Avon Sensuelle EDP is the latest addition to my little Avon collection. It’s not my most favourite-est in the whole world, but for every day, and for the laughably cheap price of £4.75, I am jolly pleased with my swag.
It not only looks like a J-Lo fragrance, but it smells like one too. Opening with soapy fruity floral notes, it beds down into a milky musky subtle scent that would suit a day in the office or a day in pyjamas equally well. If this were a colour it would be pale pink, as would your pyjamas.
The florals are quite dominant, although they do smell a little synthetic (but hey, I had change from five quid!), and there was a worrying phase that resembled Avon Incandessence a bit too much ( probably the very faux orchid which is prevalent in Incandescence). However, overall, if you like pleasant, girly scents with a hint of white musk around the edges that makes you smell like you’re wearing clean clothes, then Avon Sensuelle would suit you just fine. It’s often on special offer and my bottle was from a recent Avon brochure in the sale segment. With a pretty bottle of frosted glass and a nice box, it would make a nice gift if I hadn’t decided to keep it!
Avon Sensuelle is available from AvonShopUK, or from your Avon lady ( mine is called Jill and she’s lovely) and you can often find it on Amazon or eBay too.
A while back I reviewed Loewe Quizas Quizas Quizas and labelled my review “Death By Red Berries”. Lately however, I have learned not to discount an ingredient due to previous disappointment, so I gave Jimmy Choo Blossom a fair hearing (or sniffing to be exact).
Sadly, it did indeed open with red berries and very little else to my nose. It reminded me of the kind of bubble bath bubbles my two sons, aged five and eight have a penchant for. Imagine if there were a very inexpensive bubble bath called “Cherry Bubble Gum Strawberry” or some such. You now have in your head my precise interpretation of the sickly, fruity, vinyl opening notes of Jimmy Choo Blossom. But! (and there’s a big but!) Hold the front page! I have more to say.
I wore this today when I took my sons to the park. I could feel the sun’s rays on my arm making my skin hot and I decided to have a sniff of the Jimmy Choo Blossom I had applied an hour or so before coming out. It was starting to change. It was still synthetic, but the berries were dying down and something interesting was happening that I couldn’t put my finger on. A few hours later we were back at home and I sniffed again. The basenotes are lovely. A combo of sandalwood and musk makes for a very feminine and less bubblegum finishing touch that I would happily wear and buy. The red berries are like a trace of faint soap from the morning, but the sandalwood and musk are much more palatable.
After a three hour wait for something nice, this is a bit like having to sit through a pantomime to get to the Chekhov, so I won’t be buying a ticket to this romp anytime soon.
Philosophy Amazing Grace is much beloved by the perfume wearer that doesn’t want to announce their presence too loudly. It is the classy quiet girl that stands still opposite Alexis Carrington in a cat fight: both are majestic in their own way, but incompatible.
Philosophy Amazing Grace opens subtly, stays subtle and has lasting subtle notes, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. Amazing Grace contains: Grapefruit, mandarin and bergamot, freesias, jasmine and rose, and a lasting note of gentle white musk.
In fact I barely noticed that it contained citrus as this has such a muted feel from the start. The freesias and roses peek out, but the soft musk is in there from the beginning, covering everything in soft white fluff, like a newly dried angora sweater, or a pile of white fluffy towels.
Philosophy Amazing Grace is the kind of perfume you want to wear when you want to smell shower fresh and laundry clean and almost, dare, I say it, unobtrusive. It is the smell of clean living and a “butter wouldn’t melt” face. It’s the perfume you would wear to a job interview or when you were trying to get away with something: “It wasn’t me, I am pure as the driven snow. I even smell like I am “ (deliver this line with wide eyes).
So if you’re looking for perfume that smells “clean”, this is it. This is one of the best fresh laundry/clean from the shower fragrances ones I’ve come across, although I was reminded several times whilst smelling it, of Library of Fragrance Clean Skin. This is no bad thing. Amazing Grace is the scent for your duvet day when you don’t want to waft vintage Opium all over everyone to show them who’s Boss.
Excuse me a minute whilst I gush like a fan. The Perfume Society Discovery Boxes are my new guilty pleasure. In fact, I don’t even feel guilty. They are my new obsession and The Perfume Society haven’t asked me to say so. I am besotted.
Years ago, when I was a slip of a girl (many, many years ago) my late grandmother gave me a wonderful Christmas gift. She had decorated a little basket with some fabric remnants, making a frilled lining, and filled it with beauty bits and bobbins. In it were bath cubes, setting lotion, a sachet of Shaders and Toners (remember them?) bath pearls and various other mini delights. It was such a cornucopia that I eked it out for a long time and have never forgotten what a treat it was to receive. I’ve had nothing like it since, but the old feelings came rushing back when I received my first Perfume Society Discovery Box a few months back. I’m now on my fourth and the thrill has not dissipated.
There is always a book of sniffing strips, postcards with notes about each perfume and discussion prompts in case you want to get a perfume club going ( and I do), and then last but not least, there is a selection of seven or eight perfume samples, often hard to get, and usually an “extra”, which in the past has consisted of Liz Earle skincare, Crabtree and Evelyn hand cream, and L’Occitane Roses et Reines hand cream.
This month I have the Beautiful Blossoms Discovery Box and it contains: a quad of Yardley floral EDTs, Miller Harris Couer de Jardin, Fragonard Jasmine, Jimmy Choo Blossom, La Perla Peony Blossom, Ruth Mastenbroek Amorosa, Agonist Isis, Chloe Love Story , Philosophy Amazing Grace and Elemis British Botanical Shower Cream.
I can sit there sniffing away of an evening with the TV on, blissfully trying stuff out for my blog and feeling very much in my element. It also means my sample selection has expanded in a way that makes my eyes light up like a miser in a goldmine.
So this isn’t a review of a perfume, but if you like perfume, these Discovery Boxes will save you a traipse round a High Street smelling of so many perfumes you can’t remember the name of the one you liked. Or they might fill a very pleasant evening of wrist sniffing whilst watching old reruns of House MD on Netflix with a cup of tea. Like what I do. Bliss.
The Perfume Society Discovery Boxes are available on the Perfume Society website for £15, although subscribers get first dibs and a discount.
I had a sample of Versace Eros Pour Femme in the most recent Discovery Club Box from the Fragrance Shop. This might be a good time to confess here that I am shamefully unfamiliar with a lot of Versace scent, having only actually reviewed two or three. Something about the brand leaves me feeling like I can’t identify with anything they have to offer. No offence Versace, we’re just from different worlds. However, I rather liked Eros, but enough to buy a bottle? We shall see.
Versace Eros Pour Femme opens with citrus and pomegranate, both of which were very much present and correct. The opening is sharp and refreshing, and the pomegranate provides a little juiciness. Then straight away, we’re heading into Jasmine Sambac territory. Now Jasmine Sambac seems to be this year’s caramel. Last year caramel and praline notes seemed to be everywhere, and this year I have noticed Jasmine Sambac, (sometimes called Arabian Jasmine) has been providing lots of rich white floral notes to lots of mainstream new releases.
Jasmine Sambac is that white flower note with a seam of not-quite-spice going through it- an almost metallic, borderline oriental richness that screams floral , but not the light petally delicate floral, more the rich gilt chaise for the delicate Laura Ashley cushion. It seems fitting then that it used here in a Versace scent- so renowned for the dripping luxe that is synonymous with the brand.
The Jasmine Sambac very much dominates and drowns out the initial lightness of the citrus, though if I’m not mistaken there is a faint note of lemon curd if I close my eyes and concentrate.
This is described on the sample card as belonging to the olfactive family of “floral, woody, musk” and I would say that’s a fair description. The basenotes meld into a sandalwoody, musky, jasmine miasma. This is not quite a daytime summer scent, but would be at its best on hot oily skin after a day at the beach.
The bottle and packaging is suitably luxurious as you would expect, but I baulk a little at the high price tag. I think you can get similar for less, but I’m blowed if I can think of any names right now. This is a bit like a Marc Jacobs without the lightness maybe? Or maybe its reminding me of Givenchy Dahlia Divin.
Conclusion: Yes, I don’t dislike it, but no I wouldn’t buy a bottle
Almost ubiquitous, you can buy Versace Eros Pour Femme from Debenhams, Escentual, The Fragrance Shop, Harrods, and Boots to name but a few. If you’re outside the UK, you could try all the big department stores and Amazon.com or Sephora.com
The Candy Perfume Boy, once again, writes a review with which I wholeheartedly agree. I deliberately don’t read the reviews of others until after I have written my own, and I found afterwards that Thomas and I both found this rather lacking. Sadface.
If you’d told me a few months ago that I would be actually choosing to buy a perfume that apparently smelled like vanilla ice cream and candy floss, I would have rejected the idea with an unladylike snort.
However, this week I have done just that and I am proudly wearing my brand new bottle of 4160 Tuesdays New York 1955. It was first the violets that captured me and the rest of the scent sat around as if to say “it’s all or none. We come as a pack”. In actual fact, I began to see how well violets, candy floss and vanilla worked once the violets had got their foot in their door.
New York 1955 is one of a range of four vintage cities from 4160 Tuesdays. Each one is very different from the other. Friend of the blog Lisa Wordbird adores Rome 1963 (“and I’m not normally a tuberose-y person” she said), and I liked New York 1955 and London 1969. There is also green chypre Paris 1948, which I reviewed here.
Not only do the names alone capture a whimsical vibe that makes my mind’s eye turn me into Julie Christie or Gina Lollobridgida depending on which city I’m trying, but these cities have made both Lisa and I step out of our comfort zone and like it.
I have swerved, sworn off, and dodged with comic elaborateness the vanilla/candy floss invasion of the Noughties Fragrance Fad, but Sarah McCartney is kind of in my brain saying “yes, but if you try it with THIS, it’s totally different” and she’s right.
What I smell of today (I will explain in visuals rather than notes as is fitting with this brand) is this: Central Park, a raspberry ripple ice cream, a mouthful of parma violets, a vintage Laura Ashley dress and a very blue sky with nary a cloud.
Stockists I bought my bottle for the ludicrously agreeable price of £10 for 18ml directly from the 4160 site. The price is a sale price though so be quick, but have a browse around whilst you’re there as there are some good deals on samples and discovery packs: a great way to explore the brand before you commit to a full bottle.
I have heard several positive noises about Stella and was delighted to find the eau de toilette in this quarter’s Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Box, along with several other great samples that made my eyes light up. To recap- The Fragrance Shop has a Discovery Club whereby they send you a box of fragrances samples once a quarter for the princely sum of £5, plus money off coupons for any or all of the featured fragrances. It’s a good way to avoid pricey blind buys and I have been a member since December 2013. You can join here.
Stella eau de toilette is a light airy floral with a manly clean cut edge, just like one of Stella’s beautifully cut trouser suits. The opening is all pretty peony and freesia, with a lightness of hand that makes me think of floaty chiffon and flower petals. Then the slightly more butch amber emerges in the base notes, making this a floral that refuses to be taken at face value.
Stella is gloriously wearable, and as you would come to expect from a practising vegan, no animals were harmed in its making, not even a ladybird. What I particularly like about it is that it has no vanilla or syrupy sweetness- it is all about the flower.
Whilst Stella will suit all ages, it is an excellent choice if you are buying for a teenager. Along with Chanel Chance Eau Tendre and Especially Escada Delicate Notes, Stella has that delicacy of touch and lightness of hand that makes this a perfect daytime scent, or even a bridal scent. Nobody could possibly find Stella de trop, yet its subtlety is its strength.
Stockists Stella eau de toilette is widely available but since I got my sample from the Fragrance Shop (UK), I should probably give them a mention. In the USA and Canada, you can get it from Sears or Sephora to name but two.
Yesterday, just after lunch, I tried Lancôme La Vie est Belle L’Absolu and could NOT get it off. It’s now Sunday evening. I have had a shower, washed my hands many times and finally, only a bath shifted it. Think cloying caramels and chocolate with a spiky base à la Thierry Mugler Angel, concentrated into essence form and with a staying power only rivalled by a tattoo. I will even have to wash my coat as it rubs off onto my skin every time I wear it.
Lancôme La Vie est Belle has proved to be a bestseller and seems to have tapped into a trend that dictates that it’s desirable for your perfume to make you smell like Thorntons Chocolatier. Personally I dislike anything too gourmand ( with a few notable exceptions) because it feels like I am eating perfume or using food on my skin : my senses get confused and don’t know what to tell my brain.
Lancôme La Vie est Belle L’Absolu was initially a pleasant surprise- finally I could smell those flowers and make out the iris, and… was that rose? With a hint of blackcurrant? Wonderful- for about twenty minutes. Then the caramel barged in and took over, smothering everything and turning up the volume until I was walking home holding the guilty arm away from my side as if I blamed it.
The verdict is this: If you like this, you have a bargain on your hands. Even a small bottle will outlast anything permanent in your life. Staying power is nuclear. Your whole house will smell of it, and your friends will smell like this, and your car and the bus and your children and their friends.
Unfortunately I didn’t like it at all.
Stockists: Lancome La Vie est Belle L’Absolu is available from Sephora.com or Lancome-usa.com or lancome.ca if you are in the USA or Canada or Europe. In the UK, you can buy it from John Lewis, Debenhams, Amazon UK or House of Fraser.
The Avon Cherish campaign is fronted by the impossibly beautiful Abbey Crouch and her equally impossibly beautiful mother Karen. It’s a cliché, but yes they really could be sisters. It’s a pity then that I did not love Cherish as much as I liked the lovely spokesmodels.
A couple of years ago, I was about to give up on Avon: many of the perfumes seemed same-y and synthetic and despite the low prices, I didn’t think they were value for money anymore. However things have turned around now and you can see how much I like Avon again if you look at my Top Ten Avon Fragrances article on this blog.
I have noticed a trend for pink pepper overkill lately and Cherish is no exception. Pink pepper is a red berry rather than pepper and there is way too much here for my taste, making it syrupy and overly fruity. As if there wasn’t enough sweetness going on, Cherish opens with cherry blossom and caramel and beds down to a sandalwood base, . This was a disappointment to me-not because I don’t love sandalwood- I really do, but the sandalwood in Avon perfumes is not a patch on what I hope for. It’s more vanilla candles than smoky spicy wood.
The problem with Cherish is that is smells entirely synthetic. You can just about make out some Jasmine Sambac, but not in a good way. The cherries hit you on the nose all the way through, but in an overly manufactured way that reminded me of plastic fruit and air fresheners. The caramel popped up to make it modern (caramel appears to be BIG right now but I would rather eat it then smell of it), and I lost all hope for a redeeming woody base note when the whole thing drowned in glucose.
Having said all that, I think Cherish meets the tastes of the young and modern and will probably sell pretty well. But I’m going to be diplomatic and say they didn’t make it with me in mind. There. That covers everything, without, I hope, sounding too rude. I love you Avon, but I’ll sit this one out.
By the way, if you like Lancome La Vie est Belle, this is pretty similar.
You can buy Avon Cherish from your Avon rep or online. Current price is £14 including free gifts, but Avon has frequent special offers so prices may vary in future.
Happy Valentine’s Day even if you’re not celebrating it. Love doesn’t have to be romantic so I hope that you, dear reader, have someone to love and to love you in return today. Love is all you need. The Beatles were right.
Rather than focus on one fragrance today, I wanted to share my salacious wonderment at the arrival of another Discovery Box from the Perfume Society.
When I was younger, my late and much missed grandmother Nanna T, used to give me wonderful Christmas presents that consisted of a wicker basket with a hand sewn floral lining, which was then filled with goodies.
This is the 1980s we are talking about so I would get for example,: some bath pearls (remember them?), a sachet of Shaders and Toners (remember them too?), bath cubes (ditto!), and all manner of tiny treats. I loved this gift above all others and have never forgotten it.
Fast forward to 2015 and I got a similar thrill at opening my Love Scents Discovery Box from The Perfume Society. and here’s what was in it:
There is a rose theme running throughout and I am particularly blown away by the high calibre of the samples included. Instead of focussing on one fragrance today, I shall be working my way through this delightful box bit by bit, and hotly anticipating the next one. It’s like getting a little birthday present, and speaking of which, these make perfect perfume-y gifts.
The Perfume Society Discovery Boxes cost £15 from the website. Annual subscription is £25 a year and includes the e-zine Scented Letter, access to meet ups and special perfume events throughout the country, and first dibs on Discovery Boxes, often at a discounted price for members.