Tag Archives: Cologne

YSL Saharienne: Cologne? In Autumn? Yes Please.

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 I have been to visit my local perfume counter several times over the past few weeks. No surprises there. However, what’s been different is that I have been visiting only one bottle.  In passing, I carelessly tried YSL Saharienne a few weeks ago and several hours later, I was still obsessively sniffing my sleeve trying to remember which bottle that heavenly smell was from.

Image Saharienne is so good it is on my long list for Christmas.  That’s no backhanded compliment. I am planning to request a special bottle of something from Santa and I am finding it so hard to narrow it down to just one from hundreds that I love. It’s like an X factor audition. Last year it was Eau de Cartier, which will always remind me of Christmas Day 2012. But I digress.

I have always loved a good cologne, and Saharienne fits the bill and then some.  What makes this stand out from all my beloved O de Lancomes and 4711s and  Eau Dynamisantes, is that Saharienne is packing heat.  Right there in the base, after the Bergamot and divine citrussy Mandarins have calmed down, out comes the smoothest of Sandalwood with a hint of spiced Ginger Beer.  It’s smoother than David Niven in his heyday. It’s blended so seamlessly that the Ginger and Sandalwood look like they’ve always been friends with the Citrus family. It’s as if they’ve been going on holiday Imagetogether for years and have started to look alike.

Sadly, Saharienne’s drawback is longevity, or lack of it.  A few hours at most, I would say.  However, my coat sleeve smelled lovely for days and it’s jolly good value at under £30 for 50ml of EDT. The faceted glass bottle is rather pretty too, bringing to mind Ralph Lauren Safari or YSL Cinema.

It’s a cologne for Autumn. It’s both refreshing and warm, like ice cold Ginger Ale over ice, with a little bit of bite.  Good work YSL. Very nicely done.

In fact, maybe at this price, I’ll get two.

4711 Ice: Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot.

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 4711 Ice by Maurer and Wirtz is not strictly a fragrance, more a cologne. In the UK, eau de cologne is not used in the same way as it is by our continental cousins. Across the Channel, cologne is used to complete the bathroom niceties. Post shower, Imagesplash it all over, leave the bathroom and get dressed. It’s not meant to have longevity or to replace your daily perfume. Among the colognes, 4711 is the leader of the pack, and is a wonderful, timeless unisex scent that I have long enjoyed.

A friend recently introduced me to 4711 Ice, and once I’d admired its laughably cheap price, I naturally bought some myself. It has been surprisingly hot here in the UK, and  despite having moaned about rain and cold for the last nine months (the longest Winter EVER), I am now complaining that the sun is too hot. Being pale and having freckles, I was not built for sun and I get what my Canadian friend calls the “hot fussies”.

However, this is exactly the kind of case that calls for Doctor 4711 Ice.  Directed at the male market (but does that matter?) it has a cooling menthol effect on spraying which is unbeatable. The smell is clean,  almost liquorice, with maybe a hint of eucalyptus and mint. In other words, everything that qualifies as “refreshing” has been added in spades. The scent itself is gender neutral and there is some brief longevity to be had, which for 2.29GBP is a bonus I was not expecting.

There is a whole list of notes that I think is rather an ambitious boast, as it includes Pineapple, Lily of the Valley, Plums, Peaches, Amber, Musk,  and Violets. In fact, 4711 Ice is a straightforward pleasant smelling minty menthol mixture. I will admit that I could pick out the Bergamot from the list though.

If someone were to criticise 4711 Ice, they might compare it to mouthwash or cough sweets, and I would listen equably to those arguments without retort. However, if you need instant cooling down with an inoffensive clean smelling scent, and you don’t mind if it doesn’t last for hours, then this is for you. I picked my bottle up on Amazon and the price has even gone down since last week. It now has a permanent place in my handbag  It is perfect for Festival season.

4711 Ice is what every cleavage needs when there is no shade and no help.

Yardley Lavender Eau de Toilette: Sometimes Simple Is What You Need

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It’s no coincidence that aromatherapists and masseurs use Lavender as a therapeutic scent, nor that it is a sleep inducing pillow spray. To me, it is also no coincidence that Yardley Lavender (along with or instead of Eau de Cartier) is the perfect hangover fragrance.

When you’re full of toxins and feel nauseous with overindulgence, Lavender steps in like a pure Angel come to visit and carry away those troubles like an open window in a stuffy room.

Lavender is also regarded as an “old lady” scent and this would be a good time to debunk that myth. The old ladies of today were the glamourpusses of yesteryear, and we have them to thank for being unswayed by modern trends and for keeping the market alive for the classic scents that are still being made to meet the demand of  “old ladies”.

These matriarchs are to be respected, as not only were they young once, but some day we will be the old ladies buying the Lavender and the good perfumes that are wasted on the youth. And maybe it was Oscar Wilde who once said “Youth is wasted on the young,”? Or maybe it was me the other day muttering at today’s modern teens? In any case,  calling a scent “old lady” is, to my mind, another way of saying “Classic”, and nowhere is this term more apt than  when used to describe Lavender.

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So what makes Yardley Lavender so special? Well for a start, the price is right at less than 10GBP a bottle on the High Street, and even cheaper online.  However, as well as Lavender (and I can promise you it smells authentic), I can also pick out Geranium and Clary Sage, making this a very green, slightly hippy Hesperide.  Sillage is arm’s length but pleasant. I think people will notice this simply because it will arouse nostalgia, and because it is so simple that it will stand out from today’s commuter trains of fruitchoulis and fake vanilla.

This is a soothing blast of cool summer which, along with it’s slightly  prickly and spicy Geranium, will be ideal as a summer time cleavage cooler straight from the fridge.   I have spoken before about layering and I think this will go very well will other scents: Just go with the flow, don’t let me boss you around!

As much as I love fragrances in all its forms and complexity, sometimes I like to go back to basics.  A Lavender fragrance in a scent wardrobe is akin to a walk in the country after a year in a city.  Sometimes we need that, no matter how beautiful the city.

 

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