Tag Archives: Ambre de cabochard

Good Perfumes Under Ten Pounds: Is it Possible?

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Today will be post number One Hundred on IScentYouADay.  I would like to thank my readers, followers and commenters from all over the world (there’s a little World Map on my Dashboard, I can see what countries are tuning in!). It has given me genuine cheer to know that you are there. I wonder if you would indulge me then, by allowing me to go slightly off tangent today? In the interests of inclusiveness, I want to write about my frugal finds. When the Money Tree is tightly budded, is it still possible to smell good, or great even?

Back in my twenties, I had a huge perfume habit, but once I settled on Chanel Cristalle, I pretty much stayed loyal to it until three years ago. It was during  a period of penury that, ironically, my perfume obsession came to the fore again. Realising that Cristalle was out of my league, I began to explore other, less expensive options. Three years later and I blush at the number of inexpensive bottles on my dressing table (and lucky me, I had a bottle of Cristalle for my birthday this year).

The things is, perfume needn’t be expensive. There are many ways in which you can dabble without having to smash your piggy bank. Ebay has a vast range of sellers who are disappointed with their birthday present or their blind buy, and eager to sell their brand new bottle that has maybe been sprayed once or twice. This is where you swoop in and buy a favourite for a song. I have bought several used bottles on eBay and never once had a problem with authenticity. In fact, when I have been disappointed with a blind buy, I re-list it and very often make my money back.

Alternatively, you can buy decants and smaller bottles of niche scents from eBay or even  by trawling  sites  such as Basenotes or Fragrantica for like minded perfume junkies who may want to swap something or sell you 10mls of a Serge Lutens.

Then of course, there are cheap perfumes. There are certainly good ones out there as I found out when big budget perfumes were out of my reach. I have had many a cheap perfume for under ten pounds and have indeed also had some howlers during my scented voyage. It pays to buy online from sites such as Allbeauty.com or Amazon. Buying from the High Street means paying a premium for rent, rates, staffing costs, heating etc. Believe me, I’ve shopped around. Even High Street fragrance Sales are often terrible value compared to online prices.

I have made a list below of ten perfumes under ten pounds (at the moment!) that I consider to be a good bet. I have listed a variety too, rather than one single genre. Many of these have already been listed and reviewed on my site, although  I cannot give you the links as my computer really doesn’t like it when I link to my site on my site. I guess it disapproves of Narcissism. In fact there are only three fragrances below that I have yet to review (Yardley Lavender, Little Black Dress and Green Tea), and they will be along soon. All the others can be found earlier on in my site.

I hope this list gives you hope that when all’s spent, there might, just might, be enough in the kitty to buy yourself something pretty.

  1. Dana Tabu– Spicy, Oriental; A classic.
  2. JLo Deseo, Tropical notes and White Flowers. Stock up for summer. Gorgeous  jewel like bottle.
  3. Gres Cabotine,  A Zingy Green, perfect for Summer. NB This is the original with the green lid, not one of the many flankers.
  4. Coty L’Aimant Fleur de Rose, Floral, Rose. A Baby Powder Floral. Currently £7.45 for a gift set containing a 30ml EDT on Amazon. Stock up, it’s discontinued but still around.
  5. Avon Little Black Dress– Floral. Just bought a half price bottle for £6.50 from this month’s Avon brochure. Although it’s usually £13.00, there are almost always offers on such as buy one, get one half price, or buy one, get a second for £2.
  6. Cabochard–  A classic Leather. Currently £8.99 for 100ml in my local Bodycare shop.
  7. Ambre de Cabochard– Oriental Amber: Recently spotted in Savers Chemist and online on Amazon. I’m on my second bottle.
  8. Body Shop White Musk– Musk. A small 15ml bottle is currently £7.00 in my local store,  and a large 30ml bottle is £11 instore. The oil goes much further than the spray. One 30ml bottle of oil lasts me a year!
  9. Yardley Lavender– Lavender: Good alone or in layers. I just bought 50ml in Boots for £9.99
  10. Elizabeth Arden Green Tea: a refreshing summer classic. I don’t like Green Tea personally, but I have to admit that this is done very well and for an excellent price. Currently under 10GBP, but prices change often.

Do you agree or disagree with the list above? Do let me know your perfume bargains and discoveries. I would love to hear about them.

Ambre de Cabochard: Low End Low Rent Scent. I love it.

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Ambre de Cabochard divides opinion. Not quite in the way Thierry Mugler’s Angel starts fights and grudge matches, but it has its fans and its critics in equal measure. Before we go any further, I’m nailing my colours to the mast. I love it.

Created in 2006, it has the highly respected Jean-Pierre Bethouart behind it, who has previously worked with Caron, Burberry and Boucheron, to name but a few.  Jean-Claude Delville is co-creator, and he has worked with greats such as Vera Wang, Givenchy, and also created the celebrated Clinique Happy. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez regard it as “thin” and “waxy”, and many reviewers regard it as “cheap smelling” or “synthetic” or “too sweet”. To me, it’s gingery, spicy and grown up. Top notes include Cardoman, Ginger, Cinnamon, Orange, Blueberry and Blackcurrant. Middle notes include Tuberose (which I cannot detect at all), Lily of the Valley (ditto) and Cyclamen (ditto). Base notes are Vanilla, Amber, Patchouli and Musk.

Whilst I can’t detect florals in there, there is a hint of fruit in a Christmassy way, but the strongest notes are Amber, Musk and Patchouli. The Vanilla rounds it off and sweetens it, but not too much, just enough to soften the edges.

I first bought this after a long period of enforced frugality. I had ten quid in my Paypal account and wanted something I hadn’t tried before. I remember when this arrived in the post (I bought it blind, ruthlessly attracted by the price), it was so exciting to get a brand new bottle of perfume, with the cellophane on and, in a nice box. The bottle itself is gorgeous, with a little bow around its neck. I wasn’t disappointed and I’m now on my second bottle. Currently available on Cheap Smells, Amazon and eBay for less than ten pounds, this has become a beauty bargain favourite.

It doesn’t compare to well made niche perfumes such as Ambre Narguile, but it’s damn good for its price tag.

Molinard Habanita: A Timeless Vintage

histoire_2Molinard Habanitaseemed right for today’s icy temperatures and like Edith Piaf, I have no regrets. Having tried several vintage woody chypres lately and not liking what they’ve done to me, I was pleasantly surprised to find a vintage fragrance that I like, admire, and want to add to my scent wardrobe.

Molinard  was founded in 1849, in Grasse, and remains a family business. The company can even count Queen Victoria among its early patrons. Habanita was created in 1921 to complement the growing trend for women to smoke. It was intended to “perfume cigarettes”, but has remained a steady seller ever since, even in the health conscious non-smoking 21st century.

It may be just me, but I find older perfumes have a whiff of nail polish about them when first applied. This is no bad thing, since it brings old fashioned dressing tables to mind, which feels right and proper when trawling through the history of fragrances. Habanita is no exception: it has that distinctive note of face powder and nail polish when it first goes on. However, the drydown happens quickly and after that it just gets better.

I often find chypres too harsh and woody, but Habanita is more of an oriental amber. I love amber, and already have Ambre de Cabochard (derided by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, but loved by me), as well as J del Pozo Ambar.

Like all the best perfumes, Habanita changes as you wear it. It starts powdery, and then warms up into a beautiful, feminine scent that lasts a long time. It’s strong, with heavy sillage, so I would save it for evening rather than the office. As time wore on, I could smell a hint of lemon, even though this is not listed as a note, a hint of lilac, some pale musk, and finally strong leather, through an incense-like amber mist.

Fragranitca lists many fruity notes, such as peach and raspberry, but I didn’t get those at all. In fact, I didn’t get any of the top notes listed as Habanita sank into my skin and seemed to skip top notes and middle notes and go straight to base notes: amber, musk, oakmoss and leather. Fans of  Grès Cabochardwill certainly like this.

Habanita de Molinard is a timeless classic. Try it . It’ll bring out the panther in you.

 

EDIT: looking back at this post over a year after I wrote it, it’s very interesting how my tastes have changed.  I still adore Habanita, but these days, I’d be front of the queue for any vintage-y chypres. My journey has been a strange evolution of preferences. 

4th April 2014

Jesus del Pozo Ambar- Orange and Spice and All Things Nice

nd.9315I bought Jesus Del Pozo Ambar  after developing a penchant for amber notes via  Ambre de Cabochard by Parfums Gres (more of which at a later date). I bought it blind, wanting something stronger than a light floral as the nights drew in.  I wasn’t disappointed.

My first thought as I unwrapped the gorgeous amber glass bottle and sprayed was “Cointreau”. Those of us who no longer discuss our age may remember the fabulously glamorous adverts from the 80s. “Ah cointreau, the ice melts…”. So immediately I had a trip down memory lane with a burst of alcoholic orange liqueur.

However, creator Marie Salamagne stops this from being sickly and keeps it fresh and light with the addition of cardoman and bergamot. It stays aromatic rather than cloying, although the hint of vanilla has been used sparingly (phew).

Although there are allegedly notes of Peony in Ambar, I don’t get flowers in this at all. It’s clean and masculine and almost herbal, and could, in my opinion  easily pass for a men’s eau de toilette.  It’s odd how the ultra feminine Eau de Cartier is targeted at a unisex market, yet this crisp citrus/spice scent is aimed solely at women.

Oh and the amber is here, of course. It’s warm and wintery and the bitter orange stops it being too thick and heavy.

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality since I bought my 30ml bottle for less than £10 from allbeauty.com, although they only seem to have the more expensive large bottles now. If you can find the small bottles again, they are worth having in your scent wardrobe. I can honestly say I have never seen this for sale on any High Street in the UK, although those of you who live in or near cities may have done so. I  don’t myself, so I often buy online via eBay or even Amazon.

Jesus del Pozo was incorporated in 1974 and sadly, the man himself passed away in August 2011 but not before firmly cementing his award winning reputation in his native Spain and in 120 countries worldwide.  His most famous scent is J del Pozo Halloween, named for its completion date rather than for any gory ingredients or notes.

The business carries on under new management true to his spirit.