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Sorry it’s late but…

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Hello dear readers and thank you for bearing with me during a brief hiatus.  This  was because it is half term here in Wales and my two boys, aged four and seven, get very restless if not taken out to chase a ball at least once a day. They are back in school on Monday so you can expect daily updates again.

I must share with you some lovely photographs of some local-ish gardens we visited this week.  I know my blog is all about the perfume, but since we all share a love of the beautiful, I thought you might like to see some photographs of Dewstow Gardens near Caldicot in South Wales. They were created by a Victorian gentleman, buried during the Second World War and lay undiscovered for many years until 2000. We took the children on Bank Holiday Monday and it was a beautifully memorable day.

Meanwhile, still on the botanical theme, I shall tuck into the latest Yves Rocher delivery.

 

Three Sneezes For Easter!

photo by Wiki Commons
photo by Wiki Commons

Forgive my temporary absence. I have had lotions and potions and appear to allergic to just about everything right now.  Funnily enough, I have never had an allergic reaction to any perfume but can’t currently wear any due to itchy eyes, no sense of smell, and various skin irritations.  I’m putting my trust in the good old NHS and have been given various treatments that are starting to work.

However, next week, Mr IScent is taking myself and the boys on a short holiday if you please.  Sun, sea and buckets and spades. My absence may be a bit longer but I hope to come back to you refreshed and fully treated.  I do love Spring, but it has  a singular drawback. 

Easter is a time of renewal and I hope to come back fully refreshed and non sneezy.

I wish all my readers a wonderful, peaceful Easter full of happiness, sunshine and everything in this photo below.

thedigeratilife.com
thedigeratilife.com

Olbas Oil: Dear Hayfever, It’s Not Me, It’s You

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It would be dishonest of me to  try and review any perfume today since I cannot smell very much at all. This makes me sad as aromas can make my day (or break it:  I’m looking at you Muscs Koublai Khan).

Initially I made a joke to say  that Olbas Oil was the only thing I can smell, but since I am never without it I thought I would offer you a few lines of praise for this bargain oil. The ingredients include  clove oil, eucalyptus, juniper berry and cajuput. Rubbed on feet obvernight it can have amazing effects, but I prefer it in a mug of hot water, to be inhaled, not  drunk! It will clear just about anything, including drains and plugholes most probably.

Anyway, this is my roundabout way of saying welcome to my world today and please excuse the lack of perfume review.  This is all I can smell. And my eyes itch too.

You May Notice a Few Changes…

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Now that I have reached a year, I have had to think about the long term future of my blog.  With your kind support and encouragement  I very much want to carry on.  In order to do this, I am going down the self hosting route.  There may be a  day or so of disruption and you may see a few ads on my page afterwards.  This will enable me to continue and to devote more time to this.  I do hope you understand  and I hope that I can count on your  continuing and much cherished support. The future’s bright …(I hope).

PS I am nervous!

 

Dior Pure Poison: Scary Name, But Very Well Behaved.

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 With a name like Pure Poison and a nuclear sister like Dior Poison ( see my earlier review), you would expect Pure Poison to smell sort of “Back away and put down the baseball bat”. However, it is about as scary as a librarian .

Whilst this is not my personal cup of tea, I do like it and was sufficiently intrigued to wear it two days in a row just to be sure of what I wanted to say about it.

It opens with a hint of citrus: almost to the pint of being astringent.  For a few seconds it’s vodka, then it turns into Cacharel Noa (mm, I love that one).  After that an aura of sophisticated Jasmine, Neroli and Gardenia kick in, making this a delightful heady floral, though a rich one rather than a refreshing summery one. It makes me think that older women should wear it, rather than young women, even though this goes against the grain of my belief that anyone should wear anything if it lights their fire.

Image There is, however, a definite whiff of the 80s about this, and I was reminded of the notoriously unapologetic Giorgio Beverly Hills. 

This is not for me, but it is not half bad.  If you had sat next to me wearing this rich white floral, I would never have guessed it was Pure Poison.  As always in the world of fragrance, smelling is believing.

Ava Luxe Mousse de Chine: A Scent of Two Halves

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 Ava Luxe is a one woman US based perfume brand and is the brainchild of Serena Ava Franco.  I have previously reviewed her scent Madeline (have a search) which reminded me of milk and whisky by a log fire.  She is good at what she does and generous to her customers, always including several samples.

 Mousse de Chine divided myself and my friend Lisa Wordbird, owner of the sample I used. 

 Going off on a tangent briefly, I have an ashtray outside in my garden for smoky guests and I try Imageand ensure it doesn’t get too full between visits.  When I empty it, the black water from the bottom of the ashtray is particularly vile, as you can imagine. Unfortunately, Mousse de Chine smells like a weaker version of black cigarette water and I could not wait to get rid of it. Stale cigarettes can work in perfume, but this was too much, even for me.

 However, as the title suggests, there are two sides to this coin.  On Lisa, in her own words, this smells like “salty wood and maybe some oakmoss”. She was amazed I got cigarettes from it, which is proof, if proof were needed, that scent can vary almost beyond recognition depending on skin type.  According to Fragrantica, just to give you the whole picture, the notes are : Lime, Bergamot, Fern, Lavender, Oakmoss, Moss, Amber, Resin, Labdanum and Musk.

 In other words, it’s not for me, it smells great on Lisa, and if you like the sound of the notes you may not get what you expect.

 Ava Luxe, although US based, can ship abroad because Serena cannily sends oils rather than liquid. The quality of ingredients is very good- nothing synthetic smelling or cheap here. Lisa adores the brand and she knows her stuff, so that’s good enough for me!

IScentYouADay: The Journey Will Continue

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On January 2nd 2013 I decided to start a blog that reviewed a perfume a day for a year.  My dear friend LisaWordbird kindly brought me half a house full of samples and full bottles that made me faint with a thud.  Bringing me round with a whiff off Muscs Koublai Khan, she explained I could borrow and write about anything I needed. Without her, my blog would have been about ten times harder and I would not have been able to write about any of the amazing gems she has let me borrow.

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However, at the risk of sounding like I am explaining that the dog ate my homework, I must confess that I have not managed to write 365 reviews.  I did manage to post 310 blog posts however, so I hope you will forgive me.  I should point out at this point that the missing blogs would have occurred during 14 weeks of school holidays, two weeks away from my trusty  computer, two children’s ear infections and viruses, my own sinus infection which rendered my nose useless and  four nights when I had to hand sew a snowflake costume (the result was more Liberace than snowflake, but my son didn’t mind). Blogs would have been even fewer had the ever patient Mr IScent not been an IT professional who has fixed my glitches in exchange for kisses and hot food.

I have found that blogging about perfume not only gives me the headspace that I need when Imageraising a seven year old and a four year old, but it has taken me to another world where I have encountered many fascinating and kind people from around the globe. I cannot stop now.  It’s addictive.

However it was the rather marvellous Perfumed Dandy  who came up with the idea of writing about 1001 scents.  I am therefore adopting this wonderful idea which also, hopefully, gets me off the hook for not quite reaching my 365 in a year target.

So here you are: IScentYouADay: 1001 days of perfume.

Do you like it?

The Without Whom bit:

I could not have done this without the comments, encouragement and shared anecdotes from my followers on the blog, on Facebook and on Twitter.For everyone who stops by or has a quick read, you have my deep appreciation.

To LisaWordbird, the most selfless fellow fragrance freak I have ever ever met. Her generosity has no limits, and her knowledge has been invaluable. My eyes have been truly opened and my nose has been taken to places I could never have imagined. Thank you.

To the lovely companies who have been kind enough to supply me with samples: Miller Harris, Jo Loves, the Fragrance Shop, LUSH, Yves Rocher and dear, kind Andy Tauer.  None of them have paid me for my opnions, and I should imagine Lush wishes they had paid me to shut up at times. I thank them all.

And finally thank you to the Perfumed Dandy who helped me with the idea of how I could continue seamlessly. My warm thanks to you dear Dandy.

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Avon Pur Blanca: When Pure and Clean is Needed

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 Avon Pur Blanca is one of the few Avon scents that doesn’t end up smelling samey in the basenote phase.  Having tried many Avon fragrances in the past, I can honestly say that this is a common fault. There are exceptions, and I have bought many bottles blind trying to find them.

Pur Blanca is the kind of scent you get when you’ve just got out of the shower, washed your hair and applied a touch of baby lotion. It is the smell of pure white soap and freshly shampooed hair.  It reminded me a little of J-Lo Glow, another clean soapy scent.

Pur Blanca is currently 7GBP a bottle and shows no signs of slowing down, so I wouldn’t panic about the Avon of habit of discontinuing the good stuff just yet.

The strongest notes in Pur Blanca are Musk and Peony: always well behaved and respectable. There is a touch of Freesia, keeping it pretty, and even a faint hint of Sandalwood to warm the base up.  You could wear it to meet prospective in-laws without causing offence.  In fact, inoffensive is the word here.  It’s suitable for office wear, church, and PTA meetings.  It’s not sexy, it’s perfectly wearable and the worst accusation I can throw at it is that it is safe. But sometimes safe is required, and this serves its purpose nicely.

I don’t think it smells expensive, and the ingredients are a little synthetic smelling- another frequent Avon characteristic- but when you are producing scents to a low budget market, it’s an occupational hazard.

All in all, not a bad use of seven quid.

Comptoir Sud Pacifique Aqua Moto: If This is a Beach, I’m Not Staying

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  Comptoir Sud Pacifique is a French brand of fragrance which aims to “inspire travel” though their scent range. Widely available online, it is slightly trickier to get hold of in shops, but is nevertheless reasonable value at between 20GBP and 40GBP for 100ml.

 I can only speak for the one I have tried and not the rest of the brand, so today I am reviewing Comptoir Sud Pacifique Aqua Moto. However, since I have seen they also make scents with such tempting names as Haiti Vetyver and Aloha Tiare, I am still determined to try others in the range.

 Aqua Moto opens with Sea notes and Sand.  So far so good. However, I think it must be the inclusion of Imortelle that somehow reminds me of my last visit to the vet. For my cat, you understand, not for me.  There is a slight animal and antispectic combo about Aqua Moto that I simply cannot shake off.

 Imortelle is a plant native to France, so it seems only fitting to include it since this is very much the smell of a French beach.  It has a tang of curry and toast (as dear  old Fragrantica reliably informs me). But there is something not right here. An “off note” is present and I can’t quite locate it.  Is it the seaweed?  The Imortelle? The sandy note?  I don’t know, but all I can think of is “I must take the kittens to the vet” and really, that’s not what I want perfume to do for me.

Having said that, it’s a range worth checking out and the website is pretty good.  You can find better prices on allbeauty.com and you can even find it on Amazon.

 

Yves Rocher Secrets D’Essence Iris Noir: Another Beautiful Iris

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What’s going on?  One minute Iris and I are not speaking, next thing, she’s top of my Christmas List and I’m giving her rave reviews.

 Once again, Iris has attracted me rather than repelled me and this time it’s Yves Rocher who are responsible.  After enjoying Miller Harris’ Terre D’Iris and bagging a bottle of Prada Infusion D’Iris for Christmas, there’s no stopping me.

 However, all the Iris Scents I like have one thing in common:  they are used in combination with citrus notes.  This seems to dispel my previous conception of Iris as a grey,earthy, rooty scent that often made me feel claustrophobic, as if I was face down in powder with the windows shut. When used alongside citrus, Iris is lightened up and becomes a prettier floral note.  In fact, used in this way, it’s a little bit addictive.

 Yves Rocher Secrets D’Essence Iris Noir is a beautifully done Iris scent that is combined with Bergamot to keep it light and flowery and feminine.  There are not many notes to start with, just a hint of Pepper here, perhaps a sniff of Coriander there.  When the basenotes come along and the Patchouli envelopes it,  it becomes a beautiful  rich and spiky scent with a delicious Iris backdrop. It’s blended smoothly and moves from day to evening in one silky move. Iris Noir indeed.

 Longevity is good at around five hours, and the price is reasonable at 22GBP for 50ml.  Yves Rocher always chuck in freebies and samples, so it’s worth ordering from them online.  Spoil yourself.  I dare you.