The latest cult favorite – Mocha Rose Lip Balm

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Our review of the newest balm from the Rosebud Perfume Co.

Mocha Rose Lip Balmphoto: we heart this

The product up for review at we heart this today needs no introduction. If you have even a passing interest in beauty, you have probably heard of the Rosebud Perfume Co.’s Rosebud Salve. For years, this little tin of joy has brought delight to beauty lovers of all types, from drugstore divas to magazine editors and everyone in between.

I remember, over a decade ago, on my very first visit to a Sephora, as I stood in line with an overflowing basket, I saw the unmistakable tin of the Rosebud Salve in a bin near the registers. I had read about this salve in beauty insider articles and saw it on top product lists for years. I quickly snatched one up to see what all the hype was about. Since that day, a Rosebud Perfume Co. balm has always been with in my reach on bedside or coffee table.

I discovered, like so many before me, that this adorable and economical tin of sweet smelling balm has a myriad of uses. And since you can’t improve on perfection, the Rosebud Perfume Company hasn’t messed with their formula, a “trade secret blend of essential oils”, when introducing a few carefully edited new scents over the years.

The wht review team, who had already nominated this balm to our Mag 7 Lip Balm List, recently received the latest Rosebud flavor, Mocha Rose, for review. Packaged in a charming pink tin with vintage graphics, this balm is a “special petrolatum base infused with mocha, chocolate and vanilla ‘coffee shop’ flavors”.

I found the strongest scent to be the sweet vanilla, followed by a hint of mocha. While some sense a strong coffee scent, I did not find it too heavy. It does not have that old-fashioned candy coffee flavor; it’s more like a modern sweetened coffee drink. The shade is a super sheer, light pink that leaves the barest trace of color on lips, and is soft enough that you can use the salve all over your body.

I found my Mocha Rose lip balm shares all of the traits that have made Rosebud Perfume salves a beloved favorite all over the world:

It’s a multi-tasker – this balm not only soothes chapped lips and protects against further damage, it also can be used all over the body. From cuticles to toes, and everywhere in between this balm moisturizes skin, soothes minor burns and calms skin irritations, including diaper rash.

It’s economical – this salve for the whole body is affordably priced ($7) so everyone can enjoy finding new uses for the miracle balm. Plus, this tin is generously sized and lasts a very long time.

It’s adorable – This tin looks great either sitting on a vanity or being pulled from a purse (it travels well too) and is always a conversation starter. Plus, when you finally reach the bottom of one of these charming tins, it can be washed and reused. I’m already planning on using my Mocha Rose tin as a purse pill container (won’t my monthly advils look cute in it?) Your tin could be used for vitamins, sewing or crafting supplies or as a teeny treasure chest.

we heartsters and Testers – I know we have Rosebud Perfume Co. aficionados out there! What are your favorite uses for this cult balm?

Get yours at – Mocha Rose Lip Balm
Or pick up a trio of tins at Sephora – Three Lavish Layers of Lip Balm

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • tyna

    Tyna is a former editor of we heart this that worries about becoming a crazy cat lady, reads at least a book a week, checks in at a Flyers fan forum every morning and is forever organizing her closets and drawers. skin tone: NW 20/25 skin type: combination favorite beauty product: eye shadows and lip balms


  1. This balm is a favorite and I haven’t used it in years…which is obvious because my lips are chapped. No time like the present to try this new flavor!

  2. I haven’t bought Rosebud Salve in a few years, but this new scent sounds intriguing since I love coffee and vanilla! I will look for it the next time I’m at Sephora. I can’t remember what I used the Rosebud Salve for – I think on my lips, cheeks, and cuticles.

  3. I was saving my tin to open on a “special occasion” (don’t ask me what that occasion would have been, LOL) but as soon as my sister saw it, the tin was open. She pretty quickly dismissed this new scent as “dirty” and not quite her thing. My husband says it’s “interesting,” but considering he uses that for everything from new eyeshadows to how an eyelash curler works we can mostly ignore him.

    Me? I love it! Rosebud has yet to disappoint me. Yes, it’s a little different. The scent is like instant coffee next to a vase of roses with just a hint of carmel. All scents I like, and I’m totally okay with together. It’s not straight up coffee, so I think if you’re prepared for the addition of rose you’ll enjoy it. And just like every other incantation of the classic salve it’s supremely moisturizing, gentle enough to use just about anywhere, and the price is right! FIVE Stars from me!

  4. Mocha Rose is giving me such a scent flashback, but I don’t know what it reminds me of! An old timey candy, I think. Does anyone know what I might be thinking of? It’s driving me crazy…

    With that being said, I love this! And I’m actually ashamed to admit, my FIRST Rosebud salve. (I know) I’m not a big rose fan, so it’s just something I always skipped (but was always tempted anytime anyone pulled it out, and by it’s cult status). Well, Mocha Rose got me in to the party! Vanilla is the main scent for me too, with a underlying coco. It’s really yummy!

    And the multitasking powers just can’t be beat. I could never imagine putting it on my face (other than lips, of course). But cuticles and dry elbows and knees-watch out!

    And the cuteness factor just can’t be denied. 5 stars!

  5. I’ll definitely have to check this out. I’m a Rosebud salve fan, it’s great to have in my desk for cuticles and for rough elbows that may have gotten missed that morning. I’m VERY curious about the scent, looks like I’ll have to head to Sephora soon. (Oh DARN. :-) )

  6. @stef – This reminded me a little bit of Tootsie Rolls?
    I didn’t get this for review, but I love, love, love Smith’s Rosebud Salve products. I purchased this sucker as soon as it came out because hello, chocolate scented balm? Yes, please! This, like all of the rosebud salves, is super moisturizing. I love the chocolate scent–it’s very light on the rose, to the point that I don’t really notice rose at all—this & the strawberry scent of Smith’s Rosebud salve are my top 2 favorites. I also like how this isn’t just for lips. I’ve used a dab of this on my hands if I forget to put handcream in my purse and it absorbs quickly. I think everybody needs a tin of this in their handbag :)

  7. Ohh I want to try this new one. I haven’t bought Rosebud Salve in forever, but it’s always been one of my favorites!

  8. True story, @tyna: on MY very first visit to a Sephora, over a decade ago (their Soho store in NYC to be exact), I bought my MY very first Rosebud Salve. We should start a club!
    I mostly use Rosebud for my lips and cuticles, and it’s never let me down. And honestly, I just like looking at the tin on my bedside table. Now it will be joined by Mocha Rose, because, from your description, I must have it, pronto!

  9. I have been buying and using Rosebud Salve for so many years, I’ve lost count! I am a fan since a girlfriend turned me onto it years ago.. I can remember the day she had this out and was bragging about ALL its uses! They are many.. I’ll have to pick this up for her to try and one for me too! Thanks for the heads up on this @tyna!

  10. I’m very curious about this, I can’t use anything with coffee in it though. I have a caffeine in tolerance and have gotten rashes from lotions and body washes (specifically Lush and I think sephora brand) with coffee in them. I wish they had just made it with vanilla!

  11. LOVE this little tin! I can definitely taste the cocoa and vanilla and it reminds me of tootsie rolls too! I adore all things shabby and the tin looks so vintage…it’s so charming! I haven’t used the salve on anything except my lips, but after hearing about all it’s other uses, I’m definitely going try it on my cuticles. I’ve always been a fan of Rosebud Salve and this new version gets five stars from me!

  12. The tin has a nice look to it, I wanted to like Rosebud Salve but the rose scent was a little too artificial for me. Maybe this one would be better.

  13. I really liked this as well! I smelt more of the mocha rather than vanilla and like @Krista I hardly noticed the rose scent at all, which is good because I can’t stand rose smells. This is really soothing but I did notice that I had to put in on multiple times a day to keep my lips moist. Maybe I was unconsciously licking my lips because I could smell the mocha and it was making me hungry?

    I didn’t realize you could use it for so many other areas, here I am just using it on my lips!

    Five stars for me!

  14. I have been a long time fan of the Rosebud Salve. It is truly a remarkable all purpose product. So I was super excited to get the opportunity to test the newer Mocha Rose version. And it is truly as spectacular as the original. I find it to be very light. Yet it is super moisturizing. I appreciate that it is never goopy or gross! I love wearing it to bed or for a night out over my favorite lipstick or lip liner. It is incredibly versatile. And I actually really like the new scent. It isn’t obnoxious. It is pleasantly sweet. And you can’t go wrong with the beautiful retro tin packaging. I give this new classic a big fat 5 stars!! Great review @tyna!!

  15. I love the original Rosebud Salve. It’s one of my absolute favorite products. Even though it’s essentially fancy, rose scented Vaseline, it fits in my pocket or purse, it makes me feel fancy, and it smells great. I’ve even used it on my face and hands and elbows when my skin gets really dry. I might have to give the other scents a try…

  16. So funny @stef – from the second I opened this a couple months ago, I was having childhood flashbacks of something too, that I still can’t quite put my finger on. After reading Krista’s idea of Tootsie Rolls, it’s most definitely reminiscent of them – in fact pretty spot on, but that’s still not what I’m remembering…I think it was a lip product I had as a kid. Anyways, I like the smell a lot – and also smell mostly mocha then a little vanilla. It’s very light and doesn’t last a super long time, but it’s very moisturizing, so worth it – especially at the price point. Makes my dry knuckles and elbows feel good, too – and those are places I don’t want a product to be super thick or greasy, so this fits the bill. I also think the vintage looking tin is very pretty and charming – and SO generous in the amount of product – this will last a LONG time. I would definitely buy this again – so smooth and moisturizing, smells great, and affordable price – 5 stars!

  17. I love Rosebud brand. Although I’ve never used the classic rosebud salve, I have used their strawberry lip balm, which I loved, so it’s no surprise I’m digging their Mocha Rose Lip Balm.

    I first thought of chocolate candy the first time I smelled it (boyfriend gives the smell a thumbs up as well. I believe his exact words the first time I opened it was “Oh! That smells good!”)

    It does a great job moisturizing my lips but I seriously never thought of using it for other parts of my body! Duh! I’m totally going to try it on my cuticles and feet. I love products that multitask and give me a cute tin to reuse after the product is gone!

    I’m giving this 5 stars!

  18. I liked Rosebud for a long time, too. I think my first purchase was at a Rite Aid or similar drugstore. It’s always been smoother than straight petroleum jelly (must be those added oils) and the fleshy pink transparent color is so pretty. In winter and at bedtime I have used the faintly scented original many, many times.
    When I first saw the tin I immediately thought of Rosebud, but thought this was someone knocking off their old world apothocary packaging. When I realized this WAS Rosebud I was a little happy and a little sad.I was happy because of the promise of a great product and adorable tin; I was sad because I kind of don’t like to see a good thing branch out, deperately searching for a new clientelle. You know: Coke was good, New Coke wasn’t. Do we need a Mocha Rose Rosebud?
    Well, the answer is “yes” because Mocha Rose isn’t taking the original’s place, it’s just adding another option. For me, I still prefer the original benignly scented balm. The candy counter coffee and cream taste is nice, but strong. I think kids would love this, and I’m sure a lot of moms out there would love it, too.
    I’ll give this one 4 stars because it doesn’t quite measure up to its predecessor, but does all the same work.

  19. Being from Maryland (where Rosebud Salve is packaged), I am a true fan. I have the original Rose and the Strawberry. How could I have not known about a new flavor?? I must get on the case right away!

  20. I simply love this. It smells divine, it softens wonderfully, and the tin is easier to open than the original Rose Bud Salve (I own). lol. Also, I just love the packaging. There’s something I just enjoy about the old apothecary feel of it. It really makes me wish I had a traditional vanity to look at all my pretty bottles and potions. :-) @Tyna, good review!

  21. @stef, I looooove when new products give scent flashbacks to something from your past! Well, let me correct that: I love it when I can actually remember the thing it’s making me flash back to–I can’t stand it when I can’t remember and then of course I think about it until it drives me crazy.

    I had completely forgotten how much I love the original Rosebud and @tyna, your review makes me want to run out and buy Mocha Rose ASAP. I’m a sucker for anything vanilla, and now I want to see if I have a scent flashback too!

  22. how have I missed this bandwagon?! Going to Sephora soon….

  23. Now, I love Rosebud’s salves. I especially like them b/c they help with dry skin around the lips too. But I have to say, I am not a fan of the mocha flavor. I give this product 3 stars because I do think the original scent is superior! But I would give the original 4 stars – it’s a good salve!

  24. Are they an affiliate link because you liked them, or do you like them because they’re an affiliate link? I don’t trust reviews that hide the fact that the company is paying them…

  25. Hi Emily, thanks for the inquiry. I encourage you to read my post above where I wrote almost 700 words covering reasons from the packaging to the scent to the formula for why I’ve adored Rosebud Salves for over a decade.

    Please, also note that this is not a Paid Review, we received no monetary compensation from Rosebud Perfume Co. You’ll also notice there is a disclosure at the bottom of this post and text in it, explaining the salve was received for review by our team and that there is an affiliate link within the text. There is also a link to our Disclosure Policy if you need further information. Thanks!

  26. “I don’t trust reviews that hide the fact that the company is paying them…”

    Yes, that clearly listed disclosure policy is so sneaky!

    Not to mention the fact that it also explains that products were sent for consideration only. How that could be construed as being paid?

    From my understanding, an affiliate link (a commission if someone clicks a link
    and buys an item) and receiving a paid review are 2 very different things.

  27. It’s too bad that this new flavor/scent isn’t available at sephora. I’ve been dying to try it! rosebud salve is also great as a cheek highlighter.

  28. I’m giving 4 stars because I am unbelieveably devoted to the Original Rosebud Salve. That they used to sell door-to-door for 25cents for the last century and a quarter. It’s got just the right amount of scent and it cures everything from chapped lips to bee stings to diaper rash. Loves it. That said, I have never really been a fan of the “flavored” rosebud salves…they never are quite as good as the original. And I’m generally not a fan of mocha/coffee scented things. But nothing could make me turn on my good ole’ Rosebud Salve.

  29. Emily—trust me when I say that I did not receive this for free to review, but I am a fan of the original Rosebud Salve and have used their balms for almost a decade now–and this is a really great balm. I’d say I love all the scents they have except for their Brambleberry Rose scent (that one is a huge miss–it’s like a barely fruity, rosey, honey smell that is just wrong). I frequently recommend this to friends and family and I have even given this as a gift/stocking stuffer. It’s just one of those tried and true products.

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