I’ve probably mentioned before that my husband and I don’t really bother to exchange gifts—we just allot ourselves gift budgets and get whatever we want! It’s a great way to not waste time and money, though it obviously lacks a little in the romance department. But we’re happy with the way this works for us!
This Valentine’s Day, he declined picking anything up for himself (I’m quite sure that the day he retires, he’ll blow all the accumulated gift money on something ludicrous), but I, of course, chose to “blind”-buy yet another perfume.
I am a lover of rose perfumes, and a few pricier ones have been on my wishlist for many years—namely Dark Rose by Czech & Speake, Rossy de Palma by Etat Libre d’Orange, Rose 31 by Le Labo, and Louve by Serge Lutens. However, because I’m fairly capricious when it comes to perfume, instead of getting one of my longtime wishlist items, I pounced on a perfume I’d never smelled.
In fairness, it did end up being somewhat less expensive than my wishlist items, and it had kinda-sorta been on a wishlist of sorts in my head. It is, after all, a rose perfume! And it comes in a beauty of a bottle.
In 2014, Clinique released an oriental rose perfume aimed at the Middle Eastern market. I believe it was originally sold in the Middle East and possibly at Harrods in England, as well. I read about it, swooned over the stunning bottle and the description of the fragrance, then tucked it into the back of my mind, since I clearly wasn’t going to get to try it out anytime soon in North America.
Named Beyond Rose, the fragrance has top notes of white pepper and mate leaf; heart notes of rose, freesia, and osmanthus; and base notes of amber, styrax, labdanum, and benzoin. I love rose perfumes in many guises, but spicy florientals are a particular favorite.
The past, present and future of the Middle East are in this magnetic and mysterious fragrance.
Elegant notes that combine to create an exhilarating experience, where the agreement of Wild Rose is exacerbated by spicy notes, and shrouded by a veil of Amber.
Earlier this year, I was browsing FragranceX like I do every now and then, and Beyond Rose caught my eye! I bought it almost immediately, knowing that Valentine’s Day was coming up and I had the spare funds for it. It ended up costing me a little over CA$125 with my 10% FX loyalty discount, and that also includes free shipping and no tax/duties. (It’s actually a tiny cheaper in CAD at FX, now, in case you’re interested, though I think the price difference is just down to currency fluctuation. They have several bottles left as of February 15, and I’m not affiliated with them.)
The perfume arrived one or two weeks ago, but I kept the bottle unwrapped until Valentine’s Day. Let me tell you—I could smell that sucker through the box and the cellophane wrap! This is fairly strong stuff.
The box is quite lovely, and not very “Clinique”, at least the way their skincare and cosmetics are marketed in North America. It’s a dark, maroon box embossed with what seems to be an oriental-inspired pattern, and the lettering is metallic gold. Quite a far cry from silver and pastel green packaging.
The bottle is a thick, heavy glass embossed with the same pattern on the front and the back. The whole look is very vintage luxe, down to the amber-colored juice inside. The cap also feels wonderful in the hand.
Be aware, however, that the scent inside isn’t particularly “modern” smelling, either, at least in North America. It isn’t particularly sweet, nor is it light and airy (almost every mass marketed perfume I sniff nowadays fits into one of those two categories). This is rich, heady, smoky stuff.
I don’t love the opening, actually, as it feels a little astringent to me. It’s definitely peppery and the rose starts to come through very quickly, but I also get something a bit sharp, like sour cleaning fluid. It doesn’t take long to pass, thankfully, and the sourness dries down into something a bit more round and sweeter, like a spiced jam.
When the rose unfolds, it’s beautiful, fresh and gentle, but surrounded with wood, incense, and smoke. It’s reminiscent of a rose + oud perfume—there seem to be hundreds of those around, these days. The aforementioned Czech & Speake Dark Rose is my favorite in that category, though I have admittedly not tried enough rose ouds to proclaim it the best ever. Incidentally, it annoys me to no end that Yves Rocher, whose fragrances I tend to enjoy, released a rose oud perfume in Europe but they have no plans to sell it in North America (I asked). First they discontinue Rose Absolue, then they deny me Rose Oud. Curses.
I find Beyond Rose very easy to wear, but only when worn with a very light hand. This is pretty simple for me, as I never really wear loads of perfume—a mere spritz or two will usually do, I only wear it for me!—and my skin is dry so it sucks my perfume away quite readily. I loved spritzing just my wrists today and just getting heady whiffs of perfume every time I happen to move my hand across my face.
So, blind-buying perfume has worked out in my favor yet again! I will say, however, that I certainly do read as many reviews as possible before buying, so it’s not totally a blind endeavor.
My only complaint? I wish it came in a smaller bottle, say 50 mL, because I don’t know how long it would actually take me to use up 100 mL of this if I’m only spraying once or twice per use!
Clinique Beyond Rose comes in a 100 mL bottle which retails for GBP£115.
Clinique Laboratories LLC, the world’s first dermatologist-tested brand of skincare, was founded in 1968, the brainchild of Estée Lauder’s daughter, Evelyn. Clinique remains under the Estée Lauder Companies and is based in New York, NY, USA.