Tag Archives: The Body Shop

Dear Aunty Sam: Your Perfume Problems Answered-Part Three

evelyn de morgan
Evelyn de Morgan, The Love Potion

Well, this HAS been popular. I asked you to send in your perfume problems and you did and now we’re back for part three like olfactory gluttons.  This week I’ll be looking at how to make Green Tea fragrances last longer and whether old perfume is OK to wear.

rsz_dr_sam (1)

Reader Jane McLeod wrote to me and said:

Dear Aunty Sam,

I’m delighted to hear that green notes are coming back! My favourite note in perfume is the tea note, but despite an on/off relationship with both Bvlgari’s The Vert and Arden’s Green Tea they never last on my skin. I’ve hunted many tea perfumes down, but no luck. Sorry to send you back to yourAunty Sam role of the previous few blogs, but is there any tea fragrance that does last on the skin I wonder?


Dear Jane,

Please don’t be sorry, I love being Aunty Sam!  Green Tea is one of those light hesperide notes fuji-green-tea-eau-de-cologne-1-640x640that needs anchoring to stay put.

The perfect perfume brand for you would be Atelier Cologne. They take all these wonderful light notes that we love from colognes and use super long lasting ingredients that means even a citrus scent stays citrussy for up to 9 hours.  You might like to try Atelier Cologne Oolong Infini. It’s a long lasting tea scent, although I don’t it’s Green Tea.  Failing that, spray your usual Green Tea scent on clothes, collars, scarves, sleeves and/or hair.

atelier-cologne-oolang-infini-perfume-unisex___2 (1)Fabric often carries scent for longer than skin. You might like to try the new Body Shop  Fuji Green Tea range.  With lots of body products, you can layer and build your green tea scent for  a longer lasting result.



Dear Aunty Sam,

joyimageI have a general perfume question. Does perfume ever go off?

I have a few bottles of scent, not all strictly perfume, but ranging from body spray to actual Eau de Parfum, which are open and which I’ve realized have been open for years.  Medal of honour goes to a bottle of Joy by Jean Patou, a present from my Mum which is so gorgeous I’ve been saving it for special occasions – so much so that this bottle is coming up to seven years old.  I must use it more often!

Does it matter? If they still smell nice in the bottle, are they safe to use?

Love from Eleanor

rsz_dr_sam (1) My dear Eleanor,

Now that’s a very interesting question and the answer is yes and no.

I have some wonderful vintage Balmain Jolie Madame that looks as if it’s over 50 years old. It still smells great.  On the other hand, I recently bought a discontinued Body Shop fragrance called Aqua Lily from a car boots sale, which was most definitely “off” despite it being only a few years old.  There was a scorched smell that didn’t lessen or go away.

vintage perfumeThe answer lies in storage. I f a scent has been kept in its box and fairly cool or at room temperature,  it should be OK. If it’s been kept out of a box and stored on a windowsill or in direct sunlight, as I suspect my Body Shop find was, then it probably won’t be.

As a rule, many vintage scents were made before the seismic regulations of IFRA banned any remotely harmful ingredients, which means that nobody can guarantee vintage won’t give you a rash, so do a patch test first.  The other advice applies to food past its best before as well as scent: use your nose. If it smells good, it probably is good.

PS Don’t save it for special occasions- wear it all the time!

Over to you

One thing I get asked most often is about smellalikes. Readers are often looking for a close match to a discontinued favourite, or a budget friendly match to a pricey special occasion scent. Either way, I’m your woman, so do write in if you have a question on any aspect of fragrance.

I always love to hear from you.


Library of Fragrance Gingerbread: Memories of the Long Lost Perfume Bar


Library of Fragrance has yet to disappoint me.  The more I try the more I like.  For me, the main attraction is that LOF allows you to be a grown up.  It’s not offering you a ready made mass market concoction with lots of notes and asking you to like it, it’s giving you the tools to choose your own.

Having said that, they are all good quality alone, and any complexity and layers you add are entirely up to you.  Library of Fragrance reminds me of the much mourned Perfume Bar that used to be in every Body Shop branch in the 80s and 90s.  On a tiered stand would be huge bell jars of scent with glass dipping sticks.  You could then go up to the counter and request a bottle of the one you liked best, or maybe buy a few to go home with.


For a long time there has been nothing to match it, but I feel that Library of Fragrance goes a long way towards filling that gap. In fact I think what prompted me to think of the Perfume Bar was the delight I felt on trying Library of Fragrance Gingerbread.  It reminded me a lot of the Body Shop vanilla oil, back when vanilla was a good almond-y, rich scent that hadn’t been made into synthetic cheapness and added to all and sundry everywhere you look.

Library of Fragrance Gingerbread is a gourmand, and whilst I usually sidestep them, this is so good that I want a bottle to be a permanent fixture on my dressing table.  It avoids smelling like cake, and instead, capitalises on the ginger and spices and the kind of black vanilla seeds that you only get in the richest of crème brûlée rather than a Victoria Sandwich.



Needless to say, it’s beyond perfect for this time of year and truly excellent alongside Library of Fragrance Fireplace.  It would also be great alongside LOF Patchouli and LOF Musk.  And when I say great I mean it made me want to eat my own arm, it was so good.  Mix your own and invent a name.  I’m calling mine “Samantha-chouli-muskenspice” Gather your bottles together and get involved.


Stockists:  Library of Fragrance is available at Boots in the UK, online or in store.  Prices are £15 for one or £25 for two (one for you, one for Christmas presents). In the USA and Canada, this brand is known as Demeter and is available on Amazon.com.

The Body Shop Early Harvest Raspberry Eau de Toilette: Hello Summer!



As you may know, I mourn the loss of the late great Body Shop Perfume Bar in the 80s and 90s and the Body Shop has confirmed that it has no plans to bring it back in any form.  I feel I therefore have to accept this and embrace the Body Shop of the Twenteens.

In fact the Body Shop of the Twenteens is not doing a bad job on the old fragrance front. There is the we-wouldn’t-dare-discontinue White Musk range, with several flankers, the delightful  florals of the Scents of The World Collection, and more recently,  a collection of soliflores that match the flavours of the Body Shop Body Butters.

photo by wiki
photo by wiki

Today I am going to review The Body Shop Early Harvest Raspberry.  Yesterday I tried this on and didn’t expect very much from it.  However the raspeberry is thirst quenching and juicy, like a lolly on a hot day.  In fact the only thing that spoiled this was  the fact that either me or my children often smell of raspberry lollies or Haribo.  Expect to be inexplicably popular with children when you wear this.

The top note is juicy and bursting with fruit, and the middle phase is stickier, but not overly sweet, thank goodness: this is a common mistake in fruity perfumes. The base is not quite  as tartly raspberry-ish, but I think this  because of the difficulty in keeping a sharp note sharp, rather than a sign of poor quality. If you think about how hard it is to keep lemons or oranges  sharp and tart in the basenote phase, then you can see why I’m not being hard on the Body Shop here.

What I like about this is that it contains genuine raspberry extract and therefore avoids smelling as synthetic as other juicy fruity scents can often be. It makes no claims about making you beautiful, nor promises you a sensuality that’s unforgettable blah-di-blah, but it does smell of raspberries and if you like that idea, then this is a reasonably priced raspberry scent.

Longevity was a real surprise at over eight hours close to skin. At £8.50 for 30ml I call that a bargain.

So here we are back to basics: it does what it says on the tin,  it’s playful and pretty, you might smell of lollies, it lasts long time and it’s cheap. Nice Work.


The Body Shop: Amazonian Wild Lily


If you have read any of my previous Body Shop reviews, you will know that I find it hard to write about today’s Body Shop without going off down Memory Lane.  The Perfume Bar! Oh I miss your big glass jars of Samarkand, Mostly Musk, Dewberry, Japanese Musk and Annie!  How I miss Raspberry Ripple Bathing Bubbles, Peppermint Foot lotion and Elderflower Eye Gel! *Sob*, oh it’s not like it used to be.

The Good Old Days- photo from youbeauty.com
The Good Old Days- photo from youbeauty.com

The Body Shop today is very different since L’Oreal took it over, but they still stand by their eco and humanitarian principals so it’s not all bad.  The perfume range is affordable and good quality (some more than others), but the days of greatness are much missed.

Today I bought two perfume oils: Amazonian Wild Lily and Atlas Mountain Rose.  This review is for Amazonian Wild Lily in the perfume oil form.

First of all, I don’t find that Body Shop EDTs last as long as the oils, hence my choice of purchase.  Amazonian Wild Lily is, on first application, wonderfully green and fresh. The notes are White Lily, Iris, Papaya and Orchid.   The result of this combination is that the fruit gives a slightly melon-y, calone accord. However, whereas that would normally make me run for the hills, it’s not quite strong enough to dominate and the flowers overtake it.  The strongest note is Lily, but thankfully, the vegetal/celery note that I sometimes get with Lily is absent.  Longevity is very good with the oil: it’s only a 15ml bottle, but in my experience, this bottle will last a very long time.  A previous 30ml bottle of Body Shop White Musk Oil lasted over a year.

body shop

Body Shop Amazonian Wild Lily would make an ideal perfume for daywear and especially office wear.  It doesn’t  have that brash alcohol that  sprays have, so it’s good for discreet application on a train or in a n office without people inevitably asking what that smell is. Sillage is subtle and close to skin, but sometimes you need that if you’re going to be in close proximity to others.

The overall effect is a floral, green scent that is both pleasant and inoffensive. The Lily is strong and pretty, making this a pretty and long-lasting scent that fits into the bargain category by costing a mere £7.50.

Oh, did I mention that this really reminds me of Marc Jacobs Daisy?

Body Shop White Musk Smoky Rose: Less Than I Hoped For


I tried The Body Shop White Musk Smoky Rosetoday on my travels and was so attracted to the idea of the name that I asked the staff to open  a new tester, since the existing one was empty: a sure sign of the interest surrounding it.

When I first sprayed it, and when it was still wet, I could smell nothing at all.  When it dried, I could smell a faint hint of Musk, and , would you believe it? Caramel. If there are Roses I can’t smell them.  If they is a smokiness, it manifests itself as the smokiness you get from burnt sugar, or the bottom of a crème caramel.

Image This is pretty popular and has a good fanbase, but I think that’s because vanilla based gourmands seems to soar in popularity around Wintertime.  I love the idea of Smoky Rose, and I’ve always been a fan of TBS White Musk, so you would think this would be a winner. A smoked rose sounds so delicious in winter, but it wasn’t to be.  Sillage is very faint: close to skin straight away.  Longevity is so far two  hours, but faint.

I would love to get the Tobacco Flower, Roses, Frankincense  and Blackcurrant that I was promised, but for some reason this smells like heavily diluted White Musk with a Caramac bar rubbed over the top.

A great idea, poorly executed. Worth a try though, it might smell different on you. Incidentally, The Body Shop online works out much cheaper than buying instore. Sniff instore, buy online.

Body Shop White Musk Oil: The Last Man Standing From the Long Lost Perfume Bar


Sometimes the ageing classics get overlooked. It dawned on me that there is one perfume that I have been wearing for at least twenty five years and yet I haven’t reviewed it yet.

I first came across Body Shop White Musk at the glorious and much pined for (by me) Perfume Bar that every Body Shop used to have years ago. For those who have youth on their side and cannot remember this wonderful creation, please indulge me as I go down  Memory Lane.

In the 80s and 90s, each Body Shop had a Perfume Bar consisting of large glass jars with narrow necks, and long glass dipping sticks in each one. The jars would be on a circular stand, surrounded by eager customers, sniffing and testing. The happy bodyshop oilcustomer (i.e a younger me) would dip, dab and sniff until finding a scent she or he could not live without. The nice ladies at the counter would then fill a little plastic refillable bottle for you to take home, for a very reasonable price.

For many years I had tiny plastic 15ml and 30ml bottles of such much missed gems as Japanese Musk, Mostly Musk, and White Musk (sensing a theme?). I was not alone.  My mother loved “Annie” and always carried it in her handbag, and “Dewberry” was practically The Smell of the 80s.

Sadly all but a tiny few are discontinued, but if the Body Shop were ever to create this mirage of happiness again, I would be their most loyal customer. How I wish they would bring it back.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rex Features (1350527r) Anita Roddick of the Body Shop Various
 Photo by Rex Features (1350527r)
Anita Roddick of the Body Shop

This review is for White Musk Oil. You will see that it is not for the White Musk EDT, Sheer spray, or for any of its flankers such as Libertine.  I find them all too light and fleeting. White Musk Oil has a particular staying power that I have not encountered with the EDT or flankers, or in fact any of today’s Body Shop fragrances.  A dab of White Musk Oil on the neck, crook of elbow and wrist and you are set up for an entire day.

It’s subtle enough not to offend in a small office, and lasting enough not to have to top up in the day.  One of my favourite things about this oil is that a 30ml bottle lasts me a year.  The Body Shop website often has half price offers on, which can make this even more of a bargain.


So what of the fragrance itself? Well according to the Body Shop website, this has notes of Lily, Iris, Rose and Vanilla. Personally I get Musk and maybe a very faint background of Lily, but no Rose or Vanilla and no cold hearted Iris.

I am shameless about never having grown out of it. Many people see it as student perfume they have left behind, but I have had more misty eyed compliments about this than about any other perfume I have ever worn.

The Good Old Days- photo from youbeauty.com
The Good Old Days- photo from youbeauty.com

I often forget I’m wearing it and spray another fragrance over the top, but I find this just makes both fragrances smell even better. It’s close to skin: people will get a waft when you hug them or lean over them, but they won’t faint like dominoes when you get in the lift.

You may well find a man sniffing nostalgically to himself and remembering his first girlfriend though.

This is proof, if proof were needed, that you don’t need big bucks to smell good.