Tag Archives: fruity floral perfume

Yardley London Royal Pink Diamond

royal pink bottle and box

I often find Yardley scents off the beaten track on the High Street and this is a shame because they deserve to be centre stage. If you go into Boots for example, there’s a wall of testers (all locked up these days. Humph) and a totally separate shelf around the corner for the lower budget scents, including the Yardley range.  Needless to say,  I spend more time in this aisle than I do pressing my nose agaisnt the locked glass shelves of  testers.

Yardley Royal Pink Diamond is an excellent fruity floral that deserves to sell like hot cakes on a cold day.  Let’s start with that darling little bottle: it’s cute as a button with its fancy lid and pink juice. I can see that it’s designed to appeal to the, shall we say, under forty-seven age group, but I really like this and am sorely tempted to add it to the many bottles on my groaning dressing table.

royal pink diamond

Yardley London Royal Pink Diamond opens with tempting summery fruits: peach, cassis and mandarin. These are juicy and clean, rather that sickly and sticky.

Early on in this, the cedar pops up and adds a few woody notes to the melange of fruit.   Just as I’m getting used to fruity and woody together, along come the peonies and orange flower.  There is also pink pepper, which is pretty much a ubiquitous note in fruity florals and is a tiny sweet berry, not a spice.  The woodsy base seems to get bigger and bigger until the cedar pretty much takes over. Personally, I don’t mind this, but you might. However, there’s a lovely clean white musk note that turns up later and hangs around for a while., keeping the flowers and fruit company  as they fade.

At under £20 for a 50ml bottle, this is a great gift for someone else or for yourself, and I’m a big believer in gifts for oneself!

latest launches

I feel quite protective about the Yardley name.  So many um…under forty sevens might think of it as a “Nan-brand” but it takes talent, stamina and innovation to have been making fragrance since the 1770s and still be going strong.  Yardley London Contemporary Classics has produced some of the best single note florals ever. I swear by Yardley April Violets, Yardley English Lavender ( which Marilyn Monroe wore, fact fans- not just Chanel No 5) and Yardley Jade. I also loved Yardley Bluebell and Yardley Freesia. They’re reasonably priced and you can wear them alone or layer them for a little bouquet on your skin.  What can I say? I’m a fan.

from www.YardleyLondon.co.uk
from www.YardleyLondon.co.uk

Stockists: Yardley London Royal Pink Diamond is available from the Yardley website or from Amazon UK.  I found my sample in the Perfume Society Latest Launches Discovery Box, which you can read about here.

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Missoni Eau de Parfum: Something New and Something Old

MIS15_ADV A3_D

 

I have to admit, the sum total of my Missoni knowledge prior to this is posh stripy knitting, so I apologise in advance for my ignorance.  You can find out more about the origins of the brand here in this superb round up from our trusty friends at Fragrantica.

I was recently given a sample of Missoni Eau de Parfum as part of a goody bag from my Perfume Society Improve Your Sense of Smell workshop ( see my write up here) . The brand came to my attention again when it won a FiFi for best packaging back in May at the annual Fragrance Foundation UK Awards ( see my write up here. Again) . Sure enough, its simple white background and coloured stripes are certainly eye-catching and immediately says Missoni across a crowded perfume shop.  The bottle itself is a fabulous unicorn blend of irridescent colour, and since it’s pretty cheap (around £20 for 30ml) you could do a lot worse for your dressing table.

missoni amazon

So what does it smell like?

Well I have to admit, it’s not smashing any barriers or covering any new ground.  However, if you want a pretty “pink” scent that doesn’t dominate a room, this is just the ticket.

It opens with pear and citrus, which straight away makes it blend in like a school uniform in a school.  In the middle, there’s a big batch of florals: namely  synthentic “petalia” i.e man-made general petal scent, along with floral notes and the ubiquitious note-of-the-year jasmine sambac.  Then there’s a sort of woody cedar base where the sweetness of the pear and the synthetic florals kind of blend in with a floral woody finish and… voila! A generic pink beauty counter fragrance that fits right into summer 2017.

The  pear/ jasmine sambac/woody base thing has been done to death lately so either this lacks originality or it taps into what the kids are buying.   No harm done, but I’ll sit this one out.

Sorry Missoni. I guess you won’t be sending me a free stripy jumper any time soon. Good price and great bottle though.

Stockists

You can buy this from allbeauty.com. The price is very good at just over £20 for a 30ml bottle.  You can also try amazon.co.uk.

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Elizabeth Arden Provocative Woman EDP

provocative ad

I’ve been circling this one for a while and wondering how to review it. It sort of does and doesn’t fit into a neat category.  It’s sort of a fruity floral and a spicy woody scent.  It’s sort of provocative but you could wear it to work without inadvertently turning anyone on.   In other words,  it has cast its net very wide.

Created in 2004, the Elizabeth Arden Provocative Woman campaign was fronted by my fellow Welshwoman Catherine Zeta Jones.  We also happen to be the same age, but the similarity ends there.  We won’t get confused as twins anytime soon.

provocative woman bottle

Provocative Woman opens with quince, raspberry, peach, ginger and lotus.  The middle notes are apricot, freesia, papaya and orchid.  The basenotes are hinoki wood, amber, red amber, sandalwood and cedar.

So you can see my problem.  All the fruit from the fruit salad is in here, but with added spice and heat from the ginger and a warm woody finish.  It’s hard to pick out the individual notes. It’s sort of a fruit Pimms accord with a touch of chai tea . There’s a lovely clean whiff of freshly washed hair in among the jelly but the flowers struggle to come to the fore.

provo box

All in all, I can’t help liking this crowd pleasing effort, even if it is a little bit of a mish mash.  I didn’t used to be a fan of fruity florals but I smelled so many different ones that I was won over, and this one has won me over too.

I think the youth market is missing a trick with this fruity number and may well rule it out as being a “Mum” perfume.  In fact, the fruitiness is fun and light and even playful.   The woods don’t get too dark or deep and the faint, faint flowers offer a little flourish of girliness.  I wouldn’t call this provocative,  but it’s certainly womanly.  It’s also a massive bargain. My bottle is a 30ml EDP and lasting power is not bad at around four hours.

Stockists

Elizabeth Arden Provocative Woman is widley available. Try  Amazon UK and Half Price Perfumes to name but two.  Opinions are my own, as is this bottle.

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Missguided: Babe Power: Seriously Fun

babe power

I was given a bottle of this at the recent Fragrance Foundation Awards, and I’m glad I was because the packaging and general image wouldn’t have otherwise tempted me.  However,  a good sniff of Babe Power converted this curmudgeon into a surprise fan.

Babe Power is the first fragrance from fashion label missguided.  It’s a hot on trend label for hot on trend people and this fragrance is no exception.  It steps out of class and sticks two fingers up at boring old glass perfume bottles and comes in a tin can that looks and feels exactly like a can of energy drink.

I did the sniff test on my family and gleaned the following verdicts: “bubble gum” “Haribo”  and the rather unimaginative response: “perfume.”

The very first thing I got from Babe Power was sour cherries.  Don’t be put off by the “sour” bit.  This is a sharp cherry scent, unlike a sweet sickly “normal” cherry scent. The vanilla is almost indistinguishable from the cherry note as they are so co-dependent and entwined.  In fact, just for fun, there’s also apple, pineapple, grapefruit and candy floss in here.  The ingredients remind me of a very colourful beach hut style kiosk.  There’s flowers too: very girly ones- jasmine, peony and orange flower.   The jasmine and peony just peek through, but frankly the big bright fruity notes are partying too loud to answer the door.

Missguided Banner_825x460 v2

This may sound like a mish mash, but actually it really, really works. I love the fact that it doesn’t take itself too seriously whilst getting the balance right.  The sour cherries had me at hello, and the slightly play doh vanilla makes me love it even more.

I would like to predict that this will be a big success, but before I could even review this, it has become a huge bestseller in The Fragrance Shop.   I wouldn’t sound very mystic and prophetic when this is already flying off the shelves so fast that passers-by have to duck.

Bravo missguided.  Encore!

Stockists

Missguided Babe Power is available from The Fragrance Shop for 27.50 for 80ml  EDP. Opinions are my own.

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Dior Poison Girl: I tried..really I did.

poison girl

I’m a big fan of Dior Poison. If you ever want to smell what the eighties smelled like, get yourself a bottle of this tuberose/jasmine nuclear bomb. It’s a classic. I also love Hypnotic Poison, which is as different as could be, but a beauty in its own right. Therefore I approached Dior Poison Girl with an open mind and friendly wave. But sadly, we are not going to be friends.

Trying Dior Poison Girl made my heart slump in the same way as YSL Black Opium did. I love Opium, and when I tried Black Opium I felt like I had been bitten and scratched and told to scram. Poison Girl had much the same effect.

lvmh

Opening with bitter orange, yet still being overly sweet, Poison Girl blossoms like a generic fruity floral, and indeed there is a whiff of those roses in there somewhere. However, the vanilla, super strength if you please, soon barges in and plonks itself down rudely. After that it takes over. There is some almond in there, which dares to peek in, but to me it smelled more like coffee and chocolate. I usually like almond: done with a light hand it can be creamy and nutty, but not here. Here it smells like a 4D Augustus Gloop Experience. I’m drowning in it and I long to go up the pipe and escape.

Sillage wise, this falls somewhere between Angel and Coco Mademoiselle parfum strength. I’ll quit before IT does.

I predict this will be a big seller, in the same vein as YSL Black Opium and Thierry Mugler Angel. It has the fruity floral hook, followed by the sweet, sweet, SWEET gourmand punch that knocks you out and sticks around. There’s a definite taste for that now, and I can’t argue with sales figures.  But subjectively? I’ll pass on this one.  When I say “pass” I mean “swerve dramatically.”

Dior Poison Girl, I wanted to like you, but we’re never going to be friends.

Stockists

Dior Poison Girl is available from House of Fraser, John Lewis and Debenhams to name but a few.

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Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto

manifesto

Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto is not to be confused with the magnificent Manifesto by Isabella Rossellini, of which I’m a big fan

I knew nothing about YSL Manifesto before trying it today so had no preconceptions.  I generally like most if not all YSL fragrances though, so I had high hopes.  High hopes that were dashed.

I know all too well that they don’t make all mainstream perfume just for me:  if I don’t like a scent that doesn’t make it bad, but this lemon meringue pie of a scent was all wrong for me.

Despite containing lily of the valley, jasmine, bergamot, blackcurrant, vanilla and Tonka bean, all I could smell was vanilla and creamy lemon pie, with maybe a blackcurrant coulis- a mere trail a la nouvelle cuisine.  This smells so much like dessert that I simply don’t want it on my skin.  Years of mopping up after messy sons have put me off smelling of food so I’m not really a gourmand fan.  I have mellowed recently and  lost many of my perfume prejudices by keeping an open mind, but smelling of lemon syllabub is a step too far for me.  Oddly enough there are no lemons in this at all, but then again, I couldn’t find any lily of the valley or jasmine either: they were supposed to have turned up but ended up being a no-show.

My overall impression is that Manifesto doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be.   It’s not quite a gourmand, not quite a fruity floral, not a chypre, not a floral.  It’s just a sort of a mash up.

Of the two Manifestos, I’ll be voting Rossellini.

 Stockists

YSL Manifesto is widely available .  You will find it in Boots, Amazon UK, House of Fraser and Debenhams to name but a few.   Overseas you can try Sephora or Amazon.com

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Jimmy Choo Blossom

blossom

 

A while back I reviewed Loewe Quizas Quizas Quizas and labelled my review “Death By Red Berries”.  Lately however, I have learned not to discount an ingredient due to previous disappointment, so I gave Jimmy Choo Blossom a fair hearing (or sniffing to be exact).

Sadly, it did indeed open with red berries and very little else to my nose.  It reminded me of the kind of bubble bath bubbles my two sons, aged five and eight have a penchant for.  Imagine if there were a very inexpensive bubble bath called “Cherry Bubble Gum Strawberry” or some such. You now have in your head my precise interpretation of the sickly, fruity, vinyl opening notes of Jimmy Choo Blossom.  But! (and there’s a big but!)  Hold the front page!  I have more to say.

I wore this today when I took my sons to the park.  I could feel the sun’s rays on my arm making my skin hot and I decided to have a sniff of the Jimmy Choo Blossom I had applied an hour or so before coming out.  It was starting to change.  It was still synthetic, but the berries were dying down and something interesting was happening that I couldn’t put my finger on.  A few hours later we were back at home and I sniffed again.  The basenotes are lovely.  A combo of sandalwood and musk makes for a very feminine and less bubblegum finishing touch that I would happily wear and buy.  The red berries are like a trace of faint soap from the morning, but the sandalwood and musk are much more palatable.

After a three hour wait for something nice, this is a bit like having to sit through a pantomime to get to the Chekhov, so I won’t be buying a ticket to this romp anytime soon.

Stockists

This is sold widely: You can try Amazon UK, Boots, John Lewis or Sephora.com.  Prices are around £32 for 40ml. My sample is from the wonderful Perfume Society Beautiful Blossoms Discovery Box, which is all about the flowers.

Calvin Klein Downtown: For Bright Young Things

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This is a recent launch for Calvin Klein (September 2013) and it is intended for the young.  In which case, it is ideal.  Calvin Klein Downtown  caters for the current youthful preference for sweet, berry like fragrances.  However, it (thankfully) holds back from the ubiquitous Vanilla Bazooka that is blasted hither and thither today, and produces a decent enough daytime scent.

Reading the top notes of Lemon, Bergamot and Plum, I would have expected a fruitier opening, or at least a citrus opening, but it was sweet in a milky Vanilla way, like white chocolate.  Interestingly, Vanilla is not listed as a note, but the sweetness certainly hints at its shadow. Middle notes are Gardenia, Pink Pepper and Patchouli, but I found these notes indistinct and wouldn’t have guessed from a blind sniff.

downtown ronney mara

A few hours later and I’m sniffing my arm again.  It’s now become a milky musk, not a million miles from Just Cavalli.  Oh wait!  Here’s a faint hint of Gardenia. Better late than never.

As a scent for the young, it is a toned down version of all the fruity floral vanilla horrors I have previously reviewed (Taylor Swift I’m looking at you).  I wouldn’t wear it myself, but then, at 43, it wasn’t made for me. However, as a blessed relief  from the overuse of heavy handed ingredients currently en vogue, it fits the bill.

I found it a little non-descript, and borderline gourmand, but sometimes that’s better than “get out of the lift, she’s doused herself in that stuff again”.

Stockists

The price is reasonable at under £30 for 50ml of EDP on Amazon UK or you can find it on allbeauty.com. The face of the fragrance is the beautiful Rooney Mara.

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