Narciso Rodriguez is a rare thing these days: a brand that is as popular with critics as it is with fans. Even the big name bestsellers have their fair share of critics, but the NR range appears to be pretty universally loved, like Joanna Lumley or Sir David Attenborough.
I was recently sent a sample of L’Absolu NR For Her, (Patsi, was this from you? If so, thank you!) and despite there being many, many NR flankers, they are good enough to stand alone and are not merely mass churned money spinners. Narciso Rodriguez Poudre is a particular favourite of mine ( see why here).
L’Absolu turns up the volume on three of my favourite notes. It opens with powdery tuberose and jasmine, making a fluffy edged cloud of creamy white flowers. The background of white musk starts emerging slowly until it joins the white flowers in size and volume. White flowers and white musk together needs a bit of grounding, so along come robust patchouli to anchor it down and give this a musky, musty, loud but chic accord that makes me want bottles and bottles of it. There’s a bit of aromatic sandalwood in there too, which just sort of smooths the edges a bit.
What I love about this is that fact that there are many fragrances with jasmine sambac and patchouli out there, and they smell platitudinous i.e. so familiar they all smell the same. Usually, they add vanilla too.
With L’Absolu Narciso Rodriguez For Her, this doesn’t happen. The ingredients are blended beautifully into a final accord that smells like white soap, clean musk, earthy patchouli, and big tuberose, all in one big beautiful long-lasting flourish.
This makes me feel impeccable, like a proper lady. It won’t go with my school run outfit of jeans and a stripy top. This is what I will wear with grown up clothes and everyone will admire me and want to do my bidding because I am so chic. When a perfume makes you feel this good, you need to buy it all.
Reviewing Katy Perry Indi was a case of “forget what you think you know.” I think of Katy Perry as the gorgeous and talented Teen Queen who sings catchy pop like no-one else. Her fragrances are cute and funny and have a wry grandeur, all done with a wink of irony. So when I heard she had a new one coming out, I thought, I’ll pass thanks. It’s probably like her other stuff: on trend but not my bag.
Boy, was I wrong. For a minute, there I’d forgotten that she’d shaved her head and done a studio album. Change of image, much? You bet. Indi is outstanding.
From Killer Queen to Meow and Katy Perry’s Mad Potion, Katy Perry’s fragrance range has taken a U Turn. Gone are the flashy,playful bottles with oodles of bling. In comes the simple black and white pillar bottle for Indi. It celebrates individuality, which in these troubled times, is a much-needed hand of compassion and acceptance, and I’m all for it.
So what does it smell like? Well it doesn’t smell like your run of the mill celebrity High Street scent, that’s for sure.
Top notes: Plum, tea, bergamot.
Middle notes: cyclamen, lily of the valley, cedar
Base notes: tonka, amber, musk, musk, musk etc
The combination of plum and tea gave me a milky, sultana, figgy vibe, and although this alleges to have cyclamen and lily of the valley in, I could only detect a generic musky “pink” flower- could well be cyclamen. It’s not a note I know well. The base is where the musk comes in: musk, musk, musk. Musk is a bit like vanilla in that it covers a vast spectrum within its category, and this is certainly the case here.
It’s not dirty musk, nor leathery musk, nor sexy inner thigh musk, but an ever-changing musk, at least on my skin. On me this musk smells clean, then chalky, then figgy, then patchouli-like, then earthy, then slightly mossy, then floral. It lasts hours and hours. It’s a beautiful chameleon of a scent and smells like it costs about four times the price.
Indi is of course, without gender. Nowhere will you find “For Men” or “For Women” and hurrah for that. My motto is, and always will be, if it smells good, wear it. Labels don’t matter.
Indi celebrates individuality and I salute this superb fragrance.
You can buy Indi from Superdrug– which seems to have the monopoly on it at the moment. Pop along and test it- I am sure you won’t be sorry. Prices start at £28 for 50ml. I bought mine and opinions are my own.
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.
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.
It’s almost impossible to ignore the avalanche of gourmand scent that has hit the streets and wrists of the nation in the past few decades. Personally, I blame Thierry Mugler Angel, if blame is the right word. I first tried it back in 1992 and I regard it as the Grandmother of the chocolate explosion. Since then many have paid homage with varying results, and some have gone rogue and come up with new angles on chocolate and got it just right.
There are of course many different types of chocolate, from white to dark and everything in between. I’m going to try and avoid listing the pralines and caramels here, because that’s a much longer list. I am therefore going to list what might feel like a small selection, but you can bet that I’ve tried every one. If your favourite is missing, it’s only because I haven’t tried it and not because I don’t rate it.
Thierry Mugler Angel
This was a shocker back in 1992 when everyone was recovering from a decade of DiorPoison and Calvin Klein Obsession worn in great quantities. The vastly popular L’Eau D’Issey was launched the same year, all pure and full of healing-vibes. Mugler came along, bashed it on the head like an iconoclast and unleashed his vanilla, chocolate and patchouli throughout the world. It’s still going strong 25 years later, which is no mean feat in Perfume Land.
Cartier Baiser Fou
A beautiful white chocolate scent that smells like Milky Bars and lipstick. I absolutely adored this fun scent and far preferred it to the original Baiser Volé. You can check out my review here. I also listed it as one of my recommendations for wedding guest scents too.
DSH Dark Moon
Genius perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz uses a bitter dark chocolate to great effect in Dark Moon. It’s almost like a naked vanilla bean with no sugar, with an added sharp edge that lingers between gourmand and wood. Add in the nuances of red wine notes, and you have my perfect lunch. Dark Moon is like the best 80% chocolate: it has more in common with the coffee bean than a hot fudge sundae.
Sarah Jessica Parker Covet
This is a daring blend of dark chocolate and lavender, which confuses my palate no end. Do I eat it? Sniff it? My brain goes haywire. This was by no means her most popular scent but fumeheads in the know hold it in great esteem. It’s discontinued now but if you have a branch of Savers near you, I found a 100ml bottle of EDP for only £14.99 very recently.
Agent Provocateur Fatale
This is an absolute bargain and taps into the trend of big patchouli, big flowers and big chocolate. You can read my review here. It’s currently available from allbeauty.com at under £15. Many Fragrantica users compare it to Lancome La Vie est Belle, but that’s a whole other ball game.
Al Rehab Choco Musk
I bought one of these in a bundle after Christmas and a friend of mine loved it so much I gave it to her. After all, I can safely say I have enough to be able to miss one. It has many notes, but the only ones that really came through were vanilla, chocolate and musk. This is so cheap it’s laughable, (£2.99) but it has some serious longevity and is pretty good quality. Being a rollerball, this is ideal for your handbag or for layering with other scents when you need to choc up the choc factor.
Thierry Mugler Angel is widely available. Try The Fragrance Shop for their refill service and lovely staff.
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.
Avon Dreams is known as Prima over in the USA, so if you’re over there, you can read this as a Prima review. Same thing.
Avon Dreams is a delightfully pretty scent that almost immediately reminded me of Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely and Narciso Rodriguez For Her. I discovered Dreams in the last Avon brochure when for the princely sum of £8, I purchased a 50ml EDP, a 10ml EDP and a gel nail polish called Sheer Love, which is a sort of ballet slipper pink. That’s what I call stretching your perfume dollar.
Dreams opens with a bunch of white flowers and acetone. Don’t be put off- this is the note in Jean Paul Gaultier Classique that reminds me of the inside of ladylike handbags. I think this note is actually pear. Pear drops always remind me of nail polish. There is allegedly plum, but I don’t spot it.
The middle phase is all about the flowers in a huge big posy: jasmine, centifolia roses and iris. The effect is impossibly feminine and ladylike. The roses are especially noticable. What I like best about this is that there’s no cupcakes or vanilla ice cream here- all the sweetness is straight from the florist.
After an hour or so this becomes a white floral musk with a hint of dusky woody notes. There’s just the right balance of patchouli and white flowers to give this a clean white musk finish that’s wonderfully full bodied. You can see why I thought this resembled SJP Lovely with its white flowers, woods and musk.
Avon Dreams has pretty good longevity- I tried this on in the morning and after just two small top up squirts at lunch time, it’s been on all day.
Interestingly, over on Fragrantica, one reader claims that this has changed over the last few years, with too much cedar being added. At the same time, I thought that Dreams strongly resembled Avon Rare Diamonds, which is now discontinued. I can’t help wondering if there’s been a mix up in the lab. Then again, I don’t care if there was. Dreams is wonderful. I could insert lots of puns here about dreams come true etc, but I won’t. You’re welcome.
Dreams is available from Avon UK, or Avon USA as “Prima”. Prices change often, but are always very reasonable indeed. Bottle is my own as are my opinions.
My dear Avon Lady Jill gave me a little perfume sample when she dropped off a late item yesterday. I’m used to this now- Avon launches wide and often, which is fine by me. However, when Jill said “This one’s called Imari” I stopped in my tracks. “Just a minute,” I thought, “that one’s only available in the USA.”
Dear reader, and fellow Avon fan (probably if you’re reading this) it is true. Imari is coming to the UK.
This has got me very excited because if they can bring Imari to us, then what else can they do? I have always thought that if Avon did a heritage range of old favourites, then the people in my age group, i.e. late forties (but we look younger) would snap them up before you could say Foxfire. Dare I hope for Eau Givree? For Odyssey? For Charisma? My wishes are not impossible dreams. They did after all, bring Timeless back when customer clamour deafened, and jolly good it is too.
But did you know for instance, that the USA Avon brochure has Sweet Honesty, Odyseey, Candid and Night Magic? Dare I hope we’re getting them too over here in the UK?
So what’s Imari like?
Well it opens with citrus for a clean, bright opening. There’s a nice bit of soapy aldehydes in the beginning, before this lurches into rose and patchouli territory, with some big noticeable white flower notes. It’s all rounded off with a bit of musk, incense and amber. Despite calling itself a chypre, this lacks the mossy note that qualifies it as one, but I’m not going to nit-pick, because I want more. There is a touch of vanilla in the finish, but its warm and cosy rather than sweet and cakey.
Avon has a particular talent for channelling into what’s hot on the high street and providing its own, more affordable take on current trends. What delights me about this one is that Avon is looking beyond its younger demographic. After all, they have all the vanilla and fruity florals and praline combos they could ever dream of. What joy then, to get something for me and my tribe of fellow grand dames of a certain age (but look younger). Imari was originally created in 1985, and we know how great all those fragrances were.
Avon Imari will be in the next brochure and you can queue behind me if you like. It won’t be expensive. Avon UK, if you’re reading this, please bring the others over too!
Have you ever smelled a perfume that’s so good it makes you want to write a love song about how much you love it? A scent that shoots you in the heart like cupid? A scent that makes the need to own it feel more powerful than lust?
Welcome to Aedes de Venustas Pelargonium.
A pelargonium is a member of the geranium family and has bright velvety petals as vivid as a flame. This flower is more or less the main star in this fragrance, but the supporting cast makes this unforgettably wonderful.
It opens with clary sage and lime. The herby clary sage note complements the peppery petals of the pelargonium until it gives me a vivid image of an English country garden on a cool damp day. The herby floral accord makes me think of very expensive soap- the kind that makes your bathroom smell like an unaffordable hotel suite. The musk is an almost iris-like musk with its muted, classy subtlety, yet it is unmistakable and lingers on long after the citrus opening has bloomed and faded.
There is allegedly a carrot note in here somewhere, but unless I’m mistaking one root for another, it comes across as more iris like, which as you know, can smell earthy and rooty.
The base is guaiac wood, vetiver and moss, giving enhancement to the earthiness that peeks out in the middle phase. The oakmoss adds a touch of damp greens, which only makes me fall for it harder. I’ve always found geraniums to smell faintly medicinal, and this facet is showcased with touches of elemi, often used in cough syrup and medicines. Don’t let this put you off, there’s no TCP note here, more of a clove/violet thing going on.
This is primarily a floral, but it’s as if each facet of the pelargonium scent has been given a partner to showcase its talents and double its impact. Perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer is a genius and I will be her fan forever.
This is the fragrance I will buy for myself when I get that novel published (and I will).
Aedes de Venustas Pelargonium is available from Selfridges at £210. My novel will have to be a bestseller I guess. My sample was a kind gift from Aspects beauty PR, for which, many thanks. Opinions are my own.
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.