Tag Archives: Cacharel LouLou

Welcome to MoodScent 4! In the Mood for Mainstream Scent

moodscent4 turquoise

We are four perfume bloggers based in France, Holland, England and Wales who post on a different joint subject every couple of months. This time we have chosen Mainstream perfumes. You will 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 selection in the comments.

Now, doing this was fun, as it always is, but this particular theme had a touch of serendipity about for me. There I was racking my brains on what to write about and idling fiddling with the bottles on my dressing table. and the answer was right in front of me. I picked up five of my most reached for bottles and realized they are all mainstream scents bought from my local shopping centre.  So here are five fragrances that I bought from the High Street in my local medium sized town in South Wales. In other words, if I can find them, then you’ll definitely be able to.  PS  By a happy coincidence, they are all really cheap.

first big

First by Van Cleef and Arpels

first by van cleefOur love story began when I obtained a mini bottle of this in a set from Argos.  It was true love and I was in full bottle territory shortly afterwards.  This is the one I reach for when I want to feel grounded.  In other words, it’s the nearest thing I have to a signature scent.

It unfolds from sophisticated aldehyde down to big peppery florals and ends in a mossy flourish. The genius behind it is none other than Jean Claude Ellena.  A 60ml bottle of the eau de parfum is under £30, which I call outstanding value for money.

l-aimant-1947

Coty L’Aimant

laimant bottl;eAnother classic that I wear for comfort and when I want to feel like my old self.  It was created in 1927, on the coat tails of Chanel No 5 and was made in the same style.  L’Aimant was the signature scent of my late grandmother, who was always such a lady.  It’s a stunning scent and the parfum de toilette is plenty strong enough.  I wasn’t so keen on the cologne though.

L’Aimant opens with aldehydes and peaches and travels through a middle phase of all the best flowers: geranium, roses and jasmine. They segue seamlessly into the woody vetiver base with a dusty, powdery flourish that speaks of decades of class and untouched perfection. I still keep thinking the price is a joke, but it’s not, and neither is this excellent classic.

lovely

Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely.

I feel very strongly about SJP Lovely. It is my response to people who say they would never wear celebrity perfume and that cheap perfume doesn’t  smell good.  Lovely ticks both boxes. It’s a superb fragrance that I wear often. It’s long lasting and classy and the price is so low for quality of this calibre.

lovely pic

I was introduced to this by my dear friend and shameless perfume enabler Lisa Jones. She said she wore it for the school run, you know, those moments when you notice the time, grab a bottle of what goes with everything and run out of the house. Within days of trying her bottle, I had my own 100ml bottle. It was one of those  fragrances.

Lovely is described as a silky white amber, but it’s so much more.  It opens with lavender and apple martini (don’t ask me!)  and orchid, which I don’t usually like.  The whole thing morphs into a feminine, pretty floral, but as soon as that’s registered, it becomes woody and gets a bit of texture from the patchouli.   Rounded off with amber and white musk, this is a stunning floral with an earthy, warm finish.  I just love the lavender in it that keeps it so ladylike and timeless.

lovely

Lovely has outrun many celebrity fragrances and is regarded by many critics as  being excellent in its own right.  What makes me love it even more is that SJP herself was involved on every level and had very definite ideas about what she wanted. This was no mere “sign-here” deal.  She got in the way and rolled her sleeves up.

Having said that, credit must go tothe talented noses who actually made it- Laurent le Guernec and Clement Gavarrry for Coty.

lair du temps ad

Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps

lairdutempsLike L’Aimant and First, this is a scent that will always be on my dressing table. There’s nothing like it, and that’s hard to find these days in a busy and often generic market. L’Air du Temps was created in 1948 and the dove on the bottle is the dove of peace in the turbulent post war period.

The scent is so familiar to me that it’s almost hard to deconstruct. It’s a gentle, luminous floral that also has peppery carnation, roses, jasmine, violet, a hint of talc and a warm mossy, woody amber finish.

Listing the notes does nothing to do it justice.  If you’ve never tried it, you must, and if you have, then I’m sure you’ll know why I love it so. Nothing the brand has done since has ever beaten this.

the_library_of_fragrance

Library of Fragrance

lof scentsLibrary of Fragrance really, absolutely and truly does have a scent for every occasion. It’s a brand that has a friendly, playful image, yet provides serious quality perfume. It is ideal for building a scent wardrobe and learning to layer fragrance, or just for pinning down that nostalgic note you couldn’t put your finger on until now. My recommendations are Musk # 7, Mahogany, Play Doh (see my love for it here), Salt Air, Rain, Snow, Grass, Orange Flower, Four Leaf Clover, Gingerbread and Myrrh.  Some of friends collect them and they look fabulous in the bathroom with their pharmacy style silver lid bottles.

loulouadvert

Cacharel LouLou

loulouLouLou has a special place in my heart.  This was the scent I was wearing when I  was catapulted into adult life from home to university back in 1988.  Everything I did for three years smelled of this.  I still have a bottle of this intriguing anise, plum, patchouli, oriental floral that pays homage to silent movie star Louise Brooks.  I’m certain it doesn’t smell as it did, though  Today’s version smells thinner and more metallic. I remember it was earthier and had a deeper resonance back in the 80s.   Like all of us, it was best in its youth, but spraying this into the air takes me back to  goth nightclubs, red wine, red lipstick and cigarette smoke faster than a time machine could.

It remains remarkably low priced and I adore the Art Deco bottle and  stylised flowers on the box.  I have a soft spot for all the Cacharel range, especially Noa and Anais Anais.

My Mood Scent 4 Chums

Find out what my Mood Scent colleagues put in their round ups.  Read what their thoughts on mainstream scents are from the links below:

  • Tara on A Bottled Rose (representing England) and
  • Esperanza in the Netherlands with her blog L’Esperessence,
  • and last but not least, the lovely Megan, who came up with this idea and brought us all together. Megan is based in France and you can read her blog MeganinSainteMaxime here.

Over to you

What’s your favourite High Street or main stream fragrance? Is there one you’ll never be without? Do let me know. I always love to hear from you.

Follow

BeFunky Collage

National Fragrance Day: How Scent and Memory Go Together

ME AND FRED HEAD TO HEAD
.

From an early age, scent plays a huge part in our olfactory memory. Even if someone hasn’t got perfumania like me (and you probably have too if you’re reading this), you can bet your bottom dollar that they can at least remember their mother’s perfume from when they were a child, or the smell of their grandparents house, or even the soap in the school toilets.  Revisiting a familiar scent can be like flicking a switch in your memory bank. Perfume and memory are intrinsically linked. The Alzheimers Society has recognised this and is examining it.

“We only have very preliminary results from this test, but together with mounting evidence in the field, we believe odours may be much better facilitators of memory and emotions than, for example, pictures and trigger quite different parts of the brain. These are brain areas that cannot be probed in any other way, yet which are central to diseases like Alzheimer’s.”-Dr Jason Warren, Alzheimers Research UK.

The full article can be found here and is well worth a read.  It’s early days as far as research goes, but it is an indisputable fact that smell can trigger not just recollection, but emotion.  On a personal level, and leaving my groaning dressing table of bottles alone for a minute (if I must), I can trace my whole life journey through an odyssey of scent: there’s the fresh cut grass of my childhood and the wildflowers you don’t see as much now. The smell of dirt and tomatoes and broken ferns can rush me back in time faster than any modern digital device. Scent is primal.

Pentacon

It’s no coincidence that the very first perfume I bought as a young teenager was called “Bluebell” from Boots, now long discontinued. Near where I lived as a child there were  fields and woods full of them and Mum always had a posy from me in a yogurt pot on the kitchen windowsill.

sambeach

Holidays provided their own unique library of scent too: coconutty sun screen, weak orange squash with sand in the bottom, and the malty smell of Dad’s pint of John Smiths. Don’t worry, my parents were never drunk in charge of three scamps, but they must have needed one after taking us all to a caravan for a week. Add the smell of roast lamb, real chips cooked in lard (Heavenly then, prohibitive now), and the smell of soil from my mud pies, and that pretty much sums up the smell of my seventies childhood.

loulouadvert

As I got older, perfume played a bigger part in my life. In the 80s, you still had to take a roll of camera film to the chemist and wait three days to see if you had any good ones. As a result there are blessedly few photographs of my hectic social life throughout my teenage years and university, and no selfies at all. One sniff of Cacharel LouLou though, and I am transported to the exact songs I danced to in the Timepiece in Exeter, in a cloud of Marlboro Lights and the smell of feet that you get in dark nightclubs. I still have a bottle of LouLou, but it’s not the same now I’m a non smoking mother of two with firm dance floor inhibitions. My only late night fantasies now involve an early night and a good book, but one sniff of LouLou? Ah, those were the days.

www.myluxury.itIn my early twenties I discovered Chanel Cristalle and it got me through five years of 90s Cool Britannia London. I barely wavered from it, apart from a flirtation with original Monsoon fragrance with the brown pointy cap. Only Gucci Envy in my thirties made me stray. Once I hit 42, I fell headlong into the fragrance portal that made me want to try them all with a thirst I couldn’t shake and here I am, having written 653 posts about fragrance.

 

My favourite smell, perfume aside, is the smell of my sons’ hair. One sniff and it tells me the story of them. Elder son smells of football games in the park. Younger son smells of school and still a little bit of baby. They don’t seem to mind their mother giving their heads a good sniff during a hug and I’m making the most of it before they get too tall for me- not difficult as I’m five foot two. Scent plays a huge part in my life, past and present. And you don’t have to own a flotilla of pretty bottles to think so ( but it helps!).

hairsniff

What smells take you back? Can you remember your mother’s perfume? The smell of holidays? Grandma’s house? The smell of your first kiss? Do share your thoughts. I always love to hear from you.

Photo credits: Top photo of Photo of me with my son Freddie aged two. Taken by Alison Oddy. LouLou ad from beautyofdawn.com. Cristalle photo from artofcosmetics.com. All others my own.

Lolita Lempicka Eau de Parfum: On a Dark Velvety Night

lolita

Lolita Lempicka make the most delightful bottles: the gilded apples bring to mind Eve in the Garden of Eden. When quality is this high, and prices are this low, then temptation is afoot.

 Lolita Lempicka EDP was launched in 1997 and seems a decade late. I like this scent because I am a fan of Cacharel LouLou.  LouLou is full of Licorice-y notes and if you don’t like that, then you might not fall for Lolita Lempicka EDP.  There are however, many other scents to the brand that are worth trying, which I am looking forward to reviewing in future.

photo from www.ign.com
photo from www.ign.com

This slightly Gothic-y fragrance opens boldly with Green Ivy, Violet, Licorice, Almonds and if you wait a few minutes…Chocolate.  On paper it sounds like a mish mash but on skin it gives an edgy, Eighties nightclub feel that brings to mind my student years in Goth nightclubs.  Had this been invented then, it might have been my signature instead of my beloved LouLou. If this were a fabric, it would be dark plum velvet.  If it were a drink it would be absinthe, and if it were a woman it would be Siouxsie Sioux.

This is rich and sweet, but not in a candy  floss way because the dark Orris Root and sober Vetiver calm it down. On me there is a hint of vinyl, which fits the visuals in my head: a Goth student in the Eighties playing vinyl records (probably Sisters of Mercy and The Cure) late into the night. The cherries give it a medicinal flavour and add a boozy note, like Cherry Brandy. The whole shebang ends on a long glide of Liquorice and Musk. Longevity is good on me at around six hours.

I wouldn’t recommend buying this blind, but if you like it, you have a bargain that doesn’t smell like a bargain.  It’s both unusual and widely available and yet I have never, ever met anyone who wears this (except friend of the blog Lisa Wordbird, I’m sure she has it). In any case, despite being easy to get hold of (the perfume, not Lisa- she’s a lady) this still smells a bit niche, so it’s great to smell a bit different to everyone else for under twenty quid.

Estee Lauder Knowing: A Glorious Chypre Hiding on the High Street

 Image

Many moons ago, when I was at university, a fellow student wore Estee Lauder Knowing.  She was also eighteen like me, and I felt it was wayyy too old for her. My Mum also wore it at the time and she was ancient- forty years old! (Three years younger than I am now).  I remember thinking it was OK for Mum to wear as she was “old” but not for my eighteen year old friend to wear it.

Fast forward 25 years and I am wearing Knowing today.  It’s a whole different story. I have a bit of a thing for greeny  retro chypres and Knowing doesn’t disappoint.  It opens with a full on blast of Aldehydes that I initially thought nobody should be subjected to before cocktail hour.  However, after an hour, this becomes a wearable daytime chypre and it’s still there ten hours later.

Knowing makes its presence felt immediately: there is Bergamot, Aldehydes and Green notes in the opening.  However thankfully, I could find none of the Melon described (phew!).  It’s the base notes that are a real treat: Patchouli, Oakmoss and Vetiver. In fact, all my favourites are in today, “Hello at the back!”

It’s almost as if Knowing was made with me in mind.  Not only greeny aldehydes, but then Oakmoss and  a Woody finish.  I adore it and despite its wide availability, it knocks hundreds of other High Street scents into a cocked hat.

Image

As for my fellow student back in 1988 (the year of its launch), she was way ahead of her time and really Imageonto something, whilst little old me was still wafting round in either LouLou or  Body Shop White Musk (which I still do sometimes, just for old times sake).