Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Perfume adventures in department store land

I know I've mentioned it quite a lot this year, but in my neck of the woods - west Kent to those of you who care - new perfume releases have been quite scarce. I know everyone is moaning about the sheer glut of new releases and to a large extent I share that sentiment, but still, I do get excited when new perfume releases are planned, particularly if they are from my favourite perfumers or perfume houses.

So far this year only designer or celebrity perfumes have fallen within my radar. There was a big fanfare at the release of Jimmy Choo (puke), while I also felt distinctly underwhelmed by Daisy Oh so Fresh. Having said that, my wife really likes it and to be honest, she is better able to wear it than I am anyway. I also obtained a sample of Cartier's de Lune and again, it smelled ok but not something that made me want to shout with glee from the rooftops. 

One recent release that I overlooked and then eventually convinced myself to try is Prada's Amber Pour Homme Intense. I was pleasantly surprised. For some reason the Prada perfumes have generally left me quite cold. I can't even explain why. They just do. This one however, while not that different to the original by the time it reaches the dry down, smells a bit more sensual, smoky and well, intense! I really like it.

So this leads me to the two new fragrances (at least for me) that I encountered yesterday - Aura by Swarovski and Annick Goutal's Le Mimosa. I didn't know Swarovski has ventured into perfumes and while I haven't tried it, the packaging for some reason looks like it is going to be a sheer, fruity floral. I might be wrong - I'll let you know. I tried Le Mimosa on a scent strip and the opening smelled quite fruity, of peaches, but in a nice way. The rest of it smelled like mimosa then dried down to what is described as powdery notes of Florentine iris and aniseed. I'd have to try it on skin, but it struck me as typically Goutal, which is not to say that it is bad.

I know men's mainstream perfume is often derided for being unimaginative and reeking of bog-standard sports colognes and of freshness. It strikes me that women's mainstream perfume is generally not much better. Instead of sports colognes we've got fruity florals, fruitchoulis, whatever you want to call them. They smell generic and same-y as well. Which is worse?


  1. RE: Prada - they used to have an amber-ish fragrance called Tendre (which I really like - I have a few little drops left in a bottle)- is the new Prada Amber a re-do of this, do you know?

    Katie Puckrick was just talking about Le Mimosa - since so many of AGs fumes are too timid for me, I thought I'd try that one...but from what you are saying, it's not that 'big' either...?

  2. well I just googled - none of the notes mention Amber in it; but on my bottle the first thing it says is AMBER, then it goes on to list other things...hmmmm...I'm making myself curiouser and curiouser!

  3. Frida the Prada I'm referring to is a more intense version of the original Prada for Men. There was another Prada released a couple of years ago called L'eau Ambree, which while quite nice, was a bit wishy washy to me. None of the Prada "Amber" perfumes strike me as very ambery, especially compared to Ambre Sultan for example.



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