The Tauer Advent Calendar Day 21: Scent-vs-Event

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 I am deeply honoured to be asked to be included in the now legendary annual Tauer Advent Calendar and I have tidied up in anticipation of new visitors.  So, wearing my best frock and having put the Hoover round,  I would like to warmly welcome you to IScentYouADay if you are new here, and give you a fragranced hug if you are a regular.

Today I’d like to talk about slightly inappropriate places that you have worn perfume.  I’m not talking about body parts here:  I’m talking about the time I ended up wearing Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange in Legoland Windsor.  It was crowded, hellish and noisy.  As I meandered around at a snail’s pace (which is the maximum speed you can go) I was hot and bothered and reached into my handbag for any cologne.  Luckily, I had my trusty Tauer sample tin on me and chose my favourite, Carillon Pour Un Ange.  Instantly I was transported to a green oasis of Lily in the Valley scented calm among the hotdogs and chaos.

So this leads me to the question, what’s the most unexpected combination of scent and circumstance that you have experienced? What inappropriate scent you have ended up wearing?  Was it Bal a Versailles at parents evening?  Or something playful at a funeral? Or do you just wear the most expensive scent you own when you know you have to do a horrible job?  (Chanel Cristalle to put the bins out?  That’s me!)  There’s no right or wrong answer and winners will be picked randomly. Details will then be passed on to Tauer HQ.

 The draw is worldwide.  Some exceptions apply: Italy, Spain, Croatia, Russia, Greece (we cannot ship there)

Happy Christmas! or as we say in Wales, Nadolig Llawen!

The IScentYouADay Fragrant Top Ten of Everything 2014

2014 has been a prolific year for launches and perfume news and I thought I would take a break from all the frenzied wrapping and posting and reflect on what my fragrant highlights were from the past year.  These are in no particular order- I am equally delighted with them all! In 2015 I am looking forward to seeing more from Papillon, 4160 Tuesdays, and of course, the launch of the latest Tauer  which I believe will be Sotto La Luna Hyacinth later in the year.  Stay tuned my fragrant friends!

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  1. Visiting 4160 Tuesdays and meeting Sarah McCartney.

Yes, Lisa Wordbird and I actually got to nose* around the 4160 studio and sniff lids with the Maestro.  An unforgettable day, in which I left clutching my beloved new bottle of Tart’s Knicker Drawer in its posh tin.

*nose around! Accidental pun!

 

at Les Senteurs

at Les Senteurs

  1. Visiting Les Senteurs in Mayfair

The pavements were too posh to walk on, and even the Christmas lights on Elizabeth Street were understated and classy.  Les Senteurs is like a carefully curated Aladdin’s cave for frag-heads.  This to me, was as Willy Wonka’s factory was to Augustus Gloop.  Everything I’d ever read about was here, and some I hadn’t even heard of.  It’s Nirvana for Perfumistas.

sotto la luna

  1. Being featured on the legendary Tauer Advent Calendar for 2014

What a privilege!.  Andy is never less than courteous and generous to Tauer fans ( and there are many of us, right?) and it was a great honour for my blog to be chosen to “host a post”. – watch this space on the 21st December!

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  1. Finding Gucci Envy on Amazon UK    

It’s right here! I’m about to bag my second bottle so that I’m not so scared of wearing the first.

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  1. Reviewing Secretions Magnifiques. Never. Again.

See my earlier post if you are still on the fence about Etat Libre D’Orange Secretions Magnifiques.  And how could you be?

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  1. Discovering the flowery botanical world of Cath Collins

In a quiet pocket of beautiful Devon, Cath Collins runs a bijou business where flowers rule the day.  With reasonable prices, and beautiful ingredients, Cath kindly sent me some samples and I reviewed Lily Fandango, Morning Flowers and Flowers of the Orient.  Here’s the website link.

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  1. Papillon Perfumery launched!

Papillon started small but good with only three scents (for now). I was kindly sent samples of all three- Angelique, Tobacco Rose ( see my earlier reviews) and Anubis.  No weak links here- all are superb and I am the very proud owner of a full bottle of Angelique.  It was love at first sniff.  I predict big things to come from this little outfit.  ( …and I have just found my Anubis sample after looking everywhere so watch this space for a forthcoming review)

eclat

  1. When Marks and Spencer became my Go-To Perfume Bar

Yes, even my teeny local Marks and Sparks has obligingly started to stock Fragonard, Monotheme and Roger & Gallet.  I’m afraid I stride past the Perfume Shop now, in my hurry to try more stuff in M and S.  Such reasonable prices too.

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  1. The Library of Fragrance launched in Boots in September

At last grown women are trusted to mix’n’match instead of being fed the same old same old. Library of Fragrance has an eclectic selection of scents that are good enough to wear alone, and classic enough to mess about with and blend yourself.  It doesn’t make us perfumers, but it does give us a bit of autonomy.  If I want more musk in my perfumes, I can do that.  If I’m missing  a plain, unadorned Jasmine scent to layer over other stuff, I can get that too.  It’s like a little fragrant playground after being force fed  ready made rent-a-scents.

Copy of sparklycitrus

10. And then Avon got good…

I have been a Moaning Myrtle about Avon in the past.  A year or so ago I was on a downer with their fragrance range and had experienced far too many disappointments.  However, something has changed: either them or my attitude- and I even ended up doing a top ten.  Yes, there are at least ten Avon fragrances that I would happily own, and upstairs on my dressing table are Avon Citrus Burst, Tahitian Holiday and Little Black Dress. I particularly warmed to Avon when they listened to their customers and brought back Timeless.

Oh and don’t get me started on the three new Avon room spritzes I have in Orange Blossom, Jasmine and Magnolia.  They are terrific.

 

orangeblossomspritzjasminespritzmagnoliasprtiz

So there you have it.  Ten perfume highlights of my year.  What were yours?

The Perfumer’s Choice Range: Luxe for Less  

rafael natalie

jeanmarieemilie

 

Yes my wish list is long, and expensive to the point of being a work of fiction and fancy, but there is a place on every (realistic) wish list for fragrance that is high quality but won’t bankrupt either you or Santa.

Those nice people at World Class (incorporating Milton Lloyd) have created a range of perfumes called Perfumer’s Choice and kindly sent me some to review, for which, many thanks.  The aim of the range is to “remove the financial barrier” between good scent and those whose Money Trees have not yet yielded a harvest this year.  My children appear to firmly believe we have such a tree in the garden.

World Class (and Milton Lloyd) save costs by not marketing widely.  You won’t see them on billboards, nor will you see TV adverts or magazine spreads.  You may hear about them via word of mouth, and via bloggers.  To be honest, this is fine by me.  I am so “ovah” disappointing High Street perfumes with huge price tags and aggressive global campaigns that smell …well…meh. There are of course, exceptions to this rule, but I am also quite happy to look at the goods from the guys without the big ad agency accounts.

So what are they like?  Well they’re pretty darn good, and they last for a guaranteed eight hours.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that they are currently a bit elusive but that will not be a problem for long.  I am putting this down to being the early days of a launch.  You can buy them direct from the website here.

Each one comes in a nice glass bottle with silver lid and sturdy frosted plastic case.  Each bottle is, unusually, 83ml and  they all cost a mere £14 each. Here’s my take on them:

 

No 3: Jean –Marie (for men)

jeanmarieFrom first spray, this is green vetiver and citrus.  The top phase lasts for an hour before segueing into a heart of something smokier and darker.  The final phase, believe it or not, reminded me of Miller Harris La Fumée.  There is dark, dried, resinous smoke with a hint of that vetiver that we started out with.  It reminds me of a very manly, modern bathroom, all chrome and glass with a leathery finish and a hint of chest hair.  Quality is high and longevity lives up to its promise.

This how it is officially described:

A sparkling fresh Citrus Grapefruit top note enhanced with invigorating Coriander and Incense lift the elegant heart of Cedarwood and exotic spices – Black Pepper, Nutmeg and Cardamon. The base notes are a sophisticated accord of Vetiver and Patchouli enriched with warm tenacious Amber notes.”

 

No.6 Rafael (for men)

rafaelNo 6 is a classic marine/ozonic masculine scent.  Opening with citruses which stay true, it beds down into a zingy summery delight that doesn’t smell unlike Davidoff Cool Water, only stronger!  Imagine a parfum version. There’s a pleasant tang of manliness in the base note:  a hint of patchouli, musk and vetiver, but if this were a colour it would, unsurprisingly, be light blue.

Here’s what the blurb says:

Radiant citrus top notes of Mandarin and Lemon entwine with fresh accents of Black Pepper, Peppermint and a hint of Vetiver. A tantalising heart of Grapefruit and Geranium, deepened with spicy woody accords of Cedar, Nutmeg and rich Labdanum combine to effortlessly fall into a sensual base of Cardamom, Incense, and precious woods, surrounded by Musks which envelope this elegant male tonality.”

 

 No 12. Emilie 

emilieEmilie smells like peaches.  Usually I don’t like peaches, but here they lose some of the twee sickly sweetness and keep the pleasanter lighter aspects of peach.  Coupled with noticeable orange blossom, which can veer from sickly to indolic with a raw greenness in between, here it is more blossom than orange.  Although described as a floral chypre, I would hesitate to name it as such, but then, I’m not expert. This smells like something I have sniffed across a posh beauty counter, but I’m blowed if I can remember it.   If you like peachy orange blossom with a base of fruity musk, this is for you.

Here’s the official description:

A radiant orange blossom originated from North Africa blooms on top. Its natural fruity side is sublimated by an accord of apple. Ambrette, a noble ingredient, harvested in Peru, gives a luxury character to the fragrance. The heart unveils a luxuriant floral bouquet, a delicate blend of majestic rose (Bulgaria) with a voluptuous Peony. A hint of lychee accord magnifies this seductive pink heart in a final fruity touch. The base notes are dominated by deep and mysterious woods. The vibrant enigmatic Patchouli from Indonesia highlights an alluring signature, while Sandalwood and Musks bring a creamy and round tonality in the trail.”

 

 No 4 Natalie

natalieTo me, Natalie smells purple, just like its packaging.   There are berries in the opening, and once they’ve bloomed  all over the shop, a caramel note steps in, making this a potential hot seller.  It falls somewhere in the nether world between Lancome La Vie est Belle  and Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire.  I’m sure there are cherries and raspberries in here.  It has vanilla in the base and dries to a finish which could be described as Oriental-lite.

Here’s what the blurb says:

“The vibrant top note of a delicious fruity accord combined with the sophistication of a powdery iris. A feminine and velvety floral heart accord tenderly envelopes the transition to a warm and addictive dry down composed of gourmand and sensual woody ambery notes.”

Not Everything That Smells is Perfume… Or: Some Christmas Suggestions That Don’t Come in Bottles.

 

 Lisa Wordbird has given me three days off this week and has kindly minded the shop so that I can have my annual Christmas panic in peace.  Lisa is a woman after my own heart who has quite rightly pointed out that we perfume lovers love perfume via the media of soap, lotions, potions…anything.  If it smells good, we’ll have it, thank you.  Below are some fabulous ideas, not just from your High Street, but via some grand little treasure chests  you might not have come across yet.  Over to you Lisa…

www.diptyqueparis.co.uk

www.diptyqueparis.co.uk

 

If you’re a perfumista, then you probably smell pretty much everything. I can’t buy toilet cleaner or antiperspirant without sniffing the cap first. So it stands to reason that I’m drawn to use things – shower gels, soaps, bubble baths and foot soaks – that smell particularly good to me.  These are exactly the sort of things that make smashing presents for what I like to call ‘Smelly Friends’, but have to clarify as ‘friends who enjoy fragrance’ as opposed to ‘friends who really should wash more often’ (also known as ‘soap dodgers’).

This is the time of year for buying gift sets. How else does anyone ever end up with Chanel body lotion? It’s not the kind of thing most people buy for themselves, but if you know your Mum is a Chanel No 5 loyalist then a bar of soap can be a wonderful way to buy her a piece of the brand without breaking the bank. It’s also a rather unexpected gift, which is also a good thing.

One of my absolute favourite fragrances is the lavender and caramel cosiness of Pour un Homme de Caron. Yes it has ‘Homme’ written on the bottle, so it’s a perfect gift for your favourite chap, but frankly, I have my own bottle and wear it regularly.  I love lavender and I’ve been making lavender bags for friends for Christmas this year (shh, don’t tell Sam IScent, will you?), but I’d be very happy to receive one as a gift. And if you want to bathe in a scent remarkably like Pour un Homme, pop along to LUSH and look for their bath bombs and shower gel in Twilight fragrance. It is the same caramel and lavender and it has a remarkably calming influence on me. Lush claims it’s soporific; I claim it’s plain terrific.

twilightlush

 

I’m a big lover of soap. Hugely fond of the stuff. How could anyone dodge it? There are always fragrant, moisturising bars by my sinks and I love being given soap as a present.  I have never tried Diptyque’s soaps, but friends tell me that their bath and body line is excellent. A bar of Tam Dao soap may cost £10, but that’s a darn sight cheaper than a bottle of the warm sandalwood perfume (a beloved of mine).  I had a bar of Miller Harris soap and it was honestly the creamiest I have ever used.  It lasted about a year! I also rate Fragonard soaps (from Marks and Spencer in the UK) – they’re delightfully fragrant and a pleasure to use – and of course the great Roger et Gallet, whose range of luxurious soaps come complete with useful tough plastic travel cases.  Happily, you’re free to have a good sniff at soap packages to see if you like them before you buy (and you can keep your soap stash in your drawers to fragrance your clothes).

fragsoap

Finally, shower gels and handwashes: I came across a British brand called Noble Isle this year (in House of Fraser) and fell in love with their range. They are available in the US through Barneys New York and from various stockists in the UK.   My personal favourites are Fireside: a warm, woody, smoky bath and shower gel whose fragrance is inspired by the coaching inns of the Mynwy Valley, (which happens to be close to where I live), and Summer Rising: a fresh and rounded floral based on the scents of Cornish hedgerows.  I would certainly like to put a bottle of their Whisky and Water handwash in my bathroom for the festive season: can’t think of anything more appropriate, can you?

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If you have a vegan to buy for, then you are in luck. Actually, everyone is in luck.  Thanks to the lovely Lipglossiping I discovered a small vegan cruelty-free company in Colorado called Haus of Gloi, who make glorious bathing products, including a seasonal section.  I can vouch for the loveliness of their Three Treasures fragrance (lightly incensey and very unisex) and the deliciousness of their Eggnoggin Bubbling Scrub, which is a salty shower scrub that does the job but leaves your skin soft and clean. I’m a fussy mare and this is one of the few ‘one-step’ shower scrubs that I actually like using, because it feels like it leaves you properly clean as well as lightly buffed.
I can also vouch for their slightly rougher emulsifying scrubs and their pumpkin butter body creams.  I’m especially fond of them in HoG’s Picaroon fragrance, which is a glorious Lime and Coconut confection that lasts well on the skin and is the perfect substrate for my beloved (and phenomenally expensive) Creed Virgin Island Water.  And – oh frabjous day! – they offer gift certificates by email.  So you haven’t missed the Xmas posting date.  Hoorah!
www.hausofgloi.com

www.hausofgloi.com

 

All I Want For Christmas… Guest Post by Lisa Wordbird for IScentYouADay

Or maybe just this humble fridge for my bedroom

Maybe just this humble fridge for my bedroom

 

Another great guest post from dear friend  and fellow perfume-obsessive Lisa Wordbird.  Thank you Lisa!

All I want for Christmas…

I can’t be the only person for whom Christmas is about buying things for other people, not for yourself.  I already gave some suggestions on what to buy for the perfume lovers in your life. But do you know what? I’m also going to offer a few thoughts on what I’d like to get myself. Just in case Santa is reading…

I have heard a lot about a new perfume called Maai this year, and I’d love Santa to drop off a sample for me to try. It’s from a tiny niche company called Bogue Profumo and is the creation of an indie perfumer named Antonio Gardoni, who is an architect in his ‘real life’ (just as our beloved Andy Tauer was once a commercial chemist in ‘real life’, before he went for it and became a full-time perfumer). Since Sam IScent passed me a little vial containing a sample of Serge Lutens’ Tubereuse Criminelle in the summer, I have discovered the strange joys of tuberose this year, and Maai is a retro animalic tuberose that has had nothing but praise from friends and bloggers who have tried it.

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If Santa would like to bring a few full bottles down the chimney for me, I’d love a full bottle of Frederic Malle Iris Poudre, which for me is incredibly ladylike and feminine, even though Sam thinks it smells a little bit rude. (I like rude!) I would also adore a bottle of Serge Lutens Arabie; so rich, spiced and warm it is like wearing a Christmas feast. I tried some on our trip to Les Senteurs and was hard pushed not to nibble my arm. And while Santa is at Uncle Serge’s, he could also pick me up a bottle of the buttery-soft apricot suede fragrance that is Serge Lutens Daim Blond. (I’m wishing, not expecting, after all, and I’m terribly greedy.)

basenotes.net

basenotes.net

And finally, if Santa was feeling incredibly generous and could find me absolutely anything, I would kill for a bottle of the discontinued gem that was Creed’s Angelique Encens. Rumoured to have been worn by Marlene Dietrich, this floral incense was the perfect balance of light and shade and incredibly easy to wear. I once held a bottle in my hand and had the money in my pocket to buy it, but didn’t. I still kick myself about that.

Inside Les Senteurs, Elizabeth Street

Inside Les Senteurs, Elizabeth Street

But since Santa only brings presents for good girls and boys, and as you have probably guessed, I feature on the ‘Naughty’ list, I made a pre-emptive strike on our trip to London.  Having recently come into a few bob, I splashed out on something I have wanted for a very long time: my first full bottle of a Frederic Malle.  I am now the proud owner of my very own beautiful L’Eau d’Hiver, created by Jean Claude Ellena. Created with all of JCE’s signature transparency and lightness of touch, it is his homage to Guerlain’s sad beauty Après L’Ondée. The core notes of heliotrope and iris with a sweetener – vanilla for Guerlain, honey for Ellena – are fleeting and melancholy in Après l’Ondée, but by some deft juggling JCE has added both longevity and warmth to his Winter Water, making it a much more hopeful soul.

Have a cool Yule, and I hope Santa slips something fragrant into your stocking this year.

etsy.com

etsy.com

What Wordbird is Buying for Christmas

Many of you will know that Lisa Wordbird is a dear friend of this blog.  Her expertise and generosity have been given unconditionally and cheerfully.  Not only that but she found us a parking space a few metres away from Les Senteurs in the middle of the day in Belgravia last week.  This makes her a bona fide Wonder Woman.  She has very kindly written a piece about Christmas shopping for perfume, so I am going to let Lisa take over and go back into the kitchen where I am peeling things.  Over to you Lisa, and thank you for taking the time to write for us.

 

What Wordbird is buying for Christmas

There has been a lot of debate on the Basenotes forums over the years on how best to give perfume as a gift. If you buy something for a perfumista like me, I’m likely to already have it, or something like it, or already know about it and hate it.  Fans are dreadful people to buy for, unless they’ve told you beforehand what they want, in which case it’s not a surprise. How to deal with this? Samples.

The consensus of opinion on the ladies’ board at Basenotes was that the nicest thing to do would be to order half a dozen samples from a specialist such as Les Senteurs in the UK, Lucky Scent in the US or Aus Liebe Zum Duft in EU, along with a gift voucher from the shop, so the lucky recipient could choose the fragrance they liked and then order a full bottle.

Tauer.com

Tauer.com

This method works just as well for mainstream perfumes, by the way. Pop into your favourite department store, blag a few samples of perfumes you think might be appropriate and buy a gift voucher. It has the merits of simplicity as well as offering you a way to show thoughtfulness without actually having to be thoughtful. Sneaky, huh? Excellent for Mothers-in-Law or very new girlfriends.

If you insist on handing over a bottle on Christmas morning, and you want to give a gift that is a little bit out of the eclatordinary, I would head over to Marks and Spencer’s and try the Fragonard and Monotheme ranges.  Both are excellent quality, neither will break the bank, and if the recipient decides to look on Fragrantica or Basenotes to read reviews, they will find that they are well respected.

I will suggest Monotheme’s Cuir as an excellent leather fragrance that’s favourably compared to Tom Ford Tuscan Leather.  So, buy that for your Dad or hubby and pinch a bit for yourself every now and then.  Sam has already reviewed their lush lemony Boccioli di Limoni, which I love and recommend highly for some Italian sunshine in midwinter.

From Fragonard, Etoile has been likened to Light Blue (high praise in my book), Eclat has been compared to a light, gourmand version of Lancome Hypnose, and Ile d’Amour is likened to L’Eau de Issey Miyake, while my favourite – Soleil – has jasmine and orange blossom floating over amber and sandalwood. What’s not to like?

I’ll also give a shout to the Le Couvent des Minimes line, which is a sub-brand of L’Occitaine. As you would expect, there are some lovely skincare and bathing products in their line, but they also have a range of colognes, which I have tried and liked at a large branch of Tesco in the UK. One product that is getting a lot of love on the perfume boards is their Eau des Missions, an oriental gourmand eau de cologne that is often compared to my beloved Guerlain Spiriteuse Double Vanille. For some strange reason it’s not available on the UK website, but if you’re in Europe or the US, you’re in luck!

limone

Guess who?

Dear Father Christmas…

 

 

Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule: Little Drops of Heaven

santal

 

 

It seems entirely apt that in this season of goodwill and nativity plays, Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule reminds me of Christmas, cosiness, and all things nice.

It’s an unusual but simple blend of Sandalwood, Rose and Cacao.  It seems as if one dominates, only to be taken over by another, then another, in rotation.  One minute I think this reminds me of the dried fruit in Serge Lutens Arabie, the next there is a droplet of rose against a dusty, rich sandalwood background, and then the slightly fruity, rich note comes in again.  In fact, at first sniff, I was convinced there was fig here.

Some sandalwood purists would have preferred this to have been made with Mysore sandalwood, but in all honesty, I am not discerning enough to differentiate. I’m just happy to have sandalwood, any time, any place.

Cacao refers to the seeds of an unripened cocoa pod before it becomes suitable for harvesting and growing advent calendars.  An unripe cocoa pod is green and bitter and here it is captured, not as green and bitter, but as if all the richness of dark chocolate has been captured before any sweetness has been added. Against sandalwood it works terrifically well, and a lack of sweetness, unlike in real life, becomes a virtue.

The whole melange works incredibly well and I would happily wear it every day in this icy weather, which is saying something for somebody as scentually promiscuous as me. (new word alert!)

Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule is wonderfully warm with just the right amount of  sandy prickliness to stop it being too gourmand-y.  I love it. It may well be my favourite Serge, and that’s a hard one to call.  Christopher Sheldrake steals my heart yet again.

Stockists:  In the UK You can buy Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule online from Selfridges, Liberty and Escentual.  In the USA and Canada you can try www.Fragrancenet.com  or Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.

Avon Scent Essence Sparkly Citrus: Stocking Filler Magic

Copy of sparklycitrus

 

Here’s a Little Stocking Filler for Weary Shoppers: Avon Scent Essence is a new line of just three scents, each with a theme:  there’s Romantic Bouquet, Sparkly Citrus and Vibrant Fruity.  I’m a sucker for a nice citrus scent so that’s the one I bought.

The notes are as follows:

Top notes: bergamot, mandarin

Middle notes: Citrus blossom, freesia, grapefruit blossom

Base notes: vetiver, woods and musk

Priced at only four pounds and with simple packaging, the range has few notes and does what it promises.  In the case of Sparkly Citrus, it is full of pleasant refreshing lime and a hint of lemon and fades to a subtle floral, still retaining its lightness and never getting heavy.  The base notes sound heavier than they are: they become a flatter version of the top notes with a bit more flowery stuff going on (namely freesia), and bit less lime juice. All the stages are good, but the top note is my favourite.

scentessencetrio

Even though winter invites the spices and woods out of your fragrance wardrobe, if you’ve been Christmas shopping in an overcrowded, over heated mall, there is always, always a place for a zingy citrus.  I also can’t help thinking that a citrus is a good bet for a gift recipient even if you don’t know their taste.  Everybody needs cooling down at some point at Christmas. Avon Scent Essence Sparkly Citrus fits the bill.

 

Stockists:  Avon fragrances can be bought from your Avon rep or online via Avonshop UK. I can’t find it on the Avon USA site, but I did find lots of great fragrances we UK customers can’t get over here!  Sweet Honesty, Odyssey, Imari, Night Magic Evening Musk, Haiku, Marine Musk…. Hey Avon, come back here, I want a word with you!

Givenchy Very Irresistible: It Started Here

veryirresistibleveryirresistibleveryirresistibleveryirresistible

Givenchy Very Irresistible is not only a test of character for my spell checker ( I am having so much trouble writing irresistible!), but the fragrance that launched a thousand flankers.  Well maybe not quite a thousand, but near enough if you ask me.

It opens with Anise, Cassis, and Lemon Verbena, and you can smell all of these quite clearly:  it’s not just glib perfume-speak. Cassis comes from blackcurrants and anise is liquorice-y so Very Irresistible sings a fairly dark opening number.

However, as the heart blossoms into rose, peony, more rose, some magnolia and some extra rose, it becomes more irresistible with the opening notes providing a pleasant purple sort of background.  The base is more roses and this is no bad thing.  Sometimes in High Street scents, floral perfume notes can get lost among too many ingredient, but Very Irresistible remembers the power of the rose and uses it to good effect here.

Overall, it would pass the commuter test, it would be good for work and every day wear and wouldn’t tread on anyone’s toes in a lift. But don’t go mad before 9am.

www.canadiangardening.com

www.canadiangardening.com

My bugbear with Givenchy Very Irresistible is the fact it spawned nearly thirty flankers, and the fact that it isn’t groundbreaking or particularly unique.  But then again, if I want ground breaking or unique I know where to go when I’m in that mood.

This would make a good Christmas gift for the floral fragrance lover in your life.  I don’t think the price is amazingly good: it’s between 30 and 40 quid for 30ml, and whenever you search for it online, all the flankers pop up instead.

Stockists: In the UK you can buy Givenchy Very Irresistible from www.Escentual.com or Debenhams online.  In the USA  and Canada you can try Amazon.com or Amazon.ca respectively.

www.bbc.co.uk

www.bbc.co.uk

The IScentYouADay Away Day: Starring 4160 Tuesdays

meandsm3

 

You may have read my previous reviews of 4160 Tuesdays scents.  If you haven’t here’s a recap: Sarah McCartney, former editor of the LUSH Times, decided to go rogue and create her own perfume line.  The line is based on the adage that if we all live to be 80, we will have 4160 Tuesdays.  Sarah uses hers to make perfume.

The press attention and general bonhomie towards 4160 is snowballing and Sarah is no longer just the darling of discerning perfume fans and the perfume blogger. In fact, I have called her the Doctor Who of Scent as her fragrances can transport you to another time and another place.

Friend of the blog, and of me, Lisa Wordbird talked me into attending the 4160 Tuesdays Open Day on Friday 28th November, so after some epic juggling of child care and husband-y work start times, we packed our sandwiches and hit the road.

4160plaque

Framed quote at 4160 Tuesdays

We could tell that No 8 Issigonis House was 4160 Tuesdays because it was the only unit with snowflakes in the window.  We were warmly greeted by the Great Randello himself, and walked into an inviting 1970s parlour, replete with bookshelf, naice china, and the smell of coffee.

I knew what Sarah looked like as I had seen her photo many times, but what photos don’t capture is that she crackles with energy and wears fantastic shoes. We were treated to tea and nibbles (there’s the naice china- I thoroughly approve) before going up to the bat cave where it all happens.

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You know what children go like when they enter Toys R Us?  That doesn’t come close to me and Lisa in the 4160 Tuesdays workshop. Each bottle from the range was arranged around a wheel of scent, which places them in an order by genre.  The scents were soaked into an unglazed porcelain disc which was then placed at the bottom of a rather lovely glass tea cup, straight from the mid Seventies.  It is an excellent way to really get a good snort of a perfume before trying it, is far more effective than a paper strip, and involves less commitment than trying on skin.

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In between, Sarah chatted about raw ingredients and EU regulations, which isn’t as dull as it sounds and really does affect the face of the perfume industry today.  She could easily go on Mastermind about this without having to swot up.  Before we knew it we were sniffing lids of the raw ingredients.

Galaxolide: beautiful soft white musk, like a baby rabbit’s tail.

Civet: Phew! Old man who smokes too much and never washes ( i.e in my opinion, Serge Lutens Muscs Khoublai Khan) and finally…

Castoreum: obtained from beavers and with a lovely clean leather finish.

I couldn’t stay away from the famous Wall of Scent, which Sarah uses a teaching tool for  Wall of Scent days and other themed days where you can sniff’n’learn ( I am hoping to go on one in 2015).

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Just a small section of the wondrous Wall of Scent

My dears that cupboard!  There were perfumes I knew, perfumes I’d never heard of, perfumes I didn’t know you could still get and perfumes I had been dying to try but could never find.  I tried some vintage Diorella- this is something you cannot ever get to do in a normal shop.

Sadly time ran away with us, so we only managed a taster session today (and a delicious plate of pie of mash), but as we left with our purchases from the Naughty Box, we vowed, (hopefully in not too sinister a manner) that Sarah hadn’t seen the last of us.

In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’ll be back.

You can find out more about 4160 Tuesdays from the website. Fragrances are long-lasting, high quality and always beautifully packaged.  Sarah McCartney’s novel, The Scent of Possibility is available now from here .  My hard copy is signed by the author (smug).

 

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