The Body Shop launch new 100% organic scent collection

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 2 - 2012

There was nothing that my teen-self liked better than spending a Saturday afternoon sniffing her way around the carousel of fragrance oils in my local Body Shop.  I used to lose hours in that store, coming away smelling like an odd fuzzy peach/dewberry fruit hybrid.  I can only imagine the Pepé Le Pew-esque trail I must have left in my wake as I wandered up the high street toward Pilot.

This August will see the launch of The Body Shop’s first 100% organic fragrance collection.  The hand-picked, natural extracts have been blended with community fair-trade alcohol under the supervision of fragrance experts and I, for one, am I excited to see if I can relive my youth, turn back the clock, erase some crowsfeet, re-ignite some fond memories when they hit the shelves next month.

The range comprises five new scents, described thus:

Japanese Cherry Blossom: Fruity and floral, with top notes of Fuji apple and Chinese magnolia, alongside real Japanese cherry blossom.

Indian Night Jasmine: Spicy and seductive, notes of sandalwood and violet leaf fuse with orange blossom and jasmine from India.

Atlas Mountain Rose: Amber and musk combine with citrus notes, exotic spices and mountain rose extracts from Morocco.

Madagascan Vanilla Flower: An Oriental gourmand delight with notes of amber, frangipani, and vanilla from Madagascar.

Amazonian Wild Lily: Green and fresh with iris, orchid and papaya alongside white lilies from Brazil.

One of my favourite “lighter” day scents (you know I like the heavy stuff!) is a Body Shop one that was a limited edition release last year, so I’m really hoping that the brand will have conjured up something special with this new range.

The new Scents of the World fragrance collection will be available from August.






Were you a Dewberry, White Musk or Fuzzy Peach kinda girl?

For the man who has everything…

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 19 - 2012

Do you remember the times when men used to stick “go faster” stripes on their cars in an attempt to make them look less like Ford Cortinas and more like racing super-engines?  Those were the (halcyon) days: no seatbelts (more fatalities), no power steering (more achy arms), and no moulded bumpers (remember when the metal ones used to fall off?!)

So, what happened?  Well… technology inevitably improved and manufacturers kept up with the times.  Men, on the other hand?  They still love a Ferrari key fob to complement their Honda Civic, and if you look closely, the stripes have just been replaced by LED running lights, the flashiest of alloys, and a stainless steel gearstick knob.

But what if your fella takes the bus to work on a Monday morning?  What if he can’t just jump in his S-Class (with its top speed of 155mph), cruising down the motorway trying to avoid the lure of Starbucks at each service station he passes.  What about him huh?  Spare a thought.

Or maybe spare a few pennies instead and indulge his taste for all things automotive with the latest fragrance from Mercedes-Benz.

The company’s first foray into the world of fragrance promises a fresh, yet refined olfactory experience combining: bergamot and mandarin with a heart of violet, an aquatic freshness from the cascalone molecule (think GA’s Acqua di Gio) with spices including bourbon pepper, nutmeg and galbanum, before descending into the tried-and-tested woody base note mix.

This isn’t a review, I haven’t sniffed at the bottle…. consider this a friendly heads up.  For the man who has everything.  Except a driving license.

Available exclusively at Harrods, priced from £48 for 75ml

I’ve been a fan of Jo Malone’s Cologne Intense range since it debuted in the Summer of 2010 and although back then, the thought of spending £70+ on a fragrance did little more than bewilder me, you may have noticed that as my interest in fragrance has grown, so my spending budget has significantly increased.  Of the current colognes in the range, it has always been the Oud & Bergamot Cologne Intense that has appealed to my senses more than any other (followed closesly by the Amber & Patchouli – what can I say?  I like the headier stuff!) which is why I was excited to hear about the brand’s latest addition to the line, the Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne Intense*.

Rose & Oud… it’s not the most original pairing in the fragrance world is it?  But there’s good reason for that – the traditional Middle Eastern coupling simply compliments one another beautifully.  If you’re a Rose & Oud aficionado, you may find this version a touch dumbed-down despite the “intense” moniker, in which case, you’ll be pleased to save your pennies.

For everyone else, I have to say that the new Jo Malone version makes for a lovely introduction to the classic duo.  It’s heavy on the rose, as you might expect from the British brand and reminds me somehow of a more velveteen and cleaner Le Labo Rose 31, thanks in no small part to the fact that the Oud in this definitely plays only a bit part on the stage.  It lacks the animalic tang and spice of the Le Labo but the dark, masculine edge is perfectly balanced with a voluptuousness that emerges from the first sniff and stays the course throughout the shorter-than-I’d-like wear time.  So, talking of longevity… this is where I find my disappointment – for such a majestic pairing (and a non-too-shabby price), I’d like more endurance please – on my skin, I achieve around the four hours mark.  Ultimately, this leaves me torn – I adore the composition: the allure of the rose with the darkened petals and its full-bodied, almost torrid sultriness appeals in all the ways I had anticipated.  It’s just aswell it’s only available in a 100ml bottle, because I’ll spraying this liberally and often.

In other news, the brand have recently opened a new London boutique in Covent Garden on King Street.  Most interestingly, this is the first store to employ the brand’s new design in the inimitable Jo Malone style of black and cream, it’s also the largest freestanding boutique in the UK stocking a full range of Jo Malone’s beauty and home fragrance favourites.

Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne Intesnse is a limited edition fragrance available now, priced at £95 for 100ml.

* press sample

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire eau de parfum

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 8 - 2012

Life is full of essentials, and fashion’s most faithful of all ensembles is the inimitable little black dress.  Lauded as the holy grail wardrobe-dweller, the perfect LBD should be à la mode whilst appearing simultaneously timeless – a classic to accompany every occasion.  Ultimately, it should bestow the wearer with the confidence of a thousand catwalk models whilst proffering simplicity – the very essence of elegance.

Guerlain’s newest fragrance creation: La Petite Robe Noire*, is a nod to the ideals behind finding that ultimate pièce de résistance.  The concept of finding the fragrance equivalent of fashion’s most essential item isn’t all that unusual when you consider how fragrance is used to both bolster and uplift the spirit, polish one’s appearance, and suitably reflect our sensibilities.  Just like fashion, it can leave a lasting impression – so how does La Petite Robe Noire leave me feeling?

The bottle is indeed both simultaneously timeless and “of the now”, reminiscent of the Guerlain greats reflected in its silhouette – the bottle is a replica of those that house both Mitsouko and L’Heure Bleue.  The pretty illustration of the artists’ (Kuntzel+Deygas) interpretation of the perfect LBD (and let’s face it, it’s not far off!) grounds the flirtiness and sets the scene for what awaits inside.

A succulent cherry and frangipane tart immediately springs to mind, whetting the taste buds nicely with the almond notes arriving as a little surprise, flanking the reasonably well-anticipated fruitiness.  These give way to a classic heart of florals taking shape in the most feminine of forms, rose.  Bulgarian rose essence and candied Turkish rose absolute to be exact.  These middle notes reject the initial fruitiness, clinging instead to the almond and giving the perfume an edible but-not-quite gourmand appeal.  It feels strangely as though the notes (written down) should be offering something headier than my nose is experiencing and although this is absolutely a scent for evenings, it’s certainly not too boudoir.  The close is a little disappointing to me – touted to deliver shadowy temptations of liquorice and smoky black tea, I sense more of the classic Guerlinade accord of tonka bean and vanilla, and beautiful though it is – I’m longing for more of those promised shadowy temptations!

La Petite Robe Noire displays all the hallmarks of a best-selling fragrance.  It’s beautifully crafted, with a carefully-defined story to be found within.  From the moment you slip playfully into the attire, to the moment that the LBD is slipped from your shoulders and onto the bedroom floor, you are led through an evening of flirtation and romance, culminating in the classic Guerlain finale.

Don’t be fooled by the illustrations, which in my opinion, make this seem like a choice for a younger generation – there’s is plenty in here to appeal to all ages.  I recommend seeking this one out for a sniff when it sees a nationwide release from the 24th July.

La Petite Robe Noire EdP is available now at Selfridges, priced from £42.00

* press sample

This weekend is set to be the hottest of the year and with a bank-holiday rapidly approaching, you may forgive me for living life through a pair of rose-tinted spectacles at the moment. If you’re feeling as much “in the pink” as I am, you might appreciate these two fragrances to indulge your fervor for all things fuchsia.

Salvatore Ferragamo’s Signorina and Jo Malone’s (limited edition) Plum Blossom are lovely choices for Summer, they both wear delicately – employing some seriously fruity notes without ever becoming syrupy or cloying on the skin.

In the case of Signorina*, the Italian label’s latest scent is clearly aimed toward the younger market. The beautifully presented bottle is adorned with blush-coloured ribbons and a rose-gold lid, making it an unapologetically pink offering that should appeal to girly-girls of all ages.

Signorina opens with a juicy blackcurrant, lightly spiced with the standard pink pepper note that appears in many of the current mass-market perfumes. The voluptuousness quickly develops into something more skin-like as the florals come to the fore: jasmine, rose, and peony all combine to create a light, almost-floaty interpretation of what it must feel like to be simultaneously impossibly young and chic. On me, the scent wears close to the skin, as if grounded by the creaminess from the unexpected source of pannacotta. The creamy Italian dessert lends a softness and delivers the gourmand quality that contributes to the addictive characteristic that keeps my nose buried firmly in my wrist.

It reminds me somewhat of Dior’s Miss Cherie but I find this one more compatible with my skin chemistry and less cloying in this warm weather, it doesn’t project as loudly and feels slightly more elegant in it’s youthfulness.

Jo Malone’s latest limited-edition scent is already sold out online but still available in many stores nationwide while stocks last. Plum Blossom* is a greener interpretation of the same qualities found in Signorina. Not quite so playful in composition, it delivers a sweetness that will appeal to those who like their fruity florals to avoid the foodie notes whilst keeping sensuality at the fore. The florals up the ante, as you’d expect from the iconic British brand and with a base of sandalwood and white musk, Plum Blossom remains a clean and delicate fragrance from start to finish.

There’s something eternally romantic about blush hues and both scents make the perfect accompaniment to the wedding season.

* press samples

Fortnum & Mason Summer Scents Event – Tuesday 29th May

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 21 - 2012

Although the store is perhaps more widely known for its delectable hampers and foodie delights, the second floor at Fortnum & Mason is one of my favourite places to shop when I’m in London.  A beauty ‘hall’ with a difference, it has a wonderful, calming atmosphere with staff that have always encouraged me to linger (despite my serf status) and take my time when enjoying the different scents on display.  And on display they are, not hidden behind an army of counter staff that eye you up with suspicion if you step into their radar circle.  And then there’s those chocolates downstairs…

Which is why I’m delighted to tell you about an event that I desperately wish I could attend!

The store is holding a fragrance extravaganza on Tuesday, 29th May from 6.30pm – 8.30pm and they’re inviting us to discover some new fragrances with the help of their in-house experts who will be available to guide us through some of their more niche lines.  Learn about the stories behind some of the most celebrated scents and develop your perfume-sniffing nose in a relaxed atmosphere:

1 – Azagury – Fashion designer Azagury will discuss the history of the fashion house; how he launched the new Romantic movement and the decision to launch the Azagury fragrance range.

2 – Caron and 3 – Creed – For a personalised and informative touch, James Craven from Caron and Creed will offer one-to-one consultations to help you discover the perfect fragrance for you.

4 – Grossmith – Simon Brooke of the Grossmith family will showcase original artefacts that tell the story of how he re-launched the iconic 1800s fragrance.

5 – Clive Christian – invites you to experience its uniquely expensive perfumes, created with no reference to cost and containing the rarest and most precious ingredients.

6 – Xerjoff – will recreate a workshop, allowing you to discover the natural essences produced in Xerjoff’s intoxicating perfumes, each with its own distinctive signature.

7 – House of Guerlain – will discuss the history of the famous European fragrance specialist.

8 – Micallef – will highlight the merits of using natural ingredients in luxury, niche perfumes.

9 – Illuminum – will present Gardenia White Petals, the fragrance worn by the Duchess of Cambridge on her wedding day.

I’d give my right arm (ok, maybe a finger) to have a one-to-one consultation on the Creed line of fragrances, which has always overwhelmed me thanks to the sheer choice available!  And as for Clive Christian… well… if you can attend, be sure to pay particular attention to “C” for women, one of the loveliest, deepest (and biggest) florals I’ve ever smelled.  And then when

Tickets are priced at £15 and are available by calling 0845 602 5694, each ticket purchased for the evening will be entered into a draw to win a hamper filled with perfumes hand-picked by Fortnum’s perfume buyer.

Illuminum Tahitian Yuzu

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 29 - 2012

Has it really been a year since the Royal Wedding?  Amazing.  And to think that before then, no-one gave a shit about Pippa’s bum.  Oh, you you still don’t?  Me either.  As weddings go, it was quite a nice one… there weren’t any post-nuptial punch-ups outside the palace and no-one sicked on the bride’s train.

One of the wedding’s most enduring legacies (other than the arse du jour) is the brand that Kate chose to scent herself with on the big day, Illuminum.  Launched by creator Michael Boadi in March 2011, and elevated to cult status by the Duchess of Cambridge merely a month later, there isn’t a better welcome to the world than receiving an (unofficial) seal of approval by a real-life princess!

The Duchess of Cambridge chose White Gardenia Petals for her grand occasion, I chose Tahitian Yuzu simply because I had money burning a hole in my back pocket and I wanted. one. dammit. – you can see the similarities.

Tahitian Yuzu reminds me a little bit of L’Artisan’s Mûre et Musc, which also kicks off with a forest-fruit vibe.  In the case of Mûre et Musc, it’s blackberries… and in Tahitian Yuzu?  Blackcurrant.  But this is where the comparability ends.  Tahitian Yuzu blasts some major tropical notes with a sparkling cocktail of pineapple which gives real effervescence and youthfulness to the fragrance.  Mûre et Musc has a gentler, more home-grown berry feel.

Like an excitable hula-girl (yeah, they have those in Tahiti), the scent calms down as the night falls and the headier, more sensual notes of jasmine come to the surface.  Here lies the real heart of the perfume… I can still detect some lingering fruitiness but it becomes fully tempered by the softer night flowers which bring warmth and a little bit of sexiness to the fragrance.  The deeper, base notes of musk never fully surface on my skin, which is unusual because my chemistry normally carries them to the fore but I’m assuming that this is what grounds the accord and prevents it from projecting too light-heartedly.

Sillage is fairly weak which suits my interpretation of this as more of a skin-scent.  Step into a cloud of this as you step out of a shower and carry a little bit of the Southern Seas around with you for at least part of the day as alas, with my dry skin, I get low/medium longevity from this one, about 4 hours at the most.  Tahitian Yuzu is going to work beautifully on warm nights (if we get any) and I can’t wait to expose a bit more skin to the sun and see just how capable it is at transporting me to a tropical paradise!

Illuminum Tahitian Yuzu is available to buy instore at the Illuminum’s Perfume Lounge in Mayfair (I recommend a visit!), or directly from their website.  Priced at £70 for 50ml

Deal Alert: Free Versace Tote Bag with fragrance purchase

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 3 - 2012

Everyone loves a good gift with purchase but the problem with them is that once you’ve got the freebie in your hot little hands, the offering can be somewhat… underwhelming.  I should point out that this isn’t the general rule, infact I’d go so far as to say that GWPs are far better nowadays than they were just five years ago.  But, there’s still more than enough disappointing ones out there to go around, which is why I’m pleased to be talking about a particularly well-made and generous GWP that’s available this month from Versace Parfums.

The Versace Tote Bag.

Now we’re not talking fold-up magazine freebie here, this is a serious bag for serious perfumistas!  This Versace gift with purchase* (exclusively at Boots btw) is so well-constructed that I’m properly appreciative of the effort that’s gone into putting out a worthwhile GWP.  As an aside, and because it’s somewhat relevant – Lancome often do great makeup bags for their GWPs, keep an eye out for them.

Anyway, back to the Versace Tote Bag… here’s some detail shots…

It has reinforced corners, a base board, a studded bottom and is fully lined.  It’s also huge.

You can nab one of these limited Versace Tote Bags with the purchase of any Versace pefume over £50.  This includes: Crystal Noir, Yellow Diamond,  Bright Crystal, Vanitas, Pour Femme, and my favourite Versace Versense… a beautifully crisp Spring scent that’s been on my wishlist for over a year.  The GWP is running exclusively instore at Boots, while stocks last.

Do you have a favourite Versace fragrance?  What’s the best GWP you’ve ever received?

* press sample

Deal Alert: Jimmy Choo at Cheap Smells from £19.95

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 17 - 2012

Another weekend, another deal – really, I didn’t wanna blog about CheapSmells again for a bit (I like to spread the love around all my bargain places) but they make it kinda hard when they do shit like offer BOGOF on Orly and the highly coveted Jimmy Choo fragrance for under £20 you know?  It says the RRP is £29 for 40ml… but to be fair, on Debenhams – it’s actually £34 which makes this saving even more impressive.  For those of you concerned about Cheap Smells selling older stock, this one hasn’t been on the market too long either which should alleviate those worries in this instance.

So anyway, if you like your perfume all gourmand and sweet – you’ll probably like this one.  It’s too sweet for me, though I do like the dry-down which is more classically floriental but I just can’t get past the fruity stuff at the beginning – pear… and lots of it.  I think the while stocks last element is key here… £14 off the real RRP of what is frankly, a bit of an “it” frag still enjoying its moment is not be sniffed at, no pun intended.

You can purchase Jimmy Choo 40ml EdT online from CheapSmells at this special price (other sizes available) until 18th March, or while stocks last.

Jo Malone London Blooms and a very special Mother’s Day gift

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 13 - 2012

Jo Malone have released a trio of floral fragrances this month to celebrate the classically British country garden, a much-loved place (which often exists more in our national pride than reality!) awash with well-cultivated flora grown in haphazard and slightly eccentric ways.  The combination of notes within the three fragrances are purposefully juxtaposed, resulting in a playful take on the classic floral fragrance.

The first thing to strike you about the new collection is the departure from the signature Jo Malone look, the beautifully illustrated, botanically-inspired bottles are quite something and tell the story of the scent that awaits you inside.  With the Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee, the idea of “Britishness” is something that will undoubtedly feature heavily as the year progresses and Jo Malone are clearly striking while the iron is hot on this score.

I received a sample of Iris & Lady Moore* which at first sniff, is all about the Iris.  It’s a powdery, traditional floral which initially fails to transcend the expected until just a couple of moments later when the Lady Moore (geranium to you and me) slices through the nobility with a blast of spicy freshness that my nose reads as a tingle with a citrus-kick.  All well and good, but then things get truly delightful on the dry down as the vetiver raises its aromatic head.  It adds pungency, masculinity, and earthiness laced with freshly-cut grass and delivers just what is needed to introduce a modern twist to the conventional genre.

I would class longevity and sillage as average and do wish for a couple more hours wear, particularly as the longer it warms against my skin, the more deliciously earthy it becomes.

As for the other fragrances, I haven’t had the pleasure of sniffing them yet but have been convinced that I sadly won’t be finding the particular brand of rhubarb that I’m looking for in White Lilac & Rubarb (which by all accounts offers the more acerbic, vegetal kind).  I really should stop procrastinating about it and simply purchase Comme des Garcons Rhubarb Sherbert which has been on my wishlist for a very long time.

Peony & Moss promises a beautiful mix of a delicate floral, with a hint of juiciness from the cassis kept well-rounded with an earthy base.  I hope that the moss adds something a little dirty and damp to counteract the lightness in the floral, that’s a contrast I’d love to smell.

All three of the London Blooms fragrances are limited edition and stock is already selling fast.  They’re priced at £72 for each 100ml cologne.

Before I close this review, I’d like to draw your attention to easily the most breathtaking Mother’s Day gift to grace my inbox this year.  Jo Malone have created a beautifully-presented gift in partnership with Wild at Heart, one of the country’s most inventive florists.  Costing more than just a pretty penny (but worth almost every one of them), you can choose to have your chosen scent (any of the Jo Malone fragrances qualify) cushioned on a bed of fresh flowers.  This is available on the 16th, 17th and 18th March only, instore at Harrods in the Beauty Apothecary Hall.

For such a lavish gift, you can expect to pay £115 – perhaps for only the most deserving of Mums, I suggest deducting £1 for each time your mother made you eat your peas.

* press sample

L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse Aux Papillons

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 25 - 2012

A few weeks ago I treated myself to a new L’Artisan Parfumeur fragrance and I was completely torn between the fruity Mure et Musc and the floaty La Chasse Aux Papillons.  In the end, it came down to longevity… I had a sample of the Mure et Musc from my Discovery Coffret and although it smelled divine, it disappeared from my skin after a very short 40 or so minutes.  La Chasse Aux Papillons it was!

La Chasse Aux Papillons is a beautiful Spring fragrance, almost the antithesis to everything I usually love in a perfume.  I generally favour warmth, spice, leather… everything that’s dark and best reserved for Wintery days or cool evenings.  This is light, floaty and a little bit ethereal.  It opens with a gentle fan of tuberose and orange blossom, a combination that evokes the kind of feelings that I associate with a beautifully, sunny day.  It’s a little bit soapy in a freshly laundered way but this element is as light on the nose as the tuberose.  My one disappointment with this beautiful fragrance is that longevity-wise, I don’t get much more than a couple of hours wear from it.

For me, there’s nothing overtly sexy about La Chasse Aux Papillons, it breathes too much light and playfulness for that, it makes me want to step into a layered chiffon skirt and feel a warm breeze against my bare skin.  Realistically, it’s more of a casual jeans and white tee kinda fragrance, only fashion bloggers and models wear chiffon skirts right?  Anyway, it fills me with hope of warm days and white flowers, and frankly, that’s no bad thing.

L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse Aux Papillons is available to buy instore and online at Harrods, priced at £78 for 100ml EdT

Men of the World. Y U No Smell This Good?

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 14 - 2012

We all have definite ideas about the scents we like to surround ourselves with — be it the washing powder we use to clean our undies; the candles we light when we step through the door after work; or the bath oils we pour under a hot running tap at the end of the night.  When was the last time you chose a new shampoo in the supermarket before flipping up the lid and inhaling a quick whiff to make sure you shared the product’s olfactory persuasions?

But what about the people we share our lives with?  What control do we have over how they smell?!

It’s taken a long time to gently steer my husband away from the Umbro Aftershave of his early twenties and onto scents which don’t make me want to check behind his ears for dirt.  I sound like a fragrance nazi right?  I’m not… it’s not that he resisted either, he just didn’t have an opinion either way.  Over the past couple of years, he’s developed a greater understanding and passion for fragrance — and thankfully, we do share quite similar tastes — something which comes in very handy for sharing the cost of those more extravagant fragrance purchases.

On this day, St. Valentine’s Day — I thought I’d hand the reins over to my brilliant husband, who has picked out the fragrances from his collection that make us both swoon when he wears them.

YSL – M7 Oud Absolu | Molton Brown NTS – Rogart | Parfum d’Empire – Ambre Russe | Oscar de la Renta – Oscar for Men | Floris – Santal

I’m still an awful fragrance reviewer, I just don’t have enough words swirling around in my puny brain to conjure up enough ways to say “if this fragrance were a doughnut, you’d consume four of them in one sitting”.  Although, I’ll never get better if I don’t try, so – in our own bumbled together manner… (at least I’ve got someone else to blame)

Yves Saint Laurent: M7 Oud Absolu (£58.00) *

As part of the reworked YSL Heritage Collection which celebrates half a century of expert perfume creation, the brand have released a reworked version of M7 which first came to the public nose in 2002 under the direction of one Mr. Tom Ford.  From such an agent provocateur, you’d expect to experience something special and you won’t be disappointed with this fragrance, which despite the reformulation is described as the climax of male sexuality1.  M7 is a deeply smoky scent with notes of myrrh, french labdanum, patchouli and a resonating woody, almost leathery oud accord.  There’s a medicinal hint that lingers through the dry-down which we both find comforting.  It’s not sharp but resinous and syrupy, like a cough drop.  M7 is a fragrance for the night, of the night.  If Serge Gainsbourg were to walk in behind me right now, this is the smell I’d catch (and hold onto) as he passed.  An intensely sexy, dark scent.


 Molton Brown Navigations Through Scent: Rogart (£60.00)

If you prefer to scent your senses with a touch of the gourmand, you may be interested in Rogart’s unusual but profoundly delicious note more usually found on your pancakes than in your perfume: maple syrup.  The tasty fragrance from Jennifer Jambon opens with a bracing blend of juniper berries and fir balsam which gives it that ‘great outdoors’ feel and indeed it should, as it draws its inspiration from the Cobequid Mountains of Canada.  All this freshness contrasts wonderfully as it warms on the skin and develops a hint of campfire, resinous wood and that sweet, mouthwatering maple.  Jointly, we’ve purchased nearly all of the releases in the Navigations Through Scent collection but Rogart firmly remains my husband’s favourite.

Parfum d’Empire: Ambre Russe (£84.50)

Not sure we’ll ever fall out of love with the majestic, imperial notes contained within Parfum d’Empire’s exquisite nod to Tsarist Russia.  It’s all here: vodka, champagne, tea, leather, amber and incense.  It’s like the party you know will conclude with most of its guests going home in a meat wagon before sunrise.  It’s raucously obnoxious and it knows it.  It wants you to know it too and you can’t help but admire Ambre Russe for it’s audacity to even exist.  It manages to be simultaneously effervescent (that’ll be the champagne hic!) and creamy, with the boozy amber trumping all else.  If you like dark, oriental fragrances, consider this a contender for the big daddy – shy, delicate noses need not apply.

Oscar de la Renta: Oscar for Men (£45.00)

We fought a little over the inclusion of this… I wanted to place Bvlgari Black above this one but Mr. L triumphed by making me a cup of tea and pointing out that, for once, he was entitled to call first dibs.  Oscar de la Renta’s Oscar for Men can be picked up online for as little as £17.00, which admittedly, ups the desirability stakes.  It’s a far sharper, more summery scent than the ones we’ve so far included – the top notes of bergamot, mandarin, and black pepper ensure that it prickles a little with a zestiness that makes you stand up and pay attention.  It has a floral heart that tempers the spiciness a little but if you’re a fan of the peppery notes of something like Marc Jacob’s Bang, you should enjoy this equally.  Oscar for Men trails with a suggestion of leather and vanilla which further smoothes the pepper without ever fully quietening it.  A spicy serenade that wears well in warmer months thanks to it’s sparkling opening.

Floris London: Santal (£69.00) *

As is my prerogative, I’m a woman of many contradictions.  Sometimes, I will eschew the feral, growling sensibilities of something like M7 (though never Serge) and want the man in my life to appeal as much to others as he does to me.  Floris Santal is the perfect scent to meet that need with its clean but never soapy existence.  Creamy sandalwood (and good sandalwood at that) gives Santal the most distinguished of edges in the overpopulated woody oriental category.  A hint of spiciness and musk keeps things warm and sensual whilst the crisp bergamot and trickles of lavender promote the balance beautifully and prevent this classic scent from ever feeling generic or old-fashioned.  Longevity is unparalled, displaying the kind of quality one would expect from a traditional British fragrance house like Floris.  I may have started with Serge Gainsbourg, but please… let me end with a young, freshly-shaven Paul Newman.  Rawr.

I’m feeling a tad hot under the collar now!  Happy Valentine’s Day you lovely lot.

Do you lust over leather or go crazy for classic cleanliness?  Do those animalic undertones bring out your wild side or perhaps you simply prefer a good old splash of Brut! 

Tell me, how do you like the men in your life to smell? (note: “of money” isn’t a valid answer!)

* press sample


Monday Musings: Do YOU have the potential to be a fangirl?

We all have definite ideas about the scents we like to surround ourselves with — be it the washing powder we use to clean our …

Just how long-lasting do you want it?

We all have definite ideas about the scents we like to surround ourselves with — be it the washing powder we use to clean our …

Things you shouldn't do... but do anyway...

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Urban Decay The Black Palette - Photos & Swatches

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