Tag Archives: purse sprays

Pocket Therapy: Yves Rocher Mandarin Lemon Cedar

You may have heard me sing the praises of Yves Rocher before now. I love the quality and the price and the little freebies you get when you order online. Well, today I am sharing a tiny package that made me fall in love. No, it’s not another cat. Three is enough. Apparently.  So I’ve been told.  Today I’m going to tell you about the pocket sized joy that is Yves Rocher Mandarin Lemon Cedar (or Mandarine Citron Cedre as its known in France).

This little 20ml beauty does exactly what it says on the tin but is so uplifting and gives off such happy vibes that I would have paid a lot more than the meagre £4 I paid.  It opens with mandarin, (as you might imagine), is made even zingier by lemon and finishes on a citrussy cedar note.  Despite its refreshing cologne like character, this has pretty good longevity on my skin, and is especially good when sprayed on a scarf. You should smell my scarf collection- it’s incredible, even if I say so myself.

Over on Fragrantica, some members are saying that this reminds  them of Fan di Fendi Eau Fraiche, which I cannot vouch for, never having smelled it, but if you were a fan, you might find solace in a little £4 bottle of Yves Rocher Mandarine Citron Cedre.

These make perfect gifts too if you can bear to part with them.

Stockists

I bought my little bottle from the Yves Rocher UK website. In fact, I bought five.  This is not a sponsored post, opinions are my own and I paid for this myself.

 

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Avon Little Lace Dress (2016): It’s SO Right Now!

little lace dress

Avon has a knack of launching scents that are bang on trend and have the “IT”-notes of the moment. You could accuse them of bringing out too many and spreading them too thin, but perfume moves fast. What’s very NOW could be SO last month before you can use up a whole bottle.  Some come and go, and some remain Avon classics. Only sales figures will tell.

black laceToday I am reviewing one of the Little Black Dress flankers: in this case, Little Lace Dress. I bought a purse spray (can I just say yet again how much I love a purse spray?)  for just 1.99 and a jolly good buy it was too.

Little Lace Dress opens with  a burst of orange citrus and note-du-jour blackcurrant. Then the middle phase goes straight into big, creamy jasmine.  It’s so rich you couldn’t eat a whole one. The patchouli flounces in and works its throaty magic, giving this an edge over a standard floral.

lld my bottleLittle Lace Dress smells very similar to many best sellers that are currently flying off the shelves on the High Street.  Over on Fragrantica, readers are comparing it to Coco Mademoiselle, Chanel Chance Eau Tendre and Estee Lauder Modern Muse.  I’m on the fence a little bit here.  This has a floral sweetness that is cranked up a few more notches than Modern Muse, and doesn’t smell exactly like Coco Mademoiselle, but certainly has the big jasmine and patchouli, giving it an instantly recognisable 2017 accord..  This would suit the young palate that thirsts for the big names but may not have the banknotes to capture one.

This month’s Avon brochure has about twelve purse sprays, each at 1.99, so expect more reviews in this vein. Purse sprays just thrill me to bits. It’s the hit of a new perfume, without the guilt of a big price tag. I would definitely recommend Little Lace Dress as a go to scent for not much money. It’s modern, on trend and ticks all the boxes except for the one marked “expensive”

Stockists

You can buy Avon Little Lace Dress from Avon UK (  at the time of going to press, you can buy two bottles of selected Avon fragrance for just £14)  or from your Avon rep, like I do. I bought this myself and views are my own.little dress
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Yves Rocher Secret D’Essences Accord Chic

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I was recently given a bottle of Yves Rocher Secrets D’Essences Accord Chic on loan from dearest chum Lisa Wordbird. I’m a huge fan of Yves Rocher and long for the day when a branch opens in the UK. As it is, I order online and visit a branch when in France (my last visit was four years ago though, sadly!).

Secrets D’Essences Accord Chic was made by the outrageously talented Nose Olivier Cresp, alongside equally legendary Nose Marie Salamagne. If I listed all their scents here, it would take up several pages. If you know Thierry Mugler Angel, Jo Malone Incense et Cedrat, Nina by Nina Ricci and YSL Black Opium, then you will know their work.  Legends. The pair of ’em.

accord chicSo, when these two rock stars of scent get together, you can bet it’s going to be good. And it is.

Accord Chic is a curious fragrance that kept me guessing  and chewing my pen.

It opens with pink pepper but  for a minute or two, it smells like champagne. The pink pepper loiters around in a sweet and fruity way, providing what may be the only touch of girliness in this otherwise rather spicy unisex scent.

The middle phase is all about the resins and the iris. This is not your typical iris however. The iris here gives this a unique and unusual middle  that I had trouble finding the words for. I’ll try.  Here goes: The middle note smells like fresh green tea and a grey cashmere blanket all at once. I can’t explain it to either myself or to you, dear reader, any better than that.
MALABAHEAUDEPARFUMThe spice notes come from resins, rather than  powder: namely frankincense, elemi and benzoin. Reading that made me think this would smell like cough mixture. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This is like a spiced-up version of Penhaligon’s Malabah. There’s no green tea listed, but the spiciness is lightened somehow. This is not a heavy, smoky incense, but more of an oil burner, aromatically scenting the room with light and warm liquid touches.

oil burnerIt’s so perfect for layering that I urge you to try it both alone and with say, musk, or some light citrus. It has a tang of freshness like citron already, so you may as well run with it. If you don’t normally like heavily spiced scent, this could be perfect for you.  It has all the spice, but shh…whisper it…it has a gentleness too.

Stockists

Yves Rocher Accord Chic is available from Yves Rocher branches in France  or online from Yves Rocher.co.uk .  I recommend the purse spray for under a fiver as a good starting point. The mail service is fab because you always get three free samples and usually a free gift or two as well. I’m a very loyal customer as you can see!

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Mary Greenwell Lemon: Niche Style Chypre on the High Street

lemon bottle

You may have gathered by now that I am a big fan of Mary Greenwell fragrances. I have previously reviewed Plum and the superb Fire, and today I will be reviewing Lemon.

Lemon is chock full of citrus when you first spray it on.  Not just the eponymous lemon, but bitter orange and sharp limes too. This is a beautifully fresh, astringent, cologne style opening.  Unlike a cologne, however, this lemon has staying power, which is no mean feat. It gets even better though. The middle notes are floral and light. There are spring petals in there: namely lily of the valley, hyacinth and  jasmine.  The lemon stays true throughout whilst sidestepping any temptation to smell like lemon meringue. Incidentally, if you like lemon meringue scent, try Boucheron Trouble or Marks and Spencer Gabriella, both discontinued but still alive and well on eBay.

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This really reminded me of O de Lancome– one of the most perfect summer scents ever, but this has more tart, bitter lemon.   What Lemon does so beautifully though, is merge from a zingy citrus into a lemony, green chypre. There’s oakmoss in abundance,  a touch of warm amber and a noticeable flourish of woody notes. It lasts around five or six hours and is one of my bargains of the year. It’s classy packaging and quality ingredients belie the £7.50 I paid for my gold 7.5ml purse spray. This is high end , low price chypre chic and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Stockists

The Mary Greenwell range is available from The Fragrance Shop in store or online. Prices start at just £7.50 for a purse spray.

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Christian Lacroix for Avon: Bijou

bijou

Christian La Croix has been making scent for Avon for nine years now and the latest release (2015) is Bijou. I ordered a little 10ml purse spray to get to know it.

The top notes are pear, apple and orange. Middle notes are vanilla orchid, jasmine and gardenia. Base notes are vanilla, musk, star anise and sandalwood.

It opens with bold white flowers, pear and vanilla. It’s light and flowery and off to a good start, apart from the tell-tale vanilla which takes a front seat straight away which spoiled it a bit for me.

The white flowers stick around a bit, but the vanilla seeps through to every stage which makes this smell a little generic. Vanilla is every bleedin’ where at the moment, and I long for a new release that dares to skip it, however, they are making this for people who like vanilla in everything, so I can’t exactly say they’re wrong.

bijou avon pic

The overwhelming accord is pear/vanilla/jasmine, which will no doubt be popular, but for me, this is nothing original or unique and not particularly exciting. Although this is an eau de parfum, longevity was very poor. There was an overly sweet vanilla-y floral scent on my arm for about an hour and then..nothing.

Some Fragrantica users have said that this reminds them of YSL Black Opium, and its probably the combo of pear, vanilla and jasmine, although to me, Black Opium is a sugary Espresso in a sparkly bottle.

Still, full marks to Avon for doing more purse sprays these days. And full marks to Avon in general for making lots of lovely stuff. I bought this for £3.60, so you can try it (and others) without breaking the bank. Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it won’t suit you.

Stockists

Christain La Croix Bijou is available from Avon online or from your lovely Avon rep, if they are anything like mine, who is called Jill and is smashing.

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Fragrance Under Five Quid- The 2015 Guide

fiver

You may have gathered by now, since I am on post Number 602, that I am rather fond of perfume. Since I intend to review 1001 perfumes and I don’t have the income of an oligarch, I could be creating a case of fiscal fiddlesticks for myself.

In fact, from my site dashboard here at Iscent HQ, I see many daily internet searches leading to my site that read “good cheap perfume” or “cheap perfume that smells good” – so I know I am not alone in my quest for thriftiness.

Luckily I love a bargain, a cheapie, and a swapsie and I leave pride and snobbery at the door. I have therefore thrown myself on the martyr pile and selflessly sourced, borrowed and tested the following fragrant bargains, for you, my dear readers.

This is not the first time I have done a “Perfume Under a Fiver” article , but it is the latest 2015 update and it comes at a time of year when shopping rises up the Agenda. In the world of scent, availability and price changes as fast as the weather, so an update was, I felt, necessary. I hope you like the following perfumes I have listed. I would wear all of them, dear reader, and wouldn’t sell you down the river.

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Milton Lloyd

Milton Lloyd is owned by World Class Fragrance who have taken over a lot of Yardleys and Lentherics from the Times of Yore. You can still therefore buy some good 70s stylee drugstore classics such as Lace, Panache, Chique and Tweed. All of these have been reviewed on this blog. But did you know that there are modern flankers to accompany them? Panache Mademoiselle reminds me of Estee Lauder Pleasures, Tweed Mademoiselle is an excellent light fruity floral and Chique Mademoiselle is a light rose musk When you shop around on Amazon or Fragrance Direct or buy direct from Milton Lloyd, you can find them all for five pounds or under.

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The Body Shop

The Body Shop is currently on my Good List for making gorgeous 10ml purse sprays available for a fiver.  My favourite is trusty White Musk but you can also get Madagascan Vanilla, Indian Night Jasmine, White Musk Smoky Rose, Amazonian Water Lily, Atlas Mountain Rose or another favourite of mine, Fijian Water Lotus. Some of these are online and some are only available in store.

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Al Rehab

Al-Rehab perfume oils can be found on Amazon UK.  Coming in at well under a fiver, these purse sized roll ons are great value for your purse and last ages. You can wear them alone or layer them to mix and match until you find something you like. Try Choco Musk, Red Roses or Green Tea. Lovely packaging too. These are so cheap that you can afford to blind buy without going bankrupt.

chocomuskoudyal rehab

The Classics

Classic is another term for trusty perennials. Scents such as Gloria Vanderbilt, Coty L’Aimant and even the Charlies have been steadily in the background since I was a slip of a girl (decades ago). You can usually get a small bottle for under a fiver and I have reviewed them all on this site, except the Charlies.  Charlie Blue grew on me and now I can appreciate its mossy, woody longevity in a way I didn’t used to.  Try allbeauty.com (where I also found Jovan Musk oil for 4.95) or Fragrance Direct, where I always find something I like for not many pounds.

vanderbiltcharlieblue

laimant

Avon Calling

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Trusty Avon always has bargains, and despite their insistence on moving with the times against this customer’s will, you can be sure of a bargain. The under-a-fiver fragrances aren’t always obvious, but in every brochure there is usually a special offer. I often see classic Soft Musk for a fiver, as well as ambery chypre Timeless for the same price.  However, in this month’s brochure, the bargains are amazing: Spend twelve pounds on fragrance and get three 10ml purse sprays free. For your twelve pounds you could get a bottle of Soft Musk and bottle of Timeless  at £6 each, or three Avon Scent Essences for £12. That could be a total of six fragrances for just twelve quid. When my Avon Lady, Jill, comes tomorrow, I shall be ordering three Scent Essences and my three purse sprays, working out at two quid each. I hope none of my friends are reading this or the cat’s out of the bag.

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Marks and Spencer

When I’m in Marks and Spencer looking at knickers and posh tins of biscuits, I often find  a little purse spray ends up in my basket- oops!  But for prices that land between £3.50 and £5 for a 10ml handbag spray, who can blame me?  In fact, when they have the 3 for 2 offer on, who can blame me for buying three?  Try Autograph Blush for a light airy floral scent, or True Red if you like fragrances that are similar to Hugo Boss Red.

true redautograph blush

My name’s Samantha and I’m a frugaleer. Join me, why don’t you?

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Piggy Bank photo from Snapple.com.

Pound coin photo from grandadevans.me.uk

Yves Rocher Quelques Notes D’Amour: A Grown Up Rose

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Yves Rocher is a brand I am rather fond of.  I have at least four full bottles* and have yet to try one I disliked.  I was kindly sent a bottle of Quelques Notes D’Amour by Yves Rocher and I thank them warmly for their generosity.  I am always happy to receive perfume to review, on the proviso that I may not like it and I may say so!  However, I will always be honest and well mannered.

Here goes then:  At first I did not like Quelques Notes D’Amour but after three days of wearing it in day time and even overnight in bed (a very good test of a scent) it has won me over.

purse spray

When I first smelled it on day one, I thought it was fairly generic and it went a bit cardboard-y/Crayola crayons on me after around half an hour.  However, the bottle was so pretty and the reviews so positive on Fragrantica that I wondered if I was missing something so tried again.

This time round I really started to respect the kind of rose scent this is.  The rose is not a watercolour rose, as it is in the rather lovely Comme Une Evidence, but more of a sophisticated, complex, woody rose.  In fact the first phase is pink pepper, which may have put me off at first.  Pink pepper is a red berry that is often used in fruity florals, and in my opinion, has been used with too heavy a hand of late.  In Quelques Notes D’Amour its just the warm up act because the middle phase becomes a thick, rich woody Damascene rose.  It’s definitely an Autumn/Winter rose rather than a light one for summer and would also serve you well as an evening fragrance.

The base note is long and rich and even a little spiky with patchouli and Guaiac wood (used so well in Hilary Duff With Love). There’s  warm benzoin and green cedar too, but I can’t help thinking that the pink pepper and the rose never really went away.

 Quelques Notes D’Amour comes in a beautiful bottle and is, in my opinion, not for teens -and hooray for that!  Those young people get wayyyy too many new launches aimed at them.  We “over 27s” ( Okay I’m 44) like being catered for and for that alone I am giving this a thumbs up.  For being a rich, woody rose that repelled me then changed my mind and reeled me in, I give this another thumbs up.  If I had a third thumb, I would give yet another thumbs up because Yves Rocher have a purse spray on offer, which is a great way of trying a fragrance before buying a full bottle.  I have a thing for purse sprays, so this pleased me no end.

Yves Rocher, keep up the sterling work.  As you were.

fragrantica
fragrantica

 Stockists:  You can buy Quelques Notes D’Amour from the UK Yves Rocher website. To my chums in the USA and Canada- sadly this is not yet available over on your patch, but I can heartily recommend Moment de Bonheur, Comme Une Evidence and So Elixir, all of which are on the Yves Rocher USA site.

* The Yves Rocher scents I own are; Comme Une Evidence, Cléa, Yria, and Yves Rocher Fraicheur Vegetale Verveine.  I also recommend the lovely So Elixir. You can find reviews of them all on this blog.

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