Versace Eros Pour Femme

fragrantica

fragrantica

I had a sample of Versace Eros Pour Femme in the most recent Discovery Club Box from the Fragrance Shop.  This might be a good time to confess here that I am shamefully unfamiliar with a lot of Versace scent, having only actually reviewed two or three.  Something about the brand leaves me feeling like I can’t identify with anything they have to offer.  No offence Versace, we’re just from different worlds.  However, I rather liked Eros, but enough to buy a bottle?  We shall see.

The Fragrance Shop

The Fragrance Shop

Versace Eros Pour Femme opens with citrus and pomegranate,  both of which were very much present and correct.  The opening is sharp and refreshing,  and the pomegranate provides a little juiciness.  Then straight away, we’re heading into Jasmine Sambac territory.  Now Jasmine Sambac seems to be this year’s caramel.  Last year caramel and praline notes seemed to be everywhere, and this year I have noticed Jasmine Sambac, (sometimes called Arabian Jasmine) has been providing lots of rich white floral notes to  lots of mainstream new releases.

versace eros

Jasmine Sambac is that white flower note with a seam of not-quite-spice going through it- an almost metallic, borderline oriental richness that  screams floral , but not the light petally delicate floral, more the rich gilt chaise for the delicate Laura Ashley cushion.  It seems fitting then that it used here in a Versace scent- so renowned for the dripping luxe that is synonymous with the brand.

The Jasmine Sambac very much dominates and drowns out the initial lightness of the citrus, though if I’m not mistaken there is a faint note of lemon curd if I close my eyes and concentrate.

This is described on the sample card as belonging to the olfactive family of “floral, woody, musk” and I would say that’s a fair description.  The basenotes meld into a  sandalwoody, musky, jasmine miasma.  This is not quite a daytime summer scent, but would be at its best on hot oily skin after a day at the beach.

The bottle and packaging is suitably luxurious as you would expect, but I baulk a little at the high price tag.  I think you can get similar for less, but I’m blowed if I can think of any names right now.  This is a bit like a Marc Jacobs without the lightness maybe?  Or maybe its reminding me of Givenchy Dahlia Divin.

Conclusion:  Yes, I don’t dislike it, but no I wouldn’t buy a bottle

Stockists

Almost ubiquitous, you can buy Versace Eros Pour Femme from Debenhams, Escentual, The Fragrance Shop, Harrods, and Boots to name but a few.  If you’re outside the UK, you could try  all the big department stores and Amazon.com or Sephora.com

Read More

The Candy Perfume Boy, once again, writes a review with which I wholeheartedly agree. I deliberately don’t read the reviews of others until after I have written my own, and I found afterwards that Thomas and I both found this rather lacking.  Sadface.

 

 

 

Jimmy by Bruno Fazzolari.

Jimmy_1500

 

 

Fresh flowers and daylight. Violet, cassis and rose over a base of moss and ambergris.

 

Jimmy is one of three samples I was kindly sent by artist and perfumer Bruno Fazzolari, from his studio in San Francisco . Inspired by artist James Schuyler, Jimmy is all about the violets, but it doesn’t stop there.

To me Jimmy awakened many nostalgic memories of my childhood, where I remember being outside more than I was in, and endlessly picking flowers ( True. Ask my Mum who had an almost permanent yoghurt pot of wild flowers in the windowsill from me).

What Jimmy illustrates to me is that sometimes the list of notes in a scent bears no relation to your interpretation.

The notes, as listed on Fragrantica, are: Ylang, Ylang, Lemon, Rose, Geranium, Heliotrope, Sandalwood and Violet Leaf.

 

@Bruno Fazzolari

@Bruno Fazzolari

What I actually  get is a sunny day with the smell of mossy violets,  a bit of banana skin, presumably from the ylang ylang, and armfuls of bluebells. It is as if a long forgotten scent from the 1970s has emerged.

It is “fresh flowers and daylight” and it certainly fits the job description and goes the extra mile too.  This is the smell of a summer’s day through the eyes of a child.  It’s faint earthiness is the smell of muddy knees, a dress that needs a wash, and flowers and sun and that priceless era where you never have to look at a clock or check a bank balance.

Jimmy is uplifting and nostalgic and has taken me on an unexpectedly touching trip down memory lane.

Preview+Set_1500

Stockists

Jimmy is available from these stockists in the USA, or you can order a preview set from here.

Montecristo by Masque Milano: A New Cult Classic?

montecristo

 

I was recently approached by Alessandro and Riccardo of Masque Milano to ask if I would be receptive to a few samples of their fragrances.  Naturally I was delighted (me? Turn down samples?) and just a few days later, the Fed Ex man interrupted me pruning the fuchsia to give me a parcel from Italy. Both fuchsia and perfumes are now in good order, apart from one small phial which shattered in transit and made the package smell wonderful.

Today I shall be reviewing Montecristo because it had such a big impact on me.  In fact, I would go as far as saying that it has the potential to become a cult classic.  Montecristo was created in 2013 by nose Delphine Thierry.

At first spray, Montecristo is almost a citrussy like cologne, but within minutes something interesting happens.  There is a combination of tobacco, leather and um… well body odour.   Skank if you will.  The smell of sex.   If you met a man wearing this you would find him irresistible and not quite know why. NB – this isn’t a guarantee, just an impression.  Please don’t pursue me if it goes horribly wrong.

At this point I could not stop sniffing it, but the note seems to blend in and calm down a bit as it enters the middle phase.  Whilst there is celery seed in this, it is more subtle than say, Caron Yatagan, but has a faint herby, vegetable smell which is a lot nicer than the way I am phrasing it.

The dirty/sexy/skanky note that I mentioned really caught my attention and whilst for me, it dominated; it was so beautifully framed and enhanced by other notes that it takes Montecristo into a league of its own.

Strike a pose… (photo by Fragrantica)

The note is Hyrax and according to my bible, aka Fragrantica, it is from an animal that is, almost unbelievably, the closest living relative to the elephant, despite resembling a squirrel with a knowing look. As an alternative to Castoreum (from beavers) and Civet (which look like small raccoons), the essence of Hyrax is harvested from its crystallised pee. Alarming as that sounds, it is a cruelty free way of injecting the smell of musky armpit or sweaty post coital inner thigh into a fragrance whilst allowing the animals to roam freely in the wild, free of harm.

In Montecristo, this note is complemented by woody, leather and tobacco notes which give it an intensely masculine vibe, which, even if I say so myself, smells wonderfully androgynous on a woman. Namely me.

fr_montecristo

Longevity is fourteen hours, during which time the base notes emerge, leaving a scent of vetiver, leather, dark smoky woods, and, well how can I put this?  Dried spit.  After a while it smells like I have saliva on my arm, but before you think that’s derogatory, I actually loved it.  It smelled like a human.  It was comforting, smoky, manly and delicious.

I predict great things for Montecristo and I also predict that Lisa Wordbird will fall hard for it.

Montecristo by Masque Milano is the smell of the bad boy on the motorbike that your parents didn’t want you to date.

Stockists

Please don’t hate me UK readers, this is not available over here, but a list of stockists for Europe and the USA is here, and  if you want to try before you buy, there is a discovery set available.

Creed Silver Mountain Water: My Take On It

fragrantica

fragrantica

 

Creed Silver Mountain Water is a revered scent with a phalanx of fans that easily outnumber little old me, who is sitting here looking singularly unimpressed.

 Creed Silver Mountain Water evokes such purity and blue skies, that it was a disappointment to find that on my skin it bore only dried tea- and I emphasise the word dried as this reminded me of pot pourri.  Sadly the dried-leaf effect was dominant at the expense of the notes I was looking forward to meeting: namely galbanum, bergamot and my beloved petitgrain.

Silver Mountain Water led me to expect a scent that evoked a crashing cold wave on a baking hot day, or a froth of powdery snow as a dashing skier  whizzed past,  making the snow looking like confetti in his wake, but no.  I’m still there with the rather unpleasant pot pourri fragrance with a slightly scorched edge as if it’s been left on a hot windowsill too long.

After a couple of hours, this bizarrely turned into Carolina Herrera 212 For Men, which has negative connotations for me- so beloved was it of  a former flatmate who  marinated in it to  eclipse other less salubrious odours.

This is the third Creed fragrance I have reviewed and I remain underwhelmed.  It brought to mind a quote from Dr Cuddy in House MD ( my current favourite Netflix boxset) “Well she’s not as delightful as she thinks she is”, and if Creed Silver Mountain Water was a person, that is what I would say about them.

Stockists

Creed Silver Mountain water is available word wide- try Sephora.com, Amazon or the big department stores.  In the UK you can try Harrods, Liberty or House of Fraser.  At £160 a bottle, try before you buy.

With Thanks

With thanks to friend of the blog Patsi, who kindly supplied the sample.

Library of Fragrance Mahogany

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

One of my favourite smells is the smell of an ancient church as you creak open the heavy oak door and smell years of ancient stone and the remnants of incense.  Back in my university days (which seem to be getting further and further away) I chose Medieval Devon Churches as my dissertation topic and it involved travelling to remote parish churches, creaking open heavy oak doors, and smelling that exact smell.  Heavenly seems to be an appropriate description.

Two years ago, not long after I had started this blog, I was lucky enough to try Comme des Garcons Series 3 Incense Avignon.  It blew me away.  It was as if a centuries old church had been concentrated and bottled just so I could enjoy it.  I labelled it ideal for truanting vicars.  You could have a raunchy affair, spray yourself with CDG Series 3 Avignon, and swear you’d been in church all afternoon.  But I digress.

Pentacon

The church at Civray, Poitou Charente

Today I am reviewing Library of Fragrance Mahogany and the reason I’m bleating on about CDG Avignon is because whilst I can’t afford it,  LOF Mahogany has given me something that is much more within my reach and ticks the same boxes.  It opens with ancient, antique wood, all dark and  faintly spicy, and then a  little breeze of incense comes in, and even a hint of an unlit log fire, a  faint wisp of wood smoke and that unique scent of an old stone castle, not quite musty, not quite smoky, but somewhere in between.  It’s heavenly I tell you, and I have been dousing myself in it as if it were a marinade.  I adore this smell and because I have been wearing it so much, my house smells a bit like it now as well, even though my house is a youthful 105.

Pentacon

My husband and two sons- “being dragged round another church by Mum”

I’ve always been a big fan of Library of Fragrance, but today I think I’ve finally found my favourite.  If you make a perfume that smells of ancient churches and wood, I will buy it. It’s pretty much a guarantee.

Stockists

Library of Fragrance Mahogany is available from Library of Fragrance online.  For a 30ml bottle you can expect to pay a  very reasonable sum of £15.

Friedemodin Jardin Mystique: Like A Raindrop in a Garden

jardin mystique

 Jardin Mystique from Friedemodin is one of a range of four perfumes from Nina Friede and Elisabeth Modin, two friends united by their love of travel and their love of fragrance.  You may recall my glowing review of Friedemodin Vertine earlier in this blog, which, as a fan of green notes, was nothing short of a delight to me.

Jardin Mystique is in a similar vein and left me equally charmed.  Whilst it purports to be more about the flowers than Vertine, it retains a light greenness that keeps the floral notes as fresh and transparent as a raindrop.  In fact, you can wear them together:

“The leafy freshness of Vertine enhances the green wild notes of Jardin Mystique”- Friedemodin

Convallaria majalisJardin Mystique opens with Cassis, Bergamot and Grass notes, and the blast of green grass with the almost bitter black currant tones of the Cassis makes a refreshing change from all the sweetness that is, in my humble opinion, vastly over used in modern launches. (Enough with the caramel!)

As the grassy opening act conjures up a picture of dew frosted gardens in my head, out comes one of my favourite scents: lily of the valley.  Couple that with the kind of jasmine that adds a light handed hint of white flowers (petals only, there is restraint here) and you have a floral that is both delicate and distinctive.  As all of these green and floral notes merge and bloom, a faint hint of woodiness creeps in to give the ending a bit of longevity.  It feels as if the light and airy notes would float away without it. I would have named it sandalwood, but it appears there is no sandalwood here, just white woods and a hint of patchouli leaves.

Created by genius Francois Robert, a prolific nose who is also the nose behind Mary Greenwell Plum,  Friedemodin Jardin Mystique is an exquisitely blended scent which to my nose reminds me of my childhood in the seventies.   It has a classic, almost retro feel to it that harks back to a more innocent time somehow, like grass and daisies.

My only note of gloom is how fast I went through my 5ml spray.  I did find that I couldn’t smell it anymore on myself after around an hour, but apparently it was still there as others could smell it.

Stockists

Friedemodin is available in the UK from Harvey Nichols, or from the Friedemodin website, where you can also find a worldwide list of stockists.  I would like to express my thanks to Friedemodin for the delightful set of 5ml samples they sent me.

IScentYouADay wins a Real Neat Blog Award!

real-neat-blog-award

Well I’m tickled pink to be nominated for a Real Neat Blog Award by dear MeganInStMaxime, who writes beautifully about perfume and life in the sunny South of France.  The Real Neat Blog Awards were started by DearKitty and I am delighted to participate. Thank you Megan, and thank you Kitty!

Here are the rules for accepting a real neat blog award  (Naturally participation is optional)  1) Put the award logo on your blog. 2) Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you. 3) Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs. 4) Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs. 5) Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

Since Megan nominated me, she has sent me seven questions, which I am happy to answer.

1)What is your most developed sense?

Well my eyes are getting worse now I’m 45 and I always have to wear glasses to read so much as a price tag.    I guess it has to be the nose! And taste, because I love food. ( a bit too much)

2) London / Sydney / New York or Tokyo and why?

I’ve never fancied Tokyo- too noisy and buzzy, and Oz scares me because  it just looks enormous and overwhelming ( although I’m a big fan of Kath and Kim). I love London and lived there for five years in my twenties when I was single.  It was a fantastic time: turbulent, colourful and eventful and when you go off the beaten track it is truly a stunning city, almost like a separate country.  New York is top of my wishlist- I’ve never been and fully plan to, so New York and London in joint first place!

Little Venice, London. Photo by inagist.com

Little Venice, London. Photo by inagist.com

3) What are your thoughts on climate change?

I think we have become a wasteful, disposable society and we have moved on far too drastically from the make do and mend generation. I find it sad that a tree was chopped down to make paper for food wrapping that is thrown away minutes after eating it.  It’s all too easy and I think we should learn a few lessons from older generations who reused everything and never threw it away unless it was on its last legs.

4) Who is your favourite old school glamour movie star and what is your favourite film that they appear in?

You can’t beat Bette and Joan.  Together or apart. “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” is a gothic classic.  For sheer beauty and charm though, it has to be Marilyn in Some Like It Hot.  And for poignancy and because I love her, Celia Johnson in Brief Encounter.

sensesofcinema.com

sensesofcinema.com

5) What could you survive one year without buying – clothes, shoes, books or cocktails?

Definitely cocktails.  Not since having children. Just can’t mix my drinks anymore…

6) What is the most over rated book in your opinion?

I did my degree in English Literature and I can say, hand on heart, that Middlemarch and Romola could not hold my attention after many, many attempts (with apologies to George Eliot).  And I eschew chick lit.

romola

openlibrary.org

7) Name your favourite super hero movie.

I have to watch a lot of these as my sons are aged 5 and 8. Yesterday we saw Big Hero 6, which was brilliant.  There are two I like.  The first one is Avengers Assemble  (Hello Robert Downey Jnr!) and the second is the unintentionally hilarious 1966 Batman move starring Adam West and Burt Ward.  It’s currently on UK Netflix and I laughed til I cried.

digitalspy.co.uk

digitalspy.co.uk

And Now I Nominate…

The blogs I nominate  for A Real Neat Blog Award are all wonderful, articulate blogs that always have something of interest to say whenever I drop by for a nose around.  They are EauMG,  Undina’s Looking Glass,  and AllIAmARedhead.

Here are your questions:

  1. Cats or dogs?
  2. What do you smell like right now, name everything you smell of.
  3. What could you survive one year without buying – clothes, shoes, books or cocktails?
  4. What are you doing tonight? (not a propostion!)
  5. If I gave you five thousand pounds to go on holiday tomorrow, where would you go?
  6. What’s the one bottle of perfume that you would never part with?
  7. What was the last film you saw in a cinema?

Thanks again Megan and happy sniffing everybody!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Mary Greenwell Plum

plum

“Fragrance is always the last touch of magic to any look I create”- Mary Greenwell

Mary Greenwell is a successful make up artist who, when looking to expand, took the agreeable route of creating a perfume range rather than a make up range.  As someone who only has five items in her make up bag, but a groaning dressing table whose legs are buckling, I applaud this decision. The nose behind the scent is the legend that is Francois Robert (who is also the nose behind Friedemodin, more of which anon).

Mary Greenwell, House of Fraser

Mary Greenwell, House of Fraser

You could be forgiven for assuming that Plum would be a fruity soliflore- that’s what I was expecting and my heart wasn’t fully in it prior to trying this.  However I couldn’t have been more wrong and Mary Greenwell Plum is actually a complex and feminine scent that unfurls its layers like a dance of the seven veils.

At first spray, Plum has, as you would expect, a dash of plum, but the plum is accompanied by so many friends that it’s is never allowed to completely dominate.  For example, alongside the plum comes peaches, usually a No-Go in my book, but it adds an agreeable booziness here that compliments the citrus notes of Bergamot and lime and strikes a pleasant balance.

Into the middle phase and here come the white flowers- all of them!  Gardenia, rich creamy tuberose, jasmine and orange flower.  It gives a richness to the boozy plum and fruit that to my nose became almost a nuttiness. Just as all these white flowers are blooming away, a chypre accord comes into play and the whole thing settles down into an ambery, mossy symphony, but always with that boozy plum in the background, which serves to enhance rather than distract.

What makes this cleverly put together is its ever changing face, rather aptly for someone in the business of changing faces.  Just when you think you’ve named it, the scent enters another phase which keeps you guessing.

It is, as I say, complex, and all the more intriguing for that.  Mary Greenwell has a range of only four scents: Lemon, Plum, Cherry and Fire.  The Perfume Society has a sample in their Holiday Collection Discovery Box and I know that Jo Fairley is a Mary Greenwell fan.

The_Holiday_Collection-350x334

I stumbled across Plum by dint of pure serendipity.  In swapping a bottle of scent  online I was offered a bottle of Plum and accepted, knowing nothing about it.  Sometimes the universe just wants you to try stuff.  Oh and did I mention the gorgeous pink and green packaging?  The bottle is in a little stand with a cover, and has a distinctively heavy lid that could break a window.  It exudes both class and playfulness.

Stockists

Mary Greenwell Plum is available from Harrods, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com  and Strawberry.net. Prices are very reasonable at under £40 for 50ml.

NB Muse in Wooden Shoes wrote a lovely review of Plum and you can find it here.  Also, our dear friend Portia at Australian Perfume Junkies has reviewed it here.

My own lovely bottle

My own lovely bottle

Kudos for Men- Milton Lloyd

kudos

 

For the last three days I have sporadically spraying myself with an inexpensive men’s cologne, and liking it.  A lot.

Kudos for Men retails for £5 and frankly, my only disappointment is that I didn’t discover this in the middle of winter as it’s rich, spicy and addictive.  Having said that, it’s not so thickly cloying that you can’t wear it in warmer weather as the citruses, especially the grapefruit, stop it from being too fuzzy, for want of a better word (It’s the Easter Holidays, bear with me).

What I love about Kudos is the slightly leathery, smokiness of it that goes on like a cologne, has a hint of oranges and cardoman, beds down into a spicy chypre, and lingers like an eau de parfum i.e six hours at least.  I have been unable to stop myself having a spray every time I walk past it.

Kudos reminds me of the interior of an old church: there is a hint of aged wood and a soupcon of incense, and since old churches are one of my favourite smells, I am giving Kudos full marks.  It will be a staple on my dressing table, even if it doesn’t really “go” with the menagerie of prettier bottles on there at the moment.

Stockists

You can buy Kudos for men from the Milton Lloyd website or Amazon UK, and you can usually find some on eBay.  Prices are usually no more than five quid.

My sample was kindly provided by Milton Lloyd, but opinions are my own.