Marc Jacobs Divine Decadence Eau de Parfum

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This little sample was given to me by the lovely lady in Debenhams when I last visited. I do like Marc Jacobs perfumes so was very happy with this one. With a name like ‘Decadence’ I was expecting great things from this one.

I spotted the beautiful packaging on my daughter’s dressing table when I was staying with her and thought how original it was.

~*~*~*~*~*~ ABOUT MARC JACOBS ~*~*~*~*~*~

Marc Jacobs was born and brought up in New York and is a fashion designer. He has worked as a designer for Luis Vuitton but now has his own fashion label and fashion house. By 2013, there were 285 Marc Jacobs retail stores in 60 countries.

Marc Jacobs has his own range of fashion, watches, bags,beauty products and of course perfumes.

~*~*~*~*~*~ ABOUT DECADENCE ~*~*~*~*~*~

Unlike other Marc Jacobs perfumes this is a far more mature sort of bottle and fragrance. Decadence is sexy, sensual and sophisticated. The fragrance as created by by Annie Buzantian who has created a few perfumes for Estee lauder and almost all Marc Jacobs fragrances and also Ann Gottlieb who has created many fragrances for Calvin Klein, Impulse, Coty and of course Marc Jacobs.

The face of the campaign shot by Steven Meisel is Adriana Lima who is a Brazilian model and actress, who worked as a Victoria’s Secret Angel since 1999, as a spokes model for Maybelline cosmetics since 2003 and also for being in the Super Bowl and Kia Motors commercials.

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~*~*~*~*~*~ THE PACKAGING ~*~*~*~*~*~

I have to admit I love Marc Jacobs packaging and creative bottles, they are cute, quirky and very original.

This perfume comes in a beautiful, very classy bottle design and looks like an emerald green handbag with python pattern, gold chain and black tassel. You lift the handbag open and the spray is underneath.

Not only I this very unusual but it is also dark coloured so keeps the contents away from light which can alter the scent after some time. It does mean you don’t know when you are coming to the end of the bottle though.

It looks like it is a green padded bag with a black patent flap that open the bag and gold chain to carry the bag with! It looks like a mini evening bag.

This is available in The fragrance is available as 30ml, 50ml and 100 ml Eau de Parfum.

The outer box is a shimmery, almost velvet looking green colour with just the brand and perfume name on the front. This is luxurious looking but in a more minimalist way

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~*~*~*~*~*~ THE NOTES ~*~*~*~*~*~

Top notes: plum, iris, saffron
Middle notes: Bulgarian rose, jasmine sambac and orris
Base notes : amber, vetiver and papyrus

~*~*~*~*~*~ MY EXPERIENCE AND VIEWS ~*~*~*~*~*~

I love this perfume, it has the usual Mac Jacobs sweetness but with a deeper more sensual aroma. It tarts off fruity and sweet but not at all cloying and no fresh notes so the saffron must be adding that hint of savoury so it doesn’t smell too sweet.

After around an hour or so the more exotic floral notes develop which are lovely and so feminine and this lasts for good length of time.

Later the base notes begin to develop and these are the aromas I can smell the next day on my clothes and these are deeper and warmer. I love the smell of vetiver, it is one of my go- to essential oils and amber is also one I love but cannot say I recognise papyrus, it guess it is kind of papery or grass like.

I found the sillage to be good and had a few compliments when wearing this. It lasts really well on my skin, several hours later I can still smell it on my skin and the next day on any clothes I sprayed it on smelled great .

It of kind of remind me of La Nuit Tresor in its feminine sweet yet sensual aroma. It is very feminine and not in any way unisex as it is sweet, fruity and yet not sugary and teenagery at all.

This is one I would love to buy a full bottle of but as I have a drawer full of unopened perfumes and also several opened ones that I really need to use before justifying purchasing any new perfumes.

~*~*~*~*~*~ BUYING THIS ~*~*~*~*~*~

As always prices do vary so shop around and don’t forget cashback sites and using your loyalty cards if you have them.

Boots have 30 ml for £49 ,50 ml for £69 and 100 ml for £98 and they also have a shower gel of 150 ml for £34.

Debenhams have 30ml ,50 ml,100 ml for the same prices as Boots.

Allbeauty on line has the shower gel for £22.95. 30 ml for £37.95, the 50 ml for £49.95 and the 100 ml for £69.95 so much cheaper than Boots and Debenhams.

~*~*~*~*~*~ RECOMMENDED? ~*~*~*~*~*~

Yes I do like this one and would buy it and hope it might go down in price in future. It is a lovely feminine fragrance that had great sillage and lasts really well on me. It isn’t cheap but none of Marc Jacobs fragrances are cheap sadly !

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Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Floral Shock Eau de Parfum

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~~~~~~ ABOUT YVES SAINT LAURENT ~~~~~~

I can’t honestly say I have ever bought a garment from this fashion house and their make up and scents are as close I will ever get to buying from YSL.

This is a French fashion House was started in 1961 by Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent known as Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, industrialist Pierre Bergé. Previously laurent had worked as a designer for Dior so he as known in the fashion industry already. He died in 2008 of cancer but the brand continues.

YSL have a large make up and perfume collection too and if you like high end expensive products then you will find plenty to be tempted by here. I like to look and try but buying is less likely to happen as I do find them expensive.

~~~~~~~ PACKAGING ~~~~~~~~

Yves Saint Laurent brought this new variation to the Black Opium collection out in 2017 so it is pretty new, hence the chance to grab samples.

The bottle is black glass and square looking from the front but kind of oval looking from the top so the edges are rounded. This is the same as the original Black Opium bottle in shape. It is black but transparent and covered with black glitter that thins towards the bottom of the bottle and then you can see the contents – the perfume which is pink in colour.

The box is an attractive grey pink colour with a sheen to it. There are imprinted lines across the box and the YSL letters on the front in large stylized letters. The perfume name is also on the front at the bottom in smaller text. I like the colour and style of the box, it looks classy and elegant.

The campaign adverts feature the model Edie Campbell. The perfume was created by perfumers Nathalie Lorson, Marie Salamagne, Olivier Cresp and Honorine Blanc.

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~~~~~~ THE NOTES IN THIS ~~~~~~

Top notes which are those that you smell on first spray: lemon, bergamot ,pear and freesia

Heart notes are those that develop as the perfume dries down a little: gardenia, orange blossom and a solar floral accord.

Base notes these are the notes that last the longest as the perfume settles on your skin and may last hours :iced coffee, white musk, mineral accord and woody amber

 

~~~~~~~ MY VIEWS ~~~~~

I cannot remember if I have tried others in the Black Opium range but this is said to be “
A fresh and invigorating interpretation of the iconic Black Opium coffee signature. Black Opium Floral Shock hits like that first jolt of espresso when you wake up in the morning. A shot of sensuality.”

Personally I am not mad on the bottle as I feel it is a bit tacky for the consumer this perfume is aimed at considering the price. It looks a bit teeny and glam rock to me and I would have thought the perfume might have been aimed at someone with a bit more sophistication but maybe I am being a bit judgemental!!

On first spray my nose picks out sweet floral so for me the freesia is the most dominant note and then the fresh pear starts to come through which when combined with the lemon and bergamot gives a fresh slightly citrus edge to the floral.

Around half an hour later the perfume has settled onto my skin and I can still smell floral, citrus which is not surprising as the heart notes have orange and gardenia and that floral not is slightly headier than the freesia, and the orange sweeter than bergamot.

After an hour or so and then the net day on my clothes I can enjoy the sweet vanilla and my favourite musk and amber with the other florals still evident. My nose doesn’t pick up the coffee much, maybe slightly sweet coffee just but not in my face at all.

I find that the sillage is good and others can smell my perfume when I wear it and have commented on how nice it is .

It lasts quite well on me too. If I apply it in the morning I can still detect it around six hours later on my pulse points but if I was going out somewhere I would apply a bit more to liven it up.

I really like this perfume, it is sweet and floral and quite heady and sensuous. I would be happy to wear this day or evening. I feel it would appeal to a wide age range too as it isn’t too young and also isn’t too heavy and cloying so a nice fresh floral with a good lasting heart.

This has been described by YSL as “ Between cool seduction and burning exhilaration, Black Opium Floral Shock Eau de Parfum is a deliciously irresistible shock of sensuality. The electrifying signature of Black Opium wrapped in shocking freshness: the warm sensuality of black coffee shaken with bold citrus notes and a cool, mysterious note of white musk. A biting freshness that blows the mind but leaves you wanting more.”

I like the freshness that goes with this floral perfume. It apparently is classified in the family of floral-florientals. Gardenia is one of the florals that I do really like it reminds me of tropical islands and some wonderful holidays.

I have no idea what a solar floral accord is so can’t say if that is noticeable at all, is it sunflower or is it the smell of flowers in the sun? Who knows ?

Anyway this is a nice fresh summery perfume that lasts pretty well and is uplifting and very feminine and the gardenia weighs in very strongly for me. I don’t find it cloying as some heavy florals can be so that is a big plus for me.

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~~~~~~~ BUYING THIS ~~~~~~

The fragrance is available as a 30ml, 50ml and 90 ml Eau de Parfum. Prices as always do vary a lot so as I always say shop around to see where you can find it cheapest.

Escentual sell all three sizes and they range from £42.90, to £60.35 and the largest size is £77.35.

Boots sell all three again and the prices here go from £50.50 to £65.50 and the largest size is £81.00

Personally I feel these prices are quite high and although I do like the perfume I don’t feel it is exciting enough to pay those prices as I get just as much pleasure and lasting scent from perfume oils I buy on Ebay from Middle Eastern perfume shops which are a lot cheaper.

~~~~~~ RECOMMENDED ? ~~~~~

I liked the perfume and found it pleasant, fresh and floral and feminine. I am not sure I would pay the full price for this as it is quite expensive but so are many other high brand perfumes so it depends on how you feel abut spending money on perfumes. I love perfumes and do spend quite a lot on them but also get as many samples of these high end ones as I can. I have a total of five of this one collected through the mail and various shops around town.

If you like fresh florals then this will appeal but if you prefer the more unisex scents this may not be one for you. It isn’t a heavy, classic like Opium but rather lighter and maybe one that would appeal to younger ladies and for wearing in summer.

Hugo Boss Jour Pour Femme

HUGO BOSSS JOUR POUR FEMME

IMG_2991I love perfumes and while I couldn’t possibly collect full sized bottles of every perfume I am fond of collecting samples which I either get free of buy in bulk lots from ebay.

~~~~~~ ABOUT HUGO BOSS ~~~~~

Hugo Boss was founded by Hugo Boss in 1924 in Germany and originally supplied uniforms to th Nazis!! After the war the company branched away from uniforms. In 1985 the company went public and this was also the year they created their first fragrance. These days it is a huge business with over 1,000 stores world wide.

I can’t say it is a brand that has ever attracted my attention and its fragrances have also never really grabbed me either but always willing to try something new I am happy to accept any free samples going even from a company with a very questionable start!

Sadly their ethics may have improved slightly as thy have moved away from employing forced labour but they do test their fragrances on animals but it seems that most large companies also do the same.

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~~~~~~~ PACKAGING ~~~~~

The box is a silvery gold pale coloured box with minimal text on the box. It just states the brand name and the perfume name.

Inside the perfume is housed in a tall slender straight sided cloudy or frosted glass bottle with a gold collar around the spray dispenser which was covered with a clear lid.

~~~~~~ WHAT HUGO BOSS SAY ~~~~~~~

“The sophisticated fragrance ‘BOSS Jour’ is inspired by the first light of day. This scent encourages its wearer to recognise the opportunities that come their way and that they are the authors of their own destiny, day by day. In a refined composition, this women’s fragrance unites three essential facets of the feminine mystique: serenity, elegance and inspiration, combined in a wonderful interplay of white blossom and invigorating citrus notes.”

~~~~~~ THE NOTES IN THIS ~~~~~~

The top notes in this are lime and grapefruit blossom. These are the notes that you get immediately the perfume is sprayed.

The middle notes are white flowers, freesia, honeysuckle and lily of the valley and these are the notes that develop as the perfume dries down a little and settles on the skin.

The base notes which are the notes that last the longest as the perfume settles on your skin and may last hours and these are birch and amber.

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~~~~~~ MY VIEWS ~~~~

This perfume was released in 2013 and the famous face behind this perfume was Gwyneth Paltrow

This is a distinctly floral in nature but not too sweet and heavy, more light and freshly floral. Hugo Boss say that the perfume is based on three facets “ the light which represents the first ray of sunshine, the inspiring which brings colour to the day and finally the elegance representing the strength of the woman.”

Personally I found the initial scent very light and refreshing; it didn’t make me sneeze as some perfumes do and was a pleasant citrus floral with hint of creaminess.

After just twenty minutes the perfume had settled so well on my skin that it was almost unnoticeable. The sillage was very poor and I would hope that a perfume that costs this much would last a bit better than this.

This is a perfume that is distinctly day wear. It hasn’t got the depth needed for an evening perfume in my opinion. I would also say that it is more a summer than winter because if you wore clothes over wear you applied this perfume you my as well not bother. To me this is about as strong as Soap and Glory body sprays which cost less than £4. In fact I would say that S&G body spray lasts better than this. Considering this is a perfume not an EDT I can’t believe how little it smells and ho short time it lasts on me.

I applied this in the morning and by lunch time I could no longer smell it on me. I did spray some on my sleeve and so I took the top off and left it upstairs for an hour or so . I went back up and had a good sniff of my sleeve to see if I could smell the perfume there and indeed the smell was almost unnoticeable. So this has poor sillage and also poor lasting quality in my humble opinion.

I would say this is pleasant enough, a bit like a cheap body spray and certainly nothing to justify the price tag on this perfume. It is ordinary, generic and nothing original at all. This is the kind of perfume you might choose to wear if you are going for a job interview as it is totally inoffensive and barely noticeable but you will smell clean and pleasant!

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~~~~~~~~ BUYING THIS ~~~~~~

This perfume is available in a 50 ml and 75 ml EDP and also a body lotion and a shower gel which I think I might like better.

This is available in most stores that sell perfumes. Boots have the 75 ml one for £67 as does escentual which also has the 50 ml size for £40. The Perfume shop has the 50 ml for £53.

As always shop around but in this case prices seem to be fairly similar.

~~~~~~~~ MY TIPS FOR WEARING AND KEEPING PERFUMES FRESH ~~~~~

Don’t be tempted to leave your perfumes on your dressing table out of their boxes however pretty they look as the sun light makes perfumes alter their scent and any heat will make them evaporate. I keep mine in a drawer in a cool place and that way the scent lasts well and stays true.

Spray a little perfume on your hair as that way as you walk around it will leave a nice scented trail behind you.

Don’t rub your perfume into pulse points, spray and then let it dry naturally and it will last longer on you.

Spray your scarf and clothes and the scent will last really well on them and you can enjoy the aroma for days.

Pop some perfume down your cleavage and then as you warm up you will be able to enjoy your scent all day long.

~~~~~~~ WOULD YOU BUY THIS ONE? ~~~~~~

No I wouldn’t. This is not because it smells unpleasant but because it is nothing really different and yet still costs a lot of money. Buy a lot of Sap & Glory body prays and they do the same job as this considerably more expensive perfume. I do like perfume oils as they really last well on my skin and on clothes as well and they are also a lot cheaper and more exotic smelling. This has nothing to tempt me to buy it I am afraid.

Thanks for reading
©Catsholiday
16th August 2017

Miu Miu EDP – more like EDT

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Last week while in Derby I managed to blag a few samples from the lady at the perfume counter in Debenhams and this was one of the half dozen she handed to me. I admit hadn’t heard of this one before so was quite intrigued and keen to get home and try it.

I love these small spray samples as I keep them in my bag when travelling to freshen up and ty add no weight at all. I have also found that they can slip through airport security too which means I can have them in my handbag for the plane and not have to get my carry on bag down from the storage above to find my plastic ziplock bag of liquids down.

~~~&&&~~~ ABOUT MIU MIU ~~~&&&~~~
This seems to me to be a fashion brand selling bags and accessories and this is their first venture in fragrance. Miu Miu seems to also be tied to Coty and is a subsidiary of Prada and the head designer is Muiccia Prada the granddaughter of Mario Prada, the founder of Prada.

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~~~&&&~~~ CREATING THIS PERFUME ~~~&&&~~~
This perfume was released in August 2015 and was created by perfumer Danielle Roche Andrier, who has also created perfumes for Prada, Bvlgari, Marni and Bottega Veneta.

Miu Miu was designed t be a fragrance which is “ unique, youthful, bright colors and sophisticated.”
This perfume has a special ingredient called akigalawood, which was created by Givaudan and is similar to patchouli but with notes of pepper and the woodiness of oud which sounds like my perfect scent to me.

It also starts with the floral notes of lily of the valley, jasmine and rose and then develops into the akigalawood notes.
The face of the perfume in their advertising campaign is actress Stacy Martin.

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~~~&&&~~~ THE PACKAGING ~~~&&&~~~
This perfume comes in a box which is a a rectangular representation of the inner flacon. It is a turquoise blue colour glass bottle supposedly inspired by the particular design of the high end luxury Miu Miu’s matelassé leather bags. The turquoise flacon uses that same design pattern as the bags and this comes up to the neck of the bottle which is is white, with the brand logo,the rather oddly in my view there is a bright red plastic round stopper which I think looks out of place and a bit cheap and nasty. Personally I am not a fan of their bags either which is fortunate considering the price!

The only positive is that the bottle is opaque which does protect the perfume from light damage, although I keep my perfumes in their boxes in a drawer not on my dressing table as this keeps them cooler and out of the light and both heat and light damage perfumes and alter their scent as well as sometimes evaporating the contents.

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~~~&&&~~~&&& BUYING THIS PERFUME ~~~&&&~~~

This perfume comes in 30ml, 50ml and 100 ml Eau de Parfum and then a 200ml body lotion , a 200ml shower gel and finally 150 ml body cream.
John Lewis have the 30 ml for £44.10, the 50 ml for £61.20 and the 100ml for £86.40
Boots have the 30 ml for £49, the 50 ml for £68 and the 100ml for £96
http://www.fragrancex.com has a 10 ml roller ball version for £17.63, 50 ml for £43.50 and the 100 ml for £64.07.

As always look around and compare prices and don’t forget postage can make a difference and of course check if you can get any cashback through whichever site you are a member of.
~~~&&&~~~ TAKING NOTE ~~~&&&~~~

Top notes : lily of the valley, lime and lemon
Middle notes: jasmine, rose, green notes, blackcurrant and peach
Base notes : akigalawood, musk

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~~~&&&~~~ MY VIEWS ~~~&&&~~~

I have to admit that the packaging does nothing for me at all , it looks like a play perfume that chidren would like with colours that are not ones I associate with classy.
Having got over the packaging my first spray hit was very fruity floral and quite sweet and fresh, pleasant but not really a classic one. My first impression was a light summery fragrance which I would be happy to wear but would not go out o my way to buy it for myself . It is a young scent more than one for mature ladies. This is no way one that is unisex.

After an hour or so it had faded really fast and I could barely detect it on my skin at all . It has less lasting power than an EDT, in fact I have had body sprays which last longer.
Th sillage is also very weak which makes it a good one to freshen up on a train or plane as it certainly won’t offend anyone nearby. I did wonder if I was my nose getting a bit used to the scent but my husband said he couldn’t smell it on me sitting in the same room and in fact struggled to smell it on my wrist. He said it just smells clean like I usually smell!!

So it is a fresh floral opening a bit like a walk into the garden in the morning to sniff the lily of the valley and lemon trees . This very quickly settles and jasmine hints with a slight rose aroma. After this very subtle aroma from the basenote Akigalwood with its pepper and patchouli is detectable while I can’t smell musk at all. The dry down is very nice but far too subtle for me, I like to be able to smell my perfume a bit longer than an hour. Even sticking my wrist under my nose I can barely smell this just an hour later.
I feel this is one that might appeal to a younger lady than me. I do like the scent and the notes really appeal but some how the designers have managed to drain a lot of the scent from this so it is far too subtle, more like a body spray in its lasting quality and silage.

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~~~&&&~~~ RECOMMENDED ~~~&&&~~~
While I am no fan of the packaging I can see it might appeal to others. I can see this appealing to younger ladies. It is not unisex scent at all, it is light, fresh and very feminine but not too sweet which is good as so many of these fruity florals are a bit sickly sweet for me. This doesn’t have that problem but it is very light and I feel it hasn’t got the lasting qualities I would hope to get from a perfume and for the price you have to pay for this.

Agent Provocateur Maitresse EDP – one for the mistress

o.760I was lucky enough to get a small three set sample set of Agent Provocateur perfumes in the post. There were three different scents in the set and this Maitresse was one of them. Each sample help 1.5 fl oz so it was quite a generous sample size and I had plenty of experience of the perfume as I find these 1.5 ml sample sizes give me several sprays so depending on how often I apply the sent I can get two or three days usage from each spray sample vial.
&*&*&*&~~~ ABOUT AGENT PROVOCATEUR ~~~&*&*&*&
This brand is best known for its sexy lingerie and ladies nightwear, Bridal accessories and swimwear really but they added in perfumes to add that extra sensual aroma to those wearing their clothing items.

The lingerie company was founded in England in 1994 by Joseph Corré the son of Vivienne Westwood and his then wife and Serena Rees.

&*&*&*&~~~ CREATING MAITRESSE ~~~&*&*&*&

This is possibly the most recent of the Agent Provocateur perfumes and was launched in 2006. The ‘nose’ creating this perfume is Christian Provenzano.
At the time of this perfume launch Kate moss was the model used in their promotions but she was replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal and then Daisy Lowe. Kylie Minogue was before Kate Moss.

&*&*&*&~~~ PACKAGING ~~~&*&*&*&
This perfume comes in a similar shaped tear drop, egg or grenade shaped bottle as their previous perfumes. This one is gold with red text in curly cursive scrip with the name of the perfume and a sexy looking lady sitting in silhouette with just two red garters and long gloves showing and she has curly red hair.

The nozzle has a red ribbon around its neck and the nozzle is also gold with a gold lid so basically the entire bottle is gold with red accents. It is sensual and very sexy looking.
The box is also pretty classy and luxurious with a red cursive signature brand and perfume name centrally and nothing else.

&*&*&*&~~~ BUYING THIS PERFUME ~~~&*&*&*&
This comes in a 25 ml purse spray ,30 ml, 50 ml, and 100 ml sizes of the EDP. There is also a body wash and body scrub each 200 ml.

Prices seem to vary hugely so as I always say, shop around and don’t forget to use any cash back or loyalty cards if you have them.
Perfumeclick,co.uk have 25 ml for £14.95, the 30 ml for £15.15 and the 50 ml for £25.25.

Fragranceexpert.com have 25 ml purse spray for £16.80, the 25 ml spray for £33, the 30 ml for £35.90 and the 50 ml for £22.16, the 100ml spray for £69. They also have the body wash for £22 and the body scrub for £28. Those prices seem rather odd to me as the bigger EDP is cheaper than the smaller one!
Escentual.com has the 30 ml for £36IMG_0178[1]

&*&*&*&~~~ NOTES IN THIS PERFUME ~~~&*&*&*&
Top notes: white lotus
Middle notes: ylang-ylang, rose absolute, jasmine, osmanthus, violet, orris
Base notes: Iso E Super, white suede, musk, amber

&*&*&*&~~~ MY VIEWS ~~~&*&*&*&

I really like this perfume. From the initial fresh, floral, exotic first hit of the white lotus through the wonderful heady florals in the mid notes right to the musky amber base note this is a really sensual, floral scent that doesn’t have that sweet cloying addition that so many have.
Maitresse means mistress so this is certainly a perfume that means to send out provocative and sensual signals from it name through to the aroma of the perfume.

I love the fact that the initial aroma is so fresh and exotic with a hint of more to come. The middle notes are ones I love with the floral richness of jasmine, violet and rose all flowers that are considered romantic and sexy, these notes develop and come through after around twenty minutes and last for a good couple of hours on me.
The base notes of musk and amber do come through subtly but the synthetic Iso is more evident and to me gives a soapy sort of scent but rather less than natural. However the musk and amber do become more evident and the dry down lasts for a couple more hours on my skin and much longer on my clothes.

I often spray scarves and jumpers with perfumes so that I can smell the scent on the the next day. I find that if I spray my clothes in my suitcase thy smell better when I wear them on holiday too.
The sillage is quite good and the lasting power also quit good, around four to six hours on me .

I am also pleasantly surprised at the price I have found it for on line as well and feel that if I bought it at the cheaper prices I would be very happy to buy this one again. If I didn’t have a drawer full of perfumes I might well treat myself to this one in a full size but as it is I cannot really justify buying any more perfumes at all at present!!

&*&*&*&~~~ RECOMMENDED ? ~~~&*&*&*&

Yes I like this one. It is sensual, subtle and not heavily cloying and sickly. I like the freshness, the beautiful floral notes and really very sexy combination of notes in this one.
The bottle is gorgeous. It is rounded and pure gold with sensual red additions including the sexy lady with her red garters, hair and gloves! From its name through to the dry down notes this is a very feminine sensual creation.

Carolina Herrera 212 VIP Men .. VIP not “very impressive perfume”

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~~~&&&~~~ ABOUT CAROLINA HERRERA ~~~&&&~~~
Like so many brands creating scents these days this started as fashion brand originally and in fact is still really a fashion brand.

Carolina Herrera was born in Venezuela and is the founder of the fashion house. Prior to starting her fashion house she mixed with the rich and famous such as with Mick and Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol, at Studio 54. She was considered a very classy and fashionable dresser and was named on the International Best Dressed List in 1972,and elected to its Hall of Fame in 1980
Her friend, the editor in chief of Vogue suggested she start her own fashion hose and so Carolina Herrera was born. She seems very well connected as she designed Jackie Kennedy’s daughter’s wedding dress and has dressed a number of the First Ladies including Jackie Kennedy, Laura Bush ,Michelle Obama and even Melania Trump.

She also designed the dress Bella wears for her wedding to Edward in Twilight: Breaking Dawn 1 in 2011.
“Herrera has the best taste in fashion. Today anything goes, but Carolina Herrera knows how to make a woman into a lady”

~~~&&&~~~ ABOUT 212 VIP MEN EDT ~~~&&&~~~
This fragrance was first created by the Carolina Herrera in 1999 but there were others prior to this fragrance. The first was one for ladies then in 1991 the first men’s fragrance, Carolina Herrera for Men was released.

The fragrance was created by Emilie Coppermann and Lucas Sieuzac and the advertising face of the campaign is Jon Kortajarena who was also the face for L’Agent by Agent Provocateur and acting in “A Single Man” and “Thirty-Six Hours”.
This fragrance 212 VIP Men was apparently “inspired by the most creative people in New York. Young people who are writing the history of this city, the true VIP. People with talent, style, sense of humor and especially eager to have fun.”

~Carolina_Herrera_212_VIP_Men_Resized~~&&&~~~ THE PACKAGING ~~~&&&~~~
This comes in a masculine, minimalist coloured box. It is basically black and white with the text in white in a very functional looking design. It doesn’t really appeal much to me but I am not the young yuppy VIP male audience they are aiming this at.

The bottle inside is better in that it is like a silver rounded capsule shaped bottle. The top half lifts off with a magnetic closure to reveal the spray underneath. I like the colour and simple lines of the bottle much better than the box which looks like a box that might hold machine parts with its odd name,” 212 VIP”.

~~~&&&~~~ TAKING NOTES ~~~&&&~~~

Top notes : caviar, lime,black pepper, ginger and passionfruit
Middle notes : chilled vodka, gin, frozen mint and spices
Base notes: amber, leather, woodsy notes

~~~&&&~~~ MY EXPERIENCE AND VIEWS ~~~&&&~~~

I realise this is a fragrance for men but I do quite like some of the more manly fragrances as I like woody fragrances as well as fresh citrus ones and both those tend more towards unisex or male scents. Besides I never say no to a sample if it is free.

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The fragrance is described by Carolina Herrera as: “ an irresistible elixir of seduction… reserved only for those who dare! A signature scent that you will recognize on the dance floor and won’t forget once you leave the party. Gustative, woody and spicy, inspired by the scent and attitude of the most exclusive parties.”

Personally I think they over sell this one. To me it is very much more unisex than male. It is subtle and starts quite fresh but with a definite sweet lime aroma rather than a sour, citrus hit . It isn’t really spicy at all which I rather expect from a man’s fragrance.
To me it smells citrus and fruity, slightly sweet but not overly so, just more than I would have expected from a male fragrance and the lack of spicy base finish makes it just fade away with a subtle warm creamy aroma.IMG_0213[1]

I notice it does have vodka and gin in it and it does have a hint of an alcoholic drink in the initial blast but thankfully not so much that it smells like you have had a drink spilled on you!!
The sillage is poor and it didn’t last well on me, by three hours it had all but disappeared on my skin. It does last a bit better on fabric such as a scarf or handkerchief but it is not a strong lasting fragrance.

~~~&&&~~~ WHERE TO BUY AND COSTS ~~~~&&&~~~
This fragrance can be bought in 50ml and 100 ml EDT , a 75 ml deodorant and 100 ml after shave lotion.

Boots have just the 100ml EDT for £61
allbeauty.com have 50ml for £35.95, 100ml for £44.95 ,200ml EDT for £64.95, the 100ml aftershave for £24.20 and a gift set 50 ml EDT and shower gel for £33.20

Amazon.co.uk have 100ml EDT for £43,60, 200 ml EDT for £63/36, the deodorant 150ml for £15.49, the 100ml aftershave for £23.84 plus other items at various prices.
So shop around and don’t forget to use cashback sites and rewards cards if you have them.

~~~&&&~~~ RECOMMENDED? ~~~&&&~~~
It is an okay fragrance, unmemorable and ordinary. It is pleasant enough but not one I would spend that much money on for myself. I will finish the sample when we go on holiday soon but it is one that I will quickly forget.

No in my view there are better fragrances you can buy for the money that will last longer. In fact I have perfumes that cost far less that are lovely and last really well on me so it is not good vale for money.

Comme Des Garcons – Blue Encens

blue

I really love perfumes and even better I love getting free perfumes to test. I get these through freebie sites, beauty sites and by being a bit cheeky in Department stores and asking for them. My sample drawer never has less than around thirty vials and sachets in there. Once I have tested them and written reviews they go into a special bag and these are the ones that I take on holiday as I can throw them away after using them and have different smells to enjoy on holiday.

(*(*(*(****ABOUT COMME DES GARCONS*****)*)*)*)

I have tried a number of Comme des Garcons EDP scents over the years and despite the fact they are aimed at males rather than females I find them quite unisex in their appeal. They are definitely not ones to avoid for the ladies if you like slightly woodier and spicier fragrances.
I was very surprised to discover that, despite its name Comme des Garcons, this is actually a is a Japanese fashion label based in Tokyo and also in the prestigious Place Vendôme in Paris. I would never have guessed that from the name.

Originally a fashion house Comme des Garcons only released its first fragrance, Comme des Garçons, in 1994.
All their scents are unusual and different using ingredients and scents often not used in other perfumes.

(*(*(*(**** ALL WRAPPED UP *****)*)*)*)

Like their scents Comme des Garcons package their products in unusual ways. This comes in a flacon which is blue starting dark at the top and fading to very pale at the base. The outer box is the same colour and the name is in black and the effect is quite minimalist. The bottle I described as a flacon and looks a bit like a mini hip flask.

The packaging is very much a unisex look and not specifically male or female at all.

(*(*(*(**** COMME DES GARCON DESCRIBE THIS AS…. *****)*)*)*)

“A bold fusion of mystical incense and crushed Artemisia contrasted with blazing
frozen spices. “
blue encens
“A clash of luxurious warmth and searing coolness. Fresh, non-fresh. Cool yet warm. Blue takes over to reveal the contradictory coolness of three emblematic warm notes: incense, cedarwood, sandalwood. The result is a cool blue invasion, an unexpected blend of wood, spice and incense artfully combined to reveal refreshingly warm layers.”

(*(*(*(**** NOTES *****)*)*)*)
Unusually for a perfume this doesn’t have top,middle and base notes. I know many Middle Eastern perfumes work this way and stay true to the original scent throughout so was interested to see if this was the same.
The notes in this according to the company are : aromatic artemisia, frozen spices (Indian cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon), mystical incense, mineral crystal amber.
I have no idea what frozen spices do as opposed to fresh or dried but this is how they are described on the company website.
The scent was launched as part of the ‘Blue’ range in 2013 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Evelyne Boulanger.

Cardamom11

(*(*(*(**** MY VIEWS *****)*)*)*)

Comme des Garcons launched three different ‘Blue’ perfumes in 2013, this one, Blue Sental and Blue Cedrat. I have tried them all and may well review them at some stage in the future.

These ‘Blue’ perfumes were created “to accentuate radical contradiction providing a mixture of luxurious warmth and sea freshness. Olfactory evocation of the fascinating paradox presents the blue color as timeless and very intense in three different ways.”

I will say that this is not my favourite of Comme des garcons’ perfumes . It is quite an strong aroma and it is pretty intense from the start throughout the time I am wearing it. It is strongly incense and it must be the crushed artemisia that I can smell so much. The black pepper is also there which I like but the cardamom, cinnamon and amber are very much in the back ground. It is kind of like very, very strong coriander – that slightly bitter , squashed insect aroma. It does settle a little after around quarter of hour and then the othe notes are allowed to come through more.

black-pepper

This is very much a spicy,herbal scent and there is not much sweet creaminess at all which personally I think it would benefit from as it is bitter and quite sharp I think.

It is once again marketed as a unisex perfume but that would depend on your tastes however I think this is one to appeal more to males than females. It is clean and strong but a bit t sharp and bitter for me.

Interestingly despite the fact it is really intense when first applied the sillage and longevity of this is very average. I don’t fill the room with the scent when I have worn it and it lasts around three to four hours on my skin fading quickly after the first hour or so. It lasts much longer on any clothes that have coe into contact when I spray it on my pulse points.

Comme des garcon use incense and spicy notes as the base for most of their scents and they don’t go for the sweet, vanilla aroma at all but personally I prefer their woodier scents to the ‘fresher’ ones in the ‘Blue ‘ range.

blue comme

*(*(*(**** BUYING THIS *****)*)*)*)

Ths is only available in one size and only as an eau de parfum in 100ml bottle. It is far from a cheap option and prices do vary considerably. As it is quite an unusual aroma I would strongly suggest you buy a sample or try and get hold of one before buying a full sized version.

You can buy this on line from Comme des garcon itself for £80 or Escentual for £70.55, from FragranceX.com for £93.77. I have seen this for as little as £50 on line so do check before buying. We have small classy little shop in Derby that has their range but otherwise you are looking at Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichs and larger department stores such as House of Fraser and maybe even some Debenhams to buy Comme des garcon products.cinnamon

You can also try Ebay for both full sized and samples. I do buy samples through Ebay in bulk lots and they give me a good range to try but it is always a risk buying on ebay.

*(*(*(**** RECOMMENDED ? *****)*)*)*)

Personally I wouldn’t pay for a full sized one of this scent as there are ones I much prefer in Comme des garcon’s range as well as other perfume houses. I am glad I got a few samples so I could try it out but it is not one I will be rushing to buy again. I think it is always worth trying any scents even if others have reviewed them negatively as scent is a very personal thing and what one person loves another may find really isn’t their taste at all. This is not horrible at all and I am happy to wear it but I just doesn’t really draw me to it and make me want to choose this over the rest of my collection.

Lulu ‘Time’ Eau de Toilettte

I am very keen about sending off for my freebies and samples and am forever filling in forms to get them. It is so exciting when I get them in the mail and I do get to try so many things that I otherwise would never have heard of or tried so it does the job for the company too as often I am then tempted to go out and buy the full sized product after trying it.

MY SAMPLE
This came in a very pale cardboard cover hiding a small 2ml phial with a stopper, no spray which makes it tricky to get out. The stopper is small and fiddly and I have not got strong fingers so have to be careful I don’t spill the contents pulling it out. Quite a generous sample though at 2ml.

THE BOTTLE
The real bottle is very simple rounded clear bottle with a hint of pink around the bottom of the bottle and a pink transparent round like a ball plastic lid over the spray top. It isn’t that exciting or interesting, nor is it sophisticatedly simple either. In my view it is rather lacking in imagination but still you don’t really buy perfume for the bottle so let’s move on. Suffice to say you won’t be seeing people on ebay selling this as a novelty empty bottle.

ABOUT LULU
I think most people have heard of Lulu as her singing career has spanned a good for years. Lulu is a Scottish singer, actress, and television personality who has been successful in entertainment from the 1960s through to the present day. My very favourite song of hers was from the film, ‘To Sir with Love’ as I remember watching the film as a youngster. Lulu looks a amazing for her age, I wish I knew her secret as she looks as young now as she did in the 70s. She has had an interesting career and In 1966 she toured Poland with The Hollies, and was the first British female singer to appear live behind the Iron Curtain. She was married for some time to Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees and she did sing in a Eurovision Song Contest and won many moons ago.

LULU

AND HER PERFUME

“Time eau de toilette is an evocative scent designed by and for Lulu. It’s a fragrance that evokes feelings of happiness and warmth. It’s a little sexy yet a bit shy. Never too sweet, fruity or heavy Time eau de toilette combines smells reminiscent of the 60s”

Lulu was aiming for a scent that captured her ‘Time’ in a bottle and this is what this scent attempts to do.

THE NOTES
Top Notes: Bergamot, lemon
Middle Notes: jasmine, pink pepper
Base Notes: Patchouli, musk
On initial application the hit was pretty intense and rather synthetic to be honest and I thought that it wasn’t going to be for me at all. After a few minutes it did calm down a little and the spicy citrus scent of bergamot and lemon was evident rather than the powerful synthetic hit.

Bergamot

Some ten minutes or so later the scent began to take on my skin and the peppery notes blended with the citrus ones to offer a light spicy quite manly sort of aftershave smell which I did quite like.
About an hour later when I sniffed again it was still quite a masculine sort of smell sort of light spicy with the woodier patchouli musky notes working their way in.

I was not able to smell or detect the jasmine in this and jasmine is quite a heady floral smell so the spicier notes do dominate.

Although this is quite a masculine sort of scent it is also quite evocative of the late sixties and the incense burning and sniffing the perfumes in Biba shops. I found it quite a light spicy aroma not heavy and oriental spicy. According to the perfume description on Amazon this creates a “feeling of sun-kissed sexiness and freedom one enjoys on holiday.”

This perfume is said to have scents that remind Lulu of different times in her life from patchouli and musk from the sixties to the lighter more modern notes of pink pepper and bergamot and fresh lemon hence the name of the perfume “TIME”.

patchouli

OTHER ‘TIME’ PRODUCTS
Lulu has put her name to a number of other ‘Time’ products but not all are scents. Within this range you can buy a fragrant body cream for £20.93, Lulu’s Time Bomb Glory Days Day Cream for £25.00, Lulu’s Time Bomb Flashback Anti-Ageing Night Cream for £30.00, Lulu’s Time Bomb Youth Juice Secret Oil for £31.00, Lulu’s Bombshell Body Hand To Hand Combat Hand Cream for £14.50 and quite a few more creams and lotions. I have one of the creams in my ‘to be used’ box but as yet I have not used it as I have had so many trial products from beautyontrial and they have all been moisturizers. This perfume sells for £30.18 on Amazon for a 50 ml bottle so not a bad price of you like it.

SUMMARY
I do quite like this one as it is a freshly spicy aroma and it blends with my skin nicely to give a lovely woody sort of scent which lasts well on me. It has good sillage too as people have commented on my scent while wearing this. It stayed on my sleeves for even longer as I could smell it quite strongly the next day. I would be tempted to buy a full bottle of this if the price was right and I had a few spare Amazon vouchers.

Lush – Dirty solid perfume

Dirty Solid Perfume

tagline:” Feels like : The only thing that gets you clean at a festival”

I my panic to make sure I had got some of each of the perfumes that are going to be discontinued in Lush shops I rushed out and bought myself a few of the solid versions. This was one I bought just the other day. You will still be able to buy this on line but not in the shops very soon. I love Lush and especially love their wonderfully unusual perfumes so want to make sure I don’t miss out on any!

The solid perfumes weigh 12g so they are not huge but I rather like them to carry in my handbag as there is never a danger of any leakage and you can quickly pop a little on your pulse points without spritzing others in the bargain.

HOW MUCH?
The perfume I am reviewing here is the solid version of DIRTY which I bought just the other day. The solid version costs £5.00 while the small spritzers are £9.50, the large 30ml version is £21 and the 2ml sample sells for £2.00. I think the solid version offers good value as the 2ml wouldn’t give me many uses and the solid ones have always given me plenty of use as you don’t need a lot to get a pretty decent aroma but you do have to be careful if it is very hot weather as it does melt very easily. I would also suggest that keeping it in the fridge may affect the scent so would not advise that.

Mark Constantine – co-founder Lush

THE STORY BEHIND THE CREATION
Mark on Dirty fragrance:
“Dirty is a scent that boys will like for its fresh, sexy smell and girls will love them to wear (or might like to borrow!). Dirty was inspired by the term ‘Italian shower’ – a common phenomenon in men of all ages, who leap out of bed in the morning, spray under the t-shirt they’ve been wearing all night, and head out of the door. Although the Dirty man has no time to spare, he will always brush his teeth before making love, so this fragrance has a big hit of spearmint that’s clean, fresh and invigorating. A real wake-up call, Dirty is choc-full of uplifting notes, including the fresh herbs thyme and tarragon. Oakmoss and sandalwood are woody, but also very clean and a little sophisticated, too. Basically, it does the business.”

Simon on Dirty fragrance
“I liked the concept of cleaning your teeth making mint into an aphrodisiac. So I started to break down the fragrance, beginning with the Toothy Tabs. I thought that if you really wanted to harmonise yourself, you needed to extract the different parts of the perfume and put them in each product you’re using. By the time you’re finished, you’ve put the fragrance together.”

So there you have both father and son‘s views on this and why they created this rather different scent.

Simon Constantine

THE SCENT AND WHAT I THINK

Initially I wasn’t that fussed on this one as it did smell rather toothpaste-like but it has grown on me over time. It is one of the more masculine smells although unisex as far as I am concerned but a smell I am happy to wear but could seen men also being happy with it as it is a clean fresh herby sort of smell and not really sweet or feminine.

This is not one of Lush’s smack you in the face smells, it is a milder aroma that stays with youy all day but doesn’t kick you nose as soon as you put it on.
I always put the solid perfumes on my inner elbows, inner wrists and then in my cleavage as then I can smell them all day long. I find that the solid perfumes last really well as whatever the solid carrier is sits on my skin and keeps the scent in.

This smells minty to me initially but then the herby aromas start to blend with the mint so it isn’t as sweet as just plain mint, more herby. When I say mint I mean garden spearmint not polo mints type mints. I could make my own as I have mint, all types, tarragon and thyme so I have three of the main ingredients. I might have a bit of a problem with the sandalwood and oakamoss though.

I do love the fresh hit that you get from this and also the way the other herbs gi together and blend to make the lighter notes in this. The sandalwood again is one of my favourite smells and reminds me of India while the oakamoss adds the warmer mossy woody heart notes. It is a gentle clean manly smell but is still very appealing to both men and women.

Cool

WHAT HAVE THEY PUT IN THIS ONE?
The scent notes in this one are Spearmint, thyme, tarragon, oakmoss and sandalwood . Not many but they do combine to create quite an unusual scent suitable for both men and women.

Somehow this scent also reminds me of the seaside but not quite sure why as not of the notes are really things that you find at the seaside but maybe it is the fresh aroma that takes me there.

AND ALSO
Once I sniffed this in the shop I was not too sure at first but the threat of its removal from the shop encouraged me to buy it and use it a bit more. It is actually quite hard to smell different perfumes in the Lush shop as there are so many smells going on in there. What I usually do is put the perfume on using the samples there. I then go off and do my shopping. I do one perfume at a time. If I like it still after I have finished my shopping it then does on my ‘Wish List’.

I have to admit I do buy a lot on Ebay as you can often get them cheaper there. I just look for which are on there and bid to a certain amount. I miss out on loads but I decide what I am prepared to pay and stick to it. I also ask for them for gifts from the family too and that is how I have built up my collection.

I have the solid perfume in this so when I put this on it lasted pretty well all day long. The concentration is actually stronger than I thought initially. I wipe the solid stick on my inner elbows and wrists and then behind my ears. If I want to enjoy it more I wipe a bit down my cleavage as the warmth brings the scent up to my nose then. I know it lasts all day as I can still smell it on my wrists now and I put this on this morning.

I have found this one has grown on me in the last few days and I really like it now. It will never be my favourite of Lush’s perfumes but it is certainly very fresh and different. I think this would be more suitable for a day wearing than an evening scent.

MINT

Another good thing about the solid perfumes is that the plastic containers that they come in are recyclable through Lush and if you take back five of these or a mix of these and the black pots then you can choose a free fresh face mask or hair mask for your reward.

AND MORE GOOD NEWS
The solid perfumes usually have a use buy date about a year after they were made.
If you are lucky enough to have a Lush store like the one in Derby with a full range of perfumes I recommend you to give them a try. They are not to everyone’s taste as they are quite strong and a lot of them have quite deep strong and more heavy notes but I love them and spend ages listening to the stories as to the inspiration behind their creation.

To me perfumes are a sort of experience that is more than just the smell. They are a bit like fine wines and single malt whiskeys in that there is poetry and art in their creation. These to me are all part of the perfume, the inspiration, the poetry and the images that are created by you in your head as you first sniff the perfume as well as the effect you have on the scent, the way it changes on you and your own skin. It is all part of the magic to me.

Prada Candy – EDP

PRADA CANDY EDP

I was lucky enough to receive a sample of this perfume and always happy to get a freebie and have the chance to really try products I accepted with glee.

ALL WRAPPED UP
This is not a flashy unusual bottle like some posh perfumes. This is sleek and simple but still quite classy looking. The bottle is clear so the contents can be seen. That is good in that you get to see what is left but it does mean that you should keep it in its box or in the dark as light makes the perfume deteriorate. The bottle the n has a pink typical Prada coloured trim and a black lid. The lid comes off and under that you have a spray nozzle.

 

PRADA CANDY
This fragrance was released in August 2011. The nose behind this fragrance is Daniela Andrier and she was also the nose behind one of my favourites which is Gucci eau de parfam..

ONLY THREE SIMPLE NOTES

Top Notes : Musks- which is unusual to have as a top note and this is a deeper scent with a rather powdery note in this

Middle notes: Benzoin- This is a lovely creamy vanillary aroma and it does come through in the perfume.

Base notes: Caramel- this perfume seems back to front to me as you usually get this as a top note but this is the toffee aroma which mixes with the benzoin to give the caramel toffee sweetness.

 

MY THOUGHTS

This would never be a perfume I would have chosen just from the name alone. I am not drawn to sugary sweet. I prefer musky heavier earthy perfumes myself.

This is a vanillary creamy concoction and pleasant enough but I still would not buy it as it just isn’t me really.

It doesn’t really do anything , it goes on sweet and vanillary and stay as that throughout. I didn’t find it had much sillage as when I put some on my daughter I couldn’t smell it on her even though that day I had not worn it myself.

As for the lasting quality I would say it was average. I could still smell it on me about three hours later and in fact faintly even another few hours though if I wanted to go out and smell of this I would have refreshed it. It stayed on my clothes as the next day I could still smell it on them.

I think this reminds me of the sweet musk perfumes like Body shop and is a rather late sixties/early seventies sort of scent or at least one that I used to wear then. I remember going into Biba and dosing myself with musk!

This is a perfume that I feel would appeal to those who like sweet perfumes and probably the younger market rather than a sophisticated perfume. I do quite like vanilla but I prefer it when mixed with deeper musky aroma where this goes to the candy sweet ones which is not surprising given its name.

This is in no way a unisex perfume, it is pretty in pink, girly, frilly and sweet in my view. It certainly isn’t subtle as it whacks a big sweet hit with a slightly floral note to me. I don’t know where the floral comes from but it does remind me of honeysuckle .

PRICES AND SIZES
The perfume fragrance is comes in three sizes and you can buy it in most High street shops that sell perfumes such as Boots, Debenhams and specialist perfume shops.
You can buy the 30ml size for around £40, the 50ml size for around £53 and the 80ml one for about £71.
I cannot see me buying this perfume as it just is not my taste. I am not girly and sweet craving enough. I am happy to have had the sample to play around with but it has told me that this one is not for me. I will finish my sample vial and will use it during the day when on holiday. I always take my left over samples away as I can have different scents each couple of days and then bring nothing home.

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