Cartier La Panthere Perfume Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 13 - 2014

Whilst I try not to get too hung up on product packaging, I do feel that it’s only fair to point out that the bottle for the new Cartier La Panthere fragrance is way, way, too cool for school.  Seriously, it builds the kind of bottle-lust in me that I didn’t even know existed until now.  Solid and strong… it’s a beautifully angular monument to the luxury brand with the iconic Cartier panther peering out from within.

I think my favourite part about it is the top… the err, spritzer… and the golden, almost neo-classical design of those geometric lines under the cap.  Despite it’s obvious *cough* panther *cough* extravagance, there remains a certain understated quality… it just screams glamour, expensiveness, and good taste.

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The press release describes Cartier La Panthere as a “feral floral”, flowers gone wild… animalistic, even.  Indeed the gardenia within has been let loose with abandon, allowed to bloom until the milky white petals exude their earthy qualities to the max.  It’s a kind of dirty glory that you might not have imagined a floral could possess, don’t fight it… just enjoy its pungent qualities and subtle sweetness.

Some have described La Panthere as unwashed, and a little skanky (which in my opinion could only be a fragrant compliment when it comes to perfume!) but to my nose, it’s not a true skank-fest in this way.  Perhaps, as a lover of “dirty” fragrances, my skank benchmark is placed a little higher than most!  Sure, it’s musky and a little sour in places but there’s just too much refinement going on, too much floral elegance for it to ever be anything other than fairly well-tamed at all times.

The sillage and longevity of La Panthere is testament to the quality of the work behind it.  On my skin, I get at least 6 hours of wear that floats across the ether, casting its warm drydown out like a (oak)mossy net among the crowd.  I feel classy with this fragrance against my skin, nay womanly… without a hint of girlish mischief, I’m all about the serious business.

Cartier La Panthere is available exclusively on counter and online at Harrods, priced from £49 for 30ml

* press sample

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Daisy Eau So Fresh Marc Jacobs Delight Edition Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 7 - 2014

The daffs are out, the rain is a little less persistent and I’ve even turned my heating off (for now).  Could it be that Spring is upon us?  Now, as a blogger, I take comfort from the fact that I can resolutely lay claim to no “proper” writing abilities, and so to start this evening’s post, I’d like to – if I may – completely butcher the following light verse from Ogden Nash…

Spring is sprung the grass is riz, I wonder where the perfume is?

Well, here it be… in the form of the limited edition Daisy Eau So Fresh Marc Jacobs Delight Edition.  The juicier, fruitier, and altogether sweeter incarnation of the original Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh which was released back in 2011.

Daisy Eau So Fresh

Daisy Eau So Fresh Review

Daisy Marc Jacobs Eau So Fresh

And what a pretty perfume she is, resplendent in pink, gold, and green.  Scent-wise, she’s not my cup of tea… by now, you’ll possibly know that I like my fragrances to be a little broodier, a little more… pissed off.  Daisy Eau So Fresh Delight Edition is about as un-pissed off as a perfume can get.  She’s up with the lark, singing “Good Morning” like Judy Garland on acid before you’ve even had time to press the snooze button.

With top notes that include: blood orange, pink pepper, and white tea; you know that you’ll receive a full-force, pink-pepper fruit bowl in your face from the off.  It’s also lacking the resolute bunch of green notes that refused to lay down and die in the original version, giving the fruitiness an added extra.  One that will be either welcomed, or shooed away depending on your tastes.

From here on in, the fruitiness – though never completely subsiding – steps back a little to make way for a floral heart of tiare tahiti, violet, and… err, oh, more fruit in the form of raspberry.  It’s a pleasant scent that evokes feelings of an eternally hopeful, warm Spring day spent enjoying the sunshine.  Heck, the pesky fruit even manages to sneak into the muskier base notes, as apricot skin puts in an appearance… prolonging the good-natured agony.

As a whole, Daisy Eau So Fresh Delight Edition is clean and a little powdery, tender and flirty in a youthful, innocent way.  You’ll probably either fall in love with her, or want to club her with a grumpy stick, this may depend on your age and the current state of your love-life.  Go sniff her out and decide for yourselves!

If you’re a fan of the Marc Jacobs Daisy franchise, you’ll be interested to hear that there is also a while-stocks-last Delight Edition of the original Marc Jacobs Daisy which promises a more vibrant expression of the iconic Daisy signature.  I actually prefer it!

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh Delight Edition is available on counter and online, while stocks last, priced from £52.00 for 75ml

* press sample

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Clinique relaunch the iconic 80s fragrance: Calyx

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 5 - 2014

Despite having lived through all but the first year of the 1980s, I struggle to think of myself as a child of those iconic years.  Perhaps we don’t become acutely aware of our surrounding popular culture until we hit our double-figures or start secondary-school, either way… I definitely relate more as a product of the 90s than the decade of power-dressing, boom-boxes, and very, very large shoulder pads.

However, were I to need any kind of instant appreciation for those 10-years preceding my cultural awakening, Clinique have provided this in the form of Calyx*, their new fragrance that hit counters last month.

I say “new”, but there’s an interesting story behind Calyx, originally an old Prescriptives scent.  Now, my memories of the brand Prescriptives are fairly limited, they were a company already on their way out as I was only just beginning to get serious about the cosmetics that lay beyond my local Boots and Superdrug.  Anyway, to all intents and purposes, Prescriptive’s Calyx was a hugely popular fragrance which achieved cult-status, nay, notoriety… particularly – of course – once it had been pulled from the counters.

Clinique Calyx Review

When it was originally launched, Calyx stood out like a beacon of light, a fruity-floral among an army of heady and downright brazen scents including the likes of: Poison, Opium, and Obsession that the 1980s were famous for,  Calyx was the fragrance that offered something for those who were craving a different olfactory experience.

Operating under the same Estee Lauder Companies umbrella, Clinique have now relaunched the iconic fragrance with a much wider distribution, remaining faithful to the original’s notes and exhilarating freshness.  Calyx is a mood-setter; An uplifting, ignore-me-if-you-dare type of fragrance that throws a tart fruit-bowl in your face, mouth-wateringly juicy and gourmand but not in the recognizable (read: overdone) berries and vanilla kinda-way.

There’s no creaminess here, instead it’s all about revitalisation with a citrus kick up the arse, you know… that one you were crying out for when you dragged your weary bones up for work this morning.

Clinique Calyx Review2

As you first spritz Calyx onto your skin, you might worry that it will never settle down.  That instant gratification of grapefruit, and all those other slightly-sour fruits are great for breakfast, but you don’t want them for lunch, dinner, and supper too right?  Well, worry not because Calyx isn’t a one-trick-pony after all.  It takes about twenty-minutes for the florals to come to the fore on my skin, and when they do… I get mostly Lily of the Valley and a bright sense of cut grass on a sunny day.

The verdant qualities of this perfume leave me feeling clean and well-groomed… dispensing an impressive but not too overwhelming sillage with a long-lasting hold on my skin’s chemistry. Calyx will be too crisp for some, simply too sharp and fresh… but if you’re looking for a truly “happy” scent, something that will carry you along with its composition, do take a sniff the next time you’re passing by a Clinique counter.

Clinique Calyx is available on counter and online now, priced from £46 for 50ml.  Also available in 100ml.

* press sample

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Diptyque Tam Dao Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 22 - 2014

I umm’ed and ahh’ed a little over this purchase… despite being a huge fan of masculine scents, I couldn’t help but wonder if I were taking things (too much) to the next level by indulging in a fragrance that was so steeped in the masculine staples of sandalwood, cedar, and cypress.  Eventually, I came to a “to hell with it!” conclusion and decided that if those notes were good enough for my candles, they were good enough for my skin.  And I’m so glad I did…

Diptyque Tam Dao Review

Diptyque Tam Dao Review

Diptyque’s Tam Dao is about as masculine as a “unisex” perfume can get, let’s make no bones about this… it practically scratches its balls and holds your head under the covers before letting rip.  However, unlike the olfactory experience that scenario describes, this one is quite delicious.  Its initial presence is incredibly strong… the woody notes flow through the air and make me worry that someone will come along and Mr. Sheen me before they (rather quickly) dry-down to a creamier and more musky affair.

To my nose, the cedar is most prominent… followed closely by the sandalwood, which lends a clean sharpness that I keep mistaking for spice.  Supposedly, there’s some rose in there, but my nose just isn’t picking that up which is a bit of a shame.  Longevity isn’t brilliant against my skin chemistry, I get around 4-hours at most, but its presence is strong and I’ve had a couple of few compliments from unlikely sources since adding it to my collection.

I’d describe this as quite a raw concoction, it’s bold and unapologetic in its lack of restraint but if you desire a natural-feeling, deeply woodsy scent, this one could well be for you.

Diptyque Tam Dao is currently priced at a ridiculously good £19 for 50ml from the SpaceNK sale, alternatively you can pick this up for £55 from diptyqueparis.co.uk

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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.

Jo-Malon-Peony-and-Blush-Suede

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

Hermes Eau des Merveilles Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 6 - 2013

Hermes Eau de Merveilles is a bottle filled with sunshine.  Not the kind of sunshine that you’d need a bikini, the latest Lindsey Kelk book, and a Flake 99 to make the most of but the kind of sunshine that comes out after the rain, refreshing your senses and reminding you that there’s more to life than drizzle.  It won’t warm you, stifle you, or make you feel inappropriately dressed in your new Autumnal knits because there’s a briskness to it that fits perfectly with the falling of the leaves.

Although the fragrance has been around a number of years now, the luxury brand have – just a couple of days ago – released this limited-edition bottle version…

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Water of Wonders as it translates into English, is marketed as a feminine fragrance but to my nose, it’s perfectly unisex.  Infact, I think it would take a woman who really appreciates a masculine scent to fall in love with this one.  Beginning with a blast of orange zest (no juice in sight), it’s invigorating and fresh… oceanic even.

Picture yourself stood in a Mediterranean orange grove, a couple of miles inland from the sea with the wind whipping around you, carrying the kind of saltiness that catches you by surprise each time you absent-mindedly lick your lips.  You can smell, taste, and hear the ocean… but you can’t see it.

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An off-centre bottle for an off-centre perfume, this is probably one of the most skin-loving scents I’ve ever worn.  It’s sheer but resolutely there and rather than blend in with your own chemistry, it takes charge… mutating your own “smell” to suit its subtle agenda.  Once it feels it’s achieved this pitch-perfect takeover… it clings.  And then it clings some more, wearing close to the skin and giving gentle but reassuring hints as to its presence.  Beautifully dry, a wee bit mossy, it feels like an uncomplicated absolute.  It just is, it just exists…

Perhaps you don’t want to smell floral, perhaps you don’t want to smell juicy… instead, you want to smell lightly spiced…. a little outdoorsy without the heaviness of a typical woody fragrance.  Salty and fresh, clean and unsullied.  In that case, Hermes Eau des Merveilles has you covered.

The Limited Edition Eau des Merveilles is now available at selected department stores Nationwide, priced from £65.50 for 50ml.

* press sample

Balmain Ambre Gris EdP review

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 28 - 2013

Ambre Gris is the latest addition to my fragrance wardrobe, which by the way, is steadily growing larger than my actual wardrobe. Exposing my horribly shallow heart to you, I will readily admit that I was first enticed to this fragrance because of the bottle.

It’s a thing of beautiful contrasts with its smoky-grey, monolithic-looking flacon, simply labelled yet topped off with an outrageously camp discoball-esque cap. It’s lovely. It feels heavy, like you could bludgeon someone with it should that urge take you. It’s impressive, it makes a statement… and that’s just how I like my perfumes.

Pierre-Balmain-Ambre-Gris

Launched in 2008, the notes include: pink pepper, cinnamon, tuberose, immortelle, myrrh, gaïac wood, benzoin, white musks, and ambergris.  On paper it looks like a spicy oriental with a heavy helping of wood and a dusting of sweetness.  In reality… well, that’s mostly accurate.

Opening with a sharp exhalation of pepper, the fragrance delivers a punch of spice with the kind of brusqueness you’d expect from a mean, elderly Aunt.  This isn’t your usual youthful pink pepper, fruity concoction but something with a little more heritage to accentuate its spiky manner.

Before long, the fragrance warms up on the skin and the cinnamon turns sweeter while the tuberose gets down to business knocking away the sharp edges left, right, and centre.  I’m not the world’s biggest fan of tuberose, it’s a note that often leaves me feeling as though I need to come up for air and there is a certain synthetic sickliness to this fragrance that I’m blaming on the tuberose, but thankfully… not enough to require a snorkel.

Up until this point, I like Balmain’s Ambre Gris… but I can’t say that I love it.

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All this begins to change roughly twenty minutes after application.  The smoother tones ushered in by the tuberose make way for something warmer and more comforting still.  The scent wears ever more closely to the skin as the vanillic benzoin curls around my wrist and the ambergris imparts a soft, animalic property that tempts me back to my pulse points over and over.  At this point, it feels more like a unisex fragrance but with an inherent sweetness that glazes over the woody notes and gives the scent a gourmand grounding.

It’s less smoky than I’d like, cleaner than I’d want, and sweeter than I’d usually crave but it feels like a bridge between my old perfume-loving tastes and the new.  In that respect, it really does feel like a comfort.  Take Dior’s Hypnotic Poison (my old uber-fav) and throw some curveballs at it.  It’s not as sexy as Hypnotic Poison, nor is it as overachieving… but it is a nice interpretation of a classier, more grown up woody-oriental that keeps its edge and lasts long, long into the night.

Balmain Ambre Gris is priced from £42 for 40ml and is available to buy in-store at John Lewis and online at Escentual.com

Rooney Mara for Calvin Klein, you gorgeous, GORGEOUS woman!

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 22 - 2013

Rooney Mara is the face of Calvin Klein’s latest fragrance release: Downtown.  I’ve just spotted the ad for it on You Tube and it’s so brilliant, I wanted to see what you guys thought of it too.

I think it does the whole “aspirational” perfume ad thing really well but keeps it a bit more real than most, along with being impossibly glamourous, the ad also shows Rooney swooning over a puppy and playing with a bunch of kids on the set.  She’s got that 21st century Audrey Hepburn vibe down to a fine art and…and…and… why can’t I be her again?

Anyway, tell me what you think…

The fragrance itself sounds interesting, Downtown is described as an everyday scent with notes that include: Tunisian neroli, gardenia petals, and Texan cedarwood.

On paper, I should like it but the few reviews that I’ve read talk about sweetness, pink pepper, and being aimed at the yoof crowd.

Damnit Calvin Klein, she’s wearing a kick-ass leather jacket and embracing the rain… you can’t disappoint me!

What do you think of the ad?  The fragrance went on counter in the UK yesterday and is available online at escentual.com… have you tried it yet?

Issey Miyake Pleats Please Perfume Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 17 - 2013

Well, I should probably start this review by saying that I have never been a big fan of Issey Miyake’s scents. I’d even go so far as to say that I have been completely bewildered over the years by the brand’s following and their flanker after flanker release strategy that would have even the most ardent fan spinning with confusion.

Pleats Please is the designer’s latest fragrance launch that celebrates his iconic 80s fashion line of the same name.  The Japanese designer’s interpretation of East meets West has had many women flailing over his knife-edge pleats, created by specialist pleating techniques (no, really!) that make his designs both ready-to-wear and long-lasting.

Both of those descriptions could equally be applied to the brand’s new scent.

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At first spritz, I felt a huge sense of deja vu.  The initial note of Asian Nashi pear (an apple/pear hybrid) instantly put me in mind of a hugely generic synthetic, clean and fruity opening.  It’s sweet and thoroughly 2D, nothing like the designer’s wonderfully structured catwalk creations.  I was disappointed but not surprised.

And then I went about my day.

It was about 30-minutes later that I found myself tentatively sniffing at my wrist again.  The sweetness was still there but it had blossomed into a big floral.  Big in an unabashed 80s way (can I have some shoulder pads to go with my pleats?).  I’ll admit that I have a soft spot for big florals, giant bouquets that envelop you in their heady bosoms.  The kind that you wouldn’t want to escape from even if you could.  My use of the word “bosom” isn’t accidental… there’s a skin warmth in there among the flowers, unwashed but definitely not unpleasant.  Undoubtedly all this “scent” will prove too much for some but I’m rather taken by the way Pleats Please deceived me.

I hate the bottle, I think it’s a monstrous creation… but I will admit that it feels gorgeous in the hand.  Modelled on Miyake’s famous Bao Bao bag with a “pleated” white plastic top, it reminds me of a feminine Marc Jacobs Bang (without the toppling over issues).  As far as longevity and silage are concerned, providing you’re a fan of how this creation actually smells… you should be pleased with its performance on both counts.  Lingering enough to last the day, excellent for an EdT and conspicuous enough in its presence to elicit an “I can still smell you” from my husband as we lay in bed that night.

Issey, you have won me over.  Well, almost.  I still really dislike the opening… but I will persevere just so that I may appreciate the addictive, powerhouse of a dry-down.

Issey Miyake Pleats Please is priced from £33 for 30ml and available to buy instore or online at Boots, Superdrug, Debenhams, and online (from £28) at escentual.com

* press sample

The historic town of Grasse in the South-Eastern corner of France is widely considered as the world’s capital of perfumery. The area enjoys a climate ripe for growing and harvesting flowers and it’s reported that over twenty-seven tonnes of jasmine alone are harvested in Grasse annually!  The town is also home to many of the world’s oldest perfumeries and most of the industries most famous “noses” have trained there at some point in their career.

L’Occitane have recently released a collection of fragrances that pay tribute to the area’s rich history of “scentsory” creation and the set* that I’m reviewing today offers a generous insight into each of the new offerings in 7.5ml form.  You should note that this addition of miniatures is a limited release and according to the L’Occitane website, there are only a few left available to purchase.

La Collection de Grasse

Each fragrance is contained in individual, fully-resealable bottles.  I mention this because I shall never purchase another L’Artisan Parfumeur set whose miniatures evaporate their ridiculous packaging within weeks.  Take your time enjoying these… at £28 for a total of 30ml, you’re getting good value that will give you plenty of opportunity to discover your favourite(s).

The lady behind the collection, Karine Dubreuil, has created for L’Occitane before and is fully in-tune with the brand’s ethos and love for natural extracts.

I immediately recognised myself in this clear, pure style of authenticity associated with L’OCCITANE.  This vow of sincerity is captured in their fragrances, which expresses the beauty of nature in all its transparency. – Karine Dubreuil

The collection plays around with the idea of capturing a pair of players in the fragrance world and weaving their simplicity into something a little more meaningful.  Whether a chance encounter, or destined to be together… the ingredients are chosen and combined expertly under Karine’s care.

La Collection de Grasse

Jasmine & Bergamote

Bergamot discreetly lights up the scent and continues to retain a lingering presence. Contrasts blend with ambivalence as jasmine reveals all its facets. To convey this ambiguity, at least two types of jasmine would be needed: a jasmine from Grasse and a jasmine from Egypt. The balance fluctuates between petals and leaves, freshness and sensuality, day and night.

Top notes: mandarin orange, BERGAMOT
Heart notes: JASMINE, lemon leaves
Base notes: sandalwood, cedar

Magnolia & Mure

Between flower and fruit, the magnolia essence provides the prelude to wild and slightly musky blackberry notes. Present throughout the fragrance, blackberry gives a tenderness to the woody structure. Its velvety seeds soften the solemnity of patchouli. Over time, the fragrance asserts its chypre character.

Top notes: bergamot, BLACKBERRY
Heart notes: MAGNOLIA, rose
Base notes: patchouli, moss

Vanille & Narcisse

Discreet at first, the scent of narcissus swells to reveal a bouquet of white flowers and spicy heart accords. Finally, rich and radiant vanilla borrows the wilder, untamed notes of narcissus that give it spirit.

Top notes: blackcurrant, bergamot
Heart notes: NARCISSUS, gardenia
Base notes: VANILLA, tonka bean

Thé Vert & Bigarade

This great classic from L’OCCITANE joins La Collection de Grasse. Refreshing, essential and aimed at both men and women, it has a thirst-quenching effect from the very first contact, when sparkling citrus notes burst forth in an accord of sweet and bitter orange. Hints of green tea, yerba mate and hay give a reassuring touch before drying down into an aromatic trail.

Top notes: orange, BITTER ORANGE
Heart notes: GREEN TEA, yerba mate
Base notes: cedar, thyme, musk

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From the collection, Thé Vert & Bigarade is my pick of the bunch.  An uplifting citrus without any of the prickliness that one might usually associate with the genre.  It’s both refreshing and warming with a hint of the oriental that softens the edges of the bitter orange and evokes a feeling of comfort and well-being.  In all honesty, there’s not an awful lot more to it than that… there’s no great complexity or layer upon layer of twists and turns to excite your senses.  Thé Vert & Bigarade simply displays a beautiful pairing of notes that were clearly meant to be together.

There’s a fantastic interview with the perfumer Karine Dubreuil which I’ve embedded below, it explains more about the inspiration behind the collection and gives a little insight into the region and it’s rich wealth of fragrant history.

The Petit Grasse Fragrance Collection is available to buy instore and online at uk.loccitane.com, priced at £28 for the boxed selection (3oml total)

* press sample

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

Neom Luxury Organics Reed Diffuser in Sumptuous

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 16 - 2013

It’s hard to beat a wonderfully-scented candle.  For one thing, there’s something undeniably romantic about how the gentle glow can make even Quasimodo look like Cara Delevigne.  Fire-safety aside, we all know that beauty brands would sell a truckload more product if beauty halls became wick-powered, but as flourescent lighting proves, there are times when candles just aren’t the most convenient option.

Before you reach for the plug-ins, consider another option.  The humble reed diffuser.

Neom Organic Reed Diffuser in Sumptuous_01

Brands do try and make these diffusers look elegant but the reality is that a reed diffuser is basically a pot of scented oil with a bunch of twigs sticking out of it.  Whilst candles can rightfully get all superior about what a great table centrepiece they make, diffusers are better off putting in their hard work from the sidelines.

Thankfully, the continuous and long-lasting scent that this one from NEOM Luxury Organics delivers to the home is nothing short of wondrous.  Sumptuous is a blend of rose and neroli that is both calming and uplifting, albeit in a more tender way than something like their Invigorate fragrance which slaps you about a bit to get the blood flowing.  Sumptuous on the other hand is all about the caresses and telling you that you’re the most beautiful person in the world.  No, really!  Well, sort of…

Neom Organic Reed Diffuser in Sumptuous_02

My reed diffuser has been doing the rounds since I unpackaged it last week.  A couple of days in the bathroom where it’s far too bloody pretentious to actually light a candle, hidden behind my Mother’s chair when she came over for her Mother’s Day dinner last week (“what’s that lovely smell Charlotte?” / “Oh my flat always smells like this!”), and propped up on the windowsill in the kitchen when I burnt some popcorn.  And if you’ve ever burnt popcorn, you know you need a massive scent-intervention.

If you have pets in the house, small children, or clumsy partners… reed diffusers make a great alternative to the mighty candle.

Neom Organic Reed Diffuser in Sumptuous_03

The NEOM Organic Reed Diffuser is discreet too, I’ve seen some that are around 3ft tall and higher… no-one needs that much scented-twig in the house.  Despite its small-size, this one delivers enough fragrance to scent a small room easily.  Bathrooms and hallways are blissfully filled with the perfume and I’d say that it delivers strong fragrance to just over half of my (average-sized) sitting-room.

Remember also, that the scent is continuous, you can control the strength of the scent simply by adding or reducing the amount of reed sticks in the aroma diffuser.  I no longer have to scramble around for a lighter to light a candle after I’ve buzzed a guest in through the intercom!

As for longevity, well NEOM rates their reed diffusers to last for up to 5 weeks, so you’ll be pleased to hear that you can buy fragrance oil refills for £18.00 each, as opposed to forking out the original price tag for the bottle, fragrance and sticks again.

NEOM’s Organic Reed Diffusers are priced at £35.00 each and available in a choice of eleven different fragrances from www.neomorganics.com

* press sample

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