Category Archives: Fragrance for Spring

4160 Tuesdays Tokyo Spring Blossom (Urura’s Tokyo Café): A Modern Marvel

 

4160 bottle

I have reviewed several 4160 Tuesdays scents before, but in case you missed them, here’s what you need to know:  Perfumer Sarah McCartney founded 4160 Tuesdays and says that if we live to be 80 we will have 4160 Tuesdays.  Use them to do something you love.  Sarah uses Tuesdays to make perfumes.  And I’m jolly glad she does.

www.cotswoldsweetcompany.co.uk
www.cotswoldsweetcompany.co.uk

4160 Tuesdays Urura’s Tokyo Café now called Tokyo Spring Blossom opens with grapefruit and mandarin, then beds down into the heart notes: rose and violet, before merging gloriously into the base notes: raspberry leaf and myrhh.

It was intended to smell like a Spring Breeze and was made for a charity event at thec Café of Sarah’s friend Urura, whose name, spookily enough, turns out to mean Spring Breeze.  In other words, this was meant to be!

Tokyo Spring Blossom does indeed open with citruses and then beds down into strong rose and violet.  They are almost as one, and you can hardly tell them apart, which I love.  It reminds me of a cross between those little violet breath sweets and  a gob full of top quality Turkish Delight at the same time.  However the Myrrh ( or Opoponax if you will) gives this a  nice churchy feel, as if you have entered a medieval church at a Christmas Market whilst eating Narnia street food.

eskipaper

The quality is excellent: resonance and longevity both get  10/10 and the price is right too: £40 for 30ml.  Bear in mind that this lasts as long as a winter, so you don’t need frequent top ups like you do with other cheaper scents.

What sets 4160 Tuesdays apart from other brands is that there is a hand made artisan vibe about the scents.  It’s as if the ingredients still have their rough edges and haven’t been over processed.  The rose really smells like sticking your nose in a rose, rather than smelling like an impression of synthetic roses.  If these scents were drawings, they would be  pavement oil pastels and they wouldn’t stay in the lines.

Urura’s Tokyo Café is available from the 4160 Tuesdays website,  and if you’re in the USA or Canada, you can buy  a selection of 4160 Tuesdays scents from  Rouiller White ( though sadly not this one, at least not yet)  Also check out the cute  sample sets– good British niche that needn’t break the bank.

4160

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Yves Rocher Quelques Notes D’Amour: A Grown Up Rose

quelquenotes

 

Yves Rocher is a brand I am rather fond of.  I have at least four full bottles* and have yet to try one I disliked.  I was kindly sent a bottle of Quelques Notes D’Amour by Yves Rocher and I thank them warmly for their generosity.  I am always happy to receive perfume to review, on the proviso that I may not like it and I may say so!  However, I will always be honest and well mannered.

Here goes then:  At first I did not like Quelques Notes D’Amour but after three days of wearing it in day time and even overnight in bed (a very good test of a scent) it has won me over.

purse spray

When I first smelled it on day one, I thought it was fairly generic and it went a bit cardboard-y/Crayola crayons on me after around half an hour.  However, the bottle was so pretty and the reviews so positive on Fragrantica that I wondered if I was missing something so tried again.

This time round I really started to respect the kind of rose scent this is.  The rose is not a watercolour rose, as it is in the rather lovely Comme Une Evidence, but more of a sophisticated, complex, woody rose.  In fact the first phase is pink pepper, which may have put me off at first.  Pink pepper is a red berry that is often used in fruity florals, and in my opinion, has been used with too heavy a hand of late.  In Quelques Notes D’Amour its just the warm up act because the middle phase becomes a thick, rich woody Damascene rose.  It’s definitely an Autumn/Winter rose rather than a light one for summer and would also serve you well as an evening fragrance.

Fragrantica

The base note is long and rich and even a little spiky with patchouli and Guaiac wood (used so well in Hilary Duff With Love). There’s  warm benzoin and green cedar too, but I can’t help thinking that the pink pepper and the rose never really went away.

 Quelques Notes D’Amour comes in a beautiful bottle and is, in my opinion, not for teens -and hooray for that!  Those young people get wayyyy too many new launches aimed at them.  We “over 27s” ( Okay I’m 44) like being catered for and for that alone I am giving this a thumbs up.  For being a rich, woody rose that repelled me then changed my mind and reeled me in, I give this another thumbs up.  If I had a third thumb, I would give yet another thumbs up because Yves Rocher have a purse spray on offer, which is a great way of trying a fragrance before buying a full bottle.  I have a thing for purse sprays, so this pleased me no end.

Yves Rocher, keep up the sterling work.  As you were.

fragrantica
fragrantica

 Stockists:  You can buy Quelques Notes D’Amour from the UK Yves Rocher website. To my chums in the USA and Canada- sadly this is not yet available over on your patch, but I can heartily recommend Moment de Bonheur, Comme Une Evidence and So Elixir, all of which are on the Yves Rocher USA site.

* The Yves Rocher scents I own are; Comme Une Evidence, Cléa, Yria, and Yves Rocher Fraicheur Vegetale Verveine.  I also recommend the lovely So Elixir. You can find reviews of them all on this blog.

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Library of Fragrance Grass : Sweet Fairytale Grass!

photo by stormfashion.dk
photo by stormfashion.dk

Library of Fragrance Grass made me think of a summer meadow on an ordinary, overcast Tuesday in September.  As therapy alone, this stuff works.

Grass  doesn’t just smell of grass- it smells of the sweet fresh meadow grass that made the Billy Goats Gruff risk Death by Troll.  It is the kind of grass you imagine in fairytales, rather than the earthy, bitter freshly mown stuff you get from mowers.   It is the grass from a storybook, or from your childhood.  It has a sweetness to it that took me back decades, where you could stay out late and get muddy and have the time of your life (which is why young folk still go to Glastonbury these days, bless ‘em).

 

canston.com
canston.com

Despite the whole Library of Fragrance Range being cologne sprays, I have found that longevity is at least equal to, if not better than, a good eau de toilette.  Library of Fragrance Grass is a delightfully, botanically sweet perfume (no sugar here!).  I would actually skip this in summer, and keep it for winter, when you need a reminder of the real thing.

It makes me feel all happy and smiley. Not bad for £15 a bottle.

 
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Musc Ravageur: Maurice Roucel for Editions Frederic Malle 2000

musc   Musc Ravageur was created by prolific nose Maurice Roucel in 2000 and I think it’s safe to say that it has enjoyed cult success among perfumistas. Today and yesterday I have been wearing a roll on sample (thank you Lisa Wordbird) and here’s what I think:

Top notes: Lavender, mandarin and bergamot:  you would think this would make for a cologne-y opening number   à la Jo Malone Lime, Basil  & Mandarin, but it doesn’t.  In fact, it is warm and soft like blankets. I often find lavender quite a cold scent but I barely detect it here.

Middle notes:  Cinnamon and clove:  the faintest hint of cinnamon and no cloves.

Base notes: Sandalwood, tonka bean, vanilla, Guaiac wood, amber, cedar and of course, musk:  It’s the base note that seems to last longest with me.  In fact, the whole thing merges seamlessly  into one long base note right from the get go.

When reviewing Miller Harris L’Air de Rien, Lisa Wordbird, who is a die hard fan of it, says it reminded her of flannelette sheets- you know those warm brushed cotton affairs that fall somewhere between fluffy and towel-y?  Well that’s what Musc Raveguer makes me think of.  There is a slept-in staleness about it that is not unpleasant.  There are flowers peeking out (is that the lavender emerging finally?) and the musk has a muffled sharpness like skin after soap.

Sillage is close to skin.  You could spray this liberally and only those who hug you would probably comment on your incredible smell. It’s the smell of someone up close, or the smell of someone who has got out of bed after retiring following a scented bath the night before.  It is the smell of intimacy and closeness. It doesn’t smell of sex the way Worth Courtesan does, and although it has some faint, vague similarities to L’Air de Rien, Musc Ravageur stands alone as the comforting, intimate smell of longing and romance.

You can imagine a misty eyed lover sniffing his girlfriend’s coat and saying “ahh, it smells of HER”.  And that, my dear friends, is Musc Ravageur.

Have you experienced Musc Ravageur? What did you think?  Do let me know.   I always love to hear from you.

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My Top Ten Favourite Avon Fragrances

 

photo by totallymystified on Flickr
photo by totallymystified on Flickr

In the past, I may have mentioned before that I find Avon a bit hit and miss as far as fragrances go, but I have noticed a definite change lately. Whilst I still question the relentless frequency of new launches, every now and then they come up trumps and deliver the goods, and this has been happening more frequently of late.  The strongest quality in Avon’s favour is the price.  Competitive doesn’t even begin to cover it.  Sometimes the low budget really shows, and sometimes you may find that you have in your hands a genuine bargain.

I also like that they listen to their customers.  When Timeless was discontinued in 2012, Avon customers clamoured for its return.  To their credit, Avon listened and brought it back earlier this year.  I like it when that happens.

timeless

In the last six months, I have tried a number of Avon fragrances that have really impressed me.  When you think that they usually cost around between £5 each when on special offer or £13 for two at full price , then the value is unimpeachable ( only Premiere Luxe reaches the dizzy heights of £14, but it reminds me of Armani Si).  However, the question remains- at these prices do you have to compromise on quality?  Well the answer is yes and no.

pretty peach

One range that I don’t get on with is the Today Tomorrow Always range.  I have tried them all and don’t like any of them.  They seem to have a flat synthetic base note in common that seems to disagree with my skin.  Full marks for gorgeous heavy glass bottles and glossy packaging though. I know the range has many fans, so it may just be me.

Avon 1968 from Mew Deep on Flickr
Avon 1968 from Mew Deep on Flickr

Avon, if you are reading this, thanks for years of fond memories of trusty favourites such Eau Givrée, Foxfire, Charisma and my first ever perfume, Pretty Peach.   Many a childhood Christmas was enhanced by novelty soaps almost too pretty to use and pretty perfume bottles and all sorts of wonders that my mother and grandmother ordered for me from their Avon lady.  For all those memories, thank you.

odyssey

And one last point- please can we have Avon Odyssey back in our UK brochures?  It’s available in the USA and we would like it too.  Thank you very much. As you were.

 

You may have noticed that here at IScentYouaDay I like to slip in a Top Ten every now  and then,  so here’s my Avon Top Ten. Prices vary between £5 and £14.

 

1. Avon Little Black Dress: A light white floral that keeps its shape: gardenia and honeysuckle with a woodsy finish

lbd

2. Avon Timeless:  created in 1974, discontinued in 2012 and bought back by popular demand in 2014.  Ambery spicy and powdery.  A winter treat.

timeless

3. Avon Premiere Luxe: A fabulous chypre with blackcurrant, gardenia and woods.  Could pass for something three times the price on the High Street.

premluxe

4. Avon Soft Musk : A classic floral musk that lasts for hours and costs the same as a bottle of wine. (in Lidl)

soft musk

5. Avon Tahitian Holiday: Reviewed earlier in my blog.  A coconutty white floral. Perfect for hot weather.  The poor woman’s Bronze Goddess.

tahiti

6. Avon True Life For Her: A light and pleasant rose/peony combo ideal for everyday casual wear and cheap as chips.

PROD_1157774M

7. Avon Eternal Magic: a dead ringer for Lancôme Hypnôse for a fraction of the price

eternal magic

 

8. Avon Rare Diamonds: reminds me of Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely and even Narciso Rodriguez For Her. Nice bottle too.

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9. Avon Summer White Sunrise: a change from the norm for Avon: a refreshing floral scent with notes of pear and orange blossom.

Avon UK
Avon UK

10. Avon Far Away: not my personal favourite but I couldn’t leave it off the list.  This is Avon’s bestseller and I know several people who adore it.  It’s rich with Vanilla, coconut , sandalwood and floral notes. It’s instantly recognisable, and a customer favourite.

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And sneaking this one in on the end in the hope that our friends at Avon are reading this…

Top Ten of fragrances I Would Love Avon to Bring Back

1. Avon Eau Givrée

2. Avon Odyssey

3. Avon Charisma

4. Avon Foxfire

5. Avon Ophelia

6. Avon Rare Rubies

7. Avon  Topaze

8. Avon Tasha

9. Avon Casbah

10. Avon Ariane

 

odysseyariane

photo from saltycotton on Flickr
photo from saltycotton on Flickr

 

 

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4160 Tuesdays London 1969: A Refreshing Retro Breeze

stylus.com
stylus.com

4160 Tuesdays  has a knack of giving perfumes such great names that you’re brimming with the anticipation of a little voyage into a vignette before you even put it on.  It’s like having a pair of shoes called “Magic Carpet” or a coat called “Russian Princess”.  Immediately, life gets more interesting and fantastical through the power of suggestion.

Thus it was in merry, hippy Carnaby Street mood,with “here comes Georgie Girl” in my head, that I first tried 4160 Tuesdays London 1969. Now you may notice that certain brands have a recognition factor. This is no bad thing:  The old Guerlains have it and you can usually tell a Serge or a Tauer by its je ne sais quoi.  4160 Tuesdays has it too:  a kind of rich, woody blank canvas base that makes it recognisable…or so I thought until I tried London 1969.

Alert with zingy lemon, zesty grapefruit and a kind of lime sherbert that took me back to my childhood, London 1969 is like licking a lolly on a hot day in a floppy hat, in glorious techniclour as you mingle with the cool cats outside Biba.  No, I wasn’t around then, ( it was the year my Dad looked at my Mum in a funny way though, I was born the following year) but Sarah McCartney is the Doctor Who of perfumers: she can take you back in time and space with a mere smell.

The Dark Heart of Havana had me sipping coffee in a Cuban Pavement Café, Time to Draw The Raffle Numbers was all polished floors and marmalade in an empty church hall, and The Lion Cupboard had a whiff of peppermints, old wood and pocket fluff and made me feel pleasantly Narnia-ish.

wikipedia
wikipedia

If you like Annick Goutal Eau D’Hadrien on steroids, or O de Lancome with the volume pumped up, or Miller Harris Le Pamplemousse, then I can almost guarantee you’ll love London 1969.  And the sky will be blue, and your sunglasses big, and there will be red buses and black cabs and optimism.  It’s glorious, as is the sunshine.

London 1969 is available on the 4160 website.

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Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers Summer Bloom

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I’m going to start by saying right away that I don’t like the original Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers -to me it’s nothing special at all.   However,  I tried Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers Summer Bloom today and yes, it’s a fruity floral, and no I’m not a huge fan of the genre, but this one is rather lovely and is excellent value.  It was a big 100ml bottle that came in a penny under ten quid and as an eau de toilette the expectation is that it lasts around six hours (so said the sales assistant who sold it to me, but then she would say that wouldn’t she?)

As a fruity floral, this smells like many others, but its strength is that the smellalike-ness (just made that word up) is to your advantage when the price is 9.99.  In other words if you like fruity florals, you may as well get Summer Bloom over the megapriced smellalikes in the higher price range that ultimately do the same job.

Here are the notes according to out trusty friends at Fragrantica:

Top notes: pear, water lily and ivy, middle notes: violet, jasmine and hortensia, base notes: cedar vanilla musk

What I actually got is this:  it opens as a fruity floral, with an emphasis on the floral rather than the fruity.  The fruit is actually pear, which is one of the least offensive fruity notes you can get (the worst offenders are synthetic red fruits). The flowers that come out are the jasmine and the violet.  The base is not really vanilla, cedar and musk, but a faded version of the top notes, but not too bad at all. Longevity is around three hours and a bit.

This is a case of the flanker being much better than the original.  If you’ve got a tenner and you’re feeling summery you could do a lot worse than this pretty and light scent.

The drawback is that this is hard to find and seems to be exclusively available in The Perfume Shop in the UK.  My fear is that this exclusivity will lead to low sales and discontinuing. This will be a shame, but since it only launched in April 2014, maybe there’s still time.

hydrangeas_1528827c

 PS In case you were wondering, hortensia is another name for hydrangea and  apparently has “clean, camphorous tonalities” according to Fragrantica.  Personally, I wouldn’t dwell on it, as the note wasn’t there, but I do love them in the garden and have therefore posted  a gratuitous photo of them.

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  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!

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Paco Rabanne Lady Million Eau My Gold! All Change!

nd.24913     Here is another example of a perfume that replaces another perfume with a different name and is given yet another new name.   (Here’s VoiceOver Man with “Previously on IScentYouADay”) You may recall Dior changed Miss Dior into Miss Dior Originale and introduced Miss Dior Cherie as the new Miss Dior, discontinuing Miss Dior Cherie? It’s like replacing Joan Collins with Sir Ian Mckellan and still calling the character Alexis Carrington.  Its confusing isn’t it?  Does it makes you want to run away?  I tell you what: it doesn’t half give bloggers a headache when they do this. lady million

According to Fragrantica, Eau My Gold has been launched by Paco Rabanne with the intention that it will replace the current Lady Million EDT.  The thing is they smell different and Lady Million EDT is a very big seller, so I’m scratching my head over this one. Whenever I am in a perfume shop or at a counter I always ask “What’s your bestseller?” and they always tell me it’s Lady Million.  From House of Fraser to the Perfume Shop to Superdrug.

However, I have at my disposal a sample of Eau My Gold, and despite it ticking many boxes of things I don’t normally go for, I ended up liking it,  even with melon!.  Alongside it I tried Lady Million and had forgotten how floral it was: white flowers mainly.  I  disliked Lady Million initially but I find that when you put a perfume away for a while and bring it back out again, you can often view it differently. (Can I just confess that despite loathing Thierry Mugler Angel I sometimes sniff it incessantly when I am home alone? I may turn yet)

Lady Million EDT has many of my favourite notes on paper but loses my loyalty when it goes a bit synthetic: lily of the valley, neroli, patchouli, hyacnith and gardenia.  On paper, it should be a sure-fire hit with me, but the ingredients seem to be made from plastic flowers rather than real ones. However, it’s by no means as bad as I remember it.

Eau My Gold has top notes of very noticeable melon, mango, mandarin and grapefruit. This is thirst quenching in a sort of J20 way.  You know those orange and passion fruit drinks you can get in UK pubs?

Imagine one of those over ice.

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Not bad.  The fruit cocktail is followed by violet, amber, musk and orange blossom, which don’t really go with the fruit if I’m honest.  It’s refreshing and pleasant, but beds down into a fruity cocktail mish mash.  The top notes are lovely though. If I had to pick between the two, I’d go for Lady Million EDT.

Which begs the question: why change it so much?  It’s not like it wasn’t selling.  Conclusion: Eau my Gold will sell, but Lady Million EDT should be kept on in its own right as it is dazzlingly different from the new incumbent. If Fragrantica is correct, and they usually are, Lady Million EDT fans need to get busy buying!

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Estee by Estee Lauder: Not to be Messed With

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I have a soft spot for perfumes that were popular in the 70s when I was growing up.  The scent of 70s perfume was my blueprint for the glamorous appealing world I would one day inhabit as a grown up.

Estee by Estee Lauder was created in 1968 so by the time I was born in 1970, it was pretty much all the rage.  A textbook 70s aldehyde, my first impression on smelling the bottle in my possession was that it smelled like Panache.  Panache incidentally is one of my favourite present day perfumes.  It’s cheap as chips, and one spray lasts round 14 hours.  It unfurls beautifully on skin as the day goes on and is still there when you go to bed.

In fact, it’s more likely that Panache was walking in Estee’s footsteps, having been launched in 1976 (though some sources cite it as late as 1979). Classics have always been “homaged” by cheaper drugstore version of the same trend, and it still happens today.

photo from Pinterest
photo from Pinterest

Estee opens with aldehydes and mossy greens straight away. The opening is brisk and prickly and there’s no time for frills.  However, as the chilly ( and wonderful) exterior melts away the floral middle notes drift in.  Here you have everything a good florist could throw at you: prickly carnation, sombre Orris root,  pretty roses and lily of the valley and a tiny smidgeon of sweet honey.  The blending is seamless and the scent a classic: perfect as it is.  The base notes are all serious and rich: Oakmoss and styrax make for a deep, lasting mossy finish.

If you like your day scents classic, powdery, floral and aldehydic, this could have been made just for you.  Or me, actually.  I love it.

One of the things I love about Estee Lauder is that when trends come and go, EL stands its ground and keeps producing the classics.  They might not be for the Britney crowd or the vanilla cup cake fan, but they are the excellent coat and the simple shift dress that you will always need, no matter what.

Big thanks to Lisa Wordbird for letting me borrow her bottle of Estee Lauder Estee Super Eau de Parfum on which this review is based..

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