Category Archives: Citrus fragrance

Prada Candy Florale: A Clever Surprise

nd.24487   Remember that shampoo from the 80s that was called Once?  It was two tone and  you had to shake it before use and presto!  It was both shampoo and conditioner. Why did I think of Once when I was trying out Prada Candy Florale?  Mainly because Prada Candy Florale surprised me and completely changed half way through wearing it. nd.12426

I have reviewed Prada Candy  elsewhere in this blog (I won’t do a link to my own blog as it gets very weird),  and despite its name making me think it was going to smell like a sweet shop, it was  actually very good and not too sweet at all. Prada Candy was simply Musk, Benzoin and Caramel.

Prada Candy Florale has all of these but with added Peony and wait for it: Limoncello- that bitter, palate cleansing lemon liquer that you only drink in tiny shots. Prada Candy Florale doesn’t smell like a close relation to Prada Candy,

limoncello.com
limoncello.com

but the Florale bit is as good as its word.  Florale uses the prettiest and girliest of flowers: the Peony.  It does the job and it’s a safe bet if you’re not going for an edgy floral. Here’s what happens when you wear it:  it opens as a very pretty, almost green floral with dominant Peony and very little trace of Benzoin or Caramel or anything else really.

Then, and here’s the clever bit, it changes into a delightful lemon eau de cologne style scent that hangs around for about four hours.  The transitional bit is interesting: a sort of citrussy floral bouquet with a hint of creosote-y benzoin, but when it settles it smells so much like a lemon eau de cologne that I had to check which tester  I had used, thinking I must have sprayed one over the top of it.  

Prada Candy Florale impressed me a great deal.  Sometimes new launches are all so samey that I think I will always be buying old school scents from the bottom shelf for evermore.  But then something like this comes along and I applaud its audacity in not playing it safe.  I don’t like it enough to shove anything off my existing over crowded wish list, but thank you Prada for giving us something a bit new and a bit different.

 

PS My sample comes from the latest quarterly  Discovery Club Box from The Fragrance Shop. I love them- make it monthly Fragrance Shop!

Follow

The Best Grapefruit Scent I have ever smelled is Miller Harris Le Pamplemousse

nd.14725

Creating a good grapefruit scent that doesn’t end up cardboard-y or smelling a bit sour is tough.  In my opinion, even Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune  didn’t quite pull it off ( see my earlier review on this blog), and Guerlain only lets geniuses work on their stuff (genii?)

Miller Harris kindly sent me a sample of Le Pamplemousse to try, and as always when I am sent something free, it is on the understanding that I don’t have to either like it or fake delight.  Luckily, in this case, I am gushing like a girl with a crush.  Le Pamplemousse feels like a tall drink of water on a hot day.  It’s like a thirst quenching mirage in a desert.

pamplemousse with boxIt opens, naturally, with grapefruit, but the top notes are actually melon, rhubarb and grapefruit.  In case you’re worried this would smell like a fruit salad, don’t be.  It smells like the best shower you ever had in the poshest hotel you ever stayed in.  The melon simply isn’t there (phew!  I’m not a melon fan), and I’m not even sure the rhubarb is, although rhubarb can work in summery scents. It’s fresh and zingy and if Vitamin C had a smell it would be this.

pampleIn case I didn’t love it enough, there’s even a dab of my beloved oakmoss in it to keep me faithful for life. Where this outshines Guerlain Pamplelune though is that the basenote stays fresh and light and pretty and doesn’t end up smelling like dried up orange rind (Pamplelune is guilty of this although  it smelled very good the day I reviewed it.  It’s as if it knew it had an exam)

For a scent as hesperide-y as this one, lasting power is good at over five hours a spray.  Maybe it’s the clingy green oakmoss.  Maybe it’s the pretty Orangegrapefruit Blossom.  Maybe it’s the herbs, giving this a resonant botanical tang.

Whatever it is, this is the best grapefruit fragrance I have ever smelled, bar none.  In this weather, to which me and my freckles are not accustomed, we should get this on prescription.  Feel good factor- off the scale.

EDIT- Since this review, le Pamplelousse has sadly been discontinued. You can find it at TK Maxx and on eBay.  Shame!

 Follow

The Ultimate (And Not Entirely Serious) Guide to Wedding Perfumes by IScentYouADay

fragrancelife.ru
fragrancelife.ru

It’s wedding season, and what better excuse to think about dreamy wedding perfumes?  Scent evokes such vivid memories that it’s important to get it right for a big occasion.  I have had fun over the past few days picking out perfumes for every kind of bride (I hope).  This guide is of course, subjective and you may have other ideas, or choose to wear a trusty old favourite, as I did. Don’t forget the Golden Rule: Your partner has to buy you a bottle on every anniversary,  so pick wisely.

 

raw silk wedding
My actual wedding dress and tiara. And the pearls are real.

If you’re planning a wedding, I would love to know what scent you have chosen.  If you are already married, I would love to know what you wore to your wedding.  As for me, I wore Chanel Cristalle, but if I had to marry Mr IScent all over again, it would be  4160 Tuesdays Raw Silk and Red Roses.    Incidentally, just because this article is angled towards brides, doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate marriage in all its wonderful forms regardless of gender, race and age.

I support marriage equality wholeheartedly and at the same time, I say knickers to gender stereotypes in perfume.   All you need is love. And a wink and a smile.

The Classy Bride

lilyChanel No 19– Think Kristen Scott Thomas in a simple shift looking incredible.  Think hauteur.

Chanel Cristalle:  Green, beautiful, simple.

Miss Dior Original:  Not the one that smells like strawberries and flowers, the oakmossy one in the bumpy houndstooth bottle.

Lanvin Arpege:  Gets better as the day goes on, like a wedding once the Bar has opened.

The Romantic BridemSKAx_OXlZ3X_Oq1qPIlBqA

Especially Escada Delicate Notes: Light as air and pretty as a picture. This delicate scent lives up to its name.

Estee Lauder Beautiful: Retro memories of Paulina Porizkova looking beautiful as a bride in the ad campaign. I think it has just about every flower in the world.

Chanel Chance Eau Tendre: Like a thousand ballerinas.  Light, airy and  feminine.

Jo Loves No 42 The Flower Shop: Utterly delightful and smells like a posh florist: stems, petals and greenery.

Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose and Gardenia: White flowers on a wedding day. Rich and longlasting. Like the groom, hopefully.

800px-Ballet

The I Want to Be Different Bride

frankenstein

Noontide Petals by Andy Tauer:  Smelling is believing; Bergamot and aldehydes in perfect harmony.

The Sexiest Scent On The Planet Ever IMHO by 4160 Tuesdays: Earl Grey tea with Vanilla and a Woody finish.  This would be a good day to see if it lives up to its name.

Etat Libre D’Orange Fat Electrician.  Never smelled it.  Love the name.  Couldn’t leave it out.

I Fancy You by Jessica Simpson– Just for the name, just so people can say “what are you wearing?” and you can answer them, deadpan. With your new spouse right next to you.  Especially funny if your mother in law is present.  Awkward if it is she who is asking.

download (3)

The Caribbean Wedding Bride

photo by www.festivalbrides.co.uk
photo by www.festivalbrides.co.uk

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess: Sun cream, coconuts, fig and white flowers. Longlasting and multi layered. Like your marriage, hopefully.

O de Lancome: When it’s hot, you’ll be needing the citrus.  It will cool you down and is one of the most refreshing scents that I know.

Miller Harris La Pluie: Tropical flowers with a powdery finish.  This changes and blooms the longer you wear it.

nd.187

The Sexy Bride Who Can’t Wait For the Honeymoon

photo from brideways.com
photo from brideways.com

Worth Courtesan– smells like knickers.  Not freshlay laundered knickers, the other sort of knickers.

Miller Harris L’Air De Rien– This was made for Jane Birkin and it smells like an unwashed andunmade bed and joss sticks. Incredibly sexy.

Serge Lutens Feminite Du Bois– smells like wooden knickers in a woody wood.

l'air de rien

 The Unforgettable Bride With a Dangerous Glint In Her Eye

bigskirt

Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles– despite having written over 400 reviews of perfume, this is the only one that made my husband stand up and protest loudly.  Could be fun at a wedding.

Etat Libre D’Orange Secretions Magnifiques.  It’s got the word secretions in its name.  It smells like it sounds. You may smell like you just had urgent sex with a tramp en route to the church.  But hey, nobody will forget your wedding.  Check out my review, and brace yourself.

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Follow

4160 Tuesdays The Sexiest Scent on The Planet Ever (IMHO)

4160-tuesdays-the-sexiest-scent-on-the-planet.-ever.-imho-edp-100ml-[2]-7980-p

Sarah McCartney, founder and one-woman chief of 4160 Tuesdays, named this scent after a quote from a young fashion journalist.  This was originally the unadorned base for The Gin Garden, but the journalist smelled it naked as it were (the base scent, not the journalist) and made the now familiar declaration.

I have reviewed 4160 Tuesday scents before, but just to keep you up to speed in case you missed them, the name of the company is based on the fact there are 4160 Tuesdays in your life if you live to be 80.  Sarah uses her Tuesdays to make scent.  They are gathering support like a snowball rolling down a hill, with an increasing amount of media and word of mouth interest.  It’s a friendly company: accessible and happy to chat about the process and host sniffing days (which I plan to do one day- Lisa Wordbird are you with me?)

seagramsgin.comarchiproducts.comcook13.com

So let’s get down to it and have a look at whether this scent really is as gorgeous as it reckons.  The quick answer is yes.

  Imagine if you will, a vanilla pod walks into a bar, gets sozzled on gin and tries to kiss you in an antique wardrobe wearing a lime based eau de cologne.  That’s the best way I have of explaining it.

Vanilla-Pods-6-150x150The notes are few and simple:  The opening is citrussy and  has lots of bergamot and almost at the same time smells like the inside of an antique wooden wardrobe: almost but not quite, musty.  The vanilla, in a Nancy Drew sort of way, draws itself up to its full height and takes control of the situation.  Vanilla has frankly been over used and abused lately in mass market perfume and its beauty has been devalued via synthetic cup cake and candy floss concoctions.  The Sexiest Scent On The Planet Ever puts Vanilla back in the driving seat like an overexposed soap star having a come back as a glamorous matriarch.

The Vanilla here is thick and rich and  almost fuzzy.  Not a hint of cupcake here.  No Sir.  In fact the Vanilla is such good quality that it tips over into boozy territory.  Had I smelled this blind, I would have said there was patchouli in it, but there isn’t.  However, it does have that raspy spicy quality that patchouli has, despite being a spice free zone.

Longevity is very good, and surprisingly, I get a hint of rum soused fruit in it, a bit like Serge Lutens Arabie, which in turn smells like Nigella’s recipe for black cake. But mysteriously, there are neither fruit nor rum notes in the scent. I have a  30 ml bottle of  Sexiest Scent On The Planet Ever (IMHO) and I think the price is very reasonable indeed, at £40.   This is the same price  as a Jo Malone, but  far more niche and  deeper and richer.  In other words, it’s very good value and you’re not going to smell like everyone else.  Although if 4160  Tuesdays goes on snowballing, there will be others like us! And that will be no bad thing at all.

Follow

Yves Rocher Fraîcheur Vegetale de Verveine: Bargain Verbena

verbena

As I may have mentioned, I’m a big fan of Yves Rocher products.  Their fragrances are all good quality, beautifully packaged and very good value. Every now and then I treat myself to a box of stuff from them and it never breaks the bank.  This month I spent £10.70 (plus postage) and received the following:  A 50ml bottle of Comme Une Evidence EDP,  a small tube of anti ageing cream, seven samples, a bottle of Lily of the Valley shower gel, a mini bottle of Lagoon shower gel, and a 125ml bottle of Fraîcheur Vegetale de Verveine. Not bad, eh?

My primary purpose for ordering was bagging myself the aforementioned bottle ( it’s a bit of a mouthful!) of Verveine/Verbena cologne which I’d had my eye on for a while.  As luck would have it, the price went down, so it only cost me £7.75.

Here are the notes, and as you can see they are simple but beautifully done:  Musk, Lemon, Lemon Verbena and Honeysuckle.

I initially thought it strange to see Musk alongside a zingy citrus, but this works beautifully.  The initial note when first sprayed is a very zingy blast of lemon and lime, smelling like a long remembered fizzy drink from my childhood. It’s thirst quenching and refreshing, with the slightly soapy Verbena making this a gorgeous pick me up.  Despite being an eau de cologne, longevity isn’t bad at all at around four hours.  I don’t mind that about colognes as half the fun is refreshing yourself with a bracing respray.

Packaging is quite similar to the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea range, and there is in fact a green tea version too.  All in all, great value and a bargain for the summer.

Incidentally, it looks as if this is not available on the Yves Rocher USA site, but it is available on the Yves Rocher France site and Yves Rocher UK site.  Apologies to my dear overseas friends!

 

 

 

Follow

Eau de Sisley 1: The Ultimate Summer Fragrance

sisley1

 

If you had to make a cologne, you would naturally ask for some citrus fruit, maybe Grapefruit,  maybe some nice Herbs, and you’d probably end up with something pretty cologne-y.  Eau de  Sisley 1 has done all of this, ticked all the boxes and gone a step further.

What’s the most refreshing drink you can have on a sunny day?  Maybe a sparkling Gin and Tonic or an Iced Tea?  Sisley has included both.  Yes indeed, Eau de Sisley 1 has juniper from Gin and refreshing notes of Tea along with the requisite  astringent Grapefruit giving this cologne a sparkle you will never tire of on even the most humid of days.

jw054-350a-cocktai-gin-and-tonic_1920x1200_69161
photo by foodcracks.com

Cutting through the heat, this is bright and sparkling from the word Go and  the hints of Juniper and herbs (Thyme to be precise) make this  a botanical revitalizing delight.

Even the base note stays zingy, which is no mean feat where citrus is involved.  In fact, I thought the base of had a lot of Vetiver in it, but in fact I was mistaking it for  a combination of Herbs and Musk.

Lasting power  is also pretty good for a cologne, I would say around five hours.  Cost isn’t cheap (around 62GBP for 50ml), but you wouldn’t wear this out in Winter, so it would last you around a year if you rotated it with other scents.  It’s unisex so you could always buy it for Father’s Day and “borrow” it , she wrote with a sly wink.  (Innovative or shameless? You decide!)

My warm gratitude goes to friend of the blog meganinstmaxime for very kindly sending me this and many other wonderful hard-to-get samples.  Thank you Megan!

Follow

Cath Collins: Flowers of The Orient

 lily fandango

You may recall my earlier review of Cath Collins Lily Fandango.  She is a an Indie perfumer with a small range of fragrances concentrating on quality rather than quantity.  All made in England and inspired by the garden, this is a range I recommend for those who like Jo Malone and Jo Loves.

Flowers of the Orient really reminds me of a more famous fragrance and for the life of me I can’t put my finger on it.  Suffice to say, if this were sold in High Street outlets it would fly off the shelves.

cathcollinsThis is a warm floral Oriental that opens boldly with a hint of citrus: at a guess I would say Bergamot. The middle notes pick all the prettiest flowers, rather than the heavy hitters such as Tuberose or Gardenia.  In the middle there is Freesia, Peony and Rose. The flowers are kept on the fruity spectrum with the aid of a little Pink Pepper, without quite going down the well trodden fruity floral track. The base notes are Amber, Vetiver and Patchouli and it’s their influence that stops this from being too light a floral.

Maybe it’s Loewe Aura  that this reminds me of, or maybe even a less synthetic, less sweet version of Armani Si. That dash of Vanilla is widespread today, but Cath Collins holds back and uses it with a light hand, so it doesn’t go all Vanilla cupcake on us.

Peony-Karl-Rosenfe_1436349c
telegraph.co.uk

Either way, it’s an excellent warm floral that is light enough for daytime wear in the Autumn or evening wear all year round. The ingredients smell more natural than many mainstream scents today. If you wore this reasonably priced EDT (usual price £39.50 for 50ml), you would smell like you a spent a lot more than you actually did. Besides which, we need to support the Indies or they won’t stick around.

Cath Collins wisely offers a decent sample service so you can try before you choose. So refreshing when you don’t want to risk £40 on a blind buy.

Coty Aspen For Men: It’s Always the Quiet Ones

 nd.17326

Coty Aspen For Men  is sort of under the radar a bit.  I found it on Amazon when searching for all the brands that Coty makes (clue: it’s a LOT).

I was a bit sneaky in as far as I bought this for my husband with an ulterior motive.  He was looking for some more scent for his paltry collection (compared to mine) and I was keen to try this.  The 3.99 price tag was a sweetener that made me buy this blind.  Disclaimer:  I am by no means tight fisted when buying scent for others, but I do strongly believe that cheap doesn’t always mean nasty and in this case, I was right). I love this as much on me as I do on him.  I’ll have to buy him something else to compensate for his loss.

pine tree
wikipedia

Coty Aspen was a revelation for me.  After smelling many High Street mainstream male scents lately (call it a phase I’m going through)  I was delighted to find that this actually smells exactly like it says it will.

So when you read the notes of Lavender, Galbanum, Balsam Fir and Oakmoss, I can promise you that you will smell them.

Here are the notes according to Fragrantica:

Top notes: Bergamot, Galbanum, Green notes and Citrus. Middle notes: Coriander, Geranium, Cyclamen, Jasmine, Lavender, Juniper and Orange Blossom. Base notes: Amber, Oakmoss, Cedar, Balsam Fir and Musk.

Interestingly, no fewer than 120 Fragrantica users vote that this smells like Green Irish Tweed by Creed. Can’t be bad for 3.99.

Coty Aspen smells to me like a freshly aired room that has clean linen sheets in it that have just been dried by the breeze outside.  There is a pot of lavender on the window sill and the window opens onto snow capped mountains and pine trees, letting in crisp mountain air.  It’s stunning, and longevity is excellent at around eight hours.

Once again, Coty has proved that excellent scent can be made for a low price.  I often think of this when I smell something unremarkable but expensive. Which happens a lot in this game!

Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey: The Nineties Never Went Away

issey miyake

Where the Eighties were all about the size of your phone (big), your hairstyle (big), your shoulder pads (big) and your perfume (gigantic), the Nineties became the decade of anti fashion and everyone calmed down a bit.  After the brash gilt of the opulent ”Greed is Good” Eighties, the vibe was suddenly less is more and the Nineties became the caring, sharing Nineties where we started to look worried about leaving all the lights on the Eighties.

Suddenly it was all about Britpop, The Spice Girls, Meg Ryan rom-coms, pinafore dresses,  Princess Di’s divorce, boybands with “curtain” fringes, blazers over bras , Friends, and the Rachel Cut.

crossroadstrading.com
crossroadstrading.com

Whilst many Nineties fashions faded away into history, Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey stood strong among the rubble and remained a runaway bestseller throughout the Nineties, the Noughties and the Twenteens (I made up that last word, but you can borrow it. What else are we going to call them?)

dianaWhere the Eighties were all about Poisons and Obsessions, the fragrance of the Nineties was a gentle “eau”.

Created in 1992 by the same Japanese designer who kept Steve Jobs in trademark black turtlenecks, Issey Miyake’s L’Eau D’Issey  was an immediate bestseller and still is.  I remember it coating many a dear friend of mine in the mid nineties and just smelling it now takes me back to those turbulent years in my mid twenties.

Top notes are (with thanks to Fragrantica): Cyclamen, Freesia, Roses, Melon and Lotus

Middle notes: Carnation, Lily, Lily of the Valley and Water Peony

Basenotes: Woods, Tuberose, Amber, Sandalwood, Musk, Osmanthus and Cedar

spice girlsIf by some tiny chance you have never smelled this ubiquitous Top Ten scent, I can safely say that many of the floral notes are either not there or drowned out by the aquatic/ozonic/melon accord. This is primarily melon/calone and the flowers listed are a pretty chorus, but by no means do they take centre stage.  I would also say that the base notes described would give an impression of a much woodier musk scent, which this is not.

Having said all that, this is certainly pretty and light, as was its intention, and it also heralded a genre that hasn’t gone away: Clean.

Clean, Laundry Fresh and Fresh Cotton and Fresh Linen and ooh, everything that makes you smell as if you’ve just come in from being hung on the washing line to dry in a gentle breeze. I don’t hate this trend, and sometimes I want that Linen Fresh thing going on, but in general, I want my perfume to be more challenging and interesting than just “cleanangel flash” (especially when the opposite can be such fun! I’m talking to you Bal a Versailles, you filthy madam!).

L’Eau D’Issey almost became a victim of its success in so far as it was everywhere. Having said that, I’d rather smell this than its ubiquitous contemporary Thierry Mugler Angel, which is the same age and couldn’t be more different.

1990s modelsWhilst fragrance trends come and go (some a bit slower to “go” than others), there must be a reason why L’Eau D’Issey has stayed steadfast.

Personally, Calone has never been my cup of Earl Grey, but putting aside my subjectiveness for a moment, this is a brilliantly done scent and has stayed at the top of its game for over two decades.  This is no mean feat when you think how many perfumes are discontinued on a yearly basis.

My theory is that in all the stress and chaos and busy-ness of modern life,  some people need and want a drop of something pure to gently bring them back to earth again.  And who can blame them? L’Eau D’Issey does that very job and does it brilliantly.

Stockists

Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey is widely available. Try allbeauty.com

Follow

Marks and Spencer Limited Collection: Butterfly

 

nd.12205

The Marks and Spencer fragrance department is a bit of a favourite stop off when I’m in town.  Sadly my local branch doesn’t carry the full gamut, but I often feel able to  buy myself a purse spray guilt free, especially when they have 20% off like they did yesterday.  Whilst not all of them are great, I can’t call any of them bad, except Florentyna *shudder*, which I can’t be cruel about since it has a steady and loyal fanbase.  For the prices I have paid, I have never been disappointed by a Marks and Spencer perfume.  Overall, they are decent affordable quality.

Today I am reviewing Limited Collection Butterfly, which comes in a pretty bottle and is an unmistakable homage to Marc Jacobs and his Dots and Daisies.

Fresh and light, this makes an ideal scent for a teenager, or for office day wear.  In other words, it’s more shower fresh than provocative or come hither.

Surprisingly, this opens with cucumber.  The surprise here is that usually I can’t bear cucumber in perfume, but this is combined with lemon, grapefruit and apple and smells wonderfully citrussy.  There are many comparisons with the more expensive DKNY Be Delicious, which also opens with lemons and cucumber, and has identical floral notes.

nd.498
www.fragrantica.com

However, just before it comes too “herbal facial wash”, the flowers step in, and some of my favourites too: rose, violet and magnolia.  The magnolia was particularly noticeable.  The base notes are nothing to email home about: amber and musk, and not particularly robust at that.  In fact I would say the base is more violet, citrus and magnolia than anything else.

Longevity is not bad at around four or five hours, and by not bad, I mean that this cost me £2.80 for a 10ml purse spray yesterday, so I’m not going to complain about longevity for that price.

All in all, this is a good buy that I would recommend for young girls testing the path into fragrance, or for day to day wear where sexy isn’t an option. It’s fresh and pretty and will cut through the heat on a muggy day,  if we can remember that far back. I am looking though a rain washed window at a grey rain washed sky as I write this, so we will just have to use our imagination.

www.walesonline.co.uk
www.walesonline.co.uk