Tag Archives: light floral perfume

Avon Viva La Vita: Viva La Spring!

viva la vita

Avon Viva La Vita is a fresh fruity floral that has enough sharpness to take you into Spring without being cloying or sweet.

viva-la-vita-parfum-2-300x131The most noticeable notes are apple and grapefruit, both of which smell fresh as a spring morning with just enough zing to get you going in the morning.

The middle phase is all about the roses and magnolia, adding a feminine touch to the fruity opening.  I couldn’t find the mimosa, but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment.

The base is sandalwood and cashmere, although both were indistinct. I prefer the uplifting fruity top notes and the floral middle phase  to the base, which I found hard to discern,

Viva La Vita smells impossibly girly and pretty and I would consider getting a full bottle. I’m craving light feminine florals as winter begins to outstay its welcome.  avon femmeOver on Fragrantica,  some readers are jadorecomparing this to Dior J’Adore, but others claim it is a generic Avon scent that smells like the existing Avon Femme and Avon Dreams. I can’t remember what those two smell like, but I do have some Avon purse sprays arriving next week so maybe I can check it out then.

Stockists

Avon Viva La Vita is due for release this month, so I can’t tell you the price yet.  Check out Avon UK for news. I’m guessing it’ll be pretty good value though. I tested the EDP sample, which I paid for (75p!). Opinions are my own.

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Yardley London: English Bluebell

bluebellyardley

I’ve always been a fan of Yardley and I will correct anyone who says “old lady” in the same sentence.  Yardley gave us the beautiful 60s style chypre that is Jade, and my favourite violet scent: Yardley April Violets. In fact, one of the reasons I love Yardley so much is that they do floral soliflores and they are pretty hard to get these days. I am a particular sucker for lily of the valley and reckon it’s about time straight-up, no-messing florals came back into fashion. In my book, they never went out.

www.nhm.ac.uk
www.nhm.ac.uk

Today I am reviewing Yardley English Bluebell.  This is an interesting one because I am very familiar with the smell of bluebell and did not find it here, as such. However, this did not prevent me from liking it and this review is going to be a bit of a fan letter.

English Bluebell opens with peony and bergamot: two lighter than air notes that will perk you up like a spring morning. Peony is the pretty girl who always wear floaty pink tulle and it is used beautifully here. This is feminine right down to its pink ballet slippers. Whilst actual bluebell is absent, its close relative Hyacinth  amkes its presence felt (I’m trying to get Hyacinth Bouquet into a sentence. Patricia Routledge fans will understand). The hyacinth is present and correct and gives an almost herbal/floral nuance. It’s like a girlier, greener version of lavender. I discerned a hint of lily of the valley, but not as much as I would like.  There is allegedly peach in here somewhere, but peach dodgers will be relieved to hear that I could find none.

mooseyscountrygarden.com
mooseyscountrygarden.com

The base notes include amber, sandalwood, musk and vanilla. Don’t ask me why vanilla’s in there. It must have gone into the wrong meeting by mistake. Vanilla has no place in a pretty spring like floral. There is a soupcon of sandalwood in the base, which isn’t as incongruous as you might think, and the whole thing ends with a flourish of feminine white musk.

This a light and airy crowd pleaser that would pass the commuter test and the office test with flying colours.  It would also make a very good scent for a young girl starting out on a perfume journey. It’s not very bluebell-y, but it is a very pretty floral that will offend nobody and delight everyone.

Stockists

You can buy Yardley London English Bluebell from Boots. It’s not very expensive and comes in a very pretty box.  Mine was under ten quid. Opinions are my own.

 

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Elizabeth Arden Fifth Avenue: My Lofty Classic

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Elizabeth Arden fragrances,although  very reasonably priced, can be hit and miss:

Hits: Fifth Avenue, Untold, Green Tea and all its flankers, Sunflowers Summer Bloom, Blue Grass

Misses: Sunflowers, Red Door, Mediterranean, Splendor, True Love.

My lists are of course purely subjective, but I would add a great big thumbs up to Elizabeth Arden Fifth Avenue, which I am reviewing today. It deserves a place right at the helm of the Hit list. Fifth Avenue was created in 1996 by legendary nose Ann Gottlieb  and to me, it has stood the test of time where others have fallen.  With it’s light feminine florals and its warm amber base, I would go as far as to say it has a lot in common with Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps.

lazada.com.ph
lazada.com.ph

I mistakenly thought that Fifth Avenue was all about freesia, but in fact I find there is no freesia in it.  Instead, it is chock full of the most classic florals, namely rose, lily of the valley, jasmine, violet, iris, tuberose, lilac and carnation. If flowers had their own version of Who’s Who , all these would be in it. Rather than being cloying though, this floribunda of an accord is lightened with citruses in the opening gambit, bedding down to a floral base with hints of white musk and amber.  Unlike several other Elizabeth Arden scents, lasting power is pretty good.  I thought I’d lost it after an hour or two, but it wafted back to me in the evening when I let my hair down (in the literal sense, I didn’t go and party when the kids were in bed).

I like Fifth Avenue so much that I have a 125ml bottle on my dressing table and its sky scraper style bottle dwarfs my collection with its lofty glass column and its gold lid. I call this a classic, and I call it great value too.  It’s a pretty safe bet as a gift too- it’s sure to please anyone who likes floral scents without killing bystanders ( Hey, Angel, I’m talking to you!)

Stockists

Elizabeth Arden Fifth Avenue is currently available for a bargain price  at allbeauty.com and is widely available on your High Street or on Amazon UK.

STELLA Eau de Toilette by Stella McCartney

stella

I have heard several positive noises about Stella and was delighted to find the eau de toilette in this quarter’s Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Box, along with several other great samples that made my eyes light up. To recap- The Fragrance Shop has a Discovery Club whereby they send you a box of fragrances samples once a quarter for the princely sum of £5, plus money off coupons for any or all of the featured fragrances.  It’s a good way to avoid pricey blind buys and I have been a member since December 2013. You can join here.

The Fragrance Shop
The Fragrance Shop

Stella eau de toilette is a light airy floral with a manly clean cut edge, just like one of Stella’s beautifully cut trouser suits. The opening is all pretty peony and freesia, with a lightness of hand that makes me think of floaty chiffon and flower petals.  Then the slightly more butch amber emerges in the base notes, making this a floral that refuses to be taken at face value.

Stella is gloriously wearable, and as you would come to expect from a practising vegan, no animals were harmed in its making, not even a ladybird. What I particularly like about it is that it has no vanilla or syrupy sweetness- it is all about the flower.

www.etsy.com
www.etsy.com

Whilst Stella will suit all ages, it is an excellent choice if you are buying for a teenager.  Along with Chanel Chance Eau Tendre and Especially Escada Delicate Notes, Stella has that delicacy of touch and lightness of hand that makes this a perfect daytime scent, or even a bridal scent.  Nobody could possibly find Stella de trop, yet its subtlety is its strength.

Stockists Stella eau de toilette is widely available but since I got my sample from the Fragrance Shop (UK), I should probably give them a mention.  In the USA and Canada, you can get it from  Sears or Sephora to name but two.

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Dolce by Dolce and Gabbana

 

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The new launch  Dolce from  Dolce and Gabbana represents a welcome burst of floral Spring fragrances on the beauty counters. With its pale green juice and faux Ivory flower lid, I would happily award ten out of ten for packaging and presentation.

My initial feeling within the first few minutes of smelling this was that it was a little like Gucci Envy.  Sadly that phase only lasted a few minutes before it settled down into a fairly generic but agreeable floral.  At first I thought I could smell Vanilla in the drydown but in fact the sweetness comes from the flowers used: Amaryllis is a cross between rose and nectarine, and Papaya flower is sweet enough without having two sugars in its tea.

dolce advert

The notes, according to Fragrantica are :

Top notes: Neroli and Papaya Flower

Middle notes: Amaryllis, Narcissus and Water Lily,

Base notes: Musk and Woods.

The Neroli is certainly a dominant note, and this manages to be a very floral scent without troubling the White Flower genre, nor the Green notes genre, nor, (thankfully) the Vanilla Cupcake genre that seems to permeate everything.

It’s a hard one to categorise so I shall say it’s a pretty and light floral with a toned down yet noticeable sweetness. I didn’t really get Musk and Woods in the base though, more like Peach and Vanilla.  Longevity is decent: after five hours it’s very close to skin but still there, just about.

Out of many new releases tried lately, Dolce is one of the better ones, and worth a sniff if you’re passing by a counter.

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Jo Loves…A Shot of Fresh Sweet Peas

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Jo Loveis the range created by Jo Malone the person after retiring from Jo Malone the company in 2006.  It’s a small range and I have reviewed many, actually all, of her range previously in this blog.

Recently Jo Loves opened its first shop on Elizabeth Street in London’s poshest of posh parts, and as you can see from the photo, its looking god.

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Jo Loves has launched three new scents to coincide with the shop opening and I am lucky enough to be in receipt of some samples, albeit on sealed blotters. Humph. As a result I cannot tell you how it reacts on skin, but to be honest, I can only ever tell you how  a scent reacts on my skin. Yours may be a different story (see my review of Serge Noire!)

Today I shall be reviewing A Shot of Fresh Sweet Peas, but at some point I shall also review Muguet and Cedar and No 42 The Flowershop.

A Shot of Fresh Sweet Peas does smell of Fresh Sweet Peas, there’s no doubt about it, however, looking at the notes on Fragrantica, there is no Sweet Pea note listed.  There are Oranges, Pear, Rose, Marigold, Ylang and Cypress. When you combine these notes, you get a pretty good Sweet Pea representation, even without the Sweet Pea.

Fresh Sweet Peas is light and airy as a fluffy white cloud. In my mind’s eye, I see it as the perfect bridesmaid perfume. It’s too pure for a bride, who lets face it, needs to be seductive by bedtime. However, it passes the commuter test with flying colours.  If you sat on a crowded train wearing Fresh Sweet Peas, you would be surrounded by an invisible cloud of flowers and butterflies that would make everyone smile without knowing why. You know, a bit like a fabric softener advert.

However, as pretty and dainty as this is, and it is done very well indeed, two niggling thoughts popped into my head.  One- this reminds me of some Avon bubble bath I had recently, and Two- why am I thinking of Yardley? If I’m honest, this is good if you want light and airy and inoffensive, but right now it’s too twee for me. Ask me again in Spring: my answer will be different.

 Bath and Body Works does a respectable Sweet Pea as does iconic English brand Bronnley.  That’s not to say there isn’t room for another, and this light and pure scent does indeed spread a little joy, even in cold weather.

Kate by Kate Moss: A Fleeting Glimpse of Beauty

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photo by mirror.co.uk

Back in 2005, I often saw photos of Kate Moss dating Pete Doherty and despaired of them ever finding a bar of soap or some toothpaste. She appears to have cleaned up her act since, although I can’t help thinking that this enigmatic stalwart of the modelling world probably smells of cigarettes and Glastonbury. She does scrub up well for work though, so if I focus on her indisputably glamorous side, I can probably enjoy her fragrance: Kate by Kate Moss.

The packaging is pretty and retro in a seventies sort of way and opening notes are delicate and pretty- you can immediately pick out the pretty Peony and Violet Leaf. It is an inoffensive scent, ideal for office wear, and mild enough to squoosh on in the morning. And squoosh you must! This scent is fleeting and faint, and needs a good blast in order to make even an apologetic impact, though impact may be too strong a word. One spray will not pass muster. Use lavishly and you still won’t offend even the most delicate of asthmatics.

I was wary when I saw Pineapple in the top notes, but I can safely report that there wasn’t so much of a hint of it, nor should there be (great on pizza, terrible in fragrance!) Base notes allege to be Musk, Cedar and Patchouli, but if this ever lasts long enough to contain base notes, I’ll eat my cat.

Several reviewers on Fragrantica have compared this to Stella McCartney’s Stella in Two Peony.  I have smelled both, and there are indeed similarities.  I can tell you though that the difference is, unsurprisingly, that Stella costs more and lasts longer. You get what you pay for in this case.

However, Kate by Kate Moss is harmless and inoffensive, unlike its namesake, who I always thought was more of a L’Air de Rien  sort of girl. It’s as if some one has tried to tame a wild girl and make her be a secretary. Worth a tenner though, and we should always be grateful about absent pineapple.