The real steal: Two fragrances that belie their price tags!

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 22 - 2014

If you always struggle to buy the man who has everything, something… then I might be able to help you out.

Whether it’s a partner, a brother, a son, or a father… there’s always one fella in the family who leaves you scratching your head when it comes to accommodating him in your annual Christmas shop.  You may not think that fragrance is the most original gift choice in the world but if you get it right… you’re on to a bonafide winner.

Over the years, I’ve managed to grind down Mr. L’s resolve to the point where he is finally, a fully-fledged fragrance fiend.  His tastes vary but he’s not too particular… if it smells great, offers long-lasting wear and isn’t too extreme, he appreciates a well-crafted scent whatever the notes.

I’ve picked out two from his collection that I think would appeal to most men on your gift lists… and perhaps even more excitingly, you can pick them up for less than £16 each!  Yes, I’m talking about some of my favourite kind of fragrances, those mainstream buys that slip under the radar, punching well above their weight!

budget men's fragrances christmas 2014

The Dad/Husband Choice: Pour Homme – Van Cleef & Arpels (from £12.15 – link)

Of the two fragrances that I’ve selected as “great buys”, this is the one that would be better suited to an older gentleman.  It has a 70s vibe that might not appeal to the younger, Paco Rabanne 1 Million-wearing crowd.  It was revealed by VC&A a couple of years ago, that Pour Homme was one of Serge Gainsbourg’s favourite scents and if you know me, you won’t be surprised that this fact alone made me RUN for the nearest stockist.

Pour Homme opens with a vintage blast of green, a combination of aromatics that include basil, juniper, and bergamot.  It’s a pungent beginning, herbaceous and dated – though depending on your personal tastes, that last adjective is not meant as a criticism – merely a caution.

The heavyweight bottle hints at the darkness of the juice inside, I like to imagine the contents swirling around in there like some kind of twilight-zone vortex because I do believe that the dark arts were afoot during its creation.  I simply cannot envision how it is possible to blend so many different discernible notes without creating a complete hash of a fragrance.  From the freshness to the spiciness, the leather to the wood, the soapiness to the magnificent rose – it’s all in there, managed like a military operation.

Though I have mentioned the Serge Gainsbourg connection, I find it quite hard to associate the two personalities, myself.  Pour Homme is the epitome of a formal fragrance, it’s perfectly styled to sit beautifully against the backdrop of a dark suit, buttoned up to the hilt.  I can only amalgamate the personalities by unbuttoning that collar a few inches and adding 20 Gitanes into the mix.  Ahh yes, there you go.

As the fragrance dries down on my skin, the soft rose notes blossom into a bouquet against a somewhat-soapy backdrop… on my husband’s skin the rose whips against leather and patchouli, darkening the shadows further and stretching them into a bygone age.  The projection and longevity is equal to nothing else in his collection of fragrance, it can only be described in a cliche, as a powerhouse.  I can still smell this on my husband’s collar when doing the laundry, days later.

Talk about getting some serious bang for your buck.  Oui, Je T’aime.

van cleef pour homme 24 gold

The Son/Boyfriend Choice: 24 Gold Eau de Toilette (from £15.00 – link)

If you can get past having Twentieth Century Fox logos emblazoned across the outer packaging, you’d be extremely wise to give this one a chance.  24 Gold is indeed a spin-off fragrance, paying homage to TV’s Jack Bauer.  On paper… it’s about as gimmicky as they come, Mr L’s bottle even arrived with a 24-emblazoned ipod armband… presumably so he can listen to his favourite tunes while taking down the world’s baddest baddies.  Frankly, it should be shit.  But it isn’t, it’s about as far away from shit as you can get, it’s amazing.

24 Gold has an alltogether younger feel than Pour Homme, with gourmand chocolate box qualities and a boozy heart of amber.  From the off, it delivers up a beautiful and striking blend of powerful oud and vanilla – remaining forever sweet and better suited to the cooler weather.  It’s an atomic blast of a fragrance, lasting for hours and hours on both mine and Mr. L’s skin, projecting itself into a room long after we’ve left its walled confines.

24 Gold describes itself as a unisex fragrance, and I agree… it has some feminine qualities and a sweet oriental heaviness that would undoubtedly frighten off most Davidoff Cool Water-loving men, so do have a precursory sniff at some of the other scents in your intended target’s collection before jumping in with a blind buy.  Certainly, if most of his collection is light and airy… steer well clear, 24 Gold is decadent, rich, and very, very dense.

If you think you might have the green light on a bolder choice of fragrance, 24 Gold genuinely wouldn’t be wildly out of place in a designer’s private blends collection – exclusively available to only the world’s most revered department stores.  In conclusion, it belies its frankly ridiculous price tag.

Taken at face value, it would be easily forgivable to overlook this one in your local perfume store’s bargain bin.  But do so at your peril!

 

These two fragrances prove that it’s simply not necessary to drop £££ to find an incredible fragrance and although fragrance buying is a very personal experience, I believe you’ll be hard-pushed to find better quality for the money this Christmas.

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here


Agent Provocateur Fatale EdP Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 23 - 2014

If you haven’t yet found an Agent Provocateur fragrance that you’ve liked, things are (probably) about to change.  The release of Agent Provocateur Fatale heralds a more mainstream approach from the lingerie brand who have thus far been known for their slightly quirkier take on perfumery.

I’ll begin this review by putting my hands up and admitting to being a die-hard fan of the original pink-bottled Agent Provocateur in all it’s rose-tinted skankiness. From the off, Fatale has its work cut out, at least for me, to live up to the original.

Agent Provocateur Fatale (2)

Agent Provocateur Fatale

This sense of departure, of exploring new ground, is immediately apparent in the packaging design.  Gone are the hand-grenade ‘fume bombs of old… goodbye to opaque containers and hello to crystal-cut clarity and what amounts to a showier centrepiece.  It seems a shame to muddy the waters of what is such a striking and instantly recognisable part of the brand’s identity, but hey… what do I know?

As much as Agent Provocateur may want their latest femme to be of the “fatale” variety, my nose finds her a little too playful to live up to Hollywood’s benchmarks of Phyllis Dietrichson and Cora Smith.  It’s true that Fatale is seductive… I mean, if Agent Provocateur know how to do one thing well, it *is* the art of seduction, after all…. but with this latest release, I’m missing the deceptive kickback, the surprise that waits patiently in the wings.

Upon first spray, the powerful blend of blackcurrant and patchouli is brought to the fore – a combination that proves to be a heady, exotic pairing with a juiciness that retains the essence of youth.  A scent best-suited for the cooler weather, its inherent warmth springs forth from the sensual musk that lingers many hours after initial application.  There’s also a slight bitterness omnipresent throughout, gently tempered by the creamy gardenia… it has the same affect on me as how a well-made tiramisu might still appeal to a coffee-hater.

For me, Agent Provocateur Fatale is all about the slow smoulder… its gourmand hints of chocolate are to thank for an endurance that ensures a magnetic personality.  It is… at least, reassuringly addictive.  Though it may not be my favourite AP release to date, I can’t help but return to my wrists for just. one. more. sniff.  What it lacks in old-skool glamour, it makes up for in charm.

Agent Provocateur Fatale is available in 30ml, 50ml, and 100ml – priced from £36.00.  Buy instore or online from Debenhams, John Lewis, and Escentual.com

* press sample

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

A super-cute short to introduce Penhaligon’s new grooming range!

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 30 - 2014

I don’t usually post videos but there was something about this short from Penhaligons to introduce their new gentlemen’s Bayolea grooming range that brought a smile to my lips.  It’s cute and a little bit quirky, not unlike the brand themselves.

To be honest, I have a vested interest in Mr. L’s grooming routine. He’s a man of few products but most of what he does use, he’s been coerced into buying, not because he loves them, but because I do.  Control freak much?

I’m a sucker for “masculine” scents and as a die-hard wet shaver, he wears them so well.  At Christmas, I always buy him a little scented-something as one of his stocking fillers (last year he got Pour un Homme de Caron) and then I’m relentless… nagging him to hurry up and wear it.

I realise that I sound like a terrible bully, I *do* let him choose too… but in honesty, our tastes are so similar that we mostly just share our collection.  Not to mention, it makes those $90 Parfum d’Empire purchases so much more palatable when you’re sharing the cost too!

Do you have any say in your husband’s/partner’s fragrance choices?

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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.

JPG Classique EDP Intense (2)

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

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

Guest Blog: Thierry Mugler Angel Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 23 - 2014

I was pretty darn thrilled when one of my long-time readers offered up her services for a guest post.  You see, Lisa Wordbird has a bit of a way with… um, well… words and I remembering thoroughly enjoying her thoughts on that Brad Pitt/Chanel advert and clever musings on how brands should embrace their more “human” qualities.

Anyway, Lisa offered to team up with her friend Samantha from IScentYouADay.com, and together, they have delivered a brilliant conversational rally (in the wonderful FaceGoop style) on the marmite fragrance that is: Thierry Mugler’s Angel.

Take it away ladies…

thierry-mugler-angel-50ml-edp-w--2250-p

Hello IScentYouADay, it’s Wordbird here.  How nice is it that Lipglossiping is prepared to give us a guest slot on her blog?  I bet she’s busy with that gorgeous baby of hers.  So let’s sneak in quietly so we don’t wake him up.

WB: I have been thinking about perfume and Thierry Mugler.  You know how all his perfumes are MAHOOSIVE?  Do you think that’s anything to do with his bodybuilding?  Do you think that his perfumes are swollen as if they were on steroids?  It might explain a lot.  Especially about Angel.

ISYAD: Angel is not only on steroids but it wears Brut for Men and covers itself in chocolate in the hope of landing a date.  If it was a man it would have a very hairy chest and a medallion.  It even has power over yours truly, because I am strangely fascinated by it.  Can I tell you a secret?  We’re quite safe here on the Internet, right?  Here goes then: sometimes I sit at home in the evening and wear Angel and sniff and sniff and sniff.  It’s like my nemesis but it keeps my attention like that snake off the Jungle Book.

WB: Well that’s quite an admission, but we’re all friends here.  I get absolutely the same thing from Angel: Chocolate Brut.  (Actually, I wonder what the Angel Man perfume A*Men smells like? Double Chocolate Brut?)  It is too scary for me even to approach, so – coward that I am – I spray it on my adorable 9 year old daughter and on her it smells divine.  There are theories about why this happens.  Apparently the moistness of your skin is important.  I’m all dried up and bitter, I mean flaky (actually that’s not much better, is it?) while my darling daughter is practically perfect in every way, so that might explain something.  Since you have a secret Angel habit, try moisturising one arm and see if it makes a difference.

ISYAD: Oh yes I remember how your girl got caught in the crossfire of one of our perfume testathons, not that she minded: having you as a Mum she sees this as normal.  Can I just say that she is the luckiest nine year old I know thanks to her access to the kind of perfume collection that would make a grown woman work out when you are away and break into your bedroom?  Just add your holidays to my Google Calendar and I will um… make sure nobody does that.

Back to Angel – I could try moisturising my skin before wearing scent and in fact I do this on my neck and chest as it gets the biggest blast of scent and sun throughout the year, but my arms?  I usually forget.  Incidentally, my sister in law, who I am always giving samples to, came over the other day smelling lovely. I asked her what it was, not recognising it at all.  It was a warm floral with a hint of the Oriental. I was amazed to hear it was Angel.  She had really taken a shine to it and I didn’t even recognise it on her. Go figure.

 

Thank you so much ladies, I do hope you’ll do some more fragrant musings for us in the future?!  And for the record, I’m also far too parched and barren to have any love for Thierry Mugler Angel.  Indeed, it’s the only fragrance I’ve ever found that has the magical ability to involuntarily turn my lips inside out in an expression of utter distaste.  Shudder.

How about you?  Do you take delight in the marmite love-it-or-hate-it fragrance that is, Angel?

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.

jo-malone-calm-&-collected-collection

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.

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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.

cartier-panthere

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

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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

 if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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

if you liked this post, don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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.

Jo-Malon-Peony-and-Blush-Suede.2jpg

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…

IMG_2520

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.

IMG_2522

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

RANDOM

Swatch Saturday: Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow in Sugar Biscuit

I’m reviving my ever-so-slightly neglected Swatch Saturday posts! These will be filled with images and swatches as opposed to my inane ramblings (woohoo!) and will …

Surya Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer Review

I’m my own worst enemy.. I suffer from dry skin, particularly in the winter and one of the worst places for this are my hands. …

Deal Alert: Beautique choose their winner and a DISCOUNT code!

A BIG thank you to everyone who took the time to enter my recent Beautique/Urban Retreat competition! They were so pleased with the response (and …

Spend or Save? The morning after the night before!

If you’re in the UK, happy Bank Holiday weekend! It’s like, the last one until Christmas, so make the most of it. I thought it …

Red Lip Series: Kevyn Aucoin Blood Roses

I picked up Kevyn Aucoin’s lustful Blood Roses on L’s recommendation early last year, almost a full 12-months ago and I’m ashamed to admit that …

Le Metier de Beaute now available at Selfridges

The one saving grace that enables me to keep my spends in check at the Le Metier counter is the fact that it’s a little …

Orogold 24K Deep Peeling. Cosmetic quackery?

If you’ve been following me for a little while, you may already know my thoughts on the use of gold in skincare.  Ultimately, I believe …

New Limited Edition Eyeko Rain Polish

A new limited edition polish release from Eyeko… Rain Polish is a rather delicate smoky blue/grey amalgamation.  It’s instantly clear that a lot of thought …

Blog Sale Update

Thank you to those who have bought and paid, it’s much appreciated. Incase you didn’t catch my earlier tweet, I wanted to let you know …

POPULAR

CLOSED: Competition Time: Givenchy Very Irresistible L'eau en Rose Perfume!

Want to really spoil Mum this Mother’s Day?  Or perhaps you just want to spoil yourself?  It’s ok… I won’t judge… there are plenty of …

CLOSED - Win it! The Body Shop Expert Brush Collection

I don’t know about you, but I woke up this morning with a distinct “Hello Monday morning, I’ve been expecting you…” kinda feeling.  Maybe it’s …

Win a gorgeous "glow" trio with prizes from Urban Decay, New CID, & Arbonne!

COMPETITION NOW CLOSED! WINNER IS: “IZABELLA” (COMMENT #96045) – WINNER HAS BEEN EMAILED!   It’s still January, the MET office have just issued yet another …

Hello? Is this thing on?

Phew, that was a little unexpected. For those of you who haven’t had the misfortune of reading my hand-wringing tweets and woe-ridden facebook updates, let …

Big savings on French Pharmacy brands, win my Escentual.com top picks!

I’m of the firm opinion that for the money, French pharmacy brands offer some of the best solutions for diffcult skin-types. Escentual.com have long been …

Win it! 3 EcoTools Bamboo Bronzer Brushes to win!

I’ve written about these before, you know I love them, I want you to love them too! So why not have a go at winning …

FOTD Busting out of the comfort zone!

You may recall my bitter moans last week about how when presented with a rare opportunity to spend an indecent amount of time playing with …

Dear Obesity...

We have been together for over 20 years, our lives so entwined that I’ve never been sure how to live without you.  I would like …

Urban Decay The Black Palette - Photos & Swatches

The soon-to-be-released Black Palette from US eyeshadow maestro’s Urban Decay is an altogether darker affair than the recent Naked set… The Black Palette includes 6, …

Avoid the brush off with Oral-B Pro-Expert

There’s a new toothpaste in town. It’s lean, mean and err not very minty as it happens.  Featuring the revolutionary bacteria-busting ingredient Stabilised Stannous Flouride, …

COMMENTS

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Admin

  • Ads