Category Archives: buying perfume for teenagers

Christian Lacroix for Avon: Bijou

bijou

Christian La Croix has been making scent for Avon for nine years now and the latest release (2015) is Bijou. I ordered a little 10ml purse spray to get to know it.

The top notes are pear, apple and orange. Middle notes are vanilla orchid, jasmine and gardenia. Base notes are vanilla, musk, star anise and sandalwood.

It opens with bold white flowers, pear and vanilla. It’s light and flowery and off to a good start, apart from the tell-tale vanilla which takes a front seat straight away which spoiled it a bit for me.

The white flowers stick around a bit, but the vanilla seeps through to every stage which makes this smell a little generic. Vanilla is every bleedin’ where at the moment, and I long for a new release that dares to skip it, however, they are making this for people who like vanilla in everything, so I can’t exactly say they’re wrong.

bijou avon pic

The overwhelming accord is pear/vanilla/jasmine, which will no doubt be popular, but for me, this is nothing original or unique and not particularly exciting. Although this is an eau de parfum, longevity was very poor. There was an overly sweet vanilla-y floral scent on my arm for about an hour and then..nothing.

Some Fragrantica users have said that this reminds them of YSL Black Opium, and its probably the combo of pear, vanilla and jasmine, although to me, Black Opium is a sugary Espresso in a sparkly bottle.

Still, full marks to Avon for doing more purse sprays these days. And full marks to Avon in general for making lots of lovely stuff. I bought this for £3.60, so you can try it (and others) without breaking the bank. Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it won’t suit you.

Stockists

Christain La Croix Bijou is available from Avon online or from your lovely Avon rep, if they are anything like mine, who is called Jill and is smashing.

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DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom

tokopedia

Today I tried DKNY Fresh Blossom, which was in Superdrug and priced at £18.  I couldn’t resist having a thorough  couple of squirts, but now I’m home I have only my memories.  Yes, short longevity doesn’t begin to cover it.  This was a bit of a funny one on me.  At first its pretty and light: there is apparently grapefruit and apricot as it opens, neither of which I could detect. I did find a few light and pretty floral notes- certainly a touch of rose. The base notes are allegedly woods and apple, but I didn’t get that far.

It reminded me very much of the much cheaper Intimately Beckham For Her which I reviewed earlier in the blog  and which I liked a lot.

However DKNY Be Delicious strangely began to smell like wet shoes before disappearing altogether. Two hours later there is no trace whatsoever on me. Did I dream it?

It’s a bland and feminine fruity floral that on me at least, had a touch of wet wellies before deserting me completely.  It was a genuine sample, so no questions on that score, but it left me thinking “What just happened?” So I’ll hang on to my eighteen quid if you don’t mind, Donna Karan.

As always, this is just my point of view.  It may smell great on you and last for ages! Let me know if it does.

Stockists

DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom is available from Superdrug and many other retailers.  Try Boots or Amazon, but try before you blind buy.

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Marc Jacobs Decadence

marc jacobs decadence

 

Famous for his fabulous show stopping bottles, Marc Jacobs usually puts his money where his mouth is and produces good quality scent.  Not all of it is my cup of tea, but I respect the brand and like his work.  Not that my opinion will rock his world either way- they all shoot up the bestseller list without my help, as will Marc Jacobs Decadence.

I tried Decadence today after walking past the bottle twice thinking it was a free bag that you get with the bottle.  I opened the bag to find a little spray nozzle inside- how cute!  I was charmed.  I duly slathered on a good tsunami of it so it wouldn’t wear off by the time I got home (and it hasn’t).

Decadence opens with saffron and plum.  I also found the amber and vetiver comes through straight away making this  fruity and rich at the same time.  It’s heady stuff- It doesn’t pass the DayJob test at all so don’t wear it to the office.  Saffron, plum, amber and vetiver- all these come at you with a sledgehammer.  The 2015 Scent du Jour of Jasmine Sambac is also noticeable, as is  a hint of rose, although poor rose gets  a bit overlooked with everything else going on.

Decadence smells very masculine, but that doesn’t put me off.  There were  moments when this reminded me strongly of Elie Saab, and then for a few moments, it reminded me, oddly enough, of Paco Rabanne 1Million Cologne.  There is a rich statement-making trail to Decadence and I reckon it will scent many a night out for at least the next two years.  You will smell it in restaurants, powder rooms and wine bars and say “Oh! That’s Marc Jacobs Decadence, I’d know it anywhere” and you may or may not feel glad that it’s nudged Angel off the  Top Spot for a bit.  Mystic Sam also predicts it will a total sell out at Christmas too.

Whilst I don’t love this myself, I do like it  and  the bottle is good enough to buy on its own – it would grace any dressing table and it should , and probably will, win awards.

Stockists

You will find Marc Jacobs Decadence is stocked widely.  You could try House of Fraser, The Fragrance Shop, or Amazon UK. Prices are in the region of £49 and vary according to stockist.

Elizabeth Arden Fifth Avenue: My Lofty Classic

5th

 

Elizabeth Arden fragrances,although  very reasonably priced, can be hit and miss:

Hits: Fifth Avenue, Untold, Green Tea and all its flankers, Sunflowers Summer Bloom, Blue Grass

Misses: Sunflowers, Red Door, Mediterranean, Splendor, True Love.

My lists are of course purely subjective, but I would add a great big thumbs up to Elizabeth Arden Fifth Avenue, which I am reviewing today. It deserves a place right at the helm of the Hit list. Fifth Avenue was created in 1996 by legendary nose Ann Gottlieb  and to me, it has stood the test of time where others have fallen.  With it’s light feminine florals and its warm amber base, I would go as far as to say it has a lot in common with Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps.

lazada.com.ph
lazada.com.ph

I mistakenly thought that Fifth Avenue was all about freesia, but in fact I find there is no freesia in it.  Instead, it is chock full of the most classic florals, namely rose, lily of the valley, jasmine, violet, iris, tuberose, lilac and carnation. If flowers had their own version of Who’s Who , all these would be in it. Rather than being cloying though, this floribunda of an accord is lightened with citruses in the opening gambit, bedding down to a floral base with hints of white musk and amber.  Unlike several other Elizabeth Arden scents, lasting power is pretty good.  I thought I’d lost it after an hour or two, but it wafted back to me in the evening when I let my hair down (in the literal sense, I didn’t go and party when the kids were in bed).

I like Fifth Avenue so much that I have a 125ml bottle on my dressing table and its sky scraper style bottle dwarfs my collection with its lofty glass column and its gold lid. I call this a classic, and I call it great value too.  It’s a pretty safe bet as a gift too- it’s sure to please anyone who likes floral scents without killing bystanders ( Hey, Angel, I’m talking to you!)

Stockists

Elizabeth Arden Fifth Avenue is currently available for a bargain price  at allbeauty.com and is widely available on your High Street or on Amazon UK.

Paco Rabanne Olympéa  

fragrantica
fragrantica

 

Ah Paco Rabanne!  That shy retiring wallflower of the fragrant firmament! So meek and subtle…you would barely know it was there…

Anyway, getting back to reality, Paco Rabanne, ( who are still getting dirty looks off me for creating 1Million), has launched another heavy hitter in the form of Olympéa.  I tried it today and I have to say that whilst there is a lot to respect and admire, it’s not my cup of tea or pot of jam.

Opening with a blast of creamy vanilla and white flowers, this is so thick, rich and heavy that I am surprised it is a summer launch.  I thought there was a miniscule droplet of Oud at its heart, but I was mistaken- but that might give you an inkling at how heavy this is.  Two hours later it has bedded down into a woody sweetness, that, were it not for the vanilla, I would possibly have liked more.  It’s faded a lot though in two hours, so I’m not blown away by its longevity- I had to sniff hard to find it. Vanilla isn’t going to go away anytime soon, so I guess I have to suck it up until it passes.

Nevertheless, Olympéa will do well on its own without my perfume dollar.  To me though, it was like extract of crême brulée with extra double cream and vanilla beans on top of that, covered with sugar with a heady bunch of jasmine next to it on the table, interfering with the food.  One bite is all I’d want.

Stockists

Paco Rabanne Olympea is available from The Perfume Shop, Boots, and Escentual.

Paco Rabanne 1 Million Cologne: It’s Got Muscles

1-million-cologne
perfumeshop.com

I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying “if you can’t say something nice, say nothing”. Maybe that’s why I’ve never reviewed Paco Rabanne 1 Million.  No, scratch that, I’ve written several reviews for fragrances I couldn’t stand, and I love to read other bloggers too when they are in acerbic mood. I like to think that derogatory blogatory pricks the bubbles of perfumed pomposity like comedians and governments.

It’s ironic that the blurb for Paco Rabanne 1 Million says “It represents power, wealth, luxury, durability…” because where I live, it represents teenage boys on the pull with quiffs, ludicrously tight trousers (what bird is that?  Must be a thrush, sorry where was I?) and a whiff of cider and cigarettes. They do not leave the house until they are marinated in it.

When I came across a sample of Paco Rabanne 1 Million Cologne recently, I pulled a face like a bulldog sucking a lemon sherbet.

 

Amazon UK
Amazon UK

Paco Rabanne 1 Million Cologne nearly rights a few wrongs for me, but not quite.  For example, Paco Rabanne 1 Million gives off a thick fuzziness to me, that gets right on and into my chest, like cobwebs and dust.  I’m mildly asthmatic but it very rarely flares up or affects me, unless I smell Paco Rabanne 1 Million.  At the same time, there’s too much going on: there’s fruit, amber, patchouli, leather, citrus, mint, spices, cinnamon, and Uncle Tom Cobley an’ all.

The cologne is, as you might expect, a toned downversion, with slightly less thick fuzziness  and more sea notes and more citrus. At first spray its light and refreshingly, but after five minutes it gets far too rich for a summer’s day and starts to smell like sherry. This smells a bit like Paco Rabanne 1 Million from the night before that has worn off on bed sheets- something I will never experience since Mr IScent will never have a bottle. (I’m not a control freak- he doesn’t want one, honest! Phew.)  The Cologne is a watered down version of the original with extra citrus, but at the end, when all’s spent, it’s the same old story with a different opening chapter.

I’ll leave this one for the kids.

 Stockists:

You can buy Paco Rabanne 1 Million and Paco Rabanne 1 Million Cologne from The Fragrance Shop, from where I got my sample (The Discovery Club Box to be precise). You can also get it from Amazon UK, Escentual and Boots.

Library of Fragrance Salt Air: Holiday Time!

World of Oddy Photography
World of Oddy Photography

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m a big fan of Library of Fragrance.  It allows us to be grown-ups and mix and match our own choice of scents when we want to go rogue i.e. when we don’t want to buy the latest over the counter launches that don’t suit our personal taste- or at least that’s why I buy them.

Library of Fragrance

But that’s just one angle when it comes to the purpose behind Library of Fragrance.  The other thing they manage to do so well is to produce scents that are evocative of a time or place or scene.  Not only do they produce a wide choice of scent for day time or evening wear, but there are many of us, and you might be one too, who sometimes want to smell like the beach or the garden or Christmas, and that’s where Library of Fragrance comes in.

Today I have been wearing Library of Fragrance Salt Air, (well actually the last couple of days to be precise, I’m addicted). Salt Air successfully encapsulates the exact holiday smell of when you’ve been on the beach all day.  There is a salty tang and an uplifting ozonic scent that doesn’t veer into imitation L’Eau D’Issey territory as ozonic so often can.  Salt Air is the tang of salt, the fresh surf of the sea crashing onto the shore, and a whiff of something clean, like sun cream without the coconut, or that fresh smell of holiday bed linen as your salty sea sprayed head hits the pillow on the first night.

doggie
World of Oddy Photography

Sea Air is gorgeously clean smelling and uplifting and is very much a Feel Good scent. Longevity is surprisingly good- remember that these are colognes, but they always have much better longevity than you would expect from a cologne. On me, Salt Air lasted over four hours before I needed a little top up.  It’s totally unisex too and would smell equally good on a male or female.

Salt Air is one of my favourite Library of Fragrance scents- and I have reviewed many of them, because, what can I say?  I’m a fan of the brand.

Pop Salt Air into your holiday luggage, or better still, wear it when you’re not on holiday for that seaside feeling all summer long.

World of Oddy Photography
World of Oddy Photography

Stockists

Library of Fragrance Salt Air is available from the Library of Fragrance website and Boots also carries a selection in store.  My sample was from the fabulous Perfume Society Jet Set Discovery Box, which you can buy here very soon.

 Photos

All seaside photos are of Whitmore Bay ( aka Barry Island) and taken by my very talented friend Alison Oddy of World of Oddy Photography or check out the Facebook Page here.

Diesel Loverdose Red Kiss: Don’t Kiss Me!

redkissbottle

 

I tried Diesel Loverdose Red Kiss today in my local Perfume Shop and was soon wishing I hadn’t.  I took a thorough squirting on arm and sleeve just in case it was in danger of fading before I got home.  It wasn’t.  It’s still there seven hours later, refusing to leave.

The funny thing is, my interpretation of this is completely different from its description.  Described as a Gourmand Floriental (which I think is kind of a cop out covering three crowd pleasing categories) I found Diesel Loverdose Red Kiss to be a sickly, cloying, sticky, overly sweet candy cane mess that me feel hot and sticky and bothered as the day went on.

According to trusty Fragrantica however, Loverdose Red Kiss is replete with nuts, apples, blackcurrant , bergamot and sugar, with an ambery finish.

sweets
Photo by www.weheartit.com

Unfortunately I got sugar, sweets, chews, lollies, candy floss and sticky strawberry ice cream sauce. Diesel Loverdose Red Kiss made me want to brush my teeth and wash it off my arm.

You may like it.  You may get the tantalising promise of bergamot and blackcurrant, but I didn’t. Oh wait!  A whiff of toffee apple lollies  there. And a synthetic vanilla finish.

To get a good idea of my view on this, eat 24 strawberry lollies  and wash them down with cherryade and custard.

If you’ve tried it, do share your view with me.  Just because I don’t like this, doesn;t mean I’m right.  Perfume is like poetry- there’s no right or wrong interpretation.

Stockists:  Diesel Loverdose Red Kiss is available from The Perfume Shop and Amazon UK to name but a few.

weheartit.com
The Perfume Shop

Library of Fragrance Play Doh: Take it Seriously

lofpicbest6

 

Library of Fragrance isn’t just out to make you smell good, they’re out to evoke too.  They evoke childhood memories, gardens in the rain, Christmas, beach holidays…you name it, it’s probably there.

Library of Fragrance Play Doh plays a joker card but in fact it deserves to be taken seriously.  Within that evocative Play Doh aroma is actually a thick, rich-as-custard vanilla that immediately made me think of Dior Hypnotic Poison.  Yes- within that adorable pumpkin bottle from Dior is a gourmand marzipan/vanilla that I could not stop sniffing the second I sprayed it ( see my previous review on this blog) . I don’t even like gourmands as a rule, but I adored Hypnotic Poison.  Utterly addictive, and sadly to be retired to the discontinued pile, Dior Hypnotic Poison fans should dry their tears and seriously consider Library of Fragrance Play Doh as a sub.

hypnotic
allbeauty.com

On top of this affectionate comparison comes another.  Back in the 1990s when I was living in London, I interrupted my twenty year marriage to Chanel Cristalle and had a quick fling with The Body Shop Vanilla Oil.  So rich it was boozy- I often received such remarks as “Have you been baking?” and “Mmm, you smell LOVELY”. Once again, Library of Fragrance Play Doh brings back a memory of that thickly golden scent that they haven’t quite captured these days at The Body Shop.

pinterest
Pinterest

So wear your Play Doh with pride. You will get misty-eyed people of a certain age entranced by your scent, or entering a bakery and buying a vanilla crown without knowing why. As for me-I’m going to wear it because it’s marzipan without calories.

www.luebeck.de
www.luebeck.de

 Stockists:  You can buy Library of Fragrance Play Doh online from Library of Fragrance. The price is £15 for one bottle or £25 for any two bottles from the huge range.

lofplay doh

Chanel Chance Eau Vive EDP

chance   Chanel Chance Eau Vive is the latest Chance flanker from Chanel. Launched just this week, I was eager to try it and entered my local Perfume Shop to ask for a squirt. A squirt was fine , but when I asked for a sample, the assistant looked at me like I owed her money. What’s going on with the sample thing these days? I’m even a card carrying Perfume Shop Club Points Scheme member, but it was an unhesitating, unapologetic No. Nevertheless, I had several sprays on skin and coat sleeve and it was pleasant enough. Actually I was impressed by longevity since I can still smell traces of this from this morning, albeit a masculine vetiver-y trace.

chance-eau-vive-s

Chanel Chance Eau Vive opens with quiet fanfare awash with robust grapefruit notes that make this a perfect fresh pick me up for summer. It reminded me very much of Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh, with very little difference between the two. I should imagine that if you love one you love the other. In the middle, some light and airy florals emerge that were fairly non-descript and mingled in summery fashion with citrussy notes. The drydown was a bit cucumber/melon on me, but at the end of the day there was, as I mentioned, a trace of vetiver.

chance x4

Created by the great Olivier Polge, this will be greeted warmly by fans of light, summery feminine scents, and it certainly holds it own. Personally I prefer my fragrances to have bit more oomph, but this does the job it was meant to and would make a great wedding guest scent. Never overpowering, always pretty and unobtrusive: this is a bridesmaid scent that would let the bride shine.

 Stockists Chanel Chance Eau Vive is widely available.  You could try www.Sephora.fr, Boots, or Harrods. It’s also availblae on Amazon UK . It doesn’t appear to be available in the states yet but I imagine it’ll be along in a minute.

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