Tag Archives: scents

Spoilt for Choice: Perfumes

For my birthday I received two perfumes: Summer Hill (Crabtree & Evelyn) and Samsara (Guerlain). Summer Hill was not one I’d come across before but it was fresh and lovely. It reminds me of something I had a long time ago, which I can’t quite place.

Samsara was one I ‘tested’ months ago (that red bottle is a bit of a ‘come try me’!) I liked it enough to put it on my ‘would buy’ list (which I don’t think I kept updated on my blog! I’m sure I will eventually). It is quite musky but not overpowering or cloying.

Mum was right when she said they were starting to recognize us  in Boots, but they’ve decided I’m a customer and not a test bottle pest. 🙂 On my birthday I opened a card to discover cash and a ‘receipt’ type voucher… £5 off certain lines of perfume if I bought one before July 5th.

When I finally finished with the cold I was given, I rolled in there with Bluebird, my shopping trolley, and tried about six different perfumes… started to forget which was which! Mum tried to convince me to buy Cool Water for Men, and when I pointed out there was a bottle of Cool Water for Women, she squirted it all over Bluebird (having run out of places to squirt anything). But I didn’t want to buy that… especially when you remember this whole perfume craze began when I thought about how for years I just wore whatever perfume Mum took it in her head to get me. I said, “Bluebird will smell for months like Bernard.”
“Bernard? Who’s that?”
“The fellow on Come Dine with Me who wore bright shirts. One of the women came in and said ‘you are wearing Cool Water.'”
“Oh.”

When I mentioned I was considering Samsara by Guerlain, Mum pricked up her ears… “oh, Guerlain is very good.” I kind of wished she hadn’t said that, as I was falling for a bottle of Diesel Fuel for Life. I was confused, though, as Fuel for Life seems to come in three different colours, and they didn’t have any clear titles to show if they were different or not. As everybody, including Bluebird, was already up to the eyebrows in perfume samples, there was no point trying them separately. Just for the record, the one I favoured was gold toned and wearing a white net!

You might think “what difference does it make? You know yourself which bottle you liked!” But you can’t just pick it up and buy it; you have to ask for it to be taken out of the cabinet. I didn’t want to have to say “no, not the black one… and absolutely not the pink one! I want that gold one!” (Stamp, pout, sulk).

And when Mum said “Guerlain is very good,” suddenly I felt as though I was about to choose a jumped-up T-shirt over a designer dress of time-honoured pedigree… which was bad of me, especially as I’m determined not to be swayed by external influences! I try to avoid saying things like “this is an old lady / little girl perfume,” although I’m certain to think it at times. But I’m the one who liked Tweed. 🙂

Fortunately Tweed wasn’t one of the ones I would get a discount on (actually, it might have been…) Anyway, I wasn’t looking at Tweed, and Mum would have rebelled if I’d suggested it! Bluebird too. Both would wheel out of Boots in high dudgeon.

It was my first time in town for ages (because of my cold), and I wasn’t feeling very happy… didn’t know if I had the stamina to stand there and point out the perfume I wanted, then wait while it was rung up at the till. I couldn’t stand still when sales people tried to talk to us… just wanted to end the conversation and run away! Perhaps there was a bit of flu left over, making me giddy. The assistant (or manager? I have a bad habit of not looking at name tags) who recognized us was trying to encourage me to go for the Samsara, and I wasn’t sure all of a sudden, so we went away and had lunch in the wee French place, giving me time to untangle the various perfumes on my hands. Mum popped in later to bag the Samsara for me, (£34 reduced to £29 with the voucher) and said “that was the last one!”

And it’s lovely. I put it on a few days later, and Mum came in sniffing, saying “I smelled it as soon as I opened the door.”
“It reminds me of J Lo Live,” I said… this is not something I thought before, but now it does seem to me to be a creamy, musky version of it. Perhaps Samsara is the night, and Live is the day? I imagined that Mum would say “never!” but she didn’t seem surprised at the comment. When I checked up on the base notes, was interested to see that both perfumes have the following in common:

tonka bean
vanilla
sandalwood

Added to which, J Lo Live has lemon, orange and pineapple, whereas Samsara is said to have ‘citrus notes’, whatever that includes!

I felt ‘all over the place’ some months ago; it seemed more or less random which perfumes I would go for… but now I see a pattern forming.

I noticed online just now… Diesel Fuel for Life says ‘Only the Brave.’ I obviously wasn’t brave enough that day.

If you’re wondering about the little perfume icons, I discovered them on Basenotes. They are copyright 2005-2008, Basenotes / Grant Osborne, but we are kindly allowed to use them non-commercially, giving credit. They are lovely, aren’t they? If there was an icon for every perfume in the world, I could show you my entire collection! As it is, I have the following:


(Euphoria, L’Aimant (Orchid), Light Blue, Charlie Red, J Lo Live)

My Secret Obsession

My Christmas 2008 Perfumes

I spent most of last night Photoshopping my Christmas stash of perfumes (for my blog). Some were gifts; others bought in the sales. I’ve attached a small copy of the picture. That one called Secret Obsession says it all… I didn’t tell Mum I’d bought it, and it’s hiding in a corner of my bedroom. I sneak in every so often, open up the box, and put a little on! That one’s going to be a classic.

Everything else in the picture is a gift from Mum, except the little bottle at the front with the lacy flower… that’s Mango Delirium.

I wonder if I go over the top when I’m ‘into’ something… I had the photo blown up really big and was working away on it, and Mum came in and said “in town tomorrow, don’t go buying any more perfume… that lady in Boots was giving you funny looks.”

“What?” I said, and looked at her as though she’d burst my balloon with a pin.

“Not really, it’s just that she looked up when we went back into the shop today, and said ‘oh, it’s you.’ ”

Having reduced me to a quivering wreck of embarrassment and self-loathing, Mum looked closer at the zoomed-in section of my photo, which was unrecognizable… and said “what’s that?”

I said “it’s just a picture,” and she had to go away without me telling her. It was the very corner of the Secret Obsession bottle.

It’s a funny story now when I’m telling it, but at the time I got depressed and said “I’ve decided I’m not going to town.”

“OK,” said Mum.

I think she’s just driven my new hobby underground… I will have to buy all my perfume secretly! In my defence, I’m hardly breaking the bank. Look at the picture: everything in it was bought by Mum, except for the Secret Obsession and Mango Delirium, which were both on my wish list for several weeks. I had Christmas money to spend… why not on the scents I wanted? It makes a change from CDs, books and bears, none of which she quibbles about. The collection on top of the Secret Obsession box were from charity shops, and the rest were half-price. Actually the big pink box was probably from a charity shop too, but brand new… the glass bottle was still glued to the back of the box.

The photo isn’t clear, so for those who love perfumes, they are as follows:

  • Brown bottle and golden tube: Secret Obsession.
  • Big pink box at the other side: Crabtree and Evelyn ‘Rose’.
  • Box of miniatures from Boots: Guerlain Insolence, Amarige, Ghost, Anais Anais, ange ou demon.
  • Small bottle with lacy pink flower: Mango Delirium.
  • Collection of bottles on top of the Secret Obsession box (from left to right): La Chique, Courreges in Blue, Boots Oceanus body lotion (nice).

There will be further reviews. 🙂

The Mad Perfume Sprayer Strikes Again

Latest batch of perfumes I tested:

Calvin Klein ‘One’ — 2 (90s unisex classic)
Citrus-y… at first I wasn’t sure, but realized after a while that I liked this perfume. It stayed tangy all day, though in a seductive way. Mum said it was ‘intriguing’, and that she got me Calvin Klein once, but I don’t remember. (Scratches head).

Calvin Klein ‘Secret Obsession’ — 1
This was on special offer in Superdrug but I didn’t like it much when I first put it on, so I didn’t buy it. As time went on, though, I realized I liked it quite a lot… it made me think of a dark, damp, magical forest with deep, jewel-green moss. At night, when there was just a trace of it left, it went somewhat ‘soapy’ on me. If I owned a bottle of it I could always put more on and override that. I can imagine curling up with it in a warm nest, the way I did with Euphoria; I felt the same way about Calvin Klein ‘One’. I wasn’t sure about Secret Obsession at start and at end, so it fell a spot in my perfume list. But I looked in Superdrug again the next day, and it was sold out. (The other perfume on special offer, Elizabeth Arden ‘Red Door’, had hardly been touched. I didn’t try it; I sniffed the bottle and hadn’t liked it for whatever reason). The last thing I noticed about Secret Obsession is that it’s so long-lasting that when I washed it off the next morning, it was still there!

Estee Lauder ‘Beautiful’ — 1
Nice and flowery. Fresh and feminine. Friendly. Liked it. Mum said she didn’t like it, but I had just made her smell Cacharel’s ‘Eden’, which was on the same hand, and she was still scowling… I only put ‘Beautiful’ this far down the list because it’s pricier than the perfumes just above (Monsoon, Delirium etc), and if I was on the hunt for another perfume to buy, those would come first. Probably.

White Satin — 2
I received the White Satin body spray as a gift from Mum. I’ve had it in my collection since before I started all this ‘perfume testing’ malarkey, but it seems only fair to include it in my reviews. It’s a pleasant flowery perfume, innocent and old-fashioned in nature. It makes you think of a dressing table covered with cylinders of lipstick, canisters of hairspray and a heavy cut glass ‘puff powder’ thing. And yourself, wondering if Granny will catch you roaming her bedroom (which is off limits to little children). I don’t put any of this in a dismissive way; it’s a pleasant body spray; the aroma is slightly powdery but with a sweet floral note coming through.

Burberry ‘Weekend’ — 2
Sharp and lemony… it was quite refreshing. Mum liked it but I wouldn’t bother with it, unless it grew on me later. Could well do… in which case I’ll plump out this review!

Ghost — 1
Another vanilla-y perfume… it was OK, but I’m not all that into the vanilla scents. Mum didn’t like it, and though I thought it was all right, I wouldn’t buy it for myself.

Christian Dior ‘Miss Dior’
— 1 (0.5 each from Mum and me)
Whoo, expensive. £57 for the bottle I was looking at. I wouldn’t even dream of paying that, but it’s one of those key perfumes everyone’s heard of… my grandmother wore it. When I tried it, it reminded me of Ma Griffe. Mum said it was OK but she didn’t recognize it as Miss Dior. She says there’s something missing and it’s not the same. I read reviews on it earlier; it has been reformulated, possibly to remove or replace ingredients that couldn’t be used any more, but I don’t know the story. I didn’t dislike it, would be prepared to take it at face value, and was grateful that it didn’t give me a headache the way some perfumes do. It was the best of the three Christian Dior perfumes I’ve tried so far, but alien to me. For the rest of the night I kept thinking there was someone else in the room wearing this perfume, and that it had nothing to do with me…

Intimately Beckham — 1
Had this on the other wrist, and it was completely overshadowed by the Miss Dior, but that wasn’t its own fault. I quite liked it and was glad it didn’t give me a headache either, but I can’t imagine myself owning a pink perfume with a footballer’s name on it. Football and I don’t go. Setting that aside, it was a quiet, pretty, feminine fragrance without being too wild or cloying. Mum gave it the thumbs down before even learning what it was, but I’ll give it a thumbs up.

Elizabeth Arden ‘Green Tea Revitalize’ — 1.5 (1 from Mum, 0.5 from me)
A bit sharp and edgy for me, but it was OK at first. As the day wore on, it smelled more and more acridly of tea, and that didn’t really please me! I felt I might as well put real tea on as get the perfume.

Bodyshop ‘Japanese Cherry Blossom’ Eau de Toilette — 0
A bit on the sugary sweet side for me. Looking forward to trying the other Bodyshop offerings, though. I was in there looking for rose-scented hand cream, but couldn’t see any.

Dolce & Gabbana ‘Light Blue’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
Reminded me strongly of another perfume… it bothered me all day, as it was a perfume I knew well, and its name kept bubbling up then wafting off again. I nearly choked when I finally realized I was thinking of ‘Miranda’ by Ricardo… I got 100 ml of it for £1 from Pound Mania. Reasonably pleasant, and of course the Light Blue was of better quality (didn’t degenerate into a soap-bubbly aura) but when you look at the price, I would go for Miranda any day.

Kylie Minogue ‘Showtime’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
Quite a strong aroma… not unpleasant, but rather like cough drops. I don’t say that to be mean, as it’s not a bad perfume overall. Perhaps it doesn’t suit my skin-type well.

Hugo Boss ‘Deep Red’ — 0
Soft and dull, faded quite fast; had no presence. I’ve read reviews on various perfumes by people saying “the such and such notes weren’t obvious on me,” or “it faded faster on me than on other people,” so maybe that’s what happened here. Leaves quite a pleasant powdery trace at the end.

Lancome ‘Magnifique — 0
On me it smelled like rubber at first… improved eventually, but only in its final stages.

Calvin Klein ‘Crave’ — 0
Apparently discontinued… and for men. ☺
I tried this on the other wrist the same day I tried Hugo Boss ‘Deep Red’… I met up with Mum later and she enquired “so, have you had your perfume fix for today?” and I said “it wasn’t much of a fix!” Both perfumes were disappointing. At first spritz, I thought ‘Crave’ was nice and fresh, but it slumped quite rapidly, and turned out to have a hard note not dissimilar to the one in Christian Dior ‘Pure Poison’. Fortunately it was relatively faint.

Cacharel ‘Eden’ — minus 2
The only reason I didn’t sink this right to the bottom of my list is that it wasn’t one of the ones I had an allergic reaction to. All the ones below it gave me a headache or made me feel ill. Eden made me think of some oily mechanical rubbery thing in a DIY, smelling strongly of plastic tarpaulins and shut-up-dusty-shop. It took over, unfortunately.

Yardley ‘English Rose’ — 2
This perfume is just lovely, and I didn’t ‘test’ it as such, as I already had it and had forgotten! It was still in the box, therefore quite fresh. It has a lovely Turkish Delight bloom to it. Mum probably smells ‘flowers’ rather than ‘Turkish Delight’ (as I found out when we were discussing J Lo Glow) but she says Yardley’s English Rose is one of her favourite perfumes. She was delighted when I gave it to her, as it turned out I was reacting quite badly to that as well… sore, red eyes and headache. About two or three times after washing it off, I came and sat here at my desk where it must have rubbed off from my wrists, and got sore eyes again. That’s finally stopped happening… but it strikes me it would be a good deterrent for when I’m spending too much time at the computer! Just stroke a little Yardley’s English Rose round the edges of everything, and market it as Stop Diddums. That’s the only reason I gave it such a low placing. I shouldn’t have given it a score of 2, but I liked it and was sorry to see it go. Am now looking for a Diddums-friendly rose perfume to replace it. Once I got a lovely, strong, long-lasting rose hand cream from a National Trust shop, so that might be the next place to look.

Sarah Jessica Parker ‘Lovely’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
Pleasant perfume; not outstanding for me… it gave me a headache. Reading the reviews, ‘Lovely’ takes one or two people that way. Mum just said “hm, mm,” as though to say, “quite nice. I wouldn’t rush to the till with it.” I read that S.J.P. wanted an understated perfume that wouldn’t scream that she was in the room, so I guess it did that quite well. Unfortunately it tried to drive me out of the room and upstairs to bed (with a cloth over my eyes).

I’ve updated my full list of tested perfumes (below). The ones reviewed above are in bold. As mentioned before in my blog, it’s only my personal list; these scents could come across completely differently on someone else.

From places 1 to 13… I would buy. (Have you noticed the number has increased from 9 to 13? That’s the whole problem with playing this particular game, but I suppose it’s good that I would only buy 4 out of the 18 I’ve reviewed this time… and I already own one of them!)

The 11th perfume (Monsoon) was completely sold out last time I passed that spot in Boots. All to be found there is a sad (but smug) little tester bottle.

1. Calvin Klein ‘Euphoria’ — 2
2. Jennifer Lopez ‘Live’ — 2
3. Jennifer Lopez ‘Glow’ — 2
4. Paloma Picasso — 2
5. Cacharel ‘Noa’ — 2
6. Calvin Klein ‘One’ — 2
7. Marc Jacob’s ‘Daisy’ — 2
8. Calvin Klein ‘Secret Obsession’ — 1
9. Britney Spears ‘Curious’ — 2
10. Mango ‘Delirium’ — 2
11. Monsoon ‘Monsoon’ — 1
12. Estee Lauder ‘Beautiful’ — 1
13. White Satin — 2
14. Burberry ‘Weekend’ — 2
15. Ghost — 1
16. Christian Dior ‘Miss Dior’ — 1 (0.5 each from Mum and me)
17. Intimately Beckham — 1
18. Elizabeth Arden ‘Green Tea Revitalize’ — 1.5 (1 from Mum, 0.5 from me)
19. Bodyshop ‘Japanese Cherry Blossom’ Eau de Toilette — 0
20. Katie Price ‘Besotted’ — 0
21. Ricardo ‘Miranda’ — 1
22. Dolce & Gabbana ‘Light Blue’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
23. Kylie Minogue ‘Showtime’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
24. Hugo Boss ‘Deep Red’ — 0
25. Lancome ‘Magnifique’ — 0
26. Calvin Klein ‘Crave’ — 0
27. Givenchy ‘Amarige’ — 0.5
28. Police ‘Wings’ — 1.5
29. Vera Wang ‘Princess’ — 0
30. Christian Dior ‘J’Adore’ — 0
31. Dolce & Gabbana ‘The One’ — 0
32. Britney Spears ‘Fantasy’ — 0
33. Cacharel ‘Eden’ — minus 2
34. Yardley ‘English Rose’ — 2
35. Sarah Jessica Parker ‘Lovely’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
36. Cacharel ‘Anais Anais’ — 1
37. Christian Dior ‘Pure Poison’ — 0

Still on the Scent of the Perfect Fragrance

My latest tester bottles of perfume…

Jennifer Lopez ‘Glow’ — 2
We both loved this… strong and sweet without being heavy. Had spice in the heart of it. I suspect Mum liked it better than J Lo Live, but after all these perfumes I’ve tried, I can’t quite remember Live now and can’t make a direct comparison for myself. I see the pair as being neck and neck. Glow reminded me strongly of something, and it wasn’t till I was going round Woolworth that it hit me… rose and lemon Turkish Delight! The fragrance had stamina and was still Delighty much later (‘flowery’ to Mum).

Britney Spears ‘Curious’ — 2
At first Curious seemed a lighter version of J Lo Glow, without the spice. As time passed, it grew lighter, ending up as a sheen of sweet vanilla-y powder, whereas Glow never wavered in its Turkish sweetness. I liked Curious and would be happy to wear it, but it didn’t have a chance when compared directly to Glow (I had one on one wrist and the other on the other). Pretty blue bottle… would be a nice Christmas present for someone.

Katie Price ‘Besotted’ — 0
Light and pleasant in a pretty bottle, but it didn’t stand out at all. Finishes with a powdery scent, a bit dull. I would say it was a little girl’s perfume (at least that’s what it was like on me!) The tester bottle I tried was on a small island of selected perfumes in some pharmacy… it was teetering dangerously on a box at the back of the island (where anybody could sweep it off with a bag) and I said to Mum I didn’t think it would last out the day.

Christian Dior ‘J’Adore’ — 0 (my sister E stood in for Mum in the ‘sniff test’)
Before I say much about either of the Christian Dior fragrances here, I have to confess I put too much on… they came blasting out of their respective bottles and ran down my wrists. Enthusiastic products, the pair of them. J’Adore was the strongest to start with… E says it’s like soap, which is probably a fair comment. A nice light flowery soap that wafts everywhere with great gusto, but it didn’t interest me very much. I like it better as it cools, but to start with, it’s more overpowering than Pure Poison. Finally it slows and disappears, and Pure Poison takes over.

Christian Dior ‘Pure Poison’ — 0 (my sister E stood in for Mum in the ‘sniff test’)
Hmm… odd one. E said it smelled of nothing in particular. It makes me think of the inside of someone’s party-going clutch bag, or a pile of freshly washed laundry from the laundromat. At least one of the Christian Dior perfumes (I suspect J’Adore) made me feel a bit nauseous for a while, and my eyes smarted… it could just be that I put too much on. I’m still recovering from the Dizzy Virus, with a touch of the unsolicited ‘hangover’, so I won’t make too much of it. The longer I wear Pure Poison, though, the sicker I feel. It’s almost as though fluff from a tumble dryer is catching at the back of my throat.

I have a confession to make… I bought Paloma Picasso. (Chews lip guiltily). It had more of a ‘mark-down’ in price than some of the others (down from £35 to around £19), and I felt I owed Boots a little something after sniffing so much of their perfumes! I put J Lo Live in my Santa Claus letter so I’m resisting that one for now.

I would have got J Lo Glow, but it was locked away in the glass cabinet, and you know what I’m like about asking for things…! I was able to pick up a box of the Paloma Picasso from the special offer stand, which I was thinking about anyway, as it was such a good price, and there were only two boxes left (panic) so… I’m going to have to wear a lot of perfume to get through it all before it goes stale. I’ve still got my White Satin, and there’s the £1 Miranda, and Calvin Klein’s Euphoria. And now Paloma Picasso.

I would wash off this Christian Dior so I can make a start on my growing stash, but it seems a waste. So I won’t. For the rest of the day I’ll be a muddled mixture of J’Adore and Pure Poison (so what’s new?)

The following is my updated list of perfume (the original, older list is in All the Perfumes of the High Street). The score ‘2’ means both Mum (or E) and I liked it. ‘1’ means either I liked it or she did… if it’s low down in the list, it tends to mean she liked it but I didn’t!

My list is a little eccentrically arranged; for instance, I gave Miranda 0.5 from each of us, but I put a 0-scoring perfume (Besotted) ahead of it. There are explanations, I guess; sometimes I quite liked a perfume but it didn’t suit me or I was reacting to it slightly… and we gave Miranda the score we did because it wasn’t as bad as we expected from a £1 bottle of perfume. It doesn’t mean I would stop using Miranda (now that I have it), and it doesn’t mean I would buy Besotted. Life is never that straightforward. 🙂

The perfumes in places 1 to 9, I would buy.

1. Calvin Klein ‘Euphoria’ — 2
2. Jennifer Lopez ‘Live’ — 2
3. Jennifer Lopez ‘Glow’ — 2
4. Paloma Picasso — 2
5. Cacharel ‘Noa’ — 2
6. Marc Jacob’s ‘Daisy’ — 2
7. Britney Spears ‘Curious’ — 2
8. Mango ‘Delirium’ — 2
9. Monsoon ‘Monsoon’ — 1
10. Katie Price ‘Besotted’ — 0
11. Ricardo ‘Miranda’ — 1
12. Givenchy ‘Amarige’ — 0.5
13. Police ‘Wings’ — 1.5
14. Vera Wang ‘Princess’ — 0
15. Christian Dior ‘J’Adore’ — 0
16. Dolce & Gabbana ‘The One’ — 0
17. Britney Spears ‘Fantasy’ — 0
18. Cacharel ‘Anais Anais’ — 1
19. Christian Dior ‘Pure Poison’ — 0

PS J’Adore had faded by the time Mum got home, but I tried the Pure Poison on her, and she said “I don’t like it.” I said E said it didn’t smell of anything, and Mum said “if you offered her a sniff of pure cat pee, she would say ‘mm… very nice’.”

Seems a bit unfair, but E’s got more cats than we have! I’d feel more at home with Eau de Cat Pee than Pure Poison — I wouldn’t feel so unwell. Sorry. I’m going to wash it off.

All the Perfumes of the High Street

I haven’t stopped trying new perfumes in Boots. I’m keeping tally… for everybody the experience would be different, of course, especially as I’m told perfumes smell different on different people. If a perfume on the list has 2 points, it means Mum and I both liked it.

I hope none of your favourites are at the bottom, but it will just mean that they smell great on you but not on me. Favourites of mine might be at the bottom of your list. In addition, I might change my mind later and decide something is quite good, and something else not so much. If I can do that with Anais Anais, I can do that with anything…

In approximate order of the fragrances I liked best:

1. Calvin Klein ‘Euphoria’ — 2
I bought this and wrote about it here. This perfume has real tzing! Warm and lively.

2. Jennifer Lopez ‘Live’ (known as J Lo Live) — 2
I loved it the moment I put it on. It was a fresh, fruity blast. A friendly scent which faded slowly into sweetness, but was so long-lasting that there was still a trace of it when I tried to soap it off 48 hours later. Wouldn’t have tried to get rid of it normally, but was planning to test more perfumes that day! We asked Superdrug if they had J Lo Live, and they said it was sold out. “It must be popular,” said Mum, raising her eyebrows. Disappointing… I mean, the more popular it is, the less likely they are to stop making it, but I don’t want it to be sold out when I try to buy it. Back off, girls — Diddums coming through.

3. Paloma Picasso — 2
Wow, what can I say? Very bright and unusual. It’s the second most Christmassy perfume on the list. I decided to put it above Noa because Paloma Picasso impressed me immediately, whereas Noa took a few minutes to grow on me.

4. Cacharel ‘Noa’ — 2
At first I thought it was an ordinary but pleasant floral scent… then the spice kicked in! It’s the most Christmassy of all the perfumes on this list. I said that to Mum, then looked it up on the internet and found it’s got incense in it. As it grabbed my attention so much, even after falling in love with J Lo Live, I had to place it fairly high on my list. I checked for it on the Superdrug site and it said ‘noa results for Noa.’ Just kidding… about the spelling!

5. Marc Jacob’s ‘Daisy’ — 2
Very, very nice. I don’t know for sure if I like it better than Delirium or not, as I’ve tried so many perfumes by now that I can’t remember Delirium. Daisy is a light, unusual, summery scent which lasts reasonably well, but it doesn’t have the bite that I’m beginning to realize that I’m looking for in my most favourite perfumes. (I wonder if that says anything about me?) I loved it anyway, and would buy it any day.

6. Mango ‘Delirium’ — 2
Extremely light, fresh and floral; reasonably long-lasting and didn’t go stale. Would be happy to find it in my Christmas stocking.

7. Monsoon ‘Monsoon’ — 1
Mum didn’t like it but I thought it was brighter and more ‘party-going’ than Delirium. It didn’t last as long, though… faded quite fast. Very pretty packaging. It’s mentioned and pictured here but there isn’t much information on it as yet.

8. Ricardo ‘Miranda’ — 1
100 ml bottle for £1 from the Pound Shop! I didn’t get to test it first but who can resist purchasing a perfume for £1? When I tried it at home, my first impression was that it was like a fizzy sugary drink for children… Creamola Foam came to mind. It wasn’t as bad as we feared, quite light and not overpowering, and faded not too quickly (gone before bedtime) leaving — uh — a warm vanilla scent. Maybe half a point from each of us, resulting in a score of 1. Does this prove I have horrible taste…. that I’ve rated it above certain expensive scents? I’m using it as my ‘everyday staying at home perfume’, so that can’t be bad.

9. Givenchy ‘Amarige’ — 0.5
I liked this at first, and can easily imagine it being another person’s favourite perfume, but it was too cloying on me. Mum didn’t like it at all. I said it’s like Anais Anais without the headache, but Mum said “no it’s not”. I’ve read that those who wear it have learned to put on just a little.

10. Police ‘Wings’ — 1.5
Not as floral as Delirium or Monsoon. It’s quite sharp at first blast but settles down. Potentially overpowering if you were to put too much on — I have a sensitive throat and it was a touch irritated. Mum liked it; I quite liked it too, but there are others I like more.

11. Vera Wang ‘Princess’ — 0
Very vanillay. It made my eyes smart, but at least it didn’t bring on a headache, so it stays in the ‘wearable’ section of my perfume list. Mum said it reminded her of a perfume she used to know, but she couldn’t put her finger on what. I suggested it was because of the vanilla. It fades into a warm and comforting aroma.

12. Dolce & Gabbana ‘The One’ — 0
Mum tried this. Wasn’t really our type, though there was nothing especially off-putting about it.

13. Britney Spears ‘Fantasy’ — 0
Very pretty bottle, but this one didn’t smell good on me… it’s probably lovely on others. I will have to try the Midnight Fantasy some time, maybe I’ll fare better with it.

14. Cacharel ‘Anais Anais’ — 1
I described it as a family staple, but I reacted to it the other day! Headache, nausea, giddiness… I had to scrub it off and use an unperfumed moisturizer to help subdue any traces. I gave the atomizer to Mum, docked a point and put it at the foot of my list. I used to wear it but you can’t maintain a liking for it when you feel as though you’ve just been mobbed by lilies in hobnailed boots.

I nearly tried Mango ‘Adorably’ but held it to my nose first, and thought “gack!” Hurriedly replaced the cap. I think I’ll leave that one as a last resort.

I will continue to add to this list… there are plenty more I’m looking forward to try, such as Paul Smith ‘Rose’ (I love rose scents), Dolce & Gabbana ‘Light Blue’, Lancome ‘Magnifique’, Diesel ‘Fuel for Life’ etc.

Euphoria

“Top notes of pomegranate, persimmon and lush green accord; within the heart imparts a mysterious and intoxicating feeling through notes of rich black orchid, dewy lotus blossom and sensual champaca flower. The drydown provides a lasting signature of liquid amber, black violet, cream accord and mahogany wood.”

I’m at the heart of it now… the rich black orchid, dewy lotus blossom and senusal champaca flower. I’ll reach the mahogany wood in my sleep.

Euphoria came with quite a mark-down at Superdrug — perfume by Calvin Klein. It’s ‘weekend only’; presumably back to full prices on Monday.

I meant to try all the perfumes till I found the one I liked the most, but soon realized it wouldn’t be that easy… I was going to get caught along the way. Probably this will be an ongoing process, collecting the odd bottle of magic; something that most women started years ago. I couldn’t have afforded perfume for a long while, and it’s only now I’m starting to twitch my nose outside my burrow. Even if I’d tried perfumes a couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to buy anything I fell in love with… it’s best just to stay out of the way and not fall in love.

I wonder if it’s a more restricted life when you can’t branch out and try everything in case you are pulled out of your depth? But perfumes… I don’t know. We don’t need perfumes. Perfumes can be toxic, as well as prone to go off in their little dusty bottles when we’re not looking. We’re likely to be better off without. Yet here I sit wreathed in Euphoria, loving every moment of it.