Thursday, 29 January 2015

L'Air du Temps - Nina Ricci

When it was announced that Nina Ricci's L'Air du Temps was our Perfume of the Week, the whole office in unison sighed, "awwww....".  For all of us it was evocative of time gone by, reminding us of our mums, of an aunt, of a time or a person.  

First launched in 1948, after World War Two, the totally beautiful bottle in its classic and most recognised form, is topped by doves - the symbol of peace. 

Heavy, heady and floral, the smell kicks off strong and stays that way.  It has a powdery edge and a deep woody side.  Elaine described it as "every inch the 'Lady' of perfumes" and we all felt it conjured up a very proper, rather lovely, elegant older lady wearing, perhaps, a fox-fur stole and long silk gloves. We were hard pushed to recognise individual smells in there but felt we could pick out rose and jasmine.

An absolute classic, we all agreed this perfume has stood the test of time but were not entirely sure any of us would choose to wear it as we all felt that it was aimed at an older market - and some of us are not so young ourselves!  Did we like it? Truthfully, it didn't get a unanimous thumbs up though we all adore the bottle.  The overall feeling was of it being a slightly overwhelming, heavily vintage smell. One to adorn a dressing table but possibly not be worn!  However, we did all feel a huge fondness for it - a bottled version of a hug from a much loved elderly relative.  

And that's got to be a good thing!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Jo Loves - Pomelo

With pomelo being our chosen aroma of the week our choice of perfume was easy - Pomelo by Jo Loves.  When I purchased this from the Jo Loves boutique I initially rejected it as whilst I loved the smell of pomelo, I didn't want  to wear it as a perfume.  However, I wasn't in a hurry to leave the store (so many smells, such little time!) and whilst browsing the perfume noticeably morphed from overly citrus to something far more intriguing and different so yes, that was the perfume that got my credit card's approval.

The initial smell is a blast of pomelo - a fresh grapefruit/orange/citrus burst which is zingy, lively and very noticeable but rather one-dimensional with its overpowering citrus burst. Within minutes the aroma changes to something more mature, stable and far more engaging, so much so that we can't stop sniffing our wrists!  It's citrussy for sure, but there's a hint of wood (courtesy of the patchouli and vetiver) tinged with spice (clove).  Jo also blends rose and suede into the mix making this a perfume that has an interesting and intriguing twist.

We are in agreement that this is an excellent unisex aroma and most of us agreed that we'd wear it - but prefer it once the initial aroma has moved on.  It would make a wonderful aroma for a room spray, candle or bath oil.

The aroma is surprisingly tenacious and 4 or 5 hours later the perfume can still easily be detected which is very unusual for a citrus blend.

So if you want an uplifting, happy, refreshing unisex blend that lasts, this is definitely one I'd recommend.

What's your favourite citrus aroma?

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Perfume Thursday: Serge Noire by Serge Lutens

This week's aroma is clove, a warm spicy note, and with that there was an obvious choice for perfume of the week - Serge Noire - it is one of Sally's favourites!

So, would the rest of us join her in her adoration of this perfume?  The short answer is yes, absolutely.

Serge Noire was launched in 2008 by Serge Lutens and Christopher Sheldrake.  An oriental/woody fragrance with great longevity, but......... brace yourself - this is not one for the feint hearted. 
We have amongst us tried 5 or 6 of Serge's fragrances (but not the florals) and truly loved them.
Serge Noire is powerful, one or two sprays of this is the equivalent of a whole cloud of something light and fresh - you have been warned!!   

It opens with the oriental aroma of clove (not the 'smell of the dentist waiting room' type of clove) but something that more envelopes you in a warm embrace and carries you off somewhere warm and exotic at dusk where the night is just coming to life.  Cinnamon, incense and woody notes start to emerge quite quickly, so would suggest this is a scent more for a cold day or an evening rather than one to use all day every day. 
Sally detects quite a leathery undertone, so if you are looking for something deep and dark this could well be the one for you!
To Nickie it evokes ideas of homely, comforting food baking in the aga, a dark fruit cake full of rich spiced fruit to have by the fire after a walk through the woods with crisp leaves underfoot - yummy!

Would we wear this?  Yes, not necessarily on a day to day basis, but it makes us feel good when we do and are all in agreement that it is well worth the money.    

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Perfume Thursday: Earl Grey & Cucumber by Jo Malone

Plush Folly's first smell of the week for 2015 is Cucumber - fresh, crisp and full of the distant promise of summer, so a very lovely treat in cold, wet early January!  Jo Malone's Earl Grey & Cucumber Cologne was an obvious choice for our Perfume of the Week - evocative of the classic British summer's treat, afternoon tea.  Cucumber sandwiches and a lovely pot of Earl Grey, anyone?!

So here we are, floating around in a mist of Earl Grey in the office.  Does it feel like summer? Well, it's lifted our spirits a little so that helps. Blended by Christine Nagel for Jo Malone, it doesn't, however, remind us much of cucumber sandwiches.

We all loved the initial smell - a blast of bergamot and fresh green notes that flood out; it is uplifting and lively and we were unanimous that we really loved it.  Elaine detected a floral note (jasmine) alongside the gorgeous citrussy, green burst of bergamot and cucumber.  We were all smiling.

The dry down, however, really changes the fragrance as the bergamot top note evaporates off very quickly leaving an intriguingly sweet smell smell that we were a little unsure about.  Quite quickly, the fragrance seems to lose the bergamot and any green notes and we truly couldn't detect cucumber in there at all.  The fragrance becomes a heavy, sweet smell that does, I feel, have an essence of tea about it but laced with honey and vanilla rather than being a light, zingy bergamot.

We all agreed that actually we liked the perfume but that it was not as we'd expected.  Jo Malone, of course, promotes the idea of Fragrance Combining, layering perfumes to achieve the smell you actually want. I feel that I'd move from liking to loving this perfume if it could be a little fresher and could imagine it with Jo Malone's Grapefruit spritzed over the top.

Overall, a positive response.  Would we wear it? Absolutely. In my case, with a blast of Grapefruit!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Perfume Thursday: Azzaro Pour Homme by Azzaro

Opening with heaps and bundles of Anise, Azzaro Pour Homme states from the offset that it is not for the demure gentleman.

Launched in 1978, Azzaro Pour Homme is definitely of its time but that is not to say that it's not relevant to today's generation of cologne wearers. Let's explore...

There is more to the opening than just anise; in fact, there's quite a concoction of smells that hit you upon first spray. A heady blend of caraway, iris, lavender, clary sage, basil, anise, bergamot and lemon strikes you in a menthol-citrus blend that is impossible to ignore.

First impressions are agreed: Azzaro Pour Homme smells 'manly'. While that may seem like quite a basic description, it is the best one for the Eau de Toilette we're wearing. The mix of aromas blend to create a recognisable and masculine scent that feels very overall very familiar. For Bryony she says it reminds her of being younger and watching her dad shaving and for the Sally, Nickie and Elaine it reminds them of their ex-boyfriends

The sandalwood, juniper, patchouli, vetiver, cedarwood and cardamon heart help this scent to mellow as it is driven by the softer, woody notes. But as hints of leather, tonka bean, amber, musk and oakmoss are introduced Azzaro feels a lot warmer and comforting, while still maintaining that subtle woodiness.

It's a hefty beast of a cologne that packs a lot of punch. Since 1978 there have been many different faces of Azzaro Pour Homme, the latest being Hollywood actor Ian Somerholder. This current choice of actor used to represent Azzaro's signature scent is an ideal way to grab the attention of a younger male audience and also a younger female audience - everyone wants their boyfriend to smell like Ian Somerholder... right?

If you have the confidence to wear and enjoy Azzaro Pour Homme than you'll love it. If you're not a fan of heavy, out-there scents than you may struggle to get past the busy opening. But if you give it a try, you'll see that the dry-down is completely wearable and utterly irresistible.

Have you tried this classic? What do you think?

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Perfume Thursday: Apres L'Ondee by Guerlain

Apres L'Ondee by Guerlain is possibly one of the oldest blends we've ever worn. Created in 1906 by Jacques Guerlain it was inspired by nature - in particular, the weather after a fantastic storm. In fact the perfume's name translates to "After the Rain".

We have to be honest, upon first spray we weren't all feeling the love for this perfume. The first scent a lot of us were hit with was heaps of violet, giving it a sweetie, palma-violet smell that isn't always pleasant or easy to wear. It also has an undertone of licorice thanks the to aniseed element. The first few seconds of Apree L'Ondee, for the majority of us, is just a bit too full on, the combination of violet, orange blossom and aniseed just a bit too strong and unusual.

However, this is very momentary because within a minute or so, the perfume has mellowed down to a delicate and pretty floral with gentle spice. The florals included are not sweet but musty and spicy; powdery violet, spicy carnation and buttery orris all work wonderfully together.

The perfume continues to fade until it's barely there, and you're left with just a memory of what once was - similar to the feeling a lot of us have after an actual storm. In truth it doesn't last much longer than an hour but it is the last few minutes that are the most enjoyable - the vanilla base bringing everything together.

The bottle is stunning too. Inspired by the original Bee Bottle designed to contain another perfume in Guerlain's history, Eau de Cologne Imperiale, the bottle has 69 tiny bees embossed onto it,

While the majority of us aren't fans of the scent, we really love the inspiration behind both the perfume and the bottle. To us, it represents the smell of a summer garden in bloom after a heavy storm; rain drops decorating petals like mirrors reflecting and reminding us of the past.

Considering it was created for women of the early 1900's we completely appreciate how this would have suited their tastes and needs. There's a real romantic, nostalgic feel to this perfume and while we wouldn't choose to wear it, we've fallen for it on a much deeper level.

Have you ever tried Apres L'Ondee? If you ever get the chance to, we'd strongly advise it!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Perfume Thursday: Jimmy Choo by Jimmy Choo

From 'nose' Oliver Polge, the mind behind perfumes such as Flowerbomb and La Vie Est Belle, comes Jimmy Choo by Jimmy Choo.

While there are immediate similarities to Flowerbomb in particular (the bottle and overall gourmand scent of the perfume to be precise) Jimmy Choo does have a playful character all of its own.

It opens with quite a sharp, fruity scent that many find off-putting and hard to wear. However as it dries down, which doesn't take long, the fruitiness gently fades to reveal a more toffee-like, caramel scent. There are many layers that present themselves at different stages; ever-evolving throughout the perfume's wear time.

It is very feminine and mature but without being 'old'. It's warming and beautiful and has a moreish creaminess that keeps you going back for more and more indulgent 'wrist sniffs'.

Think pretty and pink - ballerinas, bows and pleats - matched with style and power, and then you'll gather a sense of how it feels to wear Jimmy Choo.

It is a shame that the similarity to Flowerbomb is so strong because, truth be told, we would choose to douse ourselves in Flowerbomb over Jimmy Choo every time. This is simply because Flowerbomb is just that bit better; it's more rounded and luxurious, making it our prefered choice.

We kind of feel: "Why wear Jimmy Choo when you can wear Flowerbomb and get a similar result?". So while we enjoy the smell of it, we're unlikely to reach for Jimmy Choo while Flowerbomb is on the block.

What do you think? Have you tried Jimmy Choo, Jimmy Choo?