In the past, Bronnley has had a reputation as being a classic floral brand that “older” ladies liked. Personally, I’ve always loved classic florals and soaps in wrappers so it’s never stopped me. However, the upcoming bright young things of the Twenteens are a capricious bunch with more choices than any other generation that has ever lived. Brands have to move with the times.
Bronnley has not only moved with the times but added a bit of an edge that is putting them firmly on my list of favourites. Their collection of Eclectic Elements fragrances is packaged for a new generation, but pleases this 47 year old no end.
Today I am wearing Bronnley Eclectic Elements Zealous Flower and I love it. Why do I love it? Well, that’s easy.
It comes in an adorable roll on bottle. (more about roller balls soon because I’m obsessed).
It’s available in a 9ml version so you can live with it for a good few weeks before buying a big one.
It’s inexpensive but doesn’t smell like it is.
Here’s what it smells like:
It opens with pear, orange and bergamot. Now pear has been used A LOT in the past two years, to the point where I pull non-selfie faces when I smell it.
However, in Zealous Flower, it’s the flowers that come out first, not the fruit. In fact the fruit adds clean edges to the roses and jasmine, which are BIG. Even the pear knows its place and doesn’t take over.
It must be said that there was briefly a pencil shavings phase which came and went, before the vetiver and amber rounded things off. They never quite see off the jasmine though, which remains the main player here. In fact, at first, I thought this had tuberose in it, such is the white flower richness.
Zealous Flower leaves me with a pleasing autumnal floral on my skin. What I’m left with is a very agreeable accord of vetiver, jasmine, hints of leathery labdanum flower, and some faded roses.
Now, about that adorable roller ball. This has a little metal rollerball that applies just the right amount to skin and stops you going overboard before a day at work. The rollerball version comes in an attractive narrow box in 9ml size and is a good compromise between a big bottle blind buy and having to judge it on a few sprays from a tester. I want more brands to do this.
Zealous Flower is or has also been known as Savage Flower, but I prefer Zealous to Savage.
You can buy the Bronnley Eclectic Elements range from Boots in store or online. The rollerballs cost £10 and contain 9ml of scent. You can also buy this cute set of whole range minis for £20 from the Bronnley website. My rollerball bottle was kindly provided by Bronnley in return for an honest review, which mine is. This is not a sponsored post. Follow
Have you ever tried an inexpensive perfume that was so good you thought you’d been undercharged? That’s how I felt when my little Yves Rocher consignment arrived recently. Tucked away on the website is a small selection of excellent 20ml scents that cost me only £4 a bottle. Vanille Bourbon was one of them and all I can say is Crikey Moses, this is good stuff.
Now vanilla, as you know, can smell like cheap candles or like delicious buttery boozy liqueur that makes you want to swoon. You have to try a lot of bottles to find the latter and this one falls into that category.
Despite being an eau de toilette, Vanille Bourbon lasted ages on my skin and I was getting delightful wafts up to five hours later when I found myself sniffing the air and saying “mm, someone smells nice,” realising later that it was me. I was the someone.
The only note listed for this fragrance is vanilla, but that’s a wide net. This has facets of woods, soft musk, some unidentifiable floral notes, and an edge of smoky toasted sugar, like the singed edges of a Crème Caramel. For a fleeting second, it smelled like spiced whisky, but overall, I would call this a milky, musky, floral and a very, very rich (kazillionaire) vanilla. It’s as satisfying as a mouthful of good crème brûlée and cost me a mere £4. Yes, I had change from a fiver. Well, I would have if I hadn’t bought four others in the range, more of which anon.
Yves Rocher Vanilla Bourbon is fantastic value and a dream of a vanilla scent. Not a cheap candle in sight.
Yves Rocher Vanilla Bourbon 20ml EDT is only £4 from the Yves Rocher UK website. I won’t be parted from mine.
As we blow summer a kiss goodbye (and my kiss is as warm as the weather was) I find that my longing for the sea and for those uplifting crest-of- a wave scents stays with me throughout every season of the year. If it’s related to the sea, if it reminds me of the sea and if the bottle is the colour of the sea, and if I like it then it’s on my list.
So if, like me, you’re a mermaid out of the water (trust me- swimming is the only sport I can do well) then, do feel free, if you’ll excuse the pun, to dive in here.
Art de Parfum Sea Foam
The name says it all and this gorgeous scent really delivers. With milky fig and salty notes, this resembles the crashing sea, the sandy dunes and the green notes of the scrubby beach flora. I adored it and declared it one of the ebst sea scents I have ever tried. You can read my review here and buy it from here.
Our Modern Lives Aquamarine Waves by Sarah McCartney.
What a stunner! So authentic is this gem from Our Modern Lives, that it contains actual real seaweed (filtered out once its job has been done). This is a marine scent with no calone, and they are few and far between. You can read my review here and buy it from here. The nose behind Our Modern Lives is none other than blog favourite, Sarah McCartney of 4160 Tuesdays.
Library of Fragrance Salt Air
Our dear chums at the Library of Fragrance come up with the goods once again. Salt Air is a fabulously salty, sea spray of a scent that really reminds me of damp beaches and seagulls and splashing around in the shallows. It’s both refreshing and salty, and will give you a ray of optimism throughout the British ten-month winter (well, it feels like ten months anyway). You can read my review here and buy it from the Library of Fragrance website.
Michael Kors Turquoise
I tried this at the beginning of summer, or what I thought was going to be summer, and it just made me think of those wonderful David Hockney paintings of swimming pools. With sea notes, water lily and zesty lime, just smelling this will quench thirst. You can read my review here and buy this from House of Fraser or John Lewis, among others.
Aqua di Parma Blue Mediterraneo Arancia di Capri
I delighted in this when I first sprayed it. Those bitter oranges just brought the Mediterranean Sea to life on my skin. There is allegedly a caramel note but thankfully it didn’t really show up on me. You can read my review here and buy it from John Lewis
Lancôme O d’Azur
This is one from the O de Lancôme range, so you just know it’ll be a fabulously refreshing hesperide. I’d happily take any from this range off your hands: there’s O de Lancôme, O de L’Orangerie and this one. It opens with sharp citrus and beds down into pretty peony, with a soft musky finish. You can buy it from here.
Fathom V by Beaufort London
This scent was like a scene from a Dickensian swampy dock playing out in my head. I sme ll pirates.
Like the green slimy flanks of a ship and with lily so heady it’s off the scale, this is one of my favourite sea scents. It’s a bit out there, but that’s what I love about it.
This is a classic that seems to have universal appeal. It’s a light calone scent (i.e melon and cucumber) with aquatic notes that smell fresh and clean, like stepping out of a shower. To be honest, the one for men is just as good so I regard the “for her” and “for him” labels as totally interchangeable. I didn’t used to like calone and still sometimes have a problem with cucumber in fragrance, but now that I’ve smelled eleventy billion perfumes, I keep a more open mind about it. You can buy it here, and it’s widely available in lots of other places too. Very inexpensive too.
Over to you
How about you? What scents make you think of the sea? Do let me know. I always love to hear from you.
There are some fragrance fans who would never consider celebrity scents or Avon perfumes. There are some who say that in fragrance you get what you pay for. I dispute that. I’ve smelled amzing, cheap scents and unpleasant expensive ones. In fact, if this were an episode of Newsnight, I’d be on the panel, looking sternly over the top of my glasses and arguing the case that inexpensive fragrance can be good, great even.
I would present the case for Avon Today, Tomorrow, Always, My Everything for Her. I would make allowances for the name that is, admittedly a bit of a mouthful, and I would point out that the nose behind this inexpensive beauty is none other than living legend Olivier Cresp, who co created the iconic and perennial Angel for Thierry Mugler.
First of all, it’s OK if we abbreviate, so let’s call this TTA My Everything. There’s a For Him too, but we’re talking about the For Her version, if labels matter (another Newsnight topic?).
There are only three notes: bergamot, rose and crowd-pleasing praline. Personally, praline isn’t my cup of Typhoo, but only a fool ignores public demand. Praline is one of the main notes in Lancôme La Vie est Belle, which has been scenting the streets of Britain since it came out way back in 2012. The fragrance buying public have gone mad for gourmands in the last five years and whilst I’m more of a mossy chypre kind of woman, I can understand the buzz.
TTA My Everything opens with powerful bergamot and rose. The bergamot makes the rose smell sharper and mingles with it until you think you’re smelling a lime coloured rose or a rose-coloured lime. They blend seamlessly, giving this a delicate opening that gets stronger the longer you wear it.
The praline comes in gradually, and despite being one third of the notes, it doesn’t overtake or dominate. In fact I would say this is a rose citrus with warm sweet edging. It really reminded me of Nina Ricci Nina which combines apples and praline, so if you like that you might like this too. I love the different rose nuances in My Everything. It seems to come and go in waves. In fact, if you’ve ever tried the aforementioned La Vie est Belle and found it too sweet and wished the floral notes were stronger, then this would suit you down to your boots.
Avon Today Tomorrow Always My Everything For Her is coming soon. I was lucky enough to get a sample from my lovely Avon Lady, so watch this space for when it comes out. Opinions are my own.
This will be available soon from your Avon brochure or from Avon UK. The current prices of other fragrances in TTA range is £14 for 50ml EDP, so I imagine this would be in that price bracket too. Owning an Olivier Cresp for £14? Yes, indeed.
Reviewing Katy Perry Indi was a case of “forget what you think you know.” I think of Katy Perry as the gorgeous and talented Teen Queen who sings catchy pop like no-one else. Her fragrances are cute and funny and have a wry grandeur, all done with a wink of irony. So when I heard she had a new one coming out, I thought, I’ll pass thanks. It’s probably like her other stuff: on trend but not my bag.
Boy, was I wrong. For a minute, there I’d forgotten that she’d shaved her head and done a studio album. Change of image, much? You bet. Indi is outstanding.
From Killer Queen to Meow and Katy Perry’s Mad Potion, Katy Perry’s fragrance range has taken a U Turn. Gone are the flashy,playful bottles with oodles of bling. In comes the simple black and white pillar bottle for Indi. It celebrates individuality, which in these troubled times, is a much-needed hand of compassion and acceptance, and I’m all for it.
So what does it smell like? Well it doesn’t smell like your run of the mill celebrity High Street scent, that’s for sure.
Top notes: Plum, tea, bergamot.
Middle notes: cyclamen, lily of the valley, cedar
Base notes: tonka, amber, musk, musk, musk etc
The combination of plum and tea gave me a milky, sultana, figgy vibe, and although this alleges to have cyclamen and lily of the valley in, I could only detect a generic musky “pink” flower- could well be cyclamen. It’s not a note I know well. The base is where the musk comes in: musk, musk, musk. Musk is a bit like vanilla in that it covers a vast spectrum within its category, and this is certainly the case here.
It’s not dirty musk, nor leathery musk, nor sexy inner thigh musk, but an ever-changing musk, at least on my skin. On me this musk smells clean, then chalky, then figgy, then patchouli-like, then earthy, then slightly mossy, then floral. It lasts hours and hours. It’s a beautiful chameleon of a scent and smells like it costs about four times the price.
Indi is of course, without gender. Nowhere will you find “For Men” or “For Women” and hurrah for that. My motto is, and always will be, if it smells good, wear it. Labels don’t matter.
Indi celebrates individuality and I salute this superb fragrance.
You can buy Indi from Superdrug– which seems to have the monopoly on it at the moment. Pop along and test it- I am sure you won’t be sorry. Prices start at £28 for 50ml. I bought mine and opinions are my own.
Guess what the most searched for item on my blog dashboard is? Yep. By a country mile, it’s Avon perfume reviews or best Avon perfume. You may have gathered by now that I’m a big Avon fan and I see no sign of that changing any time soon.
With a rapid turnover of scents, Avon is almost simultaneously discontinuing and launching fragrance faster than my little fingers can type, but that’s the nature of the game when you’re keeping up with ever changing trends in the beauty market.
The Avon Unique Selling Point is that they provide decent quality fragrance that fits in with current trends and places them at an affordable price point. You won’t get Guerlain quality nor the originality of niche, but you will get good fragrance that could hold its own on the High Street at far higher prices.
My first Avon round up was in 2014 and my second was in 2016. Both get more hits than any post I have ever written, proving that Avon is definitely getting it right.
Here then, is my third and most up to date Avon round up based on what’s in the brochure right now. I promise not to include anything that’s discontinued nor anything I haven’t personally tried. Nostrils a-flaring? Let’s go.
Avon Little Sequin Dress
The very latest flanker in the Avon little dress series. This is a fruity floral that’s light and pretty and does the job nicely, thank you. You can read my review here.
A recent import from Avon USA, Imari is roses, lemon, sandalwood and aldehydes. You can read my review here. I have the EDT, but I would prefer it to be in eau de parfum form. It’s still a good handbag scent though.
A vanilla scent right down to its toes. This doesn’t work on me but smells utterly divine on my friend Ellie who fell in love with it. It lasted ages on her and she couln’t stop smelling her wrist. My review is here.
Definitely in my top five favourite Avon scents. This is a woody floral that is dazzlingly feminine. Fans of Sarah Jessica parker Lovely will like this. My review is here. In eth USA it’s called Prima.
Avon Far Away Infinity
If you like jasmine sambac and vanilla- a combination that has been huge in the last year, then you will love this one. I found it very similar to Paco Rabanne Olympea, as did many Fragrantica readers. My review is here.
Avon Far Away
Avon’s bestseller for so long that I’m willing to bet they will never stop making it. It even comes in 100ml bottles from time to time. This is a scent I smell very often on other people, possibly more than any other. It’s vanilla to the point of coconut, teamed with freesia, roses and jasmine, which ends up, as it began really: vanilla, coconut and white flowers. I always think it smells warm and woolly like a cosy white blanket. You can buy it here.
Avon Little Black Dress
Another bestseller. I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like it. This is an elegant mix of plum, gardenia, jasmine and peony, with a musky base of sandalwood. Some say its smells like Dior J’Adore, and they’re not completely wrong. You can buy it here.
Avon Little Lace Dress
A bang-on trend combo of jasmine sambac and patchouli. It reminded me of so many far more expensive scents that I’ve smelled over beauty counters, but costs under ten quid. You’ll know what I mean when you try it. My review is here.
Avon Far Away Bella
I love this fruity floral and wear it often. It’s light, long lasting and very- can I say girly? Is that OK? There it is. It’s very girly. And it wears a little scarf. Check out my review here.
Avon Perceive Oasis
Not just my favourite Avon, but in my top ten perfumes of all time. This is another long lasting fragrance: this time its peony, roses and jasmine that makes me smell like a pale pink bouquet. My review is here.
Created by Kenzo Takada himself, no less, Avon Life is a delightful take on violets that’s light as air and perfect for daytime. Every note is delicate and translucent, as if painted in watercolours. There’s waterlily, green tea, apple and cherry blossom. You can read my review here.
Avon Viva La Vita
Created for spring, but pretty all year round, Viva la Vita is crisp and fresh. It opens with apple and citrus, and morphs into a mimosa floral before settling into a cashmere woody scent. My review is here.
Avon Rare Platinum
A knockout tuberose scent that combines this unmistakable creamy white flower with the tang of grapefruit. It’s presented in a bottle that reminds me of those American air bullet caravans in the 1950s. Rare Platinum is sensational and I’m never without a bottle. At £7 it’s a real bargain. Read my review here.
Avon Silky Soft Musk
Not actually my favourite Avon, but again, they’ve come up with the goods by taking their bestselling Soft Musk scent and cloaking it in a silky vanilla accord. Very popular and only about a fiver last time I looked. My review is here.
Avon Soft Musk
I own a 50ml bottle of Soft Musk, as does my mother and as does my sister. It is a timeless floral musk with a hint of honeysuckle and peach. A couple of sprays and you can still smell it by tea time. My review is here.
An ambery powdery scent that was created in 1974. Avon discontinued this, only to bring it back thanks to customer demand, which was loud and long. My Avon Lady says this is her bestseller- many of her older customers have been using and buying it for decades. My review of Timeless is here.
17. Avon Attraction
Attraction is a fruity floral with a bit of praline in it, making it bang on the money right now. It opens with pear and pink pepper, travels via jasmine and orchid, and ends up with a gourmand woody finish. You can read my review here.
18. Avon Pur Blanca
Last but not least, and todays’ scent, is Pur Blanca. This is a beautifully clean smelling scent that’s full of powdery white musk notes and smells like you’ve just been freshly bathed. It’s one of my favourite clean laundry musks and always makes me feel fresh as a white linen sheet on a breezy washing line. My review of Pur Blanca is here.
Everything you see here is available from Avon UK and some are available from Avon USA. You can of course, also buy from your Avon rep if you are lucky enough to have one. I do and she’s lovely- Hello Jill!
Opinions are my own. I’m just a superfan and paid for all my own stuff.
Over to you
What’s your favourite Avon? Can you remember getting Avon stuff for Christmas when you were little? Do let me know. I always love to hear from you.
Fragrance can enhance a mood, jog a memory or make you feel good about yourself in the blink of an eye. The industry is worth billions and shows no sign of slowing down.
However, huge medical advances and discoveries are being made into the world of olfactory wonder and its effect on the brain. The effect of fragrance on wellbeing and memory is being looked at in ways that go far beyiond the anecdotal.
Aromatherapy is nothing new, but did you know that fragrance is playing a part in Alzheimer’s Research? And did you know that it even has benefits for some people on the Autistic Spectrum?
One father went a step further and combined his involvement in the fragrance industry (Murano Home) with ways of offering his autistic son calm and comfort among the maelstrom of overwhelming emotions that many people with ASD can experience.
Nigel Cook tried several combinations of room fragrances with his son until he found combinations that had a noticable calming effect. From there came Fragrance and Autism, a company created to offer benefits to those with ASD via the medium of scent.
I was sent two sample roll on bottles recently and would like to tell you about them below, because I thought they were terrific. Incidentally, roll on is an excellent way of applying fragrances since it doesn’t get in your eyes and up your nose and is hard to waste.
Fragrance and Autism donates 20% of all their profits to the National Autistic Society and welcomes contact via their website.
A beautiful mixture of blended oils, in a natural grapeseed oil carrier, these products can help with relaxation, stress and transition, learning, anxiety, depression, isolation. – Fragrance and Autism
Here’s the full list of what’s available in rollerballs, room diffusers or in essential oils.
Here’s my review of the two rollerballs I received. Both are stunning and very long-lasting, with the essential oils suspended in a natural grapeseed oil suspension.
Lavender and Melissa
Lavender has long been known as having soothing qualities, but add it to Melissa, ( also known as lemon balm) and you have a beautiful soothing combination of oils that reminded me so much of my late grandmother’s garden, that it gave me a jolt. The scent brings the garden indoors and nature often has a grounding effect. This smells clean, pure and herbal and offers a chink of light in among the messiness of modern life.
Grapefruit and Bergamot
Sharp and uplifting, this can feel as fresh as opening a window in a stuffy room. Grapefruit, in fact many citrus fruits, are known for the sunny, feel good nuance they can add to scent. The grapefruit note in this is sharp and sparkling, like homemade lemonade, and it keeps it up alongside the bergamot (lime). This is a feel-good scent with long lasting properties.
Find out More
Here’s the website for Fragrance and Autism and here ‘s the link to the National Autistic Society. Incidentally, these oils are also designed to reduce anxiety and stress , so their benefits are far reaching, even outside the Autism spectrum. Parents can have a tough time too.
How to buy
Here’s the link to how to buy them. Prices are very reasonable, starting at under £5 for a 10ml rollerball.
Acknowledgements- with many thanks to Nigel Cook, who I met at the Jasmine awards back in March. The two rollerballs are much appreciated and wonderful quality.
Nobody can accuse Avon of letting the grass grow under their feet. The Little Dress family has a new member: Avon Little Sequin Dress.
Avon Little Black Dress is a constant bestseller, and rightly so. There are several flankers, all of which I have smelled and which I rate as pretty good, especially when you think that you can usually buy them for around £7 each.
Avon Little Sequin Dress is intended to be a more glamorous addition to the collection , with evening wear in mind, as the name would suggest. However, I don’t find it so provocative that it has to be skipped in the day time. This is a playful and pretty fruity floral.
Little Sequin Dress opens with tropical fruit and then some. The notes are mandarin and mango, and it certainly packs a fruity style punch with a tiny umbrella and a swizzle stick (metaphorically speaking, they’re not new notes, although its probably just a matter of time!).
The middle bit is where the gardenia comes out. This is a fresh white flower gardenia, not the earthy mushroom-y gardenia that you can sometimes get in gardenia’s purer forms.
The base is nothing to write home about, but does the job required of it. Amber, sandalwood and musk round things off in a warm and fuzzy way, alongside the tropical vibe that picks up a bunch of flowers on the way and stays prominent to the very end. It kind of smells a bit like a Herbal Essence shampoo, which is fine by me.
This reminded me of Cheryl Stormflower, except the fruit was less tinny-fruit-salad in Little Sequin Dress. Add a pretty bottle in a smart box and you’ve got yourself a bargain. Avon does this very well and they’re keeping up the good work.
By the way, if you’re buying for a picky teen, this really suits the current trend for sweet fruity florals.
You can buy this from Avon UK or from your Avon rep. The price is currently just £8. My sample was given to me by my Avon Lady and opinions are my own.
In the past few years, vanilla has appeared in just about everything you care to name from cheap candles to mass produced mainstream fragrances to room sprays. It’s enough to put you off. In fact, that’s exactly what it did and I confess to having become a vanilla swerver.
However, several vanilla fragrances have turned my head and made me look again. From under the mass market tsunami of vanilla abuse come rays of hope, and reminders that vanilla, before its over exposure, was one of the greats and still can be. The right vanilla, blended with flair and instinct, can give heart and warmth to a fragrance, and offers respite from the sickly cupcake confections and synthetic waxy imitations.
Here’s a roundup of the vanilla scents I would never tire of wearing. If you’re no vanilla fan, these beauties will turn your head and change your mind. Not all vanilla is equal.
Tauerville Vanilla Flash
Vanilla is not the first thing you will notice about Vanilla Flash. In fact, with me, it was the roses. Andy Tauer, a true gentleman and frankly, a modest genius too, has created a vanilla scent that frames the vanilla rather than allowing it to take over. Here vanilla is teamed with spice, tobacco, roses and patchouli and is chilly rather than warm.
If I could sum up cosy in one scent it would be this. The wonderful Mandy Aftel, who works only with natural ingredients, has taken the warm heart of vanilla and added it to the subtle wood smoke of a hearth. One sniff and my brain thinks it’s Christmas. You can read my review here and buy it from here.
Agonist Vanilla Marble
This is another scent that portrays vanilla as chilled rather than warm and it works to great effect. In fact, I sent my dear friend Pippa a sample of this prior to her wedding and she chose it as her wedding day fragrance. She made a beautiful Edwardian bride and she smelled glorious. You can read my review here and buy Agonist from here.
DSH Perfumes Vanilla Chantilly
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz mixes and macerates her stunning potions in Boulder, Colorado and is always a joy to deal with. Like Mandy Aftel, Dawn also uses natural ingredients and Vanilla Chantilly manages to take the buttery woodiness of vanilla without adding any sugar and syrup. It smells both clean and warm, both cool and dark. Dawn has kept the sticky woody pod character of vanilla and blended it into a musky, spicy accord with a hint of almonds. I get so many compliments! You can buy it from the DSH website.
Dior Hypnotic Poison
This is the richest deepest vanilla on the High Street. With hints of almond, this is pure luxury with nary a cup cake nor a Pound Shop candle in sight. This feels wonderful to wear and really opened my eyes to how great vanilla can be. My review of it is here. You can buy it from allbeauty.com and John Lewis.
Library of Fragrance Play Doh
It may have a playful name, but it’s worth taking seriously. This is a superb vanilla scent that yes, smells like Playdoh, but then Playdoh smells like vanilla. In fact, this reminded me of marzipan, which always gets my mouth watering. Here’s the link to my review and here’s the link to the Library of Fragrance website.
4160 Tuesdays The Sexiest Scent on The Planet Ever (IMHO)
Last but by no means least, comes this cult classic from Sarah McCartney at 4160 Tuesdays. I always think of the vanilla in this as golden and fuzzy, so add that to a cup of Earl Grey with its bergamot infusion, and stir in the scent of antique dark wood, and this is the pleasing result. It’s good vanilla, rich and warm, with not a cupcake in sight. You can read my review here. and buy it from here.
Over to you
What’s your opinion on vanilla? Do you have a favourite vanilla scent? Do let me know, I always love to hear from you.
The other day someone told me that men wear aftershave and women wear perfume. Now, as you can imagine, I begged to differ. My opponent was adamant. Men can’t wear perfume and women can’t wear after shave. Since my adversary was my seven-year-old son, I couldn’t help feeling that I’d failed him as a mother. He also told me there’s no such name as Kenneth and that he can outrun a Jaguar, but I was less worried about that.
Let me be clear, as a politician would say (can’t remember which one, probably all of them), after shave is fragrance. Perfume is fragrance. Whatever it says on the label, if you like how it smells on you, you can wear it.
I do occasionally stage a heist into my husband’s side of the bedroom, but seeing as I chose them all for him, that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Those nice people at The Perfume Society recently sent me the Men’s Edit Discovery Box, and discovery is the right word. Reader, I have been enlightened. It’s all very well my bemoaning the fact that men don’t wear enough roses, but how about I put my money where my mouth is and wear more so called “mascs” myself? Well, after trying the Men’s Edit box, I can assure you that there are at least three I will be buying full bottles of. Join me why don’t you?
I’m going to write mini reviews below and shall focus on some in more detail later in the blog. Here’s what’s in the box:
Parfums de Marly Layton 1.2ml eau de parfum (normally £145 for 75ml)
Parfums de Marly is a brand that’s new to me. In the previous Perfume Society Discovery Box- Latest Launches, the women’s fragrance, Delina, was a classy and distinctive mélange of rhubarb and the pinkest of flowers. Layton is of the same high quality and classy distinction. It opens with apples and lavender and calms down into a multi layered wood-fest of every wood from light to to dark to smoky. A flourish of vanilla warms it up. It reminds me of a cosy oak panelled tobacconist. Beware- the middle phase blew my socks off.
Dunhill Icon Elite 2ml eau de parfum (£95 for 100ml)
The nose behind this is Carlos Benaim, who also made Dior Pure Poison, Viktor anf Rolf Flowerbomb and the original Ralph Lauren Polo fragrance, to name but a few from his staggeringly prestigious portfolio.
My primary reaction to Dunhill Icon was “Aha! Suede”. It’s a leathery nubuck scent, somehow stronger than suede, which I always identify as a softer toned down version of leather. I con is dark and tarry, and so leathery that it almost tipped me over into liquorice territory. Addictively sniffable, this smells like the bare chest of a man who has just removed his leather jacket. Trust me, that’s A Good Thing.
Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac 2ml eau de parfum (£95 for 100ml)
I adore this classic (pronounced Foy de Tabac) and declare it totally unisex. I reviewed it a while back and remember that I rather fancied making my whole house smell this way. It’s the scent of a wood panelled gentleman’s club in Paris. Smoky, woody, herby, lovely.
Escentric Molecules E 032ml eau de parfum (£72 for 100ml)
This opens with big stringent, clean scented lime, with a hint of black pepper. The vetiver comes out straight away, and the whole thing stays that way for a few hours. After that, the base is sandalwood and clean musk. The lime and vetiver combo never quits though, and this had me thinking of dazzling white shirt cuffs and expensive suits. Yum.
Escentric Molecules M 03 2ml eau de parfum (£72 for 100ml)
The only note listed fior this is Vetiver. However, I beg to differ. This stunning fragrance smelled like scorched palm leaves for a few seconds then disappeared. Then it came back as a sort of sharp, green citrus with a bitter orange edge. Throughout the day, it gradually morphed into what I can only describe as a grapefruit chypre. It’s the most vivid grapefruit scent: pith, juice and peel, with an earthy green base. I completely fell headlong in love with this and I’m so glad I wandered out of my comfort zone, because I would never have stumbled across this otherwise. Definitely a full bottle scent.
Clive Christian Nobile VIII Magnolia 1.5ml eau de parfum (£350 for 50ml)
Getting my mitts on a Clive Christian sample is always a rare treat. They don’t come along every day, that’s for sure. This magnolia fragrance is utterly transporting, and as a magnolia fan, I loved it. Again, I call this unisex. I’d marinate in it if I could. Longevity is outstandingly good. I shall be reviewing this one in more detail soon.
Clive Christian Nobile VIII Immortelle
1.5ml eau de parfum (£350 for 50ml)
This stuff really packs a punch. Immortelle is also known as the everlasting flower- a bit like a yellow cornflower. It has a spicy, faintly curry like nuance, but here it is overtaken by the robust vetiver. It’s a strong, statement fragrance that shouldn’t be worn before breakfast, but should be strongly encouraged for evening.
Jimmy Choo MAN ICE2ml eau de toilette (from £30 for 30ml)
This is an invigorating grapefruit and lemon scent that reminded me a little of Annick Goutal Eau D’Hadrien. It’s fantastically light and revitalizing with a mossy finish and I’ve no idea why it’s “For Men” because I am seriously getting myself a full bottle.
Initio Parfums Magnetic Blend 7 1.2ml eau de parfum (£154 for 90ml)
Amplifying the power of pheromonal molecules to provoke instinct through a sublime breed of violence.
It’s a lofty claim and one that’s hard to talk about objectively. On Fragrantica, the description doesn’t do it justice- the only note listed is musk. However, this musk will react differently on your skin than it will on mine. On mine it smells like plasticine. On you it may smell different. The jury’s out, but I remain intrigued. Maybe in six hours’ time I will become irresistible to all. I’ll get back to you.
EDIT- six hours later my cats keep sniffing my arm where I sprayed this but I can smell nothing. Don’t be put off, I get the feeling this is like one of those lipsticks that changes colour according to your body heat. Results will vary.
Bentley Momentum1.8ml eau de toilette (£59 for 100ml)
This has huge sillage and longevity and is full of ambergris, sandalwood, moss and musk. Described as an oriental Fougere, the Nose behind it is the legendary Nathalie Lorson, who has created more major fragrances than I could list, but I can tell you that she made Black Opium, so she knows a thing or two about big hitters, as this one certainly is.
Cristiano Ronaldo Legacy 2ml eau de toilette (£29 for 30ml)
Finally, my sons and I have some middle ground to talk about. Football meets fragrance. This is a very decent offering in Ronaldo’s name (let’s not even pretend celebrities make them, OK?). This is a leathery floral musk with daring hints of peony and violet. I say daring because football fans are not known for their penchant for peony. I am happy to be corrected. This is nothing too edgy or original, and you can only find the flowers if our nose seeks them out, but it is the same vein as a good David Beckham scent, only with more fuzzy violets. The Jury’s out on whether it helps you win football tournaments.
A generous sample in manly grey packaging. I like that there are other goodies in Perfume Society Discovery Boxes in sizes generous enough to have a decent trial of the product.
Penhaligon’s No. 33 Moisturiser 5ml (normally £38 for 75ml)
This comes in the cutest tube in the world. It’s perfect for an overnight stay and smells divine, as you might expect.
Where to buy
You can buy The Perfume Society Men’s Edit from The Perfume Society website for £19 or £15 to subscribers. Subscribing costs just £25 a year and gives a wide range of benefits of which discounted Discovery Boxes are just one. My box was sent ot me by the Perfume Society in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and this was not a sponsored post.