Fragrance Review: Rosabotanica

I like to think of perfume as an extension of the clothes on our backs.

Think about it: You are dressed to the nines ankle-up, and yet you have your most comfortable – read: battered, faded, crusty with soil and sweat build-up – pair of flip-flops flapping against your soles… It’s practically an invitation to slouch!

Now, imagine the same outfit but with a pair of come-fuck-me-heels and watch, how, not only do you stand more erect and toss your hair with more confidence, you also become a little bolder – hold the gaze of that handsome stranger across the room for a touch longer – and a little flirtier – touch the arm of that same handsome stranger to whom you were introduced just five minutes ago.

Wearing different scents, I find, have the same (or shall we say differing) effects on me; I’m able to concentrate better when I’m wearing a citrusy scent such as DKNY Women; I used to put on Narcisse by Chloé when I want to feel sexy; For days when I feel beautiful, I spritz on Chanel No. 5 which I liken to the cherry that finishes off a prettily-dressed sundae.

But that can hardly be news, for science has already proven scents can alter one’s moods and temperaments, even one’s life.

Now, after all that gushing about my past lovers I’m finally ready to form an opinion about Balenciaga’s Rosabotanica.image

Jean-Christophe Herault and Olivier Polge, the makers aka the noses­– if you like to sound like you are “in the know” – of Rosabotanica say of the key ingredient, “We have studied the rose in an experimental way and thus we wanted to go further.”

The duo went on to explain the romantic aspects of the rose have been downplayed, the focus is instead on its “spiced, spirited and even smouldering aspects”. Now, I have absolutely no idea what that meant, but having spent three days in the garden, I can only say the scent is insipid at best.

With other scents, as I went about my day, I would catch unexpected whiffs when I look over my shoulders or lift my arms over my head or get up from my seat. Unfortunately, Rosabotanica stayed under the radar, and by lunch on Day One, I had almost forgotten I was wearing it.

I had to reapply when I arrived at my first stop of my evening programme, the opening reception of the photography exhibition of Claude Mollard – an ex-politician turned artist-photographer from France. The usual hugs and kisses were exchanged with the usual suspects – the art buffs, PR execs, and other gallerists who had turned up to show their support; And even at such close proximity, I got no compliments on the scent.


Pic courtesy of VISIONAIRS Gallery Singapore’s

I walked the distance of roughly one MRT station to the next to my second stop for the evening: Dinner with Salt & Pepper. Again, I reapplied before stepping in, where

We engaged in a passionate 8-second hug that would have caused a scandal anywhere in the Muslim world.


When we sat down, he commented on my sweaty countenance and assigned the blame slash cause to the sweltering Indian summer – but still no remarks on the scent.

Days Two and Three, hardly surprising, went about unremarkably, scent-wise.

Switching to Carbtree & Evelyn’s Florentine Freesia Flower Water tomorrow, hopefully the bloom native to South Africa will wear better in this August heat.

Watch this space for the Freesia Flower Water review.



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