Bargain Buys / Lips / Mid End

An Internal Conflict Concerning Roses & A Review of Smith’s Rosebud Salve

For years, I hated roses, and I mean really truly detested the scent.  I even started calling rose scents ‘old lady’ and ‘bleurgh,’ both of which are completely unfair and untrue.

Then out of the blue, I managed to fall in like with Crabtree & Evelyn’s Rosewater Hand Therapy, and had to relax my rose-hating philosophy.  Want to know what I said in that review?

Yes, it still smells like roses, but for some reason, it doesn’t smell as cloying as some other rose fragrances do.  It reminds me of individual rose petals, rather than the whole rose, which for me is quite nice.

What does that even mean?!  Clearly, it was my way of saying I have no idea what I’m talking about, so I’m just going to say whatever.  Also, I actually do like rose scents.

The rose obsession slowly bloomed (as floral obsessions are wont to do) in the garden…of my mind.  By the time Smith’s Rosebud Salve came creeping into my life, I was head over heels for anything rose-related, and this is where our story begins.

Smith’s Rosebud Salve needs no introduction, as it’s one of those items that has a cult following and has been around for ages.  I heard the hype all the way back in my rose-hating days, and wasn’t tempted to try it (because I hated roses, you see).  But even when I started warming up to the scent, I was still undecided.  Too many times, products that generate mountains of hype end up being complete disappointments, and I could easily see Smith’s Rosebud Salve heading down that path.  After all, isn’t it basically glorified Vaseline in a tin?

In a sense, it is.  Which is why I gobsmacked when it became a handbag staple, so gobsmacked that I had to continue using it until I’d finished over half the tin just to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.  I really like this stuff, you guys.

Why?  Because it’s pink?  And smells like roses?  And comes in cute packaging? (You’ll judge me if I say yes, won’t you?) Alright, it’s partly because of that.  But this is a decent lipbalm too.  Longtime readers will know that I dislike Vaseline and Aquaphor for my lips.  They work in a pinch, but I find that my lips become far too dependent after a few weeks of regular use, and start to dry out.  Plus, they feel unpleasant, all thick and goopy.

Smith’s Rosebud Salve is essentially petroleum (with a few oils added in*), but somehow the texture is much more pleasant, as long as I take care not to overapply.  The tin packaging doesn’t particularly bother me, as I either apply it with clean fingers first thing in the morning, or like a very-wide-very-flat lipbalm (see Figure 1-a).  For those of you who are unwilling to do this, the formula comes in a tube as well.  It adds the barest hint of color to my lips, and hasn’t caused any type of petroleum dependency as far as I can tell, although I will add that I alternate this with my sesame oil lipbalm.

*Update: interesting backstory from the lovely peeps at Rosebud Perfume Co:

The essential oils and botanicals are the healing part of the salve and what smells so wonderful.  Great Grandfather Smith ordered these oils from Grasse France in 1802 and he mixed and blended them into a Trade Secret formula that has withstood the test of time.  Many of the botanicals in the salve are now just being used by companies like Estee Lauder.

The salve comes in a variety of scents and tints, but the classic rosebud flavor is by far my favorite.  Go figure.

You can procure Rosebud Perfume Co.’s products from a number of retailers.  Both tube and tin cost $6 from Sephora.

Very cute packaging, flexibility of buying either the tin or tube, availability, effectiveness.

I’m not sure whether or not I should complain about the price.  On one hand, this is fairly similar to Vaseline.  On the other hand, I actually use this on my lips, whereas Vaseline has been relegated to nail art cleanup duty.  Plus, I have definitely paid more for HG lipbalms in the past.

Also, this is a petroleum-based product, which I know some people tend to avoid.  I used to, until I discovered that one of my favorite balms is petroleum-based.  Now I’m wondering if it’s just pure petroleum that wreaks havoc on my lips.

Hasn’t knocked Therapino off it’s HG perch, but I do use this on a regular basis.  I will say that I’m still slightly bemused by it’s cult status (it’s a lipbalm, not a pot of magic), but it’s worth a look.  Particularly if you like roses.  Or if you think you hate roses, but actually love them.

Full Disclosure: The products in this post were submitted for review and consideration.  For more information, please see my disclaimer

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26 thoughts on “An Internal Conflict Concerning Roses & A Review of Smith’s Rosebud Salve

  1. Interesting review! I just recieved a full-size tin of this in my last BeautyBox5 box and I have yet to try it out – it’s still in the packaging in my collection. I think I’ll have to try it out now.. . . :)

  2. I had never thought of applying lip balm like that lol!

    I’m really curious to try this lip balm, but I think I would opt for the tube version, it’s just more practical.

    • I think I heard about it from a fellow beauty blogger actually, maybe Cat from Strawberry Mochi? *forgetful*
      Of course, it’s less effective when you’ve hit the bottom of the tin, but it works for the most part.

  3. The old-fashioned tin packaging and words always gets to me! I have the strawberry one and I dig the smell a lot. The balm though? Eh, not as much but it’s still nice. I really want to try the tube one…after I finish ALL my other balms though oh boy!

    • Oh yeahh, me too. Can’t stand the smell of strawberries (unless they’re real and dipped in chocolate), so unfortunately that one was just not for me (found it a better home though!). I wouldn’t say the balm is the best I ever tried either, that honor still goes to Therapino and Ceralip. But I’m a sucker for the rose scent and the cute tin.

  4. I used to be in love with that tin of strawberry lip balm. But then one day it got dented and wouldn’t open anymore. And then I was sad.

    The end.

  5. I’m in the minority here I think b/c I did not find it moisturizing enough. :( Aquaphor cured me from super dry lips so it’s my god…lol.

    (Thanks for entering and tweeting!)

  6. I love my smiths Rosebud Salve….but only at night, right before bed. The scent of roses used to bother me too! I thought it smelled old and like something my grandma would wear. I am still very careful about rose scented items and they tend to be strong, but Rosebud Salve is just right. It’s not even 50% gone after over a year of use! (granted I went a long stretch of NOT using it at all because I misplaced it), but still! Well worth the money!

    • I use my Therapino Oil Balm before bed, since it moisturizes like none other. Smith’s Rosebud Salve is for days when I’m not wearing lipstick, or (more frequently) days when I want a more sheer tint, then I’ll just apply my most pigmented lipsticks over the balm.

      Ok, so I’m not the only one! I wonder why that is…I also thought it would be something my grandma wear, except I don’t think my grandma has ever worn a rose scent. At any rate, glad to hear you’re getting a lot of use out of this~

  7. I didn’t like rose scents either up until using rose salves! Some rose scented creams and soaps still smell grandmother-y but when done the right way, it can be the most addicting scent ever.

    And LOL @ the demonstration.

  8. I went through about 5 tins of the Rosebud Salve. I can’t wait to get back to it when I’m done with the C.O. Bigelow version. At first the scent took some getting used to but I grew addicted to it as time went on.

  9. I’m not a fan of rose scent…not violently against it, just not really my thing – so when I first heard about this product ages ago when my beauty passion was just beginning, I picked up a tin because the rose scent wasn’t a deterrent, but…just not into it! I didn’t find it did anything particularly amazing for my lips – it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great either. I’m entirely ‘blah’ about this. However, I take care of my lips in a different way now than I did then, so I wonder if I’d feel the same anymore? I might not have ‘gotten’ it back then, who knows? It was a REALLY long time ago and as I’ve mentioned before, I never stick to any opinion for too long :P

    PS Thank you for some more stick art. Never fails to 100% make my day :)

    • If you felt blah about this back then and are not a fan of rose scents, my personal opinion is that it’s probably not worth your time to revisit. There’s a bunch of other products out there to be tried for the first time, right? If you ever realize one day that you love rose scents though, that would be the time to give this a second chance hahah.

      You’re welcome! Thank you for enjoying my stick figure art. I should have a stick figure art show LOL

      • YES! I would pay money for that…maybe :P

        That’s probably a smart way to look at it re: all the new products to be tried for the first time. I am very much someone who likes to constantly try new things and rarely revisits. Smart words, my friend!

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