In high school, I had an ambitious project to not only listen to but actually enjoy all genres of music. I started the journey as your standard everything-but-rap-and-country person. The farther I roamed, the more I realized just how weird music could get, and just how much my everything-but-rap-and-country failed to cover. At the same time, I kept finding that the strangest corners of the art world were those that excited me most. I just had to find so-called ‘gateway’ records to get there – pieces that bridged the gap between music styles I already loved and those I was completely unfamiliar with.
It’s no surprise that there are also ‘gateway’ perfumes that can open up new doors for their wearers. Time and time again I’ve found fragrances that bridge the gap between fragrance genres I love and those I don’t. Armani Privé’s Rose d’Arabie was one of the most important gateway perfumes I’ve found in my personal journey. There a host of reasons why Rose d’Arabie functions as such, and it could very well open up a door for anyone who tries it.
Rose d’Arabie Notes
Rose, Oud, Patchouli, Vanilla
I know what you’re thinking. Rose-oud? Are you serious? Rose-ouds are perhaps one of the most ubiquitous styles in mainstream perfumery, but Rose d’Arabie is different. First of all, the oud in Rose d’Arabie is extremely smooth and inviting, living in the same realm as the Oud in Tom Ford’s Oud Wood. Furthermore, the rose is present but tempered. In both cases, notes which often come across as bold, or even combative, are present in their most accessible forms.
The reason that Rose d’Arabie can present these ingredients in such a way while still coming across as a gorgeous, deep perfume comes down to Vanilla and Patchouli. Both of these ingredients make up the bulk of the composition. Rose d’Arabie works because it levies just enough rose and oud to make their presence known while filling in the gaps with very friendly notes that are perfectly complementary.
In addition to acting as a gateway to both rose and oud, Rose d’Arabie is a wonderful introduction to feminine-leaning fragrances. The sweetness of the rose and vanilla place this out of the realm of classic masculines. What makes this a true gateway fragrance is its proximity to similar masculine perfumes, not only those in the rose-oud category, but those in the woody-vanilla categories as well. Simply put, Rose d’Arabie is a gorgeous, jaw-dropping version of many familiar ideas, and its widespread appeal is likely to draw in wearers who might otherwise be uncomfortable to cross a gender line.
Rose d’Arabie is a beautiful fragrance that’s likely to pull in wearers of all tastes. It’s distinctive yet inviting, and it’s quiet enough for its possibly-cloying sweetness to stay well out of obnoxious territory. Rose d’Arabie is certainly worth its price point for the right wearer. The magic is that no matter your preconceptions of its notes, that wearer could be you.
Rose d’Arabie samples are currently difficult to track down, but there are decants available here and bottles available direct from Armani.
The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.
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