I'd never purchased anything from L'Occitane until I went on holiday to France last year and happened to wander past one of their shops. There was a wonderful smell emanating from inside, so, as a major sucker for perfumes, moisturisers and any other body products I can lay my hands on, I just had to go in. L'Occitane have a number of ranges of products, largely organised by scent (for example verbena, cherry blossom, almond) or by type of product (such as skincare, men's items), but I was instantly attracted to the display of rose-scented items.
The 'Rose 4 Reines' Range and Packaging
The 'Rose 4 Reines' range is inspired by a legend from Provence in which four sisters, all of whom married kings, thereby becoming the four queens of Forcalquier, and who each cherished a particular type of rose (see the following section for details). The range includes a variety of products, such as eau de toilette, hand creams, body lotion, shower gel, soap, solid perfume and home fragrance. These items can be bought individually or in various sizes and combinations in gift sets. The packaging for this range uses the same colour scheme of gold, dark pink and a pinkish/purplish colour of glass, making it easy to spot which products are in the range. As I've found with many L'Occitane products, the packaging is functional and practical, yet attractive at the same time. With my Eau de Toilette, I don't feel that I have to worry about the bottle breaking in my bag as it is made of quite thick, sturdy-looking glass, and there is a cap over the dispenser at the top which stays on well.
So enough on the packaging, what does this perfume smell of? Well, as the name suggests, this is a rose-scented perfume that really does smell of fresh roses. According to L'Occitane's website, the fragrance is created from a blend of four types of roses: the Turkish rose, the Moroccan rose, the Bulgarian rose and the Grasse rose. This combination results in a beautiful, elegant floral scent that smells natural rather than over-poweringly sweet as tends to happen with some floral fragrances. It initially reminded me of my Grandmother, and I suppose it is quite a classic, old-fashioned fragrance, but as a twenty-something year old I'd say that this perfume could be worn (and loved) by women of any age, from young to old. The scent is fresh yet sophisticated, making it suitable for both daytime and evening wear, and I've received many compliments whilst wearing this perfume. I really cannot put into words how lovely this eau de toilette smells, so I'd really recommend that readers of this review visit a L'Occitane store themselves and try it out - I loved it so much that I ended up not only buying the eau de toilette, but also the solid perfume and the intense eau de toilette roll-on in the range, all in one go!
In terms of staying power, this eau de toilette has quite a light, fresh fragrance, so it's not got the best staying power in the world. However, a little goes a long way, so I tend to top my scent up by simply spritzing myself once with it a couple of times a day after my original application, to make sure I keep smelling of roses. It's the type of perfume that won't smell too strong if you keep topping it up, but will also linger subtlely if you prefer a more understated scent.
Value for Money
I purchased mine in France where it cost me 39 Euros for a 75ml bottle, and the RRP for this size bottle in the UK is £35. Now I'm used to purchasing designer scents which often cost in excess of £40 just for a 30ml bottle, so in my eyes this perfume is an absolute steal. It smells classy and elegant rather than cheap, and I'd certainly say that the fragrance is more sophisticated smelling and looking than some of my more expensive perfumes. Though it's not the most long-lasting scent in the world, due to the delicate nature of the scent, you only need to use a spritz or two at a time to keep your fragrance topped up, so my bottle has lasted me a long time.
So Where Can I Buy it? (And a Note on L'Occitane's Fantastic Customer Service)
L'Occitane products can be purchased from stand-alone L'Occitane stores, or 'boutiques' (there are 14 in London alone, according to their website, as well as numerous other boutiques in the UK and, indeed, across the world) and from the L'Occitane website. I've visited a few L'Occitane boutiques (including those in Brighton, Westfield, Stratford and Regent Street) and have always been really impressed with the standard of service. The staff really know their products and take time to listen to you if you're looking for something in particular, and are happy to recommend products and demonstrate how they work. Another thing that I like about shopping in L'Occitane is that gift wrapping is complimentary (very handy as many of their products are suitable to be given as presents) and you receive free samples of L'Occitane products, even if you just purchase one item. If you purchase items online you have the option of choosing two free samples to receive with your order, which I think is a really nice touch. L'Occitane products are also available in some department stores (my local Debenhams stocks a limited range of products, for example), although you don't get the customer service (or the free gifts!) that you get in stand-alone stores.
More information on this product can be found at http://uk.loccitane.com/FO/rose-eau-de-t​oilette.htm
Overall, I'd strongly recommend this perfume, and I'd really urge readers to find their local L'Occitane boutique and try out the scent themselves. 'Rose 4 Reines' eau de toilette is a beautifully-scented elegant yet delicate perfume, which really does smell of freshly cut roses. It comes in an attractive yet practical bottle, and you can get a large quantity (i.e. 75ml) without breaking the bank. The L'Occitane website has a handy store locater on it, so please do go out and get sniffing this perfume!
Roses et Reines Eau de Toilette is a fresh and velvety fragrance, a floral tale that celebrates the flower of queens. The muses that inspired this fragrance, the four daughters of the Count of Forcalquier, all cherished roses: the flowers that were said to have made them queens. The fragrance opens with the citrus freshness of bergamot and blackcurrant leaves. Intense heart notes reveal the floral, silky encounter of four varieties of roses (from Bulgaria, Turkey, Grasse and Morocco) and the fruity notes of the precious rose extract, obtained by enfleurage, coloured by raspberry and blackberry. This harmony is prolonged by a woody base of white cedar, which mingles with the softness of heliotrope and musk.