Tag Archives: fragrance

Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue Escape to Panarea: A Perfect Summer Launch

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Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue Escape to Panarea is a bit of a mouthful. It’s a new launch Limited Edition for 2014 and it has charmed me in today’s hot weather (yes, even in Wales).

I’m actually a bit of a fan of the original Light Blue. Having expected an ozonic melon fest, I was pleasantly surprised at how floral and multi layered it was.  There have been several flankers since: all seemingly named after a page in a holiday brochure or made-up adventure films, but today’s review is about Light Blue Escape to Panarea. (see what I mean about sounding like an adventure film?)

profumeriaweb.com
profumeriaweb.com

First of all, this is a light floral. Yes there is fruit in it, namely pear, but I wouldn’t regard it as a typical fruity floral.  It holds back on the sweetness for a start and has completely left out any ubiquitous vanilla that seems so unavoidable these days.

Top notes are simply bergamot and pear, both of which I like.  Middle notes are: Jasmine and Orange Flower, both of which work well in summer, and base notes, unusually, consist of Ambergris, Tonka bean and musk.

Put all these together and what you get is a refreshing citrus floral with a base that lacks the expected weight of the ambergris but is instead a well rounded and faintly sweet daytime perfume that would pass the commuter train test with flying colours.

The most prominent notes are the orange flower and pear, with the Musk just feathering the edges gently as the base notes meld together.

I like it because it’s not cloying or overly sweet, because the flowers stay true and don’t merge into a hollow mess, and because it’s pretty and delicate on a hot day.

Even if you splash it all over, it has more staying power than a cologne, but enough delicacy not to be remotely offensive if you wear too much.  Lasting power is around four hours.  Frankly, I’m a fan.

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Nina by Nina Ricci

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I love Nina Ricci for making L’Air du Temps.  I will always have a bottle in my scent wardrobe and if they never make anything again of that calibre, I will still love Nina Ricci just for that.

Nina by Nina Ricci is not of the same calibre as L’Air du Temps, but it’s not a bad little scent at all.  I wore it for three days before writing this since at the end of Day One I changed my mind about it.

Initially I was going to mark this down as another fruity floral and review it as such, but then, if I can say such a thing, I listened to my nose, if that makes sense.  If you’re reading this you’re probably a perfume fan and you probably know exactly what I mean.

Far from being a fruity floral, Nina is in fact a juxtaposition of Lime and Praline that deftly misses smelling like Key Lime Pie.  In fact it was the lime that won me over and got me liking this, and I don’t normally like praline unless it’s in a Thorntons box.

Nina opens with Lime and Lemon, both strong, noticeable and refreshing.  The middle  section is not quite as zesty, but pretty with peony, and crisp with sharp Granny Smith apples.  The praline seems like an unusual add-on, and I would have liked this more without it I think, but it certainly doesn’t ruin a pretty day time scent.  The base is sadly a little cardboardy on me and reminds me of  Delices de Cartier ( see my earlier review). However after a while, a little bit of shy apple and lime peeks through the door again and I get a second shot at longevity.

Like I said it’s not bad and I would squirt it liberally on a hot day just to get those top notes and the early middle phase, but the base isn’t great on me. I don’t hate the praline and I am utterly besotted by the gorgeous bottle. Worth a try. Worth a few tries actually.

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Alfred Sung Forever: Stuck Together For Eternity

sung I have been keeping half an eye on Alfred Sung Forever for quite some time.  Should I/Shouldn’t I?  I was drawn in by the promise of Lily of the Valley, by the promise that it was green and the promise that it was made with brides in mind and therefore so would be pretty. Yesterday my bottle finally arrived: a nice big 75ml bottle too.  I took the cellophane off (oh !  I love that feeling!) and sprayed. And then I felt a bit sad, as if my ice cream just fell on the floor after one lick. Elizabeth-Arden-Splendor-Edp-Spray-for-Women-8418

Alfred Sung Forever is so similar to Elizabeth Arden Splendor that they could be interchangeable.  Both have that metallic, hollow almost-but-not-quite floral note running through the middle.  It’s borderline ozonic. There was Lily of the Valley, but so fake and so plastic that it gave me less pleasure than just looking at a photograph of Lily of The Valley.  There is a plastciky, mass produced note to it that wasn’t a million miles away from the dreadful  Karl Lagerfeld Sun Moon Stars. The base note is baby talcum powder.

The reviews on Fragrantica raved about it.  Mine will not be one of them.   It’s curious that both Forever and Splendor smell the same and both come in large bottles:  Splendor  comes in a 125ml bottle and Forever arrived in a big 75ml bottle.  The price was good at under a tenner, and you know how strong my convictions are on the “You can smell good without being rich” stance, but I guess this was a turkey. I have visions of a giant vat of the stuff, cobbled together for a song and being pumped into various bottles and sold off cheaply. Any leftovers are used in inexpensive “Ocean Fresh” toilet fresheners.

You may be familiar with my Law of Sod when it comes to perfumes:  if you hate it, it will never leave you, even with soap and water.  If you love it, it won’t hang around.  And thus it was that four hours later, I scrubbed and scrubbed and in the end had a shower to get rid of it.  It sure does last Forever.

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weddingcakesx.com

 

4160 Tuesdays The Lion Cupboard: And a Father’s Day Tale

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Today is a celebration of fathers and father figures.  I certainly want to celebrate my amazing Dad Mike,  as well as my husband, who also happens to be a great Dad to our two boys.  Sadly as I get older,  I know more and more people whose fathers have passed away.  Their memories remain, fond and untarnished and it is in this vein that I chose to review 4160 Tuesdays The Lion Cupboard.

The Lion Cupboard was created at the request of Sarah McCartney’s sister, who asked for a scent to replicate the smell of their father’s wooden cupboard with a carving of a lion on it.  This idea appealed to me since, bluntly, every dad has a smell.  My Dad smells of Imperial Leather and shortly after leaving home to go to university many moons ago, I caught a whiff of Imperial Leather and had a big pang for home, and my Dad in particular. I’ve never told him that.

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The Lion Cupboard is where Sarah McCartney’s Dad kept his hats and scarves and the smell of the cupboard is replicated in the scent.  It does indeed have a wonderful Dad sort of smell and makes all sorts of visual images pop into my head, which to me, is a characteristic of 4160 fragrances.

I’m not going to list the notes, I’m just going to tell you what I personally smell from this multi layered scent: Opening notes: Vetiver and dark Wood, (think antiques), then a slightly squashed After Eight Mint, followed by a very faint hit of menthol or camphor and a final long phase that doesn’t smell a million miles away from Tauer L’Air Du Desert Marocain. It smells comfortingly masculine, like a Dad’s jumper, but the woods and Vetiver make it very wearable.

This was such a wistful and celebratory scent that I simply had to choose it for Father’s Day. Anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a Dad.

In my imagination it goes something like this...
In my imagination it goes something like this…

Guerlain Insolence: Where Have You Been All My Life?

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Sometimes when I’m  exploring new fragrances to blog about, something comes along that makes me wonder why on earth I have taken so long to get round to it.  Guerlain Insolence is one example- why haven’t I tried it before?

This gorgeous violetty dream was created in 2006 by Maurice Roucel  and Sylvaine Delacourte, both solidly experienced Guerlain Noses.  It could be said that this was Guerlain’s answer to the thirst for  fruity florals, but using Violet and Iris as the florals and including Bergamot and Lemon as the fruit, they have created a masterpiece that ticks the fruity floral boxes yet remains unique in the field.

Yes there are strawberries and red berries , but somehow the restrained use just serves to make the Violets smell sweeter, but not sickly:  like sugar free Parma Violets.  Then the Iris comes in and stops the Violet getting overly sweet, framing it in that very slightly rooty, dry sort of way that Iris has. There is a gorgeous soapiness that I happen to love in a fragrance:  here it smells like high-end soap from a luxury hotel, thrice milled and pure white.

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Resonance and longevity are not just good, but could go nuclear with overspraying, in an Angel sort of way.  With Insolence, two sprays will last till lunch, eight would bring down an elephant.

I adore this violet perfume that has such a thick soapy background and yet remains pretty and complex at the same time.  I have a wish list of Guerlain fragrance and it goes like this:  Chamade, Vol de Nuit, Shalimar and now, Insolence. Maybe I will print this off and send it up the chimney for Santa or Mary Poppins.

 

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Yves Rocher Moment de Bonheur: Roses, Roses, Roses

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  As you may know, I’m a big fan of Yves Rocher and awaiting a parcel for them later this week.  I love that the quality is high and the freebies and special offers are plentiful.

It’s shame there are no stores in the UK and I have had to make a few blind buys, but I have never been disappointed.  I am particularly fond of Yves Rocher Cléa, which, if you’re a fan, smells a bit like Dove and makes for a deliciously creamy, ambery fragrance. Today I am reviewing Yves Rocher Moment de Bonheur, a rather lovely, simple floral. It opens with drunken rose petals.  By drunken I mean that it reminds me of the rose petal perfume I used to make when I was little.  I would collect rose petals from the garden and keep them in a jar of water.  The resulting perfume would not be um…commercial, but it smelled like rose petals that were on the turn: over ripe if you like and on the point of being fermented.  I’m not painting a pretty picture but in fact the rose scent from the stewed and dampened petals really summed up summer for me.

Moment de Bonheur was in fact created for Autumn and was launched in September 2011.  This would make sense, since the base has a hint of spice and warmth in the patchouli and cedar finish.  However, despite the geranium and green notes, Moment de Bonheur, to me will always be roses, roses, roses: stem, leaves and all. It’s light as a petal and borderline soapy in places, but I love it. If you like rose fragrances you can’t go wrong with this one.

photo by theimaginationtree.com
photo by theimaginationtree.com

Lady Gaga Fame: More Tame than Fame

 

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  Lady Gaga Fame took me by surprise.  With Gaga’s inexhaustible originality and eccentricity, and with the gold claw and black juice of the bottle, I was expecting something clashing and well…Gaga. Maybe a combination of jarring, clanging Cacharel Eden with the daring creosote of Tauer’s Lonestar Memories? Maybe she would have used an ingredient never used before in perfume (is there one? I’m still working my way through…). But no. In Fame : Lady Gaga has (shock, horror), gone all ladylike on us.

Today she is wearing a twin set and pearls and sipping her ubiquitous porcelain cuppa. Lady-Gagas-Fame-Perfume-AdThe notes of the perfume are: Belladonna (more for it’s reputation and mystique than for its scent I feel), Apricots (definitely in there somewhere), Honey (just a soupcon) Orchid (a hint), Saffron (hard to discern), Sambac Jasmine (very bold) and Incense (only in the base and round the edges).

The notes surprised me somewhat since on my skin at least, this is a pleasant, slightly violet, powdery floral with a hint of honeyed apricot, but nothing too sweet.  After a few hours, there is a faint tang of something enigmatic and jazz clubby when the incense comes in, but otherwise, this is rather pretty and, dare I say it? – not really edgy at all.

Despite it’s forbidding dark image (and fantastic ads), this would be lovely as day wear, or workwear. The price is excellent at well under £20, and it is widely available at beauty counters and more general stores such as Wilkinsons. It’s good, it’s ladylike, it’s pretty and provides a refreshing change from all that sugar.

Stockists

Try Amazon UK, or allbeauty.com.  Fame currently retails at around £17 for 100ml.

BVLGARI Omnia Indian Garnet  

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A new release for 20114, BVLGARI Omnia Indian Garnet is in the same vein as Omnia Jade and the rest of the Crystal range, and the bottle is similar too: looking like a beautiful piece of modern jewellery.

The blurb says it “captures the magic and the sensuality of Tuberose and Osmanthus” and frankly, it does.

Omnia Indian Garnet makes me think of sunsets at the end of an Indian Summer day.  This could just be the orange packaging, I suppose, but the hint of Amber underneath the rather lovely Tuberose (added with a light hand) and the Apricotty Osmanthus, makes for a wonderful summer scent with a faint bite of heat in the base.

My only complaint here is that I would have liked it to have had more oomph.  It’s so light and delicate that even two minutes after testing I have to sniff very close to my skin to get a waft of it. Lasting power is also disappointing at around three hours close to skin.  However, I am testing the Eau de Toilette so maybe with an Eau de Parfum this problem would be solved. Unfortunately I don’t see any Eau de Parfums on the Omnia range at all, anywhere, so I guess that’s that.

The bottle alone is enough to make me buy this, but I just need this delicate flower to have a few more muscles.

Stockists

You can buy Bvlgari Omnia Indian Garnet from Escentual or Amazon UK. 

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Yardley Jade: a welcome Déjà Vu

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Whilst having a quick browse around Boots today between errands, I came across a perfume I hadn’t seen before : Yardley Jade. Naturally I couldn’t resist testing it and by the time I reached the exit, I was thinking “Hmm. Chanel Cristalle. I bet that phase won’t last.”  Yet here I am, nd.12three hours later, and it still smells as if I am wearing Chanel Cristalle.

As you may know from my previous reviews, I was in an exclusive relationship with Chanel Cristalle  for nearly twenty years, with occasional forays into temporary favourites. Green, light and floral, Cristalle is paradoxically no lightweight, with its Oakmossy finish and long lasting Galbanum touches.

It’s looking as if Jade by Yardley is singing the same song, but, as you might imagine,  for a fraction of the price. I’m never without a bottle of Cristalle and on a wrist to wrist experiment, there was very little in it.  Jade claims to have Peaches, but thankfully, I can smell none.  Both open with Bergamot. Both perfumes have that translucent green feel to them, with a hint of fresh, clean hyacinth, and both have a mossy finish.

Time for the maths bit: The current price for Yardley Jade is £7.99 for a 50ml EDT in Boots.  The current price for Chanel Cristalle EDT is £49 for  a 60ml EDT. (I felt it was only fair to compare like with like, although I tested Jade alongside the Cristalle EDP not EDT).

So there you have it. I wish Yardley had invented this during the period of my life when I couldn’t  afford Cristalle, but better late than never. Oh and a huge Hallelujah that this totally lacks Vanilla, red fruit or anything candy floss. Common Sense prevailed at Yardley.

 

 

Gucci Rush: I’m In No Hurry

 

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In my much loved, dog eared copy of Perfumes TheA-Z Guide, Tania Sanchez raves about Gucci Rush. It gets five stars and a lot of love from her.  It was created under Tom Ford’s reign at Gucci and shows no sign of being discontinued.  Me being me, I can’t help asking the question:  if they can keep this from the Tom Ford era why couldn’t they keep Gucci Envy?  But that’s just me and hundreds of others thinking that. Pay us no heed. I was pretty under whelmed by Gucci Rush.  Within ten minutes it settles into its basenote phase and stays put.

photo by junipercakery.co.uk
photo by junipercakery.co.uk

In fact it’s irritating me and I might wash it off.  It’s not irritating my skin of course, just my nose. What is it that’s getting on my nerves about this?  Well it’s probably the dominant Peach.  Peach drives me away from scent like a little IScent repellent and it even came between me and my beloved Arpege in the end. What I have on my arm and wrist right now smells like powdery Milk and Peaches, and by Peaches I mean the perfume note rather then the real aromatic scent of a fresh peach, which I probably wouldn’t mind so much.

There is noticeable Patchouli too, but it seems to me like a watery Patchouli that I don’t get on with, rather than a robust woody Patchouli that I often seek out and enjoy. I was on the brink of finding a compliment for Rush: namely that it is unique and in all the 380 reviews I have written I have never smelled anything like it.  However, I see on Fragrantica that there are at least five perfumes that Fragrantica readers are reminded of when smelling Gucci Rush, so it even loses points for originality.

In the spirit of Eurovision I award Gucci Rush trois points.  Out of ten.  I just don’t like the song it sings.