Tag Archives: Summer perfume

L’Occitane Terre de Lumiere: The Perfect Summer’s Day

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L’Occitane en Provence is one of my favourite brands and I was not surprised to discover that once again they have come up with the goods and produced yet another gorgeous fragrance.  L’Occitane Terre de Lumiere encapsulates the perfect lazy summer day. Its evocative powers are as potent as a genie.

terre de lumiere advert

It was inspired by the “Golden Hour” i.e that bit before dusk where the sun starts to wane and you decide it’s not too early for a glass of special grape juice (ahem). To me though, this made me think of an English country garden with lavender bushes and birds chirping and bees quietly humming in the mixed borders, and “is there honey still for tea?”

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Terre de Lumiere (land of sun) opens with bergamot, gentle musks and pink pepper.  Apart from a clean citrus blast of fuzzy lime though, this marches straight into honey and lavender territory and this is really its main characteristic.  Lavender and honey go so brilliantly well together that I don’t know why it isn’t done more often. This just hums with July heat and lazy bees. I’m also heartened to see the lavender being used, as I think its vastly underrated and underused.

terre de lumiere

The base of Terre de Lumiere is vaguely gourmand, but in a warm, nutty way, rather than a sticky cakey vanilla way. I hope my technical language isn’t blinding anyone with science today! There are almonds and tonka in the base, but to be honest, the lavender and honey are the Taylor and Burton of this movie and nobody else gets much of a look in.

This is a beautiful summer scent, but beware! Wearing it makes you want to be very lazy and seek out a hammock and a cold drink.

Stockists

L’Occitane en Provence Terre de Lumiere is available from L’Occitane stores and online at L’Occitane. I received my delightful mini 5ml splash bottle from the Perfume Society Modern Classics Discovery Box, which you can buy here.

modernclassics ps

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Jimmy Choo L’Eau: Little Pink Petals

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I must confess, dear reader, that I was not an immediate fan of earlier Jimmy Choo fragrances. However, blogging about perfume for four years can do funny things to you. Once upon a time I was quite sniffy about fruity florals (pun intended) and despaired of finding any new launches outside that genre.  A few years later, and I’ve started running after the fruity floral wagon crying “I’ve changed my mind!”

jimmychoo leau my bottleJimmy Choo L’Eau is not, as some might think, a watered-down version of the original, but a more delicate take on it, with less sugary sweetness than I recall from Jimmy Choo EDP.  Maybe that’s why I like it. Maybe after the deluge of vanilla and caramel notes in perfume of late, fruity florals don’t smell too sickly after all now.

Opening with hibiscus and bergamot, this gives a light floral with a juiciness at the heart but no syrup. The middle notes are nectarine and girly peony- one of my favourite floral notes. The base is cedar and musk, but to be honest, I didn’t find any cedar, only a touch of musk to round things off nicely. This is pretty, and great for teens, but not too “young” for this 46-year-old.

Why am I suddenly craving girly florals? Is it this endless winter? Do I think that if I smell of flowers then buds will peek out and petals will bloom? It’s worth a try.

Stockists

HeavenScent2017shopAWI bagged my sample from my Perfume Society Heaven Scents Box, but you can buy full bottle from the Fragrance Shop and The Perfume Shop or House of Fraser.  Sample is my own and opinions are my own,

 

 

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Dolce & Gabbana: Dolce Rosa Excelsa

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Dolce remains one of my favourite recent launches.  It is a shamelessly girly fragrance that opens in Gucci Envy Stylee and blossoms into a floral delight that deftly dodges the perennial vanilla tidal wave. There have since been two flankers: Dolce Floral Drops ( also rather lovely) and today’s scent which is Dolce Rosa Excelsa.

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Dolce Rosa Excelsa is not all that different to the original Dolce, but has, as you would imagine, more roses.   The common note among all three Dolce scents, however, is the Amaryllis. This is a flower that wears underwear made of fruity blossoms. It is used beautifully here, and is a new way of chucking a nod in the direction of  the fruity floral genre without actually becoming one.  As well as the roses there’s also narcissus, water lily, neroli and papaya flower.  In other words, this is like a delicate tropical flower fragrance, painted in ethereal watercolours.

The flowers are on the fruity side, but stay light and feminine. There is no tooth achingly sweet sugar here. It handles the fruitier flowers of the floral spectrum without ever smelling like  a jug of cocktails. This one, my friends, is all about petals and floaty skirts. There is a soapy clean note which gives it the feel of a very expensive shower gel in a nice ( pronounced naice) hotel bathroom.

Amaryllis at my Mum's house.
Beautiful Amaryllis at my Mum’s house.

The base notes are allegedly musk and sandalwood, but they are light touches, heavily framed by flowers, and the rose in particular comes out towards the end. Longevity is very good.  I could smell this on my wrist after a decent seven hour trial and it was still delicate and feminine. If I smelled like this after a day at the office, I would be more than happy.

Now there are three little Dolces, I envisage a cute little triptych in Duty Free.  This customer would buy one for sure.

Stockists

My sample was in the delightful Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Box. You can sign up here if you like getting samples in the post every quarter for five quid ( I do!).  You can buy bottles of Dolce Rose Excelsa from John Lewis, Boots, or of course, the Fragrance Shop.

 

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Cath Collins Morning Flowers: WAKEY WAKEY!

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On a hot summer day, I always want citrus fragrances.  Nothing seems to cut through the heat quite like it.

Independent perfumer Cath Collins makes a small but select set of fragrances inspired by what she finds in her garden in England.  Morning Flowers is a blast from an open window, a jug of icy sparkling water, and neat lime juice on the tip of your tongue.  It not so much wakes you up, but wakes you with a loud blast of icy cold water and a brass band, not unpleasantly, I should add.

P1010442 Lemon flower

Morning Flowers opens with Lemon, Lime and Mandarin and it takes no prisoners. What’s refreshing about Morning Flowers, apart from the obvious, is that the fruits have kept their sharpness, like a Seville orange.  There’s no sugar, no candy, no syrup: this is sharp and tart and rather wonderful.

Here’s what the website says:

Fresh as a summer garden bouquet.  A symphony of lemon, bergamot and citrus notes meld with a heart of jasmine, mandarin and neroli.  All enhanced by woody cedar base notes honed by precious amber.

The flowers are there, especially in the long lasting base notes,  and the Bitter Lemon although dominant, fades into the background when the soft Neroli and Jasmine come into play.  Morning Flowers is available online from CathCollins.com for 39.50 for a 50ml bottle of EDT.  My sample was kindly sent by Cath herself and if I didn’t like it, I would say so (very politely).  But as you can probably gather, I like it very much.

Morning Flowers will suit you if you like O de Lancome, Clarins Eau Dynamisante and even trusty 4711. Both photos on this page are from the Cath Collins website.

Eau de Sisley 1: The Ultimate Summer Fragrance

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If you had to make a cologne, you would naturally ask for some citrus fruit, maybe Grapefruit,  maybe some nice Herbs, and you’d probably end up with something pretty cologne-y.  Eau de  Sisley 1 has done all of this, ticked all the boxes and gone a step further.

What’s the most refreshing drink you can have on a sunny day?  Maybe a sparkling Gin and Tonic or an Iced Tea?  Sisley has included both.  Yes indeed, Eau de Sisley 1 has juniper from Gin and refreshing notes of Tea along with the requisite  astringent Grapefruit giving this cologne a sparkle you will never tire of on even the most humid of days.

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photo by foodcracks.com

Cutting through the heat, this is bright and sparkling from the word Go and  the hints of Juniper and herbs (Thyme to be precise) make this  a botanical revitalizing delight.

Even the base note stays zingy, which is no mean feat where citrus is involved.  In fact, I thought the base of had a lot of Vetiver in it, but in fact I was mistaking it for  a combination of Herbs and Musk.

Lasting power  is also pretty good for a cologne, I would say around five hours.  Cost isn’t cheap (around 62GBP for 50ml), but you wouldn’t wear this out in Winter, so it would last you around a year if you rotated it with other scents.  It’s unisex so you could always buy it for Father’s Day and “borrow” it , she wrote with a sly wink.  (Innovative or shameless? You decide!)

My warm gratitude goes to friend of the blog meganinstmaxime for very kindly sending me this and many other wonderful hard-to-get samples.  Thank you Megan!

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Calvin Klein Eternity Moment: Eternity is Everywhere

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In the countdown to Valentine’s Day I thought I would look at some of the UK’s current best-sellers. I have already reviewed Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey, and today, I am reviewing Calvin Klein Eternity Moment.

Interestingly, both are made by prolific and legendary nose, Jacques Cavallier, who rather incongruously reminds me a little of the actor Jack Black.

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Jacques Cavallier (from Fragrantica.com)

I have been wearing Eternity Moment since this morning and I could see it being heavily promoted in both Superdrug and the Perfume Shop today. Unfortunately I am not impressed. It makes me think I have a been a little hard on Avon lately since this could easily pass for an Avon scent.  Either Calvin Klein is doing something wrong or Avon is getting it more right than I gave them credit for. It just smells low budget.

The first notes are all fruit: Lychee, Melon, Guava, Raspberry. Thankfully the sugar has been reduced so instead of this being a sickly fruit cocktail, it’s a lighter fruity scent without that whiff of novelty erasers you so often get.  After that the synthetic Jasmine and Passionflower become  a bit shrieky and are calmed down by some fake Amber.  On me, that’s about the dimension of it.

However the blurb says “Its fine and fresh floral aroma is invited to capture the eternal moment of two souls meeting, gazing at each other, touching for the first time

Longevity is good because I am still waiting for it to wear off four hours later. *sigh*

In a blind test, I would have called this a generic High Street fruity floral that has been tamed down on the sugar front and thankfully has no vanilla. That may sound like a lukewarm reception and that’s because it is.

As always, my reviews are purely subjective and you may feel differently.  There is no right and wrong in perfume.  Thousands of women buy and wear this, so I guess they outnumber this small voice of dissent. I saw this priced at 19.50GBP for 50ml, so maybe its affordability keeps it on those lists.

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Chloe Narcisse: Busy As A Bee

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I have happy memories of Chloe Narcisse. It was created in 1992 and I remember coming back from my local House of Fraser with a bottle of it in a little beribboned gift bag. For about two months I smelled of this every day before ending my fling and returning to my old faithful Chanel Cristalle. It was great whilst it lasted and we had some good times.

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www.discoverlife.org

However, I tried it again more recently and I’m on the fence about it.  It has too many yellow flowers and honeyed sweetness for my taste these days, but it’s not unpleasant, it’s a bestseller, it’s good quality and very cheap (around 10GBP for 30ml).

The opening notes are bright and sillage can fill a room.  Sticky Marigold, yellow Narcissus , Sweet orange blossom and even  sweeter peaches.  The problem here is that my dislike of peaches means I can pick out the slightest hint from a mile off and this is a turn off alongside other sweet flowers.

The middle is equally sweet and reminds me of a very hot day: so sunny you can’t move for the heat, and a loud buzzing of bees in the overwhelmingly overstuffed flower beds. It’s all a little too much. Thankfully the pineapple that’s alleged to be present is not present, at least to my nose.  Many a pineapple has ruined a perfume for me. They are strictly for eating only.narcisse ad

The base is a little calmer, with surprisingly, Tolu balsam as a base note. There is a little spice and sandalwood and I think I prefer the base notes to the rest of it.  It’s like the smell that lingers after the overly lavish bouquet has been taken out of the room.  A faint trace that flowers were here once, but what remains is much more palatable.

I bought a bottle of this last year and had such mixed feelings about  it that I ended up selling it on eBay.  I can’t hate it, it gives me happy memories and I love the little green metallic neck on the bottle, but try as I might, my nose has changed too much to still be that 22 year old with the little gift bag and the free body lotion.

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