Tag Archives: Hilary Duff With Love

Where Do You Keep Yours? #ScentStorage

 

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A recent article from The Perfume Society got me thinking. Our dear chums at The Perf Soc invite us to show them our pictures of  how we store our collections on Instagram and Twitter for a future feature in The Scented Letter. ( hashtag  #scentstorage)

I warily approached my groaning dressing table with my temperamental camera phone and noticed it was a big messy jumble. Once I tidied up for the photo sesh ( see above) I felt it was high time for an edit.  I therefore picked my absolute  favourites and took a family photo of them looking their best and all facing the right way.

In a non-subtle attempt to get you all to tell me about your essential kit, I thought I’d take the vain liberty of giving you a mini tour of my curated core collection.

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Le Jardin Retrouvé Sandalwood Sacre, 4160 Tuesdays The Gathering of The Clans, Art de Parfum Gin &Tonic, Papillon Perfumery Angelique, JLo Deseo, Gucci Envy, Jolie Madame vintage, Andy Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange, Hilary Duff With Love.

my stash

 

jr-sandalwoodLe Jardin Retrouvé Sandalwood Sacré: This has been my SOTD for the past 3 days. The sweet, aromatic sandalwood hangs out like a lovable hippy until it turns into a woody, spiced musk.

 

4160 Tuesdays the Gathering of The gatheringClans:

The Gathering of The Clans is a wonderful blackcurrant, herby, citrus chypre that will always remind me of Christmas 2016 because I could NOT stop wearing it. Plus, there was a real-life Gathering of The Clans.

 

gin-and-tonicArt de Parfum Gin &Tonic:

This is so much more than gin and tonic. It’s a fresh breeze blowing through your life. On my skin, it bursts into tiny flowers as the day goes on.

 

Papillon Perfumery Angelique:

This was love at first sniff, although I angeliquefound it very hard to describe at first. It defies genre. I always wear it to christenings so it has happy associations for me. It smells like priceless buttery suede and iris and mimosa. There’s nothing like it.

JLo Deseo:

deseo bigThis was an astounding bargain that I refer people to whenever they cast doubt on the quality of celebrity scent. This 30ml bottle cost me a mere £8.95, but before I could stock up, it was discontinued and is now like hen’s teeth. The bottle makes me think of wet jewels. The scent is jasmine, orange flower, yuzu and tiare flower.

Gucci Envy.

Ah, my beloved Envy.  It led me astray from my fidelity to Chanel gucci_envy_reklama3Cristalle.  Envy and I were together for several formative years.  My house, my bedroom, my clothes and my desk all smelled of hyacinth and lily of the valley and that strange metallic Nineties chime in the middle. Pure Heaven. It was pointlessly discontinued in 2007.  Despite a huge clamour for it,  Gucci remain tight lipped.  I have just over an inch left.  Can’t go on.  Hankies please.

Balmain Jolie Madame vintage

joliemadameThis was a gift from dear chum Lisa Jones. She watched as I entered the chypre portal and never looked back over my shoulder.  It’s all her fault and I love her for it. I was once asked what I would put in my dream fragrance. I answered “violets, leather and oak moss” before I realised that I had just described Balmain Jolie Madame.

 

Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange

I was an immediate slave to the  green notes in Carillon Pour un carillonpicAnge. It is one of the longest lasting perfumes I have ever tried. It starts with angelic lily of the valley, goes even greener for a bit, and then comes storming back to an Ambergris finish. I love how it lingers on my pillow.

Hilary Duff with Love

withloveBefore this was sadly discontinued, I picked up a 15ml bottle in my local branch of Home Bargains for just £3.99. It wasn’t the mainstream fruity florals that were so typical of 2013: it was a thrilling surprise of tropical dark wood and yes, mango. It’s a woody, cedar treat and I’m loath to use it up until I can wangle another off eBay. Oh, and check out the dreamy bottle! It’s like a jewel.

How about you?

And to think life was so simple when once upon a time I had a signature scent. Sigh. Once you’re bitten, there’s no going back.

Now I’ve shared mine, how about yours? How do you store them? Where do you keep them? If you had to really edit your collection what would be in it?   Are your favourites discontinued or reformulated? Are they posh and pricey or chypre and cheerful?  Am I asking too many questions?  Do let me know. I always love to hear from you.

PS Don’t forget to post your photos to @ThePerfumeSociety on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #scentstorage

Dorsal view
Dorsal view

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Sarah Jessica Parker Stash SJP

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When people tell me they would never bother with celebrity scent, I refer them to Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely.  It’s a superb scent in its own right and still going strong ten years after its launch. There are not many celebrity scents that can say the same. Parker’s interest in its development is well documented in Chandler Burr’s book “The Perfect Scent”. Sarah Jessica was involved in every stage, far more than many celebrity rubber stamp sign offs.

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To me, her new scent, Stash SJP, is more reminiscent of her earlier experimentations prior to Lovely. SJP used to mix three fragrances to get a scent she loved and Stash resembles that scent more than Lovely. The three were: Bonne Bell Musk, Comme Des Garcons Incense Series Avignon and  an Egyptian scented oil that she bought from a street vendor. When I tried Stash SJP, I felt like I had an idea of what this previous mash up might have smelled like. The word I’m looking for is glorious.

Stash SJP opens with a masculine swagger of black pepper and grapefruit. Somehow I also got juicy figgy fruit which segued into dark, incense infused woods. Like Avignon, this reminds me of the smell of oak pews in an ancient church. The woody accord comes from massoia woods, vetiver and cedar. The frankincense infuses it with spices. Sage and vetiver add a herby, dried grass flavour.  The overall finish is one of spiced woods, patchouli and a freshness from the grapefruit that keeps it sharp.

This could hardly be more different to its counterpart – it’s the bad sister to goody two shoes Lovely. I think it’s wonderful, although I could have sworn it was full of sandalwood. Stash reminds me of Hilary Duff With Love- now sadly discontinued. With Love is one of my favourite fragrances because of the wonderful dark guaiac woods in it.  Stash SJP has a similar feel, but if anything, is better.  It gives me all those dark woods and that old church aroma I’m always chasing,  along with some zingy citrus and spice to boot. The hashtag is #ComeandFindIt and find it you must, dear friends. This is too good to pass by. Stash SJP has the potential to become a classic. I’ll be getting a full bottle for sure.

Stockists

Currently, this can only be found in selected branches of Superdrug and Boots. Prices start at £28 for 30ml. Rumour has it that an oil version is coming later.

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JLo Glow: Off to a Great Start

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Jennifer Lopez was one of the first celebrities to launch her own signature fragrance line.  She follows early pioneers of Celeb scents Cher, Elizabeth Taylor and Antonio Banderas.  JLo Glow was launched back in 2002, and has broken records with its hugely successful sales figures. It is worth looking at an early celeb scent to see how and why things changed so much  from Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds and JLo Glow (both very good) to the fruity floribundances we have today.  (PS I just made up the word floribundances. You may use it. You’re welcome).

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Amazon.co.uk

Today in 2013, High Street perfume shops would look very meagre without the vast range of celeb scents padding out the shelves. It has become a phenomenon. I often tell people (and my Mum) it is worth remembering that all celeb scents are made by professional, experienced Noses, but are often at the cheaper end of the market. Keep looking past the tacky packaging (I’m looking at you Justin Bieber) and you stumble across a gem such as Jessica Simpson Fancy Nights or Hilary Duff With Love: both celeb scents that I consider excellent. The name means nothing to me, I just want to know if it smells good. And if it does, I’ll wear it. I don’t care whose name is on the bottle. My snobbery went out the window a while back when I spent 3.99 on 15ml of Duff’s With Love and I had an epiphany smelling the rich Tropical Guaic Wood . Not what I expected at all.

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Amazon.co.uk

I often think the celeb scent market is like a jumble sale. It may look unpromising, but if you keep trying, you may find treasure.

Right at the start, before the boom began, there was JLo with Glow. Still around now, and still a steady seller, I tried it recently and was very pleasantly surprised. It’s soapy and clean smelling, like freshly shampooed hair. It reminded me a little of Cacharel Noa, only without the bloom’n’fade coffee bean opening.

The soapiness is not aldehydic, like say, First by Van Cleef and Arpels which stands a league above, but it is more Herbal Essences.  If you, like me, buy your shampoo based on whether you like the smell, then you may like this clean hair scent with light flower petals, light grapefruit, and gentle White Musk.

After the soap faded into an innocent gentility, there was some definite Tuberose action going on, which lasted until the very end. Longevity was excellent in fact.  I tried two sprays of Glow at 9.15am and at 6pm it was still close to skin. Not bad at all for a good value scent.  I had a slight issue with the fact that the very last hours of the basenotes were a bit synthetic, but the good points outweigh the bad by a long chalk.

Adding to the bonhomie I am feeling towards this gem is the rumour that JLo is very involved in her scents, and they are much more than a sign off to her.  I am already a fan of JLo Deseo, and now I am a fan of Glow too.

Jessica Simpson Fancy Nights: Papyrus and Patchouli and Other Non Sequitirs

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 I was dead against trying this, having read Luca Turin’s review of “Fancy”, (he labels it apple pie) and believing it to be in the same vein. It very much is not. What persuaded me to buy’n’try Fancy Nights was an amusing and charming review by Katrina of Australian Perfume Junkies who described an evening wearing this scent. On asking her husband what he thought of her fragrance, he mistakenly thought the smell was the taxi they were in. A celeb scent that smells like a new taxi? I’m there! Where do I sign up?

Some further praise from Katrina led me to believe this could be another celebuscent surprise, much in the vein of Hilary Duff With Love: a wonderfully maverick non fruity floral, that frankly, has balls.

The second thing that made me buy this was the ridiculously cheap price of£14.95 on Amazon.co.uk.

Today my bottle of Fancy Nights arrived. With it’s dark green glass and faux gilt lid, it’s Arabian Nights Vegas Style. The smell is great. Not a blueberry in sight. Not so much as a whiff of candy floss. This is grown up and not all that commercial, and thank Goodness for that! (We have Steve Demercado, the creator, to thank for this refreshing restraint).

The top note is Papyrus, possibly where the “new cab” smell comes from. I have never come across Papyrus in a scent before and I can tell you that there is a definite “new office” or “modern bookshop” whiff about it. For someone who loves the smell of fresh paint and new carpet, this was somewhat of a kinky find.

The drydown kicks in with milky Patchouli and Sandalwood, leaving a dusty and milky spice trail. I didn’t quite get the Jasmine and Rose notes that this supposedly has, but the hint of Bergamot was there, and rather nice in among the Amber and Sandalwood.

All in all, this is new books, a bit of patchouli and a kind of milky, quiet spice.

The blonde, ditsy, sexy starlet did well. I am reminded of a quote from Dolly Parton: “I don’t mind when people call me a dumb blonde, because I know I know I’m not dumb, and I also know I’m not blonde”

Fancy Nights joins With Love in my Inexpensive Celebrity Scent “Hidden Gem” Hall of Fame.

PS If you like Prada Amber, then this is exceedingly similar, but you didn’t hear that from me.  I wasn’t here, OK?

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Accessorize “Spirit”: All mouth and no trousers

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After the so-good-I-nearly-fainted quality of the recent fragrances on this blog, We are back in the High Street and saving money. Or not, in the case of Accessorize Spirit.

Let’s talk money. I believe that its possible to smell good without going for broke. A perfume habit doesn’t have to break the bank. Not only are there some good budget fragrances out there, but you can always swap with friends, buy used scents on eBay (I have done this many times myself), or order decants of expensive scents (i.e a 1 or 2ml sample) for a few pounds. You could also boldly approach your local beauty counter and ask for a sample of whatever you are interested in. NB- it has helped me in the past to name a precise sample I want, rather than ask for anything they’ve got going.

So let’s look at my latest mistake. Accessorize, like the world and his dog, has branched out into the fragrance market and until now I hadn’t seen anything I’d wanted.  However, in the bargain bucket of my local Perfume Shop, there was a bottle of Accessorize Spirit for 6.99. Having been pleasantly surprised in the past by bargain perfumes (Jovan Musk, Grès Cabotine, and Hilary Duff With Love), I got all excited and couldn’t wait to get it home.

The box is beautiful. It has a little pull off lid with a pink ribbon through it and a glossy hot pink Union Jack flower design on it. It feels solid and expensive. All the signs were looking good. But Oh! *sags in disappointment*. A faint and cheap fruity smell came out of the pretty frosted glass bottle. “Let’s see how it it settles”, I thought. Top notes are raspberry, mandarin and grapefruit.  I checked back twenty minutes later and pouf! There it was, gone.  I had to smell my wrist to see if I had actually applied it as there was literally no trace at all. Not so much as a raspberry.

Now maybe Accessorize know that they have created a wishy washy turkey of a scent, because on the box it encourages you to layer the fragrance with other Accessorize perfumes. Maybe they are not meant to stand alone. If so, then it’s a poor show. You can’t sell a perfume in single layers. This is faint and flighty, and I don’t feel that I should need to buy another couple of bottles to make a poor quality scent work better.

A poor show, Accessorize, a poor show. Top marks for the Packaging though.

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