Category Archives: Fragrance for Spring

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!

Armani Code For Women: Does Not Compute

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This’ll have to be quick I’m afraid.  My four year old son told me on the way home that he can take his Easter bonnet in tomorrow. This was news to me.  Apparently it was a last minute change of plan.  But this is a perfume blog not a  blog about how much notice I need when I have to magic an Easter Hat out of approximately no Easter craft items whatsoever.

Armani Code For Women baffles me.  It is a code I cannot decipher.  On a Mumsnet perfume thread once,  I encountered several women who adored this and one who wore it on her wedding day.  I tried it today, all hopeful and anticipating a thunderbolt moment of fragrance love, but it never came.  This is all orange scented white flowers that remind me of a watered down version of Alien, mixed with a bucket full of yet more Orange Blossom and a blob of honey.  In fact, looking at the notes on Fragrantica I wasn’t far wrong.  I may have said earlier that I only like Orange Blossom in a chorus rather than as a solo and this is no exception.

I’m not keen, it doesn’t smell original, and there are about thirty flankers. It’s not that good Armani! I just don’t get it.

 

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Givenchy Very Irresistible L’Eau En Rose: A Fair and Fleeting Rose

 

www.givenchy.com

Givenchy.com

I like a pretty Rose scent at any time of the year and I quite like Givenchy Very Irresistible L’Eau en Rose.  However, I would like to say one thing to Givenchy: You have not only made twenty nine Very Irresistible flankers but why are no less than EIGHT of them Rose flankers with slightly different names?

This is a serious turn off and if Givenchy  was trying to date me, this alone would stop me from calling them back after the first date.

I always find too many flankers can start to look both self congratulatory and complacent.  One or two carefully made flankers can be good (one example is Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte– a divine flanker that deserved to be made), but make too many and the original becomes devalued in a stack ‘em high sort of way.

givenchy

However, having got that moan out of the way, I will say that Givenchy Very Irresistible L’Eau en Rose (what a mouthful!) is a delightful and fresh, clean smelling Rose that sadly goes a little bit vinyl on my skin after half an hour. It is described by Givenchy as a “frosted rose”, and that’s a pretty idea, but I’m not sure quite what that translates to.  It makes me visualise frosted fruit with a faint sugary bloom.

There are only three notes listed on Fragrantica and they are: Blackberry, Rose and Musk.  What I like about this is that the Blackberry, whist adding juice and a bit of weight to the airy Rose petal, is restrained enough to prevent this from being a fruity floral mélange.

L’Eau en Rose is pretty, feminine and lasts about, oh let me see now, nearly two hours.  I do actually like it: there is a realistic feel to the initial blast of fresh rose petals, but sadly it cannot be maintained.  If it could, I would be all ears ( and nostrils!). Longevity could do with a bit of a push as well. Conclusion? So nearly there and so nearly wonderful. And for Goodness sake, Givenchy, calm down on the flanker overkill!

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Dolce by Dolce and Gabbana

 

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The new launch  Dolce from  Dolce and Gabbana represents a welcome burst of floral Spring fragrances on the beauty counters. With its pale green juice and faux Ivory flower lid, I would happily award ten out of ten for packaging and presentation.

My initial feeling within the first few minutes of smelling this was that it was a little like Gucci Envy.  Sadly that phase only lasted a few minutes before it settled down into a fairly generic but agreeable floral.  At first I thought I could smell Vanilla in the drydown but in fact the sweetness comes from the flowers used: Amaryllis is a cross between rose and nectarine, and Papaya flower is sweet enough without having two sugars in its tea.

dolce advert

The notes, according to Fragrantica are :

Top notes: Neroli and Papaya Flower

Middle notes: Amaryllis, Narcissus and Water Lily,

Base notes: Musk and Woods.

The Neroli is certainly a dominant note, and this manages to be a very floral scent without troubling the White Flower genre, nor the Green notes genre, nor, (thankfully) the Vanilla Cupcake genre that seems to permeate everything.

It’s a hard one to categorise so I shall say it’s a pretty and light floral with a toned down yet noticeable sweetness. I didn’t really get Musk and Woods in the base though, more like Peach and Vanilla.  Longevity is decent: after five hours it’s very close to skin but still there, just about.

Out of many new releases tried lately, Dolce is one of the better ones, and worth a sniff if you’re passing by a counter.

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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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Elie Saab L’Eau Couture: Better Than It Says On The Tin

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  Hooray and Huzzah, for my Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Box has arrived and it’s full of treats.  Some I like, some I don’t, but half the fun is trying them on and being nosey (quite literally). Today I am reviewing Elie Saab L’Eau Couture. This is one of those occasions where the notes of a perfume don’t match the end result.  If you read the notes of Elie Saab L’Eau Couture: Almonds, Orange Blossom and Vanilla, you might imagine a foodie/floral. However, this is much better than the notes would suggest.

You may recall my earlier review of Elie Saab EDP, worn with aplomb by my lovely friend Jo on a night out. Elie Saab L’Eau Couture is simply the same scent with the heaviness taken out, yet it retains the lasting power. nd.12258 Elie Saab EDP has Patchouli and Cedar, whereas Elie Saab L’Eau Couture does not: yet it still has that woody base, except, this being a summer release, that wood is more of a leafy copse.

At first spray there are indeed Almonds, although not exclusively. Rather than going all Marzipan on me, they are so concentrated that they smell almost medicinal. Fine by me. The Vanilla is there, but thankfully, it’s more of a sweetened roundness rather than a fully fledged cup cake. I can smell Honey too, but it is, in the end, the Orange Blossom that dominates the foodie aspects, whilst still smelling like the sister of the Original Elie Saab EDP.

If you like Elie Saab’s original EDP for evening wear, then this is your answer for daytime.  It’s not like they’ve made it smell totally different and flogged it as a flanker (like so many we could mention), it actually smells like a relative of its originator scent. It still has that slightly prickly base which I like, whilst bringing a hint of summer to the proceedings.  Very clever.  But then guess who made it?  Francis Kurkdjian. No wonder.

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Guerlain La Petite Robe Noir Couture EDP by Thierry Wasser

lapetite

 If Guerlain Chamade is cool irony, then La Petite Robe Noire Couture is slapstick.

I guess I just can’t get on board with the fact that this is a Guerlain.  With over a hundred years of heritage scent and of being the last word in Classics, it just surprises me that there are suddenly raspberries everywhere on the sober polished glass of the Guerlain counter.

La Petite Robe Noire Couture is a close relative of La Petitie Robe Noire EDT, though not so much the EDP which smells like vinyl on me.  I have reviewed both elsewhere on my blog- just use the search box.  My site hates it when I link to myself- it rejects  narcissism.

photo by wiki
photo by wiki

Hmm. Where do I start?  I shall start with the startling Raspberries, which I mistook for Cherries at first. I know there is a current thirst for all things sweet and berry like but I never thought Guerlain would be either affected or infected by the curse.  The opening is like a less good version of Dior’s Hypnotic Poison.  There are almonds somewhere, although not listed in the notes, and also there is jam. I am alarmed.

Breathe easy friends; it was just a loud opening number by a drunk.  The second and third acts are a little more respectable. The Rose seems to race the Raspberries to the finish, but comes second: the dratted Raspberry won’t quit.  However, luckily, the Patchouli, Vetiver and alleged Oakmoss calm everything down and make this rather pleasant. I say alleged, because it’s as if this scent was shown a picture of some Oakmoss and told to guess the rest.  It’s not there, but maybe it is. Nope, it’s gone.

In a nutshell, this is a raspberry version of La Petite Robe Noire EDT. It’s pleasant and if you bought me a bottle I would probably use it without putting it straight onto eBay. If that sounds like I’m damning with faint praise, then it’s because I am.

41sS2A-1meL._SY450_ If I had a Guerlain gift voucher, I can comfortably think of seven Guerlains that I would buy before I considered this.  It’s almost impossible to believe that this is from the same house as Vol de Nuit and Chamade. I can’t really blame Guerlain for meeting the desires of modern consumers, and in meeting that requirement, they have done it well, especially in the expensive smelling base notes. It’s just that when I reach for Guerlain I want aged classics, dry as dust and rich as Croesus. I realise the market has different tastes these days, but sometimes, when it comes to scent, I want to be a stick in the mud.  Incidentally, if you like this, try Miss Dior Cherie. It’s not a million miles away.

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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.

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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.

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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