A great gift for a budding perfumista!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 1 - 2014

Since evolving into a bit of a fragrance fiend, I’ve found myself boring enabling people around me at every opportunity.  I just can’t help myself, I remember one particular evening when it took me at least fifteen-minutes before I’d realised that my poor brother’s eyes had completely glazed over and his feet were slowly shuffling toward the door.  You see, the thing is… falling in love with perfume involves a good deal of self-discovery, it’s a very personal journey and as much as I’d like to bulldoze everyone into liking the same things as me, that’s just not how it works.

With this in mind, I’d like to introduce you to Vivabox. A great concept that takes the old-fashioned idea of a gift-voucher to a whole new level.  The beautifully presented boxes, which are made exclusively with The Perfume Shop, feature a range of fragrance sample vials that include some of the biggest-selling brands.  But that’s not all, because each box also comes complete with a voucher that allows the gift-recipient to obtain the “full-sized” product of their choice from the selection.

This discovery box will take all the guesswork but none of the surprise out of gifting something so personal.  It gives the recipient the opportunity to test-drive a full range of scents before opting for a full-size companion, while it gives you the chance to present something to your loved one that delivers prettiness and instant gratification in a way that vouchers alone, simply can’t.

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The men’s set houses seven sample vials of fragrance that include:

Boss Bottled – Hugo Boss (2ml)
1 Million – Paco Rabanne (1.5ml)
Invictus – Paco Rabanne (1.5ml)
Montblanc Legend – Montblanc (1.2ml)
212 VIP Men – Carolina Herrera (1.5ml)
Black XS – Paco Rabanne (1.2ml)
L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homee – Issey Miyake (1.2ml)

It also contains a booklet with more information about each scent, and the voucher that will allow your recipient to pop-in to their local The Perfume Shop and purchase a full-size bottle of one fragrance from the included selection.

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The lady’s boxed set, equally contains a voucher for a full-size bottle, a corresponding booklet, and seven vials of samples that include:

Boss Ma Vie Pour Femme – Hugo Boss (1.5ml)
212 VIP – Carolina Herrera (1.5ml)
Jimmy Choo – Jimmy Choo (2ml)
Nina – Nina Ricci (1.5ml)
Black XS – Paco Rabanne (1.2ml)
Viva La Juicy – Juicy Couture (1.5ml)
Flower by Kenzo – Kenzo (1ml)

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One of my favourite features of these Vivaboxes is the little attention to details that includes notes on how to get the best from your fragrance journey.  It features advice that includes sampling one scent each day for a week to get a feel for which notes you enjoy or dislike, locating your pulse points, and explaining some of the differences between edt and edp.

All of the fragrances included are at the top of the mass-market chain, ensuring that this won’t be a gift to please your average fragrance snob… but my niece, a fragrant fledgling would completely adore a set like this and I think it would set her on the perfect path toward finding out what works, and doesn’t work with her personal tastes and skin chemistry.

The Vivabox Fragrance Selection boxes are available to buy instore, or online from theperfumeshop.com, priced at £39.99 each.

* press sample

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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

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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?

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.

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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.

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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 others who will happily do that for me!

Either way, if you’re in the mood for a truly wonderful giveaway, look sharp because beauty emporium Escentual have kindly provided today’s prize!

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And what a prize it is…

Givenchy’s latest fragrant release: Very Irresistible L’eau en Rose takes the lead from the much-loved original Very Irresistible and gives it a fresh, Spring 2014 look with a sublime coral jus and soft fruity, floral accents that pay homage to the Mother of all flowers, the Rose.  Described as a universal fragrance, one that can be enjoyed by all ages and at any time of the year, it will make an absolutely perfect gift for a lucky someone in your life.

Want to win a bottle?

To enter the competition, simply leave a comment and tell me which men’s Marc Jacob’s fragrance is likely to give you the most “___” for your buck?       (need a clue?: click here)

T&C
1. Start date for this competition is 18th March 2014
2. Closing date for this competition is 25th March 2014
3. Winner will receive 1x bottle of Givenchy L’eau en Rose. No cash alternatives.
4. Competition is open worldwide.
5. Lipglossiping.com is the sole promoter of this competition.
6. Personal details will not be kept or forwarded and are only used in the context of this competition to inform & dispatch the winner’s prize.
7. One winners will be selected at random from all correct entries received.
8. Winner will be notified within 5 working days and will be expected to reply to an email sent to the address used to enter the competition within 5 working days or risk forfeiting the prize.

Cartier La Panthere Perfume Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 13 - 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

* press sample

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Daisy Eau So Fresh Marc Jacobs Delight Edition Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 7 - 2014

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

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

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

Daisy Eau So Fresh

Daisy Eau So Fresh Review

Daisy Marc Jacobs Eau So Fresh

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

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

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

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

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

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

* press sample

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Clinique relaunch the iconic 80s fragrance: Calyx

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 5 - 2014

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

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

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

Clinique Calyx Review

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

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

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

Clinique Calyx Review2

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

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

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

* press sample

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Diptyque Tam Dao Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 22 - 2014

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

Diptyque Tam Dao Review

Diptyque Tam Dao Review

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

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

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

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

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When good hormones go bad. My quest to smell like a man!

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 18 - 2013

As you may have guessed from the title, I’m totally blaming the pregnancy hormones for this one.  Whether or not they are actually culpable remains to be seen but it feels slightly less shameful to rest the responsibility upon my ever-increasing levels of hormonal angst.

Some women eat coal, crave the taste of rubber and leather… me?  Well, I just want to smell like all of those things instead.  You can keep your girly florals, sweet fruits, and vomit-worthy vanillas… give me all of the MAN SCENTS.

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Were my pockets big enough, I’d carry the above candles around with me 24/7, pausing regularly for a sniff before continuing on my way.  My Jonathan Ward Woodstock candle, which I picked up whilst scouring the shelves at T.K. Maxx is the least masculine of the trio and perfect for the season, reminding me of a dampened but very-much-alive forest floor… woody and aromatic.

My Mum picked up the Rigaud Cuir de Kyara candle for me after spotting it nestled on a tabletop at her local Emmaus in France.  She said that the smell of pure, unadulterated leather “nearly knocked her head off” and thus, knew instantly that I would fall in love with it.  She was right.  It’s a blinder and I’m now obsessed with finding other candles from this Parisian brand.

Finally, and thanks to a Zuneta/Amazon bargain, I’m pleased to finally be able to add this Malin + Goetz Vetiver candle to my collection!  I haven’t been able to walk past the display of M+G candles in Liberty for ages without stopping to sniff this one in all its earthy, woody and downright sexy glory.

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But my obsession with man-scent doesn’t just stop at candles.  Oh no!  It gets far more serious…

I bought L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Tea for Two during their Summer sale a couple of years ago and it was love at first sniff but recently, I just can’t get enough of it and have upgraded to a massive 100ml bottle in order to get my fix.  The perfect blend of smoky embers, honeyed tobacco and warming ginger to keep all thoughts of frostiness at bay this Winter.

Ahhh, Molton Brown… I remember when I first came across your distinctively delicious Re-Charge Black Pepper scent (now called black peppercorn) a few years ago whilst staying at a hotel in Basel.  To this day, I kick myself for being good and not stealing all the hotel toiletries, it just felt too naughty to take the ones that I hadn’t actually opened to use during my stay!  Instead, I scoop up other people’s spoils on eBay and long for the candle version!

My final fragrant craving is one that Mr. L is less than impressed with.  He can cope with sharing most of his scents with me, infact… many times, we purchase a fragrance under the certain knowledge that we’re doing so in order to share the bottle (it makes a £70 splurge so much more palatable split two ways).  My desires to wear his smells-just-like-a-freshly-wet-shaved-man Floris Santal*, however, are falling on deaf ears.  I’ve been allowed a quick spritz, twice.  Only twice.  I actually think that might constitute domestic abuse.

Are there any “boy” scents that drive you wild?  And, question is… are you wild enough to wear them?

* press sample

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