Sarah McCartney “stirred woods, fruits and flowers with an icicle”
Doe in the Snow was created for a winter wedding, but recently it has proved itself to be the perfect summer fragrance. When it feels so hot that anything with the word snow in the title seems far-fetched and impossible, that’s when you need Doe in the Snow.
Doe in The Snow was created for the January wedding of perfume writer Odette Toilette aka the lovely Lizzie Ostrum. I had the pleasure of meeting Lizzie at the Jasmine awards earlier this year and was delighted to see her win, and deservedly so.
I’ve only recently decided to review Doe in the Snow because I cannot beat the tagline “stirred with an icicle.” It’s the perfect description of this icy refreshing treat that cuts right through that sticky, sweaty feeling you get as soon as the thermostat goes over the 20 degree point.
Doe in the Snow opens with lemon and lime and grapefruit. It reminded me of a cross between Morning Fresh washing up liquid and ice lollies. That’s no criticism at all: more of a vignette of an afternoon at my grandmother’s house circa 1970 something. Doe in the Snow however, is modern with a vintage feel.
There are peaches in here that come out boldly about halfway through, but with no stickiness. Think of the peaches in Lanvin Arpège: a restrained fruity note that adds a frisson of traditional prettiness without any of the modern syrupiness of main stream fruity florals. Besides which, the lemon and lime stop things getting too sweet and keep that astringent edge that makes Doe in the Snow so refreshing. To my nose, there’s also a touch of dark green soap in there, which I can’t explain to you or myself.
The mosses and woods in the base give it that chypre edge that I always seek. That’s not to say this ever gets rich and heavy though: the genius of it is that it’s a chypre for a summery day. It has vintage touches in the peachy mossy note, and yet resembles a sorbet with its icy coolness. Very clever, very refreshing and very chic.
This is half price until June 23rd 2017 from the 4160 Tuesdays website. After that it goes back to full price, which is still very reasonable, especially for handmade niche fragrance. You can buy something “meh” from the beauty counter or you can buy a bottle of this for a similar price. Not a sponsored post. Opinions are my own.
Welcome to the second post in the MoodScent4 collaboration! We are four perfume bloggers based France, Holland, England and Wales who will be posting on a different joint subject every couple of months. Each time we will individually pick a selection of five or so fragrances to fit a particular mood or occasion. You’ll find links to the other blogs at the end of the post.
We hope you have fun reading our different choices and adding your own in the comments.
Wherever you are in the world, you’re bound to have noticed that it’s wedding season: unless its currently Monsoon season where you are (i.e Wales), in which case, please read this later in the year when the sun’s out.
With a number of wedding invites thudding on mats (I’ve had three this year), we thought it only fair to help you out with an informal guide to what scent to wear if you are a wedding guest.
As a wedding guest, there are certain protocols one must stick to. For example, there’s the obvious blunder of wearing all white to a wedding, or wearing attention seeking outfits that may attract more looks than the poor bride gets. Also, as a wedding guest, this is no place for racy cleavage and skimpy skirts. If you’ve invited either of the Hadid sisters, you may want to pop a Post It note in their invitation. Call me old fashioned, but I’ve seen a bag of oranges wear more string than they had on at the Met Gala (hoiks bosom and clutches pearls).
Scent wise, the rules still apply, at least in my book. I wouldn’t wear anything loud or experimental that makes everyone look round in church for the wrong reasons. Neither would I always play it safe and stick with airy florals (although they certainly have a place).
Here then, are my own personal mainstays when I am invited to a wedding.
Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps
I wore this to the wedding I attended on Saturday. It’s a beautiful classic floral that will be familiar to many, yet in my opinion, has never been overexposed. It’s gentle, pretty, delicate and warm (dash of amber in the finish). This is one fragrance I will never allow myself to be without. Here’s my review.
4160 Tuesdays Raw Silk and Red Roses
With a name like this, this beautiful scent just cries out to be worn at a wedding, and it suits the occasion perfectly. This is my usual Go To scent for weddings but I couldn’t find it yesterday. Like Virginia Woolf, my box of minis and samples needs a Room of One’s Own. Raw Silk and Red Roses smells so deliciously of old fashioned roses, yet it has depth and facets that lift this away from any other rose scent that I have tried. You can read my review here.
Cartier Baiser Fou
I fell hard for this after not being enamoured of the original Cartier Baiser Volé. Where Baiser Volé was all about the lilies and not in a good way, Baiser Fou is the fun, more playful sister. Smelling like a cross between fresh raspberries, Milky Bars and expensive lipstick, this is perfect for a summer wedding where lipstick ends up on everyone. You can read my review here.
Andy Tauer Noontide Petals
I have yet to find anything that smells similar to this aldehyde beauty. It’s bright with citrussy lime and clean soapy aldehydes, but changes throughout the day. By the time the evening party comes around, you’ll be smelling of tuberose, jasmine, frankincense, patchouli and roses. It has the added bonus of giving you the sure knowledge that nobody else will be wearing it. Unless you are going to a wedding full of perfume peeps. You can read my review here.
Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely
This one gets lots of mentions on my blog and that’s because it’s wonderfully versatile, long-lasting, and as girly as pigtails. I adore Lovely. The florals give way to rich creamy woods and patchouli and the whole shebang lasts all day. I spray mine in my cleavage and the back of my neck and I was still catching delightful wafts at bedtime. It’s not overpowering and I guarantee it will go with your dress. For the price, this remains one of the best value fragrances I know. It’s usually around £20 a bottle and I’m wearing it today.
How about you?
What scent do you wear to weddings? Do you have a favourite or do you choose as you go? Do let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
I am chuffed to beans to have three international colleagues to collaborate with. Find out what Tara, Esperanza and Megan all had to say on the subject of wedding guest perfumes. Between us we cover Wales, England, the Netherlands and France, which makes us the last word on European fragrances. We decided.
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.
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?”
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.
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.
Reviewing a Maison Francis Kurkdjian scent feels slightly intimidating, like entering a posh hotel in my oldest pyjama bottoms. I don’t feel as if I am qualified, if you like. I am pretty much in awe of M. Kurkdjian so spent a lot of time learning how to spell his surname for a start. Least I could do really.
I obtained a sample of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia from the recent Perfume Society Heaven Scents Discovery Box. It had an immediate impact on me. It felt like the ultimate in crystalline, fresh, pure scent. You know that feeling when you’re so hot that only an ice cold waterfall will do? Well Aqua Celestia is for when you can’t find one.
Opening with mint and lime in spades, this will make you smell impossibly clean: as if you’ve never sweated a milli drop in your whole life. There is a hint of mimosa, which is lightly floral with a faint tinge of sweetness around the edges, like a blurry border. The lime and mint meets a base of clean musk, and Aqua Celestia sits on my skin, like the tears of an angel. It smells like I live on a cloud. Pure bliss.
My only teeny whinge is that it’s not as radiant, nor as longlasting as I would have liked, but then I am only testing the eau de toilette, so I’ll have to wait for the eau de parfum, if it’s coming.
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!”
Jimmy 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.
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.
I popped into my local Body Shop today and was delighted to see a classy display of fragrances in beautiful faceted glass bottles. There were the regulars: Atlas Mountain Rose and Fijian Water Lotus among them, and a new fragrance I hadn’t seen before that had a summery looking green juice. That fragrance was Italian Summer Fig and I can report that it is truly scrumptious.
Fig works very well in summer, after all, its good enough for our continental cousins who know a thing or two about heat. It reminds me of perfumed sultanas: the fruit is deep and rich, yet aromatic and tangy too. With obvious comparisons of L’Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier drifting in and out of my scent memory, I helped myself to several squirts and ten hours later I can still smell traces of it- not bad for an eau de toilette.
The notes, according to our trusty friends at Fragrantica, are:
Top notes: Fig, green notes and vine
Middle notes: Rose, saffron and floral notes
Base notes: Oak and amber
In fact, on me, although it opens and closes with fig, there are definite traces of flowers, especially rose, and I got a whiff of woodiness at the end, which I always thinks complements fig so well
Italian Summer Fig makes a refreshing choice for summer and I applaud the Body Shop for going down this route rather than the more traditional mainstream routes so often found in summer. My only criticism is that I like to see purse spray versions of new scents available so you can make your mind up before buying a full sized bottle. Marks and Spencer does this and I love treating myself to an affordable handbag spray. You can get purse sprays containing some of the other fragrances in the Body Shop range for £5 for 10ml, so maybe this plan is in the pipeline.
Italian Summer Fig is available from the Body Shop in store and online and retails at £18 for 50ml. Ancillary products are also available so you can layer the fragrance nicely.
You may recall my earlier review of Aqua Manda here on this blog- I want to link to it but my site seems to disapprove of narcissism and weird stuff has happened when I do that, but you can find it if you type Aqua Manda into the little search box over there on your right.
Aqua Citra is not quite as well remembered by me, although I definitely recall its sister scent, Aqua Manda in the early 70s, albeit vaguely, as I am so young (*cough*).
Aqua Citra makes a welcome return and I was delighted to receive a sample from those nice people at Aqua Manda, along with a bottle of Aqua Manda and sample of Goya Black Rose, which by the way is superb- review to follow.
Aqua Citra is fairly simple to review because here’s what it smells like: you know the sherbet out of the middle of a sherbet lemon? It smells exactly like that. It’s zingy and sparkling and sweet without ever veering into that sticky feeling. It claims to have a woody and musky base, but on me this is a marvellous soliflore which pops like lemonade bubbles and beats off all competitors when it comes to finding “something cooling for hot weather”. I applaud its classic simplicity. Its lemon, lemon and more lemon and sometimes that, my friends, is exactly what you need. If you really want to wake yourself up, keep it in the fridge. Longevity is pleasing, better than cologne although it could do with a top up at lunchtime.
Aqua Citra comes in a big bottle, a purse spray or a refreshing soap.
Stockists: You can buy Aqua Citra from Harvey Nichols,Fenwick’s, Burgin’s of York and delightful one off perfumery I stumbled across one New Year in Blackpool – Cosmetic World Duty Free where I found all sorts of hard to get treats.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m a big fan of Library of Fragrance. It allows us to be grown-ups and mix and match our own choice of scents when we want to go rogue i.e. when we don’t want to buy the latest over the counter launches that don’t suit our personal taste- or at least that’s why I buy them.
But that’s just one angle when it comes to the purpose behind Library of Fragrance. The other thing they manage to do so well is to produce scents that are evocative of a time or place or scene. Not only do they produce a wide choice of scent for day time or evening wear, but there are many of us, and you might be one too, who sometimes want to smell like the beach or the garden or Christmas, and that’s where Library of Fragrance comes in.
Today I have been wearing Library of Fragrance Salt Air, (well actually the last couple of days to be precise, I’m addicted). Salt Air successfully encapsulates the exact holiday smell of when you’ve been on the beach all day. There is a salty tang and an uplifting ozonic scent that doesn’t veer into imitation L’Eau D’Issey territory as ozonic so often can. Salt Air is the tang of salt, the fresh surf of the sea crashing onto the shore, and a whiff of something clean, like sun cream without the coconut, or that fresh smell of holiday bed linen as your salty sea sprayed head hits the pillow on the first night.
Sea Air is gorgeously clean smelling and uplifting and is very much a Feel Good scent. Longevity is surprisingly good- remember that these are colognes, but they always have much better longevity than you would expect from a cologne. On me, Salt Air lasted over four hours before I needed a little top up. It’s totally unisex too and would smell equally good on a male or female.
Salt Air is one of my favourite Library of Fragrance scents- and I have reviewed many of them, because, what can I say? I’m a fan of the brand.
Pop Salt Air into your holiday luggage, or better still, wear it when you’re not on holiday for that seaside feeling all summer long.
I have long wanted to try Penhaligons Bluebell, despite knowing that it was a favourite of Mrs Thatcher, of whom I was not a fan. Interestingly, it is also rumoured to have been a favourite of the late Princess Diana, and the very current Miss Kate Moss.
The reason I have longed to try this is two fold. Firstly, when I was growing up there was a field and some woodland near our house which were awash with bluebells every year. I would pick huge bunches of them and the smell of them is a memory that has always stayed with me. Olfactive memory is never to be underestimated and can pack more of a punch than a photo.
The second reason, tied in with the first reason, is that the very first bottle of perfume that I ever bought myself with my own money was a little glass bottle of Bluebell perfume from Boots The Chemist. It was a splash bottle, square, and made of frosted glass. It has long since been discontinued but I remember buying it in my early teens and splashing it on liberally.
I had a Penhaligons Scent Library sample tin for Christmas, but Bluebell was missing. Luckily dear friend of the blog Patsi came to the rescue and I was delighted to receive a sample of both Bluebell and Violetta from her yesterday, for which, many thanks indeed Patsi. I cannot pick a favourite from the two!
Penhaligons Bluebell lived up to my expectations. It smells exactly like a fresh bluebell, only cranked up a little and made more intense. The natural smell of a bluebell is more subtle, but we’re not going for realism here, we are going for reproduction. There is slightly metallic, medicinal tang to it, a little like Jasmine at its freshest. Alongside the central bluebell note ( listed as Hyacinth, but all the same family) are other floral notes that fill in the gaps as the sharp, high pitched Bluebell wavers, unable to keep the fresh note going. Here I can discern Lily of The Valley and a faint rose, before the Bluebell note melds into the spicier, base notes with its cloves and cinnamon, used sparingly, like a faint outline.
There is a definite vegetable note in the base, reminding me that bluebells are related to asparagus, but it is eclipsed by wafts of pleasing flora. Would I buy this? Yes. And I would also buy Penhaligons Violetta and wear them together, because, oh boy, that smells amazing!