Dune by Christian Dior

Dune

Dune perfume and EDT was first launched in 1991 and was created by Jean-Louis Sieuzac .In 1993 Dune was awarded a Fifi award. This fragrance is available in 30ml, 50ml and 100ml Eau de Toilette and it is also available in a perfumed Body milk and other bath products.

The EDT comes in a lovely simple bottle with rounded edges is designed by Veronique Monod.  The box is a sort of orange colour , sandy maybe, and has the name Dune on the front. Other than that the packaging is fairly understated as perfumes go.

Bergamot

Dune is made up of the following fragrance combinations its top notes are bergamot, mandarin, palisander, aldehyde, peony and broom followed by heart notes composed of jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, lily, wallflower, lichen. Then finally the base notes are vanilla, patchouli, benzoin, sandalwood, amber, oak moss, and musk.

This is an EDT that I have loved for many years and I have just finished my bottle so thought I would share my feelings about this one of my favourite perfumes. It is quite a difficult smell to describe but I will try. It is a sweet perfume with a deep layer of warmth that stays after the initial fresh rather flowery and citrus like smell wears off. It starts off fresh and citrusy, with the aldehydes blending nicely with the citruses, peony and rosewood. Then it gradually develops into a full jasmine and rose floral heart. The vanilla and benzoin base notes create a sweet warmth and pleasure of the hot sun warming your skin on a summer’s day.

I was interested in finding out more about these aldehydes which turns out to be a chemical composition created by Ernest Beaux for Chanel N°5. These aldehydes are accompanied by fragrances of rose and jasmine. The smell created is pure and fresh like clean washing just brought in from the fresh frosty outside air. Indeed you can enjoy this fresh combination when first spraying on the Dune EDT.

I find that Dune is a luxurious and rather plush scent with an earthy and warm fragrance that lingers for quite some time. The combination of oak moss and sweet benzoin and vanilla give this warm but earthy quality.

Jasmine

Whenever I wear this scent I get compliments and people ask me what perfume I am wearing. I was in a supermarket queue one day and someone told me I smelled really nice what was that scent I had on?!! Dune is a complex, beautiful, floral scent which manages to lift my mood if I’m feeling a bit down.

I love the way the notes change with time as the notes take turns and mingle so the scent changes – each few minutes as a different note comes up to focus. Then finally the longer lasting quite strong deeper notes stay for the duration of up to a full day I have noticed. If I was going out in the evening I would probably freshen it up if I had been wearing it all day.

Some interesting information about some of ingredients;
The amber possesses a peculiar sweet, earthy, animalistic, powdery odor with sweet nuance of musk and the sea. It has been used in perfumery since the ancient times as a fixative component for delicate fragrances in perfumes, since it has the effect of making other fragrances last much longer than they would otherwise. This used to be collected as a byproduct of the whaling industry but happily today most Ambergris used in the modern perfume industry is replaced by ambrein which extracted from plants such as Rockrose, Bee Balm or Oswego Tea and Angelica.

Antique perfume spritzersOak moss is collected from fruit trees, oak and beech trees and this provides a heavy earthy odor and an intensive and natural tone to the perfume.
Musk is an ingredient in most perfumes and was originally produced of sexual glands secretion of musk deer. This was pretty horrific as production of 1kg of musk requires 140 deer to be killed. Happily this natural musk scent can now be produced from plants such as ambrette, galbanum and angelica root. It can also be produced synthetically and is known as white musk which was first produced by Alber Baur in 1888. Good for you Mr Baur I’m sure the deer population are very grateful as indeed am I as I would avoid perfumes that required animals to be killed.

Patchouli

Patchouli is a shrubby plant that grows to about one meter and is widespread throughout Asia, China, India, and South America. Patchouli became very popular in the late sixties and reminds me of my youth. The scent is woodsy, and mossy, it is heavy with a strong earthy nuance that makes it dark and mysterious and very much of the Biba and hippy scene to me.

So back to Dune and in summary:
The smell itself is much harder to describe than the mood it creates. So…What is Dune for me ?
Well apart from the obvious lovely combination of scents I can close my eyes and inhale deeply to escape into the world of dreams where the sun always shines, the beach sand is warm and rays of light gently caress my skin. The gentle evening breeze brings flowery wafts of peony and lily mixed with gentle citrus flowers. Then I start to feel the warm gentle surrounding of the sweet deep benzoin and vanilla mixed with the earthy patchouli and amber notes and enjoy the comfort of this gentle embrace.

In my view Dune is a beautiful perfume an olfactory experience so unique that it cannot be described in reference to any other existing smell It is sexy but not a sparkling perfume at first it is full of sweetness and fresh notes then later it becomes spicy, a little deeper and more heavy with its lovely woody notes.

 

 

 

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Lush – Voice of Reason – perfume


Lush have recently created a new series of wonderfully different perfumes and although sadly, this means many of the older ones will no longer be available, it does mean we get new lovely scents to enjoy.
This was not one of the first perfumes in the new range that I tried but I now own four and am saving for others and this one is one of the ones I really like and have on my list. I am wearing it as I write this and have had it on since around 10am this morning and now it is about 8.30pm and I can still smell it really well on my inner wrist wear I tried it in Lush this morning. 

My initial reaction was that this was a very different scent and the sort I love with smoky earthy aromas and an interesting mix that I think Lush do so well. Having enjoyed this several times over the last few months I have grown to love it. 

Initially you do get a blast of deep smokiness with leathery creaminess but then it becomes more sandalwood and exotically academic. It smells like a warm library with leather chairs and a big open wood fore.

THE STORY 
“Inspired by the beat generation and the spoken word comes literary figures like; William Burroughs and Neal Cassady and bards like Gil Scott Heron and Leonard Cohen at street corners, basement clubs and claustrophobic coffee shops. With the strong aroma of French Gitane cigarettes and espresso…sandalwood and the tonka bean are major ingredients..” 

LUSH SAY 
” The Voice of Reason was growlingly gorgeous and bowled me over again, my skin shuddered all over and I felt momentarily lost in darkness. My eyes felt heavy and my skin seemed to pull smoke from the air and roll it across my surfaces. It is powerful reactive stuff, this fragrance, a woozy, barbequed genie in a damn fine bourbon-soaked bottle. That reeking of cold bonfire as you move in and out of doors on November 5th, eyes stinging, hair full of stars and dirty night. Inspired by the Beat Generation: Kerouac, the porno visionary Burroughs, Gil Scott Heron, and the tar-pit rumblings of Leonard Cohen, The Voice of Reason is smoke incarnate. Devil’s breath, exhaled through jazz trumpets and wrapped in sin. Huge doses of my beloved tonka bean and sandalwood ebb and flow on the skin, making the drydown one sensual slide into sweet sweet embers. It smells filthy too; I realised that the other day as I wore it out to meet a friend who leaned in and inhaled my throat like a starved vampire. Dirty smoke. Who could ask for more? ” 

I love descriptions like these as they really give the perfume character and interest beyond the wonderful scents.

THE BOTTLE 
This new range is not presented in the plain black bottles that we are used to in Lush perfumes. These are in clear square bottles and some are round classic bottles depending on the size of the perfume inside. The labels are quite different; this one is green and black. The main picture is of two men, one looks like he has an old style afro hair cut and it is just black and white and simple. The name of the perfume is in black text above the picture. It is sort of retro cartoon style with just black and white colours and certainly very different from the plain black ones of the original perfumes. They look a bit like mini liqueur bottles or old fashioned apothecary bottles to me. 

THE NOTES AND SCENT 
The new perfumes Lush has just brought out are quite strong and this is one of the stronger ones. It is a knock you over scent , a Marmite sort of smell and it does last a good long time on me. It is a really smoky heavy atmospheric scent and reminds me of leather chairs, wood fires and shelves full of old leather bound books with a creamy sweetness that flits in and out. ‘Voice of Reason’ is quite strong and initially smelling it in the bottle I was interested but not hooked. This is definitely one that takes over your interest and becomes far more worthwhile after some time on the skin and keep smelling it as it develops and changes as it really is wonderful, quite unisex, and not in the least feminine yet I really love it.

Sandalwood

The label says it has: sandalwood , Buddah Wood oil, rose oil, coumarin and a few others. Obviously the two woody oils give the woody, smokiness although sandalwood is a really lovely sweet smelling wood that reminds me of India every time I smell it.

To help give you an idea of the scents within: 

The fragrance of sandalwood essential oil is woody yet aromatic like a spice market sort of sweet, warm and woody and one of my favourite scents of all time.

Buddha Wood oil is the one that really gives this perfume its smokiness as this oil extracted from a tree in Australia gives a very strong woody aroma with ‘meaty and leathery smoky’ notes. This oil is created by steam distillation of the logs, and this gives a heavy dark red coloured.

Rose oil absolute from the damask rose is a true rose scent and is also good for skin and yet another uplifting and feel good scent. In this perfume it gives the more feminine sweet, lighter notes. 
Coumarin is tonka bean which gives a creamy sweet slightly vanillary note and in this case softens the smokiness.

Geraniol is found in rose oil, palmarosa oil, and many other essential oils. It has a rose-like scent and in this perfume adds the lighter sweeter floral notes.

Benzyl cinnamate according to the Lush website “is a crystalline material with a heavy and persistent aroma. It is found in essential oils, including chamomile, lavender, geranium, lemongrass, benzoin, rose, tagetes and lemon myrtle.” It gives a heavy creamy note to perfumes.

Citral has a strong, fresh odour of lemon peel.This will lift the perfume and give the hints of light freshness.

Eugenol has the same odour as clove and indeed makes up 85% of clove oil. This gives the aromatic notes and more exotic spicy hints.

Citronellol has a sweet, rose-like odour and is found in essential oils like rose, geranium, neroli, chamomile, tagetes, lemongrass, basil and lavender.It is added to sweeten the fragrance so that is is not too dry and smoky.

Farnesol also found in natural essential oils like rose, palmarossa,neroli and ylang ylang and has the aroma of violets so giving the floral note to this perfume.

MY VIEWS 
I absolutely love this perfume now that I have tried it a few times. It is atmospheric and smoky , a bit like the scent of a loving Dad or Grandad with his tobacco and pipe sitting by the fire. It is evocative and yet also has hints of sweetness like a nice tobacco . It is a warm cosy sort of smell and a true feel good smell. As well as using this as a perfume the lady in Lush suggested dropping some on a warm radiator and then the room becomes filled with the lovely scent and it carries right into the room. 

As a perfume I find this wonderfully smoky yet cosy, sweet and comfortable. It changes as I am wearing it and even as I sniff from one time to the next it flits back and forth between the smokier scent and the sweeter slightly spicy notes of the sandalwood and essential oil ingredients with floral contributions.

I love the new Lush perfumes. There isn’t one I don’t love but they are not for everyone. My daughter likes fresher lighter scents and most of these are deeper and heavier than she enjoys. This one she is not so keen on. 

The majority of these new perfumes are perfumes rather than eau de toilettes and as such they really last well on both me and my clothes. They are oil based with lots of essential oils and as such have great lasting quality and good sillage as well. They also need to be worn on the skin to test them. Sniffing the bottle does not do the trick and even putting them on cardboard is not the same as they develop on you and change according to your skin chemistry it seems as they smell different on different people. 

PRICES AND SIZES 
There are five sizes available but save up as this is not a cheap perfume as it contains expensive oils. The smallest size is 7g for £20, then £40 for 25g or 28g ( not sure what the difference is here but one might come with a dropper. 43G with cost you £50 and 46g for £60 but if you are really lucky and can afford this then the 92g costs £100. I am rather hoping to buy the small bottle in the next few months as I have now tested it at least six times and have truly fallen for this one. This is as you can see one of the more expensive ones in the new range.

Everyone has commented on this smells on me today. Many complemented me but others did just ask what it was so obviously they were less keen but I did know from this that it has great lasting quality and sillage too. It lasted on my coat inner sleeve for well over a week and makes my wrist smells wonderful whenever I put my coaton to go out! 

If you are near a Lush shop and you are a fan then I urge you to go in and try their new perfumes. Put some on then go and walk around before you start to sniff the perfume on you. That way it has a chance to develop and you are not trying to pick the scent from everything else in Lush. Wear it for a day and you will see it becomes quite changeable flitting between citrus fresh and earthy herby. It is such a wonderful scent and suitable for both male and female wearers I would say.It is different and one you should try and wear before buying as it smell different on different people. 

Just in case you were wondering sillage is how much fragrance follows you or is left in the room when or after you are in it and this perfume has great sillage qualities. 

 

 

Crabtree and Evelyn Iris eau de toilette

This is yet another sample I have collected recently that I have liked and thought I should now review.

PACKAGING AND DESIGN
This came in a small glass vial within a cardboard outer packing which has a very nice picture of an iris on the front with the name of the perfume IRIS in larger text and then the company name and 0.5ml which is the amount I have in my little glass mini bottle. I also got a sachet of body lotion in the same fragrance so that I could layer the two in order to get maximum effect.

The bottle when you buy it has exactly the same image on the front of a fairly plain clear glass bottle with a purple coloured lid. This design on the bottle ad my car packaging was created by Bella Towse, a graduate from the University of Art and Design in London. She was inspired by the irises in her parents’ house in Sussex.

Bergamot

In my view the bottle is nothing special; the bottle tapers inwards down towards the bottom and is chunky with flat sides. But as they say never judge a book by the cover and never buy a perfume by looking at the bottle and packaging as it is the contents that matter.

CRABTREE AND EVELYN
Crabtree & Evelyn is a high end store selling bath and body products, fragrances, gifts and also some food stuffs and has a quintessentially English look about it despite the fact it began in New England in the USA. It is recognized as one of the best known and most-respected lines of beauty and grooming products in the world. The company now has more than 350 stores in countries all around the world particularly in the UK and USA.

PRICE
Crabtree & Evelyn Iris is available as 30 ml EDP and 100 ml EDT and the prices. The 30 ml one sells for around £15 and the larger size is around £28.

Blackcurrant

There are other flower scents in the same series with a single image on the same shaped bottle and you can choose from Rose, lavender, Lily ( of the valley), and Wisteria but I can’t tell you much more as I haven’t tried them. They seem a pretty reasonable price though.

IRIS
This perfume ‘ Iris’ is quite a delicate fragrance and unusually it is inspired by a single flower. It was first released in about 2010 so is a relatively new product.
The eau de toilette has been created using orris root, Italian bergamot and cassis as well as the base notes of patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver and cedar, blended with creamy musk.

According to Crabtree and Evelyn
“ Exquisitely scented orris prepared from the root of the Iris flower was highly prized by Renaissance perfumiers… Blended with precious sandalwood, patchouli and a hint of fresh vetiver , our Iris fragrance pays homage to a classic alluring ingredient.”

Patchouli

NOTES
Top notes are bergamot and cassis.
Middle notes are iris and orris root.
Base notes are Patchouli, musk vetiver, Virginia cedar and sandalwood

MY EXPERIENCE
When I first applied this I was hit with a lively green opening, leafy rather than grassy and not as lemony as I would have thought with bergamot as one of the notes. The fruitiness quickly followed this fresh greeny aroma and it was a creamy fruitiness rather than Ribena cassis sort of fruitiness.

After only ten minutes or so the slightly powdery scent develops on me which must be the floral notes of iris blended with the more earthy orris. I liked this stage as it was creamy, earthy and yet sweet floral with a powdery sort of edge so soft and feminine, not harsh at all.

Vetivert

The base notes also blend with the powdery sweet notes and the deeper warm earthiness shows through from time to time without knocking the fruity notes away. They give a depth to the sweetness and have a woody sort of aroma; very like being in the garden with floral scents merging with earthy smells.
The lasting quality was not that great, about four hours on my skin but it did last better on my clothes that had rubbed on the area I put the perfume. I could still smell that the next day.

I loved the way the bergamot and blackcurrant were sort of enveloped in the warm exotic earthier notes of sandalwood and patchouli which are two of my favourite scents. It is far more refined than I would have thought from the bottle which looks a bit like Body Shop perfumes which never seem to last long on me at all. This lasts much better than the Body Shop ones do and has a more complex and warm feel to it even though it is just an EDT.

This is a light sweet floral, very feminine in my view and one I would wear in warmer weather and during the day. I would also say it may not appeal to the younger women as it does have a bit of a ‘comfortable middle aged woman aroma about it.

So in summary this is good value for the price and even if it doesn’t last at the price it is you can spritz a bit more on if needed. It is pleasant enough, not my favourite by a long way but I am happy to wear it. If you like light floral with a fresh start and a bit powdery, floral a bit woody/earthy then give this a try as it is not too expensive.

Sandalwood

It is similar in strength and longevity to the Body shop eau de toilettes so don’t expect it to last too long on you but it does give a good few hours on my skin and longer on my clothes that have absorbed some of the product as I put it on. I do like it when my pashminas smell of my perfume as I put them on, a sort of fabric freshener that is a bit of me as well.

This is pleasant enough but I wouldn’t go looking for it. If I saw it on Ebay I would be happy to buy it cheaply as I am happy to wear itr as a day time perfume with a light floral sweat powdery fragrance.

 

Comme des garcons 2 or CdG2 – for men or women

Commes des Garcons 2 box

I received this small sample vial in the mail. I honestly cannot say where i get it from as I often request samples and it makes a lovely surprise when they arrive and I get to try things I certainly would risk buying sight or smell unseen or unsmelled!

PACKAGING
The package mine came in was a plastic outer envelope with a small glass bottle mini spray. I love these small sample sizes to try new smells and also I take them on holiday as they are so light and then dump them when I have used them. On the side of the bottle is the name and a scribbly looking 2 across the brand as though a child has written the 2 on there.

This is sold in a bottle that is sort of similar to an iphone 3 sort of shape and silver with the brand in white simple text and again the rather scratchy scribbly 2 across the front. It is simple and understated.

Commes des Garcon 2 bottle

COMME DES GARCONS
This is not a brand I have come across before but as i do like earthy scents I was looking forward to trying it. I guess the name is saying that the perfumes are unisex and maybe the clothes too as it is a Parisian based fashion brand owned by a Japanese designer, Rei Kawkubo. Again I have not heard of the fashion brand but I am not very well up in high end branded fashion so hardly surprising I suppose.
This company has 68 different fragrances, the first was created in 1994 and the fragrances are created in collaboration with a large number of perfumiers not just one or two which i found unusual.

Some of their perfumes are unisex while others are specifically aimed at either men or women. This is one of the unisex ones.

WHAT THEY SAY
“CdG2 plays with duality,with contrasts and complements, exploring the notion that opposites attract.”

THE NOTES
The top notes are : aldehydes, mandarin orange, tea, angelica, mate ( not sure what that is!)
The middle notes are: nutmeg, magnolia, coriander, cinnamon, West India bay, ink, caraway
The base notes are: patchouli, cedar, incense, vetiver, amber and labdanum

MY THOUGHTS AND EXPERIENCE

vetivert

When first sprayed on the opening is quite intense and strongly fresh and the aldehyde combined with the floral notes are my initial impression. When I first sprayed it I had to move my head back a bit as it was pretty strong.

After about ten minutes or so this does calm down a bit so that you can actually sniff the area you have put it on. At this stage I can strongly smell a powdery note but somehow it blends so that the first inhale smells different from the exhale. The floral notes are still strong and surprisingly the cinnamon and nutmeg are very hard to detect. At this stage it is not as citrus smelling , more powdery floral.

After a while the base notes are able to develop and I can pick out the woodier elements of this. The incense comes through strongly, the depth of the vetiver and patchouli I am not convinced make much of an appearance but that ink is really there. Reminds me of the days when we had to fill fountain pens with Quink!
There is a hint of ‘church’ which is incense and damp woodiness that I often smell in older churches.

It lasts quite well on me and I can still smell it faintly about five hours after I put it on but i am quite surprised how sweet and powdery it is considering the base notes are all so earthy.

Ink

I find it quite exotic and sexy sort of smell. You could wear it day or night and in my opinion is probably not for the girly feminine sorts of people or the younger audience but that is just my feeling. From the man’s point of view I wouldn’t like to say as my husband refuses to wear ‘perfume’ as he calls it.

It is certainly different and each time I smell it coming from my wrists I pick new notes or combinations.

WOULD I BUY THIS AGAIN?

I do like it but it is not a cheap perfume at about £70 for 50ml and samples selling on Ebay for about £.50 for 1ml or 2ml bottles. I can’t say I would pay that sort of money for this as it isn’t special enough for that sort of money.

Some reviews I read say it is one for the ladies as it is too floral while others say it is for men as it is citrus and herby. They are really both correct as the perfume develops on different people differently. As the people in lush say your skin is the final ingredient and that effects how different scents develop. Always try your perfumes first, if you can, before making a big expensive purchase. These samples are a great way to try them. This little bottle was about 2ml and gave me about two or three days use I would say and I am so thrilled I got it as a free sample after seeing the prices on Ebay for the same little bottles. On Amazon the 25ml bottle is £57 which is a lot in my humble opinion.

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Gucci by Gucci

 

Gucci by Gucci

Gucci perfumes are expensive generally so I don’t own many and most of those I have are miniatures or small sample phials. This was a small sample phial I picked up as a freebie from somewhere or bought as a job lot on Ebay which is how  I get a lot of my perfumes.

THE CREATION

Gucci’s Creative Director, Frida Giannini was said to have “unleashed her affinity for masculine notes”  with this one. Gucci by Gucci was the creation of perfumer Ilias Ermenidis, and the notes include guava, raspberry, pear, chamomile, Tahitian Tiare flower, orange blossom, spider lily, patchouli, honey and musk.

Tiare Flower

PACKAGING

I don’t have the box but I have inspected it in the shops and found it comes in a pretty dusky pink box with a brown and gold stripe down the middle  with the words  “Gucci by Gucci”  on the front.

Inside you find the bottle is clear glass rectangular one with a decent sized stopper top in gold with a Gucci sort of emblem at the front.  On the front of the bottle is the Gucci by Gucci logo . The lid looks chunky and when I tested this in store I did find the lid very heavy so not one you would mislay in a hurry.

Gucci by Gucci bottle

NOW TO THE SMELL

On the first spray I nearly choked as it is very strong initially and you get hot with a fruity patchouli which is rather too overpowering however it does die down fairly quickly to a more musky woody aroma. There are still sweet almost honey and floral notes that mix with the woody sweetness but not overly sweet.

As the perfume dries down it becomes smooth and quite dry, and almost mildly leathery but sweeter. There is still a hint of the fruitiness but with the amber like spicy warmth. I found it quite a heavy floral sweet scent but despite its initial strength I found it didn’t last that long on me but maybe that was because I tried the EDT not the perfume.

Spider Lily

 

It is quite exotic with its guava fruitiness combining with the Tahitian Tiare flower which is a bit like a frangipani flower  which is strong sweet and really heady and a scent I love. It has creaminess with musky depth from patchouli.

Guava

This is Gucci ‘s  signature fragrance  that they describe as “ for the accomplished, modern woman who, just as iconic women of the past, will be remembered for her unique ability to merge strength and ambition with a sensual, feminine appeal.”

 

So we have an initial bang of exotic fruitiness with pear and guava this gradually changes and becomes deeply sensual and more floral as the Tahitian Tiare flower emerges and then finally the deeper musky patchouli sits with the sweet notes.

patchouli

Patchouli – photo from Wikipedia

 WHERE TO BUY AND HOW MUCH

 This perfume is available in EDT or perfume and the EDT comes in different sizes from 30ml, 50ml and 75ml.

You can buy this is Boots, Debenhams and on line from Amazon and cheapsmells as well as other sites. The prices do vary so if you are interested I suggest doing a price comparison before buying. I tend to use Amazon unless they are a lot more expensive as I often have vouchers on there to use.

For the EDT the 30ml  size sells for between  £27 and £40, The 50ml  ranges from £32 to around £50 and finally the 75ml goes for anything from £40 to around £65 so as you can see the prices vary considerably so it pays to search for a good deal.

The eau de Parfum is  a lot more expensive but the scent lasts better.

Remember once you open a bottle they do begin to deteriorate and they last better in a cooler place and in the dark so don’t through away the boxes and store them in a drawer or cupboard and somewhere cool.

RECOMMENDED?

Yes it is a very exotic and pleasantly feminine scent despite Gucci’s claims at being masculine. It lasted a fair time for the price but I would have hoped for a longer lasting scent really. It is packaged well and I like the bottle,  especially the lovely gold, chunky stopper