Tag Archives: Perfume Society Discovery Box

Cartier Baiser Fou: Lipstick On My Collar

baiser fou bottle

There were several reasons why I was not expecting to even like Cartier Baiser Fou, but blow me down if the little madam didn’t bowl me over and cover me in kisses, filling me with avarice for a full bottle.

Reasons I didn’t think I’d like this:

  • I wasn’t keen on Cartier Baiser Volé,
  • The box and lid is red and pink so I thought it would smell of candy floss.
  • It contains raspberries, white chocolate and vanilla, so I assumed it would smell like an ice cream sundae.

Reader, I was wrong.  So very, very wrong. I’ll tell you exactly what Cartier Baiser Fou smells like.  Back in 2001 I found myself in Duty Free at San Francisco Airport with some unspent dollars.  I was a one scent woman back then and was fully stocked with Chanel Cristalle, so decided to buy myself a posh lipstick for the first time ever in my life. It was a YSL Lipstick and it smelled and tasted of roses, violets and strawberries with that powdery waxy  lipstick finish.

That, my friends, is exactly what Cartier Baiser Fou smells like.

ysl lipstick

The notes are: raspberry, orchid, white chocolate and vanilla, but this smells like that delicious expensive lipstick years ago and makes me feel marvellous when I wear it.

This is yet another case where I prefer the flanker to the original. It’s fruity and playful yet grown up  and classically powdery.  To my surprise, it was not at all  tooth achingly sweet.  Cartier Baiser Fou reminded me to stop reading the notes and start using my nose.

Has this ever happened to you?  Have you ever thought “I’m going to hate that!” and ended up loving it?  Do let me know.  I always love to hear from you.

Stockists

My sample of Cartier Baiser Fou was from the Perfume Society Modern Classics Discovery Box.  You can buy full bottles from House of Fraser and John Lewis, among others. Opinions are my own.

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Look! A Tiny Little Video!

I keep blathering on about how I’m going to do vlogging one day and on a whim I ended up filming the opening of my Perfume Society Modern Classics Discovery Box. You only see my unmanicured hands and hear my voice, but  check out my gorgeous cat Ian, who appears to be a  big purr-fumista. I’m sorry, I’ll get my coat… I might actually do this again and you might actually see me in it next time. I have two other cats so I may not be alone.

 

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The Perfume Society Heaven Scents Discovery Box

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When a Perfume Society “new Discovery Box” email arrives in my in-box, I break World Speed Records, or at least my fingers do. I’ve usually pressed “buy now” before I’ve read the description and I have never been disappointed. hs samples good A few days ago, my Heaven Scents Discovery Box arrived and it was, as usual, a joy to unravel, like an out of season but very welcome birthday gift. I displayed little dignity in my haste to disrobe the goodies within.

With a theme of romance, just in time for Valentine’s Day, Heaven Scents lives up to its name.  Here’s what’s inside:

keyring

First and foremost is the very special anniversary keyring from M Micallef. With a beautiful glass perfume bottle that you can fill with the scent of your choice, this is as beautiful as jewellery. I’m already plotting as to how I can wear it as a necklace. It’s far too posh to go next to a bunch of keys and a mini Tesco Club card.M.-Micallef-20-Years

Micallef 20 Years. This is described as a “modern, fruity gourmand”. I must confess that I have never smelled anything from M Micallef so I am looking forward to getting stuck in. The display in Fortnum and Mason impressed me no end, but sadly I was already covered head to foot in eleventy billion perfumes at the time.

Miller-Harris-Noix-de-TuberueseMiller Harris Noix de Tuberose. I have reviewed this previously on the blog. It is a curious mix of nuts and tuberose and I like it much more this time round than I did when I first reviewed it.Prada-Candy-Florale-500x500

Prada Candy Florale: I have tried this little gem before and loved it. Here’s my glowing review. Unusually, it has a hit of limoncello in the middle, which is not what I expected from the name, but I love its playful tartness.

Shay-Blue-Blueberry-MuskShay & Blue Blueberry Musk: I have been really keen to try this one ever since I saw a Facebook ad for it. I wasn’t disappointed. Blueberry and Musk go so well together it’s a match made in Heaven, appropriately enough.  I’ve reviewed it here.

Jimmy-Choo-LeauJimmy Choo L’Eau: Now here’s one that changed my mind. I haven’t been too keen on previous Jimmy Choos but for some reason I have bene craving girly florals lately. This is a flanker to Jimmy Choo, but the L’Eau bit doesn’t mean weaker, just lighter. It’s impossibly pretty and pairs nectarine with my favourite, peony. I am surprising myself by being very tempted to get a full bottle. I guess I want to chase winter away with floaty flower petals.  Here’s my review.

Masion-Francis-Kurkdjian-Aqua-CelestiaMaison Francis Kurkdjian Paris, Aqua Celestia: I fell head over heels for this and plan to proose marriage very soon.  Here’s my full review. 

Weleda Jardin de Vie Rose: This blends Weleda-Jardin-de-Vie-Rosebold Damascene roses with peppery geranium and Ylang Ylang (smells like banana-like flowers). I’m going to come back to this one because I’m still swooning over Aqua Celestia. It was a hard act to follow.

Map-of-the-Heart-Red-Heart-v.3Map of The Heart Red Heart v3: This is a new perfume house that I haven’t heard of before. Anyone who puts sandalwood in all perfumes is going to be my friend forever. Red heart v3 is not as fruity as I was expecting, but the woods are to die for. This is sensual and addictive.

Judith Williams Lifelong Beauty Nutritive Body Butter: Scented boddybutterwith roses, this rich, creamy body butter is a delight to use and leaves skin subtly scented and smooth. The bottle has a handy pump dispenser and is a generous 150ml size.

So, there you have it: my full verdict.  My stand out favourites were Jimmy Choo L’Eau, Aqua Celestia and Red Heart v3.  It’s a fabulous selection. You’ll be certain to find a new favourite.

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 Stockists

The Heaven Scents Discovery Box is available from The Perfume Society website at £17.50 plus postage, or £12.50 plus postage for subscribers.

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Bvlgari Rose Goldea: The Essence of The Jeweler 2016

rose-goldeapic

 

Bvlgari Rose Goldea was launched in 2016 as a flanker to Bvlgari Goldea, which I haven’t tried so can’t compare. The nose behind Rose Goldea is Alberto Morillas, who also created almost all of the Bvlgari range for women, and to whom I owe gratitude for creating Voulez Vous Coucher Avec Moi for By Kilian, which I plan to review soon. perfsocpreciousperfume

I puzzled over Rose Goldea since I couldn’t figure out why this rose scent smells so distinctive. I spotted the peony, notable for adding feminine prettiness to many florals, but couldn’t put my finger on why this rose smells both sharper and lighter than other rose fragrances. The answer is pomegranate. Now, whilst red fruits can often add a Haribo sweetness that repels, rather than attracts me, pomegranate has enough bite and bitterness to put the petals in sharp relief and showcase their unique properties. The pretty peony builds it up, and the pomegranate leaves a strangely pleasing bitterness in its wake.

Bvlgari  Rose Goldea is a mufti faceted rose that has none of the Turkish Delight notes, nor the jammy sweetness of other rose perfumes.  Jasmine adds a headiness and there is s tiny bit of vanilla in the base, but the frankinscsence and sandalwood sober it up and keep it in check.

All in all, this is an interesting scent that brings out the botanical sharpness of a rose, rather than going down the romantic route. I would go as far as to say that, despite the impossibly pretty bottle, this could make an excellent unisex choice. It showcases strength and delicacy at the same time and is most certainly worth looking into should you come across it on your beauty counter trawling travels. I liked it very much and I am pretty much marinated in it. Gorgeous.

Stockists

My sample was in the Perfume Society Precious Perfumes Discovery Box. You can buy the boxes from their website here. Alternatively, you can buy full bottle of Bvlgari Rose Goldea from Escentual or John Lewis. Opinions are my own.

The Perfume Society Eaux La La Discovery Box: Full Review and Verdict

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It’s always a good day when a Perfume Society Discovery Box comes to the door. It usually involves several days of trying perfumes out, often leading me into the tempting and dangerous waters of The Full Bottle Wish List. Like an ever changing Top Forty, positions change by the week and on more than one occasion, a Perfume Society Discovery Box fragrance has shot into the Number One spot. They should give me my own show on Radio Fragrance FM (If only!)

Eaux La La, as you might guess, is French themed. Each scent is either French or inspired by the heartland of Fragrance: Grasse in Provence. Some I had tried before, some were surprises and one, Carven Ma Griffe, is a scent I had been longing to try for ages.  NB all photos are of full size products, not the samples included. (see top photo for contents).

Here’s my round up and verdict:

Agent Provocateur Signature

agent p

I loved this chypre. It’s in a similar vein to Narciso Rodriguez, with big flowers- jasmine, gardenia and magnolia, and a woody, musky base. I reviewed it some time ago here on the blog. Highly recommended!

L’Occitane Collection de Grasse Thé Vert & Bigarade

green tea

From our trusty friends at L’Occitane comes a wonderfully long lasting citrussy cologne style scent with good staying power. I recently reviewed it here. This is perfect for Summer.

Lalique Amethyst Éclat

lalique eclat

I’ve yet to be let down by Lalique and with blackberry, musk and peony, this is a very pretty fruity floral. Full marks for the stunning bottle too. My recent review is here.

Miller Harris L’Air de Rien

l'air de rien

Created for Jane Birkin, this is a combination of neroli, musk, patchouli and amber. Friend of the blog Lisa Wordbird rates it as a favourite comfort scent. I love its complexity. To me it smells like joss sticks and parties in a more bohemian era than this. My review is here.

Balmain Extatic

extatic

Described as a floriental, this is a big departure if you’re used to the Balmains of the past such as Jolie Madame and Balmain de Balmain. However, I guess we all have to move with the times. It was too sweet for me, but has many fans. My review is here.

Fragonard Soleil

Marks and Spencer

A generous little bottle with a tiny sun for a lid, this gem is another great summer scent. Fragonard never puts a foot wrong in my book. Here you will find white flowers and a warm amber/sandalwood base. If it was a colour, it would smell of gold. My review is here.

Carven Ma Griffe

ma griffe

Mossy chypres are my favourite genre and this classic exceeded my expectations. Put on your smart suit and gloves and trot to town in ladylike heels. This green and powdery chypre will never go out of style, at least as far as I’m concerned. My review is here.

Atelier Cologne Bergamote Soleil

atelier bottle

This was the first time I’d tried an Atelier Cologne. They have all the ingredients you love in colognes, but excellent longevity. Bergamote Soleil blew me away and lasted nine hours. My review is here.

Judith Williams Life Long Beauty Nourishing Rose Oil.

rose oil

This replenishing oil comes in a handy 10ml roller-ball. It smells beautiful and melts into skin. I’ve been using it at night and it always makes me look like I had ten hours of sleep, instead of the five hours I got after getting glued to a Netflix box set until 1 a.m.

L’Occitane en Provence Shea Butter Hand Cream

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I’m on Mumsnet more often than I care to admit and this comes up on just about every Style and Beauty thread that ever pops up about the best hand cream. My hands look like tortoises without hand cream and this mini tube smells gorgeous too. Perfect for your handbag.

Verdict

My Verdict of the Eaux La La Discovery Box? Guilty of Being Fabulous.

Stockists

You can buy the Perfume Society Eaux La la Discovery Box from The Perfume Society. Boxes are £17.50 for non subscribers and £12.50 for subscribers. There is no obligation to order one every month, like some subscriptions- you just buy one if you fancy it. I have bought all of them!

 

The Perfume Society Molton Brown Discovery Box: Review

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Once again I find myself picking over another box of delights from our friends at The Perfume Society. This time, it’s just one brand: Molton Brown.

Molton Brown is familiar to many as providers of posh toiletries in posh hotels (that I resist stealing with difficulty), but their fragrance range puts them rightfully in the frame as a perfume house to be reckoned with.

What makes this range stand out is that the notes used are instantly recognisable. There are no euphemisms: Ylang Ylang smells like Ylang Ylang , Honeysuckle and White Tea smells like honeysuckle and white tea etc., you get the picture. This is in fact one of the strengths of this little set. It is absolutely ideal for someone who wants to learn to recognise individual notes having recently entered the Perfume Portal of Endless Discovery. There is a gentle clarity in each one giving these a cologne like transparency, yet with eau de parfum staying power. (They are in fact all eau de toilettes, but have great longevity)

I shall give you a mini review of each one below to help you make up your mind. Details on how to buy the set or the full bottles will be at the end.

fierypinkpepper

Fiery Pink Pepper

This one was a lovely surprise. You may have heard me have a moan recently that fruity pink pepper ( which is a berry not peppercorn) is being overused and fruity florals are being doused in the stuff. But wait! Here my faith in pink pepper as a note is restored. There is a rosy fruitiness about this one, but teamed with citrus, nutmeg and ginger, you have a more refreshing astringent take on it, with a nice warm finish.

honeysuckle

Blossoming Honeysuckle and White Tea

Honeysuckle is one of my favourite flowers. I can’t walk past it without leaning into a front garden for a sneaky snort. In fact I bought myself a honeysuckle bush just yesterday. Honeysuckle is sweet, with a slightly peachy, milky accord and in real life, it’s a little piece of heaven.  It is coupled here with white tea, and a touch of tuberose and jasmine to bring out the floral tones rather than the fruitiness. The white tea makes this a clean, fresh-out-of-the shower scent.

bushukan

Bushukan

This is allegedly for men, but would smell equally good on a woman. It opens with classic cologne touches of citrus and herbs: notably lemon and basil, and beds down into a balsamic woody finish.

oudhgold

Mesmerising Oudh Accord and Gold

This is ideal if you’ve ever been tempted to ask “what’s all this oudh business?” Oudh has flooded the market in the last two years and this fragrance is a good way to isolate that oudh note and see if you like it. Oudh stems from rotten agar wood, but don’t let that put you off. Rot, like moss or certain natural fungi can smell both rich and sweet and not unpleasant. Here it is combined with all the richest notes: tobacco, myrrh, vetiver and cinnamon. It’s like a little gentleman’s club in a bottle.

black pepper

Recharge Black Pepper

I thought there was lime in this, but in fact it is lemon, which goes very well with black pepper whether as a scent or on green beans! With a refreshing zingy opening, this beds down into an almost but not quite chypre finish, with oak moss, vetiver and ambergris. It has a clean masculine scent that smells great.

orange bergamot

Orange and Bergamot

This does what it says on the tin, but better. In a similar vein to Jo Malone Lime Mandarin Bergamot, (but stronger) this is an astringent, bright cologne that has strength and staying power. These two notes together are a classic combination and I would happily bathe in this till the cows come home.

gingerlily

Heavenly Gingerlily

This is another fragrance that has spices but remains almost crystalline in its transparency. It has the slightly honeyed spice of marigolds, the tartness of ginger, and a big bunch of white flowers in the middle. All the way through it remains light, like a rain shower. It’s a very clever blend indeed.

ylang

Ylang Ylang

I always think of Ylang Ylang as leathery banana flowers and since I tried Anya’s Garden Ylang Ylang absolute, I think I’ve definitely got the hang of Ylang Ylang. Molton Brown Ylang Ylang has added leather which seems to accentuate this aspect, but teamed with ginger, vanilla and cedar, this makes for an interesting fragrance that left a sweet honeyed trail of woody notes on my skin after around an hour.

So that’s all eight of them and I hope done this lovely collection justice.

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Stockists

You can buy the Molton Brown Discovery Set from the Perfume Society via this link here, or you can buy full bottles from Molton Brown, Boots or House of Fraser.

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Orla Kiely by Orla Kiely

orla kiely bottle

Orla Kiely is the Irish designer who always reminds me of a 21st century Barbara Hulanicki with her quirky geometric prints and repeat patterns. It seemed inevitable that a fragrance would follow and I’m glad it did. This pretty scent is not only ideal for daytime and work wear, but has a very agreeable price: retailing at under £20 a bottle.

Orla Kiely opens with refreshing bergamot, tea and peach. You’ll be pleased to know that my description doesn’t make it smell like Liptons Iced Tea, although I wouldn’t mind if it did. The flowers emerge gradually and there are some pretty petals in here- namely roses, geranium and peachy osmanthus. A little hint of juicy fig peeks out and there is a whisper of chocolate. The chocolate is thankfully used sparingly here  The tea and the bergamot restrain it from going down an overly sweet route.

orla collection

The base is sandalwood, fig and again the very mild soupcon of chocolate. For a few moments there was a definite hint of pencil shavings on my arm, but sandalwood can sometimes do that to me. The finish is a woody floral melange with a refreshing tang of tea. All in all, a good buy that will stand you in good stead for Spring and Summer. It should almost go without saying that the box is pretty too!

One Fragrantica user reckons that this is similar to Must de Cartier Eau Fine, which can’t be a bad thing with change from a twenty pound note.

Stockists

Orla Kiely is available from Amazon.co.uk at 19.95 for 100ml. I received my sample in a Perfume Society Discovery Box.

Photos

Photographs: Top photo from Fragrantica, bottom photo from www.thewomensroomblog.com