Four the love of violets!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 24 - 2013

I’ve long held the opinion that I wasn’t a great fan of floral fragrances… at least, that’s what I’ve always thought until I recently took another look at the perfumes I’ve gathered over the years.  You know, for someone who proclaims such nonsense, I own far too many rose, violet, and iris-based scents… and of the three, I think it’s the violet ones that I’m drawn to the most.

I thought that today, I’d share with you some of my favourite violet-based fragrances.  There are actually two missing from the list (PR Ultraviolet & Yardley(!) April Violets) because they’re still boxed up at my Mum’s house and writing this has now made me desperate to raid her garage for my long-lost loves!

violet fragrances

The first thing I should say is that I don’t own any pure-violet fragrances, not the posh ones anyway and I’m still no fragrance expert but hopefully I’ve sniffed my way through enough perfume departments to form a coherent opinion!

My favourite thing about this note in particular is just how fickle it is, sometimes seeming greener than a freshly-mowed lawn and at other times, more powdery than your grandma’s old compacts.  It’s a chameleon of a note, beautifully suited to this changeable Spring season.

It’s also a note that pairs wonderfully with others, and infact (in my opinion) works far better when working as a flanker, as part of a well-structured accord rather than singing a solo chorus.

The first perfume in my list of four, is a great example of precisely, this.

Armani Prive Cuir Amethyste (£145, armanibeauty.co.uk) is not an easily-tamed fragrance.  For a scent that calls into play such a beautiful floral note, it’s a growling animal of contradictions.  From the opening headiness of the sticky, woody violet to the dirty leather, well-worn and battered into a masculine suppleness that shouldn’t work on female skin, but does.

The tenacity and indeed, audacity of this scent appeals to me for its unique take on the genre.  It’s an over the top indulgence complete with powdery nostalgia that makes me feel all the more a “lady”.  Albeit, a slightly sleazy one.

violet fragrances

In stark contrast, YSL’s Paris Premieres Roses 2013* (£25.50, escentual.com) is a recent re-issue that puts the violet firmly in the back seat.  That’s not to say you won’t find it there because it’s confidently lurking, flanking the rose and smoothing the petals until they reach a state of velvety creaminess within the heart of the scent.

It’s the epitome of fragrant youthfulness without the pink-pepper, juicy-fruit explosion up your nostrils.  A refreshing and commendable take with mass-market appeal in an often tired genre.

violet fragrances

For a greener, fresher take on the wonderful floral, look no further than Balenciaga Paris EDP* (£44, debenhams.com) for a new opinion.  You can see that I’m running low on my bottle and it’s not hard to understand why.  Paris is a perfect rendition of how Spring should be, with a clean opening that descends into a softer, sweeter heart and powdery base.  All the while, remaining light, airy and a little bit watery but never so sheer as to be unappreciated.

Floral-chypres can often be difficult to stomach for those under the age of 25, but Balenciaga’s Paris bucks this trend and delivers a grown-up yet flirty scent that takes you on a true violet journey from the sharp leaf, all the way to the sweetshop!

violet fragrances

My final pick of the bunch (gettit?) is for Tom Ford’s Violet Blonde (£45, johnlewis.com) which I picked up not long after its release in 2011.  I immediately fell for its well-projected, prickly opening that blends a green violet with pink pepper before developing into a richly sueded base.

Despite being a wonderful choice for a sharply-dressed young professional woman (you know the type), I don’t mind admitting that my husband wears this with great skill.  His skin chemistry thrusts forward the spice and musk and conjures up something more masculine and vintage-feeling, tempered beautifully by the violet.

Do you like violet-based fragrances?  Please share your favourite!

* press sample


Balenciaga Florabotanica EdP

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 18 - 2012

“How much actual wtf-ery can you design into one bottle of fragrance?” thought the bods at Balenciaga one day over a plate of ham and pickle sandwiches.  Wait, wrong country…  chorizo an patatas bravas (not in a sandwich obvs).

That boardroom statement is the only logical explanation I can come up with for the awesomeness that is the packaging for the new Balenciaga fragrance which is patiently awaiting its nationwide release next week.

It’s like the Mad Hatter joined forces with Captain Beefheart, dropping an acid-infused sugar cube in a secret garden before letting rip on the design front.  I love it.  I love how it looks so spiky and unfriendly (not unlike the celebrity fronting the campaign then) and the ensemble left me properly breathless in anticipation and hope that the juice inside would live up to the initial impression.

And it is indeed, somewhat spiky at first sniff.  There’s a sharpness that cuts through the ether and prickles at your nose (not the classic piquante tickle) before mellowing as the “experimental” (no less) rose takes form and softens the edges, bringing to the forefront the flora that the name Florabotanica promises t0 deliver.

The notes declare: mint, carnation, hybrid rose, caladium leaves, amber and vetiver – I don’t detect much straight-up mint, nor amber but they play their roles in helping to chameleonize some of the more traditional florals into something that definitely feels far too modern to simply describe as floral.

Perhaps one of my favourite aspects of Florabotanica is simply in its resilience.  Here is a mainstream fragrance, aimed at a younger market that smells different. It’s void of pinkness and it wears on my skin like a captivating veil with just the perfect amount of sillage to draw attention without commanding it.  It’s perhaps a little Summery for an Autumn release but there’s probably just enough mossiness and strength to ground the fragrance in a cooler climate.

Adore.

Balenciaga Florabotanica (from £40 for 30ml EdP) is available exclusively at Harvey Nichols until the 19th September.  A nationwide launch follows this date. 

* press sample

Hallo stuff! I’m really loving you! – Sunday 27th February

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 27 - 2011

I never get round to doing “products of the month” posts because there’s inevitably something else that I wanna blog about when the ‘critical’ time is approaching.

I do love reading other people’s picks though so instead of giving up on these type of posts completely I think I’ll just throw random ones out there when the mood takes me instead.  Who needs time restraints anyway?

1.  Gielly Green Argan Rescue Oil (£19.50)

This has given my dry, overprocessed hair such a lift these last few weeks.  I don’t know how it compares to the likes of Moroccan Oil which I haven’t tried yet but the Gielly Green Argan Rescue add shine, softness and smooth ends without being too heavy on my fine (but lots of it!) hair.

You can buy the Gielly Green Argan Rescue Oil here.

2.  Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel (£19.40)

I received a sample size of this tucked into my last Debenhams order and “uh oh”, ‘cos it’s on the repurchase list!

I’ve been trying to work out a morning skincare routine that suits my combo/dry skin and this has become my morning cleanser of choice.  Normally, I use a ‘cleansing gel’ to remove my makeup but this one is so light that a pea-sized amount cleanses my bare face beautifully.

It has a delicious ‘wake me up’ grapefruit scent and is the only cleansing gel/oil/balm type product I’ve used that makes me feel clean without doing a double cleanse.  Add to that the fact that it’s one of the least drying cleansers I’ve discovered and I’m delighted to start the day with this gem!

Now, I’ve said that… watch me hate it once I purchase the full size.  It’s always the way right?

You can buy the Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel here.

3.  Balenciaga Paris Eau de Parfum 20ml (£34.00) *

Now available in a travel-friendly 20ml bottle, Balenciaga Paris is simply exquisite.  I’m not sure how it manages to capture so much in one small bottle.

It opens with a crisp, floral freshness that announces itself with all the fervour that BIG openings bring before mellowing into something quite creamy yet grown-up.

It seems to capture both a lightness and a depth that feels more sensual, darker… naughtier!

My only gripe is that it needs a top-up every 3 hours or so as the fragrance sadly doesn’t last the day… but I guess that’s the benefit of a 20ml bottle!

You can buy Balenciaga Paris Eau de Parfum 20ml here.

4.  Bliss Blood Orange & White Pepper Hand Cream (part of a duo set that cost £8.00)

Beautifully citrusy with a hint of spice, this hand cream is light, fast-absorbing and nourishing.  The scent lingers for a short while and will keep you sniffing your hands until it fades!  It’s a great daytime moisturiser that sadly only comes in a 30ml tube.  I think it may be limited edition too…

Oh well, as much as I love it – I guess I’ll have to find something else to replace it.

You can buy Bliss Blood Orange and White Pepper Hand Cream here. (on offer!)

5.  Vicks First Defence (£7.14)

I know this is a bit of a weird one… but I’ve used it twice now at the onset of a cold.  As soon as I get that “drowning feeling” in the back of my throat, I pull this out and use as often as the directions allow me.  Whilst it hasn’t killed or cured the ensuing snuffles, it’s made a real difference to it’s severity.

The last two times I’ve used it, my cold hasn’t progressed into full-blown face ache/streaming nose type horrors as it normally would.  I’ve been able to get on with day-to-day life with a couple of paracetamol and this nasal spray nearby quite happily!

You can buy Vicks First Defence here.

6.  Sheer Cover Refreshing Face Mist (£12.95) *

Since my run in with the Prai o2 Infusion I reviewed yesterday, my skin has been in dire need of TLC and the Sheer Cover Refreshing Face Mist has provided this well.  Once made up in the mornings, I obviously can’t moisturise with normal creams and this refreshing spray gives my skin a hydration boost with a couple of squirts throughout the day.

It’s alcohol-free and at 60ml is handbag-friendly.

You can buy Sheer Cover Refreshing Face Mist here. (Guthy Renker sells products through a ‘membership’ scheme and you may need to cancel your membership if you don’t want automatic product topups every 90 days)

7.  Melvita Eye Contour Gel (£18.00) *

Organic brand Melvita failed to impress me first time round… I tried a particularly stinky oil that I just couldn’t bring myself to use because of it’s… um… aroma.  However, the Melvita Eye Contour Gel is a delight!

Incredibly lightweight and fast-absorbing, I’ve finally found an eye cream that I’m happy to wear under my makeup.  I’ve noticed a decrease in puffiness since incorporating this into my routine… not sure it does much for fine lines or dark circles but it feels wonderfully refreshing and lifting for bleary morning peepers!

You can buy Melvita Eye Contour Gel here.

.

What are you currently using and loving?

* press sample

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