Tag Archives: Ô de Lancome

“Lettuce Spray”: The IScent Guide to the Best Green Scents

sea circe
Circe Poisoning the Sea by John William Waterhouse

In an effort to shake off the gloomy torpor of February, and in acknowledgment of the lettuce and courgette shortage, I thought it was high time I looked more closely at my favourite perfume genre: the green note.

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photo from hello-moments-s.tumblr.com

I always put green notes into three categories: there’s the hesperide green,  the mossy green and the floral green.  Hesperide greens are usually light, airy and citrussy and smell clean and crystalline, like Elizabeth Arden Green Tea.  Mossy greens would be chypres such as Chanel No 19 or Lancôme Magie Noire.  Floral greens would be Chanel Cristalle, Issey Miyake A Scent or Balenciaga Florabotanica.

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gardentipsandtricks.com

Green scents give me that hit of purity and greenery I need when I’ve been stuck indoors or when I tire of Orientals (rarely happens, but you know…). The biggest perfume love affair of my life was my twenty year stint with Chanel Cristalle.  In all weathers and on all occasions, and even on my wedding day, it was my signature scent until I got promiscuous and sprayed around behind its back.

I have about twenty five favourite green scents.  Here is a curated list of some of my favourites:

 Chanel Cristalle.

cristalleWe had a very happy twenty-year marriage, Cristalle and I. We’re not together anymore, but I think of it fondly and may rekindle our affair one day. What can I say? I had wandering nostrils and couldn’t stay faithful.  For years, this light, green scent with a mossy base fragranced my every move.  As Edith would say ( who wore Robert Piguet Bandit, incidentally) Je ne regrette rien.

Lancôme O de Lancôme

Lands on skin like tiny lemonade bubbles and broken ferns.  Bursting o de lancomewith bergamot and lemon, this is  greener than Kermit and as refreshing as standing under a waterfall.  O de Lancôme is a classic that has never gone out of fashion, even though they don’t use real oakmoss any more *sob.*

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea

lizardengreenteaElizabeth Arden Green Tea is an accessible classic.  It does what it says on the tin, but it does it well and without fuss.  I adore all the flankers too. They are a safe bet as a blind buy if you like light green floral scents, or as a gift. I particularly like Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Revitalize.

Le Jardin Retrouvé Eau des Delices

You may recall my recent foray into this revived brand from Paris. I jr-eau-des-deliceswas kindly sent several samples last year and every single one of them was divine.   Eau des Delices is a fabulously citrussy, herby green that smells like a greener, cranked up, version of the classic 4711 cologne, only greener than green with an extra big dose of green. It’s the lime, neroli, mandarin and oakmoss that gives it that eau de cologne oomph, but with more lasting power.

4160 Tuesdays Ealing Green

fragrantica
fragrantica

4160 Tuesdays Ealing Green is one of my favourite 4160 Tuesdays scents, and that’s saying something.  This is as green as a grass stain on your knee at a picnic. It’s also a firm favourite over on Mumsnet, and has a delicate herby, grassy vibe going on.  It reminds me of maypoles and madrigals.

 

Carven Ma Griffe 

Now we’re in deep moss territory and I can’t ma griffe adsee the exit.  Didn’t want to find it anyway. Carven Ma Griffe was everything I’d hoped for.  Entrenched in the classic chypre genre,  with a blast of retro aldehydes in the opening, Ma Griffe was launched in 1946 and is as ladylike as wearing a skirt suit to the milliners.

Art de Parfum Gin and Tonic

gin-and-tonicArt de Parfum was another brand that I came to know late in 2016. I fell hook, line and sinker for the delightful  Art de Parfum Gin and Tonic. Just enough greenery and tonic bubbles and flowers to keep this unfolding prettily throughout the day. It’s my SOTD.

Chanel No 19

This beauty has an icy detachment that makes me want more. With Chanel No 19neroli, lily of the valley, bergamot and oak moss, Chanel No 19 is both unique and unmistakable.  Perfect your look of hauteur, look down your nose, then spray as much as you damn well please.

 

Library of Fragrance Grass and Four Leaf Clover.

photo by stormfashion.dk
photo by stormfashion.dk

Library of Fragrance does green notes extremely well.  Library of Fragrance Grass reminds me of the kind fairy-tale grass that the Billy Goats Gruff wanted to eat. It’s sweet, clean and juicy.  Library of Fragrance Four Leaf Clover is deliciously sharp and pretty and has that just stepped out of the shower vibe.

How about you?

So that’s my round up of my favourite green scents.  I had to resist the temptation to make this about ten pages long, but I’d happily own the lot of them.  What’s your favourite?  Do let me know, I love to hear from you.

green and white dress
painting by Daniel F Gerhartz
green dress1
painting by John White Alexander
green dress cat
painting by John White Alexander

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The Ultimate (And Not Entirely Serious) Guide to Wedding Perfumes by IScentYouADay

fragrancelife.ru
fragrancelife.ru

It’s wedding season, and what better excuse to think about dreamy wedding perfumes?  Scent evokes such vivid memories that it’s important to get it right for a big occasion.  I have had fun over the past few days picking out perfumes for every kind of bride (I hope).  This guide is of course, subjective and you may have other ideas, or choose to wear a trusty old favourite, as I did. Don’t forget the Golden Rule: Your partner has to buy you a bottle on every anniversary,  so pick wisely.

If you’re planning a wedding, I would love to know what scent you have chosen.  If you are already married, I would love to know what you wore to your wedding.  As for me, I wore Chanel Cristalle, but if I had to marry Mr IScent all over again, it would be  4160 Tuesdays Raw Silk and Red Roses.    Incidentally, just because this article is angled towards brides, doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate marriage in all its wonderful forms regardless of gender, race and age.  I support marriage equality wholeheartedly and at the same time, I say knickers to gender stereotypes in perfume.   All you need is love. And a wink and a smile.

lily

 

The Classy Bride

Chanel No 19– Think Kristen Scott Thomas in a simple shift looking incredible.  Think hauteur.

Chanel Cristalle:  Green, beautiful, simple.

Miss Dior Original:  Not the one that smells like strawberries and flowers, the oakmossy one in the bumpy houndstooth bottle.

Lanvin Arpege:  Gets better as the day goes on, like a wedding once the Bar has opened.

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The Romantic Bride

Especially Escada Delicate Notes: Light as air and pretty as a picture

Estee Lauder Beautiful: Retro memories of Paulina Porizkova looking beautiful as a bride in the ad campaign

Chanel Chance Eau Tendre: Like a thousand ballerinas

Jo Loves No 42 The Flower Shop: Utterly delightful and smells like a posh florist.

Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose and Gardenia: White flowers on a wedding day. Rich and longlasting. Like the groom, hopefully.

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The I Want to Be Different Bride

Noontide Petals by Andy Tauer: Smelling is believing; Bergamot and aldehydes in perfect harmony.

The Sexiest Scent On The Planet Ever IMHO by 4160 Tuesdays: Earl Grey tea with Vanilla and a Woody finish

Etat Libre D’Orange Fat Electrician. Never smelled it.  Love the name. Couldn’t leave it out.

I Fancy You by Jessica Simpson– Just for the name, just so people can say “what are you wearing?” and you can answer them, deadpan. With your new spouse right next to you.  Especially funny if your mother in law is present.  Awkward if it is she who is asking.

 

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The Caribbean Wedding Bride

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess: Sun cream, coconuts, fig and white flowers. Longlasting and multi layered. Like your marriage, hopefully.

O de Lancome: When it’s hot, you’ll be needing the citrus.

Miller Harris La Pluie: Tropical flowers with a powdery finish.

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The Sexy Bride Who Can’t Wait For the Honeymoon

Worth Courtesan– smells like knickers. Not freshlay laundered knickers.

Miller Harris L’Air De Rien– smells like an unmade bed and joss sticks. Incredibly sexy.

Serge Lutens Feminite Du Bois– smells like wooden knickers in a woody wood.

berfrois.com
berfrois.com

 

 The Unforgettable Bride With a Dangerous Glint In Her Eye

Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles– despite having written over 400 reviews of perfume, this is the only one that made my husband stand up and protest loudly.  Could be fun at a wedding.

Etat Libre D’Orange Secretions Magnifiques.  It’s got the word secretions in its name.  It smells like it sounds. You may smell like you just had urgent sex with a tramp en route to the church.  But hey, nobody will forget your wedding.

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Estee Lauder Private Collection: The Ultimate Evergreen

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Precious and quite rare…like a gathering of flowers, green leaves and spices from your private greenhouse.

Reader, I think I am in love again. If you could see my dressing table (modest by blogger standards) you would see immediately that greens are my thing. Recently I have tamed my greedy impulse to try on five scents at once and go home muttering that everything smells the same.  These days I’m a one scent woman, at least at the counter (at home I practice perfume promiscuity), and thus I came to really know Estee Lauder Private Collection.

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To say it is Green would be an understatement. Bring it on, I say.  As soon as it goes on, it reminds me of the woody base left when O de Lancome has settled down, yet it effervesces as it lands on your skin.  Lemon and Bergamot keep this brisk, and there is a powdery note that arrives after an hour. This just makes it more wonderful and establishes its status as a classic.  The end is a green, mossy dream, where the green, citrus notes lighten it up whilst it dries down into its woody patchouli finish, like expensive rough green tweed that you just want to keep forever.

I didn’t get the  promised Heliotrope, nor the Chrysanthemums (thank goodness- I don’t even like them in real life!), but to me this is a masterpiece for green lovers.  Indeed, Mrs Lauder kept it to herself until 1973, but I am very glad she chose to share it.

Longevity is good on my skin: around eight hours and I could NOT stop sniffing it.  My coat sleeve still bears witness several days later and I won’t be getting it dry cleaned anytime soon.

This has made it onto my Top Five  Wish List, (which is almost impossible to whittle down). It would suit any season, any occasion, and I want ME to smell like THIS all the time.

 

 

 

 

YSL Saharienne: Cologne? In Autumn? Yes Please.

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 I have been to visit my local perfume counter several times over the past few weeks. No surprises there. However, what’s been different is that I have been visiting only one bottle.  In passing, I carelessly tried YSL Saharienne a few weeks ago and several hours later, I was still obsessively sniffing my sleeve trying to remember which bottle that heavenly smell was from.

Image Saharienne is so good it is on my long list for Christmas.  That’s no backhanded compliment. I am planning to request a special bottle of something from Santa and I am finding it so hard to narrow it down to just one from hundreds that I love. It’s like an X factor audition. Last year it was Eau de Cartier, which will always remind me of Christmas Day 2012. But I digress.

I have always loved a good cologne, and Saharienne fits the bill and then some.  What makes this stand out from all my beloved O de Lancomes and 4711s and  Eau Dynamisantes, is that Saharienne is packing heat.  Right there in the base, after the Bergamot and divine citrussy Mandarins have calmed down, out comes the smoothest of Sandalwood with a hint of spiced Ginger Beer.  It’s smoother than David Niven in his heyday. It’s blended so seamlessly that the Ginger and Sandalwood look like they’ve always been friends with the Citrus family. It’s as if they’ve been going on holiday Imagetogether for years and have started to look alike.

Sadly, Saharienne’s drawback is longevity, or lack of it.  A few hours at most, I would say.  However, my coat sleeve smelled lovely for days and it’s jolly good value at under £30 for 50ml of EDT. The faceted glass bottle is rather pretty too, bringing to mind Ralph Lauren Safari or YSL Cinema.

It’s a cologne for Autumn. It’s both refreshing and warm, like ice cold Ginger Ale over ice, with a little bit of bite.  Good work YSL. Very nicely done.

In fact, maybe at this price, I’ll get two.

Askett & English Essential: Wake Up, It’s a Beautiful Morning

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My sense of smell is slowly creeping back so I thought I’d try something fresh and astringent. We’re not quite firing on all cylinders, but Askett & English Essential is so fresh and bright, it could break through any fog and stuffiness.

Askett & English is a small English perfume company based in the scenic Chiltern Hills. With only two scents to their name (so far I hope), their reputation depends on quality far more than a larger company who can hide a weak link.

The two perfumes are Essential and Absolute. I have only tried Essential, which I am reviewing today.

If You like O de Lancome or Eau Dynamisante, you’ll love this. It’s an Eau de Cologne with lasting power, and it smells heavenly.  Opening notes are Lemon and Bergamot, and middle notes are Lavender and Jasmine. Base notes are Woodier, with Oakmopss, Vetiver and Cedar. The base notes particularly remind me of O de Lancome with’s its Zingy opening and green, prickly base.

Primarily, the Lime comes through stronger than anything, which is lucky, since I love Lime. It’s sparkling: almost like a gin and tonic. You can imagine the bubbles and the ice cubes in a frosty cold glass.

It smells quintessentially English: as English  as cricket whites and tea roses and honey for tea.  It’s not clear if it’s directed at men or women, but it matters not at all. This would smell excellent on either.

Available from limited stockists, I was kindly provided with a sample from Scent and Sensibility. Both Essential and Absolute cost £60 for 100ml.

In  all honesty, if you already  owned O de Lancome and Eau Dynamisante as well, you probably wouldn’t need this (although need and want mean the same thing when talking about perfume), but if you have neither, this will do nicely.

Miller Harris Citron Citron: A Citrus With Staying Power

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 The problem with most citrus scents is that they start all zingy and end up a bit sour and depleted, like a dried up orange. Take Guerlain Pamplelune for instance. Regarded by many as a citrus masterpiece, but many reviewers report a gone off note or a BO note in the drydown.

Miller Harris Citron Citron stays citrussy to the very end. It was Lyn Harris’s first ever offering, and whilst I love it, Luca Turin does not, preferring the more recent Fleurs de Sel which I reviewed earlier in my blog.

My first thought on trying Citron Citron was that it was almost exactly the same as Biotherm Eau Vitaminee, which to my nose, is a Tropicana Orange Juice soliflore. However, Citron Citron, whilst staying true to its orange openings, dries down into a pretty and  light citrus, as delicate as a shower of petals.

Once the thirst quenching orange, lime and lemon zest has calmed down a little, in its place sits Basil and a lighter touch of Mint. This smelled floral to me, with a light prettiness that I could have sworn came from petals and Peony. Apparently not, although woody Oakmoss and Cedar are listed.  Personally, I didn’t find that this went Woody or Mossy in the drydwon as other citrus scents do: I’m thinking of Cristalle with its  beautiful Woody drydown, and O de Lancome with its mossy basenotes.

 Citron Citron stays light and pretty and harmless. It would make an ideal office perfume since its lightness is its strength. Our friend Luca Turin states his opinion in Perfumes The Guide:” (An) antiseptic-smelling citrus that lazy teenagers can spray around the kitchen to convince Mon and Dad they’ve done their chores”.

But I disagree. This is light, pretty and clean smelling and stays true to its opening.  As citruses go, this is nicer than Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca (not so Mint heavy) and Guerlain Pamplelune (No dried up Grapefruit rind at the end).

This may well be a full bottle worth saving for, although prices are fair at £65 for 50ml, and lasting power makes this good value.

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Ô de Lancôme: Sparkle for Summer

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There have been almost three consecutive warm days here in Britain. Can we call it Summer yet? Granted Day Three was followed by freezing rain and wind, but trust me, three days still count.

When the weather is warm, it calls for a change in perfume as much as it calls for a change of clothes.  Wearing Gourmands in the hot sun just makes me feel sticky. Even Orientals must be super Lite. Personally, I think you can’t beat a good citrus or a shot of Bergamot when the temperature rises.

If I had to choose only one perfume to wear in the summer, I would have to say Ô de Lancôme narrowly gets my vote. In the top three would also be Chanel Cristalle, Guerlain Pamplelune, and maybe Yardley English Lavender, straight from the fridge.

What gives Ô de Lancôme the edge is that it is so unashamedly refreshing, that it almost crackles and sparkles on your skin when you apply it. It’s like ice cold lemonade, you can almost feel the tiny bubbles pop.

Top notes are , unsurprisingly  Lemon and Bergamot  with a crisp fresh hint of Orange, and a slight whisper of Honeysuckle. It’s the Lemon that dominates though.

Ô de Lancôme could almost be regarded as a spritz or cologne, so sharp and refreshing does it feel. However, it is worth taking this 1969 creation seriously. Oakmoss has been added (not real Oakmoss, thanks to IFRA, but it will do), along with Sandalwood and Vetiver. So what starts with high octane Lemons, slicing through a sultry heat, beds down into something more earthy and raw, but no less refreshing. In fact, it’s the perfect scent for a late afternoon. By evening, things will get a lot more interesting. Longevity is good. I could smell this in my wrist six hours after spraying it, albeit the Earthy, Woody base, but it was still there, doing its job.

Lancôme has also introduced Ô de Lancôme de L’Orangerie, which I can also vouch for, as well as Ô d’Azur de Lancôme. I‘ve tried the whole range, and they are all good, but I have a special place in my heart for the original.

This ladylike summer scent will never go out of fashion.

Elizabeth Arden Mediterranean: Oops A Daisy!

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Call me superficial but I was drawn to this by the beautiful blue glass and silver lid and tempting advertising campaign. For design and marketing, Elizabeth Arden Mediterranean gets ten out of ten. The image alone makes me imagine freshly sliced oranges, bougainvillea, sunshine and sea spray.

I was therefore hoping for a fragrance that matched those expectations. For example, I love bitter orange  or lemon in a scent and love how a citrus note can cut though the heat on a hot day.  Ô de Lancome  is a perfect example. However, I was very disappointed with Mediterranean and here’s why:

It’s as if they nearly had a fresh, pretty scent for a summer’s day but then added Musk and Peaches. Still feminine but a little on the sweet side, decisions were being made on the final formula when someone split a  cup of Latte over their wrist as they were smelling it. “That’s good, let’s keep that in” they said, and so it was.

What we have now is a musky, peachy, sweet and fluffy perfume with a hint of milky coffee in it. Not at all what I was expecting or hoping for.  Longevity is every poor too. On me it was half an hour. After mingling with the long lasting hoi polloi this week (waving across the room to Coromandel and Cuir Mauresque, see previous reviews)), poor longevity makes me feel cheated, even at this very reasonable price. Look at Body Shop White Musk Oil for instance. It’s currently £11 for 30ml of oil, lasts twelve hours on me and the bottle itself lasts me over six months. Longevity can be had at low prices.

They had the name, they had the packaging, they had the image, but the actual fragrance was lost in a big messy old mess.

Turns out I can forgive Elizabeth Arden though, as they created Blue Grass. Arden is an affordable High Street brand, but I am getting disappointed more frequently by their more modern offerings. This is one of them.  High hopes dashed.  Sorry Meditteranean, I’ll pass.

Guerlain Après L’Ondée : it’s no joke

21oUCRMcp4L._SL500_AA300_ This is a serious grown up perfume. There’s no messing, there’s no laughing at the back. It’s not playful (This isn’t  Ô de Lancôme  for Heaven’s sake!). It’s melancholy and rather beautiful and… well, it doesn’t really suit me if I’m honest. However, I admire it greatly, in spite of the fact that it makes me feel like I wearing someone else’s clothes. I also admire the Old Masters in the National Gallery, but I wouldn’t want one on my mantelpiece.

Après L’Ondée (translation: after the rain shower) was created by Guerlain in 1906 and has stood the test of time, still with a die hard fanbase of ( I imagine), elegant Parisian widows with mournful expressions and good jewellery.

My initial impression at first spray was of an old bookshop. The papery dry Iris and Heliotrope made me think of very old shops with a bell that rings when you enter, and of sniffing ancient reams of paper or antique tomes. In other words, it made me think of Hay on Wye.

It’s a rather sombre scent with mournful heliotrope notes. Light violet tones try and cheer it up, but heliotrope has slammed the door and gone to its room to listen to her gramophone.

It’s powdery in a dusty way, rather than a talcum powder sort of way. It makes me think of a pair of evening gloves that I inherited from my late grandmother. When you sniff closely there is the faintest hint of a long gone party. It’s a kind of the good times were here, but now they’ve gone sort of scent. You would only wear it to a wedding if you hated the groom and thought the bride was making a huge mistake.

It’s beautiful, but a bit sad, like a statue of an angel in a rain sodden formal flower bed. (Don’t get nervous Doctor Who fans, I don’t mean Weeping Angels)

 Après L’Ondée venir les larmes.  If you work in a funeral parlour, this is your new office fragrance. Congratulations!