The corset returns: Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Intense EdP

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 24 - 2014

In 1993, I turned 12. I was in my second year of secondary school and fully in love with Evan Dando. Prince changed his name to something unpronounceable, Myst was released on MAC OS, and Teletext launched on ITV & C4.

Aside from all that excitement, 1993 was also the year that Jean Paul Gaultier released his eponymous Classique fragrance… an iconic scent in an even-more-iconic bottle.

Roll forward 21-years and Prince is still rocking-out venues worldwide. Teletext, however, has since been banished to the sands of time (who else misses Bamboozle?). It seems the secret of longevity, may be reinvention… Prince knows it and you can be sure that Jean Paul Gaultier knows it too, which is why this Summer marks the launch of Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Intense.

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JPG Classique EDP Intense

Francis Kurkdjian is the nose behind this (re)creation, and with a belief that the original should be more than simply honoured, the perfumer has remained faithful to its precursor with an indisputable air of femininity, overwhelming sense of decadence, and signature sensuality. Infact, it is said that the new Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Intense musters 40% completely original composition. The remaining 60% injects the flanker with a little of Kurkdjian’s magic touch.

The new Intense version features an opening of tiare and jasmine, inciting a sultry explosion that leads you lustfully into a tender heart of orange blossom and rose. The unmistakable vanilla base is accentuated by the ever-present patchouli that encases the creation in a rich, sweet earthiness that penetrates throughout.

In our current heatwave, it’s an overwhelming(ly good) homage to something that might just provoke a steamy night of passion. Far too voluptuous (both the scent and the bottle) to earmark itself as a “summer” fragrance, it’s a distinct v-sign to convention. And let’s be honest, would you expect anything less from either its creator or custodian?

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Intense EdP is available now from Boots, Debenhams, and other department stores. Priced at £60/80 for 50ml and £80/109 for 100ml

* press sample

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Jo Malone are Calm & Collected with a limited edition makeover!

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 30 - 2014

Employing the talents of young London artists: Calm & Collected, the Jo Malone company have collaborated with the studio to create some one-off, striking visual designs for some of their best-loved fragrances.  This #beautyproject is part of a greater store-wide campaign, exclusive to Selfridges in a mission to celebrate all definitions of beauty.

The limited edition screen-printed designs will adorn the bottles of the following five fragrances: Earl Grey & Cucumber, English Pear & Freesia, Lime Basil & Mandarin, Peony & Blush Suede and Pomegranate Noir.  Each design takes inspiration from the ingredients found within, playfully creating a strong and unmistakable graphic impression across the line.

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But it’s not just the bottles themselves that have received a makeover.  Jo Malone’s iconic black & cream packaging has also undergone a transformation with the added opportunity to personalise your own Jo Malone box!

The creative team behind Calm & Collected will infact be producing these boxes live at the brand’s boutiques in Selfridges London, Birmingham, and Manchester throughout select dates in May.  Customers will be able to choose their own box colours and include personalisation.  For dates and to choose which event you’d like to attend, head on over to the Jo Malone Facebook page for more information.

The limited edition Calm & Collected bottles are available in 30ml (£41) and 100ml (£82) sizes and will be available exclusively from Selfridges and selfridges.com while stocks last.

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I’ve blogged about Jo Malone’s wonderful gardens before, their charity initiative that encourages marginalised communities to build and maintain beautiful, scented gardens.  The brand collaborate with dedicated charities to harness the power of gardening in an effort to improve the lives of those living in vulnerable situations; normally due to the isolation that comes with mental ill health, addiction, poverty or disability.

The initiative also encourages brand involvement with volunteers from Jo Malone themselves, be it head office staff or boutique stylists, many of whom who are more than happy to swap skills and lend a hand to get the gardens up to scratch!

Following on from the successes of the original Old English Garden in London and the Gil Hodges Community Garden in New York, the brand are due to open two more green spaces in Liverpool and Edinburgh on the 1st July and a further garden in Bristol next year.

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To help support this initiative, all proceeds from the new Limited Edition Silk Blossom Home Candle – a fragrance described as Apricot-fresh with a touch of spice – will go to supporting the charity gardens nationwide.

If you needed an excuse to indulge in some home-scenting, the new Jo Malone London Limited Edition Silk Blossom Candle (and Cologne) is available to buy online now, priced at £42.00

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Josh Wood Blending Wand in Dark Brown

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 1 - 2014

When trying a beauty product for the first time, I try to remain open-minded.  When a product has been hyped by the beauty community, it’s easy to have certain far-reaching expectations the first time you try it.

However, in the case of the new Josh Wood Blending Wand*, my expectations were lower than low.

Reviews for this product, which is sold exclusively at Marks & Spencer are generally pretty dire on the M&S website, frighteningly so to be honest.  I try to avoid reviews before approaching a product that I’m going to blog about but I was frankly unsure about the best methods for applying the goop inside the wand (the instructions aren’t in plain sight), and so I found myself Googling in advance.

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Before I get down to the nitty-gritty, let me explain what – in my opinion – this product from acclaimed colourist Josh Wood is, and perhaps more importantly… isn’t.

The Josh Wood Blending Wand is a temporary solution to a common problem.  The problem being visible roots between hair colouring.  Perhaps you go to a salon for a professional experience every couple of months, or perhaps you box-dye it at home.  Either way, you’ll be familliar with the annoying inbetween stage… inbetween salon appointments, or inbetween finding time to redo your roots at home.

What it isn’t however, is a replacement for a regular hair-dye.  This also isn’t a replacement for a permanent root touch-up kit.  In my novice experience, it takes less than 15-minutes from start to finish to turn the unsightly into the respectable when it comes to your hairline.

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The somewhat limited instructions are located under the label on the back of the wand.  It makes the application process sound a little less involved than it actually is.  First things first, I absolutely recommend that you don’t try to use the Blending Wand without a little mixing bowl to hand.  The “goop” inside literally drips out when you prime the product and you risk making a mess unless you dispense into a bowl first.

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I applied the Josh Wood Blending Wand directly onto dry hair.  Let’s be honest… if I wanted to faff around with wetting my hair first, I’d just go down the root touch-up kit.  I wanted something that I could use during those emergency moments of god-awful clarity when you catch sight of yourself in the mirror whilst getting ready to go out.  If it couldn’t fulfil that role… I wasn’t particularly interested.

To use, I pumped the button on the side of the wand a couple of times to prime it.  This allows the product to dispense into the brush… or more conveniently, into the bowl you’ve sourced.  Load the brush with the colour and gently apply the product to your roots.

For me, the key to achieving a good finish without making my hair sticky, or staining my scalp is to use a light hand.  You don’t need half a gallon of product on the brush for it to be effective.  Use a little at a time and don’t be afraid to work the brush across the “grain” of your hair aswell as in the root-to-tip direction.  Doing this with an almost-dry brush and working it through the strands cross-ways works well for me.

At this point, your roots should be damp but not saturated.  If you use too much product, you’re going to be left with a sticky-residue once you’ve blow-dried.  The product will not magically disappear into the ether just because you’ve blasted it with a hairdryer.  Use a light hand and apply more if needed.  I also recommend using your fingers to lightly distribute the product across your roots whilst drying, in a similar way to rubbing in dry shampoo.  Remember to wash your hands immediately afterward to avoid stained fingertips.

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Because of my preconceptions after reading the reviews, I can’t quite put into words how impressed (relieved?) I was when I saw the results.  The colour blended well with my own and I only had a tiny bit of scalp staining where I’d been too heavy-handed at the temple.  My hair did feel heavier after application, especially around the fringe but it wasn’t sticky and didn’t need immediate washing, though I did wash it before bed that night as I was worried about staining my pillowcase.  The results have lasted well after two hair-washes, I don’t expect it to last much more than three or four at a push.

All in all, as a quick-fix solution for disguising roots in under 15-minutes, I can’t fault it.  If you try it and don’t get the results you were hoping for, take a look at your application method because you might need to adjust the quantity of product you’re using.  Considering just how bad my roots were, I really didn’t need to use a lot of product to get my finished result.  I should get many, many more uses from this magic little Blending Wand.

The Josh Wood Blending Wand, priced at £12.50, comes in 4 shades and is available exclusively instore and online from Marks and Spencer.

* press sample

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All being well, in just over 6 weeks, I’m going to be a Mum again.  To say that I’m feeling a little apprehensive about this is an understatement.  Five years is a long time for the mind to heal, forgetting about the sleepless nights and the frustrations at not being able to immediately comfort an unhappy little one.

I love being the Mum of a 5-yr old more than anything, but I’m acutely aware that I didn’t relish those first few months in my new role.  I’m not ashamed to admit that either, I much prefer the company of someone who can talk back to me.  That being said, I shall be patiently awaiting the flood of maternal love that will surely wash over me within minutes of meeting our new family member.  And then I’ll be demanding a belated Mother’s Day present, because… you know, how dare you schedule your entry to coincide with MISSING THE BIG DAY?!

Incase you’re listening little one… any, or you know… ALL of the below will suffice.

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1). It’s an oldie but a goodie.  Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish (£14.75) sales must hit the roof come Mother’s Day, I genuinely don’t know any women in my family who wouldn’t love to see this blue bottle pop out of a gift bag.  There’s also free delivery over on the website at the moment until the 25th March and a free sample with every order.

You could even build your own Liz Earle goody-bag for Mum by purchasing the mini 15ml tube and a muslin cloth for only £3.75 – now there’s thoughtful!

2). Each year, when Jo Malone release their bespoke Mother’s Day Floral Boxes (£120), I sit and drool at the thought of receiving something so mind-blowingly extravagant.  Complete with 100ml cologne of your choice (Vetyver for me please sproglet!), this beautiful floral display will melt the heart of anyone you’ve been privileged enough to call “Mum”.  Available from Monday 24th March, exclusively from the Jo Malone Sloane Street boutique.

3). Back down to earth with a beautifully-scented bump now, thanks to this perfectly-presented sweet little cone of bubbles and fizz!  The Mum’s Goodies (£13.50) offering from LUSH contains a limited edition Wonder Woohoo bubble bar, the Secret Garden bath bomb, and a Rockstar Soap.  The perfect way to show Mum that you care.  Just don’t steal the contents while her back is turned, ok?

4). For the ultimate glamour-Mum, look no further than this Paparazzi Compact (£27.65) from the new Joan Collins Timeless Beauty range.  The pretty duo features a classic lipstick/powder combination that makes “on the go” touch-ups a thing of true elegance!  The powder shade is a “neutral” tone to suit most complexions and depending on how bold your influential lady’s beauty tastes are, you can choose between a pink or burgundy lipstick!

5). When it comes to picking a perfume, you can’t go wrong with a delicate rose scent, the queen of all florals.  This Monotheme Apothéose de Rose (£18.00) from Marks & Spencer, offers a modern take on a much-loved theme.  Described as a soft, young and feminine scent – you won’t mistake this beauty for one of granny’s old perfumes.  The packaging is beautiful and will look a proper treat given pride of place at the dressing table.

6). If you haven’t yet heard of bathing brand Kneipp, trust me – you’re about to…

This German, mineral-rich brand offer a wide-range of bodycare products developed around the wonders of hydrotherapy.  The Kneipp Pure Bliss Bath & Body Gift Set (£12.95) will turn Mum’s bath water from boring to blissful in the blink of an eye.  With Red Poppy and Hemp as the workhorse naturals in this set, Mum will be sure to achieve complete serenity.  Even if its only until the water turns cold.

7). For the more traditional fragrant-fiend in your life, you won’t go wrong with a sneaky purchase of Floris’ Night Scented Jasmine Gift Set (£50) which includes a moisturising Bath & Shower Gel and an enriched Body Moisturiser.  This luxurious scent is inspired by the original Jasmine perfume introduced in 1806 by Mr. Floris.  It’s the kind of fragrant heritage that money just can’t buy… err, except luckily for us, it can!  The epitome of elegant gift-choices!

8). When spa-brand Elemis put together a special release that saves almost £30 on the full-price, you have to sit up and take notice.  Particularly when the items included are full-size products!  The Elemis Pro-Collagen Treats Collection (£49.00) comprises two beauty essentials from their iconic Pro-Collagen range: the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, and the Pro-Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment.

Both products are housed in a rather cute, silver presentation box that makes gifting just a little bit more glamourous!

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Deal Alert: A covetable Jimmy Choo gift with purchase!

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 3 - 2014

Some “gift with purchases” are predictable but useful.  Some GWPs make you wonder why the marketers bothered, and some… well, some make you tear down to your local counter Roadrunner stylee (meep meep!), leaving nothing but a trail of dust behind you.

I think it’s fair to say that the latest GWP – available when you buy any 60ml Jimmy Choo fragrance this month – very much falls into the latter category.  Please, let me present, the Limited Edition Luxury Jimmy Choo Shoe Case.

Now, you may not own a pair of fancy Jimmy Choos to put in said shoe case, let’s face it… you wouldn’t be alone!  But what else could you put inside?  Your collection of favourite fragrances?  How about employing it as a memory box for your most precious photos?  It’s roomy and solidly-constructed enough for a thousand uses.

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Know someone who’s getting hitched this year?  Do they need somewhere to store their princessy shoes?  The possibilities are endless.  Failing all of this, you could just use it to hide your secret stockpile of Cadbury’s Twirl and Wispa bars.  Don’t try and pretend it’s just me that has one of those…

This delightful GWP is available in selected department stores nationwide, with a purchase of any Jimmy Choo 60ml fragrance, while stocks last.

If you want a hot tip on which fragrance to pick, check out my review of the Jimmy Choo Flash EdP

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When good hormones go bad. My quest to smell like a man!

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 18 - 2013

As you may have guessed from the title, I’m totally blaming the pregnancy hormones for this one.  Whether or not they are actually culpable remains to be seen but it feels slightly less shameful to rest the responsibility upon my ever-increasing levels of hormonal angst.

Some women eat coal, crave the taste of rubber and leather… me?  Well, I just want to smell like all of those things instead.  You can keep your girly florals, sweet fruits, and vomit-worthy vanillas… give me all of the MAN SCENTS.

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Were my pockets big enough, I’d carry the above candles around with me 24/7, pausing regularly for a sniff before continuing on my way.  My Jonathan Ward Woodstock candle, which I picked up whilst scouring the shelves at T.K. Maxx is the least masculine of the trio and perfect for the season, reminding me of a dampened but very-much-alive forest floor… woody and aromatic.

My Mum picked up the Rigaud Cuir de Kyara candle for me after spotting it nestled on a tabletop at her local Emmaus in France.  She said that the smell of pure, unadulterated leather “nearly knocked her head off” and thus, knew instantly that I would fall in love with it.  She was right.  It’s a blinder and I’m now obsessed with finding other candles from this Parisian brand.

Finally, and thanks to a Zuneta/Amazon bargain, I’m pleased to finally be able to add this Malin + Goetz Vetiver candle to my collection!  I haven’t been able to walk past the display of M+G candles in Liberty for ages without stopping to sniff this one in all its earthy, woody and downright sexy glory.

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But my obsession with man-scent doesn’t just stop at candles.  Oh no!  It gets far more serious…

I bought L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Tea for Two during their Summer sale a couple of years ago and it was love at first sniff but recently, I just can’t get enough of it and have upgraded to a massive 100ml bottle in order to get my fix.  The perfect blend of smoky embers, honeyed tobacco and warming ginger to keep all thoughts of frostiness at bay this Winter.

Ahhh, Molton Brown… I remember when I first came across your distinctively delicious Re-Charge Black Pepper scent (now called black peppercorn) a few years ago whilst staying at a hotel in Basel.  To this day, I kick myself for being good and not stealing all the hotel toiletries, it just felt too naughty to take the ones that I hadn’t actually opened to use during my stay!  Instead, I scoop up other people’s spoils on eBay and long for the candle version!

My final fragrant craving is one that Mr. L is less than impressed with.  He can cope with sharing most of his scents with me, infact… many times, we purchase a fragrance under the certain knowledge that we’re doing so in order to share the bottle (it makes a £70 splurge so much more palatable split two ways).  My desires to wear his smells-just-like-a-freshly-wet-shaved-man Floris Santal*, however, are falling on deaf ears.  I’ve been allowed a quick spritz, twice.  Only twice.  I actually think that might constitute domestic abuse.

Are there any “boy” scents that drive you wild?  And, question is… are you wild enough to wear them?

* press sample

Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 16 - 2013

Jo Malone’s Peony and Blush Suede is the latest release from the British fragrance house, created by expert nose, master perfumer Christine Nagel. Described by the brand as “the essence of charm”, the fragrance is available in 30ml and 100ml varieties, priced at £39 and £78 respectively.

With notes of peony, red apple, jasmine and “blush” suede… the scent reminds me of a classic girly scent. One that has been crafted to appeal to a younger audience with a bright, uplifting floral bouquet made up of creamy roses and pinker-than-pink peonies.

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It’s another very British-feeling scent, the kind that the Jo Malone brand do so well, invoking the feel of strolling through a country garden in full bloom.  To further appeal to the sensibilities of a more delicate nose, the strong (and it is powerful) floral bouquet is set against an undercurrent of red apple, nothing as obnoxiously juicy as wild berries but fruity enough to give it some sweetness and… a little bite.

Beyond this, my nose doesn’t detect a huge amount more.  I long for the promised suede but only get the tiniest of hints at a very clean interpretation that smells somewhat powdery and reminds me more of a white musk than a leather.

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I imagine this is why Christine has described this note as a “blush” suede… adding just the lightest of touches to remove the freshness from the florals, amping up the creaminess and giving it a long-lasting “warm skin” type feeling.

Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede will undoubtedly appeal to a huge fan base, particularly with the added benefit of the kind of longevity and sillage that I could only have dreamed of from some of the brand’s previous releases.  It’s not quite my cup of tea in the scent department, I generally favour something a little broodier, but it’s a beautifully wearable scent that brightens the mood and will be top of many, many Christmas wish-lists this year.

Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede is priced from £39 and available to buy online at jomalone.co.uk and instore now.

* press sample

Are you still not curling your lashes?

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 19 - 2013

Lash curling. I think it’s probably one of the most under-talked about subjects in the blog world. And you know why? Because it’s a hugely neglected step in the quest for makeup perfection.

Before you think I’m preaching, I’m guilty of this too. The number of times that I pass over my eyelash curlers and reach straight for the mascara is pretty shameful for someone blogging about the virtues of this crucial step in the process!

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First things first, many women give up on the idea of lash-curling simply because they haven’t found a pair of curlers to suit their eye shape.  Some pinch, some force you to contort your wrist awkwardly, and some… well, some just don’t give any kind of curl at all.  If your lashes are stubbornly straight, you may be better off investing in a pair of heated lash curlers which promise to give super-strength and hold to your curl.

My lashes are fairly average, they curl nicely at the end but benefit from a bit of lift at the roots for a more wide-eyed look.  I’ve tried a few lash curlers in the past and my needs aren’t so demanding that I’ve struggled to find a tool that works (although I find the Shu Uemura ones a little too flat for me).  Having said that, I’m enjoying the effortless results that I’m getting from these Japonesque Power Curl Eyelash Curlers* (£20) from Cult Beauty.

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I say “effortless” because these ones seem to catch each lash in one attempt.  I don’t have to faff around with placement and even though I’m using them extremely close to the root, I can squeeze them together safe in the knowledge that I’m not going to feel a pinch at the outer corners.  Something that I have experienced in the past when I curl close to the root.  I suppose you just know when you find a pair that suits your eye-shape and curling requirements, and these are pretty much spot-on for me.  There’s also the added bonus of the brand offering free replacement curler pads throughout the lifetime of the product!

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So… lash-curling… for the uninitiated, let me give you a few quick tips that work for me:

1. Rest the curlers against your cheek, they should feel comfortable to work with

2. Look down as you get the curlers in position, this will help trap as many lashes as possible.

3. Hold still whilst curling and count to ten before releasing your grip, you don’t want to pull out any lashes!

4. If your lashes are super-straight, don’t be afraid to create another curl halfway along the lash… and even another at the very tip if needed!

5. Set your curl with mascara.  If your lashes are very curl-resistant, you may fare better with a waterproof mascara for extra-strength hold.

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place and…

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…squeeze!

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worth the effort?

I did the above demonstration without a mirror (I was holding my camera!) and you can see that I had the curler a little too close to my nose, missing a couple of lashes at the outer corner.  This is actually quite useful because it means that you can see the “droop” my lashes would have had minus the curling step.

Do you curl your lashes every day?  Think it makes enough of a difference to warrant the additional step in your routine?

* press sample

Charlotte’s Corner for Jo Malone at Selfridges.

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 16 - 2013

It’s arguably every girl’s dream to create their own space.  From the day your parents let you pick the paint that will adorn your bedroom walls until the moment you sign the lease on your first flat, there’s something so utterly empowering about unleashing your personal style upon a visible arena.

Well, Jo Malone London’s Style Editor Charlotte Stockdale must be doing cartwheels, because you can’t get much more visible than the beauty hall at Selfridges.

In celebration of one of Jo Malone London’s most traditional scents, the brand are continuing to place their trust in super-stylist Charlotte, who has been revamping the brand’s classic image since her appointment as Style Editor last year.

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The star of the show and Charlotte’s favourite Jo Malone fragrance, Red Roses, has been transformed from mere perfume into a collectable objet d’art – three hundred limited edition cologne bottles have been hand-dipped in neon paint and individually numbered.

Priced at £120-a-piece, demand has been high but perhaps a little more attainable for us mere mortals are the pretty textiles that have been created in collaboration with Abigail*ryan, the Belfast-based homeware company.

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Of the designs, Charlotte Stockdale said:

“I wanted to add a modern twist to the iconic packaging of Jo Malone London.  I love neon, especially on a neutral background, so the classic cream and black set against shocking pink is a brilliant combination.  It’s fashion graffiti.  Playful, cool and alive,”

There’s a great post on Abigail*Ryan’s blog detailing the manufacturing process of these very pretty pieces, the little scent sachets – all stacked up and ready to go look completely darling don’t they?

The Red Roses Scented Sachets are priced at £22, the Cologne Pouches are £20, and the Scatter Cushions are £90.  Available to buy online from selfridges.com or on counter at Selfridges London and Manchester Exchange.

Limited Edition Jo Malone Sugar & Spice Collection launches

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 13 - 2013

Back in January, I gave some initial thoughts on the new limited edition Jo Malone Sugar & Spice Collection and I apologised for any incoherence arising from my hastily scribbled notes and fragmented memories of the scents!  Today, I’m hoping to offer a little more clarification and depth on three of the five new fragrances available.

Jo Malone Sugar & Spice Collection

Let’s just dispense with half of you straight away shall we?  If you’re not a gourmand fragrance lover, give this collection as wide-a-berth as possible.  There’s nothing here for you, not even in the slightly-less-foodie Elderflower & Gooseberry scent which valiantly skirts the sweetness with a lighter touch than the others in the collection.  You will look upon this collection and wonder how such a distinguished brand have managed to create such a food-flavouring abomination of colognes.

Harsh words perhaps, but I can see how they can be applied depending on your personal fragrance tastes.  The Jo Malone Sugar & Spice Collection is unapologetically saccharine.  It is as much brave as it is predictable, setting itself up for a battering from many faithful fans who consider it the absolute height of dumbing down for an unwelcome audience.

I’m on the fence.

When I first started to wear and enjoy fragrance, I was utterly drawn to the gourmand side of things.  Those were the smells that were most relatable to my tender palate and nose.  Ginger biscuits, chocolate oranges, and lemon tarts?  Stuff of dreams.  And Jo Malone have captured these dreams in the most delicious of ways, that is surely impossible to deny.  From the campaign imagery of delectable treats to their beautiful muse who looks more like a macaron than a model sets the scene.  This collection is here to whet your appetite, and if your appetite lies not with the sweet stuff, it’s time to move along.

Jo Malone Sugar & Spice Collection

Elderflower & Gooseberry Cologne*

Surprsingly, it’s not the juiciness from the gooseberries that first makes contact with my skin but a creaminess that’s been tempered with a touch of fizz.  It strikes a nice balance that develops into a full-bodied, soft-fleshed juiciness, from which I detect mostly gooseberry and lychee.  It’s light but warming, fresh but not particularly zingy, like a hug from an older sister rather than a mother.

The elderflower sits in the background, carefully orchestrating the proceedings and provides a tenderness that matures the juicy playfulness of the other notes.  There’s also a powdery note that feels particularly hand-on-shoulder calming.  Out of all the fragrances in the collection, this one is still my favourite.  Surprisingly long-lasting too.

Bitter Orange & Chocolate Cologne*

When I first had the opportunity to smell this at the launch event last year, I was suitable impressed by its foodie rendition.  If I’ve read it once, I’ve read it a hundred times: there is indeed something very true to the Terry’s Chocolate Orange about this scent.  But then it gets kinda bitey.  The chocolate is dark and lacking in softness, this combined with the bitter orange makes me feel uncomfortable after a short while.

I feel like I’ve been lured in under the promise of velvet, only to be whipped with sandpaper.  It’s not that the notes jar or are remotely ill-combined, the chocolate orange is a fantastic rendition, but it’s not for me and not for my skin chemistry.  It feels a little too raw and uncooked, sitting on my skin with far too much front.  Interestingly, I actually quite enjoy it once I’ve washed it off, the main facets of the scent are still completely detectable without screaming for my attention.

Ginger Biscuit Cologne*

Before the ginger has a chance to throw itself into the (cookie) mix, the other spices tickle my nose in the most pleasant of ways.  There is nothing piquant about this scent, just the wonderful richness and true aromatic qualities you’d expect from something that lists nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger as the main party players.  You can feel the warmth of the kitchen, the scents that lift from the red-hot baking tray.  The almost-magical buttery notes create the impression of tummy rumbles that make it so darn impossible to wait for the freshly-baked goodies to firm up before diving in.

The only problem I have with Ginger Biscuit Cologne is that it has been crafted so wonderfully true to its inspiration that I can’t imagine wearing this at any other time than Christmas.  I would happily drown myself in it throughout the month of December, but not now.  Instead, I enjoy illicit sniffs at the nozzle and bide my time patiently.

Jo Malone Sugar & Spice Collection

Do any of the colognes appeal to your sweet tooth?

 The Limited Edition Jo Malone Sugar & Spice Collection is available to buy now on counter and online at www.jomalone.co.uk priced at £38 for 30ml.

* press sample

Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber Cologne

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 23 - 2013

I’ve been enjoying Jo Malone’s recent releases, I haven’t fallen head over heels in love with all of them… but unlike many mainstream fragrances, they’ve elicited an almost guttural response from my emotions at first sniff.  And if a fragrance does that, then I’m enjoying it regardless of whether or not I’m actually enjoying it.  Jo Malone’s latest release, Earl Grey & Cucumber got me hugely excited on paper.  I’m a tea fiend, in all senses… and one of my favourite scents is L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Tea for Two which features a blacker-than-black tea note, rich and smoky, steeped until the teaspoon stands to attention.

I was excited to contemplate upon a fresher tea incarnation, a more spring-like scent that marries one of my favourite notes with another… and one that my brain didn’t quite know how to process.  Cucumber?  Cucumber?!

Honestly, it made me think back to memories of Saturday shopping in The Body Shop.  I tried to think past this, rendering instead my thoughts on the lovely juxtaposition of Jasmine and Mint used in one of Jo Malone’s most iconic fragrances, and wondering if this one might evoke a similar synergy.  To say that my nose was twitching with anticipation as I spritzed Earl Grey & Cucumber for the first time, would be an understatement.

Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber Cologne

It’s absolutely there but is so completely different to anything I’ve smelled before.  If my other experiences with tea in fragrance have been in all their full-bodied, ornery glory – Earl Grey & Cucumber is the antithesis to this.  Its tea note is genteel, so very polite and more civilised than silver service on a Sunday afternoon.  That’s not to say that it’s a particularly quiet fragrance, for it has plenty to say, it just knows how to express itself with all the dignity of a fine afternoon ritual.

Jo Malone’s Earl Grey & Cucumber feels like an extremely unisex scent to me, as if it daren’t cause offence by leaning too far in one direction.  The balance of bitter bergamot and sweet musk almost cancel one another out, leaving behind little more than a well-placed whisper that sits lovingly behind the ear.  The cucumber doesn’t really smell of “cucumber”, at least, not in the way I imagined it might (thankfully).  Instead, it delivers an echo of something that’s been freshly cut, delivering a playful bite and a cooling impression without any of the watery flavour.

Evocation is where it’s at with Jo Malone’s Earl Grey & Cucumber, from the beginning, through the middle, until the last drop is poured from the teapot.  Afternoon tea done the British way.

Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber Cologne, available to buy online from jomalone.co.uk, priced from £38.00 for 30ml.

* press sample

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