Tag Archives: Dior Hypnotic Poison

Halloween Perfume: How to choose Your Witches’ Brew

Halloween is not necessarily my favourite time of year, but if I ever told my children that they’d be horrified.  So, I go along with it, and I hang round at the back when they go trick or treating (at selected homes so as not to be a nuisance). Meanwhile, for me, it’s a great excuse to have fun with fragrance and add something seasonal to my year-round head to toe black ensemble.

vintage Halloween card.

 

Here are a few ideas in case you want to make your mark on Halloween and add a bit of mystery to your night. Maybe you could play guess the E-numbers with your Haribo Haul? Or wonder why the only traditional Halloween songs are Monster Mash or Thriller? Or you could just cram your little hamster cheeks with chocolate until it’s all over. (I don’t do that. Nope. No Sir). In any case, the perfume world has something for every occasion, even this one.

REEK Perfumes Damn Rebel Witches

REEK Perfumes burst onto the scene in 2016 with Damn Rebel Bitches. This is a fragrance commemorating the intrepid and gutsy rebel Jacobite women who fought back against the English  with all they had. The nose behind this is Sarah McCartney, and a fine job she has done too. This scent  makes me think of wild women with twigs in their hair. The ingredients are inspired by what would have been around way back then so you have clary sage and malt and even  broom ( appropriately enough for Halloween).  But REEK didn’t stop there. Earlier this year, they gave the bitches a sister and Damn Rebel Witches was the result.

Here’s what I had to say about it in my review here:

What I find curious about this is that when you think Damn Rebel Witches has left you completely, it disappears and comes back as a sort of light floral ghostie.  I was sniffing my arm wondering what petal like scent I had sprayed earlier, only to realise that Damn Rebel Witches dies and comes back! How’s that for a party trick? And where did the dark orangey flowers come from? They’re not even listed as notes. It’s witchcraft, I tell you.

Library of Fragrance Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Spice is big news this time of year. It’s everywhere from Starbucks to the mouthwash in your dentist (okay, I’m exaggerating slightly) so you may as well as embrace it. Personally, I love a bit of Library of Fragrance Pumpkin Pie and every time I wear it, I get compliments. It’s just spicy and warm enough and not too cloyingly sweet. Don’t just keep it for Halloween! Sadly, the UK arm of Library of Fragrance has closed and will be much missed, but the European branch ships to the Uk for 6E per package.

4160 Tuesdays Mother Nature’s Naughty Daughters

The  name of this fruity, malty and jolly British fragrance  comes from the ingredients.  It is often believed that natural ingredients are best for your skin, but they’re not! (at least not always) Sarah has made these naughty naturals behave themselves via witchcraft and alchemy.  Actually that last bit isn’t true, she made them behave through encyclopaedic knowledge of skin and substance.  And the fragrance? Here’s what I wrote in my review  which you can find here. The website link is here.

“…On some damp aromatic moss, on a cedar bench after the rain, with a glassful of sticky Pimms and pear pips. Which is not just fine by me, but wholeheartedly agreeable. If birdsong could be bottled, that would be in here too”

vintage Halloween card

Possets Perfumes Ghost Fart

Just for the name alone, this was irresistible, and once I smelled it, I thought the name didn’t do this lovely scent justice (though it did reel me in). There’s no authentic manual that states what a Ghost fart must smell like, so the team at Possets had a little fun with this. This is a chocolate minty gourmand in an oil form which is long lasting and smells delicious. If you haven’t come across Possets before, so check them out. They ship worldwide and are a vegan friendly brand. Here’s their website.

Papillon Perfumery Anubis

With hints of Egyptian mystery and ancient rites, this incredible debut from perfumer Liz Moores is both distinctive and resonant.  If you like Shalimar, you’ll also appreciate the oriental spices and resins in Anubis, but I’m going to stick my blogger’s neck out here and say Anubis is better. Controversial, no?  I’m sticking to my guns.  Anubis has a  dark, resiny enigma about it which I find  both  intriguing and alluring.  Papillon has a good sample  service if you want to smell this range for yourself,  or you could pop into Les Senteurs  in London where they are all stocked.

Dior Hypnotic Poison

The name is so perfect for this time of year, but so is the scent. This deep, almost boozy vanilla comes in a bottle that reminds me of Cinderella’s pumpkin coach after midnight. The vanilla in this borders on marzipan, which is fine by me but gives me cravings for Christmas Cake. I know, first world problem! But if your vanilla palate is jaded by cheap imitaions, then do revisit this beautiful treasure of a scent which always reminds me exactly how good vanilla can be, and should be. You can buy it from here, but it’s available in lots of places. I recommend the EDP over the EDT.

Lolita Lempicka

With a bottle like Snow White’s poison apple and a scent that smells like purple velvet, Lolita Lempicka Eau de Parfum is a great Halloween scent, in fact, it’s a great scent for anytime.  Opening with green ivy, violet and liquorice, and a burst of deep cherries, this is rounded off with woody musk and vetiver. Suitably bewitching for a dark night. You can find it here and read my review here.

 LUSH Karma

I love a bit of Karma. It always reminds me of my friend Alison who has made this her signature scent.  It’s oranges, spices and patchouli. One of the main things I like about it, apart from its gentle hippie vibe is that it holds back on the sweetness and lets the bitter orange shine through without adding marmalade  or vanilla. In fact, Alison, just uses the lotion and still smells enchanting and gorgeous, which she is. You can buy Karma from here.

Lancôme Magie Noire

OK, I don’t need a special occasion to wear this deep, mossy chypre. I love how Magie Noire does a dance of the seven veils and unfurls its layers and notes over the hours and hours that it lasts. There’s ivy, hyacinth and roses as it opens, then deep rich florals- all the big ones, then a wonderfully mossy and woody base of vetiver, oakmoss, incense and smoky resins. It’s like a fragrance chameleon, changing faces as the night goes on. Plus check out the divine poster ads! You can read my review here and buy it from here.

Over to you

So that’s my Halloween round up, although I’d wear any of these at any time of the year. What’s your Halloween fragrance? Do let me know. I always love to hear from you.

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Vanilla Fragrances for People who Don’t Like Vanilla

vanilla collage

In the past few years, vanilla has appeared in just about everything you care to name from cheap candles to mass produced mainstream fragrances to room sprays. It’s enough to put you off. In fact, that’s exactly what it did and I confess to having become a vanilla swerver.

However, several vanilla fragrances have turned my head and made me look again. From under the mass market tsunami of vanilla abuse come rays of hope, and reminders that vanilla, before its over exposure, was one of the greats and still can be.  The right vanilla, blended with flair and instinct, can give heart and warmth to a fragrance, and offers respite from the sickly cupcake confections and synthetic waxy imitations.

Huff post
Huff post

Here’s a roundup of the vanilla scents I would never tire of wearing. If you’re no vanilla fan, these beauties will turn your head and change your mind. Not all vanilla is equal.

Tauerville Vanilla Flash

vanilla-flash-bttleVanilla is not the first thing you will notice about Vanilla Flash. In fact, with me, it was the roses. Andy Tauer, a true gentleman and frankly, a modest genius too, has created a vanilla scent that frames the vanilla rather than allowing it to take over. Here vanilla is teamed with spice, tobacco, roses and patchouli and is chilly rather than warm.

My review is here. I could wear this all day and all night. Bravo Andy. Here’s the link to the Tauerville website.

Aftelier Perfumes Vanilla Smoke

vanillasmoke1If I could sum up cosy in one scent it would be this. The wonderful Mandy Aftel, who works only with natural ingredients, has taken the warm heart of vanilla and added it to the subtle wood smoke of a hearth. One sniff and my brain thinks it’s Christmas. You can read my review here and buy it from here.

 

Agonist Vanilla Marble

vanillamarblebottleThis is another scent that portrays vanilla as chilled rather than warm and it works to great effect.  In fact, I sent my dear friend Pippa a sample of this prior to her wedding and she chose it as her wedding day fragrance. She made a beautiful Edwardian bride and she smelled glorious. You can read my review here and  buy Agonist from here.

 

DSH Perfumes Vanilla Chantilly

DSH perfumes
DSH perfumes

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz mixes and macerates her stunning potions in Boulder, Colorado and is always a joy to deal with. Like Mandy Aftel, Dawn also uses natural ingredients and Vanilla Chantilly manages to take the buttery woodiness of vanilla without adding any sugar and syrup.  It smells both clean and warm, both cool and dark. Dawn has kept the sticky woody pod character of vanilla and blended it into a musky, spicy accord with a hint of almonds.  I get so many compliments! You can buy it from the DSH website.

Dior Hypnotic Poison

hypnoticThis is the richest deepest vanilla on the High Street. With hints of almond, this is pure luxury with nary a cup cake nor a Pound Shop candle in sight. This feels wonderful to wear and really opened my eyes to how great vanilla can be.  My review of it is here.  You can buy it from allbeauty.com and John Lewis.

Library of Fragrance Play Doh

PlayDoh-30_grandeIt may have a playful name, but it’s worth taking seriously.  This is a superb vanilla scent that yes, smells like Playdoh, but then Playdoh smells like vanilla. In fact, this reminded me of marzipan, which always gets my mouth watering.  Here’s the link  to my review and here’s the link to the Library of Fragrance website.

4160 Tuesdays The Sexiest Scent on The Planet Ever (IMHO)

4160 Tuesdays
. 4160 Tuesdays

Last but by no means least, comes this cult classic from Sarah McCartney at 4160 Tuesdays.  I always think of the vanilla in this as golden and fuzzy, so add that to a cup of Earl Grey with its bergamot infusion, and stir in the scent of antique dark wood, and this is the pleasing result.  It’s good vanilla, rich and warm, with not a cupcake in sight. You can read my review here. and buy it from here.

Over to you

What’s your opinion on vanilla? Do you have a favourite vanilla scent? Do let me know, I always love to hear from you.

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Library of Fragrance Play Doh: Take it Seriously

lofpicbest6

 

Library of Fragrance isn’t just out to make you smell good, they’re out to evoke too.  They evoke childhood memories, gardens in the rain, Christmas, beach holidays…you name it, it’s probably there.

Library of Fragrance Play Doh plays a joker card but in fact it deserves to be taken seriously.  Within that evocative Play Doh aroma is actually a thick, rich-as-custard vanilla that immediately made me think of Dior Hypnotic Poison.  Yes- within that adorable pumpkin bottle from Dior is a gourmand marzipan/vanilla that I could not stop sniffing the second I sprayed it ( see my previous review on this blog) . I don’t even like gourmands as a rule, but I adored Hypnotic Poison.  Utterly addictive, and sadly to be retired to the discontinued pile, Dior Hypnotic Poison fans should dry their tears and seriously consider Library of Fragrance Play Doh as a sub.

hypnotic
allbeauty.com

On top of this affectionate comparison comes another.  Back in the 1990s when I was living in London, I interrupted my twenty year marriage to Chanel Cristalle and had a quick fling with The Body Shop Vanilla Oil.  So rich it was boozy- I often received such remarks as “Have you been baking?” and “Mmm, you smell LOVELY”. Once again, Library of Fragrance Play Doh brings back a memory of that thickly golden scent that they haven’t quite captured these days at The Body Shop.

pinterest
Pinterest

So wear your Play Doh with pride. You will get misty-eyed people of a certain age entranced by your scent, or entering a bakery and buying a vanilla crown without knowing why. As for me-I’m going to wear it because it’s marzipan without calories.

www.luebeck.de
www.luebeck.de

 Stockists:  You can buy Library of Fragrance Play Doh online from Library of Fragrance. The price is £15 for one bottle or £25 for any two bottles from the huge range.

lofplay doh

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire EDT and EDP: Loves Me, Loves Me Not

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La Petite Robe Noire was launched in 2009,  and can be found at the forefront of any Guerlain display, often standing in front of its Maiden Aunts, Mitsouko and Shalimar.

The first time I tried it last year I was a little irritated since I had  recently tried Lancome La Vie Est Belle and thought “Oh no, everything’s gone gourmand!” As an habitual baker, I try and avoid smelling like food. It’s kind of a busman’s holiday to me.

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uktv.com

Recently, a kind Guerlain Sales Lady persuaded me to try both La Petite Robe Noire  EDP and La Petite Robe Noire EDT, emphasising that the two were completely different. Today  and yesterday I have been wearing one on each arm. Here is my judgement on the matter:

 La Petite Robe Noire EDT

Playful and fruity, this smells floral and light with a background of cherries. With more green notes than the EDP, this is a youthful gourmand, with the typical red berries that are smelled everywhere right now. The Jasmine, Rose and Neroli keep it light, whilst cherries and apples keep it fruity. The floral notes make this preferable to its more gourmand big sister, the Eau de Parfum. In fact when the cherries fade, the floral notes remain, making this a very pretty scent.

Radiance and longevity are both good: this is Guerlain after all. However the main drawback is that this is not particularly original and in a blind test, I would not have ever said it was Guerlain. On the High Street, it fits right in. It’s a shame really, as I always saw Guerlain as a fashion leader rather than a fashion follower.

 La Petite Robe Noire EDP

This so totally different that they ought to warn EDT fans off by giving it a different name. If you took a Cherry Bakewell Tart with its Almonds, Cherries and whiff of Anise, and Imageconcentrated it into liquid form, keeping it in brand new Tupperware until it was ready, then this would be the end result.  If Serge Lutens had run out of money half way through making Louve, this may be an approximation of the end result.  The Almonds and Cherries dominate. The vanilla adds a custard note. And something, somewhere disagrees with my skin, hence the plastic vinyl note, like old fake peaches.

This doesn’t come cheap, but smells like it does.

 Verdict

La Petite Robe Noire EDT is pleasant but generic. I would buy it, but I wouldn’t be faithful.  La Petite Robe Noire EDP is completely different. If you like Almonds, go for Hypnotic Poison. If you like Cherries try Serge Lutens Louve. If you like vinyl notes, then you are a bit mad and there is no hope for you.  Have a glass of wine instead and God bless you.

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Hypnotic Poison: If This Ain’t Love, Why Does it Feel So Good?

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I may have acted too quickly. I try and keep an open mind about perfume. I am always happy to try new things, and as you know, dear reader, I will wear something horrible all day just to be sure I hate it.

Mention Dior Poison to me and it elicits a shudder. This was the Eighties’ answer to smoke bombs. Walk into a room wearing this, and it would empty. The able bodied would run and the feeble would sink to the floor and get trampled in the rush to flee, wailing “it’s too late for me, just save yourselves!”

Over the years, I have pointedly ignored the fact that Poison has started breeding. Little flankers everywhere, popping up on the perfume shelves.  I blanked them like a bothersome in-law at a wedding.

Recently, I was offered a test of Hypnotic Poison (thanks LW yet again!) and thought I may as well try it, since I do have to write about 365 scents before my work here is done. I can’t afford to be fussy. Thus I accepted a little loan of Hypnotic Poison. It was not as I expected.

With nary a nod to its sister Poison, I found myself in a tasty mist of Playdoh and Vanilla with thick squishy Coconut in there too. On paper, I am not supposed to like it at all. In actual fact, it was rather lovely.

There is definite Vanilla and oily crushed Almonds to the power of a hundred. I don’t usually like Gourmands, since they remind of hot, flustered baking sessions in the kitchen where I find myself too often some weeks. However, this Marzipan wonder took me back in time to the days when The Body Shop had a Perfume Bar, which I have mentioned before. They did a great oil called Vanilla. It was heady and smelt of Marzipan and had liquor like intensity. And here it is again in Hypnotic Poison. The Body Shop still does a Vanilla fragrance, but it’s not the same.

I am testing the EDT of Hypnotic Poison, rather than the EDP and lasting power is good, despite my hayfever. Strangely, I can’t help liking this nutty, bitter Almond (Arsenic?) scent. The only similarity it has with Poison is the cute round bottle. And thank Heavens for that.

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