Sunday, 31 July 2011

I need some advice...

I don't own many bottles of perfume, as I may have said before. Of those I do own, Diptyque's Tam Dao is one of my favourites.

I haven't worn it in a while, so imagine my dismay when I tried it this weekend to find that the sprayer isn't working! Now that may not be a train smash, but it is a bit frustrating.

I'd be grateful if someone could give me some advice on how to fix the sprayer, or failing that, how to store the bottle and use it going forward.

I seem to recall a DIY sprayer fixer article a year or so ago, on someone's blog, but for the life of me I can't remember whose.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Creed Royal Oud

Just a quick post today. I was at John Lewis at Bluewater today. For those of you not in the UK, John Lewis is a large chain of department stores, while Bluewater is a large shopping centre just off the M25 London Orbital, south-east of London.

I noticed that John Lewis is stocking the latest Creed, Royal Oud, so I tried it. Creed tends to be hit or miss with me. Some I love, but many, particularly in the millesime format, leave me cold. Happily, I can say that I liked Royal Oud. I wouldn't say that it is screamingly original, but I particularly enjoyed the first half of development, when the oud is a bit smoky and woody, with touches of citrus and woods. Later on it sweetens considerably, at which point the oud starts to smell a lot, at least to me, like the style embodied by Dior's Fahrenheit Absolute, which while not bad, is not totally my style. In the dry down I also detect a bit more of that 'general' Creed note, which I suppose is their ambergris, which to me always smells a bit metallic, again not my favourite style.

However, overall I quite like Royal Oud and it certainly knocks spots off Aventus, at least in my opinion.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Perfume perplexity

I'm really struggling to find time for perfume these days. Lord knows I'd like to, but time is at a premium and work commitments drain my energy.

So I've dragged myself to the computer to write a load of nonsense. Forgive me....

I've hardly worn anything over the last few days. In fact, I can't actually think of the last fragrance I wore. Oh dear.

And as for blogging, my writing has dried up too. Double oh dear. And I'm hardly reading anyone else's blog either.

Oh well, I'll be back eventually.

Actually, I just remembered something. I recently gave my almost-full bottle of Givenchy Gentleman to my dad. I thought I liked it, but for some reason it doesn't wear very well on me. Its basically a patchouli-leather fragrance, in a somewhat dated style. It's very good actually, but I think it might be better on my dad. We'll see.

So, end of my little whinge - no one likes a moaner, so I'll shut up now!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Quote of the day...

"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." -John Wooden

I couldn't resist. This is probably doing the rounds on Facebook, but still, thinking about it, it is very true indeed. 

My contribution to the world of positive thinking!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Six Scents Series 1 - No 1

I tried a couple of samples from Six Scents a few months ago and was struck by how unusual they were. The packaging and design, pictured left, look quite slick and 'urban', at least to me. 

I tried no 1, from series 1, which according to Luckyscent include notes of erogenous cedar wood, amber fond, lemon, cassis de bourgeons, lime, green apple, apricot, jasmine, tagete, freesia, cinnamon and musk. That is a seriously strange selection of notes, heavily weighted to fruit and florals. When I made some notes, I wrote that it 'opens very fruity. Pineapple, I'm sure. Smells like a pineapple boiled sweet'. 

Although the notes don't mention pineapple, that is what it smells like to me - sweet, fruity, yet slightly tart at the same time. Although not repulsive, it was not the opening I wanted or expected. Quite bizarre to say the least. Underneath all the fruit is a hint of green, suggestive of lush, fleshy leaves. After the top fades, it remains to me as an essentially sweet, candied pineapple. The strange thing is that no 1 began to grow on me, as it isn't as cloying as I at first thought it would be, or end up, but still, I wouldn't say it is a fragrance I would choose to wear on a daily basis. 

In the dry down no 1 does lose that intense fruit candied smell and I detect what smells like sweet but soft woods, more like sandalwood than cedar. So, what is the verdict? As I said, no 1 turns out to be far more wearable than I first thought it would be. Top marks for quirkiness and originality and it is actually a very good perfume, in my opinion. Odd, but oddly wearable.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Holidays are over - the mid-July blues

As you may have judged by the title of this post, my two week holiday ended on Sunday and I'm back to the grindstone. It was a lovely holiday and just in time too, because I was on the verge of serious mental fatigue. Still, there is plenty of pressure to come, as the next three months are likely to be my busiest, work-wise, of the whole year. 

But I don't want to bore, or depress you, so I'll move onto perfume matters. Actually, except for my three trips to London, I have tried and worn precious little perfume. In a weird way I find that I usually don't wear a lot of perfume on the weekend or when I'm on holiday. Perhaps it is because my wife is not a massive perfume fan and some of what I wear can bring on migraines and the like for her, or perhaps it is simply that I don't find the time. Being back at work would usually lead to a renewed perfume habit, but again, being so busy and stressed has let me feeling sterile, perfume-wise, and my mind seems to have switched off, unable to motivate me to try stuff. Sad, I know...

I have worn a bit of perfume. I tried two of the Gorilla samples I purchased a couple of weeks ago, Imogen Rose and Orange Blossom. Both were nice, with decent longevity, but I must admit that the Orange Blossom, worn on quite a warm day (what, in the UK?), developed very nicely on my skin and I preferred it. 

Today I tried Lalique Le Parfum Eau de Parfum, which ostensibly is a ladies perfume, but I found it to be equally suitable for men. It includes notes of patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, tonka, heliotrope, jasmine, bergamot, pink bay pepper and West Indian Bay. It sounds sweet, and in a way it is, but it comes across essentially as a patchouli and amber fragrance and is very well done. In fact, had I worn this blind, I would have pegged it as an output from a niche line. I can certainly recommend it. I've also been sampling a bit of vintage Jicky parfum, which is also lovely. It is quite subtle and restrained, but is delicious and smells better than the bog-standard eau de toilette version one usually finds in department stores, in my opinion, although I do like that concentration too.

I'm feeling the urge to order samples again, and as I received a 10 Euro birthday voucher from First in Fragrance (Germany), I feel that I deserve a birthday treat and I want to buy, buy, buy!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

London perfume journeys 2

I was in London again today, this time with my whole family. It was a good day out, but exhausting, exacerbated no doubt by the effort of trying to transport two children in a double push chair (pram/buggy) on the London Underground. I don't know how families and disabled people get around London on a regular basis. Honestly. None of the Tube stations we used had any effective disabled access, with no lifts or ramps. We had to resort to carrying the push chair together, while the children were carried or hand-held by my sister. A nightmare...

Onto perfume, I managed to fit in a visit to Fortnum and Mason, on Piccadilly. Fortnums is probably not the first name that springs to mind when thinking of perfume but actually they stock a good selection, including Amouage, Nasomotto, Clive Christian, Xerjoff and Caron (including urns). Today I tried Oroville by Xerjoff, which is part of their Shooting Stars collection. It is an interesting take on tobacco, with clary sage, neroli, chamomile, orange blossom, sandalwood, tobacco, vanilla, amber and musk. I really liked it. I also tried Caron's new(ish) Yuzu Man, which is essentially a good-quality citrus and woods fragrance. It's nice, but hardly groundbreaking. 

Fortnums is a great place to visit by the way, with a wonderful food and grocery selection. It's on the expensive side but then again, nothing in this part of the world is exactly a bargain!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

London perfume journeys

I was in London again yesterday, this time for pleasure, not work. I was showing my sister some of the sights, trying to focus on areas she hasn't seen before, in particular Notting Hill and the Portobello Road Market. It was fun. Markets aren't really my thing, although I do like food markets, but nevertheless we enjoyed ambling along, enjoying the quirkiness of this market. I last visited Portobello Road almost a decade ago, amazingly (it seems like yesterday) and in the ten years it has gone quite a lot more up-market. It still has some fringe grunginess, and while it was already trendy back then, overall the tone is very much a sanitised boho-chic.

While I was in the market I bought a sample pack of Gorilla perfumes from Lush. I've read mixed reviews of these, but thought I would get a few samples and see for myself.

We eventually headed back to the horrors of Oxford Street. Every time I go to Oxford Street, it is a reminder to me of all that used to irritate the sh1t out of me about London - rude crowds, dirt, chaos and a commerciality that borders on the insane. Still, Selfridges is on Oxford Street and it has a great collection of perfumes. I tried Chanel's Sycamore for the first time, although the sales assistant was so stingy that he only allowed me a brief spray on one wrist. Which begs the question - why do they have to be so condescending as to not allow you to spray yourself? It's not as if I'm going to grab the tester and spray half a bottle over myself in a frenzy, is it? Sycamore was nice, but I'm still not massively sold on the Chanel Exclusifs line. I also tried a few from the Dior La Collection line. Crazy bottles - for Pete's sake, who needs almost half a litre of freaking perfume? Having said that, I love Leather Oud and I also was impressive with Ambre Nuit, Vetiver, Mitzah and Granville. I could do with samples of all of these. Actually 30 ml bottles would do very nicely thanks.

The last perfume I tried (on skin this time) was Opus V by Amouage. Hmmm, I don't know. It was ok but that oud note is too piercing for me. It seers my nostrils and never seems to go away. I'm not convinced it is totally for me...

Monday, 4 July 2011

Work, perfume, life

And not necessarily in that order. In fact, definitely not in that order. Not usually. 

The last week has been a bit of a hellhole for me, work-wise. Deadlines galore, working until 3 in the morning to get work done and then cranky bosses who don't seem to appreciate all of this. Office politics can be a nasty, nasty thing and I am so glad that I am now on holiday for two weeks. My sister is visiting us for a few weeks and I am taking this time off to be with her and my family. I only see my sister every other year - living in the Southern Hemisphere means she is far away, and we struggle to fund expensive flights more regularly than this. I left work on Friday having not quite finished everything, but you know what? Sod it...

I was in London last Wednesday and managed to fit in a quick stop at Les Senteurs, where I got some samples of Moni Di Orio's Les Nombres D'or line. I got Tuberose, Ambre and Musk. I also got a sample of one of Pierre Guillaume's perfumes from his new line, Fareb. A little stunner it is too, reminiscent of Pure Distance's M. I also tried Cuir by LT Piver, a little off the radar for me, but actually it is a nice leather indeed. I wanted a sample of Amouage's Opus V but was told I wasn't allowed one. Anyone know why this would be the case? In any event, on paper it is pungent and to my nose a little like Malle's Portrait of a Lady, without as much rose and more focus on oud.

So for the next two weeks my priorities are going to be life, perfume.... and no work! Hooray!


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