Fragrance reviews: Elizabeth Arden 5th Avenue Only NYC, Yardley Bond Street No. 33, Justine Tabasheer Bloom, Cartier L’Envol and Kenzo Jeu D’Amour Elixir

Right! Who’s ready for another new fragrance round up? They’re literally raining down right now so let’s get to it.

First up, we’ve got Cartier L’Envol. This is actually a male fragrance but its notes are so interesting and transgressive it’s actually pretty genderless. In fact, in a way, it reminds me of most Jo Malone colognes – it simply smells good and could be worn by anyone.

I'm quite proud of this piccie. See that cocktail? It had honey and peppercorn in it to compliment the scent.
See that cocktail? It was served at the launch (along with Cartier champagne – ooh la la!) and had honey in it to compliment the scent. Tres delish.

A ‘transparent oriental’, L’Envol’s notes include honey, wood, patchouli and musk, but it’s not too sweet or cloying in the least. Usually, when you hear the words oriental, you think of a spicy, smoky or resinous scent and they’re generally not ‘refreshing’, ‘subtle’ or ‘airy’. But somehow Cartier’s managed to pull this off in a way that makes L’Envol exactly that. Almost like they’ve taken a half shot of oriental and mixed it with a refreshing glass of soda water.

Myself and most of the beauty editors who attended the launch really liked the scent and reckoned they’d happily wear it themselves. Due to its subtle warmth, I’d peg it as a slightly colder weather scent, but one you’d wear in the day as its soft and clean-smelling. And then there’s the bottle. Cartier wanted the fragrance to appear as though it was floating which is why they’ve put it in a bottle that appears to levitate in a bell jar. Pretty, right? You can twist the cap to spritz it while it’s in the jar or screw it out the jar and use it on its own. The choice is yours.

Moving on! Elizabeth Arden has been cranking out the flankers like nobody’s business (oh wait! It’s their business!) and have just introduced limited edition 5th Avenue Only NYC EDP (R595 for 75ml).

Only NYC, bay-bee. Also, it's an EDP. (That rhymes!)
Only NYC, bay-bee. Also, it’s an EDP. (That rhymes!)

Notes-wise, it’s a mix of bergamot, mandarin, pink peppercorn, cassis, white florals, plum, amber, sandalwood and iris root.

On my skin, however, I pick up the initial citrus, a bit of cassis (blackberry), a dollop of plum and then creamy, soft smelling wood. The overall effect is a pleasant, easy-to-wear day time scent for anyone who appreciates a ‘grown up’ fruity floral that isn’t too sweet.

Now let’s talk about Yardley Bond Street No. 33 EDP (R309,95 for 30ml and R399,95 for 50ml). I quite liked the original Bond Street. It was soft, pretty and easy to wear floral. This new version, also a floral, is a heavier in a way that’s suited to a cold winter’s day or an evening out.

Could this be James Bond's street address? Will this blog post self-destruct in 30 seconds?
Could this be James Bond’s street address? Will this blog post self-destruct in 30 seconds?

The notes? Orange blossom up top with jasmine and patchouli in the heart on a base of cedar wood and honey. My nose gets the orange blossom but this soon disappears and then all I can smell is patchouli. Lots and lots of patchouli. In a way, it reminds me a bit of Narciso Rodriguez for her but much sweeter and without the musk, if you can imagine that. Actually, the more I think of it, it’s also got a bit of a Kenzo Pleats Please element to it.

I reckon anyone who like their fragrances loud, full of patchouli and with great staying power will appreciate a li’l stroll up Bond Street No. 33. (Ha ha! See what I did there?)

Now let’s chat Kenzo. The brand’s added to their seemingly endless Amour collection with a new ‘love potion’ called Jeu D’Amour Elixir EDP (R1080 for 30ml, R1 510 for 50ml and R1 900 for 75ml).

This bottle reminds me of Edward Gorey's The Doubtful Guest. Google it if you don't get it. Suuuch an epic li'l book.
This bottle reminds me of Edward Gorey’s The Doubtful Guest. Google it if you don’t get it. Suuuch an epic li’l book.

The opening is all about mandarin and blackberry in a way that makes me think of a red lollipop slathered in sticky, blackberry jam. (I know that’s mad, but that’s exactly what it makes me think of.) As for the heart, it’s a blend of jasmine, tuberose and patchouli while the base is a creamy, warm mix of vanilla, caramel, rum and sandalwood.

On my skin, the top notes are delicious and make me want to eat my arm but then the caramel and vanilla pop up and it becomes a bit too sweet for me. All those gourmand lovers out there, those who enjoy caramelicious scents like Angel, Juicy Couture and even Jimmy Choo, may want to eat this baby up with a spoon. Also, you’ll be glad to know the staying power is BEYOND!

Last but not least? A real surprise in the form of Justine’s Tabasheer Bloom EDP (R269 for 50ml for the month of October). I’ve never been a fan of the original Tabasheer scent or the flankers. I found them a little bit on the old lady side of life. (Sorry Justine!) New Tabasheer Bloom, however, is totally different, and nothing like its predecessors.

Pretty pretty!
Pretty pretty!

A fresh, clean-smelling scent, it’s all about green apple, lemon, jasmine and freesia with a sheer base of amber and blonde woods.

Maybe it’s the green apple and lemon but it reminds me a helluva lot of Dolce & Gabbanna Light Blue. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a dupe, but it’s pretty close, hey meisies. In fact, the more I smell my wrist (I’ve just spritzed it on) the more Light Blue it gets. Actually wait – let’s do a test. Give me two minutes.

Right! I’m back. I just reapplied it and told my flatmate I’m wearing Light Blue while shoving my wrist under her nose and she totally bought it. So ha! If you like your fragrances light, fresh and citrusy, this is worth checking out. (UPDATE: The flatmate’s claimed this scent as her own and its now living merrily on her dresser.)

Love, love


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