My plan to write up a bunch of beauty recommendations this week fell to the wayside. I possibly should blame myself, but I’ve chosen to take the happier route of shifting it onto someone else: my electrician. Nice man though he is, his labours have disturbed me immensely. No internet for two days while he started to rewire my house. No hot water the night before I was due to film a TV show with Denise Van Outen and Eimear Varian Barry. No washing machine ALL WEEK (I am now down to undies bearing superman motifs, hoarded from the days when I thought a print was everything). And dust… Well, don’t get me started on the dust.
What other than takeaways and the latest Victoria Hislop book has kept me going through these dark days? Scent. I’ve come to revere smell as one of the superior senses. Close my eyes and inhale a lungful of Ila’s Energising rollerball, and I could be in a spa rather than standing among rubble in my house. A little shimmer in some of Tilbury’s scent, and I feel a bit sexier, even if I haven’t showered for two days (no hot water = no shower this end. Sorry to anyone who’s thought me a bit whiffy in that past few weeks).
This post (and giveaway to say sorry for having been such a poor correspondent – I do have my ear to the ground and am coming your way with lots of beauty and travel bits soon) is about the newbies I’ve discovered. Get one, shut your eyes, take a sniff. Transportative, eh? //
The Sexy One / Stash by Sarah Jessica Parker is the first celebrity fragrance that I’ve ever liked. A world away from the saccharine, sugary waters that come to mind when I think of scents released by pop stars, this, like SJP, has substance, conjuring up a woman (or man, for that matter – this one would smell great on l’homme too) who drinks red wine, is well-travelled and doesn’t shy away from wearing a heap of black eyeliner. Key notes: black pepper, sage, cedarwood, and patchouli.
The Surprising One / Malin + Goetz make brilliant unisex grooming products and have long made popular scents, too – Dark Rum is a particular favourite in these quarters (sounds odd, smells great). Their new Vetiver Eau De Parfum suggests a new direction for the brand – they’ve previously only made eau de toilettes. Thought they’d play it safe with their first foray into parfums? Not. In. The. Slightest. Though vetiver is an oft-used note in scents with more a masculine, grounded quality, it’s rare to find it smashed apart enough to reveal this many facets. Expect it to sparkle initially with a fizzy grassiness before revealing smoky notes and finally simmering down to an earthy, warm scent. Key notes: vetiver, amber, bergamot, and cardamom.
The Fashion House Ones / These are making a resurgence thanks to thrilling new concepts woven into the stories of the house. In the case of McQueen Eau de Parfum, for example, Sarah Burton started in Kew Gardens, where night flowers captured her imagination and prompted the notion of making a scent that’s centred around tuberose, ylang ylang and sambac jasmine. As these night-blooming flowers attract insects by their scent, not colour, I’m unsurprised that the idea of a symphony of florals springs to mind when I smell this; there’s a headiness with a few pinpricks of spiciness in it to break the haze. Key notes: tuberose, ylang ylang, sambac jasmine, black pepper, clove.
Flower by Kenzo L’Elixir is equally as intriguing. This time, the poppy takes centre stage, with sweet raspberry and Bulgarian rose rounding out the scent. Initially, the sugar hit of this overwhelmed me, but after five minutes on the skin it’s character had totally changed – though still sweet, it was also floral and powdery, reminding me of clean washing and sweeties and those old fashioned powder puffs my mum used to keep on her dressing table. Key notes: poppy, bourbon vanilla, mandarin, raspberry.
The Niche One / Have you heard of the Library of Fragrance yet? If not, prepare to be surprised: they pull out a single dominant theme (some favourites: ‘Fir Trees’, ‘Vanilla Ice Cream’, ‘Grass’), and then bring it to life with other unnamed notes. I’m currently into their Baby Shampoo scent on the non shower days as it makes me feel cleaner.
The One That Almost Didn’t Make The Cut /… Because I think the bottle is hideous and looks like it belongs on an old woman’s shelf (though on balance I decided that what’s inside the bottle should count for more). This rose of Rosa Moceniga by Merchant of Venice is at odds with the bottle – it’s a startlingly modern and juicy and green and has garnered many compliments this end. Key notes: Sicilian lime, blackcurrent leaves, rose absolute, magnolia, cedarwood, musk.
THE GIVEAWAY //
Malin + Goetz and Kenzo have both kindly offered a bottle of the perfumes mentioned above for this giveaway. To enter:
1) Subscribe to MadeleineLoves.com by entering your e-mail address in the field at the top on the right hand side where it says ‘subscribe.’ If you’ve already subscribed, head to number 2…
2) Tell me in the below comments field whether you’d prefer to win the Malin + Goetz or Kenzo scent.
Easy peasy! Winners will be picked on the 7th of November at 12pm GMT and notified on the e-mail account left when commenting (this won’t show up).
Malin and Goetz please! X
Malin + Goetz please. I absolutely love your description of this scent, it makes me want to try it.
Kenzo for me please
The Malin + Goetz pleaase, as a tomboy earthy scents rule for me!
Ooooh malin + goetz please. I love vetiver/ slightly manly scents!
Malin & Goetz for me please! The sweet hit with kenzo is not me…….
I agree, that bottle of Rosa Moceniga is quite ugly… but I guess it’s what’s inside that counts. Hmm I’m curious about what Baby Shampoo scent might smell like!
Based on your descriptions, I am really intrigued by the Malin+Goetz Dark Rum!
It’s really good – quite different, but a really good ‘un!
I would love to win the Kenzo perfume :o)
I’m going to step outside my comfort zone and say the Malin+Goetz (earthy warm scent sounds ideal for the winter)…. and I quite like the Rosa Moceniga bottle…
Would love the Kenzo perfume. And I agree re: SJP perfume! Never buy celebrity scent but she’s on the money with this one 🙂
Would love to try the Malin + Goetz 🙂
Malin + Goetz please, it sounds right up my ally!
Malin + Goetz please because it’s totally different to what I would normally go for.
I’d love to win the Malin + Goetz please . Thank you
PS I think I’m going to have to try Stash by SJP – Sounds lovely
Kenzo please x
Kenzo scent please
The Library of Fragrance would be wonderful please…thankyou x
I’d love to win the Kenzo scent please….
If lucky wnough to win I would love the Kenzo please
Kenzo would be fantastic please! Thanks for the chance x
Kenzo please (:
I would love to try the Malin + Goetz fragrance, Vetiver is one of my favourite scents 🙂
I would love the Kenzo perfume
I would love the Kenzo perfume please, thank you for the chance 🙂
Kenzo please. I love all these sweet key notes: poppy, bourbon vanilla, mandarin, raspberry.
The Kenzo scent sounds lovely
The Kenzo scent for me please should I be lucky enough to have my name drawn
I would absolutely love the Kenzo perfume please 🙂
The kendo perfume please
I would love to try the Mali & Goetz fragrance this sounds beautiful.
Ohh the kenzo scent it sounds lovely.
Malin + Goetz! I love earthy scents!
Kenzo sounds right up my street
Kenzo tottaly sounds sweet 🙂
I would love to win the Kenzo Flower your review makes it sounds really nice!
The Kenzo scent.
Would love to tryThe Kenzie scent sounds divine.
Malin and Goetz please if I’m lucky x
Kenzo please! Thank you!
Kenzo please 🙂
Kenzo would be lovely!
I would love to experience the Malin + Goetz fragrance. It would be lovely to win a bottle.
Malin and Goetz
Re-wiring the house…I feel your pain, but I laughed out loud at the superman undies..! Kenzo for me..x
Well I’m glad one of us is laughing! X
Malin + Goetz for us please
Malin + Goetz please 🙂
Malin + Goetz please.
Malin + Goetz Please it sounds amazing
Kenzo please 🙂
Would love Kenzo please 🙂
Kenzo would be lovely, thanks for the giveaway x
Malin and Goetz would be fab please. i havent tried their products before and they sound gorgeous. Thanks for the chance x
I would love to try Kenzo please xx
Malin & Goetz please 🙂 X x
Either, I love Kenzo but I love most fragrances!
I don’t know if it’s because I’m on my mobile but I can find the “subscribe” part? I’ve followed you via all of the social media buttons instead x
I love Kenzo
Kenzo would be lovely x
Kenzo please 😀
any as I have not tried any of them
love Kenzo x
My sister in law loves kenzo so I’d choose that for her
Malin + Goetz!for me lease
I would love to try the Malin + Goetz scent please! It sounds intriguing!
Kenso please and thank you xx
Kenso would be great!
Would love to win the Kenzo scent xx
Kendo please xx
Would love to try the Malin + Goetz , description sounds lovely
I would really love to try the Kenzo scent. Thank you 🙂
Would love to win the Kenzo scent xx
Malin + Goetz please.
Malin + Goetz scent please
I’d love the Kenzo please
I would like the kenzo please????????????????????
Kenzo for me please have also signed up
Malin and Goetz please xx
I subscribe to your newsletter and would absolutely love to win the Kenzo perfume!
Would love to try the Malin + Goetz. thnx in advance.
I Would love to try the Malin + Goetz. thnx for the giveaway.
i’d love the Kenzo scent please if i was lucky
I would love the Malin + Goetz please…thanks for a Fabulous competition x
Malin and Goetz would be wonderful xxx
Oh its got to be Malin + Goetz please.
Kenzo please xx
And the winners are: Helen Thurston and Lindsay McPhee. I’ll e-mail you both to arrange the prizes! Thanks to everyone for entering – I’ll be putting another one live soon xx