The Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Box Giveaway and More!

Poudree

I have exciting news about this quarter’s Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Box. Not only is it a great selection of samples, but I have one to give away AND my very own discount code so that you can get one free when you subscribe. I feel properly famous now. I’ll probably be in Celebrity Big Brother next. (Day One.  Samantha heads straight for the kettle.  The other housemates have labelled her “boring.”)jimmycvhoo2

You may have correctly surmised by now that I am a huge fan of discovery boxes. Many a time have I stumbled across a fragrance that wasn’t even on my radar or my “Must Try” list and many a time has that fragrance ended up being a favourite. Discovery Boxes turn your head and whisper “I know you don’t think you’ll like this one, but have you actually tried it?” It’s also a great way to try new releases and new flankers without traipsing round endless shops wondering what your coat sleeves smell of after trying ten scents in one morning. (Guilty).

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This month, the Fragrance Shop sent me a Discovery Club Box to see what I thought. I have been a proud subscriber since the scheme began, so now I have two.  As I often tell my sons “It’s not fair to have two when your brother’s got none.”  I am therefore giving one of them away. The contents are a mix of established classics and new launches. There’s three for him and four for her, but that’s just labels. In my opinion, anyone can wear anything.  There’s also a Fragrance Shop booklet containing discount vouchers on a full bottle of each scent sample in the box. Ill be reviewing some of them shortly so watch this space.

What’s in the Box?

Samples are between 1.5ml and 2ml. Here’s what’s in it:fragshopdiscbox16

1. Stella McCartney POP

2. Narciso Rodriguez Eau de Parfum Poudree

3. Jimmy Choo Illicit

4. Hollister California Wave For Her

5. Hollister California Wave For Him

6. Hugo Boss Boss Bottled Unlimited

7. L’EauD’Issey Pour Homme

Here’s How to WIN

Simply tell me which of the above scents you would most like to try, and you could win the whole Discovery Box. You can comment below on the blog, or on Twitter, or on Facebook. Entries are picked via Randompicker. org and entries closes on July 26th at midnight GMT. Please note that this is a UK only giveaway due to postage regulations.

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There’s MORE! Exclusive Discount Code to my readers

But that’s not all. The lovely team at The Fragrance Shop has very kindly issued me with my very own discount code. If you want to join the Discovery Club, simply sign up online and use discount code SCENTDAY to get your first one free! Boxes are sent quarterly and cost £5.00 including postage.  This offer is available until 31st August. The offer applies to UK residents only due to postal regulations.

All that’s left to be said is Happy Sniffing!

Avon Silky Soft Musk: New For 2016

silky soft musk

I was given a sample of Avon’s latest launch today: Avon Silky Soft Musk.  The original Avon Soft Musk is a classic everyday musk that gets on with its job and is excellent value for money.  I was expecting good things from Silky Soft Musk.

soft muskHowever, sadly this one won’t be for me, I’m afraid. As you know, everything on my blog is subjective. These are only my opinions. In fact there are several runaway, solid bestsellers that I can’t stand, but which will do very well without my endorsement. I could say the same thing about Silky Soft Musk.

There are only three notes: Musk, Lily and Vanilla. All are present and answered their names at registration. However, then the Vanilla completely takes over, dominates the other two, doesn’t give the others any air time and manages to have the last word. The Vanilla is thick and strong, and I half expected to find patchouli in the notes somewhere, such was its throaty rasp. Vanilla covers a vast spectrum: it can be boozy and liqueur like, it can add toasty warmth ( see Shalimar for evidence) or it can add a waxy cheapness like a cupcake shaped novelty candle. For me, Silky Soft Musk falls into the latter category.

However, I still love Avon Soft Musk. The recent change in packaging makes me think more flankers are ahead. I’ll keep an open mind.

Stockists

You can buy Avon Soft Musk and Avon Silky Soft Musk from AvonshopUK or from your Avon lady.

 

Lynx Urban Daily Iced Musk and Ginger

lynx urban daily

You may recall that I recently reviewed Lynx Urban Daily Tobacco and Amber. I loved it so much I bought my husband one and it smells amazing on him. Also, this way, I can borrow it in winter when the warmth will really bloom on cold skin. It’s a fragrance, not a deodorant by the way. I’d be here for everemore if I started reviewing those.

Today I tried Lynx Urban Daily Iced Musk and Ginger and it was equally good. The Iced Musk in the name makes this sound a more obvious choice in hot weather, and I wasn’t wrong. The musk is subtle white musk and the ginger spices it up in an astringent sort of way, that’s cool like menthol, but with more of a peppery flourish. I can also find a bit of amber in there as it settles and a pale woody finish.

Even in this heat, Iced Musk and Ginger won’t be too much for work wear or the all important commuter test. After three hours, it is subtle, but still there. At 3.95 you can afford a refreshing lunch time top up. Just putting it on felt cooling, like cologne from the fridge.

The Lynx Urban Daily range is a real bargain with classy packaging and a pleasantly non generic take on everyday male fragrance. My husband will be getting all three. And I will be “borrowing” them.

Stockists

I found this in Superdrug, but you can also get it from Asda.

Library of Fragrance Wimbledon Giveaway: The Winners Are…..

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Big thanks to all of you who entered my Wimbledon giveaway. Big thanks also to the Library of Fragrance for providing these bottles.  I have drawn the winners via Random.org and they are as follows:

Grass Court: Pippa Holdcroft

Strawberries & Cream: Gail

New Balls: Jazzypom

If you are a winner this time, can you please email your address to iscentyouaday@gmail.com?  Many thanks.

Congratulations to those who won and warm thanks to all entrants.  Your prizes should be with you by the end of this week. If you didn’t win, pop over to the Library of Fragrance website and have a browse. Grass Court is currently on sale at half price- it’s just £7.50. They also have purse sprays for just £10 and some scents now come in mega bottles of 120ml!

Watch this space for a another giveaway very soon PLUS a discount code exclusive to IScentYouADay. It’s my first ever discount code and I feel very important. Let’s just say if you like The Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Boxes, then you might be interested…

Liz Earle Botanical Essence No 20: Review

liz earle 20I once walked past the Liz Earle shop in the pretty streets of Ryde, on the Isle of Wight. I had the children with me and they had spotted the Wimpy, so I had slim chance of going in. However, I can see why Liz Earle chooses to base her company on this beautiful island. In fact, she has an affiliation with Ventnor Botanical Gardens, from where the company sources many of its botanical ingredients.

ventnor

So far, there are four fragrances in the Liz Earle Botanical Essences range: No 100, No 15, No 20 and No 1. Today I will be reviewing No 20, which was made to celebrate 20 years of the brand.

Damask Rose is clearly the star of the show. It is a heavier, richer rose than say, Yardley English Rose, which is more akin to rose breath sweets ( and none the worse for it, says this owner of a full bottle).  The rose in No 20 is combined with jasmine, which comes out beautifully after a few minutes.  Bergamot and mandarin cut through the richness.  Pink pepper makes it presence felt: those tiny red berries add a fruity spice that holds back from being too sweet, as pink pepper often has a tendency to do. This is union-store-fronta stunning floral with a hint of something different. I noticed a vegetal note, in the same vein that heavy white florals can produce a touch of celery: in this instance, it is carrot seed. This has a slightly iris-like feel, when iris is “rooty” and earthy. Combined with the sandalwood, this gives No 20 a robust woody feel as it blends into the rich rose and rounds it off.

This is a grown-up woody floral that will take you from day to evening. The more I wear it, the more I like it. It’s a tough call to produce a rose scent that stands out from so many others, but nose Domitille Bertier has created a beautiful fragrance, worthy of celebrating Liz Earle’s twenty years in the business.

Stockists

You can buy Liz Earle products online, or in store and online at John Lewis. If you ever get the chance to visit the Isle of Wight, I would recommend it highly. Liz Earle Botanical Essence No 20 retails at 49.00 for 50ml.

Acknowledgments: Top and bottom photos from UK.Lizearle.com. Middle photo from Ventnor Botanical Gardens.  Sample is my own.

 

Library of Fragrance Wimbledon giveaway!

bbc uk

They came, they played, they conquered. It’s all over bar the tidying up. Andy Murray took the Wimbledon Title for the second time today and made the country proud.  Congratulations Andy! and well done to everyone who made it as far as Wimbledon The_Library_of_Fragrance_New_Balls_30ml_grande (1)even if you just ended up with sore muscles and a cup of barley water.

It may come as no surprise to you that I’m doing a fabulous Wimbledon themed perfume giveaway. Those nice people at Library of Fragrance recently sent me a selection of fragrances: Strawberries & Cream, Grass Court and the quirky New Balls. You can read my verdict on them all here in this review.

How to EnterThe_Library_of_Fragrance_Strawberries_and_Cream_30ml_grande

So now we just have to talk about the science bit. Simply  tell me which one you would like to win. PleaseThe_Library_of_Fragrance_Grass_Court_30ml_grande comment below, or on the Facebook Page or on Twitter (@iscentyouaday). The closing date is midnight on the 15th July GMT. Please note that this giveaway is only available to UK entrants due to postal regulations. I do apologise to my treasured overseas readers for this unavoidable inconvenience.

Good luck and have fun!

 

Acknowledgements: Top photo from BBC UK, Photos of bottles from Library of Fragrance. With warm thanks to the Library of Fragrance team for kindly providing the prizes.

Atelier Cologne: Orange Sanguine

orange sanguine

Being a recent convert to the genius that is Atelier Cologne, I was delighted when friend of the blog (and friend of me) Patsi sent me a wonderfully generous decant of Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine.

The Unique Selling Point of Atelier Cologne is that they take all your favourites bits of cologne and make them stick around, whilst never losing their initial impact. Using specialist techniques and “anchoring” ingredients, an Atelier Cologne lasts around nine hours on me. I’m not the only one  impressed by the brand: L’Oreal has just snapped them up in a huge deal announced last week.

Orange Sanguine takes that juicy note from a plump orange (in this case a sharp blood orange) and makes it sing a top note for nine hours without wavering. The background chorus (yes, we’re running with the opera metaphor) is made up of many voices. I found hints of peppery geranium and a light feathery touch of jasmine, which for jasmine, is very restrained. The base has sandalwood, which I always manage to discern, (I seek it like a stalker) and tonka bean. In case you were wondering about tonka bean ( it used to confuse me) our old friends Fragrantica provides this trusty explanation: “The beans are also commonly used as a replacement for vanilla and their olfactory impression has a powdery-sweet effect with intensive balmy, warm, gourmand and intoxicating character.”

Nine hours later, (yes nine hours for a citrus!) this still smells like I’ve just sliced a segment of orange: juice, pith and pips. It’s incredibly refreshing for hot sticky weather and would be great layered with something incense-y in winter.

Thank you, Patsi, I love it!

Stockists

You can buy Atelier Cologne from the Atelier website or from Liberty or John Lewis to name but a few.

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess 2016

bronze goddess

I last reviewed Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess when it was the 2013 version (There’s a new version every year). Back then, I compared it to Hawaiian Tropic. I could see no further.  However, its popularity is indisputable and since foolishly writing it off, I have walked past the queue of people buying it many a time. However, this week I turned on my heel and gave it another chance. I liberally slathered on Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess 2016 Eau Fraiche Skin Scent and I was transported.

Now I only have my blog post to remind me what the 2013 version smelled like, and it was sun lotion. I was a bit flummoxed really. However, coming back to it with three years’ more experience of sniffage and far fewer prejudices, I can say that I really adored the 2016 version and it took me a couple of days to understand why.

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First of all, the long list of notes is pretty true to form. If you look, you can find lavender, amber, jasmine, citrus fruit and orange flower in Bronze Goddess. Naturally the coconut and tiare flower comes out straight away: certain notes are never allowed to leave, regardless of annual edits. I also got a hint of celery, which can happen when white flowers really show their muscles.

However, it took me all day to realise why I love this so much: it’s the sandalwood. That delicately aromatic woodiness that’s lighter than just woods and with less bite than spice lingered for around nine hours. It reminded me of what I consider to be the best sandalwood scent of all time: Diptyque Tam Dao. Take the best bits of Tam Dao, add white flowers and coconut and some warm amber and that to me, is this year’s Bronze Goddess. Bear in mind, that each year is a limited edition, although this year’s was allegedly similar to the 2011, if we’re going to sound like wine buffs. This has proved to me that I should never rule anything out and that I should really try more stuff I didn’t used to like.

It looks like I’ll be joining that queue.

Stockists

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche Skin Scent is is widely available. Try John Lewis or House of Fraser or the Estee Lauder website.

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Nectarine Blossom

nectarineThe Elizabeth Arden Green Tea range always makes it onto my list of good value favourites. Never overpriced, always prettily packaged and universally pleasing: I’ve yet to find one I don’t like. Today (and a few months ago in Duty Free), I tried Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Nectarine Blossom.

As you may imagine, it opens with nectarines. Now, I used to dodge anything peachy in scent, but I’ve come round and I fully embrace it. After all, you can’t have Lanvin Arpege without peaches, can you? In fact, the notes here are nectarines and nectarine blossom, which makes this peachy with a hint of light florals. Thankfully, we’re not talking sticky peaches, but that light fruit aroma that smells so refreshing and tempting when you inhale the rosy skin of a ripe one.  There is of course, a nod to green tea and a spritz of bergamot to keep it zingy. The base is musk, but I didn’t discern any. You might though.

This is a playful, uplifting scent that will be a hit as soon as we have two sunny days in a row (Come on, British Summer- don’t give up!). It passes the office/commuter test by not being sickly or too sweet or too heavy.  The only teeny drawback I find with this range is that longevity isn’t brilliant. I’m getting about three hours from this, which takes you to lunchtime and provides another excuse for a top up.  At only £15 for 100ml, you can afford to be generous with your re-spritzing. Besides, I like putting perfume on. It’s refreshing and makes me feel good. Top ups are good.

Stockists

You can buy Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Nectarine Blossom from House of Fraser and John Lewis (and Duty Free!).

 

 

Library of Fragrance Does Wimbledon: New Balls, Strawberries & Cream and Grass Court

 

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Library of Fragrance really do have a scent for every occasion. Yes, even Wimbledon. Those nice people at Library of Fragrance kindly sent me a trio of Wimbledon themed scents to see what I thought of them. I’m not easily bribed unless it’s Scottish Butter Tablet*, so opinions really are my own.

strawberries

Strawberries and Cream

What could be more English, more Wimbledon-y than strawberries and Cream? Well yes, umbrellas, but apart from that, strawberries and cream are so much a part of Wimbledon that everyone takes extra strawberry money with them, even if they don’t like strawberries. Library of Fragrance Strawberries and Cream smells utterly delicious. It’s not sticky, like some overly fruity scents, it’s more aromatic and retro, with that lovely scent of a fresh strawberry, clear as day.  It then goes into a slight waxiness, like expensive candles, which I rather liked. The cream note tones down the sweetness of the strawberries and stops them getting above themselves.

Now here’s an interesting experiment that I did with my sons, age 6 and 9. In a blind test, they said this smells like “candy floss,””marshmallows” and “sweets”. It does, but if you, like me, step away from candy fragrances, then give this one a try.  I too am a candy dodger, but I loved this one.

grass court

Grass Court

Fans of Library of Fragrance Grass will find much to like here. Whereas Grass smells sweeter, like a green meadow, Grass Court is a little sharper and greener,  more like cut grass.  There’s a sharp, almost citrussy note at the heart of this, that keeps it fresh and cologne-like. It’s perfect for a hot summer day. If you like green scents, you’d be hard pushed to find greener than this.

newballs zimbio dot com

New Balls

You didn’t misread me. That’s right, there’s a fragrance called New Balls. You see, this is what I like about Library of Fragrance. Fragrance isn’t always about what you want to smell like. Often it’s about what you want to smell. Fourteen year old blogger Catherine Talbot wanted to smell the scent of a newly opened tube of tennis balls, and her wish was granted. Never afraid of a bit of “quirk” (This is the company who make Pizza and Play Doh scent, remember), Library of Fragrance duly produced New Balls.

As you would imagine, there is rubber, but to my nose there is also honey. It smells a bit like a pillow that has dried saliva on it. This is not necessarily a horrible smell. My sons’s pillows get sniffed by me when they are not around and I rather like it. It reminds me of babies’ cheeks. So make of that what you will: rubber, honey and babies cheeks.

 

*Scottish Butter Tablet would make a nice fragrance. Just sayin’ (hint, hint)

Stockists

You can buy all of these from the Library of Fragrance website for just £15 each. You may find a varied selection in Boots as well.

Photo Credits

Top photo: Library of Fragrance, strawberry photo: Ralph Lauren,  Grass court photo: borongaja.com, New balls photo: zimbio.com