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

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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.

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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.

Milton Lloyd Bondage L’Affaire: It Goes Beyond Looks

bondage

 

 

Milton Lloyd is the brand behind Taylor of London, Jean Yves, Bondage and Colour Me.  What they are doing is  producing perfumes for ridiculously cheap prices.  OK so far you might think, nothing new there.  What’s the catch?  Well the catch is that they’re actually pretty good.

So far I’ve yet to find one I cannot bear, although I had a little trouble falling for Chacal as it smells so similar to Dior Poison ( more of which anon).

Some might call them duplicates, but I prefer “homages”. Many of them smell similar to the more popular market leaders, but not exactly like them.  And besides, so many perfumes smell exactly the same to me these days that who are we to start pointing the finger? I’m talking about the vanilla/strawberry/candyfloss fruitichoulis that we get so often.  Against them, Milton Lloyd represents a welcome change of direction and I for one am happy to stock up.  No snobbery here- if it smells good I’ll wear it.

 Milton Lloyd Bondage L’Affaire has a great 1980s Duran Duran stylee box and the perfume within smells jolly good indeed.

Top notes: mandarin and pink pepper, middle notes: lilac, violet, peach, base notes: musk, amber, patchouli. Over on Fragrantica they’re comparing it to Gucci Guilty and Chanel Allure.

What I get is a light wearable floral with some fruity citruses keeping it fresh rather than cloying.  In a blind test I would have sworn there were freesias in this.  There aren’t but that might give you some idea of the prettiness of the florals, and let’s face it, not all florals are pretty.  Some are heavyweights and some are sickly.

The base notes of Bondage L’Affaire are just enough to give it a  prickly sort of lasting finish that is not too much for daywear but gives a nice almost woody finish as it rounds things off around four or five hours after spraying.

Bondage L’Affaire is available from Amazon.co.uk for the princely sum of  7.99 for TWO.

 

Kenzo Jeu D’Amour: the Best of The Bunch

kenzojeuadvert

 

As much as I love my little Fragrance Shop Discovery Boxes, I was a little disappointed this month.  I am hoping that this means that they are going to over compensate in the December Box.

For those who don’t know, the Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Box is a smart black box  containing perfume samples of fragrances available from the Fragrance Shop- usually, but not exclusively, new releases. It costs £5 a quarter and I’m a big fan of the scheme, even if I prefer some boxes over others.

One of the samples in this week’s box was Kenzo Jeu D’Amour and if you like tuberose, then you’re in for a treat.  It opens with tuberose straight away: creamy but floral.  It’s very much a commercial tuberose that has been made palatable and pretty, rather than the almost medicinal strand found in Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle.

There are many notes listed but I found they were drowned out by the tuberose (not really a bad thing in my book).  So if you try this, do let me know if you found the green tea, the pomegranate and the mandarin, because I did not.  (Doesn’t it sound like a fabulous treasure hunt though?)

The addition of Freesia makes this user friendly and the base is indeed exactly as it says: sandalwood and musk.  However the tuberose never goes away.  If you like tuberose with a feminine, pretty angle to it then this is for you.  Out of all of the five samples I received in my Discovery Box, this was my favourite.  Bravo Kenzo.

Kenzo Jeu D’Amour is available from the Fragrance Shop in the UK in person or online. I can’t find USA stockists right now, so I guess its launching soon.  I’ll keep you posted!

 

kenzojeu

Panache Mademoiselle: The Simple Pleasures

panache mademoiselle

 

Panache is one of those drugstore classics that I think is due a revival.  It’s a floral aldehyde that lasts twelve hours and  my little 3.99 bottle has lasted me nine months (disclaimer:  I don’t wear it every day or it would have run out sooner!).

The actual bottle of Panache I ordered for myself- its lasted nine months!

Panache Mademoiselle is nothing like the original, but I happen to love it.  At only 4.25 on Amazon.co.uk, you would think you would run the risk of not getting value for money.  Not so.  Panache Mademoiselle reminded me very much of Estee Lauder Pleasures and the longevity ain’t bad at all, especially when you factor in the laughably cheap price.

It opens fresh and clean and floral and stays light throughout every phase.  There is allegedly strawberry, but thankfully this isn’t sickly and doesn’t have any of the candy floss that many commercial market leaders have right now over any High Street perfume counter.

There is always the worry that a perfume as cheap as this will smell cheap, but in this case I have smelled a lot worse for a lot more money.  I would happily wear Panache Mademoiselle all day in all situations and it would make an ideal every day work perfume.  It would also make a great gift or stocking filler and would be just right for a teen.

Milton Lloyd are doing great things right now and this is one of them. More to come!

 

Carthusia Capri Forget Me Not: Unforgettably Marvellous

capri

Carthusia was, until recently, a brand I had only heard of in passing.  An Italian brand, Carthusia shows us that what the Italians don’t know about perfume ain’t worth knowing.  The origins of  Carthusia make such a lovely story that I have to share it with you.

In 1380, the Abbot of St James in Carthusia prepared the best flowers in the region in preparation for the visit of Queen Giovanna.  The flowers were kept in water for three days and the Abbot was so taken with the fragrance that he sought expert help in a fellow scholar who knew a thing or two about chemistry.  Fast forward to 1948 and the Abbot of St James rediscovered these ancient formulae and created the beginnings of the brand we know today.

mondo_carthusia10-a

I told you it was a lovely story!  Anyway fast forward again to 2014 and I’m sitting in a rain lashed house in Wales reviewing the unforgettable Carthusia I Profumi di Capri Forget me Not.  I know it’s a mouthful and sounds very obscure,  but before you give up hope of ever getting hold of any, you can get it in Liberty in London and they also do mail order.  In the USA you can pop down to Neiman Marcus  next month and find it there.

So what’s it like?  Well it reminded me of Hermes Un Jardin en Mediterranee and a little of Papillon Perfume Angelique.  The combination makes for a top note of oranges and bergamot with a hint of mint and herby leaves.  The middle phase enters fairly soon after this with unmistakable fig.  It’s fig Jean Claude Ellena style though, not fig Womanity style, so its safe to come out from behind the sofa (or is that just me?).  In the middle are some nice salty, bitter greens that reminded me of the plants you find on sand dunes.

atomizzatore_2

The base notes remind me of Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel with a distinct tang of sea salt, and the fig and the Mediterranean orange grove vibe still going on. I musn’t miss out the hints of violets and hyacinths- two of my favourite notes.  It’s easy to see that it was inspired by Capri, and in my mind’s eye I can see Taylor and Burton snogging on a yacht in the harbour in the golden age of glamour and sunglasses.

Carthusia Capri Forget Me Not lasts longer than a sunny day and comes in the cutest little coffret ever as well as nice big bottles.  They will be launched next month in Neiman Marcus, or you can find them here in the UK.

I have more to say on this range and more samples to get through, so watch this space.

Tweed Mademoiselle: A Modern take On A Classic

tweedmademoiselle

 

Tweed is one of those drugstore classics that still has a loyal following.  Many perfume lovers who love their woody chypres adore cheap and cheerful Tweed with its great longevity and mossy woods, but a new take is needed for the modern palate (or should that be nostril?): after all, business is business.

Tweed Mademoiselle is not like Tweed.  Tweed lovers may not even like it.  However, it’s still good stuff and could well serve to revive the Tweed name . Yes, it’s a fruity floral, but don’t be put off if you’re not a fan of the genre.  This smells like many far more expensive new releases I have smelled over many a perfume counter in the past year except for one thing: it costs just over a fiver.  That’s enough to get my attention for a start.  But would I lead my dear readers on a merry dance if it wasn’t worth buying?  No, of course not.

Tweed Mademoiselle has the following notes: Top notes: bergamot, melon Middle notes: jasmine, rose and violet. Base notes: oakmoss, amber, patchouli, vanilla

tweedThe floral notes are very prominent, and I have to say the melon is also noticeable but rather coming across as a calone, it’s more strawberry like.  The base is reassuringly woody, in keeping with the original Tweed, but without the same depth. It’s kind of an Oakmoss-lite.

In other words, you have a very decent modern floral fruity chypre for less than the price of a bottle of wine.  Longevity isn’t bad at around four to five hours (I’m using the parfum de toilette).

 

Tweed has changed hands many times:  it started as Lentheric, then became Yardley and then became Taylor of London and is now owned by Milton Lloyd for World Class.  Milton Lloyd is a brand with much to offer the frugal perfumista.  They have launched a range of updated classics (Chique Mademoiselle is next on my list) as well as the excellent Grasse Experience which I reviewed earlier this week. I have only tried a few out of the range but what they have all in common is that they are excellent budget buys and the packaging is nice enough to give as a gift too. In fact at these prices you could even risk a few blind buys.

Milton Lloyd Tweed Mademoiselle is currently available from Amazon UK but has rather tellingly sold out on Fragrance Direct.  If you’re in the USA and Canada you can buy original Tweed from Amazon.com and Amazon.Ca