Showing posts with label fragrance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fragrance. Show all posts

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Spring, Bottled: Diptyque Eau de Sens

A new Diptyque fragrance is always a joy.  If you read my review of YSL's new, almost monotonic Black Opium Nuit Blanche, you'll be pleased to know that Diptyque Eau de Sens is the absolute opposite - it has a complex harmony of notes which come together into something which is at once joyfully spring appropriate, but also a little rich and unexpected.

It's a citrus scent, based on orange blossom, and based on that I set my expectations rather low - I like citrus scents, but they're not my favourite family of fragrance; I prefer spicy, oriental scents with a bit of richness and power in them.  I was expecting Eau de Sens to be light, refreshing, a bit floral - and it is.  What I wasn't expecting was the richness, the spiciness, which comes from heart notes of patchouli and middle notes of juniper berries.  There's a slight powdery, amber-tinged muskiness when it settles on my skin, which brings a gorgeous warmth, turning a white flowers / citrus scent into something much more complex.

It's also very, very long lasting, and smells just as good on my husband as it does on me.   I can't stop smelling my wrists when I wear it.  Eau de Sens is my new favourite spring perfume - the perfect balance between the heavy winter-appropriate fragrances I prefer, and the lighter, brighter weather of spring.  Find it at the Diptyque website now, where it costs £60 for 50ml.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Sickeningly, Simply Sweet: YSL Black Opium Nuit Blanche

For the past hour, I've been trying to formulate my thoughts on YSL's latest 'flanker', Black Opium Nuit Blache, which is a new twist on Black Opium, which is itself a twist on Opium.  I've been sitting here, snuffling at my wrist like a fragrance-seeking pig, trying to smell anything other than vanilla, sweetness and a tiny flash of slightly fresh florals.

I'm struggling, I really am.

Unfortunately, on my skin and with my nose, this perfume is nothing but overwhelmingly sweet vanilla - the fragrance notes promise coffee, pepper, rice, white musk, orange blossom, but alas, I cannot smell any of them.  And believe me, I've tried.  I actually feel a bit sick now, having snuffled at this over-sweet scent for so long.

For me, it's too one dimensional, too sickly, and, well... too similar to other sweet vanilla mass market perfumes, particularly given that a 30ml bottle of EDP costs £45.  For eight quid more, you can get a bottle of Tom Ford's Black Orchid, for example, which is a way more subtle, complex scent.

Sadly, this one's not destined to remain in my perfume cache, but if you like your scents gourmand, richly, sweetly vanilla, and generally pretty simple, you may like it.  Just do yourself a favour and sniff it in-store before you buy.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Demeter Fragrance Library: Oud, Wet Garden, Ocean & Paperback

I was in New York at Christmas, and I stumbled across a giant display of Demeter fragrances when I popped into a Duane Reade store near Times Square.  Squeeing with delight, I misted a million fragrances into the air before picking four to bring home with me:  Oud, Wet Garden, Ocean and Paperback.  For those not in the know, Demeter make a range of simple fragrances which smell exactly like real life scents - the range goes from Play-Doh to Cake Batter to Clean Skin.

Oud is as woody and rich as you probably imagine.  I've never actually smelled a proper Arabian Oud perfume, but given my love of spicy, woody fragrances I was curious to try it out.  It's rich, strong, evocative, but surprisingly simple - there's no vanilla nudging in, no smokiness or floral edge, just aromatic, woody richness.  I love it.

Wet Garden is, unsurprisingly, a very green scent - it has a freshness, a wetness, which really does evoke a wet garden.  It's a soaked, sopping wet garden, though, not a slightly damp one - imagine rain dripping from the leaves of trees, then the sun coming out after the rain.

It turns out my idea of Ocean is very much influenced by the Body Shop's Ocean perfume from when I was a teenager:  sharp, slightly salty, green.  Demeter's Ocean is very different.  It's almost all salt, with a slightly crisp edge to it.

Paperback is incredibly evocative of a bookshop - it smells of well thumbed books, with a powdery edge.  There's a slight tone of freshness in there, too, which stops it from being old-neglected-library and keeps it well-loved-bookshelf.

I'm so pleased with the fragrances I bought.  I've been generally wearing them alone, but they do layer up well - Paperback and Ocean make a masculine, rich scent which makes me feel powerful.  My only gripe is that I wish they lasted longer on the skin - you get a couple of hours tops, which is a real shame.

You can find Demeter fragrances in the UK at Boots, and although their shops don't really have a big selection, you can find the full range online.

Disclosure:  Bought by me.

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Crabtree & Evelyn Black Absinthe Eau de Cologne

Okay, first off - this is a men's scent.  Second off, I really don't care - it's one of those deep yet fresh, nose tinglingly crisp scents with a warm heart which I absolutely adore, and I won't let the fact that it's been designed for a man put me off wearing it.  Yeah.

Packaged in an appropriately green bottle, Black Absinthe is a little bit Art Deco in it's design, putting you very much in the mind of French bohemian soirees with the green fairy.  As this is a cologne, the bottle has an open neck - I've been applying it by putting my finger across the opening, turning the bottle upside down, and dabbing gently behind the ears and on my neck.  It's a heady fragrance, so applying slowly and building up is a good thing, unless you want to overpower people.

The scent itself is fresh more than anything, opening with a cacophony of green and spicy notes, including absinthe and cardamom, before mellowing to something a bit more floral and creamy, with orange blossom and artemisia.  There's a distinctly warm and buttery heart to this fragrance, incorporating tonka bean (one of my favourites), vetivier sandalwood, but interestingly once the fragrance has fully dried down it doesn't become totally warm - once developed, it's a curious blend of greenness backed by warmth which is beautifully balanced.

Overall, then, it's a gorgeous scent, for men and for women, mixing as it does the crispness of modern fragrances with a warmer, more old fashioned core.  Find it at Crabtree and Evelyn, where it costs £45 for 100ml.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Clinique Aromatics in White

Clinique have released a new take on their iconic fragrance, Aromatics Elixir.  Aromatics Elixir is a bit polarising some people (like me) love its heavy, aromatic, spicy scent, and others find it entirely too overpowering.  Aromatics in White is a different beast altogether - it opens up with a burst of white flowers and pepper, then dries down to a soft, almost powdery amber fragrance which has a gentle waft of spicy aromatics, but mellowed with musk and vanilla.  All in all, it's a warm, comforting fragrance with a distinct air of mellow mystery, and far less of a smack about the nose than Aromatics Elixir is.  Aromatics in White costs £55 for 50ml - not cheap, but not awfully expensive either, particularly for something more complex and unusual than your average high street fragrance.

To celebrate it's launch, Clinique has also launched Long Last Glosswear lip gloss in Crystallized (a sheer, shimmering gold) and a limited edition, rather gorgeous eyeshadow palette.  The palette is an absolute triumph for anyone who hankers after warm neutrals - shades of copper play beautifully with toasty neutrals and golden khakis.  Gorgeous.  £30, but six shadows - still gorgeous.

Disclosure: PR sample
This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Diptyque Florabellio

Diptyque, purveyors of gloriously scented and wildly expensive candles (and other things), will release a new fragrance in May.  It's called Florabellio, and it's absolutely perfect for spring.  The initial spritz bursts with blossom, tempered with a sharp, invigorating, ocean-salty freshness.   Once it dries down on the skin, the heart of the fragrance is revealed - apple blossom, not strong enough to shout APPLES, but soft and calm and tranquil, like walking though an orchard in the spring.  Amongst the freshness, there's a slightly warmer note - coffee and sesame seeds, according to the scent notes, although I don't read it as coffee as much as I read it as a vague rich, roasted warmth sitting beneath the blossom.

As someone who's a confirmed lover of heavy spicy, oriental scents, I'm surprised to find that I really like Florabellio.  It's not a traditional floral perfume - there's nothing sweet or overpoweringly floral about it, it's more of a soft caress of flowers with a bit of apple and salty ocean air mixed in.  Weird, yes, but very definitely different, and enough to make even the most strident floral hater pause for a moment.

If I had to be critical, I'd bemoan the staying power of Florabellio - it's detectable and delectable for a couple of hours and then disappears, which is a shame, although perhaps not unexpected of a light eau de toilette.  At £75 for 100ml, or £58 for 50ml, it's not a cheap scent, but for something so original, so perfectly spring without all the usual citrus, it's a price many fragrance lovers will be prepared to pay.  Find it in May at the usual Diptyque stockists.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Tom Ford Black Orchid

I picked up Tom Ford's Black Orchid Eau de Parfum at a recent 10% off sale at Debenhams - it definitely was a 'want' purchase rather than a 'need' purchase, particularly at £52 for a 30ml bottle.  It's absolutely gorgeous, though, and well worth every penny, especially if you're a lover of deep, mysterious, spicy fragrances.

The first spritz opens with a flash of bright white flowers, with an almost nose-quiveringly strong alcoholic note.  Behind that initial assault, there's a slight pepperiness which slowly deepens and becomes richer as it warms into the skin.  Once it's developed, there's a lovely warm richness to it, with the tiniest taste of bitter chocolate wrapped up in spices and vanilla - but it's saved from being a gourmand fragrance by the subtle citrus notes which freshen it up, and a hint of amber which works with the spices to make it feel entirely rich and grown up.

I've used the word 'rich' a lot in this description, and that's the scent I live with whilst I wear it - rich, sumptuous and spicy.  It's very grown up, a bit sultry, and very, very unique.  I love it.  Not quite as much as I love Tobacco Vanille, which still smacks me round the face with its sheer intensity every time I wear it, but as a slightly less heady day-to-day fragrance, Black Orchid is fabulous.

Disclosure:  Bought by me.

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Soap & Glory Orangeasm

Soap and Glory have released a new mini-collection themed around a fruity, cheeky new scent - and it's called Orangeasm.  I'm not quite sure why Soap and Glory have decided that notes of green mandarin, Sicilian lemon and sweet orange peel are comparable to orgasms, but hey, this is Soap and Glory, and they can always be relied upon for a bit of irreverent fun.

Anyway, the products in the range include a body wash, body butter, and super tonic, which is a light fragrance mist.  I've been using the body wash and super tonic for the past couple of weeks, and I've been impressed by the body wash - it foams up plentifully but doesn't feel drying at all on the skin, thanks in part to the use of Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, a more gentle cleansing agent than the traditional SLS included in most body washes.  The scent is glorious - bright, zesty and bursting with citrus, it's very, very energising indeed.  Not bad for just £6.50 for a giant 500ml bottle.

I've been less impressed by the Super Tonic - I like my fragrance to stay on my skin for as long as possible, and the tonic seems to fade within the hour.  The scent is simple, but nice enough if you like citrus - it's very orangey, and I can't really detect many other notes in the mix.  If you love the scent and are prepared to reapply every couple of hours, Super Tonic may work for you, but it's just too simplistic and fades too fast for me.  At least it doesn't break the bank at £12 for 100ml.

Disclosure: PR samples

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Nostalgia Alert: Eden EDP

As I waited for a prescription to be filled, I noticed a distinctively green cardboard box in the fragrance cabinet.  I wore Eden in my mid-to-late teens, and I thought I was the epitome of sophistication - whilst my friends were wearing So...? and Impulse body sprays, I was wearing a proper perfume.  A very strong smelling perfume at that.

Needless to say, I had to buy the little bottle of Eden, and I've been pleased to find it almost the same as I remembered it.  It's definitely not subtle - expect to be smacked around the face with sweet, floral notes once you spritz, which quickly settles down into a sweet, freshly green scent.  On my skin, it grows deeper and more oriental, still retaining plenty of green-ness, but giving much more of the sandalwood notes.

It's almost cloying, very intense, and very much a love it or hate it scent.  I still love it - my nose may have become more sophisticated since I was a teenager, but I still like the juxtaposition of oriental greenness with a bit of corrupted sweetness.

What fragrances take you back to past times?  Do you still wear scents you wore as a teenager?

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Bleurgh: Rogue by Rihanna

Celebrity scents, eh?  I personally don't really understand why anyone would want to buy a fragrance emblazoned with a celebrity name (unless said person was a fragrance celebrity) - most aren't formulated by the person whose name is on the bottle at all.  That said, many celebrities have successfully launched ranges of fragrance which sell very, very well indeed - so obviously I'm in the minority.

Apparently, this fragrance - the latest in Rihanna's increasing stable of signature fragrances - is a sensuous oriental with notes of suede, musk, wood and amber, as well as lemon blossom and vanilla.  Being a lover of oriental fragrances, I was hoping that maybe Rihanna would change my mind about celeb fragrance with Rogue.  Unfortunately, once it's settled on my skin, all I can smell is PEACH and SWEET and PEACH and SWEET and it makes my nose hurt.

Other reviewers get more suede and more depth, but on me, all I can smell is cloying, sweet fruit with a background of bland vanilla.  Not nice at all.  If you're at all interested, I'd highly recommend spritzing carefully before you take the plunge.  The only nice thing I can say about it is that it has pretty decent lasting power - hours and hours pass before it wears down - and it's well priced at £23 for 30ml.  Find it now at Superdrug.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Clinique rediscovers Calyx

Clinique has recently re-released an old favourite in the form of Calyx.  Originally produced by Prescriptives in the late 80s in a time of power suits and powerful, oriental fragrances - bursting with freshness, Calyx was literally a breath of fresh air.

On first spritz, it almost assaults the nose with freshness, with an almost fruity greenness which gets right up my nose and stays there.  The first few moments are almost overpowering, but wait a while and the fragrance settles down - it's still energising, but it's not smacking you round the face.  The freshness softens down a little and the greenery starts to take centre stage, combined with a slightly juicy, fruity edge which adds a touch of sweetness.

Surprisingly, as the perfume develops, there's a slightly woody heart in there, albeit still surrounded by freshness and greenery.  Those heart notes add a different dimension to the fragrance - I can't stop using the word 'greenery' to describe it, but it's so much more, thanks to the hint of fruit and the elusively subtle woody heart.  Some fragrances take me straight to a place, and this is one of them - if I could distill the scent of a rain-soaked forest in springtime, this would be it.  Fresh, green, earthy, gorgeous; despite my usual predilection for smoky oriental scents, this one's a winner.  Find it now on the Clinique website.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Roger & Gallet Boise d'Orange Shower Gel and Fragrant Water

Roger & Gallet is a range I generally associate with soaps, rather than fragrance and body products.  I think this is down to my Canadian cousin generally bringing Roger & Gallet soaps (and ice wine) when he came to visit; strange in that Roger & Gallet is a French brand, and has little to do with Canada at all.

Anyway, I was recently offered the chance to try out one of the latest fragrance lines, Bois d'Orange.  The fragrance is designed to be the olfactory equivalent of walking through an orange grove, and contains notes of neroli, orange flower, and mandarin, tempered with a bit of verbena and basil for freshness.  The result is something which smells fresh and citrus-y without being overpoweringly orange, too fruity, or too sweet.  It's a soft, gentle take on orange, with just enough freshness to avoid being cloying.  Very pleasant, although it feels more spring-like to me - I prefer heavy, musky scents in winter.

The shower gel is excellent - I was surprised to find that it's soap and sulphate free, as it lathers up brilliantly with the help of a shower puff, with a little squeeze of gel creating masses of bubbles.  The fragrant water I'm less convinced by - it seems to be a light fragrant spritz which isn't quite as strong as a cologne.  I can see how it might work if you like carrying your fragrance around with you and regularly spritzing it on, as it has absolutely no lasting power.  On me, it fades within an hour, and given that I like to apply my perfume in the morning and have it last til evening, this format isn't for me.

You'll find the shower gel (which is a very decent £9) and the fragrant water (£16 for 30ml) at Escentual, who are currently offering 10% off Roger & Gallet products.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Tom Ford Sahara Noir

At the launch of Tom Ford's Atelier d'Orient range, I happened to spritz myself with a release from May this year - and at first sniff I was hooked.  I like my fragrances deep, dark and intense, and this one has all three in bucketloads.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Review: Tom Ford Private Blend Shanghai Lily

Tom Ford recently released four new Private Blend fragrances in a collection entitled Atelier d’Orient.  All four fragrances make use of exotic scents, and whilst the four fragrances are all distinct, they share a rich, spicy undertone.

I went to sniff all four and from the notes was convinced that I'd probably prefer Plum Japonaise, based on the une plum.  I quickly found that whilst I loved the plum note, I could smell a distinct waft of aniseed, which is something I can't abide.  Unusually for me, I found myself being drawn to Shanghai Lily, the floriental of the collection.

Immediately after spritzing, you get an intense burst of lily which then quickly deepens and matures with a touch of spice.  For a good five minutes after application, the scent is sheer and subtle, with a faint waft of flowers and the warmth of spice and vanilla, but as it develops on the skin it develops a rich, warm tone with a little frankincense in the background.

Despite the presence of such intense, spicy notes, Shanghai Lily isn't an overpowering scent.  In fact, it's rather subtle, lingering on the skin for a few hours before fading away.  It's not the sort of scent that turns your head when you walk past someone wearing it (unlike my current favourite, Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille) - it's more like a fleeting trace of scent worn by an elegant woman brushing past you.

Find it at Selfridges, where a 50ml bottle costs a staggeringly expensive £140.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating our copyright.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Review: Vanille & Narcisse by L'Occitane

Vanille & Narcisse is one of the four fragrances which make up L'Occitane's recently released La Collection de Grasse.  According to L'Occitane, it takes you on a journey from East to West, and offers mellow warmth and richness.  Sounds right up my street.

It spritzes with intense sweetness from the vanilla, but it's a brief explosion and soon subsides.  Just before it settles down, it has an interesting mix of vanilla, backed up with the warmth of tonka bean, and narcissus.  Once it does settle, it loses a little of the obvious vanilla scent, retaining a residual warmth but smelling primarily of a muted narcissus.  After ten minutes or so, the scent is barely detectable on me - a mere whisper of narcissus, a gentle mellowness, is all that remains.  Apparently there are blackcurrant and bergamot top notes in there, but I can't smell them at all.

I don't find that it wears particularly well - it's subtle within fifteen minutes, and barely detectable to my nose within an hour.  If you like your fragrances subtle, this might work for you - but I prefer mine to last ages and whack me round the face with smoky scent, so this isn't entirely for me.  If it could retain the balance of vanilla and narcissus it gets shortly before it dries down, I'd like it more, but I can't help feeling it's a little thin and one dimensional after the dry down.

Find it at L'Occitane stores and online, where a 75ml EDT will cost you £49.  If you're a fan of the scent, there's a body milk, shower gel and soap available which can be used to do the whole scent layering thing, which might help it last a bit longer.  The gift set is particularly good value:  for £16 more than the cost of the EDT alone, you get a full size EDT and 175ml each of shower gel and body milk.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating our copyright.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Vaara by Penhaligon's: an Indian summer scent

This is a fragrance with a story. It was commissioned to celebrate the birth of a baby girl named Vaara, granddaughter of (*checks spelling*) His Royal Highness Maharaja Gaj Singh II, of the Royal House of Marwar-Jodhpur. (Luckily, he has a shorter nickname, Bapji.)

The nose behind it is the tremendously accomplished Bertrand Duchaufour, who was also responsible for Penhaligon's previous releases Sartorial (2010) and Amaranthine (2009). Apparently Vaara was 4 years in the making, and involved a sensory tour around Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Vaara's own hometown.

I was expecting this to be a powerful scent. The colourful design and the rich mix of aromatic ingredients had me expecting something exuberant and statement-y, the sort of fanfaring sensory explosion you put on for a red letter day. Wrong. Vaara is delicate.

It opens with a light and dreamy floral mix, hints of zesty fruit (actually quince, checking the note list), very fresh and gentle. There are two roses here, as well as a cooling touch of iris. Then it develops a little kick - something skin scented, warm and (sounds odd, but) salty. That little twist is compelling - you want to keep smelling your wrist to figure it out. It reminds me a little of salted caramel, with both tang and sweetness. The drydown is warm and woodsy, with a mellow feel and an easygoing, nuanced depth, like something familiar and comforting.

It clings close to the skin - even though it's an EDP, I found that I could wear it quite freely without feeling like a walking scent-bomb. It lasted from 8am til around 5 before fading gently out.

The packaging is predictably gorgeous, and as ever Penhaligon's have used their classic bottle and box as a framework for a richly textured and coloured design that reflects the nature of the fragrance. If I have one quibble, it's that the lid of the bottle doesn't sit quite tight, and shakes around a little. But really that's a very minor point when stacked up against the positives - this is a fragrance that's distinctive, eminently wearable and comes with a story that fires the imagination each time you wear it.

Head Notes: Quince, Rosewater, Carrot Seed, Coriander Seed, Saffron
Heart Notes: Moroccan Rose Absolute, Bulgarian Rose Oil, Freesia, Indian Magnolia, Peony, Iris
Base Notes: Honey, White Musk, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Benzoin Resin, Tonka Bean

Eau de Parfum 50ml £85
Eau de Parfum 100ml £120

It will be available from 8 July from Penhaligon's (who incidentally seem to be having an online sale at the moment...) and in India at the Umaid Bhawan Palace Collection Shop in Jodhpur.

Disclosure - PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating our copyright.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Review: Liz Earle Botanical Essence No. 15

This sleek white box contains the second of Liz Earle's forays into fragrance.  Botanical Essence No. 1 was a light, fresh, citrus scent: great for summer, bursting with fruit and sunlight.  Nice, but not really my kind of thing.  No. 15, however, is right up my street.  It's a deep, rich, almost gourmand oriental fragrance, and I kind of want to eat it.

It arrives encased in a sturdy cardboard box which folds out to reveal both the perfume bottle within and a detailed breakdown of the ingredients used in its making.

The bottle itself is a very minimalist affair - a simple cream bottle with a glass top, it bears Liz Earle's name and logo, the name of the fragrance, and that's it.  

As for the scent itself, it's absolutely perfect for winter.  Warm, rich ingredients like tonka bean and vanilla are tempered with woody, earthy vetiver and cedarwood.  Add spice, such as clove and pink pepper, and you get a fragrance that evokes evenings by the fire with a mug of mulled wine, the scent of some kind of delicious cake floating in the air.  It's a little bit foodie, a lot comforting, and it's exactly the sort of scent I turn to come autumn.  There's something about it (probably that tonka bean and vanilla combo) which draws a parallel with my absolute favourite (and much more expensive), Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille.  I'll definitely be repurchasing.

Find it at the Liz Earle website, where a 50ml spray bottle will cost you £45.

Disclosure: PR sample

Monday, 6 August 2012

Penhaligon's Peoneve Terrace at Harvey Nichols

Harvey Nicks and Penhaligons have teamed up to create a playful, floral outdoor space up by the 5th floor bar and restaurant at the flagship Knightsbridge store. It's called the Peoneve Terrace, in honour of Penhaligon's latest release Peoneve, a flowery fragrance with a base of pale woods composed by perfumer Oliver Cresp.

There's a full cocktail menu of Penhaligon's-inspired tipples, including the gin-tastic Peoneve Collins, which is served in a 500ml fragrance bottle (with straw), and the Turkish Delight-style Rose Garden. There's a themed selection of desserts too.

The decor is a fun mix of traditional garden furniture, oversized blossoms and insects - and we're talking ants and spiders, not just butterflies. The terrace is designed to be multi-sensory, so as well as the tastes and sights, there's fragrance in the air and if you squint a little and ignore the London architecture rising all around you, you just could be sitting in a country garden. It's definitely a fun way to round off a shopping trip.

The Peoneve Terrace is open now, and will remain until 31 August. You can book a table via the Harvey Nichols website

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Happy Birthday Clarins Eau Dynamisante

Clarins' perfume-that's-not-just-a-perfume Eau Dynamisante celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.  To celebrate, Clarins have released a version of the iconic scent encased in a glittering red bottle.

I've never actually had the pleasure of smelling Eau Dynamisante before, and I was smitten within a single spritz.  It's light, fresh and zingy, with notes of lemon and ginseng dominating the mix.  The overall effect is refreshing and uplifting.  The premise of Eau Dynamisante goes beyond fragrance - it's intended to combine aromatherapy with a toning, moisturising base for a part-scent, part-body treatment effect.  I'm not too sure about the toning and moisturising part, having not been using it for long enough, but it's definitely a well designed, refreshing scent which is easily layerable if you're looking for a freshness boost during the day.

Find it at Clarins counters, concessions, and via their website, where this special edition bottle will cost you £29 for 100ml.

Disclosure: PR sample

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Review: Kiehl's Aromatic Blends: Orange Flower and Lychee

This fragrance from Kiehl's has completely turned my nose upside down this summer.  I tend towards smoky, woody oriental perfumes, veering away from anything sweet or fruity completely.  Orange Flower and Lychee, as you'd expect, is pretty sweet and pretty fruity, but somehow I've fallen absolutely in love with it.

Kiehl's are soon to release a set of four Aromatic Blends, inspired by exotic ingredients from around the world.  Interestingly, each of the four fragrances has been blended by a different parfumier, resulting in four very different fragrances. Orange Flower and Lychee came from a visit to the Jardin Majorelle in Morrocco, which was owned by Yves Saint Laurent and is where his ashes were scattered after his death in 2008.  The parfumier supposedly was inspired by drinking tea and eating cake sweetened with honey amongst the blossoms in the garden.

The resulting fragrance is fresh, fruity and sweet, but grown up sweet - think honey rather than caramel and sugar.  The lychee note is the one that really jumps out at my nose - it's the centrepiece of the fragrance, surrounded by a subtle fresh floral scent which isn't all that orangey.  I didn't previously realise that lychees actually have no scent - all the perfume you'd associate with them comes from their taste rather than from their scent.  Lychee used in fragrances, therefore, has to be a chemical reconstruction - not something I would ever have guessed at with this fragrance, as there's nothing synthetic about it at all.

Overall I've found myself surprised by this fragrance.  It's light, fresh, fruity, and smells deliciously of sunshine and tropical holidays, minus the obvious coconut and sunscreen.  I'll be wearing this all summer!

Disclosure: PR sample
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