Tag Archives: Gardenia

Avon Week: Avon in Bloom by Reese Witherspoon

 Image

Avon has a bad habit of launching a fragrance, ensuring it’s of acceptably good quality (it’s never going to be mind blowing), waiting until everyone loves it, and then discontinuing it, leaving all future profits to eBayers.

Avon in Bloom by Reese Witherspoon  begins as a decent White Floral that starts promisingly with Gardenia, Peaches (thankfully not the whole tree like some I could mention *cough* Liz Taylor Rubies and Diamonds *cough), and Jasmine.

The bottle is a blatant steal from Guerlain’s My Insolence, but that’s no crime. Unoriginal, but not bad. I was amazed to find that no Tuberose notes are listed, but I often find that Tuberose Imageand Gardenia are so often together that sometimes I get them mixed up. In the same way, I often smell Violets alongside Iris, even when they’re not there.

Sadly, the basenotes let this down. It reminded me of so many other Avon perfumes and I think this is a stumbling block for me. It’s as if Avon use the same base ingredients and just add a  few different high notes to differentiate. It’s similar to the same way that Heinz soup, although good, always tastes like Heinz soup, no matter what flavour you’re having.

The basenotes remind me of a perfume I reviewed earlier in my blog, Avon Today. Again, it started off well with Freesia and Tropical notes, and ended up smelling exactly the same as this. It’s a cross between Poundland Vanilla candles and pencil shavings. It’s a disappointment frankly, like a beautiful necklace that all the stones fall out of after twenty minutes of looking lovely.

The bottle is beautiful though, and if I take my glasses off and squint across the room, I can almost dream that’s a great big bottle of My Insolence. If only it was.

I bet Ms Witherspoon doesn’t really wear this…

Jo Loves…The Summing Up and The Verdict

fragrance-collection-4x30ml_1

I enjoyed getting to know the eight fragrances in this new collection from Jo Malone (the woman, not the brand). They are distinctive in that the number of notes in these fragrances is minimal. Some only have one. It’s about simplicity  It’s about balance. The range is varied enough to avoid being a mainstream crowd pleaser, but has enough genres to keep people interested.

Despite having reviewed 74 fragrances so far, there are actually very few full bottles on my dressing table.  Many are samples, or borrowed, and some are my own beloveds.  I cannot see myself buying a full sized (100ml) bottle of any of the Jo Loves range, but I might consider a 30ml bottle of Pomelo or Mango Nectar.  Pomelo because although I’m sure it’s been done before, I was rather charmed by Grapefruit and Suede together.  Mango Nectar I might buy just for fun on a sunny day.  It’s not a serious perfume, I doubt you could wear it to a board meeting, (Oh go on, why not?”) but sometimes a single note done exceptionally well can have a place in any perfume wardrobe. I would also consider the Gardenia in the same way. It’s a bit like having a well cut pair of trousers in your wardrobe, plain and essential, but once you accessorise and wear them with other things, they can work much better.

It’s not clear what future Jo has in mind for these products, but a sample set would eliminate any criticism of “inaccessibility”. Currently a website and showroom by appointment is all there is.  Fans will be hoping for a franchise, I am sure. There’s the exclusivity of niche, and there is cold shouldering eager customers. It’s a fine line.

Jo Loves… Gardenia: Lonely Without its Other Half

Image

 This is a beautiful, white, fresh Gardenia that goes on and stays on a long, long time. It’s clean, almost bridal in its purity and as a White Flower note, it’s hard to beat. I was, however, looking for its sister Tuberose. The two are so often seen together that it’s odd seeing one of them alone. No matter, I’ve always secretly preferred Gardenia when faced with the two. It’s nice to see her on her own without her slightly cloying sister.

 I would say this is a very good, unchanging fragrance of a single note. It is a Gardenia linear soliflore. It doesn’t change, but sometimes you want that in a perfume. This is not my favourite Jo Loves, my heart belongs to changeable Pomelo, and I have smelt Gardenia before so many times that I feel, as beautiful and pretty as this is, I’ve been here before.  If you want to smell of Gardenias all day long without having to top up, this is for you.

Jo Loves…I Love Jo Loves Me Love

 Image

Jo Loves… is Jo Malone in her new incarnation. Jo Malone the person left Jo Malone the brand in capable hands in 2006, and has gone it alone once again. So much for retirement! Fragrance has a strong pull and it wasn’t long before Jo found herself creating fragrance again.

 Like the beginning of so many good stories, it all began in a bar in New York…

From crushed Mangoes and Limes, Jo’s mind got working as cocktails were created and fruits crushed before her eyes (and nose). Fruit into fruit created new blends and intoxicating aromas, even before they added the vodka.

 Jo Malone the brand is often referred to as perfume for people who don’t like perfume, and many Jo Malone fragrances are based on those found in nature. Now that Jo has “gone rogue” it would seem that she has gone back to nature again, this time with fruits: fresh, citrussy, zingy fruits in many incarnations from Cocktails and Lime zest to suave, crisp Pomelo with its suede-y richness and Rosy base. But it doesn’t stop there. There is also Pink Vetiver, A Shot of Oud Over Mango,  Gardenia and Orange Tulle. Jo Loves…is exactly that: notes and fragrances that Jo is passionate about.  It is very refreshing to see a line of fragrance that is not governed by focus groups and mass markets, but geared to the taste and passion of an individual. . And the kind of creative freedom that can only be coveted.

If Niche means exclusive suppliers (in this case a website and a showroom is all) and a limited line, then this is New British Niche, and as you would expect, it’s very good. Quality is high and is reflected in the price. Good ingredients are worth paying for. The Mango scent that Jo Loves has captured is so mouthwateringly realistic that it induced a genuine craving in me for ripe mangoes.

Since the range is not cheap if you’re buying blind, it would be great if Jo Loves sold a sample or starter kit, since bottles start at £45. The website sells a collection of four 30ml scents for £120 ( see photo above). That’s a lot to spend on a blind buy. You can take my word for it, and read reviews and blogs, but until you try a scent on your own skin you cannot know if it will suit you. You can only make an educated guess. A sample kit would solve this problem, and having tried some samples myself, I can happily predict that samples kits will lead to full bottle purchases. This week I will be reviewing some of the fragrances in more detail.

I am currently wearing Mango Nectar and the temptation to lick my own wrist is almost overwhelming.

It’s only nine months to Christmas, never too soon to start a (very long) wish list…Jo Loves could be the UK’s answer to Frederic Malle and Andy Tauer.

Image