arose is not a rose—at least, it’s not when it’s in a perfume.

by rebecca willa davis

Rose may be one of the most popular flowers out there, but in the fragrance world it sometimes has a bad rap; gardenia gets you thinking about Daisy Buchanan, but the classic bloom? Probably grandma. Which makes three big perfume launches for fall all the more intriguing: DKNY, Balenciaga, and Juliette Has a Gun all took rose and made it their own. Whether proving its worth by using it as the single, standalone note or layering it with surprise pairings (hemp leaves, anyone?), it's not longer the domain of the over-60 set. In fact, it's now the domain of It Girls like Kristen Stewart--who happens to be the muse and face of Florabotanica. But which rose-inflected fragrance are you best suited for? We spent the day sniffing all three, and here are our results.

The Product: PureDKNY A Drop of Rose

The Promise: All you need is one flower to get that perfect scent.

The Result: By sticking with just Turkish roses in building the fragrance, PureDKNY A Drop of Rose is ultra-feminine and smells like an instant classic. Bonus points for its eco-friendly packaging. Use It: If you don't like your perfumes too complicated--and you really, really love the delicate, soft smell of pink roses.

Buy It: $65 at

The Product: Juliette Has a Gun Romantina

The Promise: A romantic--but still utterly modern--floral fragrance.

The Result: With its blend of jasmine, rose, orange blossom, and vanilla, Romantina (Juliette Has a Gun's first floral scent) balances sweet and sultry for a fresh-out-of-the-shower smell.

Use It: If you're looking to venture out from clean citrus-y perfumes…and don't want to smell like your grandma. (Also, if you're obsessed with our NYLON Beauty Awards picks--it was one of our winners!)

Buy It: $85 at the NYLON Shop

The Product: Balenciaga Florabotanica

The Promise: Smell like Kristen Stewart…or a "strange and wonderful garden."

The Result: A beguiling--in a good way--fragrance that takes the classic Turkish rose note and turns it on its head, with the help of mint, vetiver roots, and hemp leaves.

Use It: If you don't usually like to wear floral scents. At first whiff it may seem classic, but give it a few seconds and it grows into this surprisingly edgy perfume.

Buy It: $95 at