Tag Archives: Eau de Cartier

“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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Colognes For Summer: My Pick of the Best

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shop.4711.com

As the weather changes, so does our perfume wardrobe.  The spicy patchoulis and leathers take a back seat, (although with changeable UK weather they never go away), and the pretty cologne bottles come out to play.  Cologne traditionally doesn’t have staying power.  The high alcohol content cools skin on application and not much more is expected of it.  However many of the fragrances labelled cologne today have the lasting power of an eau de toilette, that is between 4-6 hours, making colognes a good bet for the summer and justifying a cooling lunch time top up.

I’ve trawled through some of my favourites and have listed them below.  Although they vary in price, I consider all of them to be good quality and value for money, otherwise I wouldn’t rave about them to you.   Do feel free to tell me of any of yours too-I always love to hear from you.

Escentual.com
Escentual.com

4711 Original cologne:  The classic.  It reminds me of a school exchange trip to Germany in 1986 where I first discovered this timeless scent. The scent itself  doesn’t last long, but reapplying it is a pleasure in itself.  This  has been around since 1793 and the closely guarded formula contains herbs, citrus and a mossy backdrop.  This is the textbook classic which many say provided the blueprint for all colognes that followed, and still smells great today. You can buy it just about everywhere.  Try Amazon UK,   Escentual.com or allbeauty.com.

immortelle
Cologne and Cotton Immortelle

Cologne and Cotton Immortelle:  A citrussy spicy opening leads into traditional style orange and lemon cologne with a handful of green notes that lasted an easy four or five hours on me. It beds down into a deeper, slightly bitter citrus that reminded me of Guerlain Pamplelune.  Available from Cologne and Cotton online or in store. A big thumbs up to the glorious heritage style packaging and generous 150ml bottles too!

thelibraryoffragrance.com
thelibraryoffragrance.com

 

Library of Fragrance Rain:  The lovely Vanessa Musson of Bonkers About Perfume described this as “minty tangerines”, and I totally agree.  It has an ozonic, refreshing tang that smells as fresh and clean as a rainy day.  Lasting powder was around four hours. You can buy it from Boots or from Library of Fragrance online

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Cologne and Cotton Niobe

Cologne and Cotton Niobe I reviewed this recently and liked it so much that I decanted it into a Travelo and carry it round in my handbag.  It opens with citrus and ends with spice, but is never cloying- always uplifting.  Made for men, but used by me.  You can buy a generous 150ml bottle from Cologne and Cotton online or instore.

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West Indian Lime by Crabtree and Evelyn

Crabtree and Evelyn West Indian Lime Cologne I tried this on in winter and it lasted around six hours on me and I stood there in my damp coat and wet boots dreaming of summer. Here’s my review. This is a glorious lime that packs a punch and lingers around like a good mood.  You can buy it from  Marks and Spencer, and Amazon.co.uk

eaudecartier
Eau de Cartier

Eau de Cartier  One of my early loves, which I reviewed within months of starting this blog.  It’s my hangover scent: Lavender, mint and bergamot in perfect harmony- even Luca Turin thinks so.  Strictly, it’s an eau de toilette, but it behaves like cologne and smells like cologne, so I will shoe horn it in anyway.  You can buy it from allbeauty.com.

eau dhadrien
Annick Goutal Eau D’Hadrien

 

Annick Goutal Eau D’Hadrien  Lemons, lemons, lemons, citrus and lemons.  With a hint of aldehydes. Don’t buy it if you don’t like lemons, but what could be better in summer?  This is a classic that will never go out of style. Here’s my review.  You can buy it from allbeauty.com, Escentual.com and Amazon.co.uk to name but a few.

farina
Jeanne Marie Farina

 

Roger & Gallet Jean Marie Farina eau de cologne  There is a complicated back story here as to whether Roger & Gallet introduced the very first cologne to the world, or whether it was the 4711 gang.   There is a great article here which explains it more fully, but I think its’s safe to say that the Roger  and Gallet brand has been around since 1693, pre-dating the 4711 history.

Jean Marie Farina is my favourite Roger & Gallet and is named after the heir of the original recipe, who converted aqua mirabilis into eau de cologne back in 1806.  It combines spices and lightness with herbs and citrus and in my eyes at least, it is a classic.  It is widely available, but I like buying it from my local Marks and Spencer, one of the few High Street stockists outside big cities.

eaudynami
Clarins.com

 

Clarins Eau Dynamisante  Bright, astringent and refreshing, Eau Dynamisante has it all.  In my previous review of ED here on this very blog, I described it as the freshness of an open window on a stuffy day. This Clarins range defies categorization as it is neither a cologne nor an eau de toilette but a firming skin treatment.  However, by being full of citrus and herbs and having a short but refreshing staying power, I would say that as cologne, it fits the bill.  I also adore Clarins Eau Des Jardins (see my review) which smells so good I almost want to drink it (but don’t!). You can buy it from any good beauty counter, or you can try allbeauty.com,  or Amazon.co.uk.

 

YSL Saharienne: Cologne? In Autumn? Yes Please.

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 I have been to visit my local perfume counter several times over the past few weeks. No surprises there. However, what’s been different is that I have been visiting only one bottle.  In passing, I carelessly tried YSL Saharienne a few weeks ago and several hours later, I was still obsessively sniffing my sleeve trying to remember which bottle that heavenly smell was from.

Image Saharienne is so good it is on my long list for Christmas.  That’s no backhanded compliment. I am planning to request a special bottle of something from Santa and I am finding it so hard to narrow it down to just one from hundreds that I love. It’s like an X factor audition. Last year it was Eau de Cartier, which will always remind me of Christmas Day 2012. But I digress.

I have always loved a good cologne, and Saharienne fits the bill and then some.  What makes this stand out from all my beloved O de Lancomes and 4711s and  Eau Dynamisantes, is that Saharienne is packing heat.  Right there in the base, after the Bergamot and divine citrussy Mandarins have calmed down, out comes the smoothest of Sandalwood with a hint of spiced Ginger Beer.  It’s smoother than David Niven in his heyday. It’s blended so seamlessly that the Ginger and Sandalwood look like they’ve always been friends with the Citrus family. It’s as if they’ve been going on holiday Imagetogether for years and have started to look alike.

Sadly, Saharienne’s drawback is longevity, or lack of it.  A few hours at most, I would say.  However, my coat sleeve smelled lovely for days and it’s jolly good value at under £30 for 50ml of EDT. The faceted glass bottle is rather pretty too, bringing to mind Ralph Lauren Safari or YSL Cinema.

It’s a cologne for Autumn. It’s both refreshing and warm, like ice cold Ginger Ale over ice, with a little bit of bite.  Good work YSL. Very nicely done.

In fact, maybe at this price, I’ll get two.

Jimmy Choo Flash: I mean Lady Million, I mean Flash…

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 It’s  a good news day!

Good news if you like Paco Rabanne Lady Million: Here is a perfume almost identical. If they ever discontinue Lady Million, you’ll be quite safe if you stock up on Jimmy Choo Flash.

Good news if you hate Lady Million: I’ve just stopped you wasting your money on this!

Flashevokes the promise, excitement and high octane atmosphere of going out”. In other words, it’s meant for a younger flashier crowd rather than the kind of tiny crowd I hang around in. Clearly aimed at the late teen/twenty something market, this is keeping in step with current modes and with its glittery box, it will do well, no doubt.

However, it is, like Lady Million,  a huge bunch of fake, synthetic white flowers, so synthetic that it borders on sour. Tuberose, Jasmine, Pink Pepper and Strawberry are all listed, but all I get is fake, fake, fake, with a sour, hollow ending.

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photo by www.vogue.it

The biggest shock for me is that the Nose behind this scent is none other than the great Christine Nagel, creator of  one of my favourite ever scents: Eau de Cartier.  Since I love Eau de Cartier so much, I can forgive her anything.  I guess the revered Ms Nagel can certainly turn her hand to  current market demands, but current market demands are not to my taste.

In fact, next on my list of FBs is a bottle of Je Reviens, created in 1932 and still going strong. On matters of fragrance, I was born in the wrong decade.

I Scent You A (Holi)day

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 Do you see what I did there ^^? I’ll get my coat. I am taking a short break for a family holiday but when I come back I will be continuing in my mission to write 365 perfume reviews in a year. There are occasional days when life and complications prevent me from blogging, but I am a dogged blogger and shall endeavour to keep my word.

 My main problem,  and admittedly it is a First World problem, is what perfumes to take for a Imageweek? I am so used to browsing my dressing table and sample coffers in the morning that predicting my mood and penchants for the next seven days seems limiting. I know it’s going to be hot, so Yardley Lavender and my trusty Chanel Cristalle will be coming with me.  I may be out in the evening, so something more resonant might be called for- Tauer Incense Rose, or even Balmain’s Jolie Madame. 

If I overindulge (and I intend to) there is always soothing Eau de Cartier for whatever ails you. My Imageseven year old likes Dana Tabu and my three year old likes Broccoli headed Cabotine. I’ll be at the coast, so maybe Miller Harris Fleur de Sel?

 Of course, the reality is that I will probably spend a week smelling of Factor 30 and seaweed, but perfume is all about creating your own little dimension, so I will probably just empty the whole shelf into a suitcase.

 We nearly had the wit and wisdom of LisaWordbird standing in during my sojourn, but the lucky woman is off to Rome if you please. She has promised to update us on her return with a guest blog.

 Happy holidays, bon vacances and have a great vacation.

Cartier Baiser Volé (2011)

baiser vole

I must apologise to Cartier, since I truly love  Eau de Cartier and its flanker Essence D’Orange, but I have been disappointed lately in other Cartier scents.  As you may know, I recently reviewed the fist-eatingly expensive Baiser du Dragon and found it overpriced and baiser bottlerather an anti climax. I then tried Delices de Cartier., and found it had no staying power on me and left me smelling like pencil shavings. Determined to love the brand, I soldiered on and tried Baiser Volé. Oh dear.

 Baiser Volé left me underwhelmed. It’s not bad by any means, but its glossy packaging and posh Zippo style bottle out-glams the content within. Its top notes, middle notes and basenotes are Lily and Green notes.

It doesn’t change at all and it lasts around four hours. Sadly, as much as I love Lilies and ImageGreen notes, this left me very strongly in mind of Neutradol room deodorisers. You know, those white pots that you leave in a corner until your home smells of Baiser Volé?

At least four Fragrantica members agree that this smells very similar to Yardley Peony, which is only £9.99 for 50ml. Just saying…

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Délices de Cartier: A Fleeting Acquaintance

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 Being a huge admirer of Christine Nagel’s Eau de Cartier, I was curious about the famed Délices de Cartier and thus resolved to try out the EDP.

Sadly, I shan’t be  eulogising in quite the same way over Délices de Cartier.  According to the notes, I should be getting Bergamot, Cherry and Pink Pepper. Middle notes should be Jasmine, Violet and Freesia, with base notes being Musk, Sandalwood, Amber and Tonka Bean.

Sadly, after a faint, almost watery whiff of Bergamot and Cherries, this dies down into the schoolroom scent of pencil shavings, before disappearing completely.  I was reminded very much of another fragrance that I had been equally looking forward to.:Parfums Gres Cabotine Rose.  I loved the original Cabotine, and I like Roses, so I was eager to get the cellophane off (don’t you love that moment?) A barely there smell of nothing much, then pencil shavings, then pouf! There it was, gone.

Don’t let this turn you against Délices de Cartier, since many reviewers on Fragrantica declare it be wonderful and long lasting. It might well be on them. Sadly, on my skin, nothing remarkable took place today.

Hmm, two days of cherries.  I can safely declare I am over them.

Yardley Lavender Eau de Toilette: Sometimes Simple Is What You Need

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It’s no coincidence that aromatherapists and masseurs use Lavender as a therapeutic scent, nor that it is a sleep inducing pillow spray. To me, it is also no coincidence that Yardley Lavender (along with or instead of Eau de Cartier) is the perfect hangover fragrance.

When you’re full of toxins and feel nauseous with overindulgence, Lavender steps in like a pure Angel come to visit and carry away those troubles like an open window in a stuffy room.

Lavender is also regarded as an “old lady” scent and this would be a good time to debunk that myth. The old ladies of today were the glamourpusses of yesteryear, and we have them to thank for being unswayed by modern trends and for keeping the market alive for the classic scents that are still being made to meet the demand of  “old ladies”.

These matriarchs are to be respected, as not only were they young once, but some day we will be the old ladies buying the Lavender and the good perfumes that are wasted on the youth. And maybe it was Oscar Wilde who once said “Youth is wasted on the young,”? Or maybe it was me the other day muttering at today’s modern teens? In any case,  calling a scent “old lady” is, to my mind, another way of saying “Classic”, and nowhere is this term more apt than  when used to describe Lavender.

So what makes Yardley Lavender so special? Well for a start, the price is right at less than 10GBP a bottle on the High Street, and even cheaper online.  However, as well as Lavender (and I can promise you it smells authentic), I can also pick out Geranium and Clary Sage, making this a very green, slightly hippy Hesperide.  Sillage is arm’s length but pleasant. I think people will notice this simply because it will arouse nostalgia, and because it is so simple that it will stand out from today’s commuter trains of fruitchoulis and fake vanilla.

This is a soothing blast of cool summer which, along with it’s slightly  prickly and spicy Geranium, will be ideal as a summer time cleavage cooler straight from the fridge.   I have spoken before about layering and I think this will go very well will other scents: Just go with the flow, don’t let me boss you around!

As much as I love fragrances in all its forms and complexity, sometimes I like to go back to basics.  A Lavender fragrance in a scent wardrobe is akin to a walk in the country after a year in a city.  Sometimes we need that, no matter how beautiful the city.

Givenchy Organza: Falling In Love Again, Never Wanted To…

 

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What am I to do? I can’t help it. The perfume quest bears similarities to life itself. It has chapters and passionate phases which burn bright and fade to ash. It is often littered with disappointments and dashed hopes, but contains bursts of joy and contentment and if you’re very lucky, an occasional thunderbolt of deep love that leads to a lifelong companionship.

Just yesterday, I was struck by a thunderbolt. I fell in love. I didn’t mean to. It wasn’t convenient, and I can assure you with some vehemence, that I sure as hell wasn’t dressed for the occasion.

It happened in Boots the Chemist. I was rain spattered and cold and you really don’t want to know what I was wearing. Let’s just say I was built for comfort and not for speed that day. I sighed as I looked at all the new fruity florals promising the same old same old. Then I saw a familiar bottle that looked like it had come out of retirement. With the strange Greek looking bottle, created in 1992, it wasn’t one I see regularly on the glass tester shelf. I had a vague memory of trying it around the time of it’s launch and thinking well of it, but not pursuing it further. I was younger back then. I’ve changed now.

Fast forward to my local Boots yesterday: I sprayed once and fell in love with it. I sprayed again, on both wrists, and on my coat sleeves as well. It was love all right. I’d been shot with cupid’s arrow.  Givenchy Organza is a perfect balance between White Flowers, namely Peony, Gardenia, and its non identical twin Tuberose, coupled with White Woods, dark Guaic woods, Amber and Nuts. I’ll say it again: “nuts”. This is not too Woodsy, as the Flowers calm it down. It’s not too Flowery as the Woods and Amber spice it up. The Walnut and Nutmeg add an oiliness with a hint of woody bitterness. The bitterness is taken on by the soft Florals, and so it comes full circle…Somehow the perfect balance has been achieved. This adorable and wearable Oriental Floral has had me sniffing my coat sleeve and afraid to wash my arm for two days. (Note- I have washed my arm, you may have no fears on that score. Your blogger is both spotless and fragrant, dear reader).

There are other Oriental Florals, sure, but this one stopped me in my tracks. It’s strong, yet pretty, and has resonance and depth. It’s perfume-y in the way I remember my mother and her friends smelling when I was growing up: exotic and heady. However, it is sweetened up by the flowers, and not merely an Oriental Spice like say, Opium or the wonderful Cinnabar.

I love it so much that my immediate fear is that it may be discontinued and I will need to shoplift great crates of the stuff. (Another Note: I do not advocate crime and speak of shoplifting only to describe an impulse. Other methods of procurement are available). However, this is a healthily non-cheap price: just under £30 for 30ml, and seems to be widely available. At the moment.  My fragrance abandonment issues may come from a total inability to forgive Gucci for discontinuing the unique and beautiful Gucci Envy. A moment of silence please for a lost and perfect jewel. (Well, sometimes it’s on eBay, but even those are dying out).

I have had lots of perfume flings. I’ve bought bottles that I have liked, used, and then parted with on good terms. I have perfumes I am friends with, and will always have in my life, but am not in love with. However, only four times have I ever truly fallen in love and entered into a long term relationship with a fragrance. I’m not a total slut- I know all of their names: Chanel Cristalle, Gucci Envy, Eau de Cartier and now, Givenchy Organza. I need it in my life. I think it’s serious. All I have is my coat sleeve, like half a phone number on the back of a soggy bus ticket.

Organza will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.

Jasper Conran Mistress: Gingery Bergamot Heaven

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If Gingery Bergamot is your idea of a good time, then welcome to my world. Bergamot is one of my favourite notes, except when used alongside Green Tea.

Jasper Conran has created a delightful Green/Bergamot scent here with Mistress, and the scented candle that’s part of the range was the recipient of a FiFi Award for best Home Fragrance in 2008

I may have mentioned that I am a big fan of Eau de Cartier (just a few hundred times), and this is certainly along similar lines. I wouldn’t call them closely related, but they could be second cousins once removed.  The Bergamot is dominant, although being gentle and light, Bergamot could never be too loud. There is also a hint of Ginger, which makes me think of Gres Cabotine and its Ginger Lily notes.  Fruit notes are listed, although I don’t pick up on these, and gentle Musk softens the Bergamot and makes it almost chalk-powdery rather than talcum or face powdery.  Longevity isn’t exceptional, but it’s very people-friendly and won’t choke anyone to death on the morning train.

I was pleasantly surprised at this lovely fragrance, since I was expecting something more mainstream. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea*, but it’s certainly mine.

*NB Not Green Tea!