Tag Archives: Jasmine

L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons

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With such a whimsical name, it was easy to be attracted to this scent like a butterfly to a buttercup.  With a seemingly mixed bag of reviews from the gushing to the nonplussed, I have to sadly align myself with the latter camp.

La Chasse aux Papillons opens with a whisper and then gets dirty, like twigs.  There is a hint of dried up buds, and an indolic background of jasmine.  Tuberose is alleged to be the dominant mistress here, but I could not smell any.  There is definitely Lime Blossom, but again, a dryness, like a flaky leaf, emerged on my skin.  Maybe Tauer’s Zeta spoiled me for other lime blossom scents.  There is freshness to this of sorts, and it certainly suits the spring season, but I was not enamoured of the white flowers with a hint of mud and dried leaves, nor of its light sillage and poor longevity.  I found it to smell almost medicinal or clinical, but that could be my brain getting confused because jasmine is often  used in commercial air freshener and soap.  Jasmine has many facets, and I didn’t care for this one.

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Pity though, because I liked Premier Figuer and Timbuktu too and have a whole tin of L’Artisan samples to plough through yet.  But in the world of fragrance I would lack discernment if I loved everything a brand made, wouldn’t I?

I still love you L’Artisan Parfumeur, but I’ll leave this one to its fans.

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You can buy L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons on Amazon UK, Amazon.com and of course from www.lartisanparfumeur.com.  I have the sample tin, which is a great way to try before you buy, and you can buy it here.

sample tin

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Library of Fragrance Jasmine: Clear and Present Jasmine

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Jasmine, like vanilla, has been (over) used so widely and added to so many other ingredients that it’s all too easy to lose sight of what jasmine actually smells like.  Even then it can be hard to say because there’s a whole spectrum of jasminec characteristics.

I have wavered on jasmine in the past, finding it a little indolic, like so many others before me.  There could be an explanation for this:  synthetic Jasmine is used so widely to mask unpleasant smells (think cheap air freshener in public loos)  that the nose can start to associate it with toilets, hence the indolic tag that keeps cropping up.  The other end of jasmine is that it can be very heady: not in the same league as tuberose, but on the same track, and often paired with orange blossom so that the two become difficult to isolate as separate notes.

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However, my mind was firmly made up for me when I smelled Serge Lutens Sarrasins ( bear with me, I know where I’m going).  It immediately took me back to my childhood when I would pick enormous bunches of bluebells and take them home (I wouldn’t do that now- I would leave them there!).  Bluebells remain my favourite flower (like little fairy’s hats) and funnily enough, jasmine, naked and plain, really reminds me of freshly picked bluebells.  It wasn’t until I reviewed Sarrasins that I realised this and fully entered the portal of Jasmine fandom.

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www.nhm.ac.uk

 

Which brings me to Library of Fragrance Jasmine: where does it fall on the Jasmine spectrum?  Right where I hoped it would.  It smells like clean, freshly unfurled petals with a hint of characteristic pure jasmine soapiness.  Even better news: on me it lasted over eight hours and I kept getting delightful little wafts well into my evening, having applied it late morning.

Although Library of Fragrance scents are perfect for layering, opening up all sorts of wonderful possibilities, I would actually wear this one alone. Jasmine has been stuck in the crowd too long.  How refreshing to find it doing a beautiful solo.

Jasmine-Purse-Hero-LOF_grandeWhere to buy it The  Library of Fragrance range is available in branches of Boots across the UK- even quite small branches like my local one.  You can also try the Library of Fragrance website, which often has fantastic special offers, inclusind purse sprays.

 

Armani Code For Women: Does Not Compute

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This’ll have to be quick I’m afraid.  My four year old son told me on the way home that he can take his Easter bonnet in tomorrow. This was news to me.  Apparently it was a last minute change of plan.  But this is a perfume blog not a  blog about how much notice I need when I have to magic an Easter Hat out of approximately no Easter craft items whatsoever.

Armani Code For Women baffles me.  It is a code I cannot decipher.  On a Mumsnet perfume thread once,  I encountered several women who adored this and one who wore it on her wedding day.  I tried it today, all hopeful and anticipating a thunderbolt moment of fragrance love, but it never came.  This is all orange scented white flowers that remind me of a watered down version of Alien, mixed with a bucket full of yet more Orange Blossom and a blob of honey.  In fact, looking at the notes on Fragrantica I wasn’t far wrong.  I may have said earlier that I only like Orange Blossom in a chorus rather than as a solo and this is no exception.

I’m not keen, it doesn’t smell original, and there are about thirty flankers. It’s not that good Armani! I just don’t get it.

 

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LUSH Sikkim Girls: Don’t Be Seduced.

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 I have remained unimpressed by LUSH Series 2 Gorilla perfumes, although admittedly I have only tried three of them. I now come to the third and final LUSH Gorilla perfume in my possession: Sikkim Girls. Legend has it that the Sikkim Girls were dangerous seductresses who would attract men with their sensual swaying from side to side. The exotic line drawing on the bottle is a lovely, if rather menacing, illustration of this pair of minxes.

 I was so ready to like Sikkim Girls. It opens with Jasmine: a loud, floaty yellow cloud of it.  Sadly , this is not a good Jasmine. It reminded me of the kind of 99p perfume oils you would buy on a market stall. Or even,  public toilets  with the added gentility of Council supplied air freshener.  Jasmine can often have an indolic quality which may be why it makes people think of toilets, but I  reckon if I can handle Serge Lutens Sarrasins, I can handle anything.

 Just as I was  considering washing it off, the Frangipani kicked in. This did nothing to change my mind  and just left a nasty taste in my mouth, liking eating Bakewell Tart in a tiled lavatory. The Vanilla background reminded me of the dreaded Furze (my sofa still smells of it five weeks after my sons decanted a 7ml bottle of it onto the arms).  So what have we got? Cheap Jasmine toilet freshener against an oversweet synthetic Almond and Vanilla background.

 It baffles me why last year’s Gorillas were so good and why this years’ are so bad (again, I have only tried three, to be fair to LUSH). There was an excellent post recently from Another Perfume Blog who came up with an interesting theory:

” It makes me wonder if the Constantines are evolving as perfumers in a way that perhaps every perfumer does, with the difference that—because they own their own shop—they are selling what they make at each stage, where a perfumer working for a big brand might consider such products to be part of the learning process, or to be early-stage accords to be fleshed out into a perfume.”

I agree with this theory: these perfumes smell unfinished, or even crude to my nose. When I think of how lovely violetty Tuca Tuca was, I find it hard to believe that the same perfumers made this awful mess.

Another fact that shocked me is that the Jasmine that I find so cheap smelling is Jasmine Absolute. And yet never before has it smelled so trashy.

At £27.50 for a little 25 g bottle, it’s not the cheapest, despite how it smells. If I had £27.50 to spend on perfume, I can think of twenty other things I would rather do with it.

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Thierry Mugler Alien: Like Fireworks- Wonderful But Loud

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 Like Angel,  Thierry Mugler Alien has its fans and critics, although it must be said that Alien is not quite as divisive as Angel (see my earlier review about the Marmite of Perfumes). As for Mugler’s other big hitter, Womanity, let’s just move on, shall we? (I’m still offended by that stinking shock.)

The Alien bottle is critically acclaimed, and quite right too. Its blank faceless angles with slightly hunched shoulders has a unique strangeness.  I was initially put off from testing Alien after deciding that Angel wasn’t for me. However, I was going through an Amber phase and was attracted to the notes, so decided to order a few samples from eBay.

I was pleasantly surprised. It’s rather Christmassy and rich, and reminded me a bit of Church and incense. The Amber is LOUD and sweet, like a deaf Aunt with no dress sense, but likable all the same.

The notes are few: just Amber, Woods and Jasmine. You can smell all three, although Mugler does like to turn the volume up. The Wood notes smell like church pews permeated by the waft of a passing thurible. The jasmine is at its dirtiest, and the Amber sweetens it all up and smacks its bum to finish it off. Its Woody richness may stem from the fact that this is said to be aged in oak casks, like brandy.

Many people are averse to this, and I can understand why. It is the kind of perfume I cannot wear in great measure.  Nor should anyone wear it in close quarters to another human or animal before 5pm. It’s just not fair. Even if you have a cold and can’t smell it, trust me, one squirt is enough and will last a long time. I’m only talking about the Eau de Toilette here. If you have the Alien Essence Absolue Parfum Intense, then please don’t leave your house for Health and Safety reasons. You will have people keeling over in your wake like a Pied Piper gone wrong.

Alien is like hearing a love poem shouted through a megaphone. Pretty, yes, but turn it DOWN.

There are flankers aplenty, but I still rate this as the original and best.

PS Due to not wearing my glasses once, I ended up calling this Aileen by mistake and its rather fondly become a nickname.  Thierry Mugler Aileen.
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Sarah Jessica Parker Covet Pure Bloom: Not Lovely

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I had high hopes for Covet Pure Bloom, since I rate SJP Lovely very highly indeed. It may be a celeb scent but it’s easily good enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with some recent greats, and it taught me not to rule out celeb-u-scents, some of which are excellent.

 SJP Covet was the follow up to Lovely and the memorable TV and cinema advert involved a Imagezealous SJP breaking into a shop to steal a bottle “Covet, I HAD to have it.”  Sadly I did not feel the same. Most of my recent  “I HAD to have it” moments have been directed towards Tauers and a replacement bottle of Lanvin Arpege. Now that I HAD to have.

 Covet Pure Bloom was intended  as a floral version of Covet, but there are no similarities between Pure Bloom and the rather strange chocolate/lavender combo that is Covet.

 Covet Pure Bloom starts with a rather shrill opening of Jasmine and Tuberose, with a hint of Coconut making it slightly comparable to JLo Deseo (which I much prefer to this one). Once the bright, shrill flowers have died down, you are left with a Glade effect. That is, the air freshener likenesses now emerge full throttle. The basenote was so awful and  high pitched and sour that I couldn’t help but wonder (forgive me, Sex And The City fans) whether this was in fact, one of Avon’s latest factory farmed rent-a-scents.

Considering the fact that SJP made the incredibly lovely Lovely, on a par with Lanvin Rumeur, and wonderfully affordable to boot, I was very surprised at the cheapness of Covet Pure Bloom, and I don’t mean the price.  This smells like it was done on the cheap, in a hurry, from an Avon blueprint.

However, I am so besotted by Lovely that I can forgive Sarah Jessica Parker anything.