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.
Until this week, I had never tried any fragrance from Abercrombie and Fitch. In fact, I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t even know they did any. I guess I’m not their targeted market, being a 47 year old with a serious charity shop habit. No matter. With perfume, age means nothing, and it will ALWAYS fit, even after Christmas.
On my skin, First Instinct For Her opens with magnolia and orchids. Now, I always have a problem with orchid. No matter who makes the fragrance, orchid always smells like plastic to me. Unfortunately, the case is no different here. However, the magnolia rallies and a touch of grapefruit lifts it a bit higher. The passion fruit adds a faint hint of tropical taste, a bit like Lilt, and the orange flower comes in to give this a heady white flower blanket that complements the magnolia and makes it even richer. The base is warmed with some cosy sweet tonka and amber.
Unfortunately, the overall impression this gave me was white flowers, vanilla and orchid. It reminded me of so many other fragrances that I just couldn’t get excited about it. However, another way of saying it is that it’s right on trend at the moment and there is clearly an appetite for fragrance of this genre.
As you may have realised, I’m a sucker for a Discovery Box. I can’t get enough of them. When the Perfume Society launched a year after I started blogging about perfume, it was a match made in heaven. This is not a sponsored post by the way, I’m just a bona fide fangirl with nothing but a dream in my pocket, a cup of tea on my desk and eleventy billion perfume samples.
The Latest Launches Box does what it says on the tin (box) and serves as a great way of getting your hands on samples that would be nigh on impossible to get hold of any other way. I don’t know about you but I find that perfume counter sales assistants demand nothing less than dinner and cocktails before they’ll hand over a sample these days. Even the Avon brochure charges 75p now. And don’t get me started on the price of butter.
So what’s in this lovely box of delights? Well, ~I’ll give you a list but I also give you a little tour via the medium of home movies. Not those sort of home movies, the nice sort. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my face in the shot to make it like a proper Zoella thingy but it was hot and I didn’t want to put make up on. I know you’ll understand my dear chums.
What’s in it?
Parfums de Marly Delina 1.2ml eau de parfum. I haven’t heard of this line before, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and reporting back.
Annick Goutal Tenue de Soirée 0.8ml eau de parfum.: Another brand that never lets me down. I can’t stop sniffing this wonderful patchouli iris. It really stands out from recent scents that I’ve tried. Gorgeous.
Miller Harris Lumière Dorée 7.5ml eau de parfum in the same box as Miller Harris Ètui Noir 7.5ml eau de parfum. They can be worn alone or layered together. I wasn’t massively keen on Lumiere Doree but when you layer Etui Noir over the top, it’s a real game changer. Etui Noir is more masculine and leathery and really sets off Lumiere Doree.
E Coudray Rose Tubéreuse10ml Natural Spray. I adore E Coudray. They always provide very high-quality scents and this is no exception. I can’t say I love this one as much as I love E Coudray Iris Rose. In fact, this one reminded me more of Miller Harris Noix de Tubereuse, so if you like that you’ll probably like this too.
Shay & Blue Dandelion Fig 2ml Natural Spray. Our trusty friends at Shay & Blue London can be relied upon to turn out a high-quality scent that uses interesting combinations of notes such as Amber Rose or the amazing Blueberry Musk. I also recommend English Cherry Blossom and Blood Oranges. Dandelion Fig is a wonderfully earthy scent that I can’t wait to review, so watch this space.
Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct For Women 2ml eau de parfum- Initial thoughts: this is a fruity floral, but I will come back and add more details. It’s a hot day so I can only smell so many at a time. I bet you know the feeling. First impressions: loving the magnolia and grapefruit combo.
Yardley London Royal Pink Diamond 1ml eau de toilette. A prettier and fruitier version of the original Yardley Royal Diamond. This combines peaches, pears and oranges with peony and roses, rounding off with a very pretty musk note.
Montblanc Lady Emblem Elixir 2ml eau de parfum. A pretty enough fruity floral with the emphasis on the fruity (lychee and mandarin with muscles). A vanilla base makes this smell fairly generic to me, but strangely, I’d still buy it. It reminds me of another scent but I’m blowed if I can remember the name. It’ll come to me. Probably at 4 am,
Weleda Lavender Relaxing Body Oil 10ml. A dab here, a dab there- on your temples, on your wrists, few drops in the bath. You can’t beat lavender on a hot day.
The Very Nature Amethyst Rush– I currently have this scented sachet hanging from my desk as I write and it scents everything I do, which is most welcome in this horrible sticky heatwave. It smells like beautiful talc.
And last but not least, here’s me with a little tour and commentary of the box itself.
The Perfume Society Latest Launches Discovery Box is just 17.50 from The Perfume Society. If you sign up as a VIP member, you get £5 off this and a discount on all other boxes, access to The Scented Letter fragrance magazine, and exclusive invites to events and launches- and not just in London ( see my Bristol write up). Boxes can be bought on an ad hoc basis so there’s no 12-month obligation or anything. My box was given to me by The Perfume Society , for which many thanks. Opinions are my own.
Sarah McCartney “stirred woods, fruits and flowers with an icicle”
Doe in the Snow was created for a winter wedding, but recently it has proved itself to be the perfect summer fragrance. When it feels so hot that anything with the word snow in the title seems far-fetched and impossible, that’s when you need Doe in the Snow.
Doe in The Snow was created for the January wedding of perfume writer Odette Toilette aka the lovely Lizzie Ostrum. I had the pleasure of meeting Lizzie at the Jasmine awards earlier this year and was delighted to see her win, and deservedly so.
I’ve only recently decided to review Doe in the Snow because I cannot beat the tagline “stirred with an icicle.” It’s the perfect description of this icy refreshing treat that cuts right through that sticky, sweaty feeling you get as soon as the thermostat goes over the 20 degree point.
Doe in the Snow opens with lemon and lime and grapefruit. It reminded me of a cross between Morning Fresh washing up liquid and ice lollies. That’s no criticism at all: more of a vignette of an afternoon at my grandmother’s house circa 1970 something. Doe in the Snow however, is modern with a vintage feel.
There are peaches in here that come out boldly about halfway through, but with no stickiness. Think of the peaches in Lanvin Arpège: a restrained fruity note that adds a frisson of traditional prettiness without any of the modern syrupiness of main stream fruity florals. Besides which, the lemon and lime stop things getting too sweet and keep that astringent edge that makes Doe in the Snow so refreshing. To my nose, there’s also a touch of dark green soap in there, which I can’t explain to you or myself.
The mosses and woods in the base give it that chypre edge that I always seek. That’s not to say this ever gets rich and heavy though: the genius of it is that it’s a chypre for a summery day. It has vintage touches in the peachy mossy note, and yet resembles a sorbet with its icy coolness. Very clever, very refreshing and very chic.
This is half price until June 23rd 2017 from the 4160 Tuesdays website. After that it goes back to full price, which is still very reasonable, especially for handmade niche fragrance. You can buy something “meh” from the beauty counter or you can buy a bottle of this for a similar price. Not a sponsored post. Opinions are my own.
Because I’m nice and because I have more than one, I thought it only fair to run a giveaway for this fabulous fragrance. Missguided Babe Power is a juicy burst of a scent: full of cherries, vanilla and jasmine. You can read my recent review here.
Not only does it smell good, but it comes in a can like an energy drink. Don’t worry though , it’s a spray not a splash. As you can see from the photo it’s a generous 80ml bottle of eau de parfum.
How to win
The name of this scent is pretty divisive. Some like it and some don’t. So here’s the question: if you could invent your own fragrance what would you call it?
Ts and Cs
Please be aware that due to postal regualtions I cannot post fragrance outside the UK, so to avoid disappointment, please only enter if you are UK based. I’m as frustrated as you, but them’s the rules.
Send me your answer by Twitter @iscentyouaday, or Facebook or in the comments below.
The closing date is five days from now so Sunday the 11th June 2017 at midnight. I will announce the winner on Monday 12th June.
Welcome to the second post in the MoodScent4 collaboration! We are four perfume bloggers based France, Holland, England and Wales who will be posting on a different joint subject every couple of months. Each time we will individually pick a selection of five or so fragrances to fit a particular mood or occasion. You’ll find links to the other blogs at the end of the post.
We hope you have fun reading our different choices and adding your own in the comments.
Wherever you are in the world, you’re bound to have noticed that it’s wedding season: unless its currently Monsoon season where you are (i.e Wales), in which case, please read this later in the year when the sun’s out.
With a number of wedding invites thudding on mats (I’ve had three this year), we thought it only fair to help you out with an informal guide to what scent to wear if you are a wedding guest.
As a wedding guest, there are certain protocols one must stick to. For example, there’s the obvious blunder of wearing all white to a wedding, or wearing attention seeking outfits that may attract more looks than the poor bride gets. Also, as a wedding guest, this is no place for racy cleavage and skimpy skirts. If you’ve invited either of the Hadid sisters, you may want to pop a Post It note in their invitation. Call me old fashioned, but I’ve seen a bag of oranges wear more string than they had on at the Met Gala (hoiks bosom and clutches pearls).
Scent wise, the rules still apply, at least in my book. I wouldn’t wear anything loud or experimental that makes everyone look round in church for the wrong reasons. Neither would I always play it safe and stick with airy florals (although they certainly have a place).
Here then, are my own personal mainstays when I am invited to a wedding.
Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps
I wore this to the wedding I attended on Saturday. It’s a beautiful classic floral that will be familiar to many, yet in my opinion, has never been overexposed. It’s gentle, pretty, delicate and warm (dash of amber in the finish). This is one fragrance I will never allow myself to be without. Here’s my review.
4160 Tuesdays Raw Silk and Red Roses
With a name like this, this beautiful scent just cries out to be worn at a wedding, and it suits the occasion perfectly. This is my usual Go To scent for weddings but I couldn’t find it yesterday. Like Virginia Woolf, my box of minis and samples needs a Room of One’s Own. Raw Silk and Red Roses smells so deliciously of old fashioned roses, yet it has depth and facets that lift this away from any other rose scent that I have tried. You can read my review here.
Cartier Baiser Fou
I fell hard for this after not being enamoured of the original Cartier Baiser Volé. Where Baiser Volé was all about the lilies and not in a good way, Baiser Fou is the fun, more playful sister. Smelling like a cross between fresh raspberries, Milky Bars and expensive lipstick, this is perfect for a summer wedding where lipstick ends up on everyone. You can read my review here.
Andy Tauer Noontide Petals
I have yet to find anything that smells similar to this aldehyde beauty. It’s bright with citrussy lime and clean soapy aldehydes, but changes throughout the day. By the time the evening party comes around, you’ll be smelling of tuberose, jasmine, frankincense, patchouli and roses. It has the added bonus of giving you the sure knowledge that nobody else will be wearing it. Unless you are going to a wedding full of perfume peeps. You can read my review here.
Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely
This one gets lots of mentions on my blog and that’s because it’s wonderfully versatile, long-lasting, and as girly as pigtails. I adore Lovely. The florals give way to rich creamy woods and patchouli and the whole shebang lasts all day. I spray mine in my cleavage and the back of my neck and I was still catching delightful wafts at bedtime. It’s not overpowering and I guarantee it will go with your dress. For the price, this remains one of the best value fragrances I know. It’s usually around £20 a bottle and I’m wearing it today.
How about you?
What scent do you wear to weddings? Do you have a favourite or do you choose as you go? Do let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
I am chuffed to beans to have three international colleagues to collaborate with. Find out what Tara, Esperanza and Megan all had to say on the subject of wedding guest perfumes. Between us we cover Wales, England, the Netherlands and France, which makes us the last word on European fragrances. We decided.
I’ve been circling this one for a while and wondering how to review it. It sort of does and doesn’t fit into a neat category. It’s sort of a fruity floral and a spicy woody scent. It’s sort of provocative but you could wear it to work without inadvertently turning anyone on. In other words, it has cast its net very wide.
Created in 2004, the Elizabeth Arden Provocative Woman campaign was fronted by my fellow Welshwoman Catherine Zeta Jones. We also happen to be the same age, but the similarity ends there. We won’t get confused as twins anytime soon.
Provocative Woman opens with quince, raspberry, peach, ginger and lotus. The middle notes are apricot, freesia, papaya and orchid. The basenotes are hinoki wood, amber, red amber, sandalwood and cedar.
So you can see my problem. All the fruit from the fruit salad is in here, but with added spice and heat from the ginger and a warm woody finish. It’s hard to pick out the individual notes. It’s sort of a fruit Pimms accord with a touch of chai tea . There’s a lovely clean whiff of freshly washed hair in among the jelly but the flowers struggle to come to the fore.
All in all, I can’t help liking this crowd pleasing effort, even if it is a little bit of a mish mash. I didn’t used to be a fan of fruity florals but I smelled so many different ones that I was won over, and this one has won me over too.
I think the youth market is missing a trick with this fruity number and may well rule it out as being a “Mum” perfume. In fact, the fruitiness is fun and light and even playful. The woods don’t get too dark or deep and the faint, faint flowers offer a little flourish of girliness. I wouldn’t call this provocative, but it’s certainly womanly. It’s also a massive bargain. My bottle is a 30ml EDP and lasting power is not bad at around four hours.
Elizabeth Arden Provocative Woman is widley available. Try Amazon UK and Half Price Perfumes to name but two. Opinions are my own, as is this bottle.