Reviews

Rose Nacreé du Desert by Guerlain: A rose yet not as sweet

Guerlain’s Rose Nacreé du Desert is much different from the other scents in the Les Deserts d’Orient Collection in its traditional treatment.

Guerlain's Rose Nacreé du Desert is much different from the other scents in the Les Deserts d'Orient Collection in its traditional treatment.

Rose Nacreé du Desert by Guerlain: A rose yet not as sweet

Since I’ve touched on two of the three fragrances of the Guerlain Les Desérts d’Orient Collection, it was time I turned my attention to the remaining scent: Rose Nacreé due Desert. Much like its two siblings, the foundation of this scent is designed to evoke an Oriental/Arabian feel in its use of Oud. However, the composition and impression of Rose Nacreé du Desert is much different than the other two scents in the trilogy.

In fact, the mere title of the fragrance is a plot spoiler for what is to come, though not as much as you might think. And there are distinct reasons this is worth differentiating from the other two companion scents. Let’s first discuss that composition and explain in more detail.

rose nacree 300x300 Rose Nacreé du Desert by Guerlain: A rose yet not as sweetFragrance: Guerlain Rose Nacreé due Desert (Les Desert d’Orient Collection)

  • Released: 2012
  • Perfumer: Thierry Wasser
  • Concentration: Eau de Parfum
  • Notes: saffron, rose, benzoin, Oud (agarwood), patchouli
  • Availability: Guerlain boutiques and limited retail (Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Flagship store)

First and foremost, Rose Nacreé du Desert is perhaps the least audacious of the series, seeming much more subdued as compared to Encens Mythique and Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete. The heady incenses and resins are downplayed while the very deep florals are emphasized, allowing the rose to provide the softness to accompany the saffron’s strength and beauty and the resiny traits of the benzoin and Oud. Treatment leans slightly toward a Guerlainade but not screaming the same precise feeling of a typical Guerlain formulation. You can sense the signature in the base, but it remains secondary to the overall theme of the scent.

desert d orient2 Rose Nacreé du Desert by Guerlain: A rose yet not as sweetThe tilt in this fragrance is more of a traditionalist’s Oud, typically oriental/arabian in profile. If you like the arrangement of Oud/rose/saffron/resins, Rose Nacreé du Desert will be familiar and comfortable. In saying that, it’s difficult to find anything to fault in this scent as it’s very well done. Strength is excellent, sillage and projection are very good (more of a bubble verging on a cloud), and longevity is excellent. It’s nothing less than what one would expect from a Guerlain execution of an Oud fragrance. The refinement and elegance that is the panache of the brand is represented here in al aspects.

On the other hand, this isn’t particularly original either. As I noted above, it’s a resiny Oud floral. Of the trio, this would be the least original or unique. While Rose Nacreé du Desert is certainly a likable scent and a crowd pleaser for its target market, it doesn’t bring anything new or ground-breaking to the table. Where Encens Mythique and Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete are more outspoken, Rose Nacreé du Desert is elegantly understated enough and less controversial to our Western olfactive palate. Those statements take nothing away from the fragrance. The presentation, however, isn’t ground-breaking, revolutionary, or an interesting achievement.

Pricing for the 75ml is $260. This makes it typical for Guerlain’s boutique collections for their price-point.

So I’ll get to our bottom-line momentarily and explain my view on this, which was a challenge.

Rating: 3.75/5. Recommended. A purist’s Oud. It works well for a unisex audience that dislikes overly strong scents, but would like a refined statement. Our score is indicative that Rose Nacreé du Desert is an excellent scent, but isn’t exceptionally unique. It’s a very good rose and resiny Oud scent that anyone could feel comfortable wearing.

Bottom-Line: Rose Nacreé du Desert is a solid addition to a collection for those who want to enjoy an Oud fragrance that is neither overpowering nor suffocating, but a pleasant albeit fairly typical Oriental treatment. It is a safe yet satisfying introduction to the Oud genre.

 
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About Andrew Buck

Andrew Buck is the editor-in-chief of Scentrist.com, and a lifelong appreciator and aficionado of fragrance. He's also the author "(Not) PMO-in-a-Can", a practitioner's perspective on project management, in addition to several articles on the topic. When not writing or discovering new scents, he is a technology manager in New York's Wall Street financial sector. You can read more about him on the "About" page, or say hi to him on Twitter @scentrist.