Innocent me, Nicolaï Rose Royale

It’s May, probably one of the most magnificent months in a whole year. It’s a time when spring is in full bloom, showing its vivid colors like a butterfly that is proud of its colorful wings. Moreover to me it’s a month dedicated to flowers, especially rose, since one of the most precious of them is rose de Mai, a May rose. When you were young you probably read (or listened to) The Secret Garden, a novel by F.H. Burnett. What if I told you that I found a perfume that fits this author’s idea? A garden full of rose bushes. Would you be interested to take a peek inside of such place? Nicolaï holds the key & they let me borrow it, so I’d like to invite you to this fragrant asylum of natural beauty.

Rose Royale opens with a few drops of juicy bergamot that is slightly green-tinged. It feels quite uplifting and mouth-watering even though it doesn’t explode with citrus freshness like it often does. Here it’s more calm which is absolutely not a bad thing. After a few minutes this juicy & citric smell becomes more tart and changes color from yellowish green to blue that is almost black. Then black currant arrives on the scene, surrounding the wearer with its gorgeous aroma. Its tart fruitiness is a little zesty and has a delicately bitter flavor. It feels like an invitation to a spring garden party.

Rose, which is obviously a crucial element of Nicolaï Rose Royale appears around a twentieth minute mark. You will be surprised how interesting smell it possesses. It starts off as a very sheer scent. There is a lot of dewiness to it but the silky structure of rose petals is impossible to miss, even if black currant is still in the lead. With time it becomes stronger but no matter what it still remains a gentle accord. It’s the scent of light pink petals dancing in the wind before they finish their act and land on top of the pond. It’s also worth a mention that rose of Rose Royale smells very natural and its style makes me think of a beautifully green park where flowers bloom on their own.


It’s like they took an average rose and bottled it, rather than taking a super rose that is grown only for use in perfumery. Pastel color of the flower partially comes from musk and ambrette. These two envelope a rose bud with a layer of something that smells like clean fabrics, like a cotton – it gives a powdery and comforting facet. Musky aspect is more like a background note in Rose Royale. After a while the perfume gains a tad herbal side. Immortelle adds a chord that reminds me of green stems with a herb-like twist. Definitely not the way you normally associate with it. I like it a lot.

During next 2-3 hours the perfume slowly changes, in the meantime it also reveals a note of coriander. It has a spicy & dry smell that could be taken as similar to black pepper, but its less intensive. Passionfruit give Nicolaï Rose Royale a nice aromatic twist. In the drydown there’s a little bit of guaiac wood and sandalwood that create more substantial fundaments of this fragrance. But to tell the truth – among big, bold & oriental roses an offering from Nicolaï is a sheer and light interpretation of a rose garden. It represents a tranquil and sunny retreat. A real secret garden.

You could say that Rose Royale is like a pastel pink lace as it has a lot of lightness and transparency. It’s a fragrance that embodies innocence and purity. According to Rose Royale press release, Patricia Nicolaï and Axel Nicolaï wanted to create “a natural and fresh rose with a hint of fruity notes like the rose at the end of its stem” and they were inspired by roses growing in the garden of Palais-Royal in Paris. Rose Royale comes in eau de toilette concentration and has average projection and longevity of 5-6 hours. It’s available in 30 ml and 100 ml flacons.

[note] photo – my own; all rights reserved

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14 thoughts on “Innocent me, Nicolaï Rose Royale

  1. Jillie says:

    May is indeed a gorgeous month – “the lusty month of May” they sing in “Camelot” – with flowers bursting out and greenery scrambling everywhere. I am so looking forward to trying this (thank you Lucas!) as I love most roses and admire Patricia’s work.

    Interesting to see passionfruit here as I’ve noticed its presence cropping up in several fragrances recently. Not surprising as it has such a perfumed quality – and makes a delicately delicious flan in the style of tarte au citron!

    • lucasai says:

      You have Rose Royale in the samples lot you received from me yesterday so do give it a try soon 😉
      That’s a lovely quote from Camelot.
      Seems passion fruit is a la mode now

  2. Holly says:

    Ooh! I love The Secret Garden and a perfume that conjures that up sounds spectacular. Rose Royale sounds like it’s very pretty but also contains a few twists and turns that make it more complex and interesting. Thanks for another great review!

    • lucasai says:

      Rose Royale is more delicate, it’s not an oriental rose like so many others that are being launched all the time lately.
      This one is more naturalistic

  3. hajusuuri says:

    Hey sweetie, your Rose Month in February made me appreciate rose perfumes more deeply. This one sounds wonderful and I will absolutely seek it out! Great review!

    • lucasai says:

      Aw, that’s so sweet of you. It makes me proud that our Chemist in the Bottle Rose Month helped you to appreciate rose perfumes.
      I hope you’ll get to try Rose Royale soon, you surely have a stockist somewhere nearby

  4. Hello Lucas! I am constantly astounded at your ability to discern the varied layers of a perfume! I simply am incapable of such detail. I admire the depth with which you are able to dissect a fragrance. Love the review! I am adoring almost all rose fragrances these days. I recently bought a “Prosecco Rose” candle by Voluspa. Heavenly!

  5. rickyrebarco says:

    Wonderful review, as always, Lucas. I think I will love this rose so I will definitely try it. Patricia de Nicolai is such a talented perfumer.

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