Tag Archives: perfume under twenty pounds

La Perla Original Eau de Parfum: A Classic Beauty

 

la-perla-no-box

It’s Autumn now, although it’s hard to tell. How do you define it? A run of ten days without sunshine? That’s summer, isn’t it? All I know is that I haven’t worn sandals for over two months now so I reckon it’s safe to say it’s Autumn.

The light colognes and airy florals are going to to sit at the back for a bit whilst I bring out the ambers, patchoulis and chypres. or in the case of La Perla, all three in one bottle.la-perla-ad1

Luckily enough, my friend Lisa, beloved friend of the blog and of me, popped in recently with a bottle of this beauty. Now this wasn’t on my radar at all. I probably would never have tried it if it hadn’t been put in my hands for a little borrow and a sniff. I’m ever so glad we met though, because this stuff not only smells terrific, but is very good value indeed.

la-perla-perfume_02My first impression of La Perla was that it is a ladylike powdery chypre scent. It’s the kind of classic scent that was everywhere in the seventies, although it wasn’t launched until 1987. There’s no subtlety here, so it fits nicely into the category of 1980s Powerhouse too, with its “Gangway! Here I come!” sort of sillage- (Think Alexis Carrington).  Even the bottle has helmet hair and big shoulders. Having said that, this has an elegance that doesn’t normally go hand in hand with such a Look At Me scent, but elegant is certainly a word I would use.

My first impression was white soap. Very soapy, very aldehyde-y and with big piles of white talc. Sometimes that powderiness is the sign of a damn good chypre, and it counts for as much here. The oakmoss beds in straight away. Yes there’s a citrussy opening and some peppery carnation and ladylike rose, but the oakmoss shoves its way to the front and makes its presence felt. There is musty patchouli, aromatic sandalwood, feminine soapy musk and warm amber too. Interestingly, none of this happens in order. I didn’t get distinct top notes, a middle and a base. It went more like this: soapy chypre to musky to spicy- all within ten minutes. What I have on my skin now though, is a wonderfully powdery,  massive , gorgeous chypre. And it’s under twenty quid.

Douse yourself in La Perla,  then wear fake fur, red lipstick, and arch one eyebrow imperiously at everyone you meet. That’s what I want to do, anyway.

Stockists

La Perla is very good value indeedy- try allbeauty.com for prices that start at just £15.95 for 30ml of EDT (NB I haven’t tried the EDT but it would be a good starting point if you’re unsure about the LOUD SILLAGE). I was testing a 50ml bottle of EDP and the current price for an 80ml bottle of EDP is just £26. 

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Mary Greenwell Fire: Don’t care how, I want it NOW!

fire mary g

Having written over 650 perfume reviews, I have had to learn to harden my heart to the idea of buying every perfume I like. But there is a list headed Perfumes I Cannot Live Without which means that on sniffing them, I turn into an avaricious monster as if a switch has been flicked. Today I added Mary Greenwell’s Fire to that list.

I was actually in The Fragrance Shop buying Mary Greenwell Lemon ( purse spray is only £7.50), but I asked to try Fire and fell hook line and sinker.

Created in 2014 by legendary nose Francois Robert, Fire’s top notes fall somewhere between the opening of Shalimar and Terre D’Hermes. and makes you want to glue your nose to your wrist. It is spicy without being harsh, gentle without being insipid, and it brings out the Verruca Salt in me.

veruca-salt-and-mris-L-L_AYhA

In the middle, the roses, jasmine and tuberose emerge. It segues seamlessly into the woody basenotes which include: olibanum, patchouli, sandalwood, leather, vetiver, teak and cedarwood. The citrus (grapefruit) lightens it without making it flimsy and ensures that this is the kind of scent you can wear all year round.

Fire reminded me of Chanel Coromandel without the Milky Bar. In a blind sniff, I would have been adamant that this was made by Serge Lutens. It has touches of Borneo and Santale Majuscule in it.

You can see then, why I was impressed, but that’s not all. A 50ml bottle is only £19.50. So excuse me if I barge to the front of the queue. This, my friends, is an urgent must buy.

Stockists

Run, don’t walk, to The Fragrance Shop, or buy it online here. I’ll take ten.

MaryBrand2

Photos: product photographs from The Fragrance Shop. Verruca Salt photo from en.paperblog.com

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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