YSL Majestic Rose & Supreme Bouquet (Oriental Collection)

YSL’s new Oriental Collection is a trio of fragrances that are meant to be “an invitation to travel” to the Orient. Each one is an eau de parfum housed in a gold-covered bottle, and offered in limited distribution at a very high price. The other day, I covered the toxic abomination that is Noble Leather. Today is the turn of the remaining fragrances in the line: Majestic Rose from the great Alberto Morillas; and Supreme Bouquet, created by perhaps the even greater Dominique Ropion

MAJESTIC ROSE:

The most complete and detailed information I found for Majestic Rose comes from Osmoz which states, in part, that:

Source: Osmoz

Source: Osmoz

Majestic Rose pays tribute to the queen of flowers. Rose goes animalic here, becoming one with the oud wood in the trail. […] Composed around rose, the fragrance starts by unveiling notes of bergamot, raspberry and papyrus. The rose heart is sweetened with honey and spiced with saffron and maté. The woodsier trail is composed of oud, guaiac and vanilla. Perfumer: Alberto Morillas, Firmenich.

Note of Top : Raspberry, Bergamot, Papyrus

Note of Heart : Rose, Mate, Saffron, Honeyed Notes

Note of Base : Vanilla, Oud, Gaiac Wood

Maté is not a common note in perfumery, and it plays a part in Majestic Rose’s opening, so I thought this description of it from Osmoz might be useful:

Tobacco, Herbaceous, Hay, Tea. […] Maté is a variety of holly that grows in South America. […] Used primarily in men’s perfumery to create fougere and chypre tonalities[.]

Source: apartmenttherapy.com

Source: apartmenttherapy.com

Majestic Rose opens on my skin with: indistinct, anonymous “fruit;” something very much like ISO E Super; stale, dusty, dry tobacco; fruited rose; dusty, dry parchment paper; cheap synthetic “oud;” dry, leathery, spicy saffron; and a hint of vanilla. Oh, did I happen to mention dust? The fragrance is the oddest mix of sweet syrup and dust notes. All I can think about when wearing it is actual dust in an old library that has been drenched in a thin layer of fruit syrup, saffron, and jammy roses, all sprinkled with astringent, peppered ISO E Super, synthetic tea, and a drop of honeyed tea. It’s an airy mix with moderate sillage, but the prickly, peppered, spiky, synthetic elements all give it a certain roughness and sharpness.

Majestic Rose may not be the toxic dust cloud of its brother, the vile Noble Leather, but it has its own share of chemicals. I would bet anything that the perfume contains Kephalis. It is a synthetic which smells a lot like ISO E Super, is extremely dry, and which Givaudan describes as a long-lasting note with an amber-woody-tobacco profile. As for all that dust in Majestic Rose, it may stems from the papyrus, but the sheer degree of aridness underlying the scent seems much more consistent with the super synthetic, Norlimbanol. It is produced by Alberto Morillas’ own firm, Firmenich, and has been described by Chandler Burr as “quite simply, the smell of extreme dryness, absolute desiccation.”

Source: The Guardian.

Source: The Guardian.

At its core, Majestic Rose is a dust, rose, and “oud” fragrance. Certain notes act as supporting players, waxing and waning in prominence, but the perfume’s essential profile doesn’t really change. Five minutes into its development, the vanilla in the base starts to stir, while the papyrus becomes stronger and more significant. Majestic Rose just gets drier, and drier. And drier. 15 minutes in, Majestic Rose loses much of its syrup, and the fragrance starts to feel like a dust bowl with synthetic peppered ISO E Super, bone-dry woodiness, and, in a wholly discordant mix, sweet pink roses. It’s almost disconcerting to smell the flowers given the other notes. It’s as though a single, fresh, pink rose were pressed in parchment paper scrolls, then stuck in a monastery’s library which hadn’t been dusted since the late 11th Century. 

Thankfully, that phase is short-lived and only lasted about 40-minutes, but at least it was somewhat interesting and different. It’s a lot more than I can say for the rest of Majestic Rose’s development. As the dust recedes, the fragrance turns into a generic bouquet of syrupy rose, synthetic oud, and ISO E-ish chemicals in a cocoon of indistinct, abstract dryness. Hints of other things come and go, like vanilla and tobacco, or the merest drop of something that occasionally feels tea-like, but Majestic Rose’s main thrust is rose-oud (with synthetics). Needless to say, it’s not a particularly distinctive combination these days. In fact, something about Majestic Rose feels awfully familiar, but it’s hard to know which rose-oud fragrance it might be — there are literally hundreds of them.

Source: Ashes of Roses Designs, Facebook page.

Source: Ashes of Roses Designs, Facebook page.

I’ll be honest, I scrubbed off Majestic Rose after three hours. Normally, I would put up with an unpleasant fragrance, partially to see what happens but, primarily, for the sake of thoroughness. However, after the indescribable horror of YSL’s Noble Leather, my tolerance levels are wholly depleted. Moreover, I saw zero chance of Majestic Rose suddenly morphing into something different, it was giving me a mild headache, and I’m pretty much fed up with bad perfumes from YSL. So I had a Thanksgiving Day indulgence, even if that consisted of soap and aggressiveness with a loofah. You probably won’t be shocked to hear that Majestic Rose — like most very synthetic, chemical fragrances — was not easy to remove….

As with all the fragrances in the Oriental Collection, Majestic Rose costs £185 or €177 for an 80 ml bottle. At the current rate of conversion, £185 is $301. I’ll spare you a repetition of how inexpensive it is for individuals like you or I to buy a bottle of each of those synthetics cost in concentrated, undiluted form, or how little L’Oreal/YSL probably spent to make this fragrance. Suffice it to say that the cost of this fragrance is utterly ridiculous, given the ingredients and banality of the scent.

SUPREME BOUQUET:

Source: dubaidutyfree.com

Source: dubaidutyfree.com

According to Osmoz, Supreme Bouquet was created by the legendary Dominique Ropion of IFF, and it provides the following description of the scent:

Sweet and creamy, Supreme Bouquet is a perfume in Yves Saint Laurent’s Oriental Collection. Inspired by the mysteries of the Orient, the line is an invitation to travel. The house describes Supreme Bouquet as an escapade in an oriental garden. The fragrance is composed around white flowers.

Supreme Bouquet opens with notes of bergamot, pink pepper and pear. The heart pairs tuberose with jasmine and ylang-ylang. The slightly ambry trail is composed of white musk and patchouli.

Note of Top : Pear, Bergamot

Note of Heart : Jasmine, Tuberose, Ylang Ylang

Note of Base : Patchouli, White Musks, Ambry Notes

I’m a sucker for tuberose, so I perked up a little when I sniffed Supreme Bouquet back in Paris. It was still a very tempered response, however, and one that was wholly relative to my utter disdain for the other two fragrances in the Oriental Collection. On paper, it seemed moderately pleasant and pretty, but nondescript and lacking much originality.

The sad thing is that it’s actually much better on paper! On the skin, it’s merely yet another synthetic trip to disappointment. In a nutshell, Supreme Bouquet is like any fruity-white fragrance available at Sephora or at a middle-level department store. Actually, I’m pretty sure some celebrity fragrances are like Supreme Bouquet — right down to their chemical base.

Source: ilikewallpaper.net -

Source: ilikewallpaper.net –

In the vial, Supreme Bouquet smells like a dewy, watery, sweet, white floral scent dominated by tuberose, and lightly infused with pear and white musk. On the skin, it opens with pink peppercorns, white musk, sweet greenish pears, and tuberose. The notes sit atop a base of synthetic, clean, white musk, a synthetic like ISO E Super, and fake “ambry” notes. The synthetics soon become as dominant as the supposedly natural notes, turning Supreme Bouquet into a very sharp, almost laundryesque white floral bomb with pear, pink pepper, and prickly, peppered, sharp ISO E Super. The perfume is a lot of things: it’s very sweet, very fresh, very clean, very white, and very synthetic — but not, alas, very interesting.

TuberoseIt takes less than five minutes for my skin to be radiating sharp, synthetic white musk and spiky ISO E Super infused with tuberose, pink peppercorns and pear. It gave me an instant headache. Only after an hour do the synthetics finally start to soften, retreating to the edges of the fragrance. The purple patchouli surges to take their place, turning the tuberose even sweeter and adding a much heavier, deeper, fruited touch. By the end of the second hour, Supreme Bouquet is fruity-floral with gooey, purple patchouli and still sharp musk over a sheer, generic, abstract “amber” base with ISO E Super. The jasmine is as prominent as the tuberose now, but the patchouli threatens to dominate them both.

Supreme Bouquet is a largely linear, simple fragrance. Only at the start of the 7th hour does it change, but it’s one of degree. The fruited patchouli is now equal to the tuberose, if not sometimes a bit more dominant, and both notes are trailed by lingering traces of peppered synthetic. Honestly, I see no amber whatsoever in the base. In its very final moments, Supreme Bouquet is merely an abstract blur of a fruited white floral. It lasted 10.75 hours on my skin, with sillage that was moderate only for the first hour but which quickly turned soft. The potency of the synthetic notes, however, meant that Supreme Bouquet was still quite sharp and easily detectable if sniffed up close. The perfume only became a skin scent after about six hours.

If you’re looking for a tuberose with fruity patchouli and synthetics, you should spare yourself Supreme Bouquet’s ridiculous price, and just take yourself off to Sephora, or a bargain basement to look for a celebrity fragrance. There are any number of places where you won’t be charged £185 or €177 for an utterly generic fruity-floral fragrance reeking of ISO E and white musk. Let’s not forget those pink peppercorns, either, something which is wholly passé as a perfume trend now but which was such a mainstay of commercial perfumery to go with the fruited patchouli and the white florals.

Dominique Ropion via fotomag.com.ua

Dominique Ropion via fotomag.com.ua

It’s sad to see the great Dominique Ropion‘s name attached to something that, quite frankly, makes some of the Tocca line of perfumes look like high-quality masterpieces. He really is a superb perfumer; from Ysatis to half of the most famous Frederic Malle fragrances and many other celebrated gems, he is enormously talented. He’s also seems to be a wiz with florals, and tuberose in particular. For example, the famous Carnal Flower, Dior‘s white Pure Poison, and the sadly maligned Amarige. To go from Carnal Flower to this?! In fact, if you’re looking for a simple fruity-floral, you may want to go with the Tocca brand than YSL. Tocca’s Florence is a much better fragrance which also has pear, tuberose, jasmine, bergamot, and musk. In addition, it also has more nuance, thanks to gardenia, violet, iris, and apple; it lacks patchouli; and it is a much fresher, greener, less sickly sweet perfume. Plus, it costs $68, not $300.

I don’t blame Dominique Ropion, however, for the utterly generic, Britney Spears-like fragrance that he’s created. (Britney Spear‘s best-selling Curious has a similar tuberose, pear and musk profile, but also many more notes and no fruited patchouli.) No, in this case, I blame Ropion’s masters at L’Oreal, since the simple fact is that all perfumers must abide by the agenda, briefs, and price point set by the client. Still, there is no getting around it: Supreme Bouquet is not Mr. Ropion’s finest hour. I wonder if he was bored out of his mind making it? I certainly was while wearing it.

DETAILS:
Cost & Availability: Each fragrance in YSL’s Oriental Collection is an eau de parfum that comes in a 2.7 oz/ 80 ml bottle, and is subject to very limited distribution. The price is £185 or €177. The French YSL website and the UK YSL site both carry the Oriental Collection, but not the US one. In the U.S.: I haven’t found any American retailers thus far that carry the line. Outside the U.S.: In Europe, from what I’ve seen thus far, the Oriental Collection is most widely found in the UK and France. In the UK, and for Supreme Bouquet, the London links are: House of Fraser (which is discounting the scent at £148), Harvey Nichols, and HarrodsJohn Lewis is offering Majestic Rose and Supreme Bouquet at a slight discount with a price of £166 instead of £185. There are only 3 bottles left of each at the time of this post. John Lewis ships internationally to over 33 countries, and has free UK delivery. For Majestic Rose, the perfume is currently sold out at London’s House of Fraser, but it is available at Harvey Nichols. I couldn’t find it on the Harrod’s site, but I know they sell it. In Paris, I’ve read that the full line is available at the main Sephora on the Champs Elysees. In Ireland, Brown Thomas sells Majestic Rose and Supreme Bouquet for €205. In Russia, Orental has Majestic Rose and Supreme Bouquet. Airports: Finally, you can find YSL’s Oriental Collection at a number of airports. I myself tested it at Paris’ CDG International Departures, and I know it is also available at London’s Heathrow. I suspect the same applies at all other large airports. Samples: I obtained my samples from Surrender to Chance which sells the complete trio in a set starting at $13.99 for a 1/2 ml vial. Majestic Rose and Supreme Bouquet are also available individually starting at $4.99 for a 1/2 ml vial. Obviously, the complete set is a bit of a better deal. 
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16 thoughts on “YSL Majestic Rose & Supreme Bouquet (Oriental Collection)

  1. You poor thing. Talk about taking one for the team. These have not been kind to you at all it seems. It’s sad really because like you said these perfumers and YSL have some pretty good perfumes on their resumes. I guess even the best are capable of a few duds now and then. None of these seem like something I’d like. I don’t mind some synthetics but others tend to be sharp and unpleasant to my nose. Your descriptions make me think these might be like that.
    I hope your next samples are more pleasant for you to test.

    • The problem with YSL these days is that it is not a case of a few haphazard duds. 😦 They have discontinued their good fragrances, destroyed the ones that have remained, and put out new scents that are largely chemical bombs with an over-inflated price tag. They aren’t even coasting on their former glory at this point and 18,000 flankers to Opium isn’t going to fix the problem. But L’Oreal doesn’t seem to care about anything but the bottom line, which is probably why they are so quiet while the other perfume houses or luxury groups (like LMVH or Guerlain) are fighting the EU/IFRA restrictions. L’Oreal stays quiet because they just put out synthetic bombs and don’t really *want* to use super-expensive or luxury ingredients. It impacts their bottom line and cost-of-production ratios too much.

      Damn, my computer is acting up and seems like it’s about to die, so I’ll just end this by saying that No, I doubt you’d like any of these, even if they weren’t highly synthetic in nature.

  2. Hallelujah! Please, for the love of God, tell me this is the end of the line of this line. If yes, how appropriate that we have something to thank for in this whole mess.

    • Yes, thank GOD this is the last of the line. Any more shoddy, crappy, chemical YSLs, and I would have lost my mind. They really exhausted me mentally, especially after Noble Leather depleted whatever little reserves I had left for very synthetic perfumery. It’s going to be a while before I can recuperate from the whole ghastly ordeal. I think I shall go hug my beloved (vintage) Opium and mourn the greatness of a perfume house that was once my absolute favorite.

  3. Supreme Bouquet sounds like a shampoo to me, both the name and the description. I’m not a huge white floral fan so I probably wouldn’t have gone and sampled Supreme Bouquet any way, but I’m always open to try a new rose so it’s disappointing that this one smells so synthetic, especially at that price point. YSL’s Paris was the first classic perfume that I fell in love with when I first started my journey into fragrance but I feel like the house has had more misses and hits with its releases the past few years, especially Belle d’Opium, still kind of traumatized by that one.

    • I’m having huge computer problems with a battery/adapter that has suddenly died on me (despite being plugged in), so I’ll just say quickly that I very much agree with you on the house having a downwards skid over the past few years. Am I a terrible person for laughing a little at your reaction to Belle d’Opium? 😉 As someone who has original, vintage Opium as a Holy Grail, I’m rather glad you hated the shoddy, terrible, garbage flanker! 😉

  4. I have, frankly, considered this whole line-up not a part of YSL. It strikes me as some sort of mutant branch of the family that needs to be cut off and shipped away to the discounters as if it never happened. Harsh, perhaps, but I really found every single one of them to be awful.

    • Hahahaha at “I really found every single one of them to be awful.” Perfect, succinct summation. 🙂 The only thing with which I disagree is the sense that the collection feels like an aberration for YSL. It would for the real, original YSL run by its founder, but I think the Oriental Collection is simply part and parcel of the garbage put out by the company’s new L’Oreal overlords. Has there been a new YSL fragrance since 2005 (when YSL really became sick and gave up running the company) or 2008 (when L’Oreal bought YSL) that you’ve really liked and thought to be a masterful beauty?

      • No. 🙂 (In answer to your last question.) So yes, I am comparing to the original YSL. The only thing I do appreciate is that at least they have changed the name of the brand to reflect that it’s no longer the same brand.

        • Ah, I see, you were referring to the original line up, and presumably in their original manifestation, as opposed to what they are now. Got it! Thank you for the clarification. 🙂 In that case, then we fully agree. 🙂

  5. Truly a shame. How the mighty have fallen! It’s actually tragic when you consider just how remarkable some of their stuff was (and you don’t even have to look back so far) – Opium, Kouros, M7, Champagne/Yvresse…This collection sounds abysmal.

    • Yeah, while Yves St. Laurent himself was still in charge, the perfumes were amazing, original, distinctive, bold, or just plain opulent. Then, when he got sick, things went wobbling. And it all went to hell when L’Oreal took over. They starting axing the existing line, left right and center, then put out more flankers, using cheaper ingredients, and putting out very little in terms of new stuff that stood out. They essentially cannibalized their existing line, or tried to play off a few mainstays with increasing numbers of flankers. From a cost-of-production perspective, it makes sense as they were maximizing profits and minimizing R&D. But it was short-sighted, imo, as the overall impact on the line and the house’s reputation has been profound.

      It’s astonishing to me how little L’Oreal really cares about YSL as a perfume line. They’ve bothered more with the beauty line, but the fragrances seem to be an easy source of repetitions, with absolutely zero original creativity, money or effort put into their new creations.

  6. Sad that Ysl has lost it´s original greatness when it comes to the perfume line. If it is of any small comfort the makeup line is still great and one of my favorite lipsticks is a Rouge Volupte, so not all is lost 😀 .

  7. So this Thursday I went to the YSL counter at a huge department store in Stuttgart, Germany.
    I wanted to try the “Bouquet”. When finally a sales person condescended to ask me if she could help me I answered that I wanted to have a sniff at the “Floral Bouquet perfume”.
    My goodness! That person snapped at me that there was no such scent by Yves Saint Laurent.
    Then it probably came to her mind that there actually was and after having found the bottle she offered me a spray which I asked her to put on a blotter. The scent exactly matches the friendliness of that lady: abominable.
    She blabbed on about its being made entirely of natural ingredients and it being a perfume and so worth its price of EUR 185,00. I simply thanked her and said my good-byes. I am still angry at not having told her that such behaviour won’t sell such a concoction.
    Thankfully I know some nice perfumery owners/sales persons who are a bit more honest.
    Petra

    • My word, your experience sounds even worse than the fragrance. Salespeople like that are a pet peeve of mine, though I usually get so angry that I merely stew or walk off instead of saying anything. On occasion, though, I have, and it felt wonderful. lol.

      As for Supreme Bouquet being “abominable,” the sad thing is that I found it was actually better than the Leather scent in the collection. So, you can just imagine what that one smelled like!

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