Tag Archives: Yves Rocher

The ISCENT Awards and Review of 2017

 

Welcome to the I Scents 2017! Find your seat. The drinks will be around in a minute. I hope you’ve got your glad rags on and are ready for a fragrant bonanza.

2017 has been a very interesting year for fragrance, with even the big hitters bringing out major new launches.  If I’m honest, I found far more to love in the world of niche and indie than I did over the beauty counters.  I also had some wonderful real-life perfume experience to break the loneliness of the long distance blogger.  It was a delight to meet up with Sarah McCartney, Jo Fairley, Suzy Nightingale (albeit briefly in the toilets at the Jasmines!), Marina Barcenilla, Ruth Mastenbroek, Stephan Matthews, Thomas Dunckley, Persolaise and Nick Gilbert.  If that sounds like star struck name dropping, that’s because it is.

Ladies and gentlemen, here are the awards, presented by your hostess, Samantha Scriven (applause. Whooping. Wolf whistles.)

Best mainstream

I was moved by very few mainstream launches this year and we saw some big ones come from Chanel, Mugler, Jean Paul Gaultier and Guerlain. Whilst I liked Chanel Gabrielle, I didn’t think it was worth the high price and I found longevity very poor at around an hour.  Can’t stop singing the Beyoncé song from the fabulous advert though.

There were, however four launches that really made me sit up and take notice. I’m not even going to pick a favourite, because they all were. If you pushed me into owning just one though, it would be Alberto Morillas’ Gucci Bloom for Gucci. I’m a sucker for a bunch of white flowers at the best of times and I’m pleased to see them hopefully capturing some new hearts with this beautiful scent and stunning campaign.

Gucci Bloom -winner

Gucci  really made me sit up  and take notice with this one. I have been in a sulk with them since envy was scrapped, but they may be back in my good books again. Gucci Bloom is a wonderful white flower fragrance that is unapologetically feminine and floral.  I love that it takes floral scents back to basics,  stripping away all sugary artifice, whilst showcasing all the best bits of nature. Read my rave review here.

Cartier Baiser Fou

Baiser Fou is the flanker to lily based pillar scent Cartier Baiser Vole, and in my opinion, the better of the two.  Baiser Fou is all about  raspberries, Milky Bars and posh lipstick.  I love this playful and lovable scent, which always makes me think of summer weddings. My review is here.

Mugler Aura

It’s not very often Mugler brings out a brand new pillar scent, although flankers are frequent.  Aura is one of the most wearable Muglers.  It doesn’t have the nuclear sillage of Angel or Alien, nor the  divisive  love/hate of the discontinued Womanity (shudder).  However, with new notes of Tiger Liana (my future stripper name) and Wolfwood, this makes for an unusual and audacious scent. You can read my review here.

La Vie Est Belle L’Eclat

from Lancome UK

Whilst I feel Lancome La Vie est Belle has become ubiquitous, spawning many homages and dupes in its wake, La Vie est Belle L’Eclat offers something new.

The floral notes are there but the sugary caramel of the pillar fragrance  has been toned down, leaving a rather classy floral scent, with a hint of sweetness. The bottle is stunning too- I can’t stop touching the elaborate chiselled glass.  Lancôme, I salute you.

 Fragrances I Can’t Live Without

It is frankly impossible to only issue one award in this category.  It’s like asking me which is my favourite cat (don’t).  To choose one implies I don’t love the others as much, and that’s not true.  I have therefore listed the fragrances I fell headlong in love with in 2017.  If you have to take away my whole collection, just leave me these and I’ll be happy.

Aftelier Velvet Tuberose

4160 Tuesdays Killer Rose 

4160 Tuesdays Eau My Soul

Photo by Thomas Dunckley for Papillon Perfumery

Papillon Dryad

Marina Barcenilla India

DSH French Lily

Ruth Mastenbroek Firedance

Aedes de Venustas Pelargonium

Best New Perfume House 2017

Gallivant -winner

Nick Steward founded Gallivant with years of experience in his pocket from his previous tenure at L’Artisan Parfumeur. Basing each scent on a city vibe, Nick has created a scent wardrobe that takes you all around the world. What I like about this brand is that he hasn’t gone for the obvious, but has suggested the unseen underbelly of a city.  He’s gone for Brooklyn rather than Central Park and has given Tel Aviv a feel-good optimism. Gallivant is innovative, evocative and original. I look forward to seeing more from this exciting new house.

Best bargain brand

Bargain perfumes are my speciality. I believe that everyone should be able to have affordable perfume and I eschew all snobbery on my blog. In fact, the perfume I reached for most often in 2017 was my trusty £5.99 of Coty L’Aimant.

Avon-Winner

Avon has been producing some wonderful fragrances that whilst recognisably Avon, are bang on trend and can easily stand shoulder to shoulder with more expensive mainstream brands. In fact, the list of perfumers that have worked for Avon read like a Who’s Who of fragrance; Christopher Sheldrake, Oliver Cresp and Sonia Constant to name but three. Most of my Avon fragrances cost me around £7. Unbeatable.

Bronnley

Some superb fragrances from Bronnley who are shaking up their image to attract the younger scent buyer. Whilst I will always be a fan of the classic lemon soaps and floral bath goodies, (don’t ever stop making them!) there are now innovative roller balls and  50ml eau de toilettes in the Eclectic Elements range. My particular favourites are Wild Green and Exotic Embers. The prices are right too with 30ml eau fraiche bottles, rollerballs and candles all within the £10 range (prices are current as from day of publishing this).

Marks and Spencer

My local Marks and Spencer is next door to The Perfume Shop and I find myself in  there far more often than I find myself in the Perfume Shop.  Also, The Perfume Shop deletes all your loyalty points if you don’t use them fast enough, which doesn’t make me feel very loyal anymore.  Marks and Spencer hosts some of my favourite brands such as Fragonard and Monotheme, but their own brand stuff is pretty good too. I’m a big fan of Autograph Blush, Florentyna White and Rosie by Rosie Huntington Whitely. With 10ml purse sprays starting from a fiver, you can cheer yourself up without breaking the bank.

Yves Rocher

My beloved Yves Rocher! Whenever I order from them, I am always sent a free gift (usually something good like perfume) three samples, some sort of BOGOF deal and usually some sort of little surprise or purse spray. I am currently awaiting an order in which I spent £30 and will be receiving four bottles of perfume, a Swarovksi necklace and three samples.  This is not because I am a blogger, but because I am a customer and they are all treated this well. Fragrance quality is very high and I have never been disappointed. Check out my most recent Yves Rocher review here.

 Perfume Superstars Award

The Perfume Society

The Perfume Society

For the second year in a row I hail the beloved Mothership.  The Perfume Society not only hosts workshops and events that are a delight to attend, but I have an addiction to the Discovery Boxes which always, without fail, introduce me to a scent or brands I have never come across before.  Alexander Pope once declared that the point of literature was to instruct delightfully and The Perfume Society certainly fulfill this edict. The Scented Letter is a brilliant read, with breathtakingly good visuals and superb guest writers.  The latest Discovery Box I had even contained Green & Black’s Chocolate. chocolate. #dreamcometrue

2017 Highlights

I’m giving all of these equal placing because every one is indelibly engraved into my memory for when I’m an old lady and don’t get out much.

The Jasmine Awards

What can I say? Such an honour to be a finalist and such a day of contrasts. I began my day at BAFTA, followed by tea at the former Simpsons on The Strand with Sarah McCartney and Ruth Mastenbroek and ended it with the 3.15pm school run in Cwmbran.  Unforgettable! You can read about it here.

FiFis

I shall remember my night at the Fragrance Foundation awards for many years to come. I was invited as a guest of Clive Christian fragrance and the team made me feel so welcome. I got to wear a long dress, which doesn’t happen very often to me anymore, and mingle with the movers and shakers in the Fragrance World. It also marked the start of a friendship with FiFi winner Marina Barcenilla and the lovely Stephan Matthews.

photo by kind permission of Sarah McCartney

The Perfume Society Improve your Sense of Smell Workshop

Photo courtesy of The Perfume Society.

The Perfume Society held a workshop fairly near-ish to me in Clifton.  Since this is nearer than London, it was easy for me to attend, being across the water from South Wales (we have up to two bridges now).

I learnt so much in that afternoon  from Perfume Society Founder Jo Fairley, and would wholeheartedly recommend these workshops to anyone, even if you’ve been before!  Read my review of the day here.

Also featured in…

Check me out! I feel wanted and special. I got to work with all these delightful people this year and feel extremely flattered to be on their radar.

Stephan Matthews

Stephan’s Six- I join the ranks of hallowed predecessors and felt very flattered to be included in this legendary column.

Escentual.com

Escentual-  Perfume Expert Thomas Dunckley, (aka The Candy Perfume Boy)   called me a perfume expert too! I’m not in the same league as  Thomas, but I am thrilled to bits anyway. This is where I give my opinion on the most Christmassy perfume ever: Serge Lutens Arabie.  The photo is Thomas’s own.

 

My Beauty Matches– I’ve written several pieces for My Beauty Matches. You can check them out here and here.  A lovely team of people.

 

WOW Beauty– the amazing Denise of Wow beauty asked me to contribute to her fabulous site and I was delighted to join the fun. If you haven’t checked it out, do drop in. Such a lovely environment!

 

Collaborated with…Moodscent Four

This year saw me collaborate with  my wonderful Mood Scent Four colleagues, Esperanza, Tara and Megan. It was all Megan’s idea, so blame her. Megan is a Kiwi, based in the south of France  (meganinstsemaxime) and came up with the idea that four bloggers from four different countries could share their perfume recommendations for different moods and occasions. Every few months we all write about what to wear as a wedding guest, what scent to wear when uplifting is called for, and most recently, our favourite Night Out perfumes. They’re a joy to work with and I am honoured to be their colleague.

Over to you

What were your perfume highlights of 2017? What are you hoping to see more of in 2018? Do let me know. I always love to hear from you.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year and thank you for taking the time and trouble to read my blog posts and follow what I’m up to. it would be very lonely without you all and each one of you is appreciated.

Follow

Unbelievably Good (and Cheap!) : Yves Rocher Vanille Bourbon

Have you ever tried an inexpensive perfume that was so good you thought you’d been undercharged? That’s how I felt when my little Yves Rocher consignment arrived recently. Tucked away on the website is a small selection of excellent 20ml scents that cost me only £4 a bottle. Vanille Bourbon was one of them and all I can say is Crikey Moses, this is good stuff.

Now vanilla, as you know, can smell like cheap candles  or like delicious buttery boozy liqueur that makes you want to swoon. You have to try a lot of bottles to find the latter and this one falls into that category.

Despite being an eau de toilette, Vanille Bourbon lasted ages on my skin and I was getting delightful wafts up to five hours later when I found myself sniffing the air and saying “mm, someone smells nice,” realising later that it was me.  I was the someone.

The only note listed for this fragrance is vanilla, but that’s a wide net.  This has facets of woods, soft musk, some unidentifiable floral notes, and an edge of smoky toasted sugar, like the singed edges of a Crème Caramel.  For a fleeting second, it smelled like spiced whisky, but overall, I would call this a milky, musky, floral and a very, very rich (kazillionaire) vanilla. It’s as satisfying as a mouthful of good crème brûlée and cost me a mere £4. Yes, I had change from a fiver. Well, I would have if I hadn’t bought four others in the range, more of which anon.

Yves Rocher Vanilla Bourbon is fantastic value and a dream of a vanilla scent. Not a cheap candle in sight.

Stockists

Yves Rocher Vanilla Bourbon 20ml EDT is only £4 from the Yves Rocher UK website. I won’t be parted from mine.

 

Follow

Yves Rocher Oui a L’Amour: I say OUI

Yves Rocher is a trusty brand that’s been going strong since 1959. Although there are no branches in the UK, they have a good UK mail order service and send you freebies and extras every time you order. I just ordered 6 x 20ml bottles of fragrances that I will be reviewing soon, but as a bonus, I was also sent a 10ml bottle of latest launch Oui a L’Amour.  This may have been a freebie, or it may have been a blogger perk. I’m not sure. Not to worry. Free perfume is never turned away!

Oui a L’Amour is a simple affair.  It opens with herby Angelica.  If I said this was a herby sort of rose scent you might expect something botanical and green, but actually the Angelica is plump and juicy like a cactus.  It’s neither sweet nor sharp but somewhere in the middle. In fact, when I first smelled this I wanted to call it a fruity floral even though I could see that it wasn’t.

After the Angelica comes the rose and it’s very prominent and beautiful with clean, powdery facets.  After that comes tonka bean (kind of like nutty dried grass) which I mistook for vanilla, and not for the first time. There’s cedar in the base, which comes across as slightly tangy and almost citrussy.

Tie all that together and what have we got? A very clean rose fragrance with touches of juicy garden leaves and a sharp woody finish.

It smells clean and light and very feminine. It’s perfect for work and passes the commuter and the office test with flying colours.

There’s no sickly syrup, no big, rich jasmine overtaking anything,, and none of the usual rent-a-scent suspects that I have come across so often lately.

I say oui to Oui a L’Amour.

Stockists

You can buy Oui a L’Amour from Yves Rocher UK, Yves Rocher.Fr   Extra thumbs up for selling affordable 10ml purse sprays. Opinions are my own.

Follow

Yves Rocher So Elixir Bois Sensuel

so elixir bois

I’m jolly fond of Yves Rocher.  Their fragrances are good quality and affordable and they keep sending tempting little emails offering me free stuff and discounts to keep me loyal.  It works!

The latest launch from Yves Rocher is So Elixir Bois Sensuel and it is indeed both sensual and woody.

Over on Fragrantica several Fragrantica visitors are comparing it to Thierry Mugler Angel, and the rich vanilla and heavy patchouli certainly will have some bearing on this.  I find the original So Elixir very similar to Chanel Coco Mademoiselle too.  Certainly fans of those two mega sellers will find something to enjoy here.

On my skin Bois Sensual has vanilla and woods immediately, with a rich autumnal heat that I could have sworn was amber.  This smells very similar to Parfums Gres Ambre de Cabochard.

soelxirorigina;

In fact there is no amber, and don’t let the fact that I have just compared it to three other scents give the impression that this is generic.  It’s a crowd pleaser yes, but I find it both rich and contemporary .

Oddly enough, this rich warm scent claims to have only three notes: Iris, vanilla and patchouli, but I found woods and amber framing everything right from the start. The iris was harder to find, but iris and I have a chequered relationship anyway.

howtogeek.com
howtogeek.com

The full bottle price is reasonable at £18.90 for 30ml but it was a blind buy so I just bought the purse spray for £8.  I love it when brands make purse sprays- it’s better than a sample and cheaper than a full bottle. I think it’s a smart move on the part of Yves Rocher since they have no shops in this country for you to go and have a sniff.

So: Yves Rocher So Elixir Bois Sensuel– hit or miss?  Very much a hit in my book and just right for these colder days.  Sillage is big and longevity around five hours.

Stockists

Yves Rocher So Elixir Bois Sensuel is available from Yves Rocher UK or Yves Rocher France

Yves Rocher Quelques Notes D’Amour: A Grown Up Rose

quelquenotes

 

Yves Rocher is a brand I am rather fond of.  I have at least four full bottles* and have yet to try one I disliked.  I was kindly sent a bottle of Quelques Notes D’Amour by Yves Rocher and I thank them warmly for their generosity.  I am always happy to receive perfume to review, on the proviso that I may not like it and I may say so!  However, I will always be honest and well mannered.

Here goes then:  At first I did not like Quelques Notes D’Amour but after three days of wearing it in day time and even overnight in bed (a very good test of a scent) it has won me over.

purse spray

When I first smelled it on day one, I thought it was fairly generic and it went a bit cardboard-y/Crayola crayons on me after around half an hour.  However, the bottle was so pretty and the reviews so positive on Fragrantica that I wondered if I was missing something so tried again.

This time round I really started to respect the kind of rose scent this is.  The rose is not a watercolour rose, as it is in the rather lovely Comme Une Evidence, but more of a sophisticated, complex, woody rose.  In fact the first phase is pink pepper, which may have put me off at first.  Pink pepper is a red berry that is often used in fruity florals, and in my opinion, has been used with too heavy a hand of late.  In Quelques Notes D’Amour its just the warm up act because the middle phase becomes a thick, rich woody Damascene rose.  It’s definitely an Autumn/Winter rose rather than a light one for summer and would also serve you well as an evening fragrance.

Fragrantica

The base note is long and rich and even a little spiky with patchouli and Guaiac wood (used so well in Hilary Duff With Love). There’s  warm benzoin and green cedar too, but I can’t help thinking that the pink pepper and the rose never really went away.

 Quelques Notes D’Amour comes in a beautiful bottle and is, in my opinion, not for teens -and hooray for that!  Those young people get wayyyy too many new launches aimed at them.  We “over 27s” ( Okay I’m 44) like being catered for and for that alone I am giving this a thumbs up.  For being a rich, woody rose that repelled me then changed my mind and reeled me in, I give this another thumbs up.  If I had a third thumb, I would give yet another thumbs up because Yves Rocher have a purse spray on offer, which is a great way of trying a fragrance before buying a full bottle.  I have a thing for purse sprays, so this pleased me no end.

Yves Rocher, keep up the sterling work.  As you were.

fragrantica
fragrantica

 Stockists:  You can buy Quelques Notes D’Amour from the UK Yves Rocher website. To my chums in the USA and Canada- sadly this is not yet available over on your patch, but I can heartily recommend Moment de Bonheur, Comme Une Evidence and So Elixir, all of which are on the Yves Rocher USA site.

* The Yves Rocher scents I own are; Comme Une Evidence, Cléa, Yria, and Yves Rocher Fraicheur Vegetale Verveine.  I also recommend the lovely So Elixir. You can find reviews of them all on this blog.

Follow

Yves Rocher Clea: In the Classic Style

 nd.4907

I often cringe when a perfume is regarded as “Old Lady”. For one thing, the old ladies round my way smell better than the young ladies.  It’s the older crowd that wear Estee Lauder Cinnabar and  Aromatics Elixir, and the younger crowd that smell of Sweet Shops.  Secondly, Old Lady is often used as a term for any perfume with powdery notes or a powdery drydown. My ears prick up when I hear someone describe a perfume as “Old Lady”. To my mind, it usually means a decent scent is up for grabs. It does amuse me however, when I hear my mother describe a perfume as “too Old Lady”. She is 67 this year, and very far from Old Lady herself.

However, “Old Lady” interpretations can vary wildly from nation to nation. I hear from a French friend of a friend that Cacharel LouLou is regarded as Old Lady over in France. Over here in the UK, Yves Rocher Clea would be regarded as Old Lady, with its powdery soapiness, but such is the demand for it in France, that Yves Rocher has kept it going since 1980. That’s no mean feat from Yves Rocher, who decimate ruthlessly.

Clea is an Oriental scent with powdery notes and a soapy drydown.  It is spicy in a muted way, i.e Vetiver and Sandalwood, and has excellent longevity. The bottle is vintage in style, not quite out of fashion, but definitely early 80s: the version I have is clear glass with a gold lid. The strongest notes are amber, roses, patchouli and lily of the valley. Clea smells of clean lotion and clean talc and has just enough of a patchouli hit to pack a punch, albeit a ladylike one in white gloves.  If it was a colour it would be a translucent Ambery glow.

This reminds me very much of  Avon Timeless, and would also go down well with fans of Lanvin Arpege.  In fact, I prefer this to Arpege as it has all the oriental, powdery glory with none of the peaches.

Considering the timeless quality of Clea, going strong for 34 years now, the price is a steal.  Yves Rocher prices vary a lot from week to week, but I bought this alongside a £15 bottle of Yves Rocher Yria and got it for free: otherwise it’s only around £15 for a 75ml bottle.

Stockists

You can buy Clea from the Yves Rocher UK website.

YvesRocher.com
YvesRocher.com

 

Follow

Yves Rocher Secrets D’Essences Neroli: Hmm…About Neroli…

Image

 I recently ordered a set of minis from Yves Rocher and included in that set was a cute little 5ml bottle of Yves Rocher Secrets D’Essences Neroli.  The Secrets D’Essences is a superb range  and frankly, you can’t go wrong with any of them.  The standard is higher than the low price would lead you to expect.

Sadly, I didn’t get on with Secrets D’Essences Neroli as I simply don’t like Neroli on its own.  I’m not saying this is a bad perfume, but it’s not for me.  I prefer my Neroli in a choir, rather than doing a solo. If you are a Neroli fan, you have found a real treasure here and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Image
www.fragrantica.com

So why  am I not taken with it?  Well, there is the faintest hint of orange jelly in the background, then some white petals desperately trying to get in the door ( and I really want to let them in, but they are too weak to barge in). Then there is the honey, which I always, without exception, find too sickly in perfume.

So if oranges, honey and  a flutter of white petals is your thing, then this is a safe bet.   If you like your Neroli next to sturdier ingredients, then this is probably not for you.  Don’t forget about layering though- this would be good with musk or a green scent over the top.  If you’re on the fence, you can buy a purse spray on the Yves Rocher website for just 7GBP.