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

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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…

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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?

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

Dita Von Teese Eau de Parfum Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 30 - 2012

When I was growing up, I’m pretty sure that smelling like a stripper wasn’t one of my greatest desires in life. Having said that, there are strippers… and then there are strippers.  And if you are going to smell like a stripper*, well… there’s only one you want to smell like isn’t there?  Dita von Teese – not content with a cosmetic line – has also been making waves in the fragrance world since the launch of her debut scent: Dita Von Teese Eau de Parfum back in May.

Dita Von Teese Eau de Parfum

Visually, it’s perfect isn’t it?  It’s got the Hollywood glamour thing going on, with a little (ok, a lot) of noir thrown in… accents of quirk and more than just a passing nod to vintage styling makes for a bottle that gels beautifully with Dita’s image in the media.  And the tassle?  Ohhhhhh… the tassle!

Having said that, I’m not a fan of atomisers… they’re cute n’ all but they’re just not very practical are they?  Add in the fact that they contribute to quicker evaporation of the contents inside and they’re a bit of a nuisance.  Just make sure that you don’t throw away the regular “cap” that comes with the perfume for easy transporting and you should be alright.  Still… nuisance.

Dita Von Teese Eau de Parfum

As for the perfume itself, well… it’s everything I imagined a DvT perfume to smell like.  It’s a well-rounded, smoky floral with a nose-nuzzling quality that emerges beautifully once the scent has had time to warm up on the skin.  The fragrance carries itself with poise and elegance, feeling well-suited to an evening of seduction, perhaps a little too dark to wear to the in-laws.  Although having said that, the combination is gentle… never brash nor loud and although it lingers, it remains close to the skin.

Top: peonies, bergamot, and bourbon pepper

Heart: Bulgarian rose, tiaré, and jasmine

Base: patchouli, musk, Gaiac wood, and sandalwood

Dita von Teese eau de parfum is avaialble nationwide at Boots, priced from £18 – easily the best “celeb” scent you’ll smell this year.

* sorry, burlesque artist

** press sample

Acqua Di Parma Iris Nobile Sublime EdP

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 15 - 2012

Acqua Di Parma’s Iris Nobile was my first encounter with a high-end perfume and also, my first experience of the brand.  It was love at first sniff after a kindly lady working on the counters at House of Fraser saw me looking with an air of confuzzlement at the range before offering me a tester strip and a spritz.  She explained that it was her favourite from the line, that she hadn’t been working there very long and was still familiarising herself with the range.  That chink of vulnerability was all I needed to feel less of a fragrance-idiot and gave me enough confidence to ask her if she’d mind sharing what she knew, knowing that I was less likely to be overwhelmed with a barrage of information that my under-developed beauty brain would be unable to cope with.

I actually ended up walking away with a bottle of Colonia, because it was summertime and I knew that Mr. L would enjoy wearing it aswell.  Iris Nobile, henceforth became known (to me) as the one that got away.

Roll on a couple of summers and I discover that Acqua di Parma have released a flanker for the original Iris Nobile, Iris Nobile Sublime – well, as if the first one wasn’t sublime enough…

Iris Nobile Sublime takes up where the original left off, oozing refinement and class from the moment you lift the bottle from the packaging.  Despite the promise of mandarin and Italian bergamot, to me, it opens with a resolute hit of warm florals actually quite unlike the fresh, almost icy openings I remember from Prada’s Infusion d’Iris and Narciso Rodriguez’s Essence in Color – two iris scents that I appreciate but cannot quite fall in love with.  Iris Nobile Sublime is simply more inviting, more enticing and more sensual from the off.

Iris Nobile Sublime is an unashamedly feminine affair, brimming with smarts and confidence but elegantly keeping it on the down-low because, after all, no-one likes a show off.  She asserts no blousiness or arrogance, just a seemingly everlasting sense of suave, balance and harmony.  Iris Nobile Sublime is not a rollercoaster of a scent, you’ll know whether you’ll love it or leave it from your first impression, and be sure to trust in those impressions because this is a sure cert for many who have outgrown their love affairs with the candy popsicle scents of youth and are looking for a true signature scent.

As to the question that I asked myself when I first heard about the launch… “How does this differ from the original Iris Nobile?”  I still haven’t been able to answer it to my satisfaction… I also haven’t been able to get to a counter to remind myself of the original but if my instincts and memory serve me correctly, I’m feeling more femininity and powder from this one, a little less woods and musk and perhaps a little more respectful deference to the pretty purple floral itself.  My favourite fragrance release of the year so far.

Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile Sublime EdP is available to buy now on counter and online at John Lewis, priced at £82 for 75ml – it’s also currently available online at Escentual.com, priced at a slightly less painful £73.80 for 75ml.

* press sample

A sneak peek at my fragrance collection

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 7 - 2012

Afternoon, remember me?  No, I don’t either…

I scrimped enough of Mr. L’s 3G (Ovivo has been a God send) to write a post, got all excited at the prospect, had a rummage through my tried and tested box and just simply couldn’t find the words.  I’ve got blog block.  This is not a good thing.  In three years of blogging, I’ve only gotten it once before and that was when L was a tiny baby and I hadn’t long been beauty blogging – sheer tiredness got me that time.  I think that sheer disorganisation is the culprit today.

I’m finding it quite difficult to adjust to my new surroundings and I’m blaming the Cancerian homebody in me.  You see, I’ve never moved house before (not since I’ve been old enough to know anything about it) and this is one of the most unsettling experiences I’ve ever had.  I like to have my “things” around me and my life is still split 50/50 between two homes.  Whine… whine… grumble etc. etc.  I should put a sock in it, I’ve been a bit of a whinger on Twitter and keep reminding myself that people move house every-freaking-day, so why am I acting like such a drama llama about it?  Well, the truth is… I’m kinda not.  Not in real life anyway, but once a blogger always a blogger and as soon as I get online, I just want to spill all my complaints onto my keyboard and out into the ether.  Sorry about that.

Moving on…

I moved some of my beauty stuff over yesterday and the first to come with me was my our beloved fragrance collection.

We weren’t sure how to store them.  Previously, all our bottles have been kept on the top shelf of a wardrobe which has satisfied the need to keep them away from light and heat but it’s always made me sad that I can’t SEE them.  We’ve bought a couple of chunky shelving units which will keep them out of any direct sunlight (away from the window) and this will have to do for now.  I don’t actually have the same kind of (reachable) wardrobe space any more.  I’d love to hear how you store your fragrances?

I’ve organised the storage into seasonal themes.  Bottom shelf is Spring/Summer, Middle shelf is Autumn, and top shelf is Winter.  I’ll rotate the positioning to ensure that the current season is within the easiest reach.  Of course, rules are made to be broken and I delved into the Winter shelf yesterday for a little hit of amber in the guise of Costume National’s Scent Intense!

A closer look…

What is your favourite fragrance at the moment and do you wear scent daily?

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

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