Tag Archives: Perfume Society

The Perfume Society Modern Classics Discovery Box: My Review

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I have in front of me The Perfume Society Modern Classics Discovery Box. I’ve spoken of these little boxes before.  In fact, I’m not sure I’ve missed one since they first began.

The Modern Classics Box is a must for anyone on their first foray into fragrance.  Even if you’re not, it’s great to have the classics at your fingertips, and classics they are: each and every one.

I’m going to be reviewing some of these in more detail soon, but in the meantime, here’s the list of what’s in the box:

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Yardley Contemporary Classics English Freesia

I’m a big fan of florals, and Yardley, bless ‘em, have been doing florals for generations. They do them very well, and Freesia is no exception. I have a whole bouquet of Yardley scents on my dressing table: April Violets, English Rose,  English Lavender,  Bluebell, and after today, it looks like a full bottle of Yardley Freesia won’t be far behind.

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Cartier Baiser Fou

This new scent from Cartier is worlds apart from the original and far more sober Baiser Vole.  Cartier Baiser Fou (crazy kiss) smells like lipstick kisses, strawberries and milky bar.  I didn’t think I was going to like it, as it sounded too sweet for me, but actually I was completely charmed by it.flower by kenzo

Flower by Kenzo

I wasn’t sure if I knew this one, until I sprayed it and realised “Oh! THAT’S Kenzo Flower!” It’s baby powder, wet wipes, fluffy towels and innocent flowers. I’ll be reviewing this one in more detail soon.

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Marc Jacobs Daisy

Both ubiquitous and glorious, this light, airy crowd pleaser will never go out of fashion, and its not just because of the delightful toy town flower bottles.  See my review here.

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L’Occitane Terre de Lumiere

A stunning summer scent from L’Occitane with notes of lavender honey, bergamot and a warm base of almond and tonka. This makes me want to lie in the sun with a straw hat on and be very, very indolent.columbia

Angela Flanders Columbia Rose

Columbia Road in achingly cool Shoreditch is the scene of the famous Columbia Road Flower Market every Sunday, when the street is filled with greenery and botany and petals and buds. Worth visiting for the scent alone, it’s little wonder that  perfumer Angela Flanders saw fit to open her shop here.

This is how roses used to smell before factory farming chased the old-fashioned scent away.  There’s something slightly earthy about it too, thanks to the patchouli and amber in the base. This is patchouli with rough edges and it complements the centrifola rose like Mellors complemented  Lady Chatterley.

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Illuminum White Gardenia Petals

This scent of green notes and heady white gardenia may well be my absolute favourite from the box.  As worn by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge on her wedding day, this beautiful fragrance is right up my street, even if I can’t quite compete with Catherine’s untouchable glamour. I’ll be reviewing it in more detail very soon.

Narciso Rodriguez for her EDP

This beauty has been a classic since its launch.  NR For Her was created by the ultimate dream team of Christine Nagel and Francis Kurkdjian and I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t smell wonderful in it, including me! You can read my review here.

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Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Eye (lotion tube)

I don’t know what this is like yet, but buy the sound of the name, I need it BADLY.  After squinting at computer screens and phone screens, and being tormented by hay fever and contact lenses, my forty-seven-year-old eyes need all the help they can get.  I’m fifty in three years’ time but I don’t want to look like I am!

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Minnies Literally Lovely Shimmering Body Lotion.

A sachet sized treat that is going in my overnight bag. Possibly too glamorous for the school run, but I’ll be spoiling myself with this next time I get away from it all.

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As usual with Perfume Society Discovery Boxes, there are scent sniffing strips and handy postcards with discussion prompts and facts about each item.  All the goodies come in a smart white gift box with the Perfume Society Logo on. They make excellent gifts for your friends or for Mothers Day,  but I’m not giving mine away!

Stockists

These boxes are exclusive to The Perfume Society, and cost £17.50 each or £12.50 if you are a VIP subscriber. My box was kindly sent to me by The Perfume Society.  Opinions are my own.

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Hermès Galop D’Hermès by Christine Nagel 2016

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Galop D’Hermès is the much-anticipated latest launch from Hermès. There are two things about it which excite me.  Firstly, it is perfume i.e not eau de parfum or eau de toilette, but actual perfume.  Secondly, it was made by Christine Nagel, who is nothing less than legendary.

I will begin by saying that if leather is not your thing, then you may wish to sit this one out. Galop D’Hermès is all about the leather. However, it’s not just leather, because that’s been done. Galop D’Hermès is more about a power struggle between a feminine side and a masculine side.  As it turns out, neither wins and both are victorious.

In the opening there is leather straight away. Top notes are listed as being quince and saffron. Quince might be an unusual choice, and indeed, it only makes a brief cameo, but somehow it stops the dry, spicy saffron getting too sober. The middle phase heads straight into leather and Turkish rose territory and pretty much stays put. This is what gives Galop it’s USP. The rose and leather are so seamlessly blended that you cannot decide whether the saddle is made of roses or whether the rose has leather petals.

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The leather, it must be said, is terrific. It’s unmistakably horsey, as the name would suggest, but it has a softness that comes from the unfinished inside of a belt: the rougher, unpolished side. This isn’t Sloaney Hermes, this is real, battered leather and being of perfume concentration, this is what you leave in your wake and on your pillow the next day.

If you like the sound of this, then you will love Galop D’Hermès.

Stockists

You can buy Galop D’Hermès from John Lewis.  Brace yourself. It’s not cheap. Alternatively, you can do as I did, and buy a Precious Perfumes Discovery Box  from The Perfume Society which has a generous perfume strength sample.

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Ormonde Jayne Tsarina: Mysterious Madame

Portrait of Empress Alexandra Fedorovna, from wikiart

Tsarina captures opulence and passion. It demands furs, leather, brocade, heavy silks in sweeping dresses and fabulous jewels to go with her haughty heritage.

I have heard of Ormonde Jayne many times, and apart from a brief acquaintance with the lovely Vanille D’Iris, I have wanted to know more about this London based brand for some time now. The opportunity arose recently when Ormonde Jayne Tsarina was included in the Perfume Society Precious Perfumes Discovery Box. It was time to have a sniff and do a bit of nosing around. Sometimes, in the right light, I look like Velma off Scooby Doo.

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Niche brand Ormonde Jayne is the brain child of perfumer Linda Pilkington, who founded the house in 2002.  Linda took inspiration from her global adventures prior to opening shop on London’s Old Bond Street and the brand has gone from strength to strength, earning the respect of critics and peers alike.

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Linda Pilkington

My first foray into Ormonde Jayne is Tsarina. Everything about it is understated and muted, like a classy boutique hotel where money is never discussed.  I must confess, dear reader, that I found this one hard to review. It gave me a run for my money as  I’ll explain.

The opening notes are orange, bergamot, cassis and coriander. However, this is one of those cases where the notes listed do not match my experience at all yet is none the poorer for not co-operating.  The top notes might lead you to expect a cologne style citrus opening, but that was not my experience. The middle notes made more sense to me: iris, suede, jasmine sambac and freesia. The base notes are sandalwood, cedar, labdanum, musk and vanilla.

What this was like to my nose was a classy suede affair with buttery orris and a pile of good vanilla. The jasmine sambac emerges with more subtlety than I was expecting and in fact, it was the leathery, ambery tones of the labdanum that had more muscles than petals. Tsarina blended into this leathery vanilla buttery accord almost straight away and stayed put as it was. It didn’t really change or move, but lasted very well. I confess that I wouldn’t buy a  full bottle, but it’s easy to see why the brand has a following: the quality is superb, with deep resonance and quality ingredients, seamlessly blended.

This was what I call a “problem perfume” in that I had to think for a very long time as to how I was going to describe it.

In a survey of three Welsh people, one Englishman, and a cat, the verdict was mixed. The family and I all had varying views of Tsarina that were nothing like the notes described. It made me think of Elastoplast.  My husband said it reminded him of Lynx Tobacco and Amber, and my seven year old said it reminded him of flapjacks. You can see how I had trouble writing about it. In the end, leathery, buttery vanilla felt like the most accurate description.

Stockists

Intrigued?  Find out more at the Ormonde Jayne website, or visit the shop on London’s Old Bond Street. My sample was from The Perfume Society Precious Perfumes Discovery Box, which I bought  last week.

Bvlgari Rose Goldea: The Essence of The Jeweler 2016

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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.

Beaufort London Fathom V: A Maritime Miracle

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Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange. – Ariels Song

I am bewitched and enchanted. I have been turned into a mermaid.

beaufort-london_fathom_1-septBeaufort London is a new and currently small outfit, based in London, as you have probably guessed.  My previous knowledge of them consisted only of my experience of Beaufort 1805, a sample of which had been provided in a previous Perfume Society Discovery Box. Beaufort London 1805 was a powerful scent that blew my head off like a gunship’s cannon. I admired it, but respectfully left it for others to enjoy. Fathom V on the other hand, blew me away in quite a different manner altogether.

From the very first sniff of this, whilst it was still wet, I thought of salty London docks , mossy with age and rusty with decay. It was a deliciously uplifting and evocative scent, bursting with green notes as well as the green flanks of a boat on an earthy mudbank.

Lurking in there somewhere is an almost unsettlingly sexy note of thigh and  pheromone. It’s like a pirate’s breeches, but so, so alluring.  It’s hypnotic, evocative and utterly bewitching. It makes my head feel like it’s stuck in a  poem about crashing waves and damsels and incredibly attractive pirates. Oh and did I mention the lilies? The greenest of lily notes ever created is in here, giving this a botanic saltiness and adding to the hypnotic effect.

So what’s in? Not that it matters, really, it’s already made its mark on me, but here’s a list of notes:

Top notes: earth, green notes, aqutic notes

Middle notes: cumin, lily, black pepper

Base: Vetiver, moss, salt

If Beaufort Fathom V is sniffed with your eyes closed before sleep, you will have the most ethereal oceanic dreams. I wholeheartedly recommend it.  I shall resist adding “me hearties” on the end. Oh, whoops!

Stockists

Beaufort Fathom V is available from Beaufort London. They also do moustache wax, which makes me love them even more, despite not having a moustache.  Shipping is free within the UK. My sample was from The Perfume Society Precious Perfumes Discovery Box.

 Acknowledgements: Painting by John William Waterhouse. Sample and opinions are my own.

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