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.

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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

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.

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(*(*(*(**** 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.

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.

Agent Provocateur for Women -EDP

The house of Agent Provocateur is mainly a luxury lingerie fashion house but this scent is their signature fragrance. This scent was created in 2000 by Christian Provenzano for Agent provocateur.

PACKING IT UP

This comes in a black box with the name of the fragrance is on the centre front of the box in the text of the fashion house in pink. It isn’t the most exciting box I have seen but is a pretty and feminine colour.

The bottle is the shape of a tear drop or hand grenade rounded at the base and is sort of china not glass so not clear. It is a pink colour and pretty plain but feels nice to hold as I have tried it in the shops in the Westfield centre. The only problem with bottles like this is you can’t see what you have left.

magnolia

Magnolia

TAKE NOTE

Top notes are magnolia and India saffron
Middle notes are gardenia, vetivert from Haitti, Moroccan rose and Egyptian jasmine
The base notes are Amber, musk and cedar

MY THOUGHTS

Initially I could not detect anything floral but I got a bit whiff of the saffron, not sweet at all but rather earthy.

After about half an hour the floral notes developed and I could smell the jasmine and gardenia which are both very strongly heady perfumed flowers. I loved this stage, it was also quite soapy and quite strong. It carried well around me.

After an hour or so the scent was still very evident and the woodier, musky notes are hanging in there and really lingering nicely with a lovely cedar and musky scent.

jasmine

Jasmine

I just love this one me as it has the notes I love I in the right mix. I love rose when combined with woody cedar or vetivert or patchouli as it gives depth to the rose and this does just that. This doesn’t actually have patchouli but almost smells like it has.

Many people hate this perfume but it works on me but I also do like original and unusual scents. This is rose but so much more, it isn’t light and pretty and feminine . It is more dark, sexy and heady with depth from the base notes coming through.

I loved it from the rose and amber saffron herby opening through to lovely warm woody and rose almost incense rose dry down. I find it quite exotic, a but sexy and one for the ladies who want a darker, deeper perfume as opposed to the light flirty feminine florals.

RECOMMENDED?

Yes I would thoroughly recommend this but I do think it is a matter of preference as I am not greatly into light florals and like something with a bit of a punch and a good lasting heart fragrance which this has.

It costs around £30 for the 30 ml bottle so not bad value for an eau de parfam and this does last quite well on me and does also have pretty good sillage and carries well so not bad I feel.

I would be happy to buy this one again and do test it frequently when I go into Debenhams and at airports it is one of my main ‘tests’.

‘La Petite Robe Noir’ – eau du Parfum by Guerlain


MY GUILTY SECRET
I just love getting free stuff to try and as a result I apply for every freebie going and most weeks I get at least one small gift in my mail box. It is like a little Christmas tree surprise each week and most times I have to do nothing except try it and enjoy it. Sometimes I am asked to write a review and others want a bit more input but I enjoy it and get to try lots of new things.

WHY DID YOU BUY THIS?
This small sample, 1 ml in a tiny spray comes in a cute pale, old fashioned pink with a sort of French chic style picture of a black dress and the name of the perfume in fancy writing. This came from Boots as I am a member of their Boots.com product testing panel. They send me samples of products to try in return for writing a pretty short review on their website.

WHAT GUEULAIN SAY ABOUT THIS SCENT
“I am absolutely essential and utterly irresistible. I have met with the greatest actresses and charmed the most glamorous of men. I am the chic, elegant and very seductive, perfumed creation by Guerlain. I am La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Parfum. My scent is Fresh, enchanting and delicious….Cheeky and captivating….I am the warm spark beneath the sweetness.”

Okay so that sounds very promising. An air of mystery and elegance with classic chic and glamour thrown in. I was really looking forward to trying this.

LA ROBE NOIR PACKAGE

Means of course ‘little black dress’ which can imply that outfit which can take you anywhere and also at the same time implies style and glamour. The packaging is elegant and French chic style. The bottle is clear glass and sort of square with the little black dress on the front; the top corners have a sort of rounded decorative corner.
The bottle is a replica of the classical bottles of Guerlain . The little black dress is slightly different as Guerlain has been altered it each time the scent has been rebranded and released which has been three times so far., in 2009, 2011 and now again in 2012. I am not sure what they have changed apart from the packaging as i have never tried it before this.

The lid is large and like a diamond it is made of plastic looks like clear glass Around the lid base is a little piece of ribbon around the base with ‘Guerlain’ printed on it. I can’t say it is the most impressive bottle I have ever seen but it is also far from being the most boring so an average sort of looking bottle. Being clear you can see the pink, almost blackcurrant diluted cordial coloured perfume through the bottle so you would know how much you have left. This also means that it would be easily damaged by light so I would keep it in its box or in a dark place so that it didn’t get spoiled by the light and lose its fragrance.

WHERE TO BUY AND HOW MUCH
La Petite Robe Noir is available as 30ml for £42, 50ml for £60 and a gift set for £42 which has 75 ml body lotion and 30ml eau de parfum so that seems a pretty good deal. These can be bought from Boots stores or on line and very probably other stores selling good perfumes.

LA ROBE NOIR NOTES
La Petite Robe Noire combines top notes of black cherry and bergamot, heart notes of black rose and almond, and base notes of black tea, Tonka beans and patchouli.

Patchouli

MY THOUGHTS
I sprayed this on a few days ago and spent the day sniffing and thinking about it and what it smelled like and then I tried again today.
The first scent that I get is sweet almond like powdery cherry. It is pretty strong and gives a real punch of cherry sweetness with powdery vanillary undertones. This is in no way a male scent, it is feminine and to me very girly very sweet and fruity.

I would say this is probably for someone younger than I am as I find it a bit too sweet and sugary. It reminds me of cherry liqueur at first sniff but as though you are also wearing a talc while sniffing it or someone has wafted talc around while you are drinking cherry liquor.

Cherries

After about ten minutes the scent does calm down and the powdery scent remains with a hint of tonka and vanilla . It sort of smells like you have walked into a sweet shop with that combination of fruity and caramel like smells that you get in an old fashioned sweet shop.

The deeper heart notes never really materialise for me as the scent fades very quickly. I have read a number of reviews which say this lasts really well and has excellent sillage. Sorry but it doesn’t on me, after an hour or so i am struggling to smell anything much at all. I am not sure whether the powerful initial notes hit my nose so strongly that after that I can’t smell anything. After about ten minutes I begin to detect a hint of liquorice which is very pleasant but subtle. It is still very sweet, i am still in the sweet shop here.
Others have talked about how classical this is and how sophisticated but really I am struggling as to me it smells very young and one that teens would like. It isn’t my idea of sophisticated at all.

After about an hour the rose begins to sneak out, still sweet but not sweet shop sickly sweet a more floral note creeps in to blend with the rather lighter bergamot. These two flit back and forth with the powdery notes for me.

I am sorry but this will not be one I will be rushing to buy. It smells too much like a mix of sweet shop and fruit shop for me to take to. I really feel it is aimed at the younger audience and I can’t believe all the people saying how long it lasts on their skin as it disappeared after four hours leaving barely a hint on my wrists.

Nicki Minaj Minajesty – Eau de Parfum


I have never heard of this person or brand before I received this sample through the mail. The sample came as a small spray glass vial in a folder of card which was a deep pink colour with black edges top and bottom. It was fairly plain and gave no hint of what I might expect from a bottle of this perfume! Probably not a bad plan considering it has to be quite the ugliest and oddest perfume bottle I have ever seen.

This is a fairly new offering, only released last year by Nicki Minaj. The lady I have discovered is an American rapper or hip hop singer which is why I have not heard of her as I avoid all rap music. She is an attractive girl who seems to dress quite normally. Not in an outrageous manner like some singing stars do. She seems to be outspoken and has come to blows verbally with a number of other singers I have read.

She has released a couple of perfumes, this one and the one that was released before this was called ‘Pink Friday’ has an equally hideous bottle but with straight pink hair on the lady as opposed to the red curly hair on this one. Both bottles show the top half of a woman wearing a decorative bra but they both look a bot dominatrix to me.

It isn’t an expensive perfume so obviously aimed at the younger market and despite it rather odd bottle it is aimed at women as it is a light sweet perfume. It costs around £16 for 30 ml which is the cheaper end of the perfume market I would say. It is marketed as a perfume not an EDT but I feel it is a very light scent and more like an EDT.

The scent is marketed to appeal to those wanting a sexy sensual scent “Rule your queendom with Nicki Minaj Minajesty, a captivating and sultry fragrance.

A thoroughly sultry and glamorous statement that raises the bar, Nicki redefines reality with a wink of playfulness. With a nod to her vibrant and animated personality, Nicki conquers with power and femininity as the majestic queen of her luxurious world. “

MY VIEWS

lemons and peaches

Apart from the fact I think the bottle is hideous and would not allow it in my house I find that the scent is very light. I would describe it as a light fruity floral EDT and sensual and sultry would be low down my list of descriptive words for this.

The notes in this perfume are:
Top notes are red berries, lemon and peach
middle notes are magnolia, frangipani and orchid
base notes are tonka bean, vanilla and musk.

Looking at the list of notes you can see there are no deep base notes, they are all sweet creamy and there is no earthiness or depth to me.
I sprayed this on my wrist about two hours ago and after the first fresh hit that made me sneeze which was very fresh and sweet with the citrus and peach coming through strongly. It didn’t smell too natural to me though, rather synthetic.

The dry down has left me with a hint of sweet talc like scent with a hint of creamy magnolia. It has virtually disappeared in reality.

It has very poor longevity for a perfume , it is even poor for an EDT. The sillage is also not great. When I asked my husband if he could tell if I was wearing any perfume he said no, he couldn’t smell anything so considering he is in the same room sitting next to me shows that it is pretty poor at carrying it scent.

RECOMMEENDED?
Well I won’t be buying it. I don’t think I am the target audience and I certainly wasn’t attracted to buy it by the packaging or the fact it was a celebrity fragrance as I have never heard of the young lady in question.

I think the bottle is hideous and the scent is weak, sweet and doesn’t really have any lasting quality. It is far from sensuous and sultry.

Thanks but not for me.

Bulgari Omnia Crystalline EDP

Continuing my journey through my bag of perfume samples and I chose this one to review today.

This EDP is from the House of Bulgari and although the EDT of the same name was launched in 2005 this EDP wasn’t released until 2013 so is fairly recent.

The tagline description states ;

“ Crystalline illuminates, reflects and reveals a woman’s radiance, luminosity, gentle sensuality, and graceful femininity. A sparkling jewel of light.”

This, like all Bulgari Omnia perfumes and EDTs this was created by the perfumier Alberto Morillas of the house of Firmenich. He is quoted as saying this is his most feminine creation in the Omnia series and it is “extremely sexy but not vulgar.”

This perfume is different from the EDT of the same name, it is not just a stronger version of the EDT like some are.

WRAPPING IT UP
The box is a creamy colour with a paler square in the centre and the name Omnia Crystalline in the centre and BULGARI at the top of the box. It is all pretty minimilist and simple but quite classy.

The bottle is very unusual and like the others in the Omnia collection. It is a 3D circle at the bottom, the actual bottle but the lid or top is set at ninety degrees fitting into the circle as another circle. Hard to explain but it does look quite different and elegant.

 

ABOUT THE NOTES

In this perfume the notes are:

Top Notes: Mandarin and Lotus
Heart Notes: heliotrope and orris root
Base Notes: Sandalwood , Siam benzoin and musk

MY VIEWS AND EXPERIENCE
From the very first spray I liked this one. Initially it is quite sweet but fresh and fruity with a leafy sort of note.

The top notes are mandarin and lotus so that is what I can instantly smell mandarin fruity freshness and this combines with the lotus to give a fresh, sweet yet also floral. It isn’t heavy nor is it too sugary sweet.
As far as I know lotus blossom doesn’t have a scent that I have ever noticed but in perfume they are apparently the floral notes that have a slightly watery. It brings to mind tropical gardens in the mist. That must be the slightly leafy notes I can detect.
After about half an hour the creamy vanilla aroma that comes from the heliotrope begins to develop and the iris floral notes of orris root also and at this stage the perfume is very beautiful and warmly pretty.
Leaving this and the beautiful atmospheric sandalwood becomes more evident and while I can still detect the floral notes these headier warm notes of creamy vanillary benzoin combine with my favourite sandalwood and musk.

This is a very ladylike and feminine perfume that lingers beautifully in this elegant and classy perfume. It is a warm and quite sensual scent that to me shouts sexy and beautiful.

I found that this scent lasted well on me and could still smell it on my wrist three to hours later. It lasted on my clothes long after that as I could still smell it the next day.
The sillage wasn’t bad either as I could smell it in the room when I left and came back in when I sprayed this on my husband as a test. He is a willing conscript for my reviews so long as we are not going out!!

Sandalwood

WHERE TO BUY AND HOW MUCH
This EDP Is available in 40 ml and 65 ml bottles which are unusual sizes compared to most others which seem to come in 30 ml, 50 ml and 100 ml sizes. The prices range from around £50 for the 40 ml size and around £66 for the 65 ml size which I think is not bad value for a quality perfume that smells so great.

RECOMMENDED?
Yes I would happily wear this. It is a perfume that will be okay to wear day or night and would work in winter or summer as it is both fresh fruity floral initially and yet it is lovely, deep, creamy and woody warm. I would certainly be this one again as it is my kind of scent

Britney Spears Fantasy the Nice Remix – perfume

 

Fantasy – The Nice Remix

Trawling through my pile of perfume samples I found this double pack of Britney Spears perfume. Inside the cardboard folder there are two glass mini spray samples, one is the Nice remix and the second is the Naughty remix.

BRITNEY SPEARS

I would NEVER go out and buy a perfume endorsed by a celebrity and certainly not one from Britney as I do feel I am way beyond the age of clientèle she is aiming her scent towards. My feelings for Britney stem from the years of having to endure her songs played on repeat by my step daughter when she was a young teen. I still can’t hear ‘Baby bay…’ without thinking of my step daughter and her obsession back then!

Fairy Floss or cotton candy

IT’S ALL FANTASY

Britney released Fantasy back in 2005 and these remixes are based on that popular scent. These two remixes were released in 2014 so are fairly recent additions to the market.
The Naughty Remix is supposed to be slightly more daring and ‘darker’ while this one made for the lighter day time moments or those who like sweeter scents. Both are pretty light and sweet and based on the original Fantasy but emphasize different notes of the original.
“Fantasy is truly an unforgettable scent. Remixing the original notes to create new fantasy scents gives my fans and me more ways of expressing our inner fantasies – whether they’re naughty or nice.” Britney Spears.

PRICES AND SIZES

This Nice remix is available in three sizes 30 ml, 50 ml and for real fans 100ml! The prices as always do vary so it is best to shop around. The 30 ml one varies around the £20 mark and at Superdrug it is £23, the 50 ml one has almost twice the quantity but is selling for £26 while if you like this scent by far the best value is the 100ml one which costs £40.

It is widely available both on line and in many stores so shop around for the best value.

PACKAGING
I do feel a nice package and an original one is a selling point for a perfume. This comes in a pretty pink girly looking box. It has geometric patterns in various soft shades of pink and is very pretty looking especially for younger girls.

The bottle is a tall pale pink galss bottle which is rounder at the base and also lighter pink at the base. There is a gold ‘necklace’ arund the neck of the bottle. It isn’t fancy but is quite pretty and attractive.

WHAT DOES IT SMELL LIKE?
This is sweet, almost teeth clenchingly sweet to me, cotton candy, boiled sweets cooking sort of sweet. It is described as being ‘romantic and flirty’ and ‘a sparkling fruity scent’.

Cupcakes

The notes are one dimensional to me and they are kiwi, jasmine, sweet cupcake and creamy musk. SWEET as you can see. The kiwi lifts it slightly but in truth it is cupcake with cotton candy and nothing more. I sprayed a little on my wrist about two hours ago and apart from becoming slightly more muted the scent has stayed the same.

RECOMMENDED?

Not for me as my scents of choice are usually heavier on the base notes with amber, oudh and the like. This just smells like a sweet shop to me. I do realise I am not the target audience but even so it is very sweet. I think young teens may like it but this is one I won’t be buying or even using again I feel. I think the left overs of this may well end up being an air freshener at some time in a room.

Lush Gorilla perfume ‘ Love’ – solid version

Lush ‘LOVE’ perfume options

Gorilla Perfume was a sort of subsidiary of Lush and was started specifically to showcase the perfumery of Mark and Simon Constantine. They wanted to offer perfumes that were different from the high street offerings that were made with quality ingredients.
Mark is the co-founder of “Lush” and also of the now closed “B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful and prior to that he headed the “Cosmetics To Go” company. In the perfumery he is assisted by his son, Simon.
Love is a Floral Fruity fragrance and was created in 2011 at the same time as TucaTuca and a few others. The fragrance features bergamot, amalfi lemon, lemongrass, red apple, cinnamon, jasmine, rose and ylang-ylang.

LUSH AND PERFUMES GENERALLY
We are very lucky in Derby because our lovely Lush shop in the Westfield centre has the entire range of Lush perfumes as well as the essential oil elements of some. Lush sells a fairly large range of perfumes now and every scent comes in three or four different forms. There is usually a solid perfume which tends to be the form which has the shortest staying power, the next is a small spray which is less concentrated than the 30ml black bottle which has the strongest concentration. Many of the scents also have a small 2ml sample bottle too which is usually in the same concentration as the mini spray or spritzers which I believe has 8ml in it. 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.

Love atomiser

HOW MUCH?
The perfume I am reviewing here is the small 2ml sample which was a gift from one of the staff in Lush one day. The solid perfume is £7.50, the small spritzers are £15.00, the large 30ml version is £31 and the 2ml sample sells for £3. I think this is one of the more expensive of Lush’s perfumes. The solid versions usually offer good value and will probably be the one I buy myself after this has finished 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. This is not one of Lush’s stronger scents but the solid form works well for me so I don’t think I will be tempted to buy the large atomiser as this works really well for me.

ABOUT LOVE
This scent was created to try and capture the elusiveness of love. It was inspired by Mark watching his sons fall in and out of love. It is flirty and fun and teases with its changing notes. It is quite a light scent sort of apple with citrus and a hint of spiciness. I thought it was a bit underwhelming initially but once I left the shop I realised that is was quite evident and began to enjoy it more.

Love solid perfume

WHAT LUSH SAY
“Feels like: that first rush of endorphins” is the tag line on the website.
“Watching my sons fall in and out of love inspired this perfume, and rather like their relationships, it took quite a while to get right. It is for flirts really, but being a flirt is not something everyone wants to be known for. On the other hand, flirting is so much fun. I have tried to make a perfume that will flirt for you while you pretend indifference. Love is an instantly bright and bubbly fragrance with a vivacious green apple fruit scent and sweet citrus innocence. As the initial burst fades, it’s replaced with a sugary sweet apple pie note while maintaining a sharp lift.” Mark Constantine
“This inspirational scent dreams up images of past flings and future fondles as the citrus, rose and jasmine oils have a party on your skin. Flirtatious and fruity, Love is the scent that keeps on giving.”

PACKAGING
This is Lush and all their perfumes come in the same packaging. The large atomiser is simple and plain black glass. I find that is good in that it keeps the perfume fresh as it is in the dark but annoying in that you can’t see what is left.
I like the simple packaging as I fell the effort has gone into the scent not the bottle but I have to admit I do like pretty bottles and these don’t look so great on my dressing table. The other problem is that all the bottles are the same so you have to keep the little cardboard tag on the bottles to tell which is which.

Jasmine

The spritzer comes in a small black spray, again difficult to see how much is left an dis not recyclable through Lush. The sample is a tiny glass bottle which is clear and has the name on the outside on a black label and can of course be recycled with other glass.
Finally the solid perfume comes in a black tube, a bit like a fat lipstick and this is recyclable through Lush. If you take five of these or a mix of these and the black pots then you can choose a free fresh face mask or fresh hair mask from them as a reward. What a fabulous incentive and one I make good use of so thank you Lush.

MY THOUGHTS ON THE PERFUME
Main notes: Lemon, lemongrass, bergamot, apple, cinnamon, cassia, jasmine, rose, ylang ylang

Initially all I got from this was the very subtle lemon notes, a sort of lemon meringue creamy rather than sharply citrus. Also blending with this creamy lemon are hints of apples and a very subtle cinnamon almost vanilla puddingish sort of scent.
After some time I began to notice the more floral notes coming through and the rose in particular but not sure I could detect the ylang ylang but that didn’t bother me as I am not the biggest fan of ylang ylang, I find it a bit sickly.
This mix of notes almost hops back and forth and this is the flirting that Mark was aiming for. The citrus creamy notes are still there and yet the floral sweet notes also pop through from time to time.
It is sort of like having a bouquet of roses next to a lemon meringue pie you can smell them both and each comes through at different times.

As I write my review I am wearing this. I always wear the perfume I am reviewing as then I can keep sniffing it and remind myself of what smells I can detect. I love writing perfume reviews because of this I sit and sniff then write a bit more.

This isn’t an especially feminine fragrance, but I love it the fruity sweetness suits me. Like a lot of Lush scents this has that strange and unusual blending giving a unique depth to it that you can’t just place . It is creamily sweet at the same time as being light and citrus- like, a summery fragrance it is also mellow and distinctive in its own way.

I would suggest that it is possibly a daytime scent, perfect for holidays or in the summer. It isn’t overly girly and sweet so would suit a range of ages .

I love this and have the solid version to go with my growing collection. I love having different perfumes to wear as my mood changes and I find this is quite an uplifting one but one that suits most occasions.
Mark and Simon Constantine don’t think along traditional lines and so the scents they create and very unusual. They keep on inventing and I keep on trying them. This is a keeper as it is subtle yet fun and would suit most people. I do suggest that you try before you buy and do like I do. Put one or at the most two scents on your wrists and then leave the shop and do some shopping. Try the scents after thirty minutes and an hour and see what you think then as that will give you a better idea than just sniffing in the shop.

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