Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose: Dark Rose For a Dark Night

midnight rose

 It’s Halloween tomorrow so I thought I’d opt for something dark and mysterious.  Since I will be busy carving up pumpkins and looking mildly evil tomorrow, I thought I’d post this a day early.

Lancôme Trésor is a rose/peach classic, but it’s sadly not quite my cup of tea. Me and peach don’t generally get along, although I’m rather partial to the deeper note of apricot.  However, over in flanker-land, there are more than enough  flankers to choose from and today I am trying out  Trésor Midnight Rose.

Me, looking "mildly evil"

Me, looking “mildly evil”

Midnight Rose opens with blackcurrants straight away.  As much as I hesitate over too much fruit in a fragrance, blackcurrant seems dark and almost bitter enough to work. There is also raspberry, but all I could get was blackcurrant.  Fine by me and OK so far.  The rose which emerges next is flanked by jasmine and peony, keeping things pretty and feminine.  However it’s the base notes that give this a nice woody kick and makes it more dark temptress than country garden.  I was looking for woods and patchouli in the notes but actually its cedar, musk and vanilla.

In fact, had I read the notes and the description I might not have given this a chance.  With raspberry and vanilla together, you would think it would be more raspberry ripple ice cream, but in fact it’s more of a dark chocolate Magnum.  This just goes to prove that there’s no test quite like your own nose.

Lancôme  Trésor Midnight Rose is a decent, not-too-sweet spicy rose that is ideal for evening.

Me: Not evil really

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it, and how long it lasted.

As for me, on Halloween, it will be a toss up between Midnight Rose and Miller Harris Rose en Noir  (see my earlier review).  But since the general smell on Halloween is candy, gingerbread and sparklers, nobody would mind if I wore both.

Stockists: Lancôme  Trésor Midnight Rose is widely available in the UK and you can get it online from Escentual and Selfridges to name but two.  In Canada and the USA you can get it from Lancôme USA and Lancôme Canada.

Library of Fragrance Gingerbread: Memories of the Long Lost Perfume Bar

gingerbread

Library of Fragrance has yet to disappoint me.  The more I try the more I like.  For me, the main attraction is that LOF allows you to be a grown up.  It’s not offering you a ready made mass market concoction with lots of notes and asking you to like it, it’s giving you the tools to choose your own.

Having said that, they are all good quality alone, and any complexity and layers you add are entirely up to you.  Library of Fragrance reminds me of the much mourned Perfume Bar that used to be in every Body Shop branch in the 80s and 90s.  On a tiered stand would be huge bell jars of scent with glass dipping sticks.  You could then go up to the counter and request a bottle of the one you liked best, or maybe buy a few to go home with.

the_library_of_fragrance

For a long time there has been nothing to match it, but I feel that Library of Fragrance goes a long way towards filling that gap. In fact I think what prompted me to think of the Perfume Bar was the delight I felt on trying Library of Fragrance Gingerbread.  It reminded me a lot of the Body Shop vanilla oil, back when vanilla was a good almond-y, rich scent that hadn’t been made into synthetic cheapness and added to all and sundry everywhere you look.

Library of Fragrance Gingerbread is a gourmand, and whilst I usually sidestep them, this is so good that I want a bottle to be a permanent fixture on my dressing table.  It avoids smelling like cake, and instead, capitalises on the ginger and spices and the kind of black vanilla seeds that you only get in the richest of crème brûlée rather than a Victoria Sandwich.

 

www.poiresauchocolat.net

www.poiresauchocolat.net

Needless to say, it’s beyond perfect for this time of year and truly excellent alongside Library of Fragrance Fireplace.  It is also be great alongside LOF Patchouli and LOF Musk.  And when I say great I mean it made me want to eat my own arm, it was so good.  Mix your own and invent a name.  I’m calling mine “Samantha-chouli-muskenspice” Gather your bottles together and get involved.

 

Stockists:  Library of Fragrance is available at Boots in the UK, online or in store.  Prices are £15 for one or £25 for two (one for you, one for Christmas presents). In the USA and Canada, this brand is known as Demeter and is available on Amazon.com.

Library of Fragrance Jasmine: Clear and Present Jasmine

jasmine

Jasmine, like vanilla, has been (over) used so widely and added to so many other ingredients that it’s all too easy to lose sight of what jasmine actually smells like.  Even then it can be hard to say because there’s a whole spectrum of what jasmine can smell like.

I have wavered on jasmine in the past, finding it a little indolic, like so many others before me.  There could be an explanation for this:  synthetic Jasmine is used so widely to mask unpleasant smells (think cheap air freshener in public loos)  that the nose can start to associate it with toilets, hence the indolic tag that keeps cropping up.  The other end of jasmine is that it can be very heady: not in the same league as tuberose, but on the same track, and often paired with orange blossom so that the two become difficult to isolate as separate notes.

www.theguardian.com

However, my mind was firmly made up for me when I smelled Serge Lutens Sarrasins ( bear with me, I know where I’m going).  It immediately took me back to my childhood when I would pick enormous bunches of bluebells and take them home (I wouldn’t do that now- I would leave them there!).  Bluebells remain my favourite flower (like little fairy’s hats) and funnily enough, jasmine, naked and plain, really reminds me of freshly picked bluebells.  It wasn’t until I reviewed Sarrasins that I realised this and fully entered the portal of Jasmine fandom.

www.nhm.ac.uk

www.nhm.ac.uk

 

Which brings me to Library of Fragrance Jasmine: where does it fall on the Jasmine spectrum?  Right where I hoped it would.  It smells like clean, freshly unfurled petals with a hint of characteristic pure jasmine soapiness.  Even better news: on me it lasted over eight hours and I kept getting delightful little wafts well into my evening, having applied it late morning.

Although Library of Fragrance scents are perfect for layering, opening up all sorts of wonderful possibilities, I would actually wear this one alone. Jasmine has been stuck in the crowd too long.  How refreshing to find it doing a beautiful solo.

Where to buy it: The  Library of Fragrance range is available in branches of Boots across the UK- even quite small branches like my local one.  In the USA and Canada, the brand is Demeter, and you can find this on Amazon.com. Prices are very, very reasonable indeed.

David and Victoria Beckham Intimately Beckham: Daywear Done Well

intimatelyb

 

I stumbled across Intimately Beckham in my local chemist today- it was on special offer and there was a tester at the till.  Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have sought this out. I had a few squirts on skin, and one on the coat sleeve for good measure (my coat sleeves always smell great even if I say so myself).

A little while later I found myself sniffing my wrist admiringly and thinking “Hmm. £9.99 eh?  Not bad at all” And it really is rather good.  Intimately Beckham is a light, pretty and feminine floral fragrance that manages to dodge several clichés.

glitters20.com

glitters20.com

It opens with refreshing bergamot and white flowers and beds down into freesia and roses.  The white flowers (including tuberose) are present but not in the foreground, making this a lightweight in a good way.  In fact I would say the emphasis is on the rose.  The base note holds its own and for a scent in this price range I was relieved to find that the finish doesn’t all cheap on me, and most refreshingly of all- no vanilla overkill.

Now vanilla in small soupcons ain’t half bad, especially in Orientals, but in my opinion, many modern launches have been bludgeoned to bits by a sledgehammer of synthetic vanilla and this has brought me to the brink of dislike.  I am therefore delighted to find no vanilla overkill and no candyfloss or cupcakes or red fruit  in Intimately Beckham For Her.

As a light, everyday floral that passes the commuter test and the office test, I recommend Intimately Beckham wholeheartedly for the bargain price of 9.95 on allbeauty.com or even more cheaply on Amazon  UK.  In the USA and Canada you can get this on Amazon.com.

Footnote

PS Just one more thing, as Colombo would say.  The use of the word Intimately should not be used in fragrance as it smacks of euphemistic feminine hygiene products. Apart from that, it’s all good. As you were.  Don’t mind me.

 

Loewe Quizas Seducion: Straight to Voicemail

quizasseduction

 

Previously on IScentYouADay (Imagine Voice Over Man’s voice) we reviewed Quizas Quizas Quizas Pasion from Spanish luxe company Loewe, which claimed to be “more intense than the most erotic caresses”, but wasn’t.  Today we are reviewing  Quizas Seducion.  But did it seduce our blogger?

Okay, back to my normal voice now.  In a word- No.  You know those tins of fruit cocktail that come in tropical flavour and all the fruits are a bit hard?  Sniff one of those instead, it’s cheaper, but  will still smell more expensive than Quizas Seducion.

The top notes of Quizas Seducion are passion fruit, oranges and blackberries, followed by middle notes of jasmine, tuberose and orange flower, rounded off with base notes of  caramel and vanilla.

 

www.camerican.com

www.camerican.com

What it actually smells like is the aforementioned tinned fruit with a tinny, reedy note of urinal freshener blocks in Ocean Fresh.

This is unfortunate because Loewe Aura is actually pretty good and leathery, so don’t write off the whole brand on my word alone, but in this case I would sniff the tinned fruit instead and save a lot of money.

My sample was in this quarter’s Discovery Box from the Fragrance Shop, which I really recommend, although as you can  probably tell, it is very much pot luck.  Needless to say, it’s NOT going in my letter to Santa this year.

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Intense: Not For Wallflowers

classiqueintense

Jean Paul Gaultier has been a favourite of mine since his Eurotrash days (do you remember that great post pub show he hosted on TV with Antoine de Caunes? Fabulous.)

JPG was the darling of the Nineties, getting men into kilts and Breton shirts and Madonna into her iconic pointy bras – and sometimes no bra at all if the iconic topless dress is anything to go by.  Those Gallic eyes have lost none of their twinkle and I declare myself a fan.

www.popsugar.com

www.popsugar.com

However, JPG loses a few points (but none of the love) for the sheer vast number of flankers around the fabulous Classique.  I have reviewed Jean Paul Gaultier Classique elsewhere in this blog and I liked its soapy/acetone-y/feminine vibe, but it looks like someone, somewhere thought “here’s an idea!  Let’s make so many flankers that even the die hard fans could never possibly list them all!” and so it was.

However, redemption is in sight for today I am wearing Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Intense and it’s marvellous.

Opening with bright white flowers and a hint of  vanilla, Classique Intense makes its presence felt straight away.  The choice of flowers is interesting:  there is no tuberose, but lots of Tiare flower.  This means you get headiness, with less full fat cream but plenty of coconut and soap.  I happen to love this so I don’t mind, but coconut dodgers (great metal image! Would make a good Wii game) may wish to take a back seat.

The middle phase goes a bit woody on me and lies flat for a little while, but then the base notes emerge and in comes patchouli, a few more white flowers coming back as the woodiness fades, and a delicate hint of vanilla that makes this confusingly, borderline frangipani in places, what with the coconutty foodie thing going on.  No matter, it’s marvellous and with just a touch of juiciness in the restrained pomegranate, you have a great, and intense, woody white floral.

Ignore the millions of flankers- I have neither the time nor the inclination to even know where to begin, but the original Jean Paul Gaultier Classique is worth seeking out if you haven’t done already.

Stockists  You can buy Classique Intense online ( or in store) from the Fragrance Shop in the UK, or online from Next or online and in store from Boots (who also do click and collect if you don’t want to pay postage).  I couldn’t find it on any USA sites so I am guessing the launch over there will be coming soon.

4160 Tuesdays Urura’s Tokyo Café: A Modern Marvel

ururastokyocafe

 

I have reviewed several 4160 Tuesdays scents before, but in case you missed them, here’s what you need to know:  Perfumer Sarah McCartney founded 4160 Tuesdays and says that if we live to be 80 we will have 4160 Tuesdays.  Use them to do something you love.  Sarah uses Tuesdays to make perfumes.  And I’m jolly glad she does.

www.cotswoldsweetcompany.co.uk

www.cotswoldsweetcompany.co.uk

4160 Tuesdays Urura’s Tokyo Café opens with grapefruit and mandarin, then beds down into the heart notes: rose and violet, before merging gloriously into the base notes: raspberry leaf and myrhh.

It was intended to smell like a Spring Breeze and was made for a charity event at thec Café of Sarah’s friend Urura, whose name, spookily enough, turns out to mean Spring Breeze.  In other words, this was meant to be!

Urura’s Tokyo Café does indeed open with citruses and then beds down into strong rose and violet.  They are almost as one, and you can hardly tell them apart, which I love.  It reminds me of a cross between those little violet breath sweets and  a gob full of top quality Turkish Delight at the same time.  However the Myrrh ( or Opoponax if you will) gives this a  nice churchy feel, as if you have entered a medieval church at a Christmas Market whilst eating Narnia street food.

The quality is excellent: resonance and longevity both get  10/10 and the price is right too: £40 for 30ml.  Bear in mind that this lasts as long as a winter, so you don’t need frequent top ups like you do with other cheaper scents.

What sets 4160 Tuesdays apart from other brands is that there is a hand made artisan vibe about the scents.  It’s as if the ingredients still have their rough edges and haven’t been over processed.  The rose really smells like sticking your nose in a rose, rather than smelling like an impression of synthetic roses.  If these scents were drawings, they would be  pavement oil pastels and they wouldn’t stay in the lines.

Urura’s Tokyo Café is available from the 4160 Tuesdays website,  and if you’re in the USA or Canada, you can buy  a selection of 4160 Tuesdays scents from  Rouiller White ( though sadly not this one, at least not yet) Also check out the cute purse sprays for only £12  and sample sets for £20- good British niche that needn’t break the bank.

4160

Yves Rocher Quelques Notes D’Amour: A Grown Up Rose

quelquenotes

 

Yves Rocher is a brand I am rather fond of.  I have at least four full bottles* and have yet to try one I disliked.  I was kindly sent a bottle of Quelques Notes D’Amour by Yves Rocher and I thank them warmly for their generosity.  I am always happy to receive perfume to review, on the proviso that I may not like it and I may say so!  However, I will always be honest and well mannered.

Here goes then:  At first I did not like Quelques Notes D’Amour but after three days of wearing it in day time and even overnight in bed (a very good test of a scent) it has won me over.

purse spray

When I first smelled it on day one, I thought it was fairly generic and it went a bit cardboard-y/Crayola crayons on me after around half an hour.  However, the bottle was so pretty and the reviews so positive on Fragrantica that I wondered if I was missing something so tried again.

This time round I really started to respect the kind of rose scent this is.  The rose is not a watercolour rose, as it is in the rather lovely Comme Une Evidence, but more of a sophisticated, complex, woody rose.  In fact the first phase is pink pepper, which may have put me off at first.  Pink pepper is a red berry that is often used in fruity florals, and in my opinion, has been used with too heavy a hand of late.  In Quelques Notes D’Amour its just the warm up act because the middle phase becomes a thick, rich woody Damascene rose.  It’s definitely an Autumn/Winter rose rather than a light one for summer and would also serve you well as an evening fragrance.

The base note is long and rich and even a little spiky with patchouli and Guaiac wood (used so well in Hilary Duff With Love). There’s  resin-y benzoin and green cedar too, but I can’t help thinking that the pink pepper and the rose never really went away.

 Quelques Notes D’Amour comes in a beautiful bottle and is, in my opinion, not for teens -and hooray for that!  Those young people get wayyyy too many new launches aimed at them.  We “over 27s” ( Okay I’m 44) like being catered for and for that alone I am giving this a thumbs up.  For being a rich, woody rose that repelled me then changed my mind and reeled me in, I give this another thumbs up.  If I had a third thumb, I would give yet another thumbs up because Yves Rocher have a purse spray on offer, which is a great way of trying a fragrance before buying a full bottle.  I have a thing for purse sprays, so this pleased me no end.

Yves Rocher, keep up the sterling work.  As you were.

 

 Stockists:  You can buy Quelques Notes D’Amour from the UK Yves Rocher website. To my chums in the USA and Canada- sadly this is not yet available over on your patch, but I can heartily recommend Moment de Bonheur, Comme Une Evidence and So Elixir, all of which are on the Yves Rocher USA site.

* The Yves Rocher scents I own are; Comme Une Evidence, Cléa, Yria, and Yves Rocher Fraicheur Vegetale Verveine.  I also recommend the lovely So Elixir. You can find reviews of them all on this blog.

Library of Fragrance Musk #7: The Perfect Ingredient

lofmuskno7

Musk is a scent that should, in my opinion, be in every scent wardrobe.  However, out on the High Street, it’s not that easy to find a straight forward musk that hasn’t been tampered with.  I like to wear musk alone or, more often, layered with other scents and Library of Fragrance Musk #7 is perfect for this.

On the Demeter website the description of #7 reads :

Bergamot and lemon peel, with fresh herbs, amber and patchouli form the attitude of this fragrance, the first of our Musk’s to be declared commercial grade. White Musk # 7 is A fresh and delicate blend that speaks in whispers.

I definitely picked up on the bergamot in the opening and  a little heat from whispery amber in the base, but otherwise this is a straightforward, uncomplicated classic musk.

It’s a gentle almost single note musk that adds warmth and depth to the other fragrances in the line and goes especially well with Library of Fragrance cabochardPatchouli.  I also love Musk over anything with roses in, so I often layer Library of Fragrance Musk over The Body Shop Mountain Atlas Rose oil and also over any heavy hitters to tone it down a bit for day wear. (Very good over Gres Cabochard!).

roseoil

Library of Fragrance Musk #7 is a white musk that is ideal for daywear, passes the commuter test and lasts around five hours.  I recommend it alone or as an extra spoke in your wheel.  A musk base can add a new dimension to your existing scents and give you a different way of wearing them

Library of Fragrance Musk #7 is £15 a bottle or £25 for two from Boots.  In the USA and Canada, this is called Demeter Musk #7 . You can buy it on Amazon.com.

Tauer Zeta A Linden Blossom Theme: As The Leaves Lose Their Lushness

zeta tin

 

Tauer Zeta A Linden Blossom Theme reminds me of this time of year when I was a child.  It was a time when things crunched underfoot but still had traces of colour as they dried out.  It was a specific autumnal phase when the moisture is leaving the leaves and you can crumble dried scented ferns between cold fingers.

101_3517

Linden blossom is another term for lime blossom, which by rights, should be a springtime event and full of green promise.  However there is something distinctively twiggy and prickly about Zeta which makes me want to wear this with a woolly scarf on a cold day.

Zeta opens with a spiced lime, which is the best way I can think of to describe it. It is zingy lime and lemon from the start, bedding down into dried papery peppery-ness (I couldn’t say that after a glass of wine).

Along come the flowers then:  Ylang Ylang, linden blossom, orange blossom, rose and neroli. The linden blossom seems to be loudest, along with the orange blossom and lime juice.  However, it’s the Orris root that seems to be prominent here, and to me, it’s what gives Zeta it’s rooty, dried leaf edge.

It’s a curious combination and one that is rare, but trust Andy Tauer to create it.  His scents fill you with visuals, and Zeta is a cold, autumn day, pink cheeks, and the last of the golden green leaves as they fall on the ground.

Zeta is available from Tauer Perfumes in Zurich,  From Scent and Sensibility and Les Senteurs in the UK, and on Amazon.com in the USA and Canada.