A Little Summer Break…

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Photo by World of Oddy

My dear friends,

I am taking a summer break of two weeks whilst I spend time with my husband and our two boys. I will be back online at the end of August.  I wish you all a happy and sunny summer full of memories.  I warmly thank you all for reading, browsing and commenting on IScentYouADay, it truly means a lot and it would be a lonely old blog without all of you.

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.

samface2

Paco Rabanne Olympéa  

fragrantica

fragrantica

 

Ah Paco Rabanne!  That shy retiring wallflower of the fragrant firmament! So meek and subtle…you would barely know it was there…

Anyway, getting back to reality, Paco Rabanne, ( who are still getting dirty looks off me for creating 1Million), has launched another heavy hitter in the form of Olympéa.  I tried it today and I have to say that whilst there is a lot to respect and admire, it’s not my cup of tea or pot of jam.

Opening with a blast of creamy vanilla and white flowers, this is so thick, rich and heavy that I am surprised it is a summer launch.  I thought there was a miniscule droplet of Oud at its heart, but I was mistaken- but that might give you an inkling at how heavy this is.  Two hours later it has bedded down into a woody sweetness, that, were it not for the vanilla, I would possibly have liked more.  It’s faded a lot though in two hours, so I’m not blown away by its longevity- I had to sniff hard to find it. Vanilla isn’t going to go away anytime soon, so I guess I have to suck it up until it passes.

Nevertheless, Olympéa will do well on its own without my perfume dollar.  To me though, it was like extract of crême brulée with extra double cream and vanilla beans on top of that, covered with sugar with a heady bunch of jasmine next to it on the table, interfering with the food.  One bite is all I’d want.

Stockists

Paco Rabanne Olympea is available from The Perfume Shop, Boots, and Escentual.

4160 Tuesdays Pillow Talk: Come Here

 

escentual.com

escentual.com

 Pillow Talk is one of the latest launches from Sarah McCartney, Grande Dame of 4160 Tuesdays. Sarah doesn’t over- launch or saturate us, but neither does she let the grass grow under her feet.

 As always, there is a charming backstory to it.  A Hollywood Agent dropped into 4160 HQ at Issigonis House ( it’s very nice, like a parlour) with the idea of launching her own scent.  Whilst that project didn’t have lift off, the resulting perfume did and is now Pillow Talk.

 Pillow Talk was intended as the smell of a shared pillow upon which secrets are shared as intimacy grows. To me, it brings to mind hotel rooms rather than bedroom: Posh country hotels where you go for a mini break once the dating has hit its stride and you tell them that you were secretly married and have a police record, and they don’t mind because they have a love child in Venezuela- you know how it goes…

Darling, I have a love child in Venezuela...

Darling, I have a secret love child in Venezuela… (Express.co.uk)

I will say though, that this has a strong accord in common with 4160 Tuesdays Sexiest Scent on The Planet Ever (IMHO), so if you don’t like that I’m not sure this will be your  cup of tea (Earl Grey, of course)

 As visual as it is, and I find all 4160 scents very visual,  I could not find a way into Pillow Talk, so I asked my son.  My son Freddie is nine and memorably declared that Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac smelled like “hot sand” .  So I sprayed my arm and said “sniff this and say the first thing that come into your head” and without hesitation, he said “Liquorice”.

escentual.com

escentual.com

It did!  Liquorice!  Not listed, not included, but somehow, there is a hint of liquorice in this.  I often find this happens- my nose finds a random note that has gone rogue.  Either liquorice is in my olfactory memory and imprinted on this scent, or two notes have a baby and make a third note out of the juxtaposition. Either way, I smelled Liquorice.

 Liquorice was was my way in.  Once I had liquorice, it opened a portal into heavy, dark woods (dark oak panelling  for some reason) which in turn led to vanilla, but not sweet shop vanilla, more drunken boozy liquor,  then a fuzzy background of bergamot, followed by indelicate flowers.  No petals, no tweeness: this is ladies’ talc on a thigh.  It’s a bit spicy, but there’s no spice.  It reminds me of the smell of the bed just after my lovely husband has left it, before his shower: a masculine undertow, but faded from the day before. The intimacy is there, and a tiny hint of complacency has set in. So what if I left make up on the pillow?  He already fancies me….

 Pillow Talk scores a ten on the nuzzle-o-meter

Stockists

You can buy all 4160 Tuesdays scents from the website, and recently Escentual has started stocking them too, as well as the legendary Fortnum and Mason. Further stockist information is here. My sample was kindly sent to me by Sarah McCartney, to whom I am enormously grateful. Opinions are my own.

The Body Shop Italian Summer Fig EDT

 

figbox

 

I popped into my local Body Shop today and was delighted to see a classy display of fragrances in beautiful faceted glass bottles.  There were the regulars: Atlas Mountain Rose and Fijian Water Lotus among them, and a new fragrance I hadn’t seen before that had a summery looking green juice.  That fragrance was Italian Summer Fig and I can report that it is truly scrumptious.

 

Telegraph.co.uk

Telegraph.co.uk

Fig works very well in summer,  after all, its good enough for our continental cousins who know a thing or two about heat.  It reminds me of perfumed sultanas:  the fruit is deep and rich, yet aromatic and tangy too. With obvious comparisons of L’Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier drifting in and out of my scent memory, I helped myself to several squirts and ten hours later I can still smell traces of it- not bad for an eau de toilette.

The notes, according to our trusty friends at Fragrantica, are:

 Top notes: Fig, green notes and vine

Middle notes: Rose, saffron and floral notes

Base notes: Oak and amber

In fact, on me, although it opens and closes with fig, there are definite traces of flowers, especially rose, and I got a whiff of woodiness at the end, which I always thinks  complements fig so well

Italian Summer Fig makes a refreshing choice for summer and I applaud the Body Shop for going down this route rather than the more traditional mainstream routes so often found in summer. My only criticism is that I like to see purse spray versions of new scents available so you can make your mind up before buying a full sized bottle.  Marks and Spencer does this and I love treating myself to an affordable handbag spray. You can get purse sprays containing some of the other fragrances in the Body Shop range for £5 for 10ml, so maybe this plan is in the pipeline.

 Stockists

 Italian Summer Fig  is available from the Body Shop in store and online and retails at £18 for 50ml. Ancillary products are also available so you can layer the fragrance  nicely.

 

Paco Rabanne 1 Million Cologne

1-million-cologne

perfumeshop.com

I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying “if you can’t say something nice, say nothing”. Maybe that’s why I’ve never reviewed Paco Rabanne 1 Million.  No, scratch that, I’ve written several reviews for fragrances I couldn’t stand, and I love to read other bloggers too when they are in acerbic mood. I like to think that derogatory blogatory pricks the bubbles of perfumed pomposity like comedians and governments.

It’s ironic that the blurb for Paco Rabanne 1 Million says “It represents power, wealth, luxury, durability…” because where I live, it represents teenage boys on the pull with quiffs, ludicrously tight trousers (what bird is that?  Must be a thrush, sorry where was I?) and a whiff of cider and cigarettes. They do not leave the house until they are marinated in it.

When I came across a sample of Paco Rabanne 1 Million Cologne recently, I pulled a face like a bulldog sucking a lemon sherbet.

 

Amazon UK

Amazon UK

Paco Rabanne 1 Million Cologne nearly rights a few wrongs for me, but not quite.  For example, Paco Rabanne 1 Million gives off a thick fuzziness to me, that gets right on and into my chest, like cobwebs and dust.  I’m mildly asthmatic but it very rarely flares up or affects me, unless I smell Paco Rabanne 1 Million.  At the same time, there’s too much going on: there’s fruit, amber, patchouli, leather, citrus, mint, spices, cinnamon, and Uncle Tom Cobley an’ all.

The cologne is, as you might expect, a toned downversion, with slightly less thick fuzziness  and more sea notes and more citrus. At first spray its light and refreshingly, but after five minutes it gets far too rich for a summer’s day and starts to smell like sherry. This smells a bit like Paco Rabanne 1 Million from the night before that has worn off on bed sheets- something I will never experience since Mr IScent will never have a bottle. (I’m not a control freak- he doesn’t want one, honest! Phew.)  The Cologne is a watered down version of the original with extra citrus, but at the end, when all’s spent, it’s the same old story with a different opening chapter.

I’ll leave this one for the kids.

 Stockists:

You can buy Paco Rabanne 1 Million and Paco Rabanne 1 Million Cologne from The Fragrance Shop, from where I got my sample (The Discovery Club Box to be precise). You can also get it from Amazon UK, Escentual and Boots.

Boss Ma Vie: Freesias Forever  

www.HugoBoss.com

www.HugoBoss.com

Boss is a brand that I didn’t used pay a lot of attention too, but they have produced two scents that have really made me sit up and take notice.  Boss Jour Pour Femme is a lovely green scent that I immediately liked and today, having tried Boss Ma Vie Pour Femme, I have found another Boss favourite.

Boss Ma Vie takes the unusual and modern step of using green cactus as one of its main flagship notes.  In case you were wondering (and I was too) it smells as you would expect a cactus to smell: green and succulent and juicy, which actually makes it an excellent choice for a summer day time scent.  Add a large bunch of freesias to this green and juicy opening act and you have a very feminine, pleasing fragrance that I have really been enjoying. There’s a touch of jasmine too, and a whisper of rose, but it’s the freesia which is the star here. There are allegedly cedar and woods in the base but to me, the freesia stayed true throughput and longevity was pretty good too at around five hours.  I could still smell wafts of it on my sleeves at bedtime too.

 

www.plantrescue.com

www.plantrescue.com

www.crosscamp.us.

www.crosscamp.us.

Thankfully this has neither gone down the synthetic fruity floral route nor the  gourmand/ vanilla overkill route that has been so popular over the past few years, and what I see emerging is a rather pretty, non-cloying daytime floral that would suit all ages.

Stockists

Boss Ma Vie is widely available:  you could try Boots, House of Fraser, the Fragrance Shop, and Amazon.

My sample came from the June edition of the Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Box.

Angel Eau Sucree: An Angel For Me

parfumo,net

parfumo.net

 

I’m not a fan of Thierry Mugler Angel, although I admire its genius. On me, it’s Brut for men, Body Odour and a kilo of chocolate, but on others it can smell utterly gorgeous.  Sadly, I’m not one of them.  I also think that heavy handed spraying of Angel has further distanced me from it: it’s nuclear to start with and has colossal longevity, so six sprays first thing in the morning is overkill ( are you listening, Lady On Bus?)

However, here comes Angel Eau Sucree, the Angel 2014 flanker and much to my surprise, I really like it.

The notes are:

 Top: red berries

Middle: meringue

Base: patchouli and vanilla

Red berries have been done to saturation point in the last couple of years, but the temptation to add pink pepper (which in my view is greatly overused with a heavy hand these days) has been resisted and the red berries blend seamlessly into a creamy, sweet middle note.  Meringue is an interesting choice, but its’s distinctive icing sugar blandness is the perfect foil here.  At this point, it could easily tip over into raspberry ripple ice cream, but the meringue, if anything, shows restraint.  This is a pale vanilla, with hints of cream and berries.

The base notes are vanilla and patchouli, and unlike Angel, the patchouli here is a whisper rather than a shout. The vanilla seems to show up at the very start and sit at the back the whole way through as if to say “don’t mind me, it’s not my show today”

 

fragrantica

fragrantica

Whereas I normally eschew gourmands on the grounds that they remind me of how I smell in an apron in an hot kitchen, Angel Eau Sucree is something else and I am seriously thinking about a full bottle purchase ( something I ration)

 Angel Eau Sucree shows restraint and is all the better for it ( although I do have a penchant for unrestrained perfume!). Eau Sucree is pretty, and girly  and whilst teens will love it, I would gladly wear this in all my mature 45 year old glory. It’s a feel good scent which doesn’t take itself too seriously, but the end phase is like smelling Angel through a veil: with a heightended touch of sweetness and a playful touch of fun. This is a perfect balance and a great scent. Angel Eau Sucree made me into a fan rather than a critic.

 Stockists

Angel Eau Sucree is a Limited Edition so scoop it up when you see it.  You can get it from  Escentual, John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser.  My sample was from The Perfume Society Jet Set Discovery Box.

 

The Perfume Society

The Perfume Society

Find out More

The Candy Perfume Boy, as ever, writes beautifully on this and the link is here.

Library of Fragrance Salt Air: Holiday Time!

World of Oddy Photography

World of Oddy Photography

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m a big fan of Library of Fragrance.  It allows us to be grown-ups and mix and match our own choice of scents when we want to go rogue i.e. when we don’t want to buy the latest over the counter launches that don’t suit our personal taste- or at least that’s why I buy them.

Library of Fragrance

But that’s just one angle when it comes to the purpose behind Library of Fragrance.  The other thing they manage to do so well is to produce scents that are evocative of a time or place or scene.  Not only do they produce a wide choice of scent for day time or evening wear, but there are many of us, and you might be one too, who sometimes want to smell like the beach or the garden or Christmas, and that’s where Library of Fragrance comes in.

Today I have been wearing Library of Fragrance Salt Air, (well actually the last couple of days to be precise, I’m addicted). Salt Air successfully encapsulates the exact holiday smell of when you’ve been on the beach all day.  There is a salty tang and an uplifting ozonic scent that doesn’t veer into imitation L’Eau D’Issey territory as ozonic so often can.  Salt Air is the tang of salt, the fresh surf of the sea crashing onto the shore, and a whiff of something clean, like sun cream without the coconut, or that fresh smell of holiday bed linen as your salty sea sprayed head hits the pillow on the first night.

doggie

World of Oddy Photography

Sea Air is gorgeously clean smelling and uplifting and is very much a Feel Good scent. Longevity is surprisingly good- remember that these are colognes, but they always have much better longevity than you would expect from a cologne. On me, Salt Air lasted over four hours before I needed a little top up.  It’s totally unisex too and would smell equally good on a male or female.

Salt Air is one of my favourite Library of Fragrance scents- and I have reviewed many of them, because, what can I say?  I’m a fan of the brand.

Pop Salt Air into your holiday luggage, or better still, wear it when you’re not on holiday for that seaside feeling all summer long.

World of Oddy Photography

World of Oddy Photography

Stockists

Library of Fragrance Salt Air is available from the Library of Fragrance website and Boots also carries a selection in store.  My sample was from the fabulous Perfume Society Jet Set Discovery Box, which you can buy here very soon.

 Photos

All seaside photos are of Whitmore Bay ( aka Barry Island) and taken by my very talented friend Alison Oddy of World of Oddy Photography or check out the Facebook Page here.

Miller Harris Cassis en Feuille

Miller Harris

Miller Harris

 

“The rambling vines and bountiful fruit of a forgotten garden”

 

Miller Harris is one of my favourite brands.  With consistent good quality and original exciting scents, they are a firm favourite of mine.  You can imagine how pleased I was to receive a selection of samples from their new range Jardin d’Enfance

Appropriately enough, it did indeed remind me of the garden scents of my childhood.  Like many children of the 70s, I spent a lot of time outside picking flowers and, in a rather macabre fashion which cements my later years as an amateur goth, creating small cemeteries and floral tributes for the wildlife that our cat brought home.

Miller Harris Cassis en Feuille very much reminded me of the smell I used to get on my hands after crushing a fern or between my fingers.  It is an earthy, green smell which is almost astringent in its freshness. Add to that the unmistakeable smell of tomato leaf and the Cassia leaf ( which can so nearly veer into cat pee territory but doesn’t) and Miller Harris hits the mark.

cassibox

At first spray, this is predominantly fruity, but not in a playful strawberry sundae way, more a squashed blackberries in a mud pie way.  This is delightful and has all the ingredients of a real garden, rather than a watercolour garden or a storybook garden, and it brings to mind brambles rather than fruit cocktail.  Phew! So far so good.  The blackcurrant top notes are zingy and fresh, but always surrounded with damp greenery.

After a while this phases into an almost spicy rose/geranium, and the geranium seems an especially good fit with tomato leaf.

The basenotes are long lasting and muskier, but still with those dark blackish berries and the wet leafy-ness.  All in all, this captures a slightly wet British Garden on a long past summer’s day. I felt very connected to it and it took me right back to the days when I wasn’t worrying about damp proof courses and tax codes. Now that’s got to worth buying a bottle for!

My sample was kindly provided by Miller Harruis.  Opinions are my own.

 Stockists

The Miller Harris Jardin D’Enfance range is available from the Miller Harris website, or instore, or from one of their stockists- see this list. You can also buy the Miller Harris range from Escentual, John Lewis and Harrods to name but a few.