Wednesday, 15 February 2012
My Funny Valentine: 10 Blessings And A Boyfriend, Plus A 300th Post And 100th Follower Giveaway!
For starters there were TEN sample vials of Belinda Brown's EDP version of her bespoke perfume Blessings, which I reviewed here in one of my recent Knightsbridge sniffing posts. I had sent an email to Belinda via her website, and was surprised at the generous quantity of samples that tumbled out of the Jiffy bag. The name of this perfume will always remind me of an expression used by a Pentecostal minister who was trying to encourage one of his congregation to look on the bright side and be grateful for the good things he had:
"You are not broke. You are just in between blessings."
This quote may be a little twee for my hardboiled sensibilities, but it makes me smile all the same, so when these 10 vials landed on the doormat I couldn't help but think: "Well, if I have been in between blessings lately, I am flush with the things now, that's for sure!
The pomade which was the original inspiration for her scent was a bit like Vaseline in its consistency, but comprised a bewitching concoction of jasmine and vanilla that apparently made every other girl within nostril shot want to be her friend! I compared the EDP launch to a high street garment whose design has trickled down from the catwalks, and Belinda agreed that her scent had followed a similar path. Tara and I definitely smelt the extrait in Harrods; the EDP does smell unequivocably like a mainstream scent, ie less lush and tropical and more delicately floral, but it is still perfectly pleasant. Quite lemony to my nose in fact.
Here are the notes again:
Top Notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Mandarin
Heart Notes: Jamine de Grasse, Rose De Mai
Base Notes: Cedar, Sandalwood, Tonka, Vanilla
In overall quality and vibe - and even juice colour! - I was reminded of CK Beauty (which I note also has jasmine and cedar), but Blessings is more citrusy. I suppose I have only ever associated Roja Dove with niche/luxe releases up to now, but many other perfumers are known for a mix of niche and mainstream creations. So it is feminine and pretty, but not remotely luxurious in feel - which at a tenth of the price of the extrait you can hardly expect.
Scents of Self arrived, containing a purse spray of Kate Walsh Boyfriend which she had kindly custom purchased for me. How apt is that on such a day? There was also a decant of Un Bois Vanille I had bought to help swell her Valentine's fund - check out that funky insulation tape - the devil (or a sprinkling of scary skulls at any rate) really is in the detail!
Boyfriend is a unisex scent I have not yet seen in the shops in Europe, and that I have been wanting to try for ages. Some time ago now I remembered hearing positive reports about this scent, which is supposed to combine aspects of Kate Walsh's ex-boyfriend's cologne (they had split up, and she missed it) with floral notes more squarely aimed at a female wearer. I had a hunch that this was one of those quiet scents that are very "me", and that I wouldn't regret a blind buy, and so it has proved.
Notes via EauMg's review: dark plum, myrrh, night blooming jasmine, benzoin tears, skin musk, golden amber, vanilla woods
My overall impression of Boyfriend is of a sheer "woody amber vanilla" skin scent, quite heavy on the vanilla, which is rarely a bad thing in my book, and with this background note of licorice or something of that aniseedy ilk. The amber emits a warm radiant hum or glow, like a one bar heater in a big room, and the texture is not at all powdery or fuzzy like L'Eau Ambrée, for example, another office-appropriate scent. Texturally it is more like regular Prada, indeed notewise I can see similarities in the anisic woodiness. As the vanilla asserted itself more and more, I was also reminded of Lacoste pour Femme, though the Lacoste is sweeter and more feminine:
Notes: Jamaican pepper and purple freesia; middle notes of white heliotrope, Iranian jasmine, hibiscus, Bulgarian rose absolute and ambrette seed absolute Himalayan cedarwood, sandalwood and incense
And finally, the plum note dimly recalled D & G L'Eau The One, though L'Eau The One had a darker fruitiness to it I think, and I gave my sample away in the end, so I don't want to overplay that particular comparison.
Notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Lychee, Peach, Plum, Floral Muguet, Jasmine, Madonna Lily, Amber, Musk, Moss, Vanilla, Vetyver
"In the fragrance creation process, Kate was inspired by the scent of a 'guy on a girl', and combined notes of amber and woods, with a bright floral scent that women love. The fragrance has a bright muguet floralcy with dark plum and myrrh on top, with night blooming jasmine."
So in summary, Kate Walsh Boyfriend is a radiant ambery, woody, incensey vanilla, warm, comforting, glowing thing. If you fell hard recently for Myrrhiad and it is out of your league pricewise, this might be worth checking out, strange as that may sound. And I don't know who Kate was dating before, but am confident this scent will make a decent substitute.
And now to the draw! To mark my 300th post and 100 followers milestone (hello 105-107!), I am giving away three prizes: two to anyone who leaves a comment. Then I plan to award the third prize to a follower picked at random, who may or may not still be reading Bonkers, if indeed they ever did - and they might not even be contactable, for that matter! But I'll see how it goes.
The prizes are:
A "secret agent" atomiser pen from The Perfume Studio - combines a fully functioning biro with a concealed spray atomiser.
A 50ml bottle of Lidl Suddenly Madame Glamour - or LESS, if you would prefer : - ) - may appeal to Coco Mademoiselle fans not within easy striking distance of a Lidl store.
3ml samples from any 3 of the following "winter-appropriate scents" from my collection:
Tom Ford White Suede
Armani White For Her
Les Parfums de Rosine Rose Kashmirie
Floris Snow Rose
Creed Love In Black
Sonia Rykiel For Women Not For Men!
Diptyque Eau Duelle
DKNY Black Cashmere
DKNY Cashmere Mist
Kenzo Flower Oriental
Guerlain Habit Rouge EDT
Agent Provocateur L'Agent
Estee Lauder Sensuous
Tom Ford Violet Blonde
Well, the winter appropriateness may be a matter of debate, but at least one of those scents has "snow" in the title, and two have "white"!
And each winner will also receive a sample of Blessings, if they would like one. I can't share my Boyfriend spray because of the roller ball aspect, and no, that isn't meant to be rude.
Anyway, the draw is open till Sunday whenever I go to bed, and you can say anything you like in the comment unless it involves a hyperlink with the phrase "human pheromones". If anyone can help on different types of muguet beyond the floral variety, for example, that would be of particular interest. : - ) Oh, and if the person who was reading Bonkers from a hospital in The Maldives would like to let me know if they are all right now, I'd love to hear from you.
And meanwhile, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the readers of Bonkers about Perfume: regular, occasional, brand new and lapsed(!), for having read my blog in the past two and a bit years. I know a lot of people lurk here - though a few have de-lurked lately, also back channel, which was lovely - but anyone reading is welcome, including the vast majority who land here by mistake while looking for guacamole recipes or swingers' clubs in Cleveland.
Photo of white ghost and heart box from annethelibrarian via Flickr CC, photo of Boyfriend T-shirt from blogefl via Flickr CC, photo of mask from MadEmoiselle Sugar via Flickr CC, photo of pen from treatme.net, photo of metal receptacle for prize draw from poppy13 via Flickr CC, other photos my own