There is a sub-genre of fragrance which has a difficult task to achieve. Many brands attempt to make a “masculine floral”. Now I am firmly in the camp of perfume is genderless. If it smells good on you who cares if it says “for her” on the bottle. I am also aware that the rest of the world hasn’t entirely come around to that way of thinking. I can appreciate the effort to make florals appeal to men. As the name portends Maison Francis Kurkdjian L’Homme A la Rose is one of those.
The original A la Rose released in 2015 was a gorgeous interplay between Damascena rose and Rose de Mai. Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian found an ideal balance which I admired. This was an effusive rose perfume. It is a best-seller because of this. M. Kurkdjian must have considered what needed to be altered for L’Homme A la Rose. Based on the result the answer was to remove many of the supporting florals and replace them with citrus, herb, and woods.
The first one up is the use of grapefruit. This is a blast of grapefruit and it is paired with the Damascena rose. It is a kinetic opening as the amount of grapefruit contrasts the rose with vigor. It takes a little time for an equilibrium to be reached. Things get much better from there. The gentle Rose de Mai appears, escorted by clary sage. The acerbic herbal nature of the sage gives the rose a different texture. A bit rougher than I usually find this specific rose. The grapefruit and Damascena rose are still here and together they reinvent the central duo of A la Rose with a rugged feel. A set of synthetic woods make sure this never goes anywhere near being thought of as for the other gender.
L’Homme A la Rose has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
L’Homme A la Rose was excellent in these later days of summer. The warmth really allowed the grapefruit and sage to shine. I suspect it will also be as good as the weather cools. When I get the inevitable response where a reader asks me if this is a good “masculine floral”. My answer will be an enthusiastic, “yes!”
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.