Tag Archives: High Street fragrance

Nina Ricci Luna For Women (2016)

luna

I tried this today in my local House of Fraser just after the  school run.  The bottle cried out, “own me!” so loudly that I nearly got whiplash.   Like Snow White with a Bag for Life, I was rendered unable to pass such a beautiful tempting apple.

Luna is intended as the night time opposite to Nina Ricci Nina, which I have reviewed here.  Now although Nina isn’t my thing, I love it because my wonderful niece Liz wears it and she is very special to me. I decided to give Luna  a chance.  I fell headlong for its looks.

nina inaOn first spray, this is all synthetic citrus: not invigorating like lemon or grapefruit, more like Haribo  Party Mix.  The pear note burst forth and was rudely dominant, and then the vanilla and caramel poured in and rounded everything off.

In among the vanilla and pear is tiny bit of jasmine, sandalwood and musk, but all was indistinct and vague.

This is a fruity vanilla scent and is neither too strong nor too weak. It’s almost a confused gourmand.  Many Fragrantica readers say that it is almost exactly like YSL Manifesto, so if you like that, you’ll like this too.

I can’t dislike Luna as it’s bang on trend right now, but I will politely sit this one out since overly vanilla fruity scents are not my scene, man.

luna ad

The bottle, though- oh my days, that bottle! Who wouldn’t want a beautiful blue glass apple on their dressing table? With a tiny vapo spray that’s part of a gold apple stalk? It almost nudges Marc Jacobs Decadence off my list of favourites. Throw all the packaging medals at this one, but not too hard, because that beautiful glass is a work of art

Stockists

I found this in House of Fraser, but it’s widely available. I used a tester (very thoroughly) and opinions are my own.

Follow

The Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Box March 2017

fs disc box neat

Every quarter, for the small sum of five pounds, I  receive a Discovery Box from the Fragrance Shop Discovery Club.  Sometimes there are fragrances I’ve already tried and sometimes there are lovely surprises. Either way, I’ve been a member since December 2013 and I always will be.

This month’s box contains six samples, as well as a five-pound voucher off a full bottle of any of your favourites from the box.  So far, my clear favourite is Elizabeth Arden White Tea.

Here’s what’s in the box

Elizabeth Arden White Tea

arden_white_teaAs you know Elizabeth Arden Green Tea has been a classic since it came out in 1999.  Green Tea was created by none other than His Majesty Francis Kurkdjian, and it has genius simplicity written all over it.   There have been many flankers, and I’ve liked all of them.  When I saw White Tea was now A Thing, I worried that they may have “over-flanked” themselves, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Elizabeth Arden White Tea  is light, airy and floaty and smells like a pure white room in a dream home.   There’s clean white musks and sea notes and light notes of white tea.  This is like a spa in a bottle.  This will be on my dressing table very soon.

Jimmy Choo L’Eau

This is in a similar vein to DKNY below, but is slightly sweeter and Jimmy-Choo-Leaudelicately tiptoes onto the very edges of the gourmand spectrum.  I wrote about this last month and you can read my review here. It’s pretty and light and floral, and I predict it’ll be a big hit this summer.

DKNY Be Tempted Eau so Blush

dkny be temptedDKNY Be Tempted Eau So Blush is a light and feminine scent that has a fruity floral opening and big peony notes in the middle- and peony is going to be big this year.   The base is woody and fruity with apricots and musk.  This is a perfect daytime scent and ideal for work. It almost demands to be worn with a pretty frock.

Marc Jacobs Decadence

marc jacobs decadenceMarc Jacobs Decadence comes in such a fantastic bottle that when I first saw it,  I almost didn’t care what it smelled like, I just wanted that bottle. Luckily, it smells pretty good with its saffron and plums and a vetiver and musk base.  If you like Marc Jacobs Daisy, don’t buy this blind as they’re very different.   Decadence is fabulous for the evening whilst Daisy is lighter and better as a daytime fragrance.

Joop! Wow

wowThis one certainly lives up to its name. “Wow” was the first word I said when I sniffed it.  It opens with sharp lime and aromatic cardoman, and settles as a slightly gourmand, warm vanilla, via peppery geranium and dry grassy vetiver.  Despite not having any leathery notes, this reminded me of Dior Fahrenheit, only Joop!Wow! is sharper and with more citrus. I loved it. I sprayed it on me, my husband and my ten-year-old son.  Unanimous thumbs up! We all smell great.

Invictus Intense

invictus intenseI was surprised when I saw this as I thought “Hmm, Invictus is pretty intense anyway, what could they possibly do to make it bigger?”The answer, my friends, is that they turned up the volume and tweaked some knobs until it knocked out every canary within a fifty mile radius.  Invictus Intense is similar to the original, but cranked up to the power of ten.  The salt notes are very prominent.  It’s dry and masculine and not pretty.  It reminded me a lot of Paco Rabanne One Million Intense. If this sounds like your cup of tea, please use sparingly.  For all our sakes.

Stockists

fs disc boxAll of these fragrances are available from The Fragrance Shop.

The Discovery Club is easy to join with no long term red tape.  Just join to get your box and cancel if you want to.  But I bet you won’t! I’ve been getting these boxes for four years and the flat box they come in fits through the letterbox so it won’t end up in the Post Office depot if you’re out.

I purchased this myself and opinions are my own.

Follow

DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom

tokopedia

Today I tried DKNY Fresh Blossom, which was in Superdrug and priced at £18.  I couldn’t resist having a thorough  couple of squirts, but now I’m home I have only my memories.  Yes, short longevity doesn’t begin to cover it.  This was a bit of a funny one on me.  At first its pretty and light: there is apparently grapefruit and apricot as it opens, neither of which I could detect. I did find a few light and pretty floral notes- certainly a touch of rose. The base notes are allegedly woods and apple, but I didn’t get that far.

It reminded me very much of the much cheaper Intimately Beckham For Her which I reviewed earlier in the blog  and which I liked a lot.

However DKNY Be Delicious strangely began to smell like wet shoes before disappearing altogether. Two hours later there is no trace whatsoever on me. Did I dream it?

It’s a bland and feminine fruity floral that on me at least, had a touch of wet wellies before deserting me completely.  It was a genuine sample, so no questions on that score, but it left me thinking “What just happened?” So I’ll hang to my eighteen quid if you don’t mind, Donna Karan.

As always, this is just my point of view.  It may smell great on you and last for ages! Let me know if it does.

Stockists

DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom is available from Superdrug and many other retailers.  Try Boots or Amazon, but try before you blind buy.

 

Clinique Aromatics in Black

fragrantica
Photo by Fragrantica

Clinique has my full respect, if only for the iconic Aromatics Elixir and the newer Aromatics in White, which had a mixed reception but was much admired by yours truly (see my earlier review).

However today I tried Aromatics in Black whilst accidentally ending up in my local House of Fraser Fragrance Department (even though I was buying pyjamas for a large nine year old. Oops).

I had a few sprays on skin and enjoyed the opening notes which packed a punch and had some nice grapefruit and plum with a hint of powdery white flowers. However, twenty minutes later I couldn’t helping wondering if I was wearing Aromatics in Black or Avon Mesmerize Black For Her.

Aromatics in Black has something for everyone, which may be its failing, at least in my opinion. Is it fruity? Is it floral? Is it oriental? It’s all of them. It does opens beautifully with grapefruit and plum, but then quickly segues into something a bit non descript and, for want of a better word, “meh”.

On my skin now, and its barely there three hours later, is a kind of muted plum with some rich myrhh that has gone a bit bland. Reading the notes, I was excited to try this, but the results were disappointing. The plum seems to murder its rivals and stamp on the flowers, which leaves the myrhh and grassy vetiver into a dry, muted fuzz.

At around £50 a bottle, you’d have to really love this to buy it and just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean you won’t, but If I had money to spend at the Clinique counter, it wouldn’t be on this. Sorry Clinique, I do love you, but I don’t love this.

Stockists

Aromatics in Black is widely available. You can buy it from from House of Fraser, FragranceX.com and John Lewis to name but a few.

Guess Seductive: Vanilla, We Are O.V.A.H

Image

 Guess Seductive smells so generically of the recent fad for vanilla florals that it is almost as if someone invented one scent that summed up all the others as an example of its time.  Imagine a perfume museum of the future. Visitors want to smell what was all the rage between around 2007 and 2013. “Smell this” says the curator of the Perfume Museum Of My Dreams “it’s like a mixture of all that was bad back then, whisked together into one bottle. If you smell this, you won’t need to smell the others”

 Guess Seductive opens with fruit: namely Pear, Blackcurrant and allegedly Bergamot (there was NO Bergamot and I can always seek it out). Pear can work on its own, in moderation. Blackcurrant can be pleasantly sharp and clean.  Mix them together and you have overly sweet Pear and Blackcurrant cordial: undiluted and sticky.  If you look up, all will go dark as the giant Vanilla Bulldozer wipes out the light from the sun and renders you unable to smell anything but sticky fruit and tooth achingly sweet synthetic Vanilla.  We are talking cheap Vanilla essence from the home baking aisle, not the seeds from a good vanilla pod that can occasionally be used for the good (sparingly. SPARINGLY!).

Whilst your nose begs for mercy, the cheap fake white flowers come out in all their plastic glory, like a tawdry, gold digging bride.

At just under £15 for 30ml, this is money badly spent. I hope I have saved you the trouble. I am so glad I tried before I buyed. (NB I know that’s bad grammar, but it rhymes).

Follow
.

LUSH Furze: Thanks. Thanks a lot.

Image

Oh dear LUSH, what happened? You have made so many beautiful scents such as Karma, Tuca Tuca, BScent, Icon and Smell of Weather Turning. Yet this year I have quite vehemently disliked 2013’s Euphoria, Sikkim Girls and now Furze.

Image
borrowed from www.thetimes.co.uk

I wasn’t going to review Furze today, but since my son just emptied my entire 7ml screw top bottle over the sofa, it looks like I have no choice. How I wish that he had chosen any other perfume but this one. It is now destined to be a semi permanent reminder of my dislike of Furze.

 Furze takes me back to my first ever Sindy Doll. Whenever I took her head off it smelled just like this. It’s sweet vinyl, drowned in some kind of bitterness. There are very few notes listed: Coconut, Neroli, Vanilla and Floral notes. The Coconut is concentrated to the point of being almost medicinal, the Vanilla is used with a heavy hand until it smells like Cyanide (Almonds), and the floral notes are a big sticky mess. This is not the Neroli I know and love. Frankly, this is dreadful. It’s overly sweet and it makes my eyes sting. Or maybe that’s emotion at the fact that my sofa is now one big giant room fragrance device smelling like Cleaning fluid and Sindy Dolls’ heads.

If you like sickly sweet, vinyl smells with a hint of petrol, then this is your lucky day.

Leo, this review is for you. Mummy not happy.