Tag Archives: Cacharel Noa

“It Smells Like Sky” Perfumes for White Floaty Days.

edward robert hughes
Heart of Snow by Edward Robert Hughes

Back in the 1980s there was a fabric conditioner advert on the TV that had a small child sniffing clean laundry and proclaiming “it smells like sky.”  I know exactly what that child means when I smell certain perfumes.

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There are days when we need something pure and clean and ethereal, especially after, shall we say, overindulgence?  You don’t need a reason, sometimes you just feel all  floaty.

The perfumes on the following list have been selected for those sorts of days. When you just want to be all mindful and press the reset button in your overloaded brain- and what generation before us, has ever had to remember as many passwords and pin numbers? Poor us, we deserve some soothing scents that say Shh…there, there.

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Philosophy Amazing Grace

This has to be the leader of the pack when it comes to smelling as if you live on a cloud. Pure and clean and smelling like you’ve been freshly laundered and dusted with Angel’s blessings, Philosophy Amazing Grace will suit just about anyone.

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Eau de Cartier

This was my go-to hangover scent back when I could drink more than two glasses without needing an early night and bed socks. Created by genius Christine Nagel, Eau de Cartier is a harmonious symphony of lavender, violet and bergamot. It’s so gentle, it almost make you feel better just by wearing it.

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Library of Fragrance Clean Skin

Library of Fragrance has a spotless record in my book. They always do what they say they’ll do, and they provide excellent quality scents, that despite being colognes, often outlast many eau de toilettes on my skin.  Library of Fragrance Clean Skin  has a purity about it that made me feel like I’d just stepped out of a regenerating spa bath without so much as a blemish on my character.

lalique lamour

Lalique L’Amour

Lalique makes superb light and airy scents. They just make me want to pour the whole bottle over my head.  Lalique L’Amour  is no exception. This is all gentle watercolours. With neroli, bergamot and jasmine, even the sandalwood and musk base enters the room on tip toe.

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Cacharel Noa

Cacharel Noa smells like clean, freshly washed hair, with a bloom’n’fade coffee bean in the middle of it. Trust me, the coffee bean seems to pin it down and stop it floating away. I love Noa and I call it excellent value at around £15.

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Avon Pur Blanca

The harshest thing that people ever say about Pur Blanca is that it’s “boring.” Well, I don’t find it boring. Sometimes I want to smell like piles of white linen and white soap and fluffy towels, and that’s why I like the bargain that is Avon Pur Blanca.

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JLo Glow

I won’t hear a word against celebrity scents as long as JLo and Sarah Jessica Parker are churning them out.  JLo Glow was created in 2002. It’s long life, especially for a celeb scent, is testament to its universal appeal.  Glow opens with grapefruit and neroli and  segues inot jasmine and roses.  It’s light as a feather  and makes me want to wear something diaphanous. There are many flankers, but I still like the original one best of all.

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Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia

My most recent review prior to this one, was Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia. Totally unisex, with mint and bergamot, nothing says clear, crystal waters more than this heavenly scent.

painting by Edward Robert Hughes
painting by Edward Robert Hughes

How about you?

Do you agree with my list? What’s your favourite scent that says “I want the world to go away today and I’m staying under this lovely white duvet”?  Do let me know. I always love to hear from you.

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all white

Creed Love in White: When Rice Things Happen to Good Perfume

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Yes you read it right.  Rice things have happened to a perfectly good perfume and it’s as unmissable as a blackcurrant lolly in the middle of a wedding dress. It cannot be ignored.

I tried Creed Love in White yesterday and today and was particularly intrigued by it as I read a rumour that Dame Her Supreme Majesty Angelina Jolie wears it.  If it makes Brad Pitt look up from his motorbike and  say “Baby, I dig you”  then its good enough for me.

Creed Love in White opens beautifully.  White is indeed the right name.  It has sea notes and citrus notes  and magnolia and is as clean as a white chiffon curtain floating lazily in an early morning Malibu breeze with a bracing view of the Ocean (you know, like Angelina’s house. Probably)

However, there’s a big Oops and that pesky, of all things, RICE note barges in and messes up the pure white sitting room with its savoury slightly parched smell. I tried and tried to ignore it.  It veers between savoury dried grass and scorched parchment and it just ruins this for me.

Amusingly, Luca Turin and I are in agreement on this. (Listen to me, talking like he’s my friend or something. Sorry Tania) In fact, he is even more irritated than I am.  In Perfumes The Guide he declares that if a homeless person was offered shampoo that smelled like this, they would decline it and take their chances with the lice.

I don’t think it’s quite that bad, but what on earth were they thinking adding rice into a perfectly good and clean smelling fragrance?

Cacharel Noa took a similar gamble and in my opinion, won.  Noa is a delightfully “white” ethereal scent with a bloom’n’fade coffee bean in the middle. It works.  Creed Love in White does not.

But I bet it smells great on Dame Angie.

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PS Two thank yous- Lisa Wordbird- thanks for the loan of the sample! And also thank you to this website which is so addictive that you can get completely lost in it.

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.

Cacharel Anais Anais: I Know You From Somewhere, I Mean Everywhere.

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Cacharel is a fantastic perfume house of which I am very fond. For around 15GBP, you can buy a decent 30ml bottle of scent in attractive packaging, with a good variety to suit all tastes. I have had a bottle of LouLou  on the go, off and on, since 1988 (used sparingly!).  I discovered the lovely Noa this year: and even Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez only have good words to say about it.  My sister in law loves Amor Amor (original) and always smells lovely in it (note to Cacharel– HOW many flankers?  Whoa there!).  In fact the only ones I haven’t tried are Scarlett, and Promesse, and the only one I didn’t like was Eden (although check out the Perfumed Dandy’s take on it, marvellous!).  Cacharel longevity is usually good and you always get quality in a pretty bottle.

I am wearing Anais Anais today and now that it’s settled down, it’s rather lovely.  However, as you may know, I am  no fan of Iris and when I first tried Anais Anais earlier today, Iris is all I got.  Oh yes, and Lily, of which I am also not a fan.  The combination of carroty Iris and vegetable like Lily was nearly a deal breaker for me and this greengrocer effect lasted a good two hours.  Just my luck.

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However,  the basenotes are extraordinary. This is not only because it is a very pleasant, almost ethereal take on Lily of the Valley, Soap flakes and White Musk, but because it’s one of those scents that is so familiar that you almost don’t notice it.  It is as ubiquitous as red brick houses and Heinz and Mars Bars and the Queen on coins.  Icons which are so familiar you almost can’t see them any more.

I was born in 1970 (but look younger, we decided) and Anais Anais was created in 1978.  Rumour has it that it has not been reformulated, which means we are getting an authentic 1970s fragrance here.  It took a while for Iris and her annoying friend Lily to leave the room, but once they did, all was clear. As soon as the basenotes kicked in  I thought “so THAT’s what it is!” It’s the scent of my Primary School teachers, my Mums’ friends, my Mum, several colleagues, my Secondary School teachers, fellow train passengers, and people I’ve stood behind in queues.

It is harmless and pleasant and rather lovely, but to coin a phrase: it’s bloody everywhere. Do I want to smell of perfume that is so widely spread that it is almost government issue?  Or do I want to revive a  clean, floral classic among the fruity vanilla miasma of modern life?

I am genuinely torn. You hardly need me to tell you that Anais Anais is widely available everywhere. Despite that, it’s still good value and it’s still a classic. It’s just a matter of personal taste as to whether you want to run with the pack or be a lone wolf.

Cacharel Noa: Good Morning Starshine

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 Cacharel Noa is a like a caring beatific Guardian, dressed all in white, that nudges you awake on a cool summer morning, as the birds sing, and even offers you a strong coffee.

 Cacharel Noa was created in 1998 by Olivier Cresp. Yes, him. The one who thought Chocolate and Patchouli was a good idea when he made Angel for Thierry Mugler. He must be pretty good at this perfume lark though, because despite my deep loathing of Angel, it has been a bestseller for 22 years. No mean feat in the fickle world of fragrance.

In Noa then, he has made something that I find far more palatable. It has to be said however, that the opening is very reminiscent of Elnett hairspray. I have no objection to this at all since I think Elnett smells wonderful and would happily buy it if they made it into an EDT.

After the Beauty Salon opening number, Noa  becomes an ethereal mixture of  clean baby wet wipes, freshly washed hair, gentle Peony petals, clean skin just after a shower and a big pile of freshly laundered white sheets. And a cup of coffee.

Yes somewhere around the floaty middle notes full of wispy clouds and angels is a dark note of coffee beans. At first this is a little ambiguous. When I first smelled it, it was harsh against its feather pillow backdrop and I mistook it for spice or cumin. However, the coffee blooms and fades rather nicely, preventing Noa from becoming too insipid. It’s a bold choice for sure, but it doesn’t take anything away from its gentleness.

So pretty and inoffensive is Noa that I can well imagine it as a work perfume in any nurturing or calming environment. It is a clean, white scent that I am happy to add to my wardrobe for the days when I don’t want the edgy Orientals, or the prickly Chypres or the heavy Patchoulis (a day like that is rare with me, however).

Often, the Superdrug chain has a sale and recently, all 30ml Cacharels were just £10. That’s LouLou,  AmorAmor,  Noa,  Anais Anais and Eden (aka the strange new girl who eats her own hair and won’t play with the others).  I always find something agreeable in the Cacharel range. It’s affordable quality if you don’t mind smelling like lots of other people, and I don’t! And beautiful LouLou so reminds me of my happy student days…

In true Colombo style, I can’t help saying “just one more thing”…the bottle that Noa comes in is very beautiful, but alarmingly small! It’s not much bigger than a golf ball, but I can assure you that there is indeed 30ml in there, even it did take me a magnifying glass to read the little sticker on the bottom.

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