As a tea enthusiast¹, I’m currently on the look for my perfect tea-centered fragrance. Donna Rosa Verde is still not it; but it does get pretty close!
Developed by perfumer Sonia Constant and released in 2018, this is technically a flanker of Valentino’s (beautiful) pillar fragrance Donna. These two, however, have only 2 things in common: they come in gorgeous similar bottles; and they’re both… scents.
As its name suggests, Rosa Verde is also a rose fragrance (more points for that, in my book!), and, maybe above all, a green fragrance. Its tea, spices, floral & green notes converge to form the very successfull impression of the scent’s title: a green rose bud.
Donna Rosa Verde opens with a bright, almost sharp freshness of green citrus and verdant leaves – almost like the smell of freshly cut grass. This zing-y opening accord is layered with a sparkly touch of ginger, and immediately shows what can be, at first spray, a surprise: this is an intense perfume².
In a few minutes, this wave of refreshing green gets slighly less cool, and the tea + floral heart comes in. Different from the usual in its genre, Rosa Verde has mate instead of green tea. Being familiar with both, I don’t think this mate smells like the real thing; instead, it’s a green tea note infused with a touch of mate “character” – intense, bitter & crisp.
The rose, here, is also not typical. Blended with magnolia, it gets infused with a lemony, green tone, and feels very lightweighted. On its own, I don’t think I prefer it to a plushier or sweeter rose (as I’m not the biggest fan of magnolia)… But this “rosebud” accord is quite unique, very natural, and fits this leaf-centered composition perfectly, complementing but not overpowering the tea accord.
Finally, there’s the drydown… my least favourite part. It keeps a beautiful hint of rose, which seems to bloom and become a bit sweeter and warmer. But, mixed with clean, cool woods, the tea also intensifies, and becomes definitely bitter. I would have appreciated a smoother finish (maybe with a nice, slightly powdery musk?)… but it’s overall still quite pleasant.
Notes: (Top): Ginger, bergamot, petitigrain; (Heart) rose, magnolia, osmanthus; (Base) mate, akigalawood, ambrette.
Colour Impression: Leaf-green.
Evokes: Freshly-cut grass; white rosebuds; sugar-less tea; a tranquil morning at a park (not a garden) just after a spring shower.
Similar to: Bvlgari Eau Perfumée au Thé Vert, Elizabeth Arden Green Tea; Hermès Un Jardin Sur Le Toit.
Season & Occasion: Spring-Summer, day. Casual-sophisticated. A great “energizing” type of fragrance.
A bit more unissex and bitter than I would deem ideal, Donna Rosa Verde is still a great modern green scent. Its sparkly touch of fresh spices give it a unique character, and the natural, non-sweet tone of its accords make it effortlessly chic.
This fragrance also feels like a real blast of energy, and I love the positive, vibrant feeling it gives off (great for work and for relaxing after work alike!). Even if not perfect, it must be my favourite tea-centered perfume at the moment³. I’m not sure if it’s (sadly) in a process of being discontinued, since I haven’t seen it on stores since Valentino’s “comeback” after change of main company… but it’s still avaliable in their website, at least for now.
¹ As you might have guessed already 😉 . Green and black tea are my faves!
² Donna Rosa Verde is technically an Eau de Toilette, and is only sold in a (huge) 125ml-sized bottle. But you probably won’t need to bathe in this to have strong sillage and solid 6-7 hours of scent.
³ I did hear Bvlgari Eau Perfumée au Thé Vert is amazing, but I seem to be semi-anosmic to it. So pretty, and smoother than Rosa Verde… but so fleeting & light I can barely smell it 20 seconds after the spray! Nooo! 😦