Tag Archives: High Street fragrances

Nina Ricci Luna For Women (2016)

luna

I tried this today in my local House of Fraser just after the  school run.  The bottle cried out, “own me!” so loudly that I nearly got whiplash.   Like Snow White with a Bag for Life, I was rendered unable to pass such a beautiful tempting apple.

Luna is intended as the night time opposite to Nina Ricci Nina, which I have reviewed here.  Now although Nina isn’t my thing, I love it because my wonderful niece Liz wears it and she is very special to me. I decided to give Luna  a chance.  I fell headlong for its looks.

nina inaOn first spray, this is all synthetic citrus: not invigorating like lemon or grapefruit, more like Haribo  Party Mix.  The pear note burst forth and was rudely dominant, and then the vanilla and caramel poured in and rounded everything off.

In among the vanilla and pear is tiny bit of jasmine, sandalwood and musk, but all was indistinct and vague.

This is a fruity vanilla scent and is neither too strong nor too weak. It’s almost a confused gourmand.  Many Fragrantica readers say that it is almost exactly like YSL Manifesto, so if you like that, you’ll like this too.

I can’t dislike Luna as it’s bang on trend right now, but I will politely sit this one out since overly vanilla fruity scents are not my scene, man.

luna ad

The bottle, though- oh my days, that bottle! Who wouldn’t want a beautiful blue glass apple on their dressing table? With a tiny vapo spray that’s part of a gold apple stalk? It almost nudges Marc Jacobs Decadence off my list of favourites. Throw all the packaging medals at this one, but not too hard, because that beautiful glass is a work of art

Stockists

I found this in House of Fraser, but it’s widely available. I used a tester (very thoroughly) and opinions are my own.

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Agent Provocateur Pure Aphrodisiaque

appa-bottle

I thought I’d start the year with a bit of Agent Provocateur for no other reason than I’ve been spraying it on for the past three evenings and pulling sceptical faces. I need to get it out of my system.

agent pI have previously reviewed Agent Provocateur EDP and Agent Provocateur Petale Noir, both of which I liked and would definitely wear ( Also very reasonbaly priced!). However, Agent Provocateur Pure Aphrodisiaque sadly did not deliver anything like the promise that its name suggests. Speaking of suggestive, have you seen the design on the front? I’m clutching my pearls and reaching for the smelling salts.

appa-sampleThe fragrance opens agreeably enough. I rather liked the first couple of seconds, but any longer than that  and I found this plasticly and sickly.  Straight away there’s pear and orchid which gives this a  very synthetic feel. I have yet to find a good orchid scent that doesn’t smell plastic and this is no exception.  After that it gets sweeter, but not in a pretty-petals way, more in an artificial vanilla sort of way.  Note-du-jour jasmine sambac has been switched to “nuclear” and poured in at the end, drowning bystanders.  Honestly,  when did jasmine sambac become government issue in every new mainstream release?- or am I being a grouch? The basenotes purport to be amber and musk, but were finished off by the jasmine sambac in its quest for World Domination.

pure

The verdict on Agent Provocateur Pure Aphrodisiaque is thus: Guilty of being generic and nothing special.  I sentence it to indefinite exile from my dressing table.  Stick to the earlier AP stuff because they are unsung heroines and deserve serious love. PS if you like the sound of pear and orchid, you can also try Avon Incandessence, because it’s very similar indeed.

 Stockists: Agent Provocateur Pure Aphrodisiaque is available from The Fragrance Shop and you can find a sample in the Discovery Club Box December edition. I recommend them!  Fab quarterly boxes at only a fiver each.

Paco Rabanne Olympéa  

fragrantica
fragrantica

 

Ah Paco Rabanne!  That shy retiring wallflower of the fragrant firmament! So meek and subtle…you would barely know it was there…

Anyway, getting back to reality, Paco Rabanne, ( who are still getting dirty looks off me for creating 1Million), has launched another heavy hitter in the form of Olympéa.  I tried it today and I have to say that whilst there is a lot to respect and admire, it’s not my cup of tea or pot of jam.

Opening with a blast of creamy vanilla and white flowers, this is so thick, rich and heavy that I am surprised it is a summer launch.  I thought there was a miniscule droplet of Oud at its heart, but I was mistaken- but that might give you an inkling at how heavy this is.  Two hours later it has bedded down into a woody sweetness, that, were it not for the vanilla, I would possibly have liked more.  It’s faded a lot though in two hours, so I’m not blown away by its longevity- I had to sniff hard to find it. Vanilla isn’t going to go away anytime soon, so I guess I have to suck it up until it passes.

Nevertheless, Olympéa will do well on its own without my perfume dollar.  To me though, it was like extract of crême brulée with extra double cream and vanilla beans on top of that, covered with sugar with a heady bunch of jasmine next to it on the table, interfering with the food.  One bite is all I’d want.

Stockists

Paco Rabanne Olympea is available from The Perfume Shop, Boots, and Escentual.

Estee Lauder Sensuous: It’s Just Not That Into Me

sensuousel

It is a fact, universally acknowledged, that I cannot walk past the Estee Lauder counter without pressing a nozzle of some sort.  Today that nozzle was Estee Lauder Sensuous and let’s just say there was no chemistry  during our  first meeting. Sensuous left me within moments of our first introductions without a backward glance.  I don’t think there’s going to be a second date.

There is no rhyme or reason as to why some perfumes are anosmic to some and not others.  Cartier Delices de Cartier was one memorable example ( or should that be unmemorable?).  I sprayed and sprayed and practically used up a whole sample before realising I couldn’t smell it at all.  Luckily, with Estee Lauder Sensuous I judiciously sprayed my sleeve so I can vaguely recall what it smelled like and can report back.

It reminded me a little of Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial in that it is a powdery floral with a smoothing hint of vanilla/honey round the edges. It’s very close to skin (that’s an understatement) and disappeared within about three minutes.  Now, I know this is just me as it wouldn’t have been a steady seller since its 2008 launch if it were anosmic on everyone.

The strongest notes I can smell are still very faint and they are sandalwood, honey and magnolia.  If it was stronger I think I would actually like it, and by stronger, I mean noticeable without trying to inhale my entire arm in one snort just to catch a passing zephyr of it.  It’s  reasonably priced however, possibly one of the cheapest Estee Lauders in fact, so if it hangs around you’ve got yourself a  bargain.

My overall verdict? We could have been good together if you’d stuck around to get to know me. Mystifying.

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Estee by Estee Lauder: Not to be Messed With

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I have a soft spot for perfumes that were popular in the 70s when I was growing up.  The scent of 70s perfume was my blueprint for the glamorous appealing world I would one day inhabit as a grown up.

Estee by Estee Lauder was created in 1968 so by the time I was born in 1970, it was pretty much all the rage.  A textbook 70s aldehyde, my first impression on smelling the bottle in my possession was that it smelled like Panache.  Panache incidentally is one of my favourite present day perfumes.  It’s cheap as chips, and one spray lasts round 14 hours.  It unfurls beautifully on skin as the day goes on and is still there when you go to bed.

In fact, it’s more likely that Panache was walking in Estee’s footsteps, having been launched in 1976 (though some sources cite it as late as 1979). Classics have always been “homaged” by cheaper drugstore version of the same trend, and it still happens today.

photo from Pinterest
photo from Pinterest

Estee opens with aldehydes and mossy greens straight away. The opening is brisk and prickly and there’s no time for frills.  However, as the chilly ( and wonderful) exterior melts away the floral middle notes drift in.  Here you have everything a good florist could throw at you: prickly carnation, sombre Orris root,  pretty roses and lily of the valley and a tiny smidgeon of sweet honey.  The blending is seamless and the scent a classic: perfect as it is.  The base notes are all serious and rich: Oakmoss and styrax make for a deep, lasting mossy finish.

If you like your day scents classic, powdery, floral and aldehydic, this could have been made just for you.  Or me, actually.  I love it.

One of the things I love about Estee Lauder is that when trends come and go, EL stands its ground and keeps producing the classics.  They might not be for the Britney crowd or the vanilla cup cake fan, but they are the excellent coat and the simple shift dress that you will always need, no matter what.

Big thanks to Lisa Wordbird for letting me borrow her bottle of Estee Lauder Estee Super Eau de Parfum on which this review is based..

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