Tag Archives: hygge

Library of Fragrance Chai Tea: Snug as a bug in a rug

chaicat

Have you ever heard the saying “snug as a bug in a rug”? My parents used to say it when I was growing up and I wondered if it was just me. The phrase seems very fitting for today’s blog post.

There I was, sipping my tea and wondering what to blog about on International Tea Day, when the penny dropped. I realised that our friends at The Library of Fragrance really, actually DO have a scent for every occasion. They very kindly sent me  a bottle of Chai Tea  last week and  reader, I can report that it is rather lovely.

chai

Suitable for men or women, and equally good on both, Library of Fragrance Chai Tea combines the seemingly incongruous mix of spices and milk.  Despite the strength and variety of the spices, this never borders on the Oriental, despite the presence of cloves, cinamon, star anise,  and even paprika.  It’s more of a gourmand scent than anything, but stops short of being too sweet or  cakey.

 

What I like best about this is that the aromatic qualities of cloves,  cardoman and ginger are all present and correct but they somehow add an airy green tea feel.  Think inviting spa treatment rooms rather than the spice rack in your kitchen.

chai-tea-images-ingredients

This is a lightly aromatic scent that never borders on the heavy.  It smells therapeutic and uplifting, whilst retaining that hint of cosy at the same time.  This fragrance is perfect hygge material.  Whack the  heating to “Code Sauna”  aaaand  Netflix and Chill. No need to go out.  You’re hibernating now.

Stockists

You can buy Library of Fragrance Chai Tea from the Library of Fragrance website.  Branches of Boots also carry a varied selection of Library of Fragrance scents.

Acknowledgements

Photo of my bottle of Chai Tea is my own, taken next to my favourite mug ( it really looks like my cat, Ian). Photo of Chai Tea ingredients from Houseboateats.com. My bottle was kindly sent to me by the Library of Fragrance PR team, for which, warm thanks. Opinions are my own.

The Smell of Christmas: Library of Fragrance Blue Spruce and Log Cabin

blue-spruce

I once said that I wish Library of Fragrance would do a perfume that smelled like a 1970s Christmas Tree. The trees of my childhood smelled so terrific that the smell of pine has encapsulated Christmas for me ever since. Here’s a sad fact: I even buy pine toilet cleaner because it reminds me of Christmas. THAT’S how much I like the smell of Christmas trees.

Being a hoover dodger with three cats and two children, we have a fake plastic tree  (So Radiohead!), but I yearn for the smell that used to greet me when I sneaked down in the mornings in the early seventies to open the advent calendar every third day (I had to share with two siblings).

Library of Fragrance Blue Spruce brought back that feeling of excitement as the beautiful scent of pine filled the room. It’s not green and sharp, though: there’s muted waxiness to it, like candles. Don’t be put off by this- it’s a kind of softness. Pine can smell bitter but there’s no danger of that here. It’s as if the pine has been muffled by snow. There’s an ozonic, fresh air sort of note going on in the background which gives you the best of both worlds. You’ve got outdoorsy and cosy all in one. The best thing is, you don’t have to leave log-cabinthe cocoon of your central heating (set to Level Sauna) to experience this exhilarating scent. I have sprayed it liberally on myself and also, on my fake tree. I was trying to recapture something and this was like Christmas nostalgia in a bottle.

This goes very well indeed with Library of Fragrance Log Cabin. I pulled a face when I first smelled Log Cabin, but then the next day I walked past a timber yard and thought “Yes! That’s it exactly!” Log Cabin doesn’t smell like a wood fire or like egg nog, it actually smells like the timber the cabin is built with. If you like sharp cedar that borders on the herbal (think clary sage) then you need Log Cabin in your life.  Spray it over Blue Spruce and you are in an olfactory ski lodge. Gorgeous.

Stockists

christmas-cakeLibrary of Fragrance Log Cabin and Library of Fragrance Blue Spruce are both available from the Library of Fragrance website. Prices are £15 for 30ml but check out the special offers and the cute purse sprays which are even less! You can also find a selection of Library of Fragrance scents in branches of Boots. My bottles were very kindly supplied by the Library of Fragrance but opinions are all my own.

Library of Fragrance Cupcake: I Can Resist Everything Except Temptation

cakepic2

 

Those nice people at Library of Fragrance recently sent me a selection of their cosiest scents. By cosy, I mean the smells you associate with staying in, wearing fluffy socks, and whacking the heating up to “sauna”.  It’s my absolute favourite thing to do in this weather: staying in and being boring. I love it.

hyggeThe Danish have a word for that cosy feeling of well being you get when all is well in the world and you’re snug as a bug in a rug: Hygge ( pronounced Hoo-GUH). With this in mind, Library of Fragrance has created a range of scents that make perfect Hygge perfume. Cupcake is just one and I shall be reviewing others in the run up to Christmas.

So what does it smell like? Well it’s funny really, because I spent all day making cupcakes yesterday for a guest who didn’t show up (I know, right?) After a day of baking and spooning up butter icing, I sprayed this on my children and asked them what it reminded them of. I love doing this- the results vary from the hilarious to the surreal via the strangely accurate.  One  had no idea whatsoever because his brain was full of Hype T shirts he “needs” and the other one said “biscuits” which was pretty close.

cakesign

Library of Fragrance Cupcake doesn’t smell of vanilla cake batter, because they already have one for that, and it does not smell of vanilla ice cream, because they already have one for that too. No, my friends, Library of Fragrance Cupcake actually smells of the crisp, light golden baked top of a cupcake when it’s been cooked somewhere between squishy and crunchy. You know the edges that are almost brown but not quite? It’s like that. In fact, freshly baked crispy biscuits was a pretty close guess. This is a dry, baked scent and very evocative it is too ( I know because I ate the trimmings round the edges yesterday).

cakepic3

There’s vanilla in here, which is just the right amount, and that’s what makes this cosy. It’s also handy if you’ve no time to cook and want your supermarket cupcakes to smell shop bought- I shall be employing this trick next time our No-Show guest arranges a visit.

Vanilla is ideal for winter and I decided to experiment with layering Cupcake over other Library of Fragrance scents. I can report that it is so delicious when coupled with Library of Fragrance Nutmeg Ice Cream that  you will want to eat your own arm. I can think of no greater praise!

Stockists

Library of Fragrance fragrances are available from the Library of Fragrance website. You will also find purse sprays and extra large bottles and very often, fabulous sale items at under £10. You can also find a selection of Library of Fragrance scent on the High Street exclusively at Boots. My bottle was provided by Library of Fragrance in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own.

Follow

Photo credits

All photos are my own  from my kitchen yesterday ( even the tea and cake sign) except for the Hygge definition which comes from www.musefondue.blogspot.co.uk

Amber Tapestry by Mandy Aftel for Aftelier Perfumes (2016)

klimt

I was delighted to receive a little parcel via Fed Ex all the way from Berkeley California recently. It was from master perfumer Mandy Aftel and was wrapped like a piece of precious treasure. Mandy is a fragrant and flavourist expert who has the worldwide respect of customers and peers alike.

ambertap

I received my sample spray phial of Amber Tapestry last week and I have been taking my time in getting to know it before reviewing it. After all, Mandy didn’t rush making it, so I owe it such courtesy in return.

Amber Tapestry is suitably named. Each component makes up the overall picture with splashes of colour and vibrancy that make this scent a constant unfolding  enigma.

The heliotrope, which my nose mistook for lilac, speaks of springtime optimism. There was a note of pollen in there too, that reminded me of the dust you get on your nose when you sniff a daffodil (I should know, it’s the National Flower of Wales).  The orange and the jasmine together give this a creamy and alluring opening act.  The combination of the two makes for a sort of exaggerated orange blossom.amber2

The middle phase is where this gets more tapestry like. The resin-y incense tones of benzoin  (often used in cough mixture) seem to add a faded grandeur to the big white flowers that start so brightly. The heady white blooms are toned down by the warmth of golden amber as the base notes cast a sunset over this evocative scent. There is a subtle touch of animal in the finale, but rather than being a body odour  animalic, its more of an intimate back-of-the-neck scent- if you’re familiar with my review of Aftelier Memento Mori, you’ll know the honeyed skin scent I mean.

Each note is interwoven to give an overall accord of a resinous, leathery vanilla. It was a real grower on me. The longer I have worn it, the more I like it

Amber Tapestry is a scent for all seasons. From Spring to Autumn in one fell swoop, the floral optimism of its opening gives way to a cosy richness that ends with the feeling of being hugged by an amber blanket of warmth.

Mandy uses natural ingredients and to my nose, these have an authenticity that makes for a deep and rich olfactory experience. It is my ambition to visit her perfume museum in Berkeley one day. Like Aftelier fragrances, I just know it will be unforgettable.

Stockists

All Aftelier Scents are available from the Aftelier website.

Acknowledgments:

Top photo of Klimt painting from usdo.us. Photo of sample is my own. Illustration from Aftelier.com. sample provided by Mandy Aftel with my warm thanks. Opinions are my own.

Library of Fragrance Fireplace:  The Last Word in Winter Warmers

www.boots.com

 

Now that we’re properly cold and wearing woollies it’s time to bring the rabbit out of the hat.  If there is a cosier, warmer smelling scent than Library of Fragrance Fireplace I have yet to come across it.

Somehow the exact smoky dustiness of a real log fire has been captured in a scent. If I’m not mistaken, something extra has been added too:  not quite spice, but more of a peppery note.  I name it old wood beams in a rustic farmhouse as the wind whips the windows outside.

Fireplace is a delightful wintry fragrance that is equally good on women or men. In fact, this would smell amazing on a man wearing a warm jumper as if to say “I am all capable and manly and have big strong arms”.

www.3planesoft.com

I have mentioned Fireplace briefly before in my review of Library of Fragrance Gingerbread, and I will reiterate here how well Gingerbread and Fireplace go together.  These two were simply made to be worn on freezing November evenings.  Longevity is pretty good too at around five hours. To make it last even longer, spray your hair and clothes as these will keep the scent longer than skin. This is especially good on scarves.

Play Bing Crosby and pour yourself a sherry.

Stockists:  Library of Fragrance is available from the Library of Fragrance website or Boots in the UK, online or in store.  Prices are £15 for one or £25 for two (one for you, one for Christmas presents). Photo by www.3planesoft.com