Sample of the day No 4 – Sonoma Scent Studio Champagne de Bois

6 Mar

I have had this sample knocking about for a while, it arrived with my beautifully packaged SSS FBs of Rose Musc and Winter Woods.

This is so Chanel.  If I didn’t know where it was from, I’d think it was a new addition to Les Exclusifs. It is a chilly winter-spring evening in Edinburgh and when I close my eyes I am somewhere else entirely.  A shaded woody path in an exotic botanic garden. Vetiver!  I love vetiver.  The other notes are aldehydes, jasmine, clove, sandalwood, labdanum, and amber.  I am normally not fond of jasmine or clove but the whole is so well blended.

Elegant and warm, with a lively personality.



Sample of the day No 3 Lush Ginger

24 Feb

This is one Lush scent that I will buy a full bottle of.  Yum.  It doesn’t smell of gingerbread at all (although I wouldn’t mind smelling of gingerbread).

Lush claim this is the first ginger perfume ever made.  Main notes from the blurb are Ginger, mimosa, rose, geranium, jasmine, juniper and ylang ylang.  Top notes are zingy and yes, gingery.    The dreaded (for me at least) Lush jasmine is well down in the mix, and the perfume has a fresh floral aspect and a cheerful air.  Good staying power too.

I am sure I finished a bottle of this many years ago when it was first launched by the precursor to Lush – Cosmetics to Go.  It was so long ago that I cannot compare the two.  All I can say is I liked it then and I like it now.

Sample of the day No 2 – Lush B Scent

22 Feb

The second random pick from the recently purchased sample box is presented as a stylish and feminine combo of rose and citrus, evoking the perfumer’s daydream about young French women.  Main notes are lemon, bergamot, fennel, lavender, rose, jasmine, ylang, sandalwood and musk.

The recipe sounds delicious and complex. The initial experience is of a delicious fleeting briar rose, then a vinegary rose, then…. not very much at all.  My skin just gobbles this up unfortunately, the same happens with Stella.  Sigh.  Move on.  I think young French women might prefer a little something from Chanel.

Sample of the day No 1- Lush 1000 Kisses Deep

20 Feb

Hi everyone. This is the first in an occasional series of sample reports.  I have been neglecting my samples  and the process of writing about them will help me decide what to keep. Bought an 8 x 2ml sample set from Lush for £19.95.  The samples are dabbers – don’t do as I did and try and pull off the inside cap.

I have always been fond of the Lush ethos, and they have a real commitment to fragrance.  However,  I haven’t yet found one that goes in my regular rotation.  Part of that reason is the Lush folks have a real liking for quantities of indolic jasmine, which is usually a no-no for me, unless it is well blended.

Today’s random pick from the box is 1000 Kisses Deep, a perfume which is intended to celebrate the lasting love between perfumer Mark Constantine and his wife, and evoke an enchanted garden.  The name had led me to expect roses, but there are none.  The main notes are mandarin, osmanthus, labdanum, myrrh, and musk.

I get none of the fruit or flower at the start, a dry myrrh is front and centre, with a whiff of labdanum and the perfume has a soft, cool, airy quality, more serene than sensual.  Then a honeyed note emerges, and the apricot like osmanthus pops up for a short while which warms up the mix and the drydown is a musky skin scent,  with the faintest whiff of myrrh.

The verdict – I’d LOVE this if it were a candle.  But not for me on  skin, so into the swapping basket it goes  Next time I am in Lush I will give it a spray test as that might wake up the mandarin and osmanthus, two of my favourite notes.


Nahema and Nancy Graham

27 Jan

Nancy Graham was and forever will be my Mum and first showed me the scented path.  So this seems the only way to go for my first proper post on my infant blog. The scented path leads through the garden, into the kitchen, and up the stairs to the tray on the dressing table. It also leads abroad to orange tree lined streets in Spain, markets bursting with fresh produce and mountain herbs. And to many future destinations.

I will post another time about the scents of roses, sweet briar, tomato leaves, lavender and southernwood from the garden.  Likewise, another time about the scents of bouquet garni, garlic and rosemary from the kitchen.  And another about the olfactory delights of Spain. lemons, oranges, orange blossom.

This post is about Nancy’s favourite perfume,  Nahema by Guerlain, released in the 70s when she was in her 40s.

Nahema arrived  and took over.  Chanel No 5 was banished to the back of the tray on the dressing table.  It was love at first sniff, and the start of a collection of the entire Nahema range, extrait, EDP, bath and body which took  a few years.  The exotic golden filigree cases, and heavy bottles stood on a simple dark wood 50s dressing table in a working Scottish farmhouse.  Nahema was Mum’s bit of me time, her sophisticated alter ego, who lived alongside the real Nancy in fleece jackets, running a home, family and business, hands on.

I vividly remember my first spray of Nahema. I am sure that I gasped, given that O de Lancome was probably my fave of the time.  It was sweet, heady and neon, amped up rose and peach and was too much on my skin in my late teens and 20s.  It was fabulous on Mum.  Our palates and noses change, maybe perfume recipes change, and spraying Nahema now, it is less bright, but remains a sophisticated and complex rendition of rose.  I have read that there is no real rose as an ingredient in Nahema.  But that doesn’t matter .  It is more rose than a real rose.

I wear Nahema infrequently.  On me the fragrance asks for an occasion and likes to be dressed up, not everyday.  But I often sniff it.  This review on Now Smell this is excellent


Hello everyone.

23 Jan

This is my first blog and, exactly as the title suggests, it will be all about fragrance and jewellery, my two (expensive) hobbies (habits?).  I am based in beautiful Edinburgh in Scotland.

It has been so great to find all you perfumista bloggers out there!   I have learned so much over the last couple of years.  Have been commenting on NST and BdJ as sunsetsong, and have decided to try and put my thoughts out there about my own collection.  My favourite houses are Chanel, Guerlain, Prada, and L’Artisan,  but I also love others.

I am also an enthusiastic maker of jewellery, and will post some photos.

The blog will look a bit basic for a while until I get the hang of blog decor, so please bear with.

My SOTD is Shalimar Parfum Initial.

Hello world!

20 Jan