Tag Archives: luxury perfume

Clive Christian 1872 For Women: Living the Dream


cc 1872

I was recently sent a bottle of Clive Christian 1872  For Women to see what I thought of it.  I already had friendly feelings towards the brand as I had met the legendary Keith at the Clive Christian desk at Fortnum and Mason.  He knows the brand better than I know myself.

cliveMy second visit to the same desk yielded a fascinating tour of the scents and some samples from the lovely Tamara.  Both were charming and did not appear to mind that I did not (could not) purchase a bottle.

Let’s get the awkward money chat out of the way right now- this stuff is really expensive.  Doesn’t mean we can’t sniff anf enjoy though.  In fact, if you did have money to invest in scent, you could do a lot worse than Clive Christian with its rich heritage dating from, yes, you’ve guessed it, 1872.   Queen Victoria let the  Crown Perfumery company use the image of her crown as a symbol of quality on their bottles, and when they went out of business, Clive Christian stepped in and the brand was born (and the beautiful bottles are the same design).

clive christian colour

So, what does it smell like?

The first things that make their presence felt in 1872 are citrus and herbs, namely lemon and rosemary.  Rather than give this a culinary feel, however, it gives it a light, clean sorbet opening.  It cleanses the palate before you’ve eaten the entrée.

The middle note brings out the chorus of jasmine and freesia, but the big diva here is the Rose de Mai.  Whilst this precious rose is very much in the room, there is something cold and metallic about 1872. Maybe because it smells faintly aquatic,  or because it lacks a warmth- I don’t know.  Sometimes, in the hot weather, a cold scent is what you need to cool  down so I declare this an excellent scent for summer,  (if memory serves.  Haven’t seen sun for a loooong time).

cc trio

As the base notes kick in, this becomes a floral lemon/lime melange.  It smells crisp and cool, like  pressed linen, and with only a trace of the oak moss I was hoping to be enveloped by.  The base then settles like a sunset into richer notes: a hit of patchouli and a satisfying fix of dark guaiac wood.

clive-logo

Some Fragrantica readers reckon that this smells a bit like Calvin Klein CK One.  Now, whilst I can see similarities, Clive Christian 1872 has more depth and resonance and far more complexity.  I have always found CK One to be a bit shrill on me, in any case.

All in all, if I had a money tree in my garden like my children think I have, then yes, this beautiful green and gold bottle would live happily on my dressing table, and I’d let it bring all its friends.

Stockists

Clive Christian is available from Fortnum and Mason or from Harrods.  My bottle is on loan  and opinions are my own. Which rhymes.

Thank you to Claudia: this is on its way back after its little holiday chez IScent.

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Marc Jacobs Ivy (Splash): Saw Price. Fainted.

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It was only recently that I realised how many fragrances were in the Marc Jacobs stable. In my ignorance, I thought it was Daisy and Dot and that Honey one and that was about it.  I couldn’t have been more wrong, but then the fragrance world has been such a steep learning curve for me that I am almost doing a complete loop the loop.

I started counting his scents and got muddled at around 30. For a start, Marc Jacobs has a range of incredibly classy splashes in sleek urban bottles that look as if they are from the World’s most expensive spa. There’s Cucumber (which I will gladly skip, thank you), Amber, Violet, Cranberry, pomegranate, Grass, Fig and Gardenia.  I haven’t smelled them, but I would move mountains to own any or all.

I have in my hands a sample of Marc Jacobs Ivy, courtesy of LisaWordbird, to whom I owe so much. My first impression was “Oh it’s green”, then “It’s for men”, then after  a few more minutes “Ahh, Vetiver”. Indeed, Ivy is  beautiful and green, and for men, and women, and gives a great Vetiver hit.

It is one of those wonderful scents that moves and changes as you wear it.  One minute it’s Gentleman’s cologne, the next it’s as green and fresh as mossy undergrowth in a wood,. Finally , there’s a Vetiver finish with a hint of suede to finish that smells like hiding in the silky lining of a man’s leather jacket.

marc jacobs

Male or female, this will smell good on anyone. Vetiver used to bring out my asthma (elderly alert!)  but here it is smooth and mixed seamlessly with pricky Autumnal spice. There is Cardoman and  a hint of sharp Orange for sure, but what makes this so refreshing in Autumn is its lack of gourmand notes.  The spice is used as if it is part of nature, rather than a  shelf in your kitchen. It prickles your senses like a chilly walk through crunchy leaves on the ground.

Price wise, I nearly choked on my mug of tea, sorry, I mean elegant Martini. Yes this is generous and comes in a 10oz bottle,  and no, I’m  not spending  £299 on it.

 

 

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Chanel Les Exclusifs 31 Rue Cambon: Missing That Je Ne Sais Quoi

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31 Rue Cambon  is named after Chanel’s four storey building, purchased by Gabrielle “CoCo” Chanel herself and which remains today, the site of Gabrielle’s apartment, and the main Paris branch of Chanel.

ImageImmediately, the stakes are high. Named after the Mothership? This better be good. And it is. But great? Not so much.

For one thing, I find this very subtle. My skin seems to swallow it up whole instantly. You may have more luck. Secondly, this strikes me as an odd sort of melange.  It’s definitely a chypre, and it has lovely woody notes, but then clean, citrussy bergamot shows up, along with my old nemesis, Miss Carrot herself- iris. I often have problems with iris, but not with her cousin violet. I find iris dry and cardboard like, with an earthy rooty scent. I don’t always dislike it, but I can often spot it very soon into a fragrance these days, like a fussy eater who can spot a pea in a Shepherd’s Pie (I do that too).

One very wise reviewer on Fragrantica says that Rue Cambon needs and lacks Oakmoss. I think he has a point. It is neither a chypre, nor woody, nor citrus, but somehow all three, without ending up as a green note scent. Frankly it baffled me, and didn’t stay around long enough for me to know it properly.

The jury’s out on Rue Cambon.  I must confess to not loving all of the Les Exclusifs range (I haven’t tried them all yet, to be fair). Whilst I would bite your arm off for a full bottle of Coromandel, I would feel far more “meh” about a full bottle of Rue Cambon. It’s not badly made,  of course, and I know it would smell wonderful on the right wrist or neck, but those wrists and neck do not belong me, regrettably.

In my beloved Wales there is a lovely Welshism which sums up Rue Cambon for me:

“And there it was, gone!”

apartmentchanel

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