Tag Archives: Autumn perfume

Unbelievably Good (and Cheap!) : Yves Rocher Vanille Bourbon

Have you ever tried an inexpensive perfume that was so good you thought you’d been undercharged? That’s how I felt when my little Yves Rocher consignment arrived recently. Tucked away on the website is a small selection of excellent 20ml scents that cost me only £4 a bottle. Vanille Bourbon was one of them and all I can say is Crikey Moses, this is good stuff.

Now vanilla, as you know, can smell like cheap candles  or like delicious buttery boozy liqueur that makes you want to swoon. You have to try a lot of bottles to find the latter and this one falls into that category.

Despite being an eau de toilette, Vanille Bourbon lasted ages on my skin and I was getting delightful wafts up to five hours later when I found myself sniffing the air and saying “mm, someone smells nice,” realising later that it was me.  I was the someone.

The only note listed for this fragrance is vanilla, but that’s a wide net.  This has facets of woods, soft musk, some unidentifiable floral notes, and an edge of smoky toasted sugar, like the singed edges of a Crème Caramel.  For a fleeting second, it smelled like spiced whisky, but overall, I would call this a milky, musky, floral and a very, very rich (kazillionaire) vanilla. It’s as satisfying as a mouthful of good crème brûlée and cost me a mere £4. Yes, I had change from a fiver. Well, I would have if I hadn’t bought four others in the range, more of which anon.

Yves Rocher Vanilla Bourbon is fantastic value and a dream of a vanilla scent. Not a cheap candle in sight.

Stockists

Yves Rocher Vanilla Bourbon 20ml EDT is only £4 from the Yves Rocher UK website. I won’t be parted from mine.

 

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Sarah Jessica Parker Stash SJP

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When people tell me they would never bother with celebrity scent, I refer them to Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely.  It’s a superb scent in its own right and still going strong ten years after its launch. There are not many celebrity scents that can say the same. Parker’s interest in its development is well documented in Chandler Burr’s book “The Perfect Scent”. Sarah Jessica was involved in every stage, far more than many celebrity rubber stamp sign offs.

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To me, her new scent, Stash SJP, is more reminiscent of her earlier experimentations prior to Lovely. SJP used to mix three fragrances to get a scent she loved and Stash resembles that scent more than Lovely. The three were: Bonne Bell Musk, Comme Des Garcons Incense Series Avignon and  an Egyptian scented oil that she bought from a street vendor. When I tried Stash SJP, I felt like I had an idea of what this previous mash up might have smelled like. The word I’m looking for is glorious.

Stash SJP opens with a masculine swagger of black pepper and grapefruit. Somehow I also got juicy figgy fruit which segued into dark, incense infused woods. Like Avignon, this reminds me of the smell of oak pews in an ancient church. The woody accord comes from massoia woods, vetiver and cedar. The frankincense infuses it with spices. Sage and vetiver add a herby, dried grass flavour.  The overall finish is one of spiced woods, patchouli and a freshness from the grapefruit that keeps it sharp.

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This could hardly be more different to its counterpart – it’s the bad sister to goody two shoes Lovely. I think it’s wonderful, although I could have sworn it was full of sandalwood. Stash reminds me of Hilary Duff With Love- now sadly discontinued. With Love is one of my favourite fragrances because of the wonderful dark guaiac woods in it.  Stash SJP has a similar feel, but if anything, is better.  It gives me all those dark woods and that old church aroma I’m always chasing,  along with some zingy citrus and spice to boot. The hashtag is #ComeandFindIt and find it you must, dear friends. This is too good to pass by. Stash SJP has the potential to become a classic. I’ll be getting a full bottle for sure.

Stockists

Currently, this can only be found in selected branches of Superdrug and Boots. Prices start at £28 for 30ml. Rumour has it that an oil version is coming later.

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Histoire d’Eau by Mauboussin

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The weather today is my all time favourite: chilly and breezy but with a sky that is bright blue and sunny. Everything feels as if it is in glorious Technicolour and the trees are starting to go gold.

Histoire d’Eau by Mauboussin is the perfect scent for today. It is rich with spice and wood and even a hint of tar. The Amber notes reflect the golden trees and the leathery finish is perfect for Autumn.

 Mauboussin is a prestigious French jeweller: right up there with Tiffany and Cartier. Since 1870 Mauboussin has been producing fine jewellery and watches, but it wasn’t until the year 2000 that they stepped into the fragrance market.  And I am so glad they did.

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The notes for Histoire d’Eau are as follows:

Top notes: Mandarin and Ylang (both noticeable),

Middle notes: Nutmeg, Pepper and Cardoman,

Base notes: Leather, Myrtle, Amber and Musk.

The combination of these toasty Autumnal notes is spot on for a chill wind. The Amber and Spices give heat to the sexy Leather.  The Orange makes things Christmassy and the Musk is barely a whisper, preventing this from being too girly. It would be perfect as a masculine or a feminine and reminds me of burnt tar on a fence.  This is a good thing, since I also rather like the smell of creosote in perfume.

Despite the hot tar and the slight cough mixture accord, this is prettier than it sounds. This is almost what Serge Noire would have smelled like on me if our chemistry had been right.  Histoire d’Eau is smoky, spicy and just what the doctor ordered on this bright, cold day.

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