Thursday, 3 September 2015

See By Chloe Eau de Parfum

See By Chloe came on the scene in 2012. A great perfume for the twenty to thirty somethings, rather enchanting. At first the light and fruity scents would lead you to think it is for the young female but as it settles in, the exotic scents come through.

I imagine a university graduate who is heading to the big city ready to start their career, a whole new phase in their life! Ready to take on whatever comes their way.

Chloe are selling this for the hip urban dweller, I think they are spot on.

The Eau de Parfum comes in a lovely bottle that appears to be in the style of a bird cage with three little feet having it levitate off the ground.  Lovely bottle, but why a cage? The urban dweller may sing lovely tunes but never to be one left sitting pretty behind bars. They are on the go, no stopping them!

The top notes of zesty bergamot and crisp apple work fabulously together, fresh intelligent scents that come in subtle and smooth. The middle notes of the tropical blend of jasmine and ylang ylang )our intoxicating scent of the week!) bring out the feminine strengths. There is a confidence and allure that comes out with these scents leading to the base notes of vanilla, musk and a hint of sandalwood creating a sense of valiance.

Maybe it's the girl transforming from a sweet protected girl stepping out on her own, to be self sufficient, learning her strengths and working them to achieve what she is looking for in life.

See by Chloe go girl!

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Invictus by Paco Rabanne

It's not often that we pick a perfume that smells as synthetic as Invictus, but this one definitely ticks that box.  Don't get me wrong, I don't believe there is anything wrong with synthetic when it comes to perfumes (think fragrance oils and aroma chemicals) but I don't want the overall aroma to appear synthetic - and Invictus has a slightly sticky sweet after-aroma that I'm not sure about.

The opening is fresh and lively with a quick fire treat of mandarin and grapefruit.  The marine/ocean/outdoorsy/salty sea dog aroma (our smell of the week) then takes over and gives the scent its manly, energetic, care-free, happy-go-lucky handsome, muscly man appeal.

There is a herbaceous note teasing my nostrils (bay) and a little green woodiness courtesy of the oakmoss, patchouli and guiaic wood.  Ambergris is in here but I can't pick that up at all... plus there is jasmine and hedione nestling away hiding between the layers of saltiness.

Overall I'd be happy if my man was to wear this and I'd certainly sit up straight and interested if handsome man turned up at a meeting with it splashed liberally around his neck.

Back to the slight sweet syntheticness....the more I smell, the more it appeals to me.  How fickle am I?!  I have gone from wrinkled up nose and a slight disdain to 'actually this is good'.

Ah well, it's our prerogative to change our mind!

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Opus IX by Amouage

This week we have been wearing a unisex perfume - Opus IX by Amouage - and filling the office with animal scents (our aroma of the week is ambergris).

First word impressions when wearing Opus IX have ranged from good, guttural, strong and stinky...and as the week has worn on and the perfume has become more familiar we have all learnt to adore this deep, complex, beautiful bottle of wonder.

The inspiration for the perfume came from Verdi's La Traviata opera which features camellia flowers. Bizarrely camellias do not have a scent so the perfume design team were able to exploit their creativity and imagination prowess to blend their own personal interpretation of a camellia.

The perfume contains big bold aromas of jasmine, black pepper, leather, guaiac wood, beeswax, vetiver, ambergris and civet so you can tell before even getting near the bottle that the perfume is going to be dark, intense and daring.  And it is, it so is.

It is loud and distinct, it is smoky, byzantine and slightly weird.  Weird in that I think I understand the perfume and have fallen in love with it, but then I smell my wrist and recoil slightly wondering if I like it at all.  That's civet for you!  Actually, I love the perfume, love the intense animal edge and love the leather smokiness.

And my goodness, it has staying power.  This one stays apparent until washed off.  I'm very happy with that.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Le plus beau jour de ma vie by Guerlain

Le plus beau jour de ma vie translates as 'the best day of my life' and the idea behind its creation was to have a scent that would immortalise a special day.... be that a wedding, a birthday, a royal garden party ...............

Upon first sniff we are greeted with quite a strong but distinctive aroma, very much reminding us of the impact that a fragrance such as Poison, Flower Bomb or Angel might make, but at the same time gentle.  It is a sweet, floral fragrance, conjuring up memories of sweet shops with its sugared almond element alongside the delightful orange blossom, rose and angelica, in fact it reminds Sally of Angelique Noire (another beautiful Guerlain scent) which also list angelica as one of its ingredients.

Words that spring to mind as an overall impression are innocent, virginal, clean - it seems to have the ability to make you feel special, caressed and beautiful, to be the centre of the room without having to dance on the table.  If this was your 'special day scent'  we are pretty sure you wouldn't arrive   'wearing the same dress' as anyone else in the room, you would be unique!

It has staying power too, applied at lunch time this would see you through to early evening, when just a little additional dab on the pulse points may be required. Applying this more frequently would become too much and spoil its allure and (given the price) it is something to be treasured.

Pink pepper (our aroma of the week) adds a warmth to it without overpowering the gentleness of the florals and vanilla seems to tie the sweet and spicy elements together effortlessly.

If you were wearing this on your special day those around would definitely notice you and remember you for it, and should they come across this scent again a smile will emerge on their lips as they recall sharing your special day, whatever it may have been.


Monday, 3 August 2015

The Perphone from Galimard

The Perphone from Galimard

We have been having fun testing a new concept – a perfume atomiser integrated into an iPhone cover.  Perfume on tap whenever you need it, straight from your phone.

Supplied in the form of a rigid iPhone cover with four snap-in cartridges, we received two boxes – black cover with cartridges full of men’s scents and white cover with four more cartridges containing more feminine scents.

The initial installation is simple – click the cover onto your iPhone and click your chosen scent cartridge into a gap in the cover.  To release the perfume, you need to rotate the snap-in cartridge 180o.  It then protrudes slightly enabling the top of the cartridge to be pressed down releasing a spray of the perfume.  It’s easy, quick and such a simple idea.

It isn’t any bigger than a regular iPhone case and certainly a lot smaller than the bottle of perfume I usually carry around in my handbag.

Everyone I showed it to agreed it was a useful gadget and that if readily available they’d consider purchasing one.

Suggestions for design improvements included –

  • make the cartridge hold more (the capacity at present is 3ml),
  • make the cartridges available empty so you can fill them with your choice of perfume (although we enjoyed Brindille, Cantabell, Journal Intime and Songeries, the wonderful feminine scents supplied by Gallimard)it would be even more appealing if you could decant your current favourite into a cartridge
  • join forces with some of the large perfume houses so cartridges full of their perfumes could be available too

I love the idea of combining two of the things that I pretty much always take with me in my handbag. perfume and my phone.  There have been occasions when I’ve forgotten my perfume and had heart palpitations when I realised.

Having perfume as part of my phone is ideal – all I need now is to attach a lipstick too!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

24 Old Bond Street By Atkinsons

24 Old Bond Street Eau de Cologne was introduced as a 200 year anniversary cologne for Atkinsons.  The promotion is  'As the definitive last word in English elegance.'  This, the company have accomplished. Atkinsons the perfume house are back after a hibernation period, as they say. 

The cologne has a beautiful aromatic scent. it is a very personal scent, one that I feel could be seen as a signature scent. 

A soft subtle aroma, gentle and eloquent, that politely and slowly reaches out to greet you with a light kiss on the cheek.  A refreshing change from many on the market that jump up and give you a big old snog before you have even had a chance to be acquainted.

The top notes start with juniper berries and reminds me of opening a bottle of wonderful gin, fresh light a bit of citrus, along with the wafering scent of rose.

The warmth of the middle notes of black tea nerolidol is our aroma of the week ending with an enduring smoky intensity of oak whisky and cedar to give the cologne its depth.

As it is only within your personal space that others would firstly detect this scent, it seems that over time it would be part of your aura.  It is reserved and restrained - the strong silent type, that all close to you can rely on.

I have read that the cologne is for men but we don't it should be limited. It is certainly one to be used by all, we have all enjoyed wearing it this week.

Christine Nagel and Violaine Collas are the creators of the cologne and you can imagine that their 'brief' would have been to make a cologne to celebrate 200 year anniversary of the company and to come up with something quintessentially English.

They did Mr Atkinson & the Bear pure justice.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Dot by Marc Jacobs

Dot by Marc Jacobs
The sweet smell of success?

He is back, the wonderful fashion designer who has been dabbling in the perfume world. Following on from Daisy, Lola and Honey with his fun, extreme interpretation of a perfume bottle. What else is to be expected of a designer of his magnitude?

The latest, a round red bottle with black polka dots, grandiose black petals, looks like a lady bird with butterflies that have joined in for the ride.

The top notes sweep into an exotic scent of dragon fruit with red berries and coconut to give a tropical sweetness. The middle notes flutter into the offering with the floral edge of honeysuckle, the all enticing jasmine and orange blossom.

The scent then spreads its wings starting with subtle coconut water, then bringing on the lasting depth vanilla, our scent of the week, driftwood and musk to give the lingering edge to keep you gliding along.

The top perfume names associated with the making of Dot are Annie Gottlieb and Ann Buzantian both known for their individual contributions to the industry, behind many notable perfumes and celebrity scents.

With this trio collaborating chances are it has staying power, it certainly does on me!