Tag Archives: Library of Fragrance

The IScents 2016: My Awards to The Very Best of Scent

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Check me out! I’ve been experimenting with editing sites. The world is my lobster.   Watch this space for disastrous pixellated pics and clumsy graphics until I get the hang of stuff. I’ll soon be running with the pack.

samnose16Well, dear readers, it’s time for me to sum up a busy fragranced year and award  plaudits to my favourites from 2016. These are purely based on my opinion, which is therefore The Law.

Not all of these are actually 2016 launches: some have just impressed me so much after four years of blogging that I have declared that they deserve accolades.  Now,  we’d’d best get on before all this power goes to my head and I start doing villain’s laughter.

 The IScent Award for Best Longevity

This has to be a three way tie between

  • 4160 Tuesdays Midnight in the Palace Garden
  • Andy Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange
  • Papillon Perfumes Tobacco Rose

Here’s why:

midnightI sprayed 4160 Tuesdays Midnight in The Palace Garden into thin air yesterday and 24 hours later it is still there. This is despite eating a roast dinner in the same room and trying on various perfumes throughout the day.  It smells like I have been burning very expensive incense among church pews and I love it.

carillonpicI sprayed two sprays of Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange on my neck three days ago. Since then I have had three showers and changed my bedding. This morning when I woke up, I could still smell lily of the valley. This is a bottle I purchased in May 2015 and it has barely gone down.  I think a genie keeps refilling it.

tobacco roseMade by the delightful Liz Moores in her compound in the New Forest, Papillon Perfumes Tobacco Rose lasted over fifteen hours on me. Rich, woody roses that just stay put. I could bask in it. Two sprays and you’re wrapped in spiced, woody roses until bedtime.

So all three of these niche brands get the Iscent 2016 Award for Longevity. Isn’t it interesting how they are all niche and not mainstream?  Just sayin’

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Best Summer Perfume – Art de Parfum Gin &Tonic

Gin &Tonic by Art de Parfum stopped me in my tracks with  its new take on Gin &Tonic. So much more than just refreshing juniper, I wore this until my sample ran out and had compliments every time.  A full bottle is in my sights in 2017. Check out my reviews on the rest of the range here.

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Most Original Launch –REEK perfume Damn Rebel Bitches

reek-perfume-bottle-campaign-dirtyhands-orange-uai-720x900This has to go to Reek Perfume for Damn Rebel Bitches. It’s  a scent that smacks of rebellion. Rustic touches speak of the heritage of the strong women it pays tribute to.  With notes of malt, blood orange and herbs, you won’t be surprised to learn that Sarah McCartney was the nose behind the scent Her fingerprints are all over it! (NB That is not her hand in the illustration).

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Best Celebrity Launch-Sarah Jessica Parker Stash SJPstash-ad

This one was easy. It goes to Sarah Jessica Parker Stash SJP. Breaking the mould of the usual celeb fare, SJP goes down the niche-style route of a churchy sandalwood incense unisex scent with not a hint of fruity floral fruitichouli in sight. It’s superb quality and I hope it will set the tone for other innovative celeb launches.

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Best Flanker-Chanel No 5 L’Eau

lilyrose-iamgesIt’s got to be Chanel no 5 L’Eau. Not a diluted version of the original, but a twiddling of the tuning knobs to bring out the lighter and muffle the darker.  It’s divine and light and deserves classic status already.   Oh, and lightness doesn’t mean a lack of longevity either: this really sticks around. Full marks to the beautifully simple marketing campaign showcasing the lovely Lily-Rose Depp.

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Biggest Disappointments-Modern Muse Nuit, Dior Poison Girl and YSL Mon Paris.

1200_x_500pix_modern_muse_nuit_visual_1poison girlAnother three-way tie. I simply couldn’t choose! Here are the turkeys, the raspberries, the No-Nos. I don’t want to be mean but I’m going to mon parisbe  anyway.   Dior Poison Girl, Estee Lauder Modern Muse Nuit and YSL Mon Paris left me wishing I’d never even taken the lid off.  The prices are steep for what they are and the money seems to be going on the marketing rather than the ingredients (what’s new?)  Least said soonest mended.  Moving on!

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Best Winter Fragrance- Le Jardin Retrouvé Sandalwood Sacre

jr-sandalwoodThis one has to go to Le Jardin Retrouvé.  When I smelled Sandalwood Sacre for the first time, it was like cupid had shot me with an arrow. I simply had to own a bottle and now I do.   You can read my review here.  Don’t just keep it for winter though. I’m not.

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Best Gourmand: Library of Fragrance Chai Tea and Library of Fragrance Tomato

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Trust Library of Fragrance to come up with the goods once again. This was a tie between Chai Tea and Tomato. I am sure they won’t mind sharing the award with um…themselves.

Chai Tea combines Tomato-LOF-Hero.jpg_1024x1024lightness and spice to bring a new angle on the word “cosy.” if you don’t like your gourmands too sweet ( like me) then Chai Tea will win you over. Meanwhile, back in our very  short summer of 2016, (it was a Tuesday afternoon as I recall) Library of Fragrance Tomato took me back to my grandfather’s greenhouse in the 70s faster than a Tardis.  As fresh as a new bud and with accents of verbena, Tomato became one of my very favourite warm weather scents.

Best Chypre: DSH Mata Hari

Mata HariOver the ocean in Boulder Colorado, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz brews and macerates her beautiful perfumes with skill and passion. I was floored by DSH Mata Hari  Extrait and  in a blind test I would have  thought it a priceless original 1920s vintage. It made me  want to wear long gloves and arch one eyebrow at people.  Glorious! You can read my DSH reviews here.

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Best New Scent 2016: Beaufort London Fathom V

beaufort-london_fathom_1-septBeaufort London Fathom V turned an unassuming day into a vivid montage of sea faring adventure. It transported me to the slimy flanks of a London ship and the distant calls of pirates in one sniff. This stuff is like letting a genie out of a bottle. It’s green times a thousand, with sea notes that you can almost hear. It’s the  best sea scent ever, and I can’t see that anything will make me change my mind about that. You can read my love letter to Fathom V here.

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Best Natural Fragrance 2016:  Mandy Aftel – Aftelier Amber Tapestry

Mandy Aftel, from www.aftelier.com
Mandy Aftel, from www.aftelier.com

Using only natural ingredients ( and that takes some doing!) Mandy’s instinctive connection to nature  transports you to another place, via taste and even flavour. Amber Tapestry unfurls, layer by layer, enveloping the wearer in  the kind of warmth that has a uniquely human touch.  You can read my review here.

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The IScent Fellowship Award: The Perfume Society

eauxlalashopaw-1I’ve invented a Fellowship Award because The Perfume Society defies other categopries.  Not only do they provide white boxes of treasure that even the most jaded perfume palate would salivate at, but they’re a sort of Mothership that  we can all turn to when we get a bit lost in the  murky depths of fruity-florals-chypres-colognes-my-nose-is-confused-help!  Ever had a day like that? I have.  The Perfume Society Scented Letter magazine also makes me settle down with a contented sigh and think “I’ve found my tribe” as I read what other perfume obsessives are up to.  Fumeheads, you are not alone.

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you and goodnight.

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

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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.

Buying Perfume for Tweens and Teens

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Young folk of today are getting older much faster than we fortysomethings ever did back in the 70s.  At the age of eleven, I was curious_britney_competitionstill playing with Sindy dolls. Eleven year olds today have their own phones and Snapchat accounts. I have a ten year old son so chanceI see children of his age group regularly and as a general rule, they are a lovely bunch of interesting people with the world at their feet.  But my Goodness, have you seen their Christmas lists? I used to be  happy with new felt pens and some bubble bath! ( still am).

Teens and Tweens today are influenced by the media more than any other generation that has ever lived and this has given them a penchant for labels, names and fitting in. So how do you please the hard-to-please? Well, as sensible adults the last thing we want is for our youngsters to smell provocative. We’re not looking for sexy. That is completely off the menu here. In general, you’ll be looking at gourmands and fruity florals or florals, and side stepping anything with civet or big patchouli notes.  I wouldn’t start with Angel or Coco Mademoiselle, for example.

With that in mind, I have compiled  a little list of what I consider to be suitable fragrance gifts for the teen or tween in your life. I’ve tried not to give any ideas that are “square” or “uncool” so you should be all right. I’ve also kept it fairly reasonable in price, with just a couple of higher prices ideas for your little diva or divo.

Celebrity Perfumes

incredible taylorI’m no snob- I’ll wear anything- and my proclamation about celeb scents goes something like this

“all celebrity scents are made by professional perfumers from respected houses and fragrance companies. Most celebrity scents are cheaper than other scents by big brand names. Ergo- celebrity scents are A Good Thing. Here endeth the lesson.” For the youngster, I recommend JLo Glow ( a clean hair scent) or Britney Spears Curious. It was Britney’s first and its  a light, non-sexy fruity floral that pleases onedpostereven my fussy nose. Also in the running is Taylor Swift Incredible Things with its interesting suede notes.  I also recommend the One Direction scents, if only for the packaging. One Direction That Moment has been reviewed here and is an inoffensive fruity floral. My son seems happy with David Beckham and I have to say I have yet to find any of them unpleasant or too overly sexy. They seem to be generic, but that’s not a bad start for a ten year old setting out on a lifelong scent journey. Try David Beckham Classic Blue for a light sport scent.

Avon

Have you guessed I’m a fan yet? The nice thing about Avon is that they are affordable and they launch new scent to fit in withcherish the moment fast moving market demands. Avon Cherish and Cherish The Moment are ideal for young scent wearers. Cherish is similar to Lancome La Vie est Belle with a strong caramel note over the florals. Cherish The Moment is even sweeter!  Both can be obtained from Avon UK for around £12.

Marks and Spencer

butteflyMarks and Spencer does a great job of producing affordable perfumes in crowd pleasing varieties that are packaged in very attractive bottles.  One of the most appealing to the age group we’re looking at today is Marks and Spencer Butterfly. With calone notes of melon and cucumber, this gives the pricier DKNY Be Delicious a run for its money. The bottle reminds me of the Marc Jacobs bottles which, I understand, are much coveted by this age group! Which brings me nicely to…

The High Street Beauty Counters

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If you’re looking for something special, then Marc Jacobs has the bottle you want. If I were you, I’d keep Decadence and its rich sexiness for yourself and go instead for the delightful Marc Jacobs Daisy, Daisy Eau so Fraiche or Daisy Dream ( see photo- right). All are light florals that pass the office/school test by not being too in-yer-face or come-hither. Stella McCartney is another good bet. Cool enough to please even the most bored looking teen, yet good perfume that varies from the deliciously airy floral of STELLA to the tuberose/sandalwood of Stella McCartney POP.

If money is no object, or you’re buying for a tween with expensive taste ( so that’s championquite a few of them from where I’m standing), then Chanel Chance makes a delightfully airy introduction to Chanel and the good stuff in general

For boys (and whilst I reject gender stereotypes, my boy does not, sadly), you can’t go wrong with Tommy Hilfiger or Calvin Klein Eternity For Him. I would avoid Paco Rabanne One Million at this age because it will floor any asthmatic within a fifty foot radius. Waaay too strong. I recently bought Davidoff Champion for my nephew and was very impressed with its light green freshness. Davidoff Cool Water is another scent cool enough to please them and cheap enough to buy. A light, ozonic classic, this can be had for well under £15.

Library of Fragrance

Library of Fragrance is a great starting point that will help your budding perfumista get used to different notes and layering scent. They can lof crowd shotexperiment with several bottles without breaking the bank. I especially like Moonbeam, Mango, and Vanilla Ice Cream, but the world is your lobster! Library of Fragrance is the perfect way to begin a fragrance wardrobe. The website is here and you can usually find special offers and wonderful exclusive colognes.

For Under Tens, Go Contintental

yvesrocherPerfume for “les enfants” is more usual among our European friends. One of my favourite French brands, Yves Rocher, does a range of beautifully simple and wholesome scents for children that find their inspiration from innocent facts of nature. For the younger child asking for perfume, you can buy Peach, Strawberry or blackberry in a little vapo spray for just a few pounds.  Personally, I think children smell lovely as they are, but if  young people really want perfume, then peaches and blackberries play it safe and sweet.

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Library of Fragrance Cupcake: I Can Resist Everything Except Temptation

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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).

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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.

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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

Library of Fragrance Pumpkin Pie: Not Just For Halloween

pumpkin-pie-30_grandeIt’s Halloween and I’m up to my elbows in dismembered jelly fingers for trick or treaters. So what does a perfume lover wear on such a day? Well, if you ask me, there’s one go-to brand that really does have a scent for every occasion and Halloween is no exception. It has to be the wonderful Library of Fragrance Pumpkin Pie.

Now despite the playful image, Library of Fragrance scents are taken very seriously indeed by me. I have yet to come across one that was poor or that didn’t do what it says on the tin (or bottle). My earlier review of Library of Fragrance Play Doh compared it to Dior Hypnotic Poison and I make no apologies for it. Pumpkin Pie is of a similar calibre and after today I won’t just be saving it for Halloween.

dentynePumpkin Pie opens with clove and cinnamon. I was wearing it today and as my skin warmed it up, I was wondering what it was that I was reminded of. It was a happy childhood memory that I couldn’t place…and then it came to me- Dentyne chewing gum in cinnamon flavour! I apologise if I’m not making this sound attractive. It may have reminded me of this gum, but with the addition of spicy clove and warm, toasty vanilla, this also evokes a kitchen flooded with the aroma of home baking. It has some similarities with Library of Fragrance Gingerbread, and shares the same cosy warmth.  The cinnamon and clove join forces with a wonderfully rich vanilla and they all hold hands to give a familiar and comforting pumpkin spice accord. It gets very addictive and you may want to wear it long after Halloween has been and gone.

What I like about Pumpkin Pie is that the vanilla is rich and buttery without being sweet or cheap smelling. This is a proper rsz_pumpkinfreshly baked slice of something Nanna just made. The Pumpkin Spice accord is huge in the states, especially pre Thanksgiving time,  and it’s catching on over here. I’m glad about this because I love a bit of spice and I love a good cosy scent around this time of year.

When I’m wearing my witches’ hat later and traipsing about in the cold, I can at least be sure that I will smell far less threatening than the very fierce six year old vampire who will be next to me.

Happy Halloween!

Stockists

You can buy Library of Fragrance Pumpkin Pie from The Library of Fragrance website. Branches of Boots also carry a selection of Library of Fragrance scents.

With thanks to Vanessa Musson of the wonderful Bonkers About Perfume blog for my bottle. It was a very kind gift gratefully received.

 

Library of Fragrance Wimbledon Giveaway: The Winners Are…..

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Big thanks to all of you who entered my Wimbledon giveaway. Big thanks also to the Library of Fragrance for providing these bottles.  I have drawn the winners via Random.org and they are as follows:

Grass Court: Pippa Holdcroft

Strawberries & Cream: Gail

New Balls: Jazzypom

If you are a winner this time, can you please email your address to iscentyouaday@gmail.com?  Many thanks.

Congratulations to those who won and warm thanks to all entrants.  Your prizes should be with you by the end of this week. If you didn’t win, pop over to the Library of Fragrance website and have a browse. Grass Court is currently on sale at half price- it’s just £7.50. They also have purse sprays for just £10 and some scents now come in mega bottles of 120ml!

Watch this space for a another giveaway very soon PLUS a discount code exclusive to IScentYouADay. It’s my first ever discount code and I feel very important. Let’s just say if you like The Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Boxes, then you might be interested…

Library of Fragrance Wimbledon giveaway!

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They came, they played, they conquered. It’s all over bar the tidying up. Andy Murray took the Wimbledon Title for the second time today and made the country proud.  Congratulations Andy! and well done to everyone who made it as far as Wimbledon The_Library_of_Fragrance_New_Balls_30ml_grande (1)even if you just ended up with sore muscles and a cup of barley water.

It may come as no surprise to you that I’m doing a fabulous Wimbledon themed perfume giveaway. Those nice people at Library of Fragrance recently sent me a selection of fragrances: Strawberries & Cream, Grass Court and the quirky New Balls. You can read my verdict on them all here in this review.

How to EnterThe_Library_of_Fragrance_Strawberries_and_Cream_30ml_grande

So now we just have to talk about the science bit. Simply  tell me which one you would like to win. PleaseThe_Library_of_Fragrance_Grass_Court_30ml_grande comment below, or on the Facebook Page or on Twitter (@iscentyouaday). The closing date is midnight on the 15th July GMT. Please note that this giveaway is only available to UK entrants due to postal regulations. I do apologise to my treasured overseas readers for this unavoidable inconvenience.

Good luck and have fun!

 

Acknowledgements: Top photo from BBC UK, Photos of bottles from Library of Fragrance. With warm thanks to the Library of Fragrance team for kindly providing the prizes.

Library of Fragrance Does Wimbledon: New Balls, Strawberries & Cream and Grass Court

 

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Library of Fragrance really do have a scent for every occasion. Yes, even Wimbledon. Those nice people at Library of Fragrance kindly sent me a trio of Wimbledon themed scents to see what I thought of them. I’m not easily bribed unless it’s Scottish Butter Tablet*, so opinions really are my own.

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Strawberries and Cream

What could be more English, more Wimbledon-y than strawberries and Cream? Well yes, umbrellas, but apart from that, strawberries and cream are so much a part of Wimbledon that everyone takes extra strawberry money with them, even if they don’t like strawberries. Library of Fragrance Strawberries and Cream smells utterly delicious. It’s not sticky, like some overly fruity scents, it’s more aromatic and retro, with that lovely scent of a fresh strawberry, clear as day.  It then goes into a slight waxiness, like expensive candles, which I rather liked. The cream note tones down the sweetness of the strawberries and stops them getting above themselves.

Now here’s an interesting experiment that I did with my sons, age 6 and 9. In a blind test, they said this smells like “candy floss,””marshmallows” and “sweets”. It does, but if you, like me, step away from candy fragrances, then give this one a try.  I too am a candy dodger, but I loved this one.

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Grass Court

Fans of Library of Fragrance Grass will find much to like here. Whereas Grass smells sweeter, like a green meadow, Grass Court is a little sharper and greener,  more like cut grass.  There’s a sharp, almost citrussy note at the heart of this, that keeps it fresh and cologne-like. It’s perfect for a hot summer day. If you like green scents, you’d be hard pushed to find greener than this.

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New Balls

You didn’t misread me. That’s right, there’s a fragrance called New Balls. You see, this is what I like about Library of Fragrance. Fragrance isn’t always about what you want to smell like. Often it’s about what you want to smell. Fourteen year old blogger Catherine Talbot wanted to smell the scent of a newly opened tube of tennis balls, and her wish was granted. Never afraid of a bit of “quirk” (This is the company who make Pizza and Play Doh scent, remember), Library of Fragrance duly produced New Balls.

As you would imagine, there is rubber, but to my nose there is also honey. It smells a bit like a pillow that has dried saliva on it. This is not necessarily a horrible smell. My sons’s pillows get sniffed by me when they are not around and I rather like it. It reminds me of babies’ cheeks. So make of that what you will: rubber, honey and babies cheeks.

 

*Scottish Butter Tablet would make a nice fragrance. Just sayin’ (hint, hint)

Stockists

You can buy all of these from the Library of Fragrance website for just £15 each. You may find a varied selection in Boots as well.

Photo Credits

Top photo: Library of Fragrance, strawberry photo: Ralph Lauren,  Grass court photo: borongaja.com, New balls photo: zimbio.com

 

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