Tag Archives: good cheap perfumes

Orla Kiely by Orla Kiely

orla kiely bottle

Orla Kiely is the Irish designer who always reminds me of a 21st century Barbara Hulanicki with her quirky geometric prints and repeat patterns. It seemed inevitable that a fragrance would follow and I’m glad it did. This pretty scent is not only ideal for daytime and work wear, but has a very agreeable price: retailing at under £20 a bottle.

Orla Kiely opens with refreshing bergamot, tea and peach. You’ll be pleased to know that my description doesn’t make it smell like Liptons Iced Tea, although I wouldn’t mind if it did. The flowers emerge gradually and there are some pretty petals in here- namely roses, geranium and peachy osmanthus. A little hint of juicy fig peeks out and there is a whisper of chocolate. The chocolate is thankfully used sparingly here  The tea and the bergamot restrain it from going down an overly sweet route.

orla collection

The base is sandalwood, fig and again the very mild soupcon of chocolate. For a few moments there was a definite hint of pencil shavings on my arm, but sandalwood can sometimes do that to me. The finish is a woody floral melange with a refreshing tang of tea. All in all, a good buy that will stand you in good stead for Spring and Summer. It should almost go without saying that the box is pretty too!

One Fragrantica user reckons that this is similar to Must de Cartier Eau Fine, which can’t be a bad thing with change from a twenty pound note.

Stockists

Orla Kiely is available from Amazon.co.uk at 19.95 for 100ml. I received my sample in a Perfume Society Discovery Box.

Photos

Photographs: Top photo from Fragrantica, bottom photo from www.thewomensroomblog.com

Avon Scent Essence Sparkly Citrus: Stocking Filler Magic

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Here’s a Little Stocking Filler for Weary Shoppers: Avon Scent Essence is a new line of just three scents, each with a theme:  there’s Romantic Bouquet, Sparkly Citrus and Vibrant Fruity.  I’m a sucker for a nice citrus scent so that’s the one I bought.

The notes are as follows:

Top notes: bergamot, mandarin

Middle notes: Citrus blossom, freesia, grapefruit blossom

Base notes: vetiver, woods and musk

Priced at only four pounds and with simple packaging, the range has few notes and does what it promises.  In the case of Sparkly Citrus, it is full of pleasant refreshing lime and a hint of lemon and fades to a subtle floral, still retaining its lightness and never getting heavy.  The base notes sound heavier than they are: they become a flatter version of the top notes with a bit more flowery stuff going on (namely freesia), and bit less lime juice. All the stages are good, but the top note is my favourite.

scentessencetrio

Even though winter invites the spices and woods out of your fragrance wardrobe, if you’ve been Christmas shopping in an overcrowded, over heated mall, there is always, always a place for a zingy citrus.  I also can’t help thinking that a citrus is a good bet for a gift recipient even if you don’t know their taste.  Everybody needs cooling down at some point at Christmas. Avon Scent Essence Sparkly Citrus fits the bill.

 

Stockists:  Avon fragrances can be bought from your Avon rep or online via Avonshop UK. I can’t find it on the Avon USA site, but I did find lots of great fragrances we UK customers can’t get over here!  Sweet Honesty, Odyssey, Imari, Night Magic Evening Musk, Haiku, Marine Musk…. Hey Avon, come back here, I want a word with you!

Chloe Narcisse: Busy As A Bee

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I have happy memories of Chloe Narcisse. It was created in 1992 and I remember coming back from my local House of Fraser with a bottle of it in a little beribboned gift bag. For about two months I smelled of this every day before ending my fling and returning to my old faithful Chanel Cristalle. It was great whilst it lasted and we had some good times.

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www.discoverlife.org

However, I tried it again more recently and I’m on the fence about it.  It has too many yellow flowers and honeyed sweetness for my taste these days, but it’s not unpleasant, it’s a bestseller, it’s good quality and very cheap (around 10GBP for 30ml).

The opening notes are bright and sillage can fill a room.  Sticky Marigold, yellow Narcissus , Sweet orange blossom and even  sweeter peaches.  The problem here is that my dislike of peaches means I can pick out the slightest hint from a mile off and this is a turn off alongside other sweet flowers.

The middle is equally sweet and reminds me of a very hot day: so sunny you can’t move for the heat, and a loud buzzing of bees in the overwhelmingly overstuffed flower beds. It’s all a little too much. Thankfully the pineapple that’s alleged to be present is not present, at least to my nose.  Many a pineapple has ruined a perfume for me. They are strictly for eating only.narcisse ad

The base is a little calmer, with surprisingly, Tolu balsam as a base note. There is a little spice and sandalwood and I think I prefer the base notes to the rest of it.  It’s like the smell that lingers after the overly lavish bouquet has been taken out of the room.  A faint trace that flowers were here once, but what remains is much more palatable.

I bought a bottle of this last year and had such mixed feelings about  it that I ended up selling it on eBay.  I can’t hate it, it gives me happy memories and I love the little green metallic neck on the bottle, but try as I might, my nose has changed too much to still be that 22 year old with the little gift bag and the free body lotion.

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Avon Little Red Dress: This Is A Dress I Would Wear

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 As much as I witter on about fruity florals being every bleedin’ where, in Avon Little Red Dress, I have found one I rather like, almost to my surprise.

 Opening with Plum, Raspberries and Citrus Fruits, it beds down into Rose and Jasmine and is really a very pretty and playful daytime scent.  For some reason I find it a happy feel good fragrance , and for some reason I really like it, despite going against the grain of my usual mutterings and about fruit’n’flower all-in-ones.

This is from an Avon series that includes Little Black Dress, Little Red Dress and Little Gold Dress. I haven’t tried Little Gold Dress, so I cannot vouch for it.  Little Black Dress used to be an Avon favourite but the basenote went a bit bland and waxy on my skin.  However, I tried it again recently and it was pleasant again, so maybe they’ve had an update.

All in all, Little Red Dress is good value at around £8 a bottler with a range of accessories such as body cream, talc, and a purse spray. Longevity is not bad at around four hours, and if you carry the purse spray then a lunch time top up should last you the rest of the day.