Tag Archives: The Perfume Society

Where Do You Keep Yours? #ScentStorage

 

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A recent article from The Perfume Society got me thinking. Our dear chums at The Perf Soc invite us to show them our pictures of  how we store our collections on Instagram and Twitter for a future feature in The Scented Letter. ( hashtag  #scentstorage)

I warily approached my groaning dressing table with my temperamental camera phone and noticed it was a big messy jumble. Once I tidied up for the photo sesh ( see above) I felt it was high time for an edit.  I therefore picked my absolute  favourites and took a family photo of them looking their best and all facing the right way.

In a non-subtle attempt to get you all to tell me about your essential kit, I thought I’d take the vain liberty of giving you a mini tour of my curated core collection.

L-R

Le Jardin Retrouvé Sandalwood Sacre, 4160 Tuesdays The Gathering of The Clans, Art de Parfum Gin &Tonic, Papillon Perfumery Angelique, JLo Deseo, Gucci Envy, Jolie Madame vintage, Andy Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange, Hilary Duff With Love.

my stash

 

jr-sandalwoodLe Jardin Retrouvé Sandalwood Sacré: This has been my SOTD for the past 3 days. The sweet, aromatic sandalwood hangs out like a lovable hippy until it turns into a woody, spiced musk.

 

4160 Tuesdays the Gathering of The gatheringClans:

The Gathering of The Clans is a wonderful blackcurrant, herby, citrus chypre that will always remind me of Christmas 2016 because I could NOT stop wearing it. Plus, there was a real-life Gathering of The Clans.

 

gin-and-tonicArt de Parfum Gin &Tonic:

This is so much more than gin and tonic. It’s a fresh breeze blowing through your life. On my skin, it bursts into tiny flowers as the day goes on.

 

Papillon Perfumery Angelique:

This was love at first sniff, although I angeliquefound it very hard to describe at first. It defies genre. I always wear it to christenings so it has happy associations for me. It smells like priceless buttery suede and iris and mimosa. There’s nothing like it.

JLo Deseo:

deseo bigThis was an astounding bargain that I refer people to whenever they cast doubt on the quality of celebrity scent. This 30ml bottle cost me a mere £8.95, but before I could stock up, it was discontinued and is now like hen’s teeth. The bottle makes me think of wet jewels. The scent is jasmine, orange flower, yuzu and tiare flower.

Gucci Envy.

Ah, my beloved Envy.  It led me astray from my fidelity to Chanel gucci_envy_reklama3Cristalle.  Envy and I were together for several formative years.  My house, my bedroom, my clothes and my desk all smelled of hyacinth and lily of the valley and that strange metallic Nineties chime in the middle. Pure Heaven. It was pointlessly discontinued in 2007.  Despite a huge clamour for it,  Gucci remain tight lipped.  I have just over an inch left.  Can’t go on.  Hankies please.

Balmain Jolie Madame vintage

joliemadameThis was a gift from dear chum Lisa Jones. She watched as I entered the chypre portal and never looked back over my shoulder.  It’s all her fault and I love her for it. I was once asked what I would put in my dream fragrance. I answered “violets, leather and oak moss” before I realised that I had just described Balmain Jolie Madame.

 

Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange

I was an immediate slave to the  green notes in Carillon Pour un carillonpicAnge. It is one of the longest lasting perfumes I have ever tried. It starts with angelic lily of the valley, goes even greener for a bit, and then comes storming back to an Ambergris finish. I love how it lingers on my pillow.

Hilary Duff with Love

withloveBefore this was sadly discontinued, I picked up a 15ml bottle in my local branch of Home Bargains for just £3.99. It wasn’t the mainstream fruity florals that were so typical of 2013: it was a thrilling surprise of tropical dark wood and yes, mango. It’s a woody, cedar treat and I’m loath to use it up until I can wangle another off eBay. Oh, and check out the dreamy bottle! It’s like a jewel.

How about you?

And to think life was so simple when once upon a time I had a signature scent. Sigh. Once you’re bitten, there’s no going back.

Now I’ve shared mine, how about yours? How do you store them? Where do you keep them? If you had to really edit your collection what would be in it?   Are your favourites discontinued or reformulated? Are they posh and pricey or chypre and cheerful?  Am I asking too many questions?  Do let me know. I always love to hear from you.

PS Don’t forget to post your photos to @ThePerfumeSociety on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #scentstorage

Dorsal view
Dorsal view

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The IScents 2016: My Awards to The Very Best of Scent

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Check me out! I’ve been experimenting with editing sites. The world is my lobster.   Watch this space for disastrous pixellated pics and clumsy graphics until I get the hang of stuff. I’ll soon be running with the pack.

samnose16Well, dear readers, it’s time for me to sum up a busy fragranced year and award  plaudits to my favourites from 2016. These are purely based on my opinion, which is therefore The Law.

Not all of these are actually 2016 launches: some have just impressed me so much after four years of blogging that I have declared that they deserve accolades.  Now,  we’d’d best get on before all this power goes to my head and I start doing villain’s laughter.

 The IScent Award for Best Longevity

This has to be a three way tie between

  • 4160 Tuesdays Midnight in the Palace Garden
  • Andy Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange
  • Papillon Perfumes Tobacco Rose

Here’s why:

midnightI sprayed 4160 Tuesdays Midnight in The Palace Garden into thin air yesterday and 24 hours later it is still there. This is despite eating a roast dinner in the same room and trying on various perfumes throughout the day.  It smells like I have been burning very expensive incense among church pews and I love it.

carillonpicI sprayed two sprays of Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange on my neck three days ago. Since then I have had three showers and changed my bedding. This morning when I woke up, I could still smell lily of the valley. This is a bottle I purchased in May 2015 and it has barely gone down.  I think a genie keeps refilling it.

tobacco roseMade by the delightful Liz Moores in her compound in the New Forest, Papillon Perfumes Tobacco Rose lasted over fifteen hours on me. Rich, woody roses that just stay put. I could bask in it. Two sprays and you’re wrapped in spiced, woody roses until bedtime.

So all three of these niche brands get the Iscent 2016 Award for Longevity. Isn’t it interesting how they are all niche and not mainstream?  Just sayin’

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Best Summer Perfume – Art de Parfum Gin &Tonic

Gin &Tonic by Art de Parfum stopped me in my tracks with  its new take on Gin &Tonic. So much more than just refreshing juniper, I wore this until my sample ran out and had compliments every time.  A full bottle is in my sights in 2017. Check out my reviews on the rest of the range here.

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Most Original Launch –REEK perfume Damn Rebel Bitches

reek-perfume-bottle-campaign-dirtyhands-orange-uai-720x900This has to go to Reek Perfume for Damn Rebel Bitches. It’s  a scent that smacks of rebellion. Rustic touches speak of the heritage of the strong women it pays tribute to.  With notes of malt, blood orange and herbs, you won’t be surprised to learn that Sarah McCartney was the nose behind the scent Her fingerprints are all over it! (NB That is not her hand in the illustration).

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Best Celebrity Launch-Sarah Jessica Parker Stash SJPstash-ad

This one was easy. It goes to Sarah Jessica Parker Stash SJP. Breaking the mould of the usual celeb fare, SJP goes down the niche-style route of a churchy sandalwood incense unisex scent with not a hint of fruity floral fruitichouli in sight. It’s superb quality and I hope it will set the tone for other innovative celeb launches.

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Best Flanker-Chanel No 5 L’Eau

lilyrose-iamgesIt’s got to be Chanel no 5 L’Eau. Not a diluted version of the original, but a twiddling of the tuning knobs to bring out the lighter and muffle the darker.  It’s divine and light and deserves classic status already.   Oh, and lightness doesn’t mean a lack of longevity either: this really sticks around. Full marks to the beautifully simple marketing campaign showcasing the lovely Lily-Rose Depp.

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Biggest Disappointments-Modern Muse Nuit, Dior Poison Girl and YSL Mon Paris.

1200_x_500pix_modern_muse_nuit_visual_1poison girlAnother three-way tie. I simply couldn’t choose! Here are the turkeys, the raspberries, the No-Nos. I don’t want to be mean but I’m going to mon parisbe  anyway.   Dior Poison Girl, Estee Lauder Modern Muse Nuit and YSL Mon Paris left me wishing I’d never even taken the lid off.  The prices are steep for what they are and the money seems to be going on the marketing rather than the ingredients (what’s new?)  Least said soonest mended.  Moving on!

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Best Winter Fragrance- Le Jardin Retrouvé Sandalwood Sacre

jr-sandalwoodThis one has to go to Le Jardin Retrouvé.  When I smelled Sandalwood Sacre for the first time, it was like cupid had shot me with an arrow. I simply had to own a bottle and now I do.   You can read my review here.  Don’t just keep it for winter though. I’m not.

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Best Gourmand: Library of Fragrance Chai Tea and Library of Fragrance Tomato

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Trust Library of Fragrance to come up with the goods once again. This was a tie between Chai Tea and Tomato. I am sure they won’t mind sharing the award with um…themselves.

Chai Tea combines Tomato-LOF-Hero.jpg_1024x1024lightness and spice to bring a new angle on the word “cosy.” if you don’t like your gourmands too sweet ( like me) then Chai Tea will win you over. Meanwhile, back in our very  short summer of 2016, (it was a Tuesday afternoon as I recall) Library of Fragrance Tomato took me back to my grandfather’s greenhouse in the 70s faster than a Tardis.  As fresh as a new bud and with accents of verbena, Tomato became one of my very favourite warm weather scents.

Best Chypre: DSH Mata Hari

Mata HariOver the ocean in Boulder Colorado, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz brews and macerates her beautiful perfumes with skill and passion. I was floored by DSH Mata Hari  Extrait and  in a blind test I would have  thought it a priceless original 1920s vintage. It made me  want to wear long gloves and arch one eyebrow at people.  Glorious! You can read my DSH reviews here.

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Best New Scent 2016: Beaufort London Fathom V

beaufort-london_fathom_1-septBeaufort London Fathom V turned an unassuming day into a vivid montage of sea faring adventure. It transported me to the slimy flanks of a London ship and the distant calls of pirates in one sniff. This stuff is like letting a genie out of a bottle. It’s green times a thousand, with sea notes that you can almost hear. It’s the  best sea scent ever, and I can’t see that anything will make me change my mind about that. You can read my love letter to Fathom V here.

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Best Natural Fragrance 2016:  Mandy Aftel – Aftelier Amber Tapestry

Mandy Aftel, from www.aftelier.com
Mandy Aftel, from www.aftelier.com

Using only natural ingredients ( and that takes some doing!) Mandy’s instinctive connection to nature  transports you to another place, via taste and even flavour. Amber Tapestry unfurls, layer by layer, enveloping the wearer in  the kind of warmth that has a uniquely human touch.  You can read my review here.

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The IScent Fellowship Award: The Perfume Society

eauxlalashopaw-1I’ve invented a Fellowship Award because The Perfume Society defies other categopries.  Not only do they provide white boxes of treasure that even the most jaded perfume palate would salivate at, but they’re a sort of Mothership that  we can all turn to when we get a bit lost in the  murky depths of fruity-florals-chypres-colognes-my-nose-is-confused-help!  Ever had a day like that? I have.  The Perfume Society Scented Letter magazine also makes me settle down with a contented sigh and think “I’ve found my tribe” as I read what other perfume obsessives are up to.  Fumeheads, you are not alone.

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you and goodnight.

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The Perfume Society Precious Perfumes Discovery Box: What’s In The Box?

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I am the proud owner of a Perfume Society Precious Perfumes Discovery Box and jolly pleased I am too! In this beautiful box, which, by the way, would make a perfect gift exactly as it is, you will find the following items:

Nails Inc nail polish in sparkly Electric Avenue

30ml Molton Brown bath and shower gel in Rose Absolute

Sample of Miller Harris new Etui Noir

Sample of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540

Sample of Bvlgari Rose Goldea

Sample of Hermes Galop D’Hermes

Sample of Fathom V by Beaufort London

Sample of Versace Eros Pour Femme

Sample of Charlotte Tilbury Scent of a Dream

Sample of Ormond Jayne Tsarina

Sample of Nejma 7

In my book (or on my blog, which this is) I call that excellent value. There are nine decent spray samples that you would be very hard pushed to find at any beauty counter.  This all comes in a lovely white box with explanatory postcards and sniffing strips. It makes an excellent gift if you can bear to part with it. I can’t so I’m keeping it. Sorry, not sorry.

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I shall be reviewing some of the items within over the next few weeks so watch this space. I have already reviewed Scent of A Dream and was very taken with it. One of the scents that really jumped out at me was Fathom V by new house Beaufort London. I was delighted to see Galop D’Hermes as I have wanting to try it for ages. Oh and the Nails Inc nail polish is like liquid tinsel. Talk about Christmassy! I’m sure you will enjoy this box as much as I am. It’s so good I won’t share. It’s MINE.

Stockists

You can buy this, and other Discovery Boxes from the Perfume Society website. VIP subscribers get a discount.

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Liz Earle Botanical Essence No 9

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Once again, Liz Earle has launched a new perfume, and once again, it’s a class act bursting with botanicals and the best that nature has to offer.

Liz Earle Botanical Essence No 9 is, like her other fragrances, sourced from as many natural ingredients as possible. In the case of Botanical No 9 that would be damask roses, blackcurrants, bergamot limes, patchouli, oakmoss and vanilla.

When you read the list of ingredients like that it doesn’t do this lovely scent justice. Here’s what I got: The blackcurrants come out first and foremost, followed by the rose. The bergamot gives this a wonderful thirst quenching quality that is enormously refreshing and “clean” – like dewdrops or a bracing shower on a sticky day.  As these notes blend and evolve, the base notes start to peek through. This is a floral chypre so there’s oakmoss and patchouli, but rather than the heat of the more usual amber for example, here there are more roses and plenty of osmanthus ( aka apricot blossom) to add a delicate sweetness that is never cloying or sugary.

Longevity is excellent and what’s left after around five hours is a dark velvety rose scent with wisps of patchouli and oakmoss around the edges. This is what you’ll smell like at the end of the day and it is GOOD.

Stockists

Liz Earle Botanical No 9 is available from QVC or from the Liz Earle website. I obtained my sample from the Perfume Society Scents of Style Discovery Box which is available now from their website.

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Atelier Cologne: Bergamote Soleil: A Lasting Citrus

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This is the first time I have reviewed an Atelier Cologne scent and it won’t be the last. Founded in Paris by Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel in 2009, the concept of cologne is made into something more resonant, using ingredients that anchor the scent for longer. I found a sample of Bergamote Soleil in my Perfume Society Eaux La La Discovery Box and wore it all day yesterday. I can report that this may be the longest lasting citrus fragrance I have ever tried.

Sylvie Ganton and Christophe Cervazel
Founders Sylvie Ganton and Christophe Cervasel

Bergamote Soleil is a cologne absolue and that means a 15% concentration: around three times an eau de toilette strength. Usually citrus has trouble sticking around, but not here. Coupled with bitter orange this is a stunning invigorating summer scent that won’t get lost as the day heats up. It’s no one-trick pony though: this has gentle musk from ambrette (a plant based sub for animal musk), jasmine, and a green, chypre finish with oakmoss, vetiver and amber. That bergamot never wavers and stays to the end, around nine hours later on my skin.

Atelier bottles, like Serge Lutens bottles, come with a removable spray so you can use your bottle as either spray of splash. This means you can add a few drops to your bath and give your bathroom that five star hotel aroma whilst you’re in there.

This Paris based perfume house made me stand up and pay attention, so you will be hearing more from me about this great perfume house in future.

Stockists

You can buy Atelier Colognes from several UK stockists. Try Selfridges, Les Senteurs or John Lewis. You can also buy from the website, but check shipping Ts &Cs. You can buy the Perfume Society Eaux La La Discovery Box from The Perfume Society website.

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L’Occitane Thé Vert & Bigarade

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This new collection from L’Occitane combines the scents of the French Riviera with the aromas of nature’s landscapes. L’Occitane Thé Vert & Bigarade is one of four scents in this small capsule collection.

As summer tentatively dips its toe in the water, it’s time to start exploring lighter scents. This one fits the bill perfectly. There are few notes that I can call more refreshing than Green Tea. You only have to look at the long term, unwavering success of the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea range to see this.

The way L’Occitane has done this is, as you would expect from this brand, impressive and innovative

The green tea comes through at first spray, but it is not alone. This a cologne style eau de toilette. Like all good colognes, there are citrus and herbs in there: notably bitter blood orange and aromatic thyme. The whole blends down into a faintly white musk, clean finish, but the lovely sharp opening settles into a light and refreshing base note that almost smells floral in its delicacy. I have a 7.5 ml Splash bottle, but it also comes in bottles ten times this size. Usually a light, citrus fragrance doesn’t last long, but this one does. I wore it for around four or five hours yesterday. It made me feel and smell like I had just stepped out of the cleanest most invigorating shower ever.

Stockists

I obtained my splash bottle from The Perfume Society Eaux La La Discovery Box. You can buy theses boxes from The Perfume Society website. Full bottles are available from John Lewis and Marks and Spencer.

Perfume Society VIP Subscription Giveaway-The Winners Are..

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Thank you to everyone who entered this fabulous giveaway. Big thanks also to The Perfume Society for supplying the  wonderful prize of five VIP Subscriptions.

The winners are: (drumroll)

Maralyn Smith, Alison Oddy, Margaret, Alison Fox Hay and Amanda Pritchard.  

Entries were picked via RandomPicker.com. If you have won, please email me at iscentyouaday@gmail.com and I will forward the details to The Perfume Society. Congratulations! This is a great prize and I just know that you will be delighted.

Here are the benefits the winners will be enjoying

  • A free Discovery Box, containing up to ten great perfume samples, two beauty products, and postcards on each item to help you get the most out of them.
  • Opportunities to join very special perfume events around the country: launches, talks and workshops all with like minded perfumistas.
  • Free access to the online Perfume Society magazine The Scented Letter and discounts on glossy hard copies.
  • Generous discounts on all Perfume Society Discovery Boxes e.g VIPs pay £10 for Boxes which cost £15 and £12.50 for Boxes which cost £17.50
  • First dibs on boxes before they launch on the site.
  • All this for one year!

 

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If you didn’t win this time, don’t worry, there are more giveaways coming up on  IScentYouADay.  You can also buy or gift a VIP Subscription from the Perfume Society Website here for £25.

Winners:

1. VIP Subscription

Maralyn Smith

2: VIP Subscription

Alison Oddy

3: VIP Subscription

Margaret

4: VIP Subscription

Alison Fox Hay

5: VIP Subscription

Amanda Pritchard

 

Shay & Blue London: English Cherry Blossom

cherry blossom

Shay & Blue London has been around since 2012 and is snowballing in popularity thanks to its availability in your local Marks and Spencer. The sample I am reviewing today is from the Perfume Society Scent With Love Discovery Box.

Cherry Blossom doesn’t usually interest me. I find it a bit too sweet and cloying after a while. However Nose Julie Masse for Shay & Blue has come at this from a different angle. By adding citrussy bergamot, the cherry blossom stays bright and light. There’s a nuance of black cherry too- an accent of lovely dark fruit that doesn’t overpower like plum can.  There are woody notes in the base, appropriately enough cherry wood, of course, and blessedly, no vanilla or anything to make this into confectionery.

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Throughout the morning, its the bergamot that hangs out with the cherry blossom, keeping it company. I love bergamot alone or in anything so this was a welcome innovation that gives this lovely English Cherry Blossom a fresh and uplifting feel for spring or summer. Impossibly feminine and pretty, I would definitely bag myself a full bottle of this gorgeously pretty scent. Its my birthday next month so this will be making it onto my wish list.

The Perfume Society Discovery Boxes, are as you may have gathered, a favourite thing of mine and I will be reviewing more from this box of delights very soon.

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Stockists

Scent with Love Discovery Boxes are available from The Perfume Society  and  Shay & Blue London fragrances can be found at Marks and Spencer in-store and online. English Cherry Blossom is a new launch for 2016 so look out for it on the shelves soon.

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Photos: Top photo from basenotes, middle photo of cherry blossom from www.eskipaper.com, Discovery Box photos from The Perfume Society, bottom photo by www.brambleberry.com

The Perfume Society Summer Scentsations Discovery Box.

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Yes I’ve done it again.  I’ve shown no restraint at all and before I’ve reviewed even half of what was in the last Discovery Box, I’ve ordered another one.  And I’ve got another on the way!  Is it too much?  Nope.

The Perfume Society Summer Scentsations Discovery Box contains the following items, all in a trademark Perfume Society white box.  Postage is free and my box cost me £10, which is the subscriber price.

Here’s what’s in it:

  •  7ml splash bottle of Fragonard Soleil
  • 1.5ml splash of Atelier Cologne Cedrat Enivrant
  • 2ml spray sample of Balmain Extatic
  • 2ml spray sample of Parfum Divin by Caudalie
  • 2ml splash sample of Yardley London Jade
  • 1.5 ml spray sample of Prada Candy Florale
  • Cute little tube of L’Occitane en Provence Shea Butter Hand Cream
  • 1.5ml splash sample of Vaara by Penhaligons
  • 2ml splash sample of Orla Kiely EDP
  • 1.2ml splash of L’Occitane en Provence La Collection de Grasse Neroli & Orchidee
  • 30ml bottle of The Body Shop Smoky Rose EDT

Not bad for a tenner.

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I am quietly working my way through the box, but what is emerging is that I am finding out what I don’t like as well as what I do.  It’s important to establish your own taste, although I have also learned lately to never “outlaw” a note.  This was a lesson taught to me by two 4160 Tuesdays scents.  What Katie Did on Friday Night  ( which is now known as Fruits of The Tree of Knowledge) smells of tart cherry jam , but also has cucumber and melon in it- two notes which I elaborately sidestep- but not any more.  Then there was 4160 Tuesday New York 1955 from the 4160 Vintage Cities Range.  I fell in love with it after sniffing a sample and now have an 18ml spray bottle.  It’s only full of ice cream and vanilla and candy floss!  What am I doing wearing that?  Well it seduced me with a bunch of violets so I forgave everything.

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The Perfume Society Discovery Boxes are excellent for learning a few new tricks and finding out those must have fragrances that you can’t live without.  In every box I have favourites and turkeys, but I love the whole experience.   The courier likes me because I always say “ooh lovely! I know what this is!” whenever he calls.

 Stockists

The Perfume Society Discovery Boxes are available on the website to members and non members, although members get discounts and first dibs. They make great presents and thank you gifts too.