Articles by Author Rouu Abd El-Latif

Rouu Abd El-Latif
Editor, Writer, Translator
Rouu is a financial analyst who holds a PhD in Economics. A winter creature who loves cooking, baking, photography, reading, new language learning, and fitness, she is also crazy about collecting perfumes. She started reviewing for in 2008,and in early 2014 became a contributor
[email protected]

Best in Show: Welcome Spring! (2017)Best in Show: Welcome Spring! (2017)

Best in Show 03/19/17 18:51 (33 comments)

Fragrantica is so pleased to celebrate the first anniversary of its popular Best in Show column by returning to the inaugural topic in the series. As the vernal equinox marks a shift in temperatures around the globe, so too does it mark a shift in many of our fragrance habits. Out go the winter favorites and in come the scents we've been waiting to wear with the change in weather. Last year's (2016) choices included En Passant Frederic Malle , Borsari Violetta d... (more)

Our international staff celebrate the arrival of spring with some of their favorite aromas. What scent spells spring for you?

Best in Show: Sandalwood (2017)Best in Show: Sandalwood (2017)

Best in Show 03/12/17 06:57 (42 comments)

Sandalwood has a rich, balsamic, sweet fragrance with delicate wood notes. The oil has a woody, exotic smell, subtle and lingering and the color is pale yellow to pale gold. Sandalwood is a small evergreen tree growing to 18 m in height and 2.4 m in girth, with slender drooping branches. The tree reaches its full maturity in 60 to 80 years, which is when the center of the slender trunk (the heartwood) has achieved its greatest oil content. This classic oriental woody note offers milky... (more)

The documented use of sandalwood goes back 4000 years to India, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Our writers discuss their favorite sandalwood aromas; which are yours?

Best in Show: The Body Shop (2017)Best in Show: The Body Shop (2017)

Best in Show 03/05/17 08:39 (49 comments)

The Body Shop has been making the world a better place AND a better-smelling place since 1976. Its founder, the late Dame Anita Roddick, was a force of nature, shaking up the cosmetics industry with her commitments to fair trade, sustainable sourcing, truth in advertising and opposition to animal testing—long before the terms "green beauty" and "cruelty-free beauty" were coined and predating the ethical consumerism trend by more than a decade. By ... (more)

With 108 fragrances listed here on Fragrantica, The Body Shop has given us some great-smelling products over the years. What's your favorite?

Best in Show: Chocolate & Roses (2017)Best in Show: Chocolate & Roses (2017)

Best in Show 02/12/17 10:04 (31 comments)

What says Valentine's Day more than roses and chocolates? Charles II of Sweden is widely considered to have introduced the idea of flowers as symbols for emotions in the 18th century, with the red rose as a symbol for love. And  back in 1861, England's Cadbury was the first chocolate company to package chocolates in a heart-shaped box; the confection had long been considered an aphrodisiac. Luckily, perfume fans worldwide now can enjoy the combination of both of thes... (more)

Fragrantica editors choose an array of memorable floral gourmands highlighting rose and chocolate. Leave a comment and tell us your favorites!

Best in Show: The Perfumes of Jacques Cavallier (2017)Best in Show: The Perfumes of Jacques Cavallier (2017)

Best in Show 02/05/17 07:37 (32 comments)

Renowned perfumers often leave their mark with a single famous creation that changes the industry, but few do so with not one but many different perfumes. Perfumer Jacques Cavallier is just such a figure, having changed our scented world with such industry changers as  Christian Dior’s Midnight Poison , or Issey Miyake’s L’eau d’Issey . He has produced perfumes for houses as famous as Givenchy and Lancôme , designers like Stella McCartney , and niche... (more)

Jacques Cavallier, Creator of Acqua di Gio and L'eau d'Issey gets the Best in Show treatment here at Fragrantica

Fragrant First Impressions: Versace, Givenchy, Biagiotti and more!Fragrant First Impressions: Versace, Givenchy, Biagiotti and more!

Fragrance Reviews 01/28/17 07:35 (5 comments)

Welcome to Fragrant First Impressions, our way of sharing our initial encounters with a wide array of fragrances. We may not have significant experience with any of these aromas just yet, but we're excited to present our thoughts to you! This week we explore a wide range of scents, from vintage classics which have sadly lost some of their oomph, to niche aromas that surprise.   Versace Dreamer Marlen: Versace Dreamer is a fragrance I ... (more)

Staff reviews of Versace Dreamer, Givenchy Xeryus, Aubusson Desirade, Lurk RSW005, Malle Lipstick Rose, Roma Biagiotti, and Delacourte Florentina.

Best in Show: The Fragrances of Christine Nagel (2017)Best in Show: The Fragrances of Christine Nagel (2017)

Best in Show 01/22/17 11:35 (24 comments)

A student of organic chemistry, Geneva-born Christine Nagel joined Firmenich early in her career and it was there she learned to analyze and synthesize fragrant raw materials. Her bio in Wikipedia suggests that it was a meeting with the talented nose Alberto Morillas (see our Best in Show: The Fragrances of Alberto Morillas ) that encouraged her to become a perfumer. After Firmenich, she next worked at Aromatic Creations (now Symrise) as director of chromatography. While... (more)

From Dior to Hermes, Nagel has created some of our most memorable modern fragrances. Which are your favorites?

Best in Show: Oriflame (2017)Best in Show: Oriflame (2017)

Best in Show 01/08/17 09:41 (26 comments)

Oriflame is one of the world's best-selling beauty brands. Founded in Sweden in 1967 and originally distributed exclusively by direct sales consultants, not unlike the American brand Avon, Oriflame successfuly marketed its innovative Swedish beauty style across Europe, into Asia, down to Africa and across the pond to Latin America. Today, Oriflame offers its products through consultants and via the web in more than 60 countries around the world. Despite its 50 years in busi... (more)

Affordable favorites from the Swedish brand, chosen by Fragrantica editors around the world!

Best in Show: Seasonal Spices - Cinnamon (2016)Best in Show: Seasonal Spices - Cinnamon (2016)

Best in Show 12/18/16 10:13 (46 comments)

In our first two articles celebrating spices in perfumes this holiday season, we explored nutmeg and cloves . In the third and last installment of this series, we set sail again to far off shores to investigate that nearly universal spice cinnamon .   Cinnamon is native to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burma, and the Malabar Coast of Southern India, where it is found as the inner bark of the Cinnamon tree, or  Cinnamomum verum . A similar plant, Cassia, is often u... (more)

In our third and final exploration of spice-based perfumes, we smell those amazing scents infused with cinnamon.

Best in Show: Seasonal Spices - Cloves (2016)Best in Show: Seasonal Spices - Cloves (2016)

Best in Show 11/20/16 09:29 (31 comments)

We began our exploration of the spices of the season in our article about nutmeg . We return in our giant ship of the past to the Spice Islands for that elusive flowering bud that emits one of the richest of all spice scents: Cloves. Many do not know that the hard, dark brown spice that grinds down to a coarse and mealy powder is actually the dried bud from a flowering tree,  Syzygium aromaticum . It’s native to the small Moluccas Islands of Indonesia. However, they were... (more)

The closed buds of a rare tree bring forth the warm, spicy promises of the season through the lore of cloves.

Best in Show: Vetivers for the Vetiver Wary (2016)Best in Show: Vetivers for the Vetiver Wary (2016)

Best in Show 09/11/16 07:15 (41 comments)

Foreward by Dr. Chandra Shekhar Gupta from the Fragrantica VETIVER page: Essence from the Eastern Asian weed grass Vetiveria zizanoid falls under the woods category thanks to its musty, dry, woody scent with bitter chocolate and smoke facets. Very popular in niche perfumery and masculine fragrances, vetiver has a long and rich history. In India it has been used to make blinds necessary to keep out the intense heat. When the blinds are sprinkled with water they emit the vet... (more)

Our international writers discuss their favorite vetiver fragrances for those wanting a lighter touch of the grassy root. What are yours?

Best in Show: Savory Scents of the Garden (2016)Best in Show: Savory Scents of the Garden (2016)

Best in Show 08/28/16 02:39 (16 comments)

We usually find the natural world awakening around us in spring, when buds are first forming on the trees and new shoots of green are pushing their way out of the ground. But there is an entirely new smell to that same plot of earth as summer comes into its final weeks here in the northern hemisphere. Plants have reached their height and many are bearing fruits. Leaves mature, stalks grow heavy from their climb up to the sun. This is the time of early harvest and it’s usually th... (more)

August for many is the beginning of the harvest: These are some late summer perfumes of the savory feast

Best in Show: Scented Candles (2016)Best in Show: Scented Candles (2016)

Best in Show 07/31/16 09:22 (26 comments)

Think of a product with added scent that instantly gets a bad rep. Did your mind go back to those small, derelict stores filled to the brim with all sorts of thick candles in various dusty shades of mud, smelling of wax and dried-up, musty potpourri? Thought so. Scented candles have missed the mark so many times in the past that they constantly remind people of very artificial scents in just artsy-fancy packaging. But high quality scented candles can both smell good and guarantee a sa... (more)

Our international editors explore some of their favorite fragrant candle brands, from Zara to Etro, Diptyque to Lalique.

What If Your Significant Other Dislikes Your Scent?What If Your Significant Other Dislikes Your Scent?

Columns 07/14/16 12:57 (38 comments)

Our relationships with our favorite fragrances can be so strong that the thought of not being able to wear them again is just downright depressing! Likewise, there have been times when fragrances worn by others raise strong associations for us, sometimes for better...sometimes for worse. Ever have the experience where a significant other wore a scent that for one reason or another, you just couldn't stand...causing you to make a face like this? Or maybe you were t... (more)

Fragrantica's international writers weigh in on a challenging issue.

Best in Show: Tropical Island Scents (2016)Best in Show: Tropical Island Scents (2016)

Best in Show 06/26/16 09:43 (61 comments)

  Although tropical is far from being a relative term, the evocation of a tropical island ambience rather could be. It all depends on your location, you see. For the Miami Beach native who regularly sips Pina Coladas with their eye lost in the horizon off to Cuba, surely that's not such a distance. But think of the Minnesotan hankering for the sun rays after a heavy winter; oiling up with monoi even as close as Coney Island, NYC, sounds like a tropical paradi... (more)

6 scents to transport you to a sunny isle. What's your pick?

The Fragrances That Triggered Our Love of PerfumeThe Fragrances That Triggered Our Love of Perfume

Columns 06/25/16 08:13 (104 comments)

They say, "Pleasure is the flower that passes, remembrance the lasting perfume." Actually it's Jean de Boufflers who said it, but we might as well borrow it. Ask any perfume lover and they can pinpoint exactly the moment they fell down the rabbit (or is it rabid?) hole of perfume eros. Remembrance comes without prompting in our case. We can recall who wore it, what we felt, how the weather was like...the point is a perfect symbios... (more)

"Pleasure is the flower that passes, remembrance the lasting perfume." Which scents triggered your own perfume fascination?

Best in Show: Best Flanker Fragrances for Warm & Cool Weather (2016)Best in Show: Best Flanker Fragrances for Warm & Cool Weather (2016)

Best in Show 06/19/16 05:23 (42 comments)

With almost half of all annual fragrance launches being "flankers" - i.e. fragrances coat-tailing on the success of an established fragrance, retaining part of the name and the packaging design but introducing a new scent inside - one might wonder just how many of those are worthwhile on their own rights.   Our editors choose the best flanker series within existing perfume successes: one flanker edition among them for summer and one for winter wearing. &nb... (more)

Our editors choose the best flanker series within existing perfume successes: one flanker edition among them for summer and one for winter wearing.

Best in Show: Favorite Fragrant Soaps (2016)Best in Show: Favorite Fragrant Soaps (2016)

Bath & Body 06/12/16 06:24 (88 comments)

Scent fills our lives with joy in so many ways - from our collections of fragrances to the aromas of our favorite laundry products. Perhaps no daily ritual is more imbued with scent than bathing. This week, Fragrantica writers turn their attention to some of their favorite bar soaps, highlighting the aromas they so enjoy. We welcome your comments below and hope you'll share some of your own favorite, scented bar soaps. We also invite you to visit our sister site, (... (more)

6 bar soaps made the cut and a number of others earned honorable mentions. What's your favorite?

$12 Shopping Challenge - Great Musk On a Little Budget$12 Shopping Challenge - Great Musk On a Little Budget

Fragrance Reviews 06/05/16 09:40 (33 comments)

With musk being a quintessential fragrant note in almost any fragrance on the market it's easy to understand how it's a popular note, even when under the gleaming lights of center stage. Our editors have already compiled a Best in Show Musk Fragrances collective, highlighting some of the choicest products centered on musky notes, but what about getting there with the shopping challenge of spending under $12? Is this challenging enough for you? We thought so! The good ... (more)

Our writers set out for a shopping challenge to find a great musk fragrance for $12 USD or less. Can you beat them to it?

Best in Show: Scents for Traveling Situations (2016)Best in Show: Scents for Traveling Situations (2016)

Best in Show 05/15/16 07:34 (42 comments)

The first commercial flight a century ago might have involved only one passenger - Abraham Phell, then mayor of St.Petersburg (Florida) - and just 23 minutes across Tampa Bay, but modern aviation comes with its own burden of crowds, rushing through the checking process and a general sense of lost glamor. Clearly any little bit of help is useful when traveling in situations involving vast amounts of time spent cooped-up. Fragrance is a big comfort for those of us who love it in the first plac... (more)

There are situations in life that demand a subtle rethinking of how you use your fragrance and this is one of them. Our editors pick their top choices, please add your own.

Best in Show: Lily of the Valley Fragrances (2016)Best in Show: Lily of the Valley Fragrances (2016)

Best in Show 05/01/16 10:04 (30 comments)

On May 1st, people in France give each other small posies of lily of the valley, or muguet as it is called in French, as a good luck charm and a memento of a royal gesture that has become tradition. Christian doctrine on the other hand believes them to be the frozen tears of the Virgin Mary upon seeing Jesus on the cross.  The tiny bells of the plant Convallaria Majalis however are deceptive in their innocence and good will as implied by the above beliefs. ... (more)

A selection of lovely lily of the valley fragrances celebrating the "May bells" of the fields. Is your favorite among them?

Supermarket/Apothecary Fragrances Around the World: Part II of II (2016)Supermarket/Apothecary Fragrances Around the World: Part II of II (2016)

Fragrances and Cultures 04/21/16 05:01 (13 comments)

The intrepid traveler and perfume lover regularly seeks out new scented experiences while trotting the globe. One of the most exciting adventures can be a stroll through the aisles of a local supermarket or a visit to an off-the-beaten path apothecary to sniff out local, affordable products. Here we present the second of a 2 part feature highlighting affordable, market fragrances from around the world with info about purchasing for your convenience. In Part I we visited Ch... (more)

A look at affordable, local market fragrances in Brazil, Egypt, Portugal, Finland & Turkey.

Best in Show: Women's Fragrances for the WorkplaceBest in Show: Women's Fragrances for the Workplace

Best in Show 04/17/16 05:11 (53 comments)

Met with a challenging day at the office, one is daunted by the choice of an appropriate fragrance. Too strong? Too weak? Too assertive or rather overextending the friendly vibes? When you have only one or two fragrances in your rotation the question is rhetorical, but picking a bottle from a larger fragrance collection presents its own dilemmas. It's a delicate balance and it does depend upon one's job status in said office; a younger assistant might want to ... (more)

A selection of office-friendly fragrances from our female contributors.

Best in Show: Tea Fragrances, Part II of II (2016)Best in Show: Tea Fragrances, Part II of II (2016)

Best in Show 04/13/16 09:20 (7 comments)

Earlier this week we presented the first 4 of 8 tea-themed Best in Show fragrances, Click here for Part I . Below we present another group of favorite fragrances inspired by the infamous green leaf. Jernê Knowles Even as a lover of the heaviest and darkest fragrances, I am also an admirer of lighter, simpler fragrances. The tea note stands out as a treat to freshness that is much needed on warmer days. Although Amberfig ... (more)

4 more favorite tea-themed fragrances chosen by Fragrantica's international team of editors.


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