Tag Archives: galbanum

Guy Laroche Fidji: Be Strong for Me

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Guy Laroche Fidji has been around longer than me. Like my husband, it is 51, and like him, it still smells great.

I first owned Fidji many moons ago, back in 1987 when I was dipping my toe in perfumed waters for the first time.  I could have gone down the Fidji route, but once my head was turned by Cacharel LouLou in 1987, there was no going back.

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A recent enquiry from reader Cassieflower (see my response here)  had me thinking about Fidji again.  I’ve been trying it at every opportunity and I can only find one single fault with it- the eau de parfum is nowhere to be seen. A giant bottle of eau de toilette is therefore in order for regular top ups. Apart from that, it’s perfect.

Fidji smells classic, like a mossy traditional scent.  However, it opens more like Estee Lauder White Linen. In fact, when Cassieflower asked me what smells like Fidji, I think I should have said White Linen, because it’s a close-ish match.

Fidji has huge greenery in the opening, fidji parfumand that oakmoss comes out straight away. It has a powdery mustiness that you often find in aldehydes, and its framed with bright, feel good lemon and lime.  Its fair to say tha the opening  is dominated by green and bitter galbanum. Now, I like galbanum but its not everyone’s cup of tea. If you like Chanel Cristalle,  Givenchy Ysatis or Lancome Magie Noire, then you might already be a galbanum fan.  I’m a card-carrying fan club member myself so Fidji suits me down ot the ground.

fidji beachAfter the citrussy and bright opening come the flowers: my favourites too. Hyacinths, violets, roses and jasmine emerge like a spring day. This gives Fidji a wonderfully old fashioned feel to my nose-  soemthing I miss in the sea of modern stuff of late.

The flowers are long lasting and they pretty much stick around until bedtime. With an oakmoss and vetiver base rounding off my beloved green notes and cherished hyacinth and violets, this might just be top of the Christmas list this year.  I saw a big 100ml bottle on sale today in my local House of Fraser for £37.  I sprayed it on ( a LOT) at around 9.30am this morning and I’m still getting little wafts of sweet floral notes,: that is to say, sweet like a garden flower, not sweet like sugar. I should imagine this beauty doesn’t have the teeth of its earlier 1966 incarnation, but I’m glad to see it’s still around and still smelling fabulous.  Like I do when I wear it and like you will when you try it.

Stockists

fidji small bottleGuy Laroche Fidji eau de toilette is available from  Amazon UK or The Perfume Shop . Prices vary but  are around £30 for 50ml eau de toilette.  You can find the rare eau de parfum here for twice the price.

 

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A Scent by Issey Miyake: Here Comes Summer

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Issey Miyake is the epitome of Nineties fragrances. He blew away the cobwebs of loud shouty Eighties scents that would enter the room before your shoulder pads could squeeze through the doorway. Along came the calm, caring, sharing Nineties with its neutrals and its Green is Good philosophy. L’Eau D’Issey, created in 1992, was everywhere. At one point in the 90s I think I knew more people who wore it than people who didn’t  It’s not my cup of tea, but that clean, Ozonic scent  can whisk me back to 1993 quicker than you can say Sleepless In Seattle.

Fast forward to last week, 2013.  I’d heard that Issey MiyakeA Scent was very similar to Chanel Cristalle. I knew that Issey Miyake made good perfume. I saw that Escentual had a sale on. These three facts dovetailed until I found myself the proud owner of a rather beautiful bottle of A Scent by Issey Miyake last week.

It is very similar to Cristalle. In fact, if you cannot afford Cristalle this is a good bet. I bought my 30ml  for £15.00. If anything it is greener than Cristalle. The instant visual image it planted in my head was of scenes when I was young and always picking flowers and grasses and mashing them up to make mud pies. I’d dissect ferns and leaves and flower stems and get a good green and bitter juice out of them.  This came rushing back to me when I smelled A Scent. The bitter Galbanum is delicious, coupled with citrussy Lemon. However, the bitterness is tempered with flowers to sweeten it and tone it down. I was amazed to see no Lily of The Valley in here. I was sure I could smell les muguets.

On a hot day this lively, clean green will slice through any heat and leave a refreshingly bitter note on your skin, a bit like  a Gin and Tonic with Lime. It’s zingy and clean and glorious, if you, like me, love your Green notes.

It even has slight similarities with my beloved and much mourned Gucci Envy. It’s all Grass and Lemon and Hyacinth.

My only gripe with this is that the spray comes out fast, rather than misting you sparingly,  and therefore my bottle is already 2cm down after only two days of wear. Longevity isn’t great, but if you use my age old tip of spraying clothes and hair, you should should get pleasing whispers of it by the end of the day.

Beautiful and pure as crystal, this may yet knock my Cristalle off her Queenly perch. IScent loves A Scent.

 

 

Miss Dior: no longer for maiden aunts

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WRITTEN BY LISA JONES

Once upon a time Christian Dior released a perfume that was a classic green chypre, full of oak moss, jasmine, patchouli and galbanum, and very chic and elegant. It was 1947 and things were far more prim and proper then. Young ladies wore neat tailored houndstooth suits, prim little hats with veils and carried white gloves.

To a young lady in 2013 those clothes would feel like a costume for a party, and perhaps Miss Dior felt similarly out of date. Because she has been completely replaced. The Miss Dior that I have a bottle of is now called Miss Dior Originale and has been put very politely but firmly on the back shelf of the Dior counter.

In her place is the pink-tinted Miss Dior incarnated by the delightful Natalie Portman. Previously known as Miss Dior Cherie, this has also ‘had a little work done’ to lose the strawberry top note, has been renamed Miss Dior and is now a flagship scent for the Dior line. It comes in all permutations – from parfum and eau de parfum to eau de toilette and eau fraiche, plus assorted body lotions, gels and all that stuff nobody buys unless it’s as presents. (Do you know anyone who buys or uses ‘official’ body lotion if it hasn’t come in a gift set or as part of a hotel toiletries haul?)(My daughter’s love of Hermes Eau d’Orange Vert can be traced to a very posh hotel suite and a generous friend of mine.)

However, dear, prim and proper original Miss Dior had a secret. Though she might have looked as prim and proper as Grace Kelly on the surface with her bitter oakmoss, give dear old MD a chance to warm up on the skin and that bitterness evaporates. Then the jasmine comes out to play and the oakmoss and woody old-school patchouli become rounder and warmer than JLo’s derriere in thermal undies.

I’ve been wondering how the new Miss Dior eau de toilette with her top notes of blood orange, heart of neroli and rose and base of patchouli will compare. So today I got out the little sample and spritzed. The top notes are sweet and very briefly citrus, though that is so fleeting as to be cheetah-like. The heart is fruity and floral with an element of something artificial but not in a bad way. Then there’s the base note of patchouli; this is the clean, radiant and persistent patchouli that is a staple in modern perfumery. It doesn’t remind me of JLo’s booty, I’m afraid; not in any kind of thermal clothing. Well OK, maybe in snowboarding pants.

You know how I have been whining about frootichoolis? This is one. I expected to want to chew my arm off and profoundly regret spraying my décolletage, but in fact, it’s OK. It’s not offensive in any way, it seems to be well-balanced, it wears reasonably close to the skin and doesn’t have enormous sillage and the longevity isn’t enormous – it was gone completely within 6 hours. That made me quite happy. I should repeat that this review is for the Eau de Toilette; I imagine the eau de parfum or parfum concentrations would last quite a bit longer and have a bit more projection. Be aware though that often fragrance compositions differ between the concentrations, so sniff the format before you buy it to avoid disappointment.