I 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.
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 a 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.
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.