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).