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19 days ago - 30.03.2024

Afnan's En Route pour femme: a tale of three rose 🌹🌹🌹 notes

I must admit, I'm the curious sort. Not the type that will go through others' recycling, but the kind that likes to look at fragrance notes and wonder what their coming together could produce. So when the perfume house, Afnan decided not to release the notes for each of the fragrances in the En Route pour femme collection, I was not only incensed, I was intrigued. For my birthday last year, I pointed to this collection, and my sister swiped the card.

So what do we actually know about this enigmatic collection? Well, we know that Afnan's perfumers created three fragrances to allow us to escape to three different self-titled cities across the world, New York, Dubai, and Paris. We also know that they published some general perfume notes.

Top: Fruity, Sweet and Powdery
Heart: White Floral, Musky and Vanilla
Base: Balsamic, Peony and Musk

That said, shall we dive in?

Afnan's en route Dubai is an expansive expression of a honeyed Turkish rose dripping in melting demerera cane sugar. The opening is akin to Al Haramain's Tanasuk however lacking that cold rose and grenadine sirop breakdown that Tanasuk is known for. En route Dubai is warm, deep and honeyed in its expression. If like me you reckoned it would elaborately express agarwood and incense, I dare say you will be disappointed. There is some spice to this, saffron I gather. It is impossible to tell, and there may be some peach, if there is any white floral (but the fragrance denies it), then it is honeysuckle. I may be unable to tell you what is in this formulation, but I can certainly tell you what is not. There are no woody undertones, no patchouli, no leather, and no citrus notes. What there is in the dry down, is an abundance of amber warmth to make the wearer dream of balsamic nights and the Middle Eastern sun.

Afnan's en route Paris is the lightest and daintiest. If it was called en route London, it would not be a misstep as what presents itself here so very strongly is a pink English rose. It makes me think of pink powder blush compacts and innocent first love romances. I suspect a peony note was snuck in, with a white floral, jasmine perhaps, and a good dose of standard white musk. Airy, unpretentious and girly. Paris was the simplest fragrance in the set of three. If it could be criticised, then 'unremarkable' might be the accusation. Too unremarkable to be Parisienne.

A slightly powdery, denser Bulgarian rose makes a statement in en route New York. In truth, I delayed my article for so long because I could not quite figure out New York. Perhaps that is because the city itself is a mystery. New York was the longest lasting among all three, it clung to clothing and lingered like rose scented powder that had spilled from its compact. If I could criticise it, then I'd accuse New York of trying too hard to be mysterious, with too little to work with. White, pink and red florals, something more, perhaps vanilla, but too well blended to tell.

Actually, I have gone through all three bottles. It is amazing how much you can use up your fragrances when you're not purchasing any new ones. That's all. Any thoughts?

Note: photo and notes courtesy of


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