This Clean Scent Replaced My Obsession With Punchier Perfumes

If my olfactory system was a literal factory, it would only send bottles of coconut-y shea butter perfumes, sugary aromas, and tropical, vacation-ready mists down its conveyor belt. The idea of a "clean" fragrance never appealed to me. I love smelling good from 5 feet away. However, the crisp, minimalistic L.A.-based fragrance retailer By Rosie Jane might've just changed my mind with its best-selling "naked" eau de parfum Rosie. For founder and professional makeup artist Rosie Jane Johnston, clean isn't just about aesthetics, it's also about formulas. Rosie specifically comes paraben-, phthalate-, and cruelty-free. Plus, you can count all the ingredients it does have on one hand. As an honest reviewer with bold tastes, I must admit it was not love at first spritz (even if I adored eyeing the crystal clear bottle on my vanity). It wasn't until one key factor not only seduced me but also made me put down my signature scent — I divulge it all, below.
Advertisement

Rosie is like a beautiful hug in the spring.

natasha h., by rosie jane reviewer

The Fragrance

Prior to the controversial "clean girl aesthetic" TikTok trend dominating the internet, By Rosie Jane's No. 1 seller was its fresh and fruity scent Leila Lou. Now that barely-there beauty is all the rage, the five-year-old product Rosie stands center stage. Even the brand's representatives describe the best-seller as "clean girl aesthetic in a perfume," thanks to its "notes of nude musk and [hints] of sweet rose."

The inspiration for Rosie's delicate nature came about during Johnston's constant bouts of nausea during pregnancy. She tells Refinery29, "I could not handle the smell of anything. I dreamed of floating in water, weightless-ness … sleeping naked covered by a light breeze. I just wanted something that felt invisible, calming, and special, all at the same time. So, to our pregnant, sensitive, or allergy-riddled readers, this one's for you.

The $70 fragrance boasts 4.1 stars out of 5 and 128 reviews on Sephora and 4.7 out of 5 stars on its home site with 205 reviews. By Rosie Jane reviewer Natasha H. gives the perfume 5 golden stars and poetically exudes her delight by comparing the fragrance to "a beautiful hug in the spring." My present-day self wholeheartedly agrees. Personally, I'd say it's sunlight in a bottle. And, despite the risk of sounding insane, I imagine it's akin to the breeze created by a swift Naomi Campbell catwalk — what I'm trying to say is it's effortless in the best way possible.
Advertisement

Perfume is very emotive, so when you want to feel less cluttered, less stressed you choose a perfume that feels less complicated and layered.

Rosie jane johnston, founder

The First Impression

I tested the perfume out around 10 a.m. (this is important to the story). The packaging, bottle, and spritz mechanism are superb. If you love all things simple, have a minimalism fetish, or go crazy for "less is more," this is the bottle for you. It sprays so evenly and the scent is so light that it leaves room for layering with other perfumes. This also happens to be one of the product's selling points.

Speaking of layering, I felt a need for a minimum of two sprays per pulse point — but, in hindsight, this was simply a culture shock to a light and airy perfume. These were my original thoughts: I feel like I could achieve this smell with a rosewater facial mist. I'm not sure I would spend $70 on this. I punctuated both sentiments with scrunched, confused eyebrows. Then I went on with my day.

An enchanting light, romantic scent — I loved it instantly!

Joann Volmer, sephora reviewer

The Revelation

The hater-to-lover transformation took place about five hours later around 3 p.m. I was at home typing away at my computer, as always, when I raised my arms up to stretch, and it hit me. I smelled lovely, but in the most confusingly casual way. Usually putting on perfume for me equals going on a date, attending some sort of event, or preparing for a night out — I misted myself that day for the sake of work. Unbeknownst to me, Rosie blossomed on my body within those five hours and enhanced my natural scent as opposed to covering it up. It was my skin but better... way better.

I decided that this fragrance has a specific purpose in my life: making me feel like the main character of a Sarah Dessen novel who just so happens to never sweat, never emit body odor, and always smell good but, you know, only on accident. Obviously, these are insanely unrealistic expectations that no one should aspire to, but if you're interested in feeling that fantasy, definitely start with Rosie by Jane's iconic scent.

I can only imagine how perfect this perfume is for sensitive noses or those who live a life of subtlety. For the past week or so, this demure sleeper scent coexisted with my skin and almost made me forget about my other fragrances. Although Miss Rosie will not completely replace my signature, I'll put it this way: Rosie is my 9-to-5 and the rest of my collection is the weekend.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy or click on something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

More from Fragrance

R29 Original Series

Advertisement