Estee Lauder – Sensuous Noir

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 15 - 2010

Estee Lauder’s Sensuous Noir is the original’s sexier, sassier and more mature sister… it was released this Summer as a rich, seductive and ‘after dark’ version of the already popular Sensuous.

After reading that description, I was expecting something heady, dark and sophisticated… and it very nearly is.

I received my bottle from the press officers at EL after attending their Christmas Launch (of which I’ll have more detail on v. soon!).

First, let’s take a look at the packgaing because we all know how influential the bottle can be.  Who wants an ugly bottle on their dressing table right?

The bottle (lightened here by the fact that I photographed it in the window!) is basically the same design as the original fragrance except that it’s been vamped up with a midnight blue colour change.  It’s simple… nothing extravagant or particularly memorable but the ripples make it quite tactile and nice to hold.

The embossed lid is a nice touch but I found it quite hard to remove, I had to clutch the bottle to my chest and really pull to expose the spray nozzle.

The scent is initially as heady as I expected.  With my amateur nose, I can detect a spice that seems almost oriental and immediately disappointed me.  So many ‘night-time’ versions of day-time scents fall back on the old oriental/vanilla trick that I was worried this would be heading in the same direction.

But then the patchouli hit me squarely on the nose!  I’m not usually a fan of patchouli-heavy scents, but this one isn’t really earthy at all.  It’s much woodier, fresher… cleaner.

If I had to describe this in the shortest way possible… I’d describe it as a perfect Autumnal mid-evening scent.  It has notes of Amber which always remind me of Autumn and when mixed with the spice, vanilla and patchouli – I can almost taste the crisp, cool evenings.

After an hour of wear, the Amber really takes over and it becomes a far softer, more feminine affair without being too powdery.  I think that this is where it excels.  On my skin, those lovely, soft and hugely feminine tones linger for hours.  I would reach for this whenever I wanted to simply smell great without attracting too much attention to the perfume.

It’s not a “knock your socks off” sexy, “sensuous” fragrance by any stretch of the imagination, it’s just not exciting enough for me… but that won’t stop it from having broad mass-market appeal.

Estee Lauder Sensuous Noir is available on counter and online now, priced at £32 for 30ml.


Davidoff – Champion

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 22 - 2010

Ohhhh, I dunno… it’s all a bit macho innit… cheesy 90s machismo.

Maybe it’s the bottle, maybe it’s the whole locker room sport scent thing…

They say

[stextbox id=”custom” bcolor=”b0c4de” bgcolor=”e6e6fa”]Davidoff’s latest men’s fragrance Champion will trigger in men a desire to develop the latent potential within them. That deep, fundamental instinct for victory and power. Davidoff Champion is about the daily ritual of taking the time to build physical and mental strength. To become a champion.[/stextbox]

I say

I’m not a snob (well, alright… I am) but it’s a bit mainstream isn’t it?  I hate this just as much as I’d hate a stiletto shaped bottle of scent (there must be one out there?).  I know, I know… look past the packaging… but I’m struggling.

Having said that, I think the packaging will probably tempt just as many men as it puts off… I can see this on the Christmas wish list of many 16yr olds.

As for the scent?

Well… it’s not my favourite and it does border slightly on the generic fresh scent for “manly” men… but… it just about dodges the bullet.

Davidoff Champion has a nice citrusy kick that although never really fades enough to reveal anything beyond this, is almost pleasant enough on it’s own.  Staying power is pretty good too… I just wish it were a bit more complex.  This ain’t gonna beat Marc Jacobs Bang as men’s scent of the season, that’s for certain!

Having said that, I’m strangely addicted to the ad… *shrugs*

Davidoff Champion is available in 50ml & 90ml EDT and priced at £35.50/£43.50 respectively.

The most expensive perfume in the world

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 1 - 2010

I sniffed it… and I liked it!

No1 by Clive Christian is something a bit special, £2700 special to be exact (though the special Imperial Majesty edition pictured above was valued at over £100,000!).  I’m not gonna even attempt to describe it to you other than to say that it’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.  It’s incredibly complex and seems to have so many layers that somehow mingle and dance with one another resulting in something that has to be smelled to be believed.

[stextbox id=”custom” caption=”Facts about No1″ ccolor=”ffffff” bcolor=”b0c4de” bgcolor=”e6e6fa” cbgcolor=”778899″]

1. This British Perfume House was first made famous 135 years ago by Queen Victoria when she gave her crown to the perfumery in 1872 as a symbol of utmost quality and excellence.

2. Clive Christian revived this perfumery in 1999 and was inspired by the rich history and high quality from the 1800’s which then led to his creation of No.1 – The World’s Most Expensive Perfume.

3. No.1 by Clive Christian is recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as The World’s Most Expensive Perfume.

4. These uniquely expensive perfumes were created with no reference to cost containing some of the most rare and precious ingredients in the world.

5. Due to the highest quality and concentration possible No.1 can only be produced in very small quantities – only 1000 bottles of No.1 perfume for men and 1000 bottles of No.1 for women are released to the world each year.

6. No.1 has perfumed the gardens of Sir Elton John’s White Tie and Tiara Ball and was chosen by Katie Holmes as her wedding perfume for her marriage to Tom Cruise.

7. One pure ounce (30ml) of No.1 perfume currently costs £2,700

[/stextbox]

Officially launching in November, Clive is introducing a new fragrance to the current line up.  Entitled “C”, it will be his first new scent in a decade and there is much buzz around this 4th scent which has been released from his own personal collection.

With each perfume created, he releases both a male and female version.  I’ve had the pleasure of smelling both and they’re BIG.  The female version is a floral explosion, whilst the masculine version of “C” is a woody affair.  Both demand your attention entirely.  These are powerful scents.

Available from Fortnum & Mason priced at £195.

Marc Jacobs goes Bang

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 27 - 2010

It’s not uncommon for a fragrance to give you a swift kick to the guts… nowadays it’s all about the impact and it’s all about capturing a modern audience with that initial “scentsation” (see what I did there, huh huh?).

Marc Jacobs’ Bang can certainly be included in this category.  It’s pepper-heavy top notes demand a reaction, there’s no ‘growing on you’ with this fragrance.  You choose your camp and you better stick with it.

I love it.  I’m absolutely in love with it.

I often prefer men’s fragrances over ones aimed toward the female market, they make me wanna breathe deeper and hold onto the scent just that little bit longer.

Bang’s packaging is fabulous… I dare you to see it in store and NOT want to reach out and hold it, it’s has that whole curio thing going on and with it’s crumpled metallic exterior, is a clever interpretation of it’s title.

I wasn’t keen on the campaign image… but it fits.  It fits with the product.  It’s brash, attention-seeking and evokes an instant gut reaction.  Personally, I prefer MJ in his quieter, geekier days… but if that were still the case, perhaps he wouldn’t be producing BIG scents like this one.

Those peppery notes hang around for a while before mixing into some deeply masculine woody tones.  The fragrance becomes more conventional at this point, though never dull.

Below, you can watch Marc Jacobs talking about the ideas and development of Bang.

Final Thoughts – Marc Jacobs Bang is a modern top-note heavy fragrance for a man looking for something different.  It’s a grown up scent with no hints of citrus or fruit.  If you’re looking for that locker-room sporty type fragrance, move away from the bottle now.  Bang is sexy in an entirely different way… unlike the ad, it’s subtle.  Those strong pepper notes ensnare you without being overtly sexual and then it softens down into something deeply masculine but less aggressive.  Screw “Cool Water”, this is the fragrance Sawyer would wear.

Marc Jacobs Bang is available to buy now priced at £48.50 for 100ml

Scentsational Fragrances with The Perfume Shop – Part Une

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 10 - 2010

I know, I know… title is the pits… Do I look like Enid Blyton?  Cut me a break.

I wanted to take the opportunity over the next few weeks to tell you about some of the great scents that you should consider giving a sniff as we depart Summer and begin to look forward to the leaves turning.  I’m not the only one looking forward to this am I?

I’m planning a run through of 4 scents that you should definitely be keeping a nose out for this Autumn (nose, get it?!)

Anyway, let’s start with this new Chloé offering:

LOVE, Chloé – described thusly (how semi-retired do I feel writing ‘thusly’!):

The new fragrance from Chloe is a celebration of radiant, generous and spontaneous femininity.  It creates a fine, powdery scent, light and sensual with a flowery wake, iridescent and musky with alc and Rice Fragrance noes include Orange Blossom, Pink Pepper, Iris Absolute, Lilac, Hyacinth, Wisteria blossom, Heliotropine and Powdery Musks.

Honestly?  I have no idea what most of that means.  I found it to be on the sweet side but thankfully stopping way short of saccharine.  Definitely feminine, though not quite as light as they claim.  Especially not when compared to the Calvin Klein that I’ll be showcasing soon.  I predict this will sell by the bucketload, it’s a beautiful (if slightly safe) fragrance that will appeal to many, many women.

Here’s a video from the launch party in Paris – how completely chic does Raquel Zimmermann look?:

The EDP 30ml will be available at The Perfume Shop from 22nd September 2010, priced at £37.50

Next week: Davidoff Champion

Do you put a price on smelling great?

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 12 - 2010

I’ve admitted to being a bit clueless when it comes to fragrances but having said that, I love to smell good and there’s nothing quite like placing a brand new pristine bottle of beautifully packaged perfume on your dressing table.

My family has one of those family folklores going on… apparently, my Aunt was bought a large bottle of Jean Patou’s Joy in the early 1960s as a gift from a very rich Jordanian in-law.  A ‘welcome to the family’ gift if you will.  It was hugely expensive, more because of the bottle than the scent I believe but my mother describes it as being many, many months wages.

My Aunt didn’t like it much… and over the following months used it to freshen the toilet bowl in the bathroom!

I wonder if she at least kept the bottle?

I guess the moral of the story is never to spend more than £7.64 on a bottle of perfume for my Aunt.

Personally, I’ve never spent more than £80 on a bottle, it’s not a hard and fast rule that I’ve introduced… I just try to be sensible and avoid the counters where I might be tempted to part with more than that.  Frankly, I’m a good girl and 98.7% of the time I live within my means.

Admittedly, there is one ‘name’ that consistently tempts me.  Initials A.G. and it all started with a pair of perfumes created for her daughters.  No prizes for guessing, but do any of you fragrance heads know the perfumes I’m talking about?

Anyway…

I thought I’d introduce you to some new scents that have landed in my email inbox this week:

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Dior’s new Hypnotic Poision Eau Sensuelle.

This, I am hugely excited about.  If you’ve read this, you’ll understand why!  Will this new incarnation of Hypnotic Poison be enough to make me fall in love again?  Due to be released in September priced around £48 for 50ml.

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Sisley Eau du Soir is previewing this month with two very limited ediiton bottles simply named “Black and White” inspired by Anish Kapoor’s exhibition at The Royal Academy.  The fragrance includes notes of fresh mandarin, grapefruit and patchouli with deep pepper, oakmoss, musk and amber.

Priced at £162 each.  They can be previewed instore at Selfridges from today.

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Fronting Calvin Klein’s new fragrance Beauty is German actress Diane Kruger.  It’s already set to be a favourite this Christmas with that beautifully elegant bottle.  Those with a nose for fragrances expect this to be a big hit with more mature consumers.  Available from the 25th August at Debenhams..

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Lastly, Armani Privé Oud Royale is a Selfridges exclusive. Heavily influenced by the powerful, earthy scents of Arabian oils it will be available instore and online from the 18th July priced at £175.

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iPerfumer – The iPhone Perfume App Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 8 - 2010

Givaudan, the worlds most respected fragrance manufacturer has released an iPhone App unimaginatively titled: iPerfumer.  It’s for the iPhone?  Better stick a small “i” in at the beginning of the name then *yawn*.

Having said that, I had barely finished scrolling to the bottom of the press release before I’d scooped up my iPhone and zoned in on the App Store.  Combine my iPhone geekery with an undying fascination for the perfume world and it was downloaded and installed faster than a fat kid at a cake buffet.

Now, despite my fascination in perfumes and scents… I’m a total n00b.  I’m clueless, which is great… ‘cos I’m guessing this App is aimed at people like me who struggle to navigate the complicated world of perfumes.

The App itself is pretty basic, you fire it up… enter some personal details and preferences (I had to look up some of the fragrance types – chypre? fougere? wassat!) and finally start ‘rating’ fragrances that you’ve tried, with 5 stars being top marks.

The first thing I noticed was that once I’d entered my personal preferences, there doesn’t seem to be a way to ‘go back’ and edit them.  I’m stuck with having given ‘Oriental’ 3 stars, when I should have given it more.  Make sense?  The only way I can see to fix this is to delete my profile and start from scratch.  Frankly, I can’t be arsed.

It also appears to have a limited database of perfumes… I’m hoping that as time passes, the clever people at Givaudan will update the App to include more and more fragrances.  I couldn’t rate anything by Annick Goutal… still, it let me score SJP Covet (go figure!)  – and no, I’m not telling you what score I gave Covet, you’ll ban me from ever owning another perfume!

Once you’ve rated as many perfumes as you can remember owning or sniffing… click the “Recommend” button at the bottom and the App takes just seconds to whizz up a list of recommendations based on your previous input and ratings.  Clever no?

I’d have loved to have been able to browse through the perfumes in the App’s database… it seems that you can only really access a fragrance’s details if you know the name to search for it directly or get recommended it by the App.  Seeing as I like ‘floral’ perfumes, it would have been nice to have been able to browse through a category devoted to these scents.  It’s all about making the database accessible in as many ways as possible to the user.

I’ll be honest… I don’t know enough about fragrances to tell you whether the recommendations are much cop.  I had a nice selection of floral/oriental fragrances in my list (the image above is a generic screenshot) including Armani Sensi, Ralph Lauren Notorious, Trish McEvoy Gardenia Musk and Serge Lutens Daim Blond.  But having never smelt any of those, I’ll have to follow my nose to my local counters to see what I think.

Overall, iPerfumer is a nifty little App that occupied a good half hour of my time yesterday.  I had fun rating and reading little snippets of info about fragrances I’d never heard of before.  Ultimately, it needs a bit of work and a lot of updating.  But the potential is certainly there, and if anyone can do it… it’s Givaudan.

I’ll be back to let you know what I think of it’s recommendations… if I like the suggestions, then this App will be coming with me on many a Beauty Hall tour!

Thumbs up!  Oh, and did I mention it’s free?  Double thumbs up! (I look like an idiot!)

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