The thing I love about discovery boxes is that they put brands under your nose that would otherwise have been off your radar. This was the story with Parfums de Marly Delina- a brand and a scent I had never even heard of. I found this sample in the Perfume Society Latest Launches Discovery Box.
Parfums de Marly was established in France in 2009 and Delina is its most recent launch. There is a group of noses (can we please think of a word to describe a group of noses?) who work together and alone on the fragrance collection. Delina was created by Quentin Bisch. The brand name comes from the Louis XVI era of extravagance and luxury that ended with revolution. Louis dedicated the Chateau de Marly to his beloved horses and celebrated each race victory with new fragrances. Louis had his own court perfumer in Jean Fargeon so all this scented extravagance makes for a fertile place for inspiration.
Delina opens with bergamot, rhubarb, lychee (or litchi). Middle notes are Turkish rose, lily of the valley and peony. Base notes are vanilla, musk and cashmeran.
On paper, this looks like it would make for an overly fruity opening, but in fact the rose and the rhubarb kind of burst out at the same time. I love how well these two go together. The rose gets jammy but never sticky and the rhubarb adds a thick richness to the roses. The musk pitches in fairly early on and softens all the edges, making this in my mind at least, a thick velvety deep rose blanket with delicate fruity nuances darting around delicately.
The base contains cashmeran, which according to Fragrantica (because I’d never heard of it) has a wet concrete facet, and funnily enough, I could detect this in the background. Rather than being a disaster, it adds a pleasant dampness to proceedings, like wet stone. Thankfully the vanilla was either part of the rhubarb note or was playing quietly in the distance. It didn’t overtake. This one is all about rose and rhubarb together. They go so well I’m amazed more people aren’t doing it.
I’m delighted to see that rhubarb does seem to be enjoying a renaissance lately, however. It features in Thierry Mugler Aura and also in Aedes de Venustas eau de parfum (the first one). I also found it in Jour D’Hermes but I’m not sure whether it was supposed to be in there. If I had to isolate a rhubarb note I would describe it as juicy, green, sharp like a gooseberry and sweet like deep red apples. It has a wintery feel that soaks up spices particularly well. Now I’m thinking about rhubarb crumble. Oh boy.
Parfums de Marly Delina is very long lasting. Two sprays on each arm from my sample kept me going all day with delightful rosy, rhubarb wafts. It doesn’t come cheap, but when I look at the beautiful moulded pale powder pink bottle I ache to own it. #greed
Trusty L’Occitane never lets me down and this cherry blossom fragrance is no exception. My bottle was part of a wonderful gift set contaning four 7.5ml mini fragrance splash bottles and matching shower gel. The shower lingered long after my shower and the fragrance was spot on for a hot summer’s day when you want to feel cool and feminine and not cross and sweaty (well, I tried).
I always think Cherry Blossom is not too far away from peony note-wise. Both are pink, inoffensive and delightfully crowd pleasing without being too sweet. I still maintain that peony is the prettiest of all the floral notes, but cherry blossom comes a close second.
L’Occitane Fleurs de Cerisier is an unpretentious cherry blossom fragrance that does what it says it will do. It has a faint hint of sweet cherries in the background all the way through, but the cherry blossom petals in the foreground are powdery, sweet, slightly tart even, but always uplifting with a Springtime feel good vibe.
There are also hints of dark and borderline bitter blackcurrant and unless I’m going mad, a hint of rose?. The star of the show though, is the cherry blossom, and no matter who else comes on stage, they just make up the chorus. There’s a slightly woody base but it’s still very much a cherry blossom sort of woodiness.
Thinking about other cherry blossom scents, I found this less robust than Shay and Blue London English Cherry Blossom, which lasts around nine hours on me. However, my mini of Fleurs de Cerisier is only an eau de toilette so that may be a factor.
This is ideal for people who love light florals and inoffensive day time scents. It’s shower fresh and makes me want to wear flowery tea dresses and run through a meadow. Feel good factor is off the scale.
You can buy Fleurs de Cerisier from the L’Occitane website and from Amazon UK, listed as Cherry Blossom. You can also find it online at Sephora. Sample is my own, as are my opinions.
Guess what the most searched for item on my blog dashboard is? Yep. By a country mile, it’s Avon perfume reviews or best Avon perfume. You may have gathered by now that I’m a big Avon fan and I see no sign of that changing any time soon.
With a rapid turnover of scents, Avon is almost simultaneously discontinuing and launching fragrance faster than my little fingers can type, but that’s the nature of the game when you’re keeping up with ever changing trends in the beauty market.
The Avon Unique Selling Point is that they provide decent quality fragrance that fits in with current trends and places them at an affordable price point. You won’t get Guerlain quality nor the originality of niche, but you will get good fragrance that could hold its own on the High Street at far higher prices.
My first Avon round up was in 2014 and my second was in 2016. Both get more hits than any post I have ever written, proving that Avon is definitely getting it right.
Here then, is my third and most up to date Avon round up based on what’s in the brochure right now. I promise not to include anything that’s discontinued nor anything I haven’t personally tried. Nostrils a-flaring? Let’s go.
Avon Little Sequin Dress
The very latest flanker in the Avon little dress series. This is a fruity floral that’s light and pretty and does the job nicely, thank you. You can read my review here.
A recent import from Avon USA, Imari is roses, lemon, sandalwood and aldehydes. You can read my review here. I have the EDT, but I would prefer it to be in eau de parfum form. It’s still a good handbag scent though.
A vanilla scent right down to its toes. This doesn’t work on me but smells utterly divine on my friend Ellie who fell in love with it. It lasted ages on her and she couln’t stop smelling her wrist. My review is here.
Definitely in my top five favourite Avon scents. This is a woody floral that is dazzlingly feminine. Fans of Sarah Jessica parker Lovely will like this. My review is here. In eth USA it’s called Prima.
Avon Far Away Infinity
If you like jasmine sambac and vanilla- a combination that has been huge in the last year, then you will love this one. I found it very similar to Paco Rabanne Olympea, as did many Fragrantica readers. My review is here.
Avon Far Away
Avon’s bestseller for so long that I’m willing to bet they will never stop making it. It even comes in 100ml bottles from time to time. This is a scent I smell very often on other people, possibly more than any other. It’s vanilla to the point of coconut, teamed with freesia, roses and jasmine, which ends up, as it began really: vanilla, coconut and white flowers. I always think it smells warm and woolly like a cosy white blanket. You can buy it here.
Avon Little Black Dress
Another bestseller. I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like it. This is an elegant mix of plum, gardenia, jasmine and peony, with a musky base of sandalwood. Some say its smells like Dior J’Adore, and they’re not completely wrong. You can buy it here.
Avon Little Lace Dress
A bang-on trend combo of jasmine sambac and patchouli. It reminded me of so many far more expensive scents that I’ve smelled over beauty counters, but costs under ten quid. You’ll know what I mean when you try it. My review is here.
Avon Far Away Bella
I love this fruity floral and wear it often. It’s light, long lasting and very- can I say girly? Is that OK? There it is. It’s very girly. And it wears a little scarf. Check out my review here.
Avon Perceive Oasis
Not just my favourite Avon, but in my top ten perfumes of all time. This is another long lasting fragrance: this time its peony, roses and jasmine that makes me smell like a pale pink bouquet. My review is here.
Created by Kenzo Takada himself, no less, Avon Life is a delightful take on violets that’s light as air and perfect for daytime. Every note is delicate and translucent, as if painted in watercolours. There’s waterlily, green tea, apple and cherry blossom. You can read my review here.
Avon Viva La Vita
Created for spring, but pretty all year round, Viva la Vita is crisp and fresh. It opens with apple and citrus, and morphs into a mimosa floral before settling into a cashmere woody scent. My review is here.
Avon Rare Platinum
A knockout tuberose scent that combines this unmistakable creamy white flower with the tang of grapefruit. It’s presented in a bottle that reminds me of those American air bullet caravans in the 1950s. Rare Platinum is sensational and I’m never without a bottle. At £7 it’s a real bargain. Read my review here.
Avon Silky Soft Musk
Not actually my favourite Avon, but again, they’ve come up with the goods by taking their bestselling Soft Musk scent and cloaking it in a silky vanilla accord. Very popular and only about a fiver last time I looked. My review is here.
Avon Soft Musk
I own a 50ml bottle of Soft Musk, as does my mother and as does my sister. It is a timeless floral musk with a hint of honeysuckle and peach. A couple of sprays and you can still smell it by tea time. My review is here.
An ambery powdery scent that was created in 1974. Avon discontinued this, only to bring it back thanks to customer demand, which was loud and long. My Avon Lady says this is her bestseller- many of her older customers have been using and buying it for decades. My review of Timeless is here.
17. Avon Attraction
Attraction is a fruity floral with a bit of praline in it, making it bang on the money right now. It opens with pear and pink pepper, travels via jasmine and orchid, and ends up with a gourmand woody finish. You can read my review here.
18. Avon Pur Blanca
Last but not least, and todays’ scent, is Pur Blanca. This is a beautifully clean smelling scent that’s full of powdery white musk notes and smells like you’ve just been freshly bathed. It’s one of my favourite clean laundry musks and always makes me feel fresh as a white linen sheet on a breezy washing line. My review of Pur Blanca is here.
Everything you see here is available from Avon UK and some are available from Avon USA. You can of course, also buy from your Avon rep if you are lucky enough to have one. I do and she’s lovely- Hello Jill!
Opinions are my own. I’m just a superfan and paid for all my own stuff.
Over to you
What’s your favourite Avon? Can you remember getting Avon stuff for Christmas when you were little? Do let me know. I always love to hear from you.
Nobody can accuse Avon of letting the grass grow under their feet. The Little Dress family has a new member: Avon Little Sequin Dress.
Avon Little Black Dress is a constant bestseller, and rightly so. There are several flankers, all of which I have smelled and which I rate as pretty good, especially when you think that you can usually buy them for around £7 each.
Avon Little Sequin Dress is intended to be a more glamorous addition to the collection , with evening wear in mind, as the name would suggest. However, I don’t find it so provocative that it has to be skipped in the day time. This is a playful and pretty fruity floral.
Little Sequin Dress opens with tropical fruit and then some. The notes are mandarin and mango, and it certainly packs a fruity style punch with a tiny umbrella and a swizzle stick (metaphorically speaking, they’re not new notes, although its probably just a matter of time!).
The middle bit is where the gardenia comes out. This is a fresh white flower gardenia, not the earthy mushroom-y gardenia that you can sometimes get in gardenia’s purer forms.
The base is nothing to write home about, but does the job required of it. Amber, sandalwood and musk round things off in a warm and fuzzy way, alongside the tropical vibe that picks up a bunch of flowers on the way and stays prominent to the very end. It kind of smells a bit like a Herbal Essence shampoo, which is fine by me.
This reminded me of Cheryl Stormflower, except the fruit was less tinny-fruit-salad in Little Sequin Dress. Add a pretty bottle in a smart box and you’ve got yourself a bargain. Avon does this very well and they’re keeping up the good work.
By the way, if you’re buying for a picky teen, this really suits the current trend for sweet fruity florals.
You can buy this from Avon UK or from your Avon rep. The price is currently just £8. My sample was given to me by my Avon Lady and opinions are my own.
We are the granddaughters of the witches you couldn’t burn
Reek is an independent Scottish brand who worked with prolific Nose Sarah McCartney (Um, I might have mentioned her a few times) to produce the fragrance Damn Rebel Bitches. The scent was created to honour and commemorate the women who fought back in the Jacobite rebellion and the name the English had for them is used to name the fragrance in a rebellious two fingered salute. You can read my review here.
This year, launching,appropriately on Halloween 2017, comes Damn Rebel Witches. At the march for women earlier this year, placards read “We are the granddaughters of the witches you couldn’t burn,” and that to me, is the demographic for this stunning statement scent. In other words, all of us.
Damn Rebel Witches is in a similar vein to Damn Rebel Bitches, but has a sharper opening and a darker finish. The blood orange comes out immediately, and the tobacco- here a rich woody note- adds an earthy finesse. There’s hearty malt, and a horsey whiff of leather. Both scents are created from ingredients that would have been around at the time of the women they celebrate i.e the 1700s (Okay, maybe not the oranges, but I’m happy to stand corrected). In both you’ll find malt, pink pepper, berries and blood oranges and they do have several similarities: these two are blood sisters for sure.
Witches is woodier than Bitches, and the orange is sharper. You know when you peel an orange and you accidentally get some in your eye? That’s the smell, although your eyes won’t sting if you smell this.
What I find curious about this is that when you think Damn Rebel Witches has left you completely, it disappears and comes back as a sort of light floral ghostie. I was sniffing my arm wondering what petal like scent I had sprayed earlier, only to realise that Damn Rebel Witches dies and comes back! How’s that for a party trick? And where did the dark orangey flowers come from? They’re not even listed as notes. It’s witchcraft, I tell you.
Damn Rebel Witches is currently available in a set of two: Bitches and Witches, which gives you a phial of each from the REEK website. Full size bottles of Damn Rebel Witches will be available from Halloween this year. You can already buy Damn Rebel Bitches in full size as well as purse size. My sample was kindly supplied by REEK in return for an honest review, which I have given. Opinions are my own and this is not a sponsored post.
The other day someone told me that men wear aftershave and women wear perfume. Now, as you can imagine, I begged to differ. My opponent was adamant. Men can’t wear perfume and women can’t wear after shave. Since my adversary was my seven-year-old son, I couldn’t help feeling that I’d failed him as a mother. He also told me there’s no such name as Kenneth and that he can outrun a Jaguar, but I was less worried about that.
Let me be clear, as a politician would say (can’t remember which one, probably all of them), after shave is fragrance. Perfume is fragrance. Whatever it says on the label, if you like how it smells on you, you can wear it.
I do occasionally stage a heist into my husband’s side of the bedroom, but seeing as I chose them all for him, that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Those nice people at The Perfume Society recently sent me the Men’s Edit Discovery Box, and discovery is the right word. Reader, I have been enlightened. It’s all very well my bemoaning the fact that men don’t wear enough roses, but how about I put my money where my mouth is and wear more so called “mascs” myself? Well, after trying the Men’s Edit box, I can assure you that there are at least three I will be buying full bottles of. Join me why don’t you?
I’m going to write mini reviews below and shall focus on some in more detail later in the blog. Here’s what’s in the box:
Parfums de Marly Layton 1.2ml eau de parfum (normally £145 for 75ml)
Parfums de Marly is a brand that’s new to me. In the previous Perfume Society Discovery Box- Latest Launches, the women’s fragrance, Delina, was a classy and distinctive mélange of rhubarb and the pinkest of flowers. Layton is of the same high quality and classy distinction. It opens with apples and lavender and calms down into a multi layered wood-fest of every wood from light to to dark to smoky. A flourish of vanilla warms it up. It reminds me of a cosy oak panelled tobacconist. Beware- the middle phase blew my socks off.
Dunhill Icon Elite 2ml eau de parfum (£95 for 100ml)
The nose behind this is Carlos Benaim, who also made Dior Pure Poison, Viktor anf Rolf Flowerbomb and the original Ralph Lauren Polo fragrance, to name but a few from his staggeringly prestigious portfolio.
My primary reaction to Dunhill Icon was “Aha! Suede”. It’s a leathery nubuck scent, somehow stronger than suede, which I always identify as a softer toned down version of leather. I con is dark and tarry, and so leathery that it almost tipped me over into liquorice territory. Addictively sniffable, this smells like the bare chest of a man who has just removed his leather jacket. Trust me, that’s A Good Thing.
Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac 2ml eau de parfum (£95 for 100ml)
I adore this classic (pronounced Foy de Tabac) and declare it totally unisex. I reviewed it a while back and remember that I rather fancied making my whole house smell this way. It’s the scent of a wood panelled gentleman’s club in Paris. Smoky, woody, herby, lovely.
Escentric Molecules E 032ml eau de parfum (£72 for 100ml)
This opens with big stringent, clean scented lime, with a hint of black pepper. The vetiver comes out straight away, and the whole thing stays that way for a few hours. After that, the base is sandalwood and clean musk. The lime and vetiver combo never quits though, and this had me thinking of dazzling white shirt cuffs and expensive suits. Yum.
Escentric Molecules M 03 2ml eau de parfum (£72 for 100ml)
The only note listed fior this is Vetiver. However, I beg to differ. This stunning fragrance smelled like scorched palm leaves for a few seconds then disappeared. Then it came back as a sort of sharp, green citrus with a bitter orange edge. Throughout the day, it gradually morphed into what I can only describe as a grapefruit chypre. It’s the most vivid grapefruit scent: pith, juice and peel, with an earthy green base. I completely fell headlong in love with this and I’m so glad I wandered out of my comfort zone, because I would never have stumbled across this otherwise. Definitely a full bottle scent.
Clive Christian Nobile VIII Magnolia 1.5ml eau de parfum (£350 for 50ml)
Getting my mitts on a Clive Christian sample is always a rare treat. They don’t come along every day, that’s for sure. This magnolia fragrance is utterly transporting, and as a magnolia fan, I loved it. Again, I call this unisex. I’d marinate in it if I could. Longevity is outstandingly good. I shall be reviewing this one in more detail soon.
Clive Christian Nobile VIII Immortelle
1.5ml eau de parfum (£350 for 50ml)
This stuff really packs a punch. Immortelle is also known as the everlasting flower- a bit like a yellow cornflower. It has a spicy, faintly curry like nuance, but here it is overtaken by the robust vetiver. It’s a strong, statement fragrance that shouldn’t be worn before breakfast, but should be strongly encouraged for evening.
Jimmy Choo MAN ICE2ml eau de toilette (from £30 for 30ml)
This is an invigorating grapefruit and lemon scent that reminded me a little of Annick Goutal Eau D’Hadrien. It’s fantastically light and revitalizing with a mossy finish and I’ve no idea why it’s “For Men” because I am seriously getting myself a full bottle.
Initio Parfums Magnetic Blend 7 1.2ml eau de parfum (£154 for 90ml)
Amplifying the power of pheromonal molecules to provoke instinct through a sublime breed of violence.
It’s a lofty claim and one that’s hard to talk about objectively. On Fragrantica, the description doesn’t do it justice- the only note listed is musk. However, this musk will react differently on your skin than it will on mine. On mine it smells like plasticine. On you it may smell different. The jury’s out, but I remain intrigued. Maybe in six hours’ time I will become irresistible to all. I’ll get back to you.
EDIT- six hours later my cats keep sniffing my arm where I sprayed this but I can smell nothing. Don’t be put off, I get the feeling this is like one of those lipsticks that changes colour according to your body heat. Results will vary.
Bentley Momentum1.8ml eau de toilette (£59 for 100ml)
This has huge sillage and longevity and is full of ambergris, sandalwood, moss and musk. Described as an oriental Fougere, the Nose behind it is the legendary Nathalie Lorson, who has created more major fragrances than I could list, but I can tell you that she made Black Opium, so she knows a thing or two about big hitters, as this one certainly is.
Cristiano Ronaldo Legacy 2ml eau de toilette (£29 for 30ml)
Finally, my sons and I have some middle ground to talk about. Football meets fragrance. This is a very decent offering in Ronaldo’s name (let’s not even pretend celebrities make them, OK?). This is a leathery floral musk with daring hints of peony and violet. I say daring because football fans are not known for their penchant for peony. I am happy to be corrected. This is nothing too edgy or original, and you can only find the flowers if our nose seeks them out, but it is the same vein as a good David Beckham scent, only with more fuzzy violets. The Jury’s out on whether it helps you win football tournaments.
A generous sample in manly grey packaging. I like that there are other goodies in Perfume Society Discovery Boxes in sizes generous enough to have a decent trial of the product.
Penhaligon’s No. 33 Moisturiser 5ml (normally £38 for 75ml)
This comes in the cutest tube in the world. It’s perfect for an overnight stay and smells divine, as you might expect.
Where to buy
You can buy The Perfume Society Men’s Edit from The Perfume Society website for £19 or £15 to subscribers. Subscribing costs just £25 a year and gives a wide range of benefits of which discounted Discovery Boxes are just one. My box was sent ot me by the Perfume Society in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and this was not a sponsored post.
My Avon blog posts are always, almost without exception, in my top three most viewed posts. Along the way, I’ve picked up a bit of an Avon obsession, so you could say it’s a win-win situation.
What Avon does particularly well is tap into the trend of the moment with scents that are bang on the money whilst leaving you with some in the bank. They remain almost unbeatable on price and even if you don’t like many of them, Avon never enters rip off territory. They give women current on-trend fragrances at accessible prices.
Avon Luck is an excellent example and this is what I’ll be reviewing today.
Avon Luck is not my personal cup of tea but there is a lot to like about it. When it comes to the kind of fragrance that’s flying off the High Street shelves right now, Avon Luck could fit right in, but for a single figure price. My 30ml bottle of EDP was only £4.50 and comes nicely presented and boxed. ( see pic). I just can’t find better value than that.
The notes are as follows:
Top notes– bergamot, red berries, oranges Middle notes: white flowers and night blooming cereus (a cactus flower that smells like vanilla) Base notes: sandalwood
Reading the notes, you might expect a sweet citrusy opening, some creamy white flowers and a woody finish.
This is a vanilla scent from head to toe. It opens with vanilla, almost to the point of almonds and playdoh, and has big, creamy, borderline oriental white flowers, and well, it pretty much stays that way. If you like Paco Rabanne Olympea, Juicy Couture, Viva La Juicy, Victoria’s Secret Angel Gold, or Versace Eros or anything else with big vanilla and jasmine sambac (there are too many to list, honestly) then you will love this adorable bargain.
I bought my 30ml bottle from my Avon brochure. If you don’t have a lovely Avon Lady like I do, try Avon UK or Avon.com. Online it’s currently on offer at £9 for 30ml, but you get another travel spray for just £2.
I often find Yardley scents off the beaten track on the High Street and this is a shame because they deserve to be centre stage. If you go into Boots for example, there’s a wall of testers (all locked up these days. Humph) and a totally separate shelf around the corner for the lower budget scents, including the Yardley range. Needless to say, I spend more time in this aisle than I do pressing my nose agaisnt the locked glass shelves of testers.
Yardley Royal Pink Diamond is an excellent fruity floral that deserves to sell like hot cakes on a cold day. Let’s start with that darling little bottle: it’s cute as a button with its fancy lid and pink juice. I can see that it’s designed to appeal to the, shall we say, under forty-seven age group, but I really like this and am sorely tempted to add it to the many bottles on my groaning dressing table.
Yardley London Royal Pink Diamond opens with tempting summery fruits: peach, cassis and mandarin. These are juicy and clean, rather that sickly and sticky.
Early on in this, the cedar pops up and adds a few woody notes to the melange of fruit. Just as I’m getting used to fruity and woody together, along come the peonies and orange flower. There is also pink pepper, which is pretty much a ubiquitous note in fruity florals and is a tiny sweet berry, not a spice. The woodsy base seems to get bigger and bigger until the cedar pretty much takes over. Personally, I don’t mind this, but you might. However, there’s a lovely clean white musk note that turns up later and hangs around for a while., keeping the flowers and fruit company as they fade.
At under £20 for a 50ml bottle, this is a great gift for someone else or for yourself, and I’m a big believer in gifts for oneself!
I feel quite protective about the Yardley name. So many um…under forty sevens might think of it as a “Nan-brand” but it takes talent, stamina and innovation to have been making fragrance since the 1770s and still be going strong. Yardley London Contemporary Classics has produced some of the best single note florals ever. I swear by Yardley April Violets,Yardley English Lavender ( which Marilyn Monroe wore, fact fans- not just Chanel No 5) and Yardley Jade. I also loved Yardley Bluebell and Yardley Freesia. They’re reasonably priced and you can wear them alone or layer them for a little bouquet on your skin. What can I say? I’m a fan.
I have to admit, the sum total of my Missoni knowledge prior to this is posh stripy knitting, so I apologise in advance for my ignorance. You can find out more about the origins of the brand here in this superb round up from our trusty friends at Fragrantica.
I was recently given a sample of Missoni Eau de Parfum as part of a goody bag from my Perfume Society Improve Your Sense of Smell workshop ( see my write up here) . The brand came to my attention again when it won a FiFi for best packaging back in May at the annual Fragrance Foundation UK Awards ( see my write up here. Again) . Sure enough, its simple white background and coloured stripes are certainly eye-catching and immediately says Missoni across a crowded perfume shop. The bottle itself is a fabulous unicorn blend of irridescent colour, and since it’s pretty cheap (around £20 for 30ml) you could do a lot worse for your dressing table.
So what does it smell like?
Well I have to admit, it’s not smashing any barriers or covering any new ground. However, if you want a pretty “pink” scent that doesn’t dominate a room, this is just the ticket.
It opens with pear and citrus, which straight away makes it blend in like a school uniform in a school. In the middle, there’s a big batch of florals: namely synthentic “petalia” i.e man-made general petal scent, along with floral notes and the ubiquitious note-of-the-year jasmine sambac. Then there’s a sort of woody cedar base where the sweetness of the pear and the synthetic florals kind of blend in with a floral woody finish and… voila! A generic pink beauty counter fragrance that fits right into summer 2017.
The pear/ jasmine sambac/woody base thing has been done to death lately so either this lacks originality or it taps into what the kids are buying. No harm done, but I’ll sit this one out.
Sorry Missoni. I guess you won’t be sending me a free stripy jumper any time soon. Good price and great bottle though.
A new Mugler female fragrance is big news in perfume land. There have been flankers a plenty, but only three big ones since gamechanger Angel barged in and took over beauty counters in 1992: Alien,Womanity and this one: Aura.
It was in 1995 that I first tried Angel in the Harrods Perfume Hall, which seemed such a good place to try a Mugler for the first time that I did it again on Saturday. I managed to sweet talk the lovely Sales Assistant in the Harrods Perfume Hall into not one but two samples of Aura. Also, it provided brief respite from supercar spotting with my son in Knightsbridge.
Aura has two brand new ingredients that were invented to fox bloggers and perhaps to ensure a lack of imitation. When you think of how many big patchouli gourmands Angel inspired, it’s hard not to expect the same here. However, Aura is not so easy to describe.
It opens with rhubarb and orange flowers. I love rhubarb in fragrance. If you have ever smelled Jour D’Hermes or Aedes de Venustas original then you will know how fabulous it can be. It has a kind of vegetal autumnal fruitiness that is perfect alongside the other ingredients in Aura. The orange flower is to my nose, very girly and has facets of clean white soap alongside its typical white-flower headiness.
The two secret ingredients are Wolfwood from Firmenech (The flavour and fragrance brand) and Tiger Liana, which is totally going to be my stripper name if times get tough.
Tiger Liana alleges to be a smoky sugared almond note, but it’s hard to pick out a note I’m only guessing at, so in all honesty, I can’t tell you if it’s there or if my brain is putting it there . I can pick out some wonderful dry, smoky woods, but I don’t know if its Wolfwood or just dry, smoky woods. In any case, the woody notes are there alongside the big. big orange flower, which I found to one of the most prominent notes in Aura.
The strongest overall impression Aura gave me was one of huge, juicy leaves in a rainforest with added gourmand and floral facets that frame this green scent for the modern palate. Aura has a wonderful “wetness” note to it that smells as leafy as the bottle is green.
As for the vanilla bourbon, well I didn’t really notice that until the end of the day when the leafy footprints had faded and left only a rich vanilla liqueur in its place. Longevity, by the way, is excellent. I wore two sprays from morning until night.
Of all the Muglers, this is my favourite. I don’t think it will be the game changer Angel was, but I think it’s one of the most palatable of the Muglers and the turned-down volume of it will be a crowd pleaser. As for the chiselled green jewel of a bottle -it is a huge divine emerald, which, if it were real, would be unapologetically vulgar and would look great on my third finger.
My verdict? This is my favourite Mugler, but not the best. The best one is Angel, but that’s not my favourite.
Further reading: Thomas Dunckley, aka The Candy Perfume Boy, is for me, the last word on Mugler. Here’s his review of Aura, which, and I’m not just saying this, is better than mine. Please don’t enter it in the Jasmine Awards Thomas. I’d like an outside chance next year.
This launches on June 30th and will be widely available. You can currently pre order it from The Fragrance Shop UK. You should be able to find it post launch from John Lewis and Escentual to name but two. The bottle is refillable, which I totally applaud in this wasteful day and age.