Tag Archives: Roses

L’Occitane Roses et Reines: The Sublime Queen of the Roses

rosesetreines

One of my favourite Christmas presents this year was a box of miniature perfume that my lovely friend Rachael bought me from L’Occitane.  Not only do I love the brand,  but almost nobody ever buys me perfume.   Maybe they labour under the misapprehension that I already have “enough”? You and I know there’s no such thing when it comes to perfume.

Loccitane box

L’Occitane Roses et Reines is a radiant fruity floral. It just about zings off my skin like rosy sunbeams and wafts pleasantly about in my wake.

Now although I’ve called it a fruity floral, make no mistake. This is first and foremost a  big, gorgeous, girly rose, but it is supported by a  bijoux fruit bowl that brings out the different facets.

mini roses

There’s raspberry: one of the more delicate of the red fruits. It’s not bold or overly sweet like strawberries or pink pepper. Out of all red fruits and berry notes, raspberry is just about the only one I really enjoy. It complements the rose particularly well.

Secondly, there’s a touch of apricot. Apricot has the fruity heart of peach without the overly sweet aspect, nor the frequent synthetic territory that peach often wanders into.  There’s bergamot too, but I only noticed this when the perfume first bloomed on my skin. It’s a tart accompaniment that sets the tone. This rose may be as feminine as a ballerina, but it’s never sickly or cloying.

roses et reines

Roses et Reines has a wonderful vintage feel to it. The beautiful bottle itself runs with the heritage motif and would look at home on any dressing table, especially mine. This is a wonderful, classic rose. The fruit adds a playfulness, and the base gives me a whisper of good old fashioned powdery notes. There’s nothing about L’Occitane Roses et Reines that I don’t love.

 

Stockists

You can buy Roses et Reines from L’Occitane stores and online. You can also buy L’Occitane products at John Lewis and Amazon UK to name but two.  My beautiful mini was a gift and opinions are of course, my own.

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Tauerville Rose Flash: Review

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Nobody can accuse Andy Tauer of not being good to his fans. Whilst the Tauer range remains one of the highest quality niche fragrance brands in the world, the price tag isn’t always within everybody’s reach. This doesn’t mean they’re not worth every penny: Andy sources ingredients, makes it, bottles, it and posts it himself. With niche, you know the money you spend goes on ingredients and not the supermodel fronting the ad campaign.turkish-delight-pic

There are now five scents in the Tauerville Flash range and at around £50 for a 30ml bottle, I call them all excellent value. Under the Tauerville banner, Andy has made a series of cheaper scents that are consistently high quality with excellent longevity, yet the price makes them accessible: so accessible, that I’m thinking of getting the lot (eventually).

Today I am reviewing Rose Flash. What makes Rose Flash powerful is that this rose has many facets. It opens like a kitchen in which strawberry jam is being cooked. There’s a hint of burnt sugar before the strawberries fade into roses. The rose segues from jam into Turkish Delight, yet manages to never be too sweet.

rose-close-up The Turkish Delight, in turn, starts to bloom like a flower fresh from the garden: similar to a chrysanthemum: that spring time “clean” scent. Then the rose, still on its journey, turns into the familiar deep red rose of Valentine’s Day, with a sweetness that reminds me of rose creams, but thankfully, and this is the real saving grace for me- no vanilla! This would have become a cliché if vanilla had been added as a co-star, as it has been in mainstream scent way too often lately,  but with Rose Flash, Andy lets the rose speak for itself.

There is additional support from woods and resins, and I got some musk and amber in there too, which serve to enhance the smoky, woody base that borders on rose incense sticks. This is rose to the core and gets very addictive once it’s on your skin. I love the way it unfolds, like a dance of the seven veils.

This is a superb rose perfume and I would go as far as saying that this is one of the best ways you can spend £50 on perfume. Quality, long lasting artisan perfume at these prices? It’s a steal.

Stockists

You can buy Rose Flash from Tauerville (check shipping regs) In the UK Rose Flash is also available from Les Senteurs. In the USA, you can find it in Lucky Scent. My sample was kindly given to me by friend of the blog Lisa Wordbird. Thank you Lisa! x

Photos: Top photo: Fragrantica, Turkish Delight from RosannaPansino.com, Photo of a rose from happyvalentinesday2015.org, photo of rollerball from tauerville.com

Annick Goutal Rose PomPon 2016: Roses Come Out To Play

rose perfumesrose pom pom

With a name like Rose PomPon you might expect a pretty, playful fragrance, and you’d be right. Annick Goutal Rose PomPon is a delightful rose scent that is made green and quirky with the addition of both raspberries and blackcurrants. Sometimes blackcurrants can smell like cat pee, but not here. Here their bitterness and greenery is brought out alongside creamy centifolia rose until I was reminded more of fresh tomato leaves than Ribena.

The flower petals add to the feminine feel of PomPon: rose and peony make it their own. I always think peony is the textbook note when “light and girly” is required and this is no exception.

pom pom ad

The base is long lasting and has hints of clean white musk and faint woods. There is patchouli here, but it is only a whisper.

With the combination of raspberry, blackcurrant and the ubiquitous pink pepper (a berry, not a spice), this could be placed in the fruity floral category. However, the roses and peony are allowed to dominate, whilst the fruit makes both even greener and lighter, skipping any hints of fruit cocktail or overpowering sweetness. It’s not typical of the genre: it has a lot more to offer.

This is a rose for a modern girl. If I had to sum it up I would call it a rose fraiche. I wouldn’t turn a bottle down any time soon. The only thing about Rose PomPon that isn’t pretty, is the greed it brought out in me. There have been so many Must Buys lately that 2016 is shaping up to be a superb year for fragrance and a terrible year for my bank account.

Wear with a tea dress.

Stockists

I got my sample from the Perfume Society Exquisite Essences Discovery Box. You can buy a full bottle from Escentual, Harvey Nichols or House of Fraser.

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Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin: Death by Roses


Image

 “She’s a rose with thorns, don’t mess with her. She’s a girl who goes to extremes.

When she can, she soothes; and when she wants … ! 
Her fragrance lifts you higher, she rocks and shocks.”

-Serge Lutens

 I like a rose. The smell of rose petals has me inhaling deeply and satisfyingly. There is nothing to beat the smells found in nature. My grandmother’s rose garden was her pride and joy and her passion was infectious.  She grew deep velvety red roses, roses with coral petals named after the Queen Mother, and a lovely yellow rose whose petals were tinged pink like a blush. My grandmother died ten years ago but she is with me every time I smell a rose in the sunshine.  Roses make me happy.

Or so I thought until I smelt Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin. My first impression, admittedly after a day of trawling Sephora and Marionnaud, was “After Eight Mints”. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it was the high concentration of the roses giving them a slightly medicinal scent, bordering on herbal, or even antispectic. Maybe it was the fact I was saturated in more than seven fragrances at the time. I had broken my golden rule of “one scent, one arm, and then go home”. But when faced with a sweet shop, it’s hard to just buy one humbug.

La Fille de Berlin is like having concentrated essence of Roses squirted up each nostril and then being shoved face down into black cherry jam, whilst being read stark war poetry. You may well feel differently. The combination of Rose and Pepper is considered by some to be a perfect balance: a sort of serendipity, like bacon and maple syrup. What lucky chance that these two were thrown together to make a symphony worthy of Kings. I once knew a girl who loved Marmalade with her Sausages. It’s remarkably good, though not, of course as a fragrance.

With La Fille de Berlin the image and name contribute to my aversion. There is an impression of sadness, war and grief beneath the fragrance. The video on the Serge Lutens website left me feeling bereft and hollow, helpless with a compassion that has no direction or use. It’s all cold thorns, snow and suffering. Wearing La Fille de Berlin ruins a good memory and paints bad memories over the top of it. It repels me and makes me scared of losing cherished memories of smelling roses. It stamps over the petals, reminding me only of the thorns and bloody fingers. Even the bottle is a bit too red for comfort.

This is melancholy and tragic and the roses are too many, like a nightmarish replication that suffocates until roses become your enemy. Give me back a rose I can enjoy.

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