Tag Archives: fruity floral

Avon Femme Exclusive: With Extra Vanilla!

Avon Femme Exclusive is one of three fragrances in the Avon Femme range. I’ve already reviewed Avon Femme and Avon Femme Icon, so here’s my review of Avon Femme Exclusive.

Avon Femme Exclusive opens with pear. I also detected some plum as well: this is deeply, darkly fruity. .  The jasmine in the middle comes out at pretty much the same time as the pear and makes for a pear jasmine combo that, whilst not particularly original, certainly runs with the pack and is bezzie mates with the popular set.  To be honest, the pear dominates so all the others notes tend to fall into the background, except for vanilla. It says here that there is black vanilla in this, but that’s sort of corporate speak for extra strong evening style vanilla. In fact the vanilla is not my favourite boozy liquor vanilla, it’s more of a milky vanilla, and alongside the pear, I couldn’t help thinking of pear, pastry and custard. There’s just enough jasmine to stop me thinking this is pudding flavour.

All in all, this will do the job nicely and is priced affordably. It does smell very similar to Avon Luck (all the vanilla), so if you like that, you’ll like this.  It’s not my favourite, but there’s certainly a fan base out there for this bargain.


Avon Femme Exclusive is available from Avon UK or from your Avon rep if you are lucky enough to have one. My little purse spray was just £3, and it’s a great way of living with a scent for a bit before deciding to get a big bottle. Viva purse sprays!




Avon Little Sequin Dress: Another Dress for my Collection

avon sequin dress ad

Nobody can accuse Avon of letting the grass grow under their feet. The Little Dress family has a new member: Avon Little Sequin Dress.

Avon Little Black Dress is a constant bestseller, and rightly so. There are several flankers, all of which I have smelled and which I rate as pretty good, especially when you think that you can usually buy them for around £7 each.

Avon Little Sequin Dress is intended to be a more glamorous addition to the collection , with evening wear in mind, as the name would suggest.  However, I don’t find it so provocative that it has to be skipped in the day time.  This is a playful and pretty fruity floral.

According to Fragrantica users, Little Sequin Dress is in a similar vein to Juicy Couture I am Juicy and See by Chloe.

avon sequin dressLittle Sequin Dress opens with tropical fruit and then some. The notes are mandarin and mango, and it certainly packs a fruity style punch with a tiny umbrella and a swizzle stick (metaphorically speaking, they’re not new notes, although its probably just a matter of time!).

The middle bit is where the gardenia comes out. This is a fresh white flower gardenia, not the earthy mushroom-y gardenia that you can sometimes get in gardenia’s purer forms.

The base is nothing to write home about, but does the job required of it.  Amber, sandalwood and musk round things off in a warm and fuzzy way, alongside the tropical vibe that picks up a bunch of flowers on the way and stays prominent to the very end.  It kind of smells a  bit like a Herbal Essence shampoo, which is fine by me.


This reminded me of Cheryl Stormflower, except the fruit was less tinny-fruit-salad in Little Sequin Dress.  Add a pretty bottle in a smart box and you’ve got yourself a bargain. Avon does this very well and they’re keeping up the good work.

By the way, if you’re buying for a picky teen, this really suits the current trend for sweet fruity florals.


You can buy this from Avon UK or from your Avon rep.  The price is currently just £8. My sample was given to me by my Avon Lady and opinions are my own.

Further reading: Check out my reviews of Avon Little Red Dress, Avon Little Lace Dress and Avon Little Black Dress Eau Fraiche.


First impressions of First Instinct For Her by Abercrombie and Fitch



Until this week, I had never tried any fragrance from Abercrombie and Fitch.  In fact, I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t even know they did any.  I guess I’m not their targeted market,  being a 47 year old with a serious charity shop habit.  No matter.  With perfume, age means nothing, and it will ALWAYS fit, even after Christmas.

On my skin,  First Instinct  For Her opens with magnolia and orchids. Now,  I always have a problem with orchid.  No matter who makes the fragrance,  orchid always smells like plastic to me.  Unfortunately, the case is no different here.  However, the magnolia rallies and a touch of grapefruit lifts it a bit higher.  The passion fruit adds a faint hint of tropical taste, a bit like Lilt, and the orange flower comes in to give this a heady white flower  blanket that complements the magnolia and makes it even richer.  The base is warmed with some cosy sweet tonka and amber.

abercrombie ad

Unfortunately, the overall impression this gave me was white flowers, vanilla and orchid.  It reminded me of so many other fragrances that I just couldn’t get excited about it.  However, another way of saying it  is that it’s right on trend at the moment and there is clearly an appetite for fragrance of this genre.

If you like this, you may also be a fan of Paco Rabanne Olympea, or Avon Far Away Infinity or Avon Incandessence (very orchid-y) or Christian Lacroix Bijou for Avon.


You can get a sample of this ( among others) from The Perfume Society Latest Launches Discovery Box, or buy a full bottle from The Fragrance Shop UK online or instore, or from Escentual.


Shay & Blue London Blueberry and Musk: Hidden Surprises

blueberry musk

Shay & Blue London Blueberry Musk was included as a sample in the recent Perfume Society Heavens Scent Discovery Box. I’ve tried and reviewed several Shay & Blue London scents now and have yet to find one I dislike.  In fact, I wore Shay & Blue English Cherry Blossom throughout most of Spring last year and will probably do so again.

dewberryBlueberry Musk was a bit of a surprise.  There I was, expecting something with musky berries akin to L’Artisan Parfumeur Mure et Musc, when what do I get but a flashback to the Body Shop 1986. Yes, there’s a big suggestion of Dewberry here. If you were a fan of that, then you’ll be a fan of this. However, this is no mere 80s throwback, my friends. With big, beautiful middle notes of magnolia and jasmine, this is more of a mure et muscmodern white floral with a deliciously fruity twist. There’s no sugary sweetness though- which would have put me off.  I’ve always thought blueberries were a touch musky anyway, so they are particularly well served by the musky finish.

This could well be a Shay & Blue London bestseller. Deliciously light and pretty, with a playful dab of Dewberry, I do believe I am in full bottle territory.



You can buy Shay & Blue  London Blueberry Musk from the Shay & Blue London website. You can find a sampe in the Perfume Society Heavns Scents Discovery Box, or you can shop instore in the new Shay & Blue London boutique.  Marks and Spencer also carries a selection of Shay & Blue London fragrances.


Mother Nature’s Naughty Daughters, (2016) 4160 Tuesdays

mothr nature bottle

Supra-naturals: The ones we make with the posh naturals combined with most excellent synthetic molecules to make scents of great beauty.- Sarah McCartney

Perfumer Sarah McCartney (I’m going to add the word inexhaustible) has an encyclopaedic knowledge of perfume regulations. If you don’t believe me, put her on Mastermind. This knowledge, which by necessity would resemble several complex  mazes in someone’s head,  led her to concoct a “Supra-Natural” scent.

Why are Mother’s Nature’s Daughters Naughty? Well they’re more rule-bendingly naughty than wicked, but they have a twinkle in their eye.

Many of the off grid, twigs-in-your-hair style fragrance notes involved in Mother Nature’s Naughty Daughters are prohibited or severely regulated in their natural and absolute form by both IFRA and the EU . There’s also the complication that these truly natural ingredients have a lot of variables when they land on skin. Sarah has therefore, rather resourcefully, used natural ingredients to create a synthetic sure-fire replication of these notes without actually breaking any rules. Still with me? Trust me, she knows what she’s doing.

horlicks-malted-drink-light-169784So having gone through all that, whilst exploring the delightful sounding broom absolute for the first time along the way, what does Mother Nature’s Naughty Daughters smell like?  This is a rosy chypre (complete with textbook woody, mossy base), but at the same time, it’s a playful fruity floral that also happens to be a gourmand. In other words, this will please fans of all three genres.

What I have here is an opening that reminded me briefly of calvados: orchard fruits and booze. The fruit is framed with praline which gave me an instant hit of those divine liquid centred boozy liqueurs you get at Christmas (which I could eat endlessly, with my eyes closed going “MMM”).  Blackcurrants come out, which can smell like cat pee, but here they are rich and bitter in a good red wine-y sort of way. There is a syrupy note that bridges the top phase to the middle, although nothing is as prescriptive as that here. pimmsRoses pop out, but with brown sugar frosting their petals. Is that the broom I can smell? It is reportedly a nutty, woody, hay-like note and that’s certainly there, along with a waft of warm Horlicks (that’ll be the malt).

So far this has given us a little tour covering most of an English Country Garden. So where does the base leave us? On some damp aromatic moss, on a cedar bench after the rain, with a glassful of sticky Pimms and pear pips. Which is not just fine by me, but wholeheartedly agreeable. If birdsong could be bottled, that would be in here too.


Mother Nature’s Naughty Daughters is available from the 4160 Tuesdays website.

Made with this kind of broom before it becomes a broom.
Made with this kind of broom before it becomes a broom.

Photo credits: Top photo from www.4160Tuesdays.com , Horlicks photo from www.caloriecount.com, Pimms photo from www.christinascucina.com and broom photo from www.thingsthatgoboo.com.

YSL Mon Paris: It’s Not Mine After All

mon paris

I tried YSL Mon Paris in Boots today, and was eager to get my mitts on it, being a fan of the original iconic YSL Paris with its violets and roses. I was all hopeful and friendly towards the pretty bottle. I figured it must be covetable since it was chained to the perfume counter (like me).

But oh dear. It’s happened again. A flanker has been added on to a classic and come out smelling like a mass market overly sweet rent-a-scent. Harsh words? Maybe, but it’s not the first time this has happened. Fans of YSL Paris, that perennial Sophia Grojsman classic, may well be disappointed by Mon Paris. I certainly was. Do not buy blind.

YSL Mon Paris opens with pink flowers: sweet and sugary. You may find Note du Jour jasmine sambac in there, and some peony too. I usually like peony, but this is messy and overly sweet. Then comes lots of sticky fruit: strawberries, raspberries, pear. The basenotes are allegedly patchouli (two types if you please), ambroxan ( which is musk mallow- a plant based musk sub) and white musk. I would say the patchouli is faintly discernible, but crowded out by pink candy, rather than the mossy punch I’m looking for. (The blurb mentions a classic chypre base, but I don’t know where that went. It’s certainly not here)

This smells very much like Miss Dior ( the modern one, not the Originale) Dior Poison Girl and Black Opium without the coffee. It’s a sweet, candy floss, candy shop fruity floral that has little of any originality to offer. It’s as far from YSL Paris as can be.

Now I should add at this point that all my reviews are just my personal taste, nobody’s forcing me to buy it, and I guess they don’t make it like this unless they feel there’s a demand. There IS a demand, and they didn’t have the likes of me in mind, so I will go back to my quiet collection of retro mossy stuff and no more will be said on it.

Yves Saint Laurent will never lose my love and loyalty  because they made Paris, Rive Gauche, Y, Yvresse and Opium. But I’ll sit this one out, thanks.


YSL Mon Paris is widely available. Try Boots or Debenhams.




Hollister Wave For Her


Yesterday I popped into my local Superdrug. I like it in there. They always have lots of testers and many half price fragrances. I spotted Hollister Wave For Her and had a thorough try of it: coat sleeves and all. It lasted several hours, I’ll give it that, but left me underwhelmed.  I know that I’m not a member of the Hollister demographic. At forty six, I’m about thirty years too late, so I simply sprayed and went to catch the bus in my comfy boots and sensible handbag.

Hollister Wave For her opens with synthetic flowers. I recognised orchid, since I almost always have a problem with it. It’s used in some Avon perfumes and I always find it jarringly fake and plasticky.  After the orchid came some generic synthetic fruity notes: quince and star fruit. I didn’t like those either. It’s rounded off with sandalwood, amber ( yes, I got a bit of that) and here’s a new one me: solar notes. I looked it up on Fragrantica and it came in under the genre of “natural and synthetic, popular and weird.” I don’t really know what the solar notes added, but this was a very generic fruity floral. So generic, I’m sure I’ve smelled it at least a hundred times.

However, as I said up there ^, this wasn’t made for the likes of me. I like mossy chypres. I was never going to like this, was I? That doesn’t mean to say it won’t be a big seller and very popular.  It does mean that it will never make it to my agreeably overflowing dressing table.


You can buy Hollister Wave For Her from Superdrug from £19 for 30ml.





Diesel Loverdose Red Kiss: Don’t Kiss Me!



I tried Diesel Loverdose Red Kiss today in my local Perfume Shop and was soon wishing I hadn’t.  I took a thorough squirting on arm and sleeve just in case it was in danger of fading before I got home.  It wasn’t.  It’s still there seven hours later, refusing to leave.

The funny thing is, my interpretation of this is completely different from its description.  Described as a Gourmand Floriental (which I think is kind of a cop out covering three crowd pleasing categories) I found Diesel Loverdose Red Kiss to be a sickly, cloying, sticky, overly sweet candy cane mess that me feel hot and sticky and bothered as the day went on.

According to trusty Fragrantica however, Loverdose Red Kiss is replete with nuts, apples, blackcurrant , bergamot and sugar, with an ambery finish.

Photo by www.weheartit.com

Unfortunately I got sugar, sweets, chews, lollies, candy floss and sticky strawberry ice cream sauce. Diesel Loverdose Red Kiss made me want to brush my teeth and wash it off my arm.

You may like it.  You may get the tantalising promise of bergamot and blackcurrant, but I didn’t. Oh wait!  A whiff of toffee apple lollies  there. And a synthetic vanilla finish.

To get a good idea of my view on this, eat 24 strawberry lollies  and wash them down with cherryade and custard.

If you’ve tried it, do share your view with me.  Just because I don’t like this, doesn;t mean I’m right.  Perfume is like poetry- there’s no right or wrong interpretation.

Stockists:  Diesel Loverdose Red Kiss is available from The Perfume Shop and Amazon UK to name but a few.

The Perfume Shop

Valentino V Été : Violets, Roses, Musk and um…Lychee


I haven’t tried many Valentino scents, but I recently bought some samples of Valentino V Été  from eBay.  I was initially put off as one of the phials had leaked everywhere and I got a bit sick of the smell, however, wearing this on skin has changed my mind.

This is a scent that is delicate and feminine, yet the Musk undertow stops it been too “candy girl”.  It opens with Violets and Roses: lots of Roses.  Two types to be precise. Violets are one of my favourite notes, so I was very pleased to meet them again. This is very summery, without being ocean fresh (*shudder*) or astringent. It’s more of a floral bouquet than a spritz on a hot summer’s day.  I have to use the power of my memory here as it is misty and gloomy outside here in Wales.

I do feel that they could have left the Lychee out: it brings nothing to the party and interferes with my enjoyment of the Rose/Violet combo, which was fine as it was, thank you. The base notes die down into a steady, long lasting Woody Musk with an overall veil of Rose over it all.

Longevity is decent at around five hours, and availability is not wide, although I did find it on Amazon UK. It really would be a lovely scent if it wasn’t for that damn Lychee.


One Direction Our Moment: Dear Father Christmas…


It goes without saying that boyband One Direction are a phenomenon. They have broken the notoriously tough American market, and their star is still on the rise, going orbital.  The only surprising thing about their perfume Our Moment, is that it didn’t come out sooner.

It’s getting a little tougher to get perfume samples over the counter these days. There’s a thriving market for them on eBay and I have to set my blogger’s charm to “Stun” in order to get them from sales assistants. However, the nice lady in the Perfume Shop gave me lots of these saying “You’re welcome to these, we’ve got loads, here you are, put them in your bag”. So I did. Thank you Perfume Shop Lady.

Now you don’t need to be a media expert to realise that “Our Moment” is speaking directly to the heart of One Direction fans. It’s saying  “Psst, you, yes you, this is just between you and me. This Our Moment. I approve of this product, so if you buy it I will approve of you too. Love Harry/Zayn/the other three X X X.”


Our Moment makes me feel old. When I realised I was older than Harry Styles’ Mum I felt ancient. When I released that I was old enough to be his grandmother (I’m 43), I  buttoned up my cardigan and put the kettle on in despair.  Back in 1983 Boy George first appeared on the television. My Dad was appalled and said rude words about him. I remember thinking that Dad was like, really old and stuff.  Now here I am, thinking that Harry has too many tattoos and I hope they’re staying away from drugs and being sensible. How time flies.

Now to the smell. In its favour I will say that since this is marketed at young girls, pre teens and teens, that they have got one thing exactly right. It’s not sexy. Nor is it provocative or seductive or alluring. Excellent work. I approve.

It does however, fit in with a little perfume conspiracy theory I have been quietly forming. My theory is this: Somewhere there is a giant bubbling vat of extremely fruity perfume. Everybody uses it and puts it into different bottles, inventing the notes and using Imagedifferent packaging. Britney uses it a lot, as does Beyoncé, and even Loewe used it for Quizas Quizas Quizas Pasion. And now the One Direction boys are using it too. It’s just one big red fruit, strawberry flavoured, sugary, fruity floral vat with a queue of celebrities’ flunkies waiting to fill their bottles with it and add a different moniker.

Top notes are listed as: Redcurrants, Forest Fruits and Lemon. Middle notes are Freesia, Jasmine and Frangipani, and Base notes are Patchouli Musk and Woody notes.  Getting back to reality for a minute, what it actually smells like is forest fruits and redcurrants with added candy floss. And that goes for top notes, middle notes and base notes.

I smelled this on one hand and Beyoncé Midnight Heat on the other and could not tell them apart.

Frankly, this would sell by the shelfload even if it smelled of cat pee. Putting my personal preferences aside for a minute (I’ll be wearing Balmain Jolie Madame later today), this will clearly be a bestseller. Prepare to smell this Princessy  bottle  everywhere. It will be on every Under 12s’ Christmas wish list. Brace yourself for the OMGs. This ticks every box.

Oh and the inevitable flankers. It’s just a matter of time.