Tag Archives: good perfumes for Autumn

Bronnley Eclectic Elements Collection Exotic Embers EDT



Stumbling across this cute capsule collection in Boots, I was drawn to the bottle of Exotic Embers and plastered the tester on earlier today. All the way home my nose was glued to the wrist. This delightfully spicy scent has a lot to offer a woman like me. I am always on the lookout for a good Autumn scent, and was ripe for temptation as I actually left the house without perfume today ( school run, cat food, long boring story).

Exotic Embers had me thinking “This is familiar and it’s on the tip of my tongue but I just can’t place it” and then it hit me. This is what Yves Saint Laurent Opium would smell like if it had more citrus and was greener. This is spice with all the weighty base taken away.

Top notes  bergamot, orange and galbanum

Middle notes Tuberose, ginger and nutmeg

Base notes Labdanum, cedarwood and amber.

exotic-embersIn fact this shares some similarities with my beloved Mary Greenwell FireFire combines spices with nutmeg and grapefruit, just as Exotic Embers does. This means that if you, like me, enjoy both orientals and cologne style fragrances, this gives you the best of both worlds.

Exotic Embers is more floral than Fire and has a softness that reminded me of flannelette sheets, but I can’t think why. It leaves a peppery trail of roses on my skin and has a faint sweetness that isn’t vanilla, but might be the combination of nutmeg and ginger ( but isn’t gourmand). I love its combination of spice and lightness and its lack of vanilla and sickliness: none of that here.

I’ll definitely be trying more from the Eclectic Elements range, not least for the beautiful packaging. You can also buy purse sprays and an eau fraiche version. Today I was testing the eau de toilette.


I tried this in Boots where they stock the whole range. Prices start at £15 for a 30ml bottle of eau fraiche.

Lancome Poeme: A Riddle


Like a fragrance DJ, I do requests, and a request to write a review of Lancome Poême came from friend of the blog, Vivienne Tuffnell. Vivienne asked if I have ever reviewed Poême and it occurred to me that I hadn’t and I couldn’t think why not. The very next day I took myself off to my local House of Fraser and decided to try some. I won’t comment on the fact that there were seven testers of La Vie est Belle and nothing else. All right then, I will. Please put ALL the Lancome testers out!  How am I supposed to get my fix of Lancome Magie Noire if I can only see La Vie Est Belle?  The nice sales assistants had to get Poême out of a drawer so I could try it. Several hours later and the scent is still on my arm.

This is a complex scent that cannot be summed up concisely. It’s more of a riddle than a poem. It was created by legendary genius Jacques Cavallier, who deserves his status of Legend. For starters he made L’Eau D’Issey, Jean Paul Gaultier Classique, and pretty much all of Stella McCartney’s fragrance line, except POP. Poême was always going to be good stuff.

Juliette Binoche. isn't she beautiful?
Juliette Binoche. isn’t she beautiful?

Poême opens with yellow flowers, but also gave me a hint of Beeswax a la Burts Bees. It has both a golden warmth and a clean laundry thing going on at the same time. This is clever stuff. There is orange blossom right from the start, and peaches and plum. The flowers come in around now: freesias, roses, mimosa. This is a pretty floral but at the same time, so much more.

Poême is a slippery character when it comes to sticking a label on it, and that’s no bad thing. This is a perfect scent for Spring, with its narcissus and mimosa, yet it has a warmth in the base that lends it to Autumn: namely amber, cedar and musk. Underneath the dainty spring flowers there is hard wood and polish ( that beeswax again!).

I rather like this lack of structure. I like people who shrug labels, and I like perfume that does it too. Poême had me foxed. Fragrantica has it down as a Floral Oriental, but I wouldn’t say it quite fits either category. Poême does its own thing in free verse.

Yellow and white flowers, peaches, beeswax, orange flower and back again. That’s Poême. I think.


I tried this in House of Fraser. Poeme is widely available. Try Amazon UK.


L’Artisan Parfumeur Rose Privée

rose privee

L’Artisan Parfumeur has launched Rose Privée, created by legendary nose Bertrand Duchaufour and Stephanie Bakouche.

I have been wearing it for a couple of days exclusively and have fallen in love with the stuff. Rich or poor, rain or shine, you can get a rose fragrance any old day, so these days a rose scent has to make the discerning perfume purchaser sit up and take notice.

Rose Privée does just that and comes at the classic rose, (in this case Rose de Mai), at a different angle. By turns sour, then sharp, then rich, then peppery, Rose  Privékept me interested by pricking my preconceptions for a good eight hours.

Notes: basil, lilac, geranium, green mandarin, beeswax, blackcurrant, hay, chypre accord, magnolia, May Rose, patchouli, amber and violet leaf.

The rose comes out straight away with a sourness that is most likely that green mandarin note, but there is a peppery dryness about it too- almost like a tea note. This reminds me of those rose petals you find in pot pourri- they may be dried and papery but they have a vintage-y rose waft about them still. This could be dry grass feel of the hay note. The flowers come through strongly, with little scents of rose and magnolia drifting around me pleasantly throughout the day. I always find Rose de Mai quite exotic compared to other rose scents. Rather than going Turkish Delight, May Rose seems to go a bit tuberose on me- its heady and creamy.

The whole shebang is rounded off pleasantly with some earthy patchouli, some more of that hay we talked about, and the faintest girly trace of violet leaf and lilacs.

It’s a beautiful rose with faints hints of spiciness and heat that lends itself perfectly to Autumn.


L’Artisan Parfumeur Rose Privée is available from the L’Artisan Parfumeur website or from Sephora, Luckyscent  or Amazon UK or Amazon.Com, although it is currently sold out on Amazon at the moment.

Tauer Zeta A Linden Blossom Theme: As The Leaves Lose Their Lushness

zeta tin


Tauer Zeta A Linden Blossom Theme reminds me of this time of year when I was a child.  It was a time when things crunched underfoot but still had traces of colour as they dried out.  It was a specific autumnal phase when the moisture is leaving the leaves and you can crumble dried scented ferns between cold fingers.


Linden blossom is another term for lime blossom, which by rights, should be a springtime event and full of green promise.  However there is something distinctively twiggy and prickly about Zeta which makes me want to wear this with a woolly scarf on a cold day.

Zeta opens with a spiced lime, which is the best way I can think of to describe it. It is zingy lime and lemon from the start, bedding down into dried papery peppery-ness (I couldn’t say that after a glass of wine).

Along come the flowers then:  Ylang Ylang, linden blossom, orange blossom, rose and neroli. The linden blossom seems to be loudest, along with the orange blossom and lime juice.  However, it’s the Orris root that seems to be prominent here, and to me, it’s what gives Zeta it’s rooty, dried leaf edge.

It’s a curious combination and one that is rare, but trust Andy Tauer to create it.  His scents fill you with visuals, and Zeta is a cold, autumn day, pink cheeks, and the last of the golden green leaves as they fall on the ground.

Zeta is available from Tauer Perfumes in Zurich,  From  Les Senteurs in the UK, and on Amazon.com in the USA and Canada.

Serge Lutens Serge Noire: It’s Not You, It’s Me


Created in 2008 by Uncle Serge himself and the legendary Christopher Sheldrake, Serge Noire, is a fabulously deep and dark spicy scent. On the right skin that is.  Sadly on me, there is a definite “off” note which was backed up my expert in residence, and three year olds don’t have an edit button.

The notes listed had my mouth watering. There is not one note that I don’t love: Patchouli, Amber, Incense, Ebony, Clove, Spices and Woods. I love it all. Pile it on, I can take it.

Or so I thought.  Just as I was blissing out in the smoky tones of the top notes, a note of Baked Bean-like body odour jumped Imageout and slapped me in the face.  How rude, I thought.  I tested a second time, later in the day. There it was again, the unmistakable smell of an unwashed truck driver’s armpits. Just to check it wasn’t me, I stuck my hand under the nose of my aforementioned three year old.  I was vindicated. “Yuk,” he said, “Cheese and onion”.

You see, it’s not just me, I promise. I did not prompt him, and he was in the middle of watching Numberjacks, so his verdict was both random and candid.  As if to torment me more, the other notes smell intoxicatingly good: smoky, dark, spicy and perfect for Autumn. I would love to smell like this, apart from the obvious drawback.

To eliminate random elements, I can assure my dear readers that my personal hygiene is of the highest order and that the side of my wrist has never smelt of BO even on the hottest of days.

It’s just  a combination of chemistry and bad luck. I actually love Serge Noire and will be jealous of anyone who can wear it without this truck driver barging in. I can smell it’s rich potential, in fact, there is even a wonderful hint of black pepper in there when I waft it past my disappointed nose.

I blame myself, I bet this smells lovely on everyone else, and I happen to know a certain reader has just bagged herself a bottle.  I bet she smells amazing in it too. Damn.