and especially the chyprey Oha!
    Thank you for the chance!

  33. I have always loved perfumes and always loved roses (the flowers. I never thought I was particularly drawn to rose fragrances until I realized how many I had: Lyric Woman, Voleur des Roses, Fille et Berlin, Andy Tauer's PHI and many others. I have not sampled anything from this line and thank you for the opportunity of this draw.

  34. Scentella12:58

    Roses smell both cold and warm, subtle and majestic. I find that their scent instantly transports me to a garden I had once known, and also that it sometimes transcends nature, pointing, for me, to the Theotokos, the rose being one of her flowers. The only perfume I currently own is SL Sa Majesté La Rose. I know that a realistic rose is not supposed to be the height of sophistication and that perfume should do more than copy nature. Maybe I'm a simpleton for liking it so much. I'd love to try this one, the description is lovely.

  35. Catherine13:18

    My first perfume was Diva, which I still enjoy. The rose note combined with the array of other florals and deepened with oakmoss never ceases to attract me. I shy away, generally, from true rose-centered fragrances, usually finding them too sweet for my tastes, but I admit that your review of Spirituelle is making my nose twitch to smell it!

  36. I adore rose perfumes and own many. My favorite so far is Early Roses by Teo Cabanel. The one on my wish list is Rose Siwa by MDCI Perfumes. I was hoping for a Santa gift but I may have to wait for a birthday prezzie.

  37. Rose fragrances invoke the past to me, past centuries of beautiful rose bouquets in sunny rooms and modern rose arrangements in a Conran-esque setting, depending on the type of fragrance. My fave modern take on rose is Rose Anonyme.

  38. Brainfodder13:23

    So beautiful in the garden, and yet so variable on my skin!

    FM's Portrait of a Lady ranks as the most potent, and most unpleasant perfume experience I've had - I repelled my family in an instant! Une Rose - beautiful on paper (though a little too high pitched for me) - definitely not a winner of my skin. It's not the line that's a problem - I adore and covet other FM's...

    Mohur works very well for me, as does the rose in Chanel fragrances, Phi and Une Rose Chypree.

    The Kilians turn far too sweet, sickly, jammy - TF's Noir de Noir is probably as sweet as I can take.

    It all makes for an interesting perfume journey!

  39. I find light roses (YSL Paris, Cartier So Pretty) to be soothing but my true love is the darker deeper roses(Estee Lauder Knowing, Agent Provocateur) I find them all beautiful. Thank you for the draw!

  40. Stephan14:24

    Sometimes I'm not sure whether I love rose fragrance for the flower or for its entourage that is defining its character. What I love for certain is their changing mood from moment to moment.
    Thanks a lot for this draw.

  41. Richpot14:53

    I love rose scents for the most part. My first was le Labo Rose 31. I now have many. I think my favorites are Jo Malone Velvet Rose and Oud, by Kilian Rose Oud, Laboratorio Olfattivo Rosamunda, and Malle's Portrait of a Lady. Just got a 5ml roll-on of Luten Rose de Nuit which is heavenly and may be my next full bottle purchase. All in all I have 15 rose-centered frags.

  42. orsetta15:13

    i have quite a number of rose-centred or rose-inspired scents but my 2 favourite roses come from Frederic Malle: Portrait of a Lady and Une Rose. they are perfect when i want to smell something linked to nature (not only flowers but also soil etc. ;-) or when i want a 'dark rose'

  43. Ellen16:11

    I love Paris, both the city and the fragrance. Thank you so much for the opportunity

  44. AnnemarieW16:15

    It is weird but rose is a note I quite often do not recognize in a fragrance, I have to read a description or review to 'find' the rose. And that is also true for fragrances having rose as a main note or having a rose that is described by others as very realistic.
    Rose perfumes are so divers, my appreciation for them is also very divers: some I love, some I like and some I don't care for.

  45. I remember being about 12 and being given a small cream or pale pink plastic compact, probably from Avon, containing 4 different rose-based solid perfumes - Tea Rose, China Rose and two more I can't recall. I was fascinated by the fact that they did all smell slightly different and yet were all recognisably rose. That said, they all l reminded me of cold cream. It must have been my touchstone for "rose" for a long time, because it's only in the last few years that I've realised that there's a lot more to rose than cold cream. (Favourite? Portrait of a Lady)

  46. annsmith20:00

    thanks very much for the draw ! this scent sounds lovely !! right now i am in love with rose flash from andy tauer and then rose vermeille.

  47. Hi Helg .... I have about 60 real roses growing in my garden right now as its summer here.
    Would love to have that perfume ... I still feel Malle's Un Rose is the best but now its been bought out by EL ... Ooooo.

  48. Rose fragrances are among my favorites. I love the sophisticated Paris, the dark and bitter L'Ombre dans L'eau by Diptique, the effervescent Goutal's Rose Splendide, the complex Eau de 1000 by Patou, the lingering, mysterious Estee Lauder's Knowing and many others. Thank you for the drawing.


  49. Anonymous23:09

    This fits in with my current project of exploring rose scents. For the time being I have limited myself to a few for which I can obtain local samples, La Fille de Berlin, Sa Majeste La Rose, Lady Vengeance and Vengeance Extreme. But this sounds particularly appealing because I like smokey facets in fragrances. Thank you for the opportunity for the draw.

  50. rose was my mother's favorite perfume note (aside from sandalwood). it's now come to be MY favorite note in fragrances: ta'if, rose de mai, bulgarian rose, etc. i love it partnered with oud, raspberry, tobacco, patchouli. thank you for this draw! spirituelle sounds marvelous!

  51. I love rose,... but find her hard to wear,...

    Spirituelle sounds interesting and I would love to try it.

    Thanks for the draw.

  52. Morticia07:04

    Hi E. there are a lot of different fragrances listed here in the comments, some I'm familiar with and some I'm not. The ones that I am familiar with I REALLY dislike and I guess that's why I've stayed away from roses. Roses and smoke peak my interest though, I must say. The mention of smoke in a fragrance usually perks my ears and nose up anyway. I would be very interested to see if I could be swayed by a rose sent as I really haven't had any luck with them in the past (along time). :-) Thanks for the draw.

  53. Anonymous07:13

    Reading the comments I realized why I've had so much trouble with rose fragrances in the past. Apparently I'm not the only one and roses can go sour on some skins.
    Still your description makes me want to try Spirituelle. Please enter me in the draw, thanks!


  54. Spirituelle sounds wonderful! I've had a good experience with rose perfumes. Ormonde Jayne's Ta'if is to die for with the saffron, date, and broom notes--so warm. Tauer's Incense Rose and Phi, Vero Profumo Rozy edp, Lutens La Fille de Berlin, Olympic Orchids Ballet Rouges and Neela Vermiere Mohur are other favorites.

    Thank you so much for the draw!

  55. Nathan09:50

    My wife has worn a lot of YSL Paris in the past, but I need to find a new rose for her. She tried and liked Rose Perfection by Piguet, but I know there is something even better out there... somewhere :)

  56. Paris has always been my go-to rose. But this one sounds interesting as well!

  57. I really love rose frags. Currently I'm crazy about Ballets Rouges by Olympic Orchids. This one sounds beautiful!

  58. I thought I didn't love roses that much in perfume but I've succumbed to their magic slowly and irremediably. I adore their versatility, the symbolism,their visual and olfactory beauty,the multitude of nuances.Roses are amazing!Some of my favorites are Serge Lutens Rose de Nuit,Tauer Une Rose Chypree,Tauer Une Rose de Kandahar,Etat Libre d'Orange Rossy de Palma,S-Perfume 100%Love,Amouage Lyric,Maria Candida Gentile Cinnabre,Guerlain Nahema.So many exquisite roses,so little time!

  59. Nathan00:09

    Thanks for all the prize draws, they are very generous.
    My holiday surprise: when I was 10 I got a beautiful bicycle for Christmas which was a big surprise because we couldn't afford such things. But my dad had been making it in his spare time from old parts, which he then painted by hand. It was amazing but a bit too big for me so he attached blocks of wood to the pedals so me feet could reach them! My dad was, and still is, a really cool guy, and that present was a great surprise.

  60. Nathan06:19

    Sorry, wrong comments section!

  61. Anonymous17:23

    I love a rose fragrance on others and they smell wonderful when sniffed from a bottle, but I have a problem finding a rose fragrance that smells good on me. Most I've tried, turn too powdery and not much rose scent. My body chemistry must not be tuned into rose, but I'm still looking for one and would love to try Spirituelle.

    Thank you for the generous offer.


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