Category Archives: cheap perfume that smells good

Yves Rocher Moment de Bonheur: Roses, Roses, Roses

moment de bonheur

  As you may know, I’m a big fan of Yves Rocher and awaiting a parcel for them later this week.  I love that the quality is high and the freebies and special offers are plentiful.

It’s shame there are no stores in the UK and I have had to make a few blind buys, but I have never been disappointed.  I am particularly fond of Yves Rocher Cléa, which, if you’re a fan, smells a bit like Dove and makes for a deliciously creamy, ambery fragrance. Today I am reviewing Yves Rocher Moment de Bonheur, a rather lovely, simple floral. It opens with drunken rose petals.  By drunken I mean that it reminds me of the rose petal perfume I used to make when I was little.  I would collect rose petals from the garden and keep them in a jar of water.  The resulting perfume would not be um…commercial, but it smelled like rose petals that were on the turn: over ripe if you like and on the point of being fermented.  I’m not painting a pretty picture but in fact the rose scent from the stewed and dampened petals really summed up summer for me.

Moment de Bonheur was in fact created for Autumn and was launched in September 2011.  This would make sense, since the base has a hint of spice and warmth in the patchouli and cedar finish.  However, despite the geranium and green notes, Moment de Bonheur, to me will always be roses, roses, roses: stem, leaves and all. It’s light as a petal and borderline soapy in places, but I love it. If you like rose fragrances you can’t go wrong with this one.

photo by theimaginationtree.com
photo by theimaginationtree.com

Lady Gaga Fame: More Tame than Fame

 

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  Lady Gaga Fame took me by surprise.  With Gaga’s inexhaustible originality and eccentricity, and with the gold claw and black juice of the bottle, I was expecting something clashing and well…Gaga. Maybe a combination of jarring, clanging Cacharel Eden with the daring creosote of Tauer’s Lonestar Memories? Maybe she would have used an ingredient never used before in perfume (is there one? I’m still working my way through…). But no. In Fame : Lady Gaga has (shock, horror), gone all ladylike on us.

Today she is wearing a twin set and pearls and sipping her ubiquitous porcelain cuppa. Lady-Gagas-Fame-Perfume-AdThe notes of the perfume are: Belladonna (more for it’s reputation and mystique than for its scent I feel), Apricots (definitely in there somewhere), Honey (just a soupcon) Orchid (a hint), Saffron (hard to discern), Sambac Jasmine (very bold) and Incense (only in the base and round the edges).

The notes surprised me somewhat since on my skin at least, this is a pleasant, slightly violet, powdery floral with a hint of honeyed apricot, but nothing too sweet.  After a few hours, there is a faint tang of something enigmatic and jazz clubby when the incense comes in, but otherwise, this is rather pretty and, dare I say it? – not really edgy at all.

Despite it’s forbidding dark image (and fantastic ads), this would be lovely as day wear, or workwear. The price is excellent at well under £20, and it is widely available at beauty counters and more general stores such as Wilkinsons. It’s good, it’s ladylike, it’s pretty and provides a refreshing change from all that sugar.

Stockists

Try Amazon UK, or allbeauty.com.  Fame currently retails at around £17 for 100ml.

Yardley Jade: a welcome Déjà Vu

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Whilst having a quick browse around Boots today between errands, I came across a perfume I hadn’t seen before : Yardley Jade. Naturally I couldn’t resist testing it and by the time I reached the exit, I was thinking “Hmm. Chanel Cristalle. I bet that phase won’t last.”  Yet here I am, nd.12three hours later, and it still smells as if I am wearing Chanel Cristalle.

As you may know from my previous reviews, I was in an exclusive relationship with Chanel Cristalle  for nearly twenty years, with occasional forays into temporary favourites. Green, light and floral, Cristalle is paradoxically no lightweight, with its Oakmossy finish and long lasting Galbanum touches.

It’s looking as if Jade by Yardley is singing the same song, but, as you might imagine,  for a fraction of the price. I’m never without a bottle of Cristalle and on a wrist to wrist experiment, there was very little in it.  Jade claims to have Peaches, but thankfully, I can smell none.  Both open with Bergamot. Both perfumes have that translucent green feel to them, with a hint of fresh, clean hyacinth, and both have a mossy finish.

Time for the maths bit: The current price for Yardley Jade is £7.99 for a 50ml EDT in Boots.  The current price for Chanel Cristalle EDT is £49 for  a 60ml EDT. (I felt it was only fair to compare like with like, although I tested Jade alongside the Cristalle EDP not EDT).

So there you have it. I wish Yardley had invented this during the period of my life when I couldn’t  afford Cristalle, but better late than never. Oh and a huge Hallelujah that this totally lacks Vanilla, red fruit or anything candy floss. Common Sense prevailed at Yardley.

 

 

Avon Summer White Sunrise: Bravo Avon!

Avon UK
Avon UK

Regular readers of IScentYouADay might be familiar with my views on Avon. If not, here is a potted version: 1. The Golden Oldies were fantastic, 2. To me, many of the current scents have the same cardboardy basenote 3. Now and then they throw a real gem into the mix.

 Avon Summer White Sunrise falls into category three “Now and then they throw a real gem into the mix”.  Sunrise is new to me: I hadn’t seen a big launch anywhere and I never miss an Avon brochure, but looking at Fragrantica, I see there are three in the series. Summer White, Summer White Sunset, and Summer White Sunrise. I can happily report that Avon Summer White Sunrise is rather lovely and will not be given away or sold on eBay as I have often done in the past.

foodchannel.com
foodchannel.com

Summer White Sunrise opens with very distinctive Pear, which lasts from Top Note to Base Note. There is often a slightly sharp tinge to Pear, akin to the Acetone/Pear Drops similarity.  If you like Pear, read on, if you don’t, then this might not be your cup of tea.

Along with the Pear is a pleasant burst of Mandarin, which prevents this from being a typical fruity floral, and more of a citrus floral. The middle notes include Orchid, which you may recall was also present in all its synthetic glory in the dreadful Avon Incandessence.  Thankfully, it’s not detectable here, or at least to my nose it isn’t. This is a simple scent with  simple notes done well.  You may also find Orange Blossom  and a hint of Rose in there- I certainly did.  The whole thing is pleasantly rounded off with a Musky base: not too much to be sexy, but just enough to calm the notes down pleasantly before they retire for the day.  I often find a Musk base rounds things off smoothly and this is certainly the case here.

There is a hint of hairspray when you first spray this but that could be the association between Pears and Acetone.  Summer White Sunrise is delightfully light and pretty, and makes a good summer daytime fragrance, especially since it only cost me five quid in the last brochure. Bravo Avon!  More like this please!

Vanderbilt by Gloria Vanderbilt: A Thrifty Classic

vanderbilt ad 2

If you were a child of the Seventies, you may remember the adverts on TV for Vanderbilt jeans.  Daring designer Gloria Vanderbilt, she of the impeccable heritage, launched a range of jeans that were tighter than the world had seen before.  Suddenly the derriere was very much “in” and fashionable backsides had Gloria’s name all over them.

www.iwillnotdiet.com
www.iwillnotdiet.com

Between scandal, tragedy and court cases, Vanderbilt, a talented artist and writer, also launched a range of perfumes with L’Oreal and the original scent: Vanderbilt by Gloria Vanderbilt, has become a quiet classic with no signs of quitting yet, rather like it’s 90 year old creator.

The success of Vanderbilt led to the launch of twelve flankers, including fragrances for men, but none have eclipsed the success of this slow and steady grafter that can be bought just about anywhere for under ten pounds.

vanderbilt advert swanIf I had been asked to describe this blind, I would have said it was most definitely Iris against a sweet Tuberose and Musk base. Two out of three ain’t bad, as Meatloaf would say, and I was very surprised to see that this contains no Iris at all.

Here are the notes according to Fragrantica: Top notes: Aldehydes, Pineapple, Bergamot, Orange Blossom, Lavender, Green notes. Middle notes:  Carnation, Tuberose, Orris Root, Rose, Jasmine, Ylang. Base notes:  Sandalwood, Cinnamon, Opoponax, Vetiver, Civet,  Musk

Many of these ingredients are absent to my nose (no Civet and vandebiltthankfully, no Pineapple), you may find it’s different for you.  Considering there are so many varied ingredients,  I still find that rooty note that is usually associated with Iris, is the most dominant.  However, I think it’s probably a combination of vegetable-like Orris Root and creamy rich Tuberose. The drydown is a pleasant crowd pleasing White Musk with a hint of something woody: maybe a whisper of Vetiver and rasp of Sweet Myrrh aka Opoponax, but overall, I still say that Iris lovers will go for this.

Age wise, this could suit young or old, although today’s young tastes might initially eschew it in favour of more sugary scents.  It’s versatile for day or night, inoffensive and cheap enough to wear every day.  Longevity is pretty good at around six hours and you can easily top up from just about anywhere should you run out.  Frankly, these things are all I ask from a drugstore classic.

vanderbilt

Gloria Vanderbilt had such a colourful and interesting life, it would make a great movie. With her wealth, she could have gone down the exclusive route  where fragrance was concerned and produced something with a “no riff raff” price tag, but she didn’t and she created something entirely pleasant and accessible. Kudos  and my respect to this Grande Dame of Design.

You can buy Vanderbilt from Amazon or allbeauty.com if you’re in the UK or from Sears if you’re in the USA or Canada, but it’s pretty much everywhere.

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Dana Toujours Moi: “With a Spicy French Accent”

toujours moi advert

As you know, I am a big champion of smelling good on a budget (although I like to splash out sometimes too).

I recently ordered Dana Toujours Moi from eBay for the princely sum of £3.99.  In return, I had a cute 15ml spray bottle of Toujours Moi Eau de Cologne.  Oddly enough, the box is packaged separately, which seems a like a lot of packaging, but if I am extra thorough with my recycling this week, my guilt will lessen the tiny blow.  You can also find Dana Toujours Moi on Amazon.com.

toujours moi bottle

Originally made by Corday in 1921, and now by Dana, Toujours Moi is an Oriental.  No doubt about it.  And don’t be fooled by the “Eau de Cologne” label either, this lasts until bedtime.  Next week.

The notes according to Fragrantica are : Orange Blossom, Sandalwood, Musk, Lavender, Lilac, Jasmine and Vetiver. The notes are not arranged in any particular order.

toujours moiWhat I experienced on the first spray is a wonderfully vintage-y  blast of  spicy floral notes, settling down into something more powdery and richer than its notes would have me believe.  I would have thought there was Amber, and even a touch of Benzoin in here, but there’s not.  For a few moments, it reminded me of Tauer Le Maroc Pour Elle– a whimsical spicy Lavender scent with a hippy vibe that reminds me of outdoor markets on a sunny day. ( see my earlier review)

The Lavender  and Lilac lend an old fashioned feel to Toujours Moi and there is definitely a powdery touch in there somewhere.  Some people might label this old fashioned, but I say bring it on.

lav

Lasting power is amazing at this price:  at an hour it stays strong, after that, it gives a little enticing wafts for a couple more hours, and after that it’s close to skin until bedtime.

This would be too traditional for a modern cupcake palate, but for those of you like your fragrance classic, with a spicy vintage vibe, this is for you.  It is the kind of très French perfume your mother may have received for Christmas in the early 70s.

I have to share what it says on the box,

“Sensual and full-bodied, a provocative romantic scent spoken with a spicy French accent”

Stockists: You can find this on eBay iof you look hard, and it’s available  from Fragrancenet and Amazon.com

 Paris 065

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In Praise of Mothers

 

mothers annoy

Mothers are often our first point of reference when it cnd.221omes to perfume.  It never ceases to amaze me how people can forget what they had for breakfast yesterday but remember exactly how their mother smelled to them when they were four.  It often moves me to read comments on my blog where postnd.96ers nostalgically muse about scents of their much missed mothers, or even the much missed years of their childhood.

One thing I admire about my own mother is that she always tried a different scent.  She has by turns, worn Louis Feraud by Avon, YSL Rive Gauche, Paloma Picasso, Chanel No 5,  Estee Lauder Knowing, Dior Dune and several late great Avons that I cannot name but would immediately recognise.paloma-1

Today she favours Avon Soft Musk, Body Shop White Musk,  Tweed and Dana Tabu, which I introduced her to and which smells terrific on her.   She doesn’t very often like anything I like,  but she has always been interested in perfume, wearing it every day, and that in turn, has made it part of my 125530_a_LARGEordinary day to day life.

My son asked me “When is Kid’s Day?”  and I said “every day is Kid’s Day”.

Dear Mum, thank you for having me.

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Chique by Taylor of London : My Dusty Beauty

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Long overlooked, with its cheap plastic lid and utilitarian packaging, Chique by Taylor of London, formerly made by Yardley, has such a cringe-y name and unremarkable presence that it has become all too easy to ignore.

However, I bought a bottle this week and was more than pleasantly surprised.  You may have been able to tell that I love a drugstore classic and nothing is too cheap for me (except coffee).  My small and rather dull looking bottle of Chique held some amazing surprises.

It opens like a prickly Chypre and stays put.  The drydown was puzzling me for a long time until I realised what it was that I was reminded of.  Only Estee Lauder Knowing!  What’s not to love? Chique goes on with the subtlety of an Olympic fireworks display and hangs around like a barnacle on a ship.  Longevity is about ten hours.

Here are the notes according to trusty Fragrantica: Floral Notes, Orange, Lemon, Fruity Notes, Oakmoss.

First of all, the list of notes doesn’t do this justice.  This is a green, musty, powdery Oakmoss scent.  In other words it’s right up my street.  It’s also very reasonably priced to a point that made me suspicious.  However, on opening it and trying it out I was utterly delighted (and for once in my life I threw the box away, it was beyond dull).

It is so up my street that we’re practically housemates.  In fact we are.  This now lives in my handbag.

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One word though: it has muscles, so don’t spray near other people, unless you want them to run away. I bought my bottle of Chique for £3.99 off Amazon and it came with a free body spray.  I think the price has changed now, but you’d still get change from a ten pound note. Bargain of The Year.

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