Tag Archives: Clarins

Clarins Eau des Jardins: Summer In a Bottle


Clarins Eau des Jardins is one of only a handful of fragrances that would cause me to blindly follow a stranger home until they named their scent to me.  It is utterly divine in its citrussy lightness.  Technically, like its sister Eau Dynamisante, it’s not  perfume at all, but a perfumed skin treatment, but put this on after a shower and spray on hair and  clothes for extra lasting power and you will smell incredible, guaranteed.

Impossibly clean and shower fresh, this scent is all about the citrus.  They’re all here like a basket from a market: Bergamot, Lemons, Oranges, Grapefruit. It’s all as light as a fluffy cloud and squeaky clean.  Just a few flowers, nothing heavy, a touch of Rose maybe, and then an alleged base note of Cedar, Vetiver and Patchouli.  I say alleged because this stays fresh and zingy on me and never ventures into the Autumnal Ooomph that Patchouli and Cedar can provide so well.

A hint of Mint and Bay, and all those thirst quenching fruits, and you’d be hard pushed to find anything more sparkling and  pretty.

Naturally, this is slightly out of season, but I felt compelled to review it alongside a bargain buy I had yesterday, which is in the same vein as this, and which, I felt, merited its own review, rather than a “smells like” mention.

If you ever want to persuade anyone that you are respectable, virtuous and as healthy as an apple from a tree, then wear Clarins Eau des Jardins. You will SO get the job.



Clarins Eau Dynamisante: Fresh Air After The Thunder


 Dramatic Thunderstorms this week: exactly overhead, just one scant second between the thunder and lightning. The weather has been unbearable sticky and close, I might have known a storm was on its way.  What can you wear when you feel so humid that even standing within three feet of others makes you feel uncomfortably hotter (and not in a  good way)?  The answer is Clarins Eau Dynamisante.

 Eau Dynamisante slices through heat and humidity like a cool open window in a muggy house. Immediately fresh, the Lemon, Coriander and Petitgrain rush to the rescue, chasing away a sticky hot day. The base note is Patchouli,  although even the Patchouli is refreshing, rather than being a winter warmer. I can’t neglect the herbs either: Thyme, Rosemary and Cardoman. This many herbs could  remind you of hot soup, but in this case they are fresh as a dew dropped posy. 

 Eau Dynamisante is not meant as a fragrance, although it is popular as such. It is technically a fragrance skin treatment, but people buy it for the incredible scent. If there is a scent that makes you smell more shower fresh and spotlessly clean than this, then I’ve yet to smell it.

 This fits into the Eau de Cologne category in that it is refreshing, Herbal and Citrussy and not expected to last long.  However, I was pleasantly surprised that a citrus tinged Patchouli basenote was present after around four hours.

 Widely available, and reasonably priced at  around £24 for 100ml, this is a classic for a hot day. Keep it in the fridge and spray and spray on hot skin. Bliss.


Sephora! Sephora! Sephora!


Firstly, an enormous thank you to my expert guest blogger Lisa Wordbird. She teaches me so much and on my return I thoroughly enjoyed reading her blogs written during my absence. Equally, I was educated by the debate and comments her interesting articles stimulated. To everyone I learn from, and especially my dear, invaluable Wordbird friend, I am grateful.

On my recent trip to France, I had two ambitions: one was obviously to enjoy myself and watch my children make memories in the chilly Spring sun (thanks for having us Mum!), and two, was of course, to raid Sephora and Marionnaud with the last vestiges of my carefully hoarded birthday money, saved for this very purpose.  It’s been six years since I last walked into a Sephora and two things struck me. Firstly- Why on earth don’t we do this in the UK?  Those rafts of fragrance testers! Row upon row of gleaming, tempting bottles, with the kind of variety we are starved of in Blightly. Sephora is pure Heaven for anyone with even a passing interest in fragrance and it equals over-excitable joy to a hard core sniffer.

My second observation was the prices. My dears, I fainted out cold at the shock. They had to bring me round with a nasty blast of Ambre Sultan, for lack of smelling salts. I’ll give you an example: In my local Superdrug, you can buy a 30ml bottle of Cacharel Amor Amor for £14.99. In Sephora it was E37.50 for 30ml. Even with the current rate of the Euro against the pound, that works out at £31.81. Serge Lutens fragrances worked out very slightly cheaper at E84, or £71.26 for a 50ml bottle.  Clarins Eau Dynamisante is £40.63 at Sephora (or E47.90), but just £24.65 (with free postage) on Cheap Smells.

I made a small purchase of a purse spray in the Sephora own brand range “Lagoon” and hoped that even a parsimonious purchase would reap me rewards in the samples stakes. With a smile and my best French, the lovely Paula either admired my linguistic efforts, or took pity on me. In any case, a few minutes after disappearing, she returned with two Serge Lutens samples (in cute little boxes) and a sachet of Dahlia Noir. Since my esteemed colleague Lisa Wordbird has already kindly reviewed Dahlia Noir L’Eau, I deem the two to be too similar to merit two separate reviews, so I will simply say it’s very similar to Dahlia Noir L’Eau, but has more resonance.

The Serge Lutens samples were La Fille de Berlin and Clair de Musc, more of which anon. I also visited the Parfumerie chain Marionnaud and was whacked over the head with a tester spray of Guerlain’s Mouchoir de Monsiuer. Surely this is Jicky by another name? I demanded of my non plussed husband, who was smelling of dreamy Habit Rouge by the time we left the shop, thanks to me. Mr IScent is so patient with me. No samples from Marionnaud since there was a distinct priciness in the air. Perfume obsessives must keep an eye on purse strings from time to time or temptation would lead us into being the best smelling homeless people in the world. A 50ml bottle of Cacharel LouLou was an eye watering E101 or £85, compared to £38.50 in Boots for an equivalent bottle, or even cheaper if you buy two 30ml bottles at £14.99 each in The Fragrance Shop.

Where French Parfumeries get it oh so right, is in the sheer variety, not only of brands, but of testers, widely available and on the shelf, ready to browse and be squirted. Increasingly in the UK, I am finding that testers need to requested over the counter and then of course, you get trapped in the sales spiel and are unable to complete your  desired session of mindless capricious browsing. Sephora is a huge brand, owned by LMHV, and can be found on most typical French high streets. However, they have a full range of Serge Lutens and Guerlains, Givenchys, Hermes, Chanels, Diors, and all manner of lesser known brands, as well as the usual growing army of celebuscents.  Equally sensible is the vast array of male fragrances too.  Maintaining my husband’s interest in his side of the store induced me to stay longer, (and the end of that story would be to spend more).

I would love for Sephora to open its chains in the UK. Boots would be its biggest competitor, although they spread their nets wide and thin these days. Sephora is pure indulgence, selling nothing but beauty products and fragrance. If prices were more competitive, Sephora could revolutionise the smell of the UK High Street and maybe, just maybe, rid us of the fruity floral fog that we must live in until the trend for identikit scents passes us by.

Acqua Di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Arancia di Capri: Can I just call you Blu?


When I tried Elizabeth Arden Mediterranean (see yesterday’s review) I was disappointed. What I was actually wishing for was the smell that is Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Arancia di Capri It’s a hell of a mouthful, so I’ll just call it Blu Mediterraneo.

I hadn’t tried this before today, but so disappointed was I with yesterday’s fragrance that I needed an antidote. And I found it. Full of Sicilan Orange, Bergamot and Lemon, this is just my glass of Chianti. Sniffing away happily, I was convinced that this contains Marine Notes, but no, it doesn’t  In fact it made me ask myself why sharp oranges make me think of refreshing sea spray and the bluest of seas under the bluest of cloudless skies. Maybe its the Bergamot or the overall Citrus, but this made me visualise a  balcony overlooking all that blue sea and sky, probably with some sort of Orange Grove nearby.

Interestingly, Fragrantica has Caramel listed a base note. This is a mistake. Not by Fragrantica, but by any perfumer that  feels the need to add a Fudge Shop to a Mediterranean idyll. Luckily, I couldn’t smell that note, or I’d have been very disappointed.

Longevity is a bit on the short side, but when freshly sprayed, this is almost unbeatable as a sea spray/citrussy summer scent, along the lines of Clarins Eau Dynamisante. I am also relieved to report that there are no Aquatic, Melon, Cucumber or Ozonic notes to wrestle with. As much as I love a Marine scent, I have never taken to Aquatics or Oceanics. Yes, I know I am pedantic.

 Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Arancia di Capri comes in several varieties, and is easily available: a quick search found it on both Amazon and eBay. As well as Arancia di Capri, there is Fico di Amalfi, and Mirto di Panarea. I haven’t smelt these, but if you ever come across them, I’d say they were worth a sniff.

It’s not cheap at around £63 for 75ml, but it’s much cheaper than a holiday (am I a bad influence?) and the price could have been a lot worse for such high quality.

Blu Meditteraneo is right up my street, my cup of tea, my glass of Frascati.  Ice cold, of course. Now that I have this on my wrist I am suddenly SO over Winter.

When Celebrities Try and Make Scents: The Celebrity Fragrance Boom


I tried resisting. I tried dismissing them as bandwagon wannabes, but the tide was too strong. The fact is, when celebrity fragrances are made by the likes of Coty and Clarins, then you can’t help but sit up and take notice.


When the tide becomes a tsunami, it’s worth looking into. Are they all just also-rans or are some celebrity fragrances serious contenders?

It was the late Dame Elizabeth Taylor who is generally credited with bringing out the first celebrity perfume, Passion” in 1988. From the House of Elizabeth Taylor we had Passion, White Diamonds, Violet Eyes, Diamonds and Rubies, Diamonds and Sapphires, Diamonds and Emeralds, Gardenia, Elizabeth Taylor Forever, and Black Pearls. So pretty much her entire bedroom. I shall write about some of these at a later date. Made by Elizabeth Arden, the fragrances had excellent pedigree and few could ever call Dame Elizabeth tacky or cheap (although in private she could tell a dirty joke that would make a sailor blush).

However, In fact it was Cher who brought out the first celebrity fragrance in 1987, called, not surprisingly, Uninhibited.

Not long afterwards, in 1997, Antionio Banderas brought out Diavolo, and when JLo dipped herImage toe in the scented water in 2002 with J-Lo Glow, the tsunami was starting to gather speed.

Today, the market is flooded. Everybody from reality stars to pop stars, actresses and athletes are bringing out their own range of fragrances. There are too many to ignore, so we may as well get stuck in. Resistance is futile.

This week, I will be donning my aviators, getting a stalker, and refusing interviews: Yes, I’m going all celeb on you. I will only be reviewing celebrity fragrances for the next week. As always, my reviews are subjective and I am only giving my personal response to a scent. And as always, I am always interested in yours too.