This week, I’m going to do things a bit differently, variety being the spice of life and all. Instead of a hodgepodge of posts, I’m rounding up all the newness in the beauty world at the moment – and my God is there is a lot of it. From skincare to fragrance to make-up, brands must have been beavering away all summer to bring this bevy of products to the market.
First up: scent. Delightful scent. Part of the joy, for me at least, is in the bottle. Though connoisseurs tell me scent should be kept in darkened corners to preserve its integrity, I like to put them where I can enjoy them on a day-to-day basis and currently have an ‘installation’ (as I call it on my Hyacinth Bucket days) on my staircase of the ones I use on a day-to-day basis. In case you’re of a similar mindset, here’s a close up of each and every bottle/’work of art’ along with some of my thoughts…
VALENTINO DONNA EAU DE PARFUM // This heavy, pink bottle actually suits the contents very well – the pink represents the powdery sweetness you get on first spraying and the spikes the more tangy, leathery fragrance that reveals itself on the skin over time. Though I like the scent, I have to be honest: I’d probably buy this one for the bottle joy alone.
MARC JACOBS DAISY DREAM FOREVER EAU DE PARFUM // Marc Jacobs’ efforts are getting more interesting to me with each release; this is sweet but not sickly, with the jasmine and lychee at the core sitting in perfect harmony with blackberry and grapefruit.
RI RI BY RIHANNA / I know I’ve decried celebrity fragrances at every opportunity and remain resolute – real perfumers should be given credit and business, not just some pop star who pops their name on a bottle. That said, I don’t wholly hate this one – it smells an awful lot like Um Bungo, but given that I always liked that famed drink that’s so popular in the Congo, I find it pleasing.
JO LOVES RED TRUFFLE 21 / In celebration of 21 years in the industry, Jo is releasing this number at the end of the month (the bottle will obviously look a little more chi chi – this is a press sample). Inspired by a humble bowl of truffle pasta, Jo wanted to translate the note into fragrance and has done a bloody brilliant job of it – this is a triumph of fig, citrus, pine and truffle. If I had to pick one of the new crop, this would be it.
PENHALIGON’S BLASTED HEATH AND BLASTED BLOOM / Penhaligon’s hold the royal warrant and are accordingly patriotic in their creations. The newest two are inspired by northern Scotland, where the land meets the sea and ‘untamed energy explodes’ (who on earth writes these press releases?!)… Two scents, then: Blasted Heath is masculine with hints of tobacco and whiskey amongst the woodiness; Blasted Bloom a sweet and spicy blend of wild berries and pink pepper.
DIOR J’ADORE TOUCH EAU DE PARFUM / No spray does this bottle have – you unscrew the glass top and dab it on your wrists, like film stars in days gone by. This sensual approach is in keeping with the scent’s mission – a sniff of this prompts a riot of words like opulence, glamour, feminine, siren to course through my head. Unsurprising, really – when I researched I found that it is a mix of traditionally feminine notes of plum, rose, jasmine and orchid.
BYREDO ROSE OF NO MAN’S LAND / Byredo’s rule of the cult fragrance world seems set to continue: this spicy take on rose is at once as easy to throw on as a pair of blue jeans and yet a puzzler – with amber, raspberry and pink pepper in the mix with the rose, it’s an unusual and (in my opinion) successful take on the classic.
HEELEY BUBBLEGUM CHIC / It took me a long time to get past the initial huge whammy of sweetness that crowded my nose when I sprayed this – bubblegum. Really: bubblegum in a bottle. Only it’s not once it dies down; there’s tuberose and jasmine and white musk at play, so it’s far more interesting that it seems at first. Also, this takes an awfully long time to wear off – I could still smell it at the end of a day in London, which is really quite something.
ESTEE LAUDER MODERN MUSE LE ROUGE / Rose, jasmine, magnolia, pink pepper and saffron are all in this one, making it a can’t-go-wrong day scent that could really be sexed up a notch when layered with a touch of, say, Blasted Heath. If buying for another, this is a pretty safe bet.
SERGE LUTENS LA VIERGE DE FER / This one is actually not new to the world but new to my collection and I thought I’d be a little naughty and chuck it in as it’s so darn delicious. Floral and yet crisp, smoky and yet fresh, this is the best version of ‘pleasing floral’ I’ve encountered.