Tag Archives: LUSH

Molinard Musc: Peace and Love

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Molinard is a high quality brand that has been around since 1849, in the heartland of scent: Grasse in Provence. You may recall my recent review of Molinard Chypre D’Orient which I thought was fabulous, especially considering the low price for a 100ml bottle.

Musc is of a similar calibre but is worth examining for two reasons. One: Musk is such a complex genre that one musk may be nothing like another. Two: This contains some very interesting ingredients.

musc-modernMy first impression of Molinard Musc was that it is a delicious gourmand vanilla in the same calibre as Dior Hypnotic Poison. I don’t normally like gourmands as they make me smell like I’ve just finished baking, which I often have. However, for Dior Hypnotic Poison and its Battenburg/Playdoh accord, I’d walk a long way. In similar fashion Molinard Musc manages to radiate the toasty, creamy warmth of vanilla without all the sugary fluffiness. But that’s not all. Several Fragrantica users claim that this is the smell of a “Head Shop” and comment that it is the scent of Nag Champa. Nag Champa was much beloved by the hippy movement which may be where the Peace and Love “Head Shop” vibe comes from. It smells like incense, but with an aromatic, almost herbal sweetness that is instantly transporting.

As Musc warms up on my skins (and longevity is great- hours and hours), it starts to smell like musc-bottle3the inside of a branch of LUSH. This is a divisive smell- people either hate it or love it.  I can’t get enough. I sniff everything in there. Molinard Musc, in fact, starts to smell like a more incense-heavy version of LUSH Karma in the end, which is fine by me.

The actual musk by the way, is in there somewhere, but it is by no means dominant. You’ll be too busy enjoying the vanilla-y coumarin and nutty, woody accord of hazelnut and sandalwood to notice that the musk has a cameo rather than a starring role.

My bottle is on loan from dear chum Lisa Wordbird. They make this is in a more modern bottle now, and I’ve yet to find anyone saying that the formula is different, so it looks like the packaging doesn’t matter too much. For personal preference, I like the old heavy glass dressing table ones ( see top).

Stockists

You can buy Molinard Musc from allbeauty.com and Amazon UK, as well as beautyspin.co.uk

IScentYouADay: The Journey Will Continue

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On January 2nd 2013 I decided to start a blog that reviewed a perfume a day for a year.  My dear friend LisaWordbird kindly brought me half a house full of samples and full bottles that made me faint with a thud.  Bringing me round with a whiff off Muscs Koublai Khan, she explained I could borrow and write about anything I needed. Without her, my blog would have been about ten times harder and I would not have been able to write about any of the amazing gems she has let me borrow.

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However, at the risk of sounding like I am explaining that the dog ate my homework, I must confess that I have not managed to write 365 reviews.  I did manage to post 310 blog posts however, so I hope you will forgive me.  I should point out at this point that the missing blogs would have occurred during 14 weeks of school holidays, two weeks away from my trusty  computer, two children’s ear infections and viruses, my own sinus infection which rendered my nose useless and  four nights when I had to hand sew a snowflake costume (the result was more Liberace than snowflake, but my son didn’t mind). Blogs would have been even fewer had the ever patient Mr IScent not been an IT professional who has fixed my glitches in exchange for kisses and hot food.

I have found that blogging about perfume not only gives me the headspace that I need when Imageraising a seven year old and a four year old, but it has taken me to another world where I have encountered many fascinating and kind people from around the globe. I cannot stop now.  It’s addictive.

However it was the rather marvellous Perfumed Dandy  who came up with the idea of writing about 1001 scents.  I am therefore adopting this wonderful idea which also, hopefully, gets me off the hook for not quite reaching my 365 in a year target.

So here you are: IScentYouADay: 1001 days of perfume.

Do you like it?

The Without Whom bit:

I could not have done this without the comments, encouragement and shared anecdotes from my followers on the blog, on Facebook and on Twitter.For everyone who stops by or has a quick read, you have my deep appreciation.

To LisaWordbird, the most selfless fellow fragrance freak I have ever ever met. Her generosity has no limits, and her knowledge has been invaluable. My eyes have been truly opened and my nose has been taken to places I could never have imagined. Thank you.

To the lovely companies who have been kind enough to supply me with samples: Miller Harris, Jo Loves, the Fragrance Shop, LUSH, Yves Rocher and dear, kind Andy Tauer.  None of them have paid me for my opnions, and I should imagine Lush wishes they had paid me to shut up at times. I thank them all.

And finally thank you to the Perfumed Dandy who helped me with the idea of how I could continue seamlessly. My warm thanks to you dear Dandy.

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LUSH Sikkim Girls: Don’t Be Seduced.

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 I have remained unimpressed by LUSH Series 2 Gorilla perfumes, although admittedly I have only tried three of them. I now come to the third and final LUSH Gorilla perfume in my possession: Sikkim Girls. Legend has it that the Sikkim Girls were dangerous seductresses who would attract men with their sensual swaying from side to side. The exotic line drawing on the bottle is a lovely, if rather menacing, illustration of this pair of minxes.

 I was so ready to like Sikkim Girls. It opens with Jasmine: a loud, floaty yellow cloud of it.  Sadly , this is not a good Jasmine. It reminded me of the kind of 99p perfume oils you would buy on a market stall. Or even,  public toilets  with the added gentility of Council supplied air freshener.  Jasmine can often have an indolic quality which may be why it makes people think of toilets, but I  reckon if I can handle Serge Lutens Sarrasins, I can handle anything.

 Just as I was  considering washing it off, the Frangipani kicked in. This did nothing to change my mind  and just left a nasty taste in my mouth, liking eating Bakewell Tart in a tiled lavatory. The Vanilla background reminded me of the dreaded Furze (my sofa still smells of it five weeks after my sons decanted a 7ml bottle of it onto the arms).  So what have we got? Cheap Jasmine toilet freshener against an oversweet synthetic Almond and Vanilla background.

 It baffles me why last year’s Gorillas were so good and why this years’ are so bad (again, I have only tried three, to be fair to LUSH). There was an excellent post recently from Another Perfume Blog who came up with an interesting theory:

” It makes me wonder if the Constantines are evolving as perfumers in a way that perhaps every perfumer does, with the difference that—because they own their own shop—they are selling what they make at each stage, where a perfumer working for a big brand might consider such products to be part of the learning process, or to be early-stage accords to be fleshed out into a perfume.”

I agree with this theory: these perfumes smell unfinished, or even crude to my nose. When I think of how lovely violetty Tuca Tuca was, I find it hard to believe that the same perfumers made this awful mess.

Another fact that shocked me is that the Jasmine that I find so cheap smelling is Jasmine Absolute. And yet never before has it smelled so trashy.

At £27.50 for a little 25 g bottle, it’s not the cheapest, despite how it smells. If I had £27.50 to spend on perfume, I can think of twenty other things I would rather do with it.

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LUSH Furze: Thanks. Thanks a lot.

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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.

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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.

Lonestar Memories: It’s Mighty Manly

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Andy Tauer has a devoted fan base. His L’Air du Desert Marocain is beloved by many, as is his Vetiver Dance, and Orange Star. It’s a small but respected niche perfumery house, with a stable of twenty high quality Artisan Fragrances, and his following is growing.

 Lonestar Memories, created in 2006, is unlike any perfume I have ever smelled (on me, that is, more of which later). With notes of Carrot Seed, Leather, Clary Sage, and Sandalwood, the description on paper does not paint a true picture. What I actually got was Bonfire Smoke, Creosote and Petrol. It’s VERY butch. In fact, it made me think of soft porn:

A trucker breaks down in a desert. It’s sunset. He’s sweating. He takes off his Stetson and wipes the sweat from his brow. A passing truck pulls over. A man gets out. He is wearing a check shirt. Their eyes meet… cue twangy electric guitar music… In my mind, that’s the cinema ad for this stuff.

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 It’s apparently pour la femme as well as pour l’homme, but as always, the rule with perfume is that there are no rules. So I approached my husband. “I just want to try something new, darling,” I said. His eyes lit up. I sprayed him with Lonestar Memories and walked away. He looked crestfallen. I said I’d sniff him up close in the morning.

Waking up the next day, my husband smelled manly and butch as if he had been painting creosote fences then  kicked back around a woodsmoke fire (with his shirt off for preference).  This is the scent that Armistead Maupin’s characters would wear to the Burning Man Festival. Sexy and bohemian, this is a step away from the conventional male scent and all the better for it.

As usual with Tauer scents, longevity is excellent. Two sprays will  last overnight at the very least. This stuff has muscles.

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Stockists

You can buy Lonestar Memories from the Tauer website and from Les Senteurs in the UK and LuckyScent in the USA