Category Archives: Fruity Floral

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

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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.

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

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

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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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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.

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 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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Givenchy Dahlia Divin: There’s Good News and Bad News

dahlia

Givenchy has launched their latest fragrance Dahlia Divin with the beautiful Alicia keys as the face of the campaign.  There’s good news and bad news.  Good news is that the prolific genius Francois Demachy made it and he pretty much created the monster’s share of the current Dior lines. No amateurs here.  The other good news is that it doesn’t smell like cake or candy floss.

OK so that’s the good news out of the way.  The bad news is that Dahlia Divin smells a little generic and I am sitting here racking my brains to name the scent that this reminds me of. In fact I think it smells like several: Jimmy Choo Flash and Loewe Aura.  Maybe it’s the fact that Jasmine Sambac and white flowers have been put centre stage, ubiquitous plum has been added, and then there’s the frequently used base of patchouli and vetiver.

www.Crocus.co.uk
www.Crocus.co.uk

The problem I have with white flowers is that that I feel they need a heavy base to ground them.  Say, tuberose for example.  Jasmine on its own tends to stray into all sorts of territories without being anchored and it can vary from shrill to indolic.  In this case, it’s borderline sweet and shrill at the same time.  I’m not entirely sure that’s a good thing.

However, like I said, the good news is that there’s no vanilla, no red berries, no caramel and no chocolate.  So I really shouldn’t be ungrateful. It bugs me that this is labelled as a chypre when I don’t think it qualifies.  I am not a professional by any means, but this just doesn’t smell like a chypre to me.  To me, a chypre is Chanel No 19 or Balmain Jolie Madame.  Dahlia Divin has nothing in common with either. ANd there’s no oak moss. Not a whiff!

I enjoyed the opening notes that were soapy, powdery and feminine, but the middle and base notes smell like generic Avon perfumes, notably the scents from the Today, Tomorrow, Always range.  Either that’s a dig at Givenchy or a compliment to Avon.

My sample was obtained from my hotly anticipated Discovery Club Box from the Fragrance Shop.  I look forward to each and every one even if I end up not loving all the samples. What pure bliss to sit there wading through them though!

I can tell you this about Dahlia Divin: there’s not a whiff of Dahlia, but then they never pretend that there’s going to be.  The stunning and talented Alicia Keys, the name, the bottle:  all beautiful.

The scent?  It’ll fit right in on the High Street.

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Eau de Lacoste Sensuelle: A Big Improvement

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Eau de Lacoste Sensuelle is thankfully very different from Eau de Lacoste, which if you recall from my earlier review on this blog, was all synthetic pineapple and stickiness.  I was not a fan, despite it being a steady seller.

lacosteHowever, Eau de Lacoste Sensuelle is a different story.  There is no pineapple, which already puts this in my good books.  There is a pretty combination of appealing pink pepper and blackcurrant in the opening blast, which despite my previous moans about fruity florals, actually makes for a lovely scent.  I usually like blackcurrant in fragrance and this is no exception.

The middle notes are rose, sweet pea and gladioli and I have to say I have never smelled gladioli in a perfume before, and cannot smell it here. I suspect it may be one of those amalgamates that is more beloved of the copywriter than the chemist. In any case, smooth woody florals with fuzzy fruity edges are the order of the day.

The base stays fairly true to the blackcurrant and the floral notes. Unusually, the base claims to be a mixture of amber and nougat, which is a new one on me.  However, despite today’s frequent glorification of all things confectionary on the perfume shelf, the nougat is more of a almondy background, which may be why my first thought when smelling this was of a watered down, fruitier Dior Hypnotic Poison.

All in all, this is pretty good.  It’s not on my wish list (bursting at the seams as usual) but I like it.

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.

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The I Want to Be Different Bride

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 The Unforgettable Bride With a Dangerous Glint In Her Eye

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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.

 

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Guerlain Insolence: Where Have You Been All My Life?

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Sometimes when I’m  exploring new fragrances to blog about, something comes along that makes me wonder why on earth I have taken so long to get round to it.  Guerlain Insolence is one example- why haven’t I tried it before?

This gorgeous violetty dream was created in 2006 by Maurice Roucel  and Sylvaine Delacourte, both solidly experienced Guerlain Noses.  It could be said that this was Guerlain’s answer to the thirst for  fruity florals, but using Violet and Iris as the florals and including Bergamot and Lemon as the fruit, they have created a masterpiece that ticks the fruity floral boxes yet remains unique in the field.

Yes there are strawberries and red berries , but somehow the restrained use just serves to make the Violets smell sweeter, but not sickly:  like sugar free Parma Violets.  Then the Iris comes in and stops the Violet getting overly sweet, framing it in that very slightly rooty, dry sort of way that Iris has. There is a gorgeous soapiness that I happen to love in a fragrance:  here it smells like high-end soap from a luxury hotel, thrice milled and pure white.

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Resonance and longevity are not just good, but could go nuclear with overspraying, in an Angel sort of way.  With Insolence, two sprays will last till lunch, eight would bring down an elephant.

I adore this violet perfume that has such a thick soapy background and yet remains pretty and complex at the same time.  I have a wish list of Guerlain fragrance and it goes like this:  Chamade, Vol de Nuit, Shalimar and now, Insolence. Maybe I will print this off and send it up the chimney for Santa or Mary Poppins.

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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Miss Dior Cherie EDP (2011): Confused? You Will Be!

missdiorcherie

 Okay . So if I’ve got this right, Miss Dior was created in 1947 and Miss Dior Cherie EDP in 2011 (The EDT in 2005).  The people at Dior then saw fit to replace Miss Dior with Miss Dior Cherie, which smells totally different to Miss Dior.  Just to really mess with us, they then decided to call Miss Dior Cherie plain old Miss Dior and then make another scent called Miss Dior Cherie.  Please write in if I have this wrong.

Look here Dior, it’s not big and it’s not clever.  You’re looking like a fickle glory hunting crowd pleaser.  What’s going on? Well Miss Dior (1947) was full of lovely stuff like oakmoss and galbanum and bergamotmissdior, all of which makes me want to buy it right now. However, as we know, the fragrances of the Noughties are all about the candy, the caramel and the fruity floral.  So what did Dior do?  They sneaked in a fruity floral caramel scent, named it as their flagship, and pretended they’d been down with the kids all along.

Well I feel cheated and confused.  Any marketing expert worth their salt will tell you that to confuse a customer is to lose a custmissdiorcherieomer.  K.I.S.S is not a bad cliché to live by. Keep it Simple Stupid.

But there’s poor Miss Dior Cherie in the corner quite overlooked in the midst of my perfume’n’ politics rant.  What’s it like, this Miss Dior Cherie?  Well it’s a pleasant bouquet of water colour roses with a bit of strawberry jam in the middle of it and a hint of caramel.  It’s not too clumsily made though and is blended so seamlessly that it doesn’t offend. The bottle is gorgeous but I don’t want it because I don’t know if this is the new Miss Dior or if the new Miss Dior is something that smells like thediornew old Miss Dior and… no, it’s too confusing. I’ll pass. !

PS Don’t EVEN get me started on the flankers

 

NOTE I must explain a rather embarrassing faux pas.  Whilst I was on holiday last year, my dear friend Lisa Wordbird wrote a knockout article for this blog on Miss Dior (used to be Miss Dior Cherie, now Miss Dior) missdiorwriting . Unfortunately I wrote and posted this article up above right here ^ before realising, and reading back, I see that Lisa and I are of the same view.  However it’s worth reading her review as frankly, although we come to the same conclusion, hers is very funny and makes a good point: do you  actually know anyone who buys the  ancillary body lotion unless its in a gift pack?  Nor me.  Forgive me dear friend.  Even I have been halfway through a review before realising I’ve already written one. Hazard of the job when you’re at 399 reviews! In fact, Lisa is going to be a guest here soon so I hope she forgives me or I’m stuffed.

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