Sarah McCartney “stirred woods, fruits and flowers with an icicle”
Doe in the Snow was created for a winter wedding, but recently it has proved itself to be the perfect summer fragrance. When it feels so hot that anything with the word snow in the title seems far-fetched and impossible, that’s when you need Doe in the Snow.
Doe in The Snow was created for the January wedding of perfume writer Odette Toilette aka the lovely Lizzie Ostrum. I had the pleasure of meeting Lizzie at the Jasmine awards earlier this year and was delighted to see her win, and deservedly so.
I’ve only recently decided to review Doe in the Snow because I cannot beat the tagline “stirred with an icicle.” It’s the perfect description of this icy refreshing treat that cuts right through that sticky, sweaty feeling you get as soon as the thermostat goes over the 20 degree point.
Doe in the Snow opens with lemon and lime and grapefruit. It reminded me of a cross between Morning Fresh washing up liquid and ice lollies. That’s no criticism at all: more of a vignette of an afternoon at my grandmother’s house circa 1970 something. Doe in the Snow however, is modern with a vintage feel.
There are peaches in here that come out boldly about halfway through, but with no stickiness. Think of the peaches in Lanvin Arpège: a restrained fruity note that adds a frisson of traditional prettiness without any of the modern syrupiness of main stream fruity florals. Besides which, the lemon and lime stop things getting too sweet and keep that astringent edge that makes Doe in the Snow so refreshing. To my nose, there’s also a touch of dark green soap in there, which I can’t explain to you or myself.
The mosses and woods in the base give it that chypre edge that I always seek. That’s not to say this ever gets rich and heavy though: the genius of it is that it’s a chypre for a summery day. It has vintage touches in the peachy mossy note, and yet resembles a sorbet with its icy coolness. Very clever, very refreshing and very chic.
This is half price until June 23rd 2017 from the 4160 Tuesdays website. After that it goes back to full price, which is still very reasonable, especially for handmade niche fragrance. You can buy something “meh” from the beauty counter or you can buy a bottle of this for a similar price. Not a sponsored post. 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.
L’Occitane en Provence is one of my favourite brands and I was not surprised to discover that once again they have come up with the goods and produced yet another gorgeous fragrance. L’Occitane Terre de Lumiere encapsulates the perfect lazy summer day. Its evocative powers are as potent as a genie.
It was inspired by the “Golden Hour” i.e that bit before dusk where the sun starts to wane and you decide it’s not too early for a glass of special grape juice (ahem). To me though, this made me think of an English country garden with lavender bushes and birds chirping and bees quietly humming in the mixed borders, and “is there honey still for tea?”
Terre de Lumiere (land of sun) opens with bergamot, gentle musks and pink pepper. Apart from a clean citrus blast of fuzzy lime though, this marches straight into honey and lavender territory and this is really its main characteristic. Lavender and honey go so brilliantly well together that I don’t know why it isn’t done more often. This just hums with July heat and lazy bees. I’m also heartened to see the lavender being used, as I think its vastly underrated and underused.
The base of Terre de Lumiere is vaguely gourmand, but in a warm, nutty way, rather than a sticky cakey vanilla way. I hope my technical language isn’t blinding anyone with science today! There are almonds and tonka in the base, but to be honest, the lavender and honey are the Taylor and Burton of this movie and nobody else gets much of a look in.
This is a beautiful summer scent, but beware! Wearing it makes you want to be very lazy and seek out a hammock and a cold drink.
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.
I 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.
I must confess, dear reader, that I was not an immediate fan of earlier Jimmy Choo fragrances. However, blogging about perfume for four years can do funny things to you. Once upon a time I was quite sniffy about fruity florals (pun intended) and despaired of finding any new launches outside that genre. A few years later, and I’ve started running after the fruity floral wagon crying “I’ve changed my mind!”
Jimmy Choo L’Eau is not, as some might think, a watered-down version of the original, but a more delicate take on it, with less sugary sweetness than I recall from Jimmy Choo EDP. Maybe that’s why I like it. Maybe after the deluge of vanilla and caramel notes in perfume of late, fruity florals don’t smell too sickly after all now.
Opening with hibiscus and bergamot, this gives a light floral with a juiciness at the heart but no syrup. The middle notes are nectarine and girly peony- one of my favourite floral notes. The base is cedar and musk, but to be honest, I didn’t find any cedar, only a touch of musk to round things off nicely. This is pretty, and great for teens, but not too “young” for this 46-year-old.
Why am I suddenly craving girly florals? Is it this endless winter? Do I think that if I smell of flowers then buds will peek out and petals will bloom? It’s worth a try.
This new collection from L’Occitane combines the scents of the French Riviera with the aromas of nature’s landscapes. L’Occitane Thé Vert & Bigarade is one of four scents in this small capsule collection.
As summer tentatively dips its toe in the water, it’s time to start exploring lighter scents. This one fits the bill perfectly. There are few notes that I can call more refreshing than Green Tea. You only have to look at the long term, unwavering success of the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea range to see this.
The way L’Occitane has done this is, as you would expect from this brand, impressive and innovative
The green tea comes through at first spray, but it is not alone. This a cologne style eau de toilette. Like all good colognes, there are citrus and herbs in there: notably bitter blood orange and aromatic thyme. The whole blends down into a faintly white musk, clean finish, but the lovely sharp opening settles into a light and refreshing base note that almost smells floral in its delicacy. I have a 7.5 ml Splash bottle, but it also comes in bottles ten times this size. Usually a light, citrus fragrance doesn’t last long, but this one does. I wore it for around four or five hours yesterday. It made me feel and smell like I had just stepped out of the cleanest most invigorating shower ever.
I have long wanted to try Penhaligons Bluebell, despite knowing that it was a favourite of Mrs Thatcher, of whom I was not a fan. Interestingly, it is also rumoured to have been a favourite of the late Princess Diana, and the very current Miss Kate Moss.
The reason I have longed to try this is two fold. Firstly, when I was growing up there was a field and some woodland near our house which were awash with bluebells every year. I would pick huge bunches of them and the smell of them is a memory that has always stayed with me. Olfactive memory is never to be underestimated and can pack more of a punch than a photo.
The second reason, tied in with the first reason, is that the very first bottle of perfume that I ever bought myself with my own money was a little glass bottle of Bluebell perfume from Boots The Chemist. It was a splash bottle, square, and made of frosted glass. It has long since been discontinued but I remember buying it in my early teens and splashing it on liberally.
I had a Penhaligons Scent Library sample tin for Christmas, but Bluebell was missing. Luckily dear friend of the blog Patsi came to the rescue and I was delighted to receive a sample of both Bluebell and Violetta from her yesterday, for which, many thanks indeed Patsi. I cannot pick a favourite from the two!
Penhaligons Bluebell lived up to my expectations. It smells exactly like a fresh bluebell, only cranked up a little and made more intense. The natural smell of a bluebell is more subtle, but we’re not going for realism here, we are going for reproduction. There is slightly metallic, medicinal tang to it, a little like Jasmine at its freshest. Alongside the central bluebell note ( listed as Hyacinth, but all the same family) are other floral notes that fill in the gaps as the sharp, high pitched Bluebell wavers, unable to keep the fresh note going. Here I can discern Lily of The Valley and a faint rose, before the Bluebell note melds into the spicier, base notes with its cloves and cinnamon, used sparingly, like a faint outline.
There is a definite vegetable note in the base, reminding me that bluebells are related to asparagus, but it is eclipsed by wafts of pleasing flora. Would I buy this? Yes. And I would also buy Penhaligons Violetta and wear them together, because, oh boy, that smells amazing!
Sometimes when I want to really get a feel for a fragrance, I decant a few drops on a scarf which I drape over my bedroom door. If I like it every time I go into my bedroom (usually with a pile of laundry… we’re not that sort of blog), then I know I properly, really truly like it.
So it was with 4160 Tuesdays Ealing Green. I like green scents, always have, so if its got Green in the title, I’ll be interested.
Ealing Green, like all 4160 Tuesday scents has a lovely back-story which I will duplicate in full from the 4160 Tuesday website.
“I’d long wanted to make a scent for Ealing, my adopted home. I met my husband at Ealing Studios on Ealing Green, at a wedding. Then I was invited to make a midsummer scent for a charity evening, using plants and flowers named in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so I combined the two ideas and created the scent of Ealing Green on a summer evening, but in the early 17th Century.” Sarah McCartney.
You can smell the grass and the thyme notes that are listed and the scent reminds me of maypoles and monks and madrigals. This is a very clean scent and I was surprised there was no mint there, but that could have been my mind playing tricks on me with the zingy herbal grass and thyme. This takes refreshing to another level altogether, although it stops short of being astringent. I also love the quite distinct whiff of violets, which I adore in fragrance. The whole shebang ends up in a happy mélange of my beloved oakmoss, some roses and the very faintest hint of earth like damp knees from a picnic.
Ealing Green lasts around six to seven hours on me and despite it being a deliciously pure and summery scent, it also goes very well on ice cold skin in modern day ice cold Wales. It is now all over my favourite scarf and the scent has lasted days on fabric. Ealing Green has done many a school run in the past few days, and has made these chilly mornings a little more bearable.
Ealing Green is very reasonably priced, starting at £6 for a 4ml splash bottle, and rising to £10 for a handbag sized 7ml bottle, £40 for 30ml, £60 for 50ml, and £90 for 100ml. When you think how much scent sells for on the High Street ( and its often same-old-same-old) , I regard this as a bargain.
You can buy 4160 Tuesdays from the website, as well as in person from 4160 HQ ( let them know first to check they’re about), or from Burgin’s in York, and from Rouiller White. In the USA and Canada you can buy a selection of 4160 Tuesdays scents from Indiescents, LuckyScent and excitingly- the Virgin Atlantic website to buy before you fly.
Creating a good grapefruit scent that doesn’t end up cardboard-y or smelling a bit sour is tough. In my opinion, even Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune didn’t quite pull it off ( see my earlier review on this blog), and Guerlain only lets geniuses work on their stuff (genii?)
Miller Harris kindly sent me a sample of Le Pamplemousse to try, and as always when I am sent something free, it is on the understanding that I don’t have to either like it or fake delight. Luckily, in this case, I am gushing like a girl with a crush. Le Pamplemousse feels like a tall drink of water on a hot day. It’s like a thirst quenching mirage in a desert.
It opens, naturally, with grapefruit, but the top notes are actually melon, rhubarb and grapefruit. In case you’re worried this would smell like a fruit salad, don’t be. It smells like the best shower you ever had in the poshest hotel you ever stayed in. The melon simply isn’t there (phew! I’m not a melon fan), and I’m not even sure the rhubarb is, although rhubarb can work in summery scents. It’s fresh and zingy and if Vitamin C had a smell it would be this.
In case I didn’t love it enough, there’s even a dab of my beloved oakmoss in it to keep me faithful for life. Where this outshines Guerlain Pamplelune though is that the basenote stays fresh and light and pretty and doesn’t end up smelling like dried up orange rind (Pamplelune is guilty of this although it smelled very good the day I reviewed it. It’s as if it knew it had an exam)
For a scent as hesperide-y as this one, lasting power is good at over five hours a spray. Maybe it’s the clingy green oakmoss. Maybe it’s the pretty Orange Blossom. Maybe it’s the herbs, giving this a resonant botanical tang.
Whatever it is, this is the best grapefruit fragrance I have ever smelled, bar none. In this weather, to which me and my freckles are not accustomed, we should get this on prescription. Feel good factor- off the scale.
EDIT- Since this review, le Pamplelousse has sadly been discontinued. You can find it at TK Maxx and on eBay. Shame!
Despite the grass in my garden currently being sodden and the earth being on the boggy side, and despite the fact that we are bracing ourselves for torrential rain later (again), I haven’t given up on my Pollyanna fantasy of wearing fresh summer scents whilst wafting around in the sunshine.
Trusty Guerlain has created a brilliantly green and grassy scent in Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca. I must admit I didn’t used to like it due to the inclusion (which is by no mean heavy) of Green Tea. I didn’t used to like Green Tea at all as a note, finding it metallic and cold. However, since trying Green Tea flankers from Elizabeth Arden, and exploring the note further, I have come round to the fact that since it is best friends with my favourite Bergamot, I ought to get to know it better.
Indeed Herba Fresca challenges my preconceptions on a couple of levels. A few years ago I would have rejected not just the Green Tea, but the Mint too. Today, having been around the block a bit in terms of fragrance, I fully embrace Herba Fresca and want to have this beautiful gilded bottle on my dressing table.
The mint reminds me a little of LUSH Smell of Weather Turning ( see my earlier review): a pleasing combo of mint, hay and tarmac that frankly, I am a bit addicted to. In Herba Fresca, created by none other than Jean Paul Guerlain, the combination of Green Tea, damp green grass and Mint makes this so refreshing that they should find another name for refreshing: Revitalizing? Invigorating? Reviving?. I wouldn’t say astringent: it’s not as harsh as that. It has Lemon but is so much more than a citrus. It’s more botanical, yet carries the memory of dewy grass on your skin for as long it lasts.
I couldn’t really find the Cyclamen or the Pear, but I was very happy to sniff and sniff at this pastoral beauty as the rain drizzles on the windows. Longevity is about four hours, possibly five, which is about the going rate for an Eau de Toilette. The price is under £40 but you get a generous 75ml bottle for that. I wouldn’t turn one down at any time of the year.