Tag Archives: Marks and Spencer

Fragonard Soleil: The Sunny Side of The Street

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Fragonard has yet to make a fragrance that disappoints me.  With consistently high quality, great packaging, good longevity and fair prices, it is to me, the perfect brand.  Fragonard Soleil is no exception.

From the name and the gold sun on the lid, you might expect something of the coconutty/sun cream genre, but in fact what you’re getting is a rather bold bouquet of white flowers that trip over themselves to make you smell impossibly feminine and pretty on a hot day.

My mini bottle

The strongest note to my nose is the Freesia.  Freesia sometimes gets lost in translation.  In fact, this initially reminded me of Avon Today, which opens similarly, but falls flat on its face not long afterwards (see my earlier review).  With Fragonard Soleil, the freesia opens quite dominantly and then the other white flower notes ( most notably orange flower) crowd in shortly afterwards, making this both rich and summery at the same time.

On hot skin, this is radiant.  I know because I wore it down the park yesterday and it was boiling, but I could smell those summer flowers drifting up to my nose from my forearms. NB I don’t put perfume on my wrists as I wash my hands a lot and it comes off, but on the front of my forearm?  Well that only gets washed once a day!

Fragonard Soleil allegedly beds down into sandalwood with an ambery finish, but I found that the orange flower, freesia, and slightly peppery wisteria just stayed put the whole time.  This is great on the beach and equally great in the bar afterwards.  Yes there are colognes to cool you down, but actually flowers like this  are sort of perfect on a hot day.

 Stockists

You can buy Fragonard Soleil from the Fragonard website ( one of the prettiest websites in the world! IMO) or from Marks and Spencer online or instore.

My 7ml splash bottle is from the Perfume Society Summer Scentsations Discovery Box.

 

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Rosie for Autograph: Rosie Huntington-Whitely’s First Fragrance

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fragrantica

Rosie Huntington-Whitely is so beautiful that it almost comes as no surprise that her first scent, for Autograph by Marks and Spencer, is also dreamily dreamy as well.

It makes so much sense to put her face to a fragrance, when everyone from Madonna to Football WAGs are doing it, that you almost wonder why it took so long.  I tried it today and have been wearing to for several hours and I can honestly say that the price is shocking.  Shockingly low that is.  This is a high class rose scent that could easily pass for a scent costing upwards of £50 a bottle, but prices start at only £14 for 30ml.

 

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fragrantica

The star of the show is the centifolia rose from Provence.  I wondered what kind of rose it was, since it doesn’t smell run of the mill.  In a pinch I would have said tuberose and almond, but I was way off.  My first impressions should give you some idea of how rich and heady this rose is though.

There are notes of pepper, which I did not discern, green notes, which were in there somewhere, jasmine,  which was overshadowed for a change, and a definite whiff of magnolia- giving this a rich hint of white flowers.  There is musk and sandalwood in the base, but thankfully I could not spot any of the vanilla, which is possibly why I like this so much.

Rosie for Autograph is a rose scent with a richness that defies its low price.  It smells classy and expensive and showcases a multi faceted rose that stops this from being bland or one dimensional.  In a blind test, I would said this was Givenchy.

I hope we see more from this range, because it’s off to a jolly good start.

Stockists

You can buy Rosie for Autograph from Marks and Spencer instore or online.  prices start at £14 for 30ml EDP and the range includes a rather pretty reed infuser shaped like a rose. ( see below)

Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer

 

Marks and Spencer Florentyna White Flowers: A Lily, Ungilded.

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I tried this yesterday on my travels, and I was very impressed with it.  At its highest price, it is only 6.50GBP for a 30ml bottle, but the current sale means that a gift set containing a 30ml EDT and body lotion is only 4.75 today (see website or your local store, but hurry!).

It does what it says on the tin.  It is white flowers and nothing more, nothing less, but it is done very well.  It opens with unmistakable Lily, which sidesteps its occasional tendency to go all Image

vegetable soup on me,  and is enhanced by the addition of pretty orange flower and jasmine.  That’s about it really.  There’s no fancy allusions or long lists of aspirational base notes or middle notes.  It’s a clean, white scent that lingers for around four or five hours and is very feminine.  There is a hint of posh white soap in there somewhere too, which , as a fan of posh white soap, I never object to.

For a clean, inoffensive daytime Lily scent, this is the cheapest I’ve seen.  The price tag is deceptive: you could pay a lot more for lower grade tat elsewhere on the High Street.  This is classy and damned good.

Fragonard Étoile: How Perfume Should Be

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 Fragonard provides everything I want from a perfume: Fantastic packaging, traditional scents unswayed by fleeting celeb fashions, good longevity and extremely good value for money.  Not so cheap I’m worried, but just expensive enough to reassure me.

 Fragonard Étoile is no exception when it comes to divine packaging. Just look at it.  I’d probably buy it even if it smelled horrible just to have that bottle in my possession.

 Étoile is in a Lime/White flowers mash up that smells like an expensive soap I once owned which was called French Lime and made both me and the bathroom smell amazing. The more Étoile blooms on my skin, the more I love it.

 Étoile has dominant Bergamot that works exceedingly well alongside Jasmine and Gardenia.  Gardenia can be a little cloying, like its friend Tuberose, but the Bergamot cuts through any cloying-ness and  lifts the white flowers from creamy to refreshing, even chalky, like wet cliffs. It’s utterly delightful and growing on me by the minute.

What I particularity admire about Fragonard is that despite their high quality and beautiful packaging, they offer very big refills at very good prices.  You can buy 600mls of Étoile for only 57Euros.  Compare to that many High Street scents and you have incredible Imagevalue.  My only concern is that if I did have 600ml of Étoile I would be splashing it everywhere, pouring it in the bath, and using it like Eau de Cologne, and then being sad because it would run out after a week. Sometimes small rations are best, so I would opt for the 100ml bottle, still a steal at under 30GBP.

If, dear readers, you can get yourselves down to Marks and Spencer, you can bag yourself Imagea 100ml EDT bottle for a mere £26.  You may see me in the queue with an overflowing basket. Oh! and have you seen the little sampler boxes? My dears! I’ll just have to tell my children that only one of them can go to university.  Did I say basket?  I meant trolley.

The Fragonard range is available at larger branches of Marks and Spencer and also online.

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Fragonard Miranda: Vanilla Fields Finds A Taste Of Paradise

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Miranda by Fragonard was launched in 2005 and in a nutshell, pardon the pun, smells like coconuts. However, there is more to it than that. From my intial “huh! Coconuts” reaction I became more interested as it dried down and faded into something a little less straightforward.

I am trying the EDT today, kindly on loan from LisaWordbird. In fact it is the first of many Fragonards that I will be trying. The pretty French style packaging cries out for a place on my dressing table.Image

Besides, those nice people/enablers at Marks and Spencer are stocking a range of Fragonard EDTs at the very reasonable price of £22 per 100ml in bottles that are heartbreakingly delightful to look at (see photos. Gorgeous aren’t they?)

Miranda opens with coconut and soap, there’s no doubt about it. However once the Vanilla kicks in  and41ZwvjFq86L._SX182_SH10_QL100_ starts to take over, this becomes more palatable and more interesting. On Fragrantica, under the “smells like” section, readers have voted that Miranda smells like Casmir by Chopard and also the legendary Vanilla Fields by Coty. There is indeed some Ambery heat to Miranda, so I can see why it has been compared to Casmir. The Vanilla is strong and sweet, very much like Vanilla Fields.  Throw in a 5 star hotel quality coconut soap and you have Fragonard Miranda.

Longevity, packaging and price are all excellent. I will be checking out the bigger branches of M and S and taking my Dear Santa writing set.

I can’t help thinking that this is what LUSH Furze hoped to smell like, but sadly, it didn’t make the grade. (Apart from the long lasting bit. Just my luck my son emptied a 7ml bottle over the sofa . *Sigh*).

Miranda is not top of my wish list, but  if you like Coconut or Vanilla, it is an excellent buy. Judging by the quality of this, I will certainly be checking out the rest of the range. If there was a prize for best packaging and prettiest bottle, Fragonard would win hands down.

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Marks and Spencer Per Una Originale For Women: Haven’t We Met Someplace Before?

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Marks and Spencer is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the High Street Fragrance Wars.  Lyn Harris of Miller Harris fame has climbed on board and produced a remarkable range at a reasonable price. Roger and Gallet are also to be found on their shelves, as are Fragonard, with their exquisite packaging.  Sadly, and apologies for the anti climax, none of the aforementioned ranges have reached my local branch. Sadface.  There’s a still a good selection though, if you keep walking past choky, cloying Florentyna.

I have it on good authority that Per Una Exquisite smells almost exactly like the much missed Houbigant’s Quelques Fleurs. Autograph New York is a fresh floral with gourmand vanilla basenotes.  It’s also no secret that Marks and Spencer Isis smells very similar to Issy Miyake L’Eau D’Issey, the ozonic fragrance hit of the Nineties.

This review is for Per Una Originale Eau de Toilette. Although Per Una Originale  is not a dupe or a copy, I  could not help noticing that it is very similar to Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely.  Here’s what the M and S website says “Flowers of magnolia, jasmine, rose and summer freesias mingle with a sensuous background of woods, heliotrope and patchouli to give added depth.”

Just like Lovely, the opening is all fresh, light flowers, no Tuberose, nothing too heady, followed by a background of Patchouli to give it that slightly Fresh Spicy accord. It is hard to point out the differences as they are so slim. I think Lovely has the edge though, certainly on longevity. Prices are good for Per Una Originale, starting at £4 for a 10ml purse spray: a good way to try before investing in a big bottle. However, at £12 for a 50ml bottle, you wouldn’t have to sell your house to afford it. Looking online, current offers include buy one get one half price, so you may as well buy a few different ones to test. Any excuse…

I have bought a 10ml bottle which is the perfect size for my handbag. It is slightly more floral than Lovely (more Magnolia and Rose), but a very close contender: a pleasant fresh fragrance with a resonant Patchouli-Lite base.

Affordable, accessible, and a wide enough range to avoid smelling like everyone else, Marks and Spencer have got it right.