Tag Archives: perfume

Guerlain Insolence: Where Have You Been All My Life?

insolence

 

Sometimes when I’m  exploring new fragrances to blog about, something comes along that makes me wonder why on earth I have taken so long to get round to it.  Guerlain Insolence is one example- why haven’t I tried it before?

This gorgeous violetty dream was created in 2006 by Maurice Roucel  and Sylvaine Delacourte, both solidly experienced Guerlain Noses.  It could be said that this was Guerlain’s answer to the thirst for  fruity florals, but using Violet and Iris as the florals and including Bergamot and Lemon as the fruit, they have created a masterpiece that ticks the fruity floral boxes yet remains unique in the field.

Yes there are strawberries and red berries , but somehow the restrained use just serves to make the Violets smell sweeter, but not sickly:  like sugar free Parma Violets.  Then the Iris comes in and stops the Violet getting overly sweet, framing it in that very slightly rooty, dry sort of way that Iris has. There is a gorgeous soapiness that I happen to love in a fragrance:  here it smells like high-end soap from a luxury hotel, thrice milled and pure white.

insolence

Resonance and longevity are not just good, but could go nuclear with overspraying, in an Angel sort of way.  With Insolence, two sprays will last till lunch, eight would bring down an elephant.

I adore this violet perfume that has such a thick soapy background and yet remains pretty and complex at the same time.  I have a wish list of Guerlain fragrance and it goes like this:  Chamade, Vol de Nuit, Shalimar and now, Insolence. Maybe I will print this off and send it up the chimney for Santa or Mary Poppins.

 

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Yves Rocher Moment de Bonheur: Roses, Roses, Roses

moment de bonheur

  As you may know, I’m a big fan of Yves Rocher and awaiting a parcel for them later this week.  I love that the quality is high and the freebies and special offers are plentiful.

It’s shame there are no stores in the UK and I have had to make a few blind buys, but I have never been disappointed.  I am particularly fond of Yves Rocher Cléa, which, if you’re a fan, smells a bit like Dove and makes for a deliciously creamy, ambery fragrance. Today I am reviewing Yves Rocher Moment de Bonheur, a rather lovely, simple floral. It opens with drunken rose petals.  By drunken I mean that it reminds me of the rose petal perfume I used to make when I was little.  I would collect rose petals from the garden and keep them in a jar of water.  The resulting perfume would not be um…commercial, but it smelled like rose petals that were on the turn: over ripe if you like and on the point of being fermented.  I’m not painting a pretty picture but in fact the rose scent from the stewed and dampened petals really summed up summer for me.

Moment de Bonheur was in fact created for Autumn and was launched in September 2011.  This would make sense, since the base has a hint of spice and warmth in the patchouli and cedar finish.  However, despite the geranium and green notes, Moment de Bonheur, to me will always be roses, roses, roses: stem, leaves and all. It’s light as a petal and borderline soapy in places, but I love it. If you like rose fragrances you can’t go wrong with this one.

photo by theimaginationtree.com
photo by theimaginationtree.com

Lady Gaga Fame: More Tame than Fame

 

gaga

  Lady Gaga Fame took me by surprise.  With Gaga’s inexhaustible originality and eccentricity, and with the gold claw and black juice of the bottle, I was expecting something clashing and well…Gaga. Maybe a combination of jarring, clanging Cacharel Eden with the daring creosote of Tauer’s Lonestar Memories? Maybe she would have used an ingredient never used before in perfume (is there one? I’m still working my way through…). But no. In Fame : Lady Gaga has (shock, horror), gone all ladylike on us.

Today she is wearing a twin set and pearls and sipping her ubiquitous porcelain cuppa. Lady-Gagas-Fame-Perfume-AdThe notes of the perfume are: Belladonna (more for it’s reputation and mystique than for its scent I feel), Apricots (definitely in there somewhere), Honey (just a soupcon) Orchid (a hint), Saffron (hard to discern), Sambac Jasmine (very bold) and Incense (only in the base and round the edges).

The notes surprised me somewhat since on my skin at least, this is a pleasant, slightly violet, powdery floral with a hint of honeyed apricot, but nothing too sweet.  After a few hours, there is a faint tang of something enigmatic and jazz clubby when the incense comes in, but otherwise, this is rather pretty and, dare I say it? – not really edgy at all.

Despite it’s forbidding dark image (and fantastic ads), this would be lovely as day wear, or workwear. The price is excellent at well under £20, and it is widely available at beauty counters and more general stores such as Wilkinsons. It’s good, it’s ladylike, it’s pretty and provides a refreshing change from all that sugar.

Stockists

Try Amazon UK, or allbeauty.com.  Fame currently retails at around £17 for 100ml.

BVLGARI Omnia Indian Garnet  

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A new release for 20114, BVLGARI Omnia Indian Garnet is in the same vein as Omnia Jade and the rest of the Crystal range, and the bottle is similar too: looking like a beautiful piece of modern jewellery.

The blurb says it “captures the magic and the sensuality of Tuberose and Osmanthus” and frankly, it does.

Omnia Indian Garnet makes me think of sunsets at the end of an Indian Summer day.  This could just be the orange packaging, I suppose, but the hint of Amber underneath the rather lovely Tuberose (added with a light hand) and the Apricotty Osmanthus, makes for a wonderful summer scent with a faint bite of heat in the base.

My only complaint here is that I would have liked it to have had more oomph.  It’s so light and delicate that even two minutes after testing I have to sniff very close to my skin to get a waft of it. Lasting power is also disappointing at around three hours close to skin.  However, I am testing the Eau de Toilette so maybe with an Eau de Parfum this problem would be solved. Unfortunately I don’t see any Eau de Parfums on the Omnia range at all, anywhere, so I guess that’s that.

The bottle alone is enough to make me buy this, but I just need this delicate flower to have a few more muscles.

Stockists

You can buy Bvlgari Omnia Indian Garnet from Escentual or Amazon UK. 

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Yardley Jade: a welcome Déjà Vu

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Whilst having a quick browse around Boots today between errands, I came across a perfume I hadn’t seen before : Yardley Jade. Naturally I couldn’t resist testing it and by the time I reached the exit, I was thinking “Hmm. Chanel Cristalle. I bet that phase won’t last.”  Yet here I am, nd.12three hours later, and it still smells as if I am wearing Chanel Cristalle.

As you may know from my previous reviews, I was in an exclusive relationship with Chanel Cristalle  for nearly twenty years, with occasional forays into temporary favourites. Green, light and floral, Cristalle is paradoxically no lightweight, with its Oakmossy finish and long lasting Galbanum touches.

It’s looking as if Jade by Yardley is singing the same song, but, as you might imagine,  for a fraction of the price. I’m never without a bottle of Cristalle and on a wrist to wrist experiment, there was very little in it.  Jade claims to have Peaches, but thankfully, I can smell none.  Both open with Bergamot. Both perfumes have that translucent green feel to them, with a hint of fresh, clean hyacinth, and both have a mossy finish.

Time for the maths bit: The current price for Yardley Jade is £7.99 for a 50ml EDT in Boots.  The current price for Chanel Cristalle EDT is £49 for  a 60ml EDT. (I felt it was only fair to compare like with like, although I tested Jade alongside the Cristalle EDP not EDT).

So there you have it. I wish Yardley had invented this during the period of my life when I couldn’t  afford Cristalle, but better late than never. Oh and a huge Hallelujah that this totally lacks Vanilla, red fruit or anything candy floss. Common Sense prevailed at Yardley.

 

 

Gucci Rush: I’m In No Hurry

 

 rush

In my much loved, dog eared copy of Perfumes TheA-Z Guide, Tania Sanchez raves about Gucci Rush. It gets five stars and a lot of love from her.  It was created under Tom Ford’s reign at Gucci and shows no sign of being discontinued.  Me being me, I can’t help asking the question:  if they can keep this from the Tom Ford era why couldn’t they keep Gucci Envy?  But that’s just me and hundreds of others thinking that. Pay us no heed. I was pretty under whelmed by Gucci Rush.  Within ten minutes it settles into its basenote phase and stays put.

photo by junipercakery.co.uk
photo by junipercakery.co.uk

In fact it’s irritating me and I might wash it off.  It’s not irritating my skin of course, just my nose. What is it that’s getting on my nerves about this?  Well it’s probably the dominant Peach.  Peach drives me away from scent like a little IScent repellent and it even came between me and my beloved Arpege in the end. What I have on my arm and wrist right now smells like powdery Milk and Peaches, and by Peaches I mean the perfume note rather then the real aromatic scent of a fresh peach, which I probably wouldn’t mind so much.

There is noticeable Patchouli too, but it seems to me like a watery Patchouli that I don’t get on with, rather than a robust woody Patchouli that I often seek out and enjoy. I was on the brink of finding a compliment for Rush: namely that it is unique and in all the 380 reviews I have written I have never smelled anything like it.  However, I see on Fragrantica that there are at least five perfumes that Fragrantica readers are reminded of when smelling Gucci Rush, so it even loses points for originality.

In the spirit of Eurovision I award Gucci Rush trois points.  Out of ten.  I just don’t like the song it sings.

Narciso Rodriguez Musc For Her: Up Close And Personal

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Every good fragrance wardrobe should have a musk. You can wear it alone or layer it, but it is a true staple, like a winter coat.

Today I am reviewing Narciso Rodriguez Musc For Her and I am sampling it in the form of the oil or “Her oil Perfume” as it says on the box. The oil seems hard to get hold of, so you might like to try the EDP, which may have more lasting power.  In my experience, oils last longer, but not in this case it would seem.  Or maybe its my hungry skin.

According to Fragrantica, this claims to have all sorts of notes in  it: Vetiver, Orange Blossom, Osmanthus, Amber, Woods and Vanilla.  When I first applied it it smelled like stale air for just a minute and then it smelled like new shoes still in the box (for some people that would be  enough of a great smell if only they could bottle it!). Within five minutes this had settled down into a clean musk with a hint of Orange Blossom, and maybe the faintest whisper of Amber, but it would frankly be ambitious to try and pin down any of the other notes as this scent is sadly very fleeting on me.  The notes I could smell were like a blur, they have gone almost before you can name them.

This is very close to skin, but nonetheless lovely.  It is sexy, intimate and would only be experienced by those who hug or kiss you.  You’d never fill a room with this even if you smashed the whole bottle on the floor.

Yes, this is a lovely musk and no it doesn’t last long. If it lasts longer on you than it did on me (less than an hour, with my nose right up against my wrist) then I would say buy it.  It could be the staple your fragrance wardrobe needs.

 

 

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Aftelier Fig: Welcome to Narnia

aftelier.com
aftelier.com

 

Aftelier is the brainchild of Mandy Aftel, who creates perfumes from natural and botanical essences.  This is the first perfume I have reviewed from Aftelier, but I hope it won’t be my last.

Aftelier Fig does not open with Fig.  In fact, despite its name, this is not strictly a Fig perfume, although it has an important cameo.

narniafans.com
narniafans.com

Aftelier Fig opens with bold Pine (Fir) and brash Lemon, and initially reminded me of the smell of damp old stone.  This is by no means a complaint: its one of my favourite smells.  According to Fragrantica, Fig contains Castoreum (from our beaver friends) and Civet (often giving an intimate “skanky” smell).  Neither of these presented themselves to me, but what I did get was a blast of outdoors and a good dose of old, antique dark wood.

Fig itself  is one of those notes I grew to love gradually, thanks largely to the efforts of Jean Claude Ellena and his delectable Un Jardin en Mediterranee and also via Premier Figeur from L’Artisan Parfumeur (both reviewed on this blog).  However its juicy over ripeness is almost absent from Aftelier Fig, or so you think before this beds down into the long, lazy basenote phase.  With a whiff of Oud, a hint of Musk and a figgy juicyness that actually comes from Yuzu, not Fig, this has a deliciously woody, musty end phase that made me a big fan. It smells like the back of the wardrobe that leads to Narnia: all damp aged wood and fresh pine with the grown up juicy heart adding a hint of something delicious and tempting.

They should issue bottles of this with every book of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. If you get a hint of Mr and Mrs Beaver, even better.  Interesting. Very interesting…

Lolita Lempicka Eau de Parfum: On a Dark Velvety Night

lolita

Lolita Lempicka make the most delightful bottles: the gilded apples bring to mind Eve in the Garden of Eden. When quality is this high, and prices are this low, then temptation is afoot.

 Lolita Lempicka EDP was launched in 1997 and seems a decade late. I like this scent because I am a fan of Cacharel LouLou.  LouLou is full of Licorice-y notes and if you don’t like that, then you might not fall for Lolita Lempicka EDP.  There are however, many other scents to the brand that are worth trying, which I am looking forward to reviewing in future.

photo from www.ign.com
photo from www.ign.com

This slightly Gothic-y fragrance opens boldly with Green Ivy, Violet, Licorice, Almonds and if you wait a few minutes…Chocolate.  On paper it sounds like a mish mash but on skin it gives an edgy, Eighties nightclub feel that brings to mind my student years in Goth nightclubs.  Had this been invented then, it might have been my signature instead of my beloved LouLou. If this were a fabric, it would be dark plum velvet.  If it were a drink it would be absinthe, and if it were a woman it would be Siouxsie Sioux.

This is rich and sweet, but not in a candy  floss way because the dark Orris Root and sober Vetiver calm it down. On me there is a hint of vinyl, which fits the visuals in my head: a Goth student in the Eighties playing vinyl records (probably Sisters of Mercy and The Cure) late into the night. The cherries give it a medicinal flavour and add a boozy note, like Cherry Brandy. The whole shebang ends on a long glide of Liquorice and Musk. Longevity is good on me at around six hours.

I wouldn’t recommend buying this blind, but if you like it, you have a bargain that doesn’t smell like a bargain.  It’s both unusual and widely available and yet I have never, ever met anyone who wears this (except friend of the blog Lisa Wordbird, I’m sure she has it). In any case, despite being easy to get hold of (the perfume, not Lisa- she’s a lady) this still smells a bit niche, so it’s great to smell a bit different to everyone else for under twenty quid.