Category Archives: Musk perfume

Where Do You Keep Yours? #ScentStorage

 

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A recent article from The Perfume Society got me thinking. Our dear chums at The Perf Soc invite us to show them our pictures of  how we store our collections on Instagram and Twitter for a future feature in The Scented Letter. ( hashtag  #scentstorage)

I warily approached my groaning dressing table with my temperamental camera phone and noticed it was a big messy jumble. Once I tidied up for the photo sesh ( see above) I felt it was high time for an edit.  I therefore picked my absolute  favourites and took a family photo of them looking their best and all facing the right way.

In a non-subtle attempt to get you all to tell me about your essential kit, I thought I’d take the vain liberty of giving you a mini tour of my curated core collection.

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Le Jardin Retrouvé Sandalwood Sacre, 4160 Tuesdays The Gathering of The Clans, Art de Parfum Gin &Tonic, Papillon Perfumery Angelique, JLo Deseo, Gucci Envy, Jolie Madame vintage, Andy Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange, Hilary Duff With Love.

my stash

 

jr-sandalwoodLe Jardin Retrouvé Sandalwood Sacré: This has been my SOTD for the past 3 days. The sweet, aromatic sandalwood hangs out like a lovable hippy until it turns into a woody, spiced musk.

 

4160 Tuesdays the Gathering of The gatheringClans:

The Gathering of The Clans is a wonderful blackcurrant, herby, citrus chypre that will always remind me of Christmas 2016 because I could NOT stop wearing it. Plus, there was a real-life Gathering of The Clans.

 

gin-and-tonicArt de Parfum Gin &Tonic:

This is so much more than gin and tonic. It’s a fresh breeze blowing through your life. On my skin, it bursts into tiny flowers as the day goes on.

 

Papillon Perfumery Angelique:

This was love at first sniff, although I angeliquefound it very hard to describe at first. It defies genre. I always wear it to christenings so it has happy associations for me. It smells like priceless buttery suede and iris and mimosa. There’s nothing like it.

JLo Deseo:

deseo bigThis was an astounding bargain that I refer people to whenever they cast doubt on the quality of celebrity scent. This 30ml bottle cost me a mere £8.95, but before I could stock up, it was discontinued and is now like hen’s teeth. The bottle makes me think of wet jewels. The scent is jasmine, orange flower, yuzu and tiare flower.

Gucci Envy.

Ah, my beloved Envy.  It led me astray from my fidelity to Chanel gucci_envy_reklama3Cristalle.  Envy and I were together for several formative years.  My house, my bedroom, my clothes and my desk all smelled of hyacinth and lily of the valley and that strange metallic Nineties chime in the middle. Pure Heaven. It was pointlessly discontinued in 2007.  Despite a huge clamour for it,  Gucci remain tight lipped.  I have just over an inch left.  Can’t go on.  Hankies please.

Balmain Jolie Madame vintage

joliemadameThis was a gift from dear chum Lisa Jones. She watched as I entered the chypre portal and never looked back over my shoulder.  It’s all her fault and I love her for it. I was once asked what I would put in my dream fragrance. I answered “violets, leather and oak moss” before I realised that I had just described Balmain Jolie Madame.

 

Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange

I was an immediate slave to the  green notes in Carillon Pour un carillonpicAnge. It is one of the longest lasting perfumes I have ever tried. It starts with angelic lily of the valley, goes even greener for a bit, and then comes storming back to an Ambergris finish. I love how it lingers on my pillow.

Hilary Duff with Love

withloveBefore this was sadly discontinued, I picked up a 15ml bottle in my local branch of Home Bargains for just £3.99. It wasn’t the mainstream fruity florals that were so typical of 2013: it was a thrilling surprise of tropical dark wood and yes, mango. It’s a woody, cedar treat and I’m loath to use it up until I can wangle another off eBay. Oh, and check out the dreamy bottle! It’s like a jewel.

How about you?

And to think life was so simple when once upon a time I had a signature scent. Sigh. Once you’re bitten, there’s no going back.

Now I’ve shared mine, how about yours? How do you store them? Where do you keep them? If you had to really edit your collection what would be in it?   Are your favourites discontinued or reformulated? Are they posh and pricey or chypre and cheerful?  Am I asking too many questions?  Do let me know. I always love to hear from you.

PS Don’t forget to post your photos to @ThePerfumeSociety on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #scentstorage

Dorsal view
Dorsal view

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Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia: Like the Tears of an Angel

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Reviewing a Maison Francis Kurkdjian scent feels slightly intimidating, like entering a posh hotel in my oldest pyjama bottoms. I don’t feel as if I am qualified, if you like.  I am pretty much in awe of M. Kurkdjian so spent  a lot of time learning how to spell his surname for a start.  Least I could do really.

aqua celestia sampleI obtained a sample of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia from the recent Perfume Society Heaven Scents Discovery Box. It had an  immediate impact on me.  It felt like the ultimate in crystalline, fresh, pure scent.  You know that feeling when you’re so hot that only an ice cold waterfall will do? Well Aqua Celestia is for when you can’t find one.

Opening with mint and lime in spades, this will make you smell impossibly clean: as if you’ve never sweated a milli drop in your whole life.  There is  a hint of mimosa, which is lightly floral with a faint tinge of sweetness around the edges, like a blurry border.  The lime and mint meets a base of clean musk, and Aqua Celestia sits on my skin, like the tears of an angel.  It smells like I live on a  cloud. Pure bliss.

My only teeny whinge is that it’s not as radiant, nor as longlasting as I would have liked, but then I am only testing the eau de toilette, so I’ll have to wait for the eau de parfum, if it’s coming.HeavenScent2017shopAW

Stockists

You can get a sample of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia from the Perfume Society Heaven Scents Discovery Box, or a full bottle from Selfridges  in the UK or Neiman Marcus in the USA.Opinions are my own.

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Shay & Blue London Blueberry and Musk: Hidden Surprises

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Shay & Blue London Blueberry Musk was included as a sample in the recent Perfume Society Heavens Scent Discovery Box. I’ve tried and reviewed several Shay & Blue London scents now and have yet to find one I dislike.  In fact, I wore Shay & Blue English Cherry Blossom throughout most of Spring last year and will probably do so again.

dewberryBlueberry Musk was a bit of a surprise.  There I was, expecting something with musky berries akin to L’Artisan Parfumeur Mure et Musc, when what do I get but a flashback to the Body Shop 1986. Yes, there’s a big suggestion of Dewberry here. If you were a fan of that, then you’ll be a fan of this. However, this is no mere 80s throwback, my friends. With big, beautiful middle notes of magnolia and jasmine, this is more of a mure et muscmodern white floral with a deliciously fruity twist. There’s no sugary sweetness though- which would have put me off.  I’ve always thought blueberries were a touch musky anyway, so they are particularly well served by the musky finish.

This could well be a Shay & Blue London bestseller. Deliciously light and pretty, with a playful dab of Dewberry, I do believe I am in full bottle territory.

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Stockists

You can buy Shay & Blue  London Blueberry Musk from the Shay & Blue London website. You can find a sampe in the Perfume Society Heavns Scents Discovery Box, or you can shop instore in the new Shay & Blue London boutique.  Marks and Spencer also carries a selection of Shay & Blue London fragrances.

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How to Get Perfume Samples 2017

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In 2015 I wrote a post entitled “How to Get Perfume Samples”.  I felt it was necessary since these days, it’s easier to get unicorn droppings  and hens’ teeth than perfume samples from Beauty Counters.  My original article has proved very popular, but the Fragrant Firmament spins fast on its axis.  My original article, written in 2015, needs updating for 2017.

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A lot can happen in two years within the industry. Beloved favourites can be discontinued, new starts ups can arrive with a bang, and old lions can go out with a whimper.

Sample services serve two purposes: They avoid you making costly blind buys and they help you fall in love with stuff you might not have 4160 tastercome across.  Whilst I love to seek out samples of stuff I’ve heard of and never tried, I also love it when the choice is made for me. It takes me out of my comfort zone. This is one of the reasons why I am such a fan of discovery boxes, and the Perfume Society in particular. Their boxes are loosely themed and have really changed my mind about no end of scents I wouldn’t have otherwise sought out.

mysamples2The other advantage is one I mentioned pre-Christmas, but which applies at any time of the year. When buying for others, why not offer them a choice? A mixture of samples and gift voucher is my idea of the perfect gift (It’s my birthday next month. I wonder if my husband is reading this?).

Here’s a roundup of sample services that are currently out there just waiting for us to knock on their door. This is a UK Guide by the way, so if I miss your favourite out, it’s just geography, not favouritism.

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The Perfume Society.

Yes I’m a fan. No, they don’t pay me to say so and yes I have almost every one of the Discovery Boxes. In fact, I’m just waiting for the Heaven Scent one, due any day! You can buy them here. They usually contain around nine excellent, often hard-to-get samples and maybe a treat or two  as well. They are my Number One favourite treat.

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ScentSamples UK

A new entry at Number Two. I’m very impressed with the diversity here and find the prices reasonable.  I’m rolling my sleeves up and writing a long list.  Here’s a link to their website.

Inside Les Senteurs, Elizabeth Street
Inside Les Senteurs, Elizabeth Street

Les Senteurs

There are two branches of this divine boutique perfumery in London, but the good news is that you don’t have to live in London to benefit from their sample service.  The bad news is that its very, very hard to choose. Here’s the link.

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4160 Tuesdays

Nobody can accuse Sarah McCartney of not being inclusive.  4160 Tuesdays means reasonably priced high quality artisan scents that cover every genre except “boring”.  The 4160  Tuesdays website even has themed suggestions of sample sets in case you don’t know where to begin.  My favourite is “Frocks and Hats.”

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The Fragrance Shop Discovery Club.

Every quarter since 2013 I have received a box of samples from The Fragrance Shop. These usually include new releases and new flankers, but often they pop a classic or a well-beloved favourite in.  The boxes usually include between 6 to 9 samples and a booklet of money off vouchers if you find one you want in full bottle size. Boxes are just £5 a quarter, and they make great gifts too. You can join in the fun here.

Papillon Perfumery
Papillon Perfumery

Papillon Perfumery

Papillon Perfumery is the creation of  Nose Liz Moores, perfumer extraordinaire (I’ve met her- she is small and beautiful) There are four scents in the Papillon range and you can sample of all four from here. There isn’t a single one I wouldn’t recommend, and a fifth scent is on its way later this year.

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FragranceSamplesUK

Another one I’ve not come across before, but I’m very impressed with their range and might be making an order soon.  The huge range varies from Tom Ford, Chanel Exclusifs, Tauer and Roja to name but a few. I’ll let you know  what I think if I can ever make my mind up! You can check the site out for yourselves here.

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Pell Wall Perfumes

In the beautiful county of Shropshire, Chris Bartlett creates  exquisite scents under the name of Pell Wall Perfumes. Sample sets and mini bottles are available at reasonable prices and you may well find a lifelong favourite among this imaginative range. I particularly like Pretty in Pink and Deep Purple. Check out the website here.

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eBay

eBay has a vast range of samples from various sellers.  I have never been let down or sold fakes on eBay- they are very strict about that.  I have had some great bargains this way and even if you end up not liking the samples you order, they make great swapping currency.

fragrantica

Find Your Tribe

Join a group of like-minded fume heads: Sites such as Fragrantica and Base Notes have led to many firm friendships, as well as samples swapping. Alternatively, join a Facebook group such as Fragcom or Perfumeland For Fluffheads.perfumeland

Have I missed any out? Have you had great sample service in the UK? Or have you discovered a favourite through random sample sniffage?  Do let me know. I always love to hear from you.

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DSH Musc al Madina: This Musk Deserves Classic Status

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A parcel from Boulder Colorado always lights me up like Christmas (Remember Christmas? It was SO last year!) It usually means that the very talented perfumer, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz has sent me some samples to see what I think. Dawn is an independent niche perfumer who works with natural materials to produce a diverse and high quality range of artisan perfumes.  Each one is created by Dawn herself in her lab.  She answers to only herself and her loyal customers, new and old. I like that in a perfumer.

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For the past few days I have been wearing the fabulous DSH Musc al Madina.  This is a musk with a supporting cast that really showcases its talents and brings out its very best.  As you know, the musk genre is a vast spectrum that starts with clean and tidy laundry musks and  reaches the nether regions of dirty animalic musk such as Serge Lutens Koublai Khan, to name the most notorious example that springs to mind.

DSH_im3hr_hs-300x300Musc al Madina danced with gossamer veils for me, dropping each one like a tease.  Firstly, my impression was that this is a wonderful 70s style musk that goes with denim flares and flicky hair. It’s how my primary school teachers and my Mum would have smelled when I was 6 in 1976. (Don’t do the maths. I’m young, OK?) This is a fuzzy blanket/soapy musk that reminded me strongly of talcum powder. But then it changed. Then the vetiver  came out and this became a masculine woody musk, full of spices (My beloved myrhh) and peppery geranium.  All change for phase three when this settles into a Middle Eastern delight. The oud emerges but with soft smoky  edges tinged with Ambergris. This is seamlessly blended so the musk stays centre stage whilst the backdrop changes.  Longevity is excellent at around eight or nine hours.

Musc al Madina is intriguing and clever and I can think of few people that it wouldn’t suit. The powdery finish gave me the vintage style hit that I always seek,with a hopeful heart.  The spicy, soapy, woody finish left my nose firmly glued to my wrist.

Musc al Madina deserves classic status.

Stockists

You can buy DSH Musc al Medina from the DSH Perfumes website. My sample was kindly supplied by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, for which my warmest thanks. Opinions are my own.

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Parfums Dusita Issara: An Exciting Debut

dusitaissara

I was recently sent a  travel size bottle of Dusita Issara by my dear friend Patsi, who I know via this very blog.   I knew absolutely nothing about the brand or the perfume, so naturally,  I was keen to try it. sheepReader, I can tell you that I am jolly glad I gave it a chance.  Dusita Issara is utterly delicious and has been  wafting about my person enticingly all day. In fact, my perfume is the only glamorous element to my day at all.  You should see the weather here in Wales.  Gloom.

Parfums Dusita is a new perfume house, and the brainchild of Pissara Umavijani, who trained in Paris and launched Parfums Dusita in 2015. Its haute perfumerie, so it won’t be cheap, but I can tell you that it will be good

The most noticable  note in Issara is musk.  Now, as you know , there are many kinds of musks  and when I find one I like, I become instantly loyal to it. There are dirty musks such as Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan ( We didn’t get on) and clean laundry musks such as Philosophy Amazing Grace. I’m somewhere in the middle myself.  Luckily, Dusita Issara  hits the spot, falling just between the two.  Now throw in one of my favourite ever perfume notes , namely oakmoss, and add a dry touch of vetiver and  you pretty much have Issara (obviously it’s a  lot more complicated than that, but that’s the lasting accord it has on me.)

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There is a cosy hit of tonka absolute in here , which gives this a vanilla liqueur finish.  This is the stuff that makes you want to never, ever stop  foraging for Crème Brulée.

Issara is apparently a fresh fougere, but  to me,  its primarily a musk, with chypre style touches of greenery and oakmoss and that buttery tonka finish.  It’s not sweet, but nor is it bitter.  If anything, its a bit like smelling marzipan from the next room.  Not too sweet, a  hint of almonds, and just tantalising enough to keep your mouth watering. if I had to sum up Issara in three words I would describe it thus:  green, almondy musk.

dusita boxI’d defintely put Dusita Issara on my full bottle wish list. It’s totally unisex, so maybe I’ll put it on my husband’s wish list. He won’t mind. He said in the wedding vows that his stuff was all mine. Or something.

It looks as if Dusita Issara is off to a good start as I can see that this is currently sold out already.  Bear with them. It’s worth the wait.

Stockists

You can buy Dusita Issara from the Dusita website. There is a sample service available too, also from the website.

Acknowledgements:  Thank you Patsi for the lovely gift of the mini Dusita atomiser. Photographs are all from the Dusita website, except the sheep, which is from Pinterest.

Top Ten Avon Fragrances 2016

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When I look at the dashboard here at glamorous IScent HQ (and by glamorous I mean there’s a  patch of Lego-free floor space) I can see that the most frequently used search term that leads people to my humble blog is “Avon perfume”. In fact, my most popular article in terms of hits is My Top Ten Favourite Avon Fragrances. It even knocks the previous Number One “Gucci Envy: It’s Madness I Tell You” firmly into second place.

I think the reason for this must be that you can’t nip to the High Street and try a new release. An Avon rep may have testers if you’re lucky, or if you have a rep, but otherwise, you’re guessing from descriptions and the rub-on patch in the brochure.

Since I wrote the article some time ago and since Avon moves fast in terms what’s new and what’s stopped, I thought I’d better write another one. I like to see what people are looking for and meet their needs, although my children take this too far most of the time. Here’s my updated fan letter to Avon. I’ve included some favourites and some big new releases that I reckon are worth a try.

Call me a perfume DJ if you will. This one is for all you Avon lovers out there…

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Avon Rare Platinum

This is currently not only my favourite Avon perfume, but the perfume I have been wearing solidly since it arrived from my Avon rep, Jill. It’s one of the best tuberose scents I have ever owned and I am agog at the tiny price tag. I would have expected to pay a lot more for a white floral as good as this. Avon Rare Platinum is currently £7 from Avon UK. My recent rave review is here.

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Avon Perceive Oasis

This is the bottle I wore more than any other in summer. It’s light and floral and has roses and peonies. What I love about it is that the finish is white musk rather than vanilla. If you like Chloe, you will this too. It’s currently priced at £6 for 50ml. I have a bottle on the go and a back-up bottle too. You can read my review here.

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Avon LIFE Eau de Parfum

Created by Kenzo Takada ( yes, Kenzo himself) this is a new take on violets.  Avon LIFE EDP is light and airy, making it ideal for work or day wear.  The scent is exclusive to Avon and is not available anywhere else. You can read my review here. Avon Life is currently £24 for 50ml and comes with a jolly nice free gift worth £35 at the time of writing.

 

 

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Avon Soft Musk

This is another bottle that is always on my dressing table. A plain musk doesn’t seem to feature much in the seemingly endless list of new launches these days, so this is a safe and classic bet. Avon Soft Musk is a peachy, floral musk that lasts for many hours and is very inoffensive as a day time or workwear scent. I bought my bottle for the ludicrously low price of £3.50, although it’s usually a fiver (still a good price). My review is here.

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Avon Silky Soft Musk

The first and thus far, only, flanker to Avon Soft Musk. Whilst this isn’t may favourite of the two, if you like vanilla scents then this is for you. You can read my review here. OK, I wasn’t  massive fan, but that’s just my personal preference, which may not be the same as yours. Wouldn’t it be dull if we all loved just the one same perfume?  I’d have nothing to blog about for a start! Silky Soft Musk is available from Avon UK for £5.

Avon Cherishcherish-c9-f

Fans of Lancome La Vie est Belle will enjoy the gourmand caramel note in this beauty. Whilst it’s not my personal cup of tea, it’s good quality and long lasting and very much channels the current vogue for sweet florals with a gourmand base. The campaign is fronted by the beautiful Abbey Clancy and is one of Avon’s best sellers. Avon Cherish The Moment has similar notes but is sweeter and “pinker”. Ideal for the teenager in your life and bang on trend right now. Avon Cherish and Avon Cherish the Moment are currently £8 and £14 respectively, but check out the special offers where you can get three products for £12.

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Avon Far Away

This is Avon’s number one bestseller and they dare not discontinue it for fear of mutiny. I never used to like this, but as time passes I have grown to appreciate it a lot more. It is a vanilla floral that is so vanilla that it almost borders on coconut. It’s stood the test of time and I think it’s safe to call it a classic now. Far Away is the perfume I smell most often on other people when I am out and about. It has very loyal fans, which speaks for itself- plus my Aunty Christine smells like this so it has happy connotations for me. You can buy Far Away and any of its excellent flankers from Avon UK. I have noticed that in the run up to Christmas Avon has launched generous 100ml bottles for the first time, but I can only find them in the brochure.

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Timeless

Timeless is a text book example of what happens when a company listens to its customers and gives them what they want. Launched in 1974, Timeless is a powdery, ambery chypre style scent (sans oakmoss,but otherwise a good take). In 2012 Avon discontinued it. Its loyal fans made enough noise for Avon to bring it back and it’s now a steady seller once again. It’s not as on trend as the newer scents, but in my book, that  just means it’s a classic. At only £4 a bottle, you can’t go wrong.

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Little Black Dress Eau Fraiche

Little Black Dress remains a steadfast Avon favourite and two new versions have been added. Little Black Dress Eau Fraiche is, as you might imagine, a more summery version with the peony and lemon turned up and the heady jasmine gone away until winter. It’s less complex than Little Black Dress and less woody, but make for an excellent “lite” version, ideal for day time and holidays. Available from Avon UK  The other flanker is Little Lace Dress, which I have yet to try so can’t currently comment. I will do though, so watch this space.

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Avon Scent Essence Lime Verbena

This little beauty nearly slipped off my radar as it’s sold in a range of similar looking scent called Scent Essences. All of them come in a 30ml bottle and the one I initially tried, Sparkly Citrus, was so good in the summer that I simply had to try Lime Verbena.  As a summer scent it’s unbeatable.  you know when you’re all hot and sticky and just want to stick your head in the fridge?  This is what you need. Lime and verbena make an unbeatable green combo and this is great quality at around £4.

Acknowledgements

All photos from Avon UK. All perfumes I have tried have been purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

 

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Le Jardin Retrouvé: Scents that Tell a Story

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yuriLe Jardin Retrouvé is a perfume house that’s both new and old. The nose behind the scents, Yuri Gutsatz, sadly died in 2005 and the brand closed.  We owe Yuri a debt of gratitude, because not only did he create these beautiful scents, but he was also one of the founders of the legendary Osmothéque. His original work has been honoured and continued by his son Michel and his wife  Clara, who have relaunched Le Jardin Retrouvé using Yuri’s original formulations.

The happy result is that the world gets to revisit these delightful, high quality fragrances anew, and what a joy they are!

I was sent a small selection and asked for my opinion, which I happily give, unburdened by bias or bribery. The tricky bit is choosing a favourite. That, my friends, is the hardest bit of all. Each scent comes with its own whimsical scenario that prompted my ever ready imagination to wander even further into colourful and fanciful territory.

 

Eau des Délices

1970: The garden of delight, painted in 1503 by Heironymous Bosch, intrigues everyone who comes to see it, including you

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A bouquet of lavender, bergamot, mandarin, petitgrain and lemon makes this eau fraiche a classic cologne. Uplifting and invigorating, each ingredient is  distinct, yet blended seamlessly. This makes me want to throw open the windows and belt out a Julie Andrews number. Fans of Eau de Cartier, O de Lancome and 4711 Aqua Colonia will love this.

 

Sandalwood Sacre

1786:You walk towards a sacred grove that houses a small Hindu Temple…

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This beautiful 70s style sandalwood reminded me of those wonderful ethnic market stalls I used to frequent as a teen. I’d buy pungent patchouli oil and floaty skirts with tiny mirrors on them.  The sandalwood is soft with floral nuances (via orange blossom),  a subtle undertow of patchouli and a delicately feminine white musk finish.  It’s addictively sniffable and leaves a beautiful wake.

Verveine d’Etè

1878: You walk in the Summer Garden in the heart of St Petersburg…

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With ingredients that smell so-fresh-it-tingles, this is a happy, playful scent in a similar vein to Eau des Délices above. With basil, lemon, bergamot and the all important verbena, this is the best verbena scent I have ever smelled, and I’ve smelled a fair few on my travels.  There’s a trail of oakmoss in the basenotes, which makes me even happier.

Cuir de Russie

1920:The opera ball is packed. Diaghilev is presenting his Ballet Russes.

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For some reason, I always get cuir (leather) mixed up with cuisse (thigh), so I initially read this as Russian Thigh. Actually, I’m not far off since this scent was inspired by the Russian Ballet.  Cuir de Russie reminded me of those wonderful vintage chypres with strong powdery notes muffling the oakmoss in time honoured fashion. Specifically, this reminded me of the day I entered the chypre portal via Balmain de Balmain and never looked back. Cuir de Russie is violets, cinnamon, wood and styrax. The wood and spice gives it muscles and the violets give it delicate fairy wings. This is a stunning juxtaposition.

Rose Trocadero

1935: Behind you, the Eiffel Tower. Before you, the Trocadero Palace.

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Rose Trocadero is not your typically pretty rose petal scent. It’s darker than that. Using hefty Bulgarian Rose Absolute, this stuff will fill a room (in a good way). There’s something spicy and dark at the heart, but it may just be the genre of the rose. Fans of Miller Harris Rose En Noir will love this take on roses. I found hints of spice and heady jasmine. This rose is rich and deep and makes a bold statement.

Citron Boboli

2000: The view of Florence is stunning, but a grotto on your right draws you with chilled air.

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This is another lemon based scent but has the distinction of added spice, namely cloves and black pepper. Opening with greener than green petitgrain,  and bursting with the freshness of citrus, the spiciness gives this an almost sherbetty kick. I loved it.

Tubereuse Trianon

1689:You are headed towards the Trianon in the garden of Versailles where the King has had a profusion of flowerheads planted.

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I have somehow gone nuts for tuberose lately and cannot get enough. This may have begun back in October when I entered the By Kilian boutique in London and was greeted by Good Girl Gone Bad.  Tubereuse Trianon opens with both tuberose and jasmine. The creamy headiness of both brings out the best in each other and this gives me an almost exaggerated soapiness that I cannot get enough of. The blurb says “your heart just encountered love. It melts” It did. It melted. I love this so much I think I may have to marry it.

Stockists

You can buy these fragrances from the website, which launches November 2016 ( i.e now)

Acknowledgenments: samples kindly supplied by Le Jardin Retrouve. All photos are my own.

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The Very Best Bargain Guy Buys: Scent Shopping For Men

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Wear What You Like and Like What you Wear

Yes, I’ve just come up with “guy buys”. I tried for ages to find something to rhyme with bloke, but could only manage cloak or joke, so Guy Buys it is. I hope it’ll catch on. But I doubt it.

Now being a lady and liking ladies’ things, I don’t blog much about bloke scent, but I really should. There are two reasons for this: One- it’s nearly Christmas and many people are asking me in real life what’s good and what’s not worth bothering with. Secondly- here on my humble blog there are no gender walls (despite the flannel above about lady’s things). The only rule is wear what you like and like what you wear. In fact, yesterday found me wearing my son’s deodorant (don’t tell him) and my husband’s Coty Aspen for Men. (He won’t know, he never reads this). And I wore his slippers, actually. And ate his Kitkat from the fridge. That’s how sure I am that he won’t read this.

I have collated a list of cheap and cheerful male scent that are all so good that I would happily wear them myself as well as dousing my nearest and dearest with them too. The  list keeps a beady eye on budget, so if like me, you have loads of people to buy for and no money tree in the garden, this page is for you.

aspenCoty Aspen for Men

This is cheap as chips and a beautiful green pine and lavender scented cologne. You can read my review here.  It’s very long lasting and has the freshness of an open window in winter. I found my bottle on Amazon and Mr IScent wears it well. You can find it on Allbeauty.com for the bargain price of £9.80. It has often been compared to Creed Green Irish Tweed, which is rather more spendy.

Library of Fragrance

fireplace

Library of Fragrance has a fabulous range of unisex scents: many of which would make the perfect gift for any hard to buy for man. I particularly like Mountain Air and Fireplace, but this year’s Blue Spruce (fresh pine needles) and Myrrh (resin-y spices and incense) are also excellent. You can buy Library of Fragrance scent from their website. Prices start at £10. Alternatively, try Boots for a seasonal selection.

David Beckham Classic Blue

I’ve yet to come across a David Beckham scent that I wouldn’t recommend. DB classic-blue Classic Blue is a refreshing ozonic scent that passes the office test (and, it would seem, the Year Six test for the dandy ten-year-old).  My only bugbear is that longevity isn’t as good as it could be, but at prices  under twelve quid, you can afford a top up between double maths or a board meeting. It’s versatile and good quality. You can find this on allbeauty.com for 11.95

Avon Destination Grand Canyon

grand-canyonThis is a terrific, warm, leathery scent from Avon that reminded me of Hermes Terre D’Hermes yet only costs £11 a bottle. I adored its deep woody notes and would happily wear this myself. Mr IScent can expect one in his stocking. Available from Avon UK or your Avon lady if you’re lucky enough to have one, like I have.

Obsession for Men

Calvin Klein Obsession For Men is another bargain, often to be had for under £20. Obsession For Men was the scent my obsessionhusband wore on our wedding day and it always reminded me of those early first dates we went on when, after a taxi ride home, I too would smell of Obsession for Men. It has its critics, but I love the warm, musky spiciness of it and longevity is excellent. You can find it on allbeauty.com at prices which start at 11.95 for 30ml.

Lynx Urban Daily Tobacco and Amber

lynx t and ambI reviewed this one earlier in my blog and I love how the warm vanilla unfolds as the day wears on. At the shockingly low price of under £4, this “daily fragrance” is perfect for winter. Warm, spicy and woody, this manages to strike a note of cosiness without getting too heavy or sweet. I’ve noticed it comes in gift packs around this time of year. Honourable mentions also go to Lynx Iced Musk and Ginger and Lynx Oud Wood and Dark Vanilla. The range is available from Superdrug or Asda. prices start at £3.98.

Jovan Musk for Menmusk4men

You can’t go wrong with a good musk and Jovan has been doing good musk since the seventies. When you just want a  musk with nothing else chucked in the mix, reach for Jovan Musk for Men. It’s currently only 6.99 on Fragrance Direct. Perfect for layering too or for “musking up” something that needs it!

tabacTabac Original

I’m going to introduce an old classic into the mix here: Tabac Original by Maurer and Wirtz. Opening with a soapy, cologne feel, and with a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it floral note, this beds down into a classic, clean sandalwood finish. My late father wore it and was always immaculately turned out. Some might say old-fashioned, but I say “classic” You can buy Tabac Original from Amazon UK. Prices start at just 8.45

Avon Black Suede

black-suede

Another Avon bargain at just £6 (correct at time of publishing). With warm amber, spicy cloves, and yes, even a hint of oak moss, this powdery gem won’t project in everyone’s ace, but offers a very snuggly, suedey scent with a clean musk base. You can buy Black Suede from Avon UK. Prices currently start at £6 for 50ml.

Davidoff Championchampion

Slightly out of season (unless you’re wintering overseas?) Davidoff Champion impressed me no end. I bought it sort of randomly for my nephew and when he opened it we just couldn’t stop sniffing the air. It’s green, light and citrussy, yet beds down into a galbanum/oak moss finish that smells like it should costs around three times the price. Utterly divine- I would totally get my own bottle. Available from allbeauty for 12.20

So, there you have it. My ten favourite man bargains. None of these will break the bank, and I have tried and tested all of them. My poor long suffering husband sits next to me of an evening, obediently “sticking his arm out” night after night. I can tell you with certainty that he is one hot smelling guinea pig!

Happy shopping!

Or you can just buy these again…

socks

Photo credits:

Top photo from Ladybird books, bottom from Pringle. All others from the sites mentioned in the review.

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