Tag Archives: floral fragrances

Marks and Spencer Florentyna: I Took Another Look

florentyna bottle and box

Marks and Spencer Florentyna has been there for so long that it was almost off my radar. I tried it many years ago, declared it old fashioned and never bothered again. Until today. With a new attitude, I took another look at Florentyna, and if you’ve ruled it out, as I did, then I encourage you to re-sniff with new eyes- or should that be nostrils? Because, my dear fellow sniffalots, Florentyna is actually pretty good stuff.

florentyna 10ml

For years, I was convinced that this was mainly a rose scent. I’d even heard people say it smelled similar to Estee Lauder Beautiful. It sort of does-ish, a bit. Slightly. In fact, I went into my nearby House of Fraser and tried Estee Lauder Beautiful for comparison. I would say they are the same family, but not close relatives.

Florentyna opens with big, white, creamy, feminine Gardenia. Almost immediately all the other white flowers burst in then: jasmine, orange flower and lily of the valley. The base note is musk, but a clean laundry musk, not a sexy animalic thigh-sweat musk. This is so respectable it should wear pearls.

Oddly, tuberose, the Queen of the white flowers, is missing. Now this is actually an appropriate omission in the case of Florentyna, because, as much as I like tuberose, it can take over, and when it’s really strong, it can have that vegetal/celery note which I love, but not everyone does. Here, all the “naice” white flowers are included. That’s a deliberate misspelling by the way- you’re saying “nice” in a genteel voice with your pinkie finger sticking out as you hold your bone china tea cup.

florentyna ma and s shelf

The background and frame of these white flowers is a beautiful and very noticeable white soapy note.  It’s good old fashioned pure white, very posh, thrice milled luxury soap, and along with the  bigwhite flowers, it smells terrific.

Thinking about it, it reminded me of an eighties fragrance- remember how Dior Poison was all giant tuberose and  Givenchy Amarige was all big jasmine and green soapy tobacco? Well this is massive too.

As for longevity? Well, three squirts should last you an entire weekend. florentyna

 

Florentyna is worth a second look and worth a lot more than its small price, but please keep that price where it is M&S!

Stockists: You can buy Florentyna from Marks and Spencer.  I also recommend Florentyna White, which I reviewed here. Florentyna is available at prices starting at £3.50 for 10ml.

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Estee Lauder Sensuous: It’s Just Not That Into Me

sensuousel

It is a fact, universally acknowledged, that I cannot walk past the Estee Lauder counter without pressing a nozzle of some sort.  Today that nozzle was Estee Lauder Sensuous and let’s just say there was no chemistry  during our  first meeting. Sensuous left me within moments of our first introductions without a backward glance.  I don’t think there’s going to be a second date.

There is no rhyme or reason as to why some perfumes are anosmic to some and not others.  Cartier Delices de Cartier was one memorable example ( or should that be unmemorable?).  I sprayed and sprayed and practically used up a whole sample before realising I couldn’t smell it at all.  Luckily, with Estee Lauder Sensuous I judiciously sprayed my sleeve so I can vaguely recall what it smelled like and can report back.

It reminded me a little of Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial in that it is a powdery floral with a smoothing hint of vanilla/honey round the edges. It’s very close to skin (that’s an understatement) and disappeared within about three minutes.  Now, I know this is just me as it wouldn’t have been a steady seller since its 2008 launch if it were anosmic on everyone.

The strongest notes I can smell are still very faint and they are sandalwood, honey and magnolia.  If it was stronger I think I would actually like it, and by stronger, I mean noticeable without trying to inhale my entire arm in one snort just to catch a passing zephyr of it.  It’s  reasonably priced however, possibly one of the cheapest Estee Lauders in fact, so if it hangs around you’ve got yourself a  bargain.

My overall verdict? We could have been good together if you’d stuck around to get to know me. Mystifying.

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Chloe Narcisse: Busy As A Bee

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I have happy memories of Chloe Narcisse. It was created in 1992 and I remember coming back from my local House of Fraser with a bottle of it in a little beribboned gift bag. For about two months I smelled of this every day before ending my fling and returning to my old faithful Chanel Cristalle. It was great whilst it lasted and we had some good times.

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However, I tried it again more recently and I’m on the fence about it.  It has too many yellow flowers and honeyed sweetness for my taste these days, but it’s not unpleasant, it’s a bestseller, it’s good quality and very cheap (around 10GBP for 30ml).

The opening notes are bright and sillage can fill a room.  Sticky Marigold, yellow Narcissus , Sweet orange blossom and even  sweeter peaches.  The problem here is that my dislike of peaches means I can pick out the slightest hint from a mile off and this is a turn off alongside other sweet flowers.

The middle is equally sweet and reminds me of a very hot day: so sunny you can’t move for the heat, and a loud buzzing of bees in the overwhelmingly overstuffed flower beds. It’s all a little too much. Thankfully the pineapple that’s alleged to be present is not present, at least to my nose.  Many a pineapple has ruined a perfume for me. They are strictly for eating only.narcisse ad

The base is a little calmer, with surprisingly, Tolu balsam as a base note. There is a little spice and sandalwood and I think I prefer the base notes to the rest of it.  It’s like the smell that lingers after the overly lavish bouquet has been taken out of the room.  A faint trace that flowers were here once, but what remains is much more palatable.

I bought a bottle of this last year and had such mixed feelings about  it that I ended up selling it on eBay.  I can’t hate it, it gives me happy memories and I love the little green metallic neck on the bottle, but try as I might, my nose has changed too much to still be that 22 year old with the little gift bag and the free body lotion.

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