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?

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Perfume Thursday: Velvet Orchid by Tom Ford

Even while moving premises we still have time to squeeze in a Perfume Thursday for you to enjoy!

It may be hectic here but one thing's for sure; we've all had time to appreciate and enjoy Velvet Orchid by Tom Ford. 

Velvet Orchid comes after the success of Black Orchid, a dark vamp of a perfume. Velvet Orchid is slightly more feminine/girly, while still a vamp-esque perfume. The gorgeous, sumptuous scent opens with a blend of fruits, honey and rum. The core of the perfume is floral through and through and the rich, creamy base, made up of hints of vanilla, myrrh, sandalwood and suede really give it a moreish quality. 

It smells warming and cosy while remaining sexy and beautiful. With one or two sprays Velvet Orchid lasts the whole day and the silage is great with big wafts of scent greeting you regularly.

It feels very sophisticated but not at all old fashioned or traditional. On Bryony's skin she can smell a tropical element which is probably created by the fruit and rum notes. 

It has a gentle sweetness but is well rounded thanks to the base notes. The perfume doesn't develop as such on the skin; after a few minutes your presented with the scent that is Velvet Orchid - it mellows down and matures but doesn't lose any of its beauty or 'die down'.

The bottle is simple and subtle yet beautiful and the purple colour of the bottle gives it a regal feel. The name and colour theme gives a sense of luxury. It's simply stunning.

Has anyone else tried this Tom Ford perfume? What do you prefer, Black Orchid or Velvet Orchid?

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Perfume Thursday: Still Life by Olfactive Studio

With a sharp hit of citrus - imagine slicing into a lemon that's ripe and juicy - Still Life by Olfactive Studio is anything but still as it fizzes to life.

The top notes include Yuzu (we weren't sure exactly what this was, but researched it to discover that it's a citrus fruit originating in East Asia), Elemi, Black Pepper, Pink Pepper and Szechuan Pepper. While on paper it sounds spicy and peppery, the Yuzu (citrus element) is still the most predominant, making for quite vibrant but plain opening.

The Galbanum/Star Anise heart helps calm the hyper top notes and shows the perfume in a new, matured light. The citrus mellows into the background and is been replaced with some heavier notes created by the heart and the Cedarwood, Ambroxan and Rum finish.

While you can't pick out these notes individually, as you could the Yuzu at the beginning, together they merge to create a tangy, cocktail of scent. The rum note makes an appearance towards the end of the perfume's life on the skin; there's no denying it smells like citrus infused alcoholic cocktail.

It's a unisex perfume, but the dry down is arguably more masculine whereas the opening more feminine. It's a perfume that's gone from disliked/unsure of at the beginning to well-loved and enjoyed at the end for all of us in the Plush Folly office.

As it ends, the name makes sense. It smells like a memory, something that remains still in that time and place and in life. If you've ever wanted to bottle up the smell of that summer, sat sipping cocktails as the sun begins to set, this is it.

Has anyone else tried Still Life or any other Olfactive Studio scents?

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Perfume Thursday: Black XS by Paco Rabanne

After the popularity of Paco Rabanne's hit fragrance Black XS for Him, Black XS for Her was formulated in 2007 and has proven to be just as popular. While some believe that it has quite a Unisex scent, the perfume as a whole is the right balance of all things spicy, sweet and delicious.

Opening with a spicy-sweetness thanks to the inclusion of Cranberry, Pink Pepper and Tamarind Black XS for Her is pleasantly balanced and well-crafted from the first spray. It quickly becomes a more rounder, well defined perfume when the floral heart pushes its way through. Mixed in among the florals hides a helping of cocoa blossom to give it a mouthwatering, delicious scent. The cocoa note comes in and out but provides a gentle caramel, foodie note that guarantees multiple reaches for the inside of your wrist for a cheeky sniff.

The dry-down continues this foodie theme with Vanilla being one of the predominant notes. Patchouli and Massoia Wood are also included to add to its darker, spicier personality. It is during the dry-down that the unisex side of the perfume is more prevalent but it just as wearable and enjoyable during this time as it was during the opening, initial moments.

While it smells lovely and has been enjoyed by both the female and male staff here at Plush Folly, it doesn't last an exceptionally long time and the silage while wearing it, isn't great either.

Has anyone else tried Black XS for Her? What did you think? Let us know below!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Perfume Thursday: Can't Smell Fear by Six Scents

The minds behind Six Scents are more than just perfumers. Their philosophy? "A collection [of perfumes] where designers become authors, perfumers become narrators, scents become characters and your experience is the story".

Established in 2007, Six Scents perfumes have been created by artists who are using perfumery as a language to express themselves and portray their creativity. But it also goes further than that; into a multidimensional concept, with each perfume coming complete with accompanying art, video and narration to allow the perfumer's creativity to be portrayed through multiple art forms.

We've been wearing the third scent from their collection, 'Can't Smell Fear' this week and it's had us divided in opinion.

The opening is quite a sharp, almost stingy scent that has a fresh but also chemical note. It's not too garish, but with the citrus top notes it includes, we thought it begin slightly more harmonious than it actually does. The vibrancy and bounce is there, it's just bit too much all at once.

Nestled among those top notes are nutmeg and pink pepper. These two notes add a smokey warmth which bubbles away nicely to give it more oomph, which is a very welcome addition to the fizz of the citrus introduction.

The woody, incense heart adds further to this smokey, bonfire warmth, which brings to life the idea of the scent "providing the protection and comfort of an old leather jacket ", as described by Six Scents themselves.

To put it simply, the opening 30 minutes of this perfume we could give or take; it's quite unpleasant and hard to pull off. But as it matures, it's warming, sensual and perfect for winter. The nutmeg is the just the beginning of its spicy-smokiness. It's the leather and musk finish that really completes it.

We'd say it's more a of a manly scent, but for those who like their perfumes smokey and dark this is for you.

While not everyone liked it as a whole, we all liked it at some point and it we're really interested in the whole Six Scents unique concept.

Have you tried this Six Scents perfume or any of the others in their collection?

Find out more about the concept here.

Watch an accompanying video for Can't Smell Fear here