And the new fragrances just keep rolling in! Are you ready for a bumper load of reviews?
First up, Lanvin have whipped out a lovely new ever so slightly fruity floral called Eclat de Fleurs EDP (R995 for 50ml and R1 295 for 100ml, Disc-Chem).
When I first sniffed it I straight up told the PR that it was ‘boring’ but ‘bland 25 year olds would lap it up’. ‘Oh. Well, do you still want us to send it to you?’ they asked, only mildly aghast as they know me well enough to understand that I’m a horrible person. ‘Ja, whatevs. Send away. Fragrances are a very personal thing. You can’t give them a bad review because there’s always someone who’ll like it so I can just blab about its notes and who I think it would be suited to’.
Anyhoo, we’re a few weeks in the can and now I feel like a regte douche ‘cos this scent has grown on me like a fresh, dewy freesia, one of the most ‘visible’ notes in its bouquet. (In all, you’re looking at pear, jasmine, rose, freesia, white musk and sandalwood.) I love that its soft, feminine and pretty with just the right amount of ‘sweet’. It reminds me a lot of Marc Jacobs Daisy but ‘juicier’ in a way that leads it into Chanel Chance territory. I have a whopload of fragrances sitting on my shelf right now and find that on a clear summer’s day when I’m wearing a dress and feeling ‘girlie’ this is the scent for which I reach.
If you like the aforementioned fragrances (Daisy and Chance) as well as other pretty, fresh florals with a touch of pink in them (‘touch of pink sounds mad but it’s the best way I can describe it) then definitely give Lanvin’s lovely newbie a sniff.
Moving on, let’s chat Calvin Klein Deep Euphoria EDP (R1 190 for 50ml and R1 490 for 100ml). The brand’s launched about a million Euphoria variants (not all of them made it to SA) and this new one, a moody chypre-floral, is going to be a hit with anyone who likes a bold night-time fragrance where patchouli, rose and a dash of smoky-woody-spice take centre stage.
Officially, the notes are a cascalone molecule (an aquatic scent), mandarin leaf, white pepper, ‘black magic rose’, patchouli and musk. On me, I get an initial burst of fresh peony and then the patchouli and a ‘dark’ rose sweep in and remain through out, but enjoy the addition of a musky-wood dry down that’s a teensy bit masculine – but only for a second – and contributes to this fragrance’s sexiness. Now, hearing that description, you wouldn’t for a second think that there’s a time when this fragrance smells almost exactly like the deliciousness that is Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle, but it happens.
This happened to be on my kitchen counter on an evening where I had a dinner party and every girl in the room gave it a two thumbs up for ‘night time sexy sexy’ so if you’re looking, know that Deep Euphoria is a lekker pick.
Next up, we’ve got a divine new addition to Giorgio Armani’s Si family and that’s Si Le Parfum EDP (R1 905 for 40ml). A seriously luxe balsamic floral, it’s a headier, slightly spicier version of the Si’s we’ve seen before it.
Notes-wise, you’re looking at bergamot, black currant, jasmine, osmanthus, incense, patchouli leaf, amber, vanilla and benzoin. Before giving it a sniff, I’d read up on it online and even though oud isn’t listed as a note I worried it would have some kind of ‘oud vibe’ as I’m sooo not a fan and it’s popping up in loads of florientals lately. Fortunately, there’s not an oudy note in sight. To me, it smells a lot like Armani Si Intense, but with the addition of warm, spicy, resinous balsamic and amber notes that give it more of an oriental twist.
If you’re a Si lover and want a more mysterious, even more opulent version of the fragrance, something you could wear on a cold winter’s day or on a night out, then Si Le Parfum is something you’re going to want to add to your Christmas wish list. Also, as expected, the staying power is beyond. You’ll even smell it on your clothes the next day!
Now lets talk about another yummy floriental – Elizabeth Arden Always Red Femme EDT (R545 for 30ml and R895 for 100ml). A bold, sensual floral, Always Red Femme has a load of notes in the mix, namely blackcurrant, pear, lemon, peach, jasmine, muguet, vanilla, moss, cedar and patchouli.
The original Always Red actually reminded me a lot of Armani’s Si, to the point where it could almost be a dupe, and I get that same creamy, vanilla and patchouli-focused ‘Si-ness’ from new Femme but now it leans more towards the sweet, gourmandy Lancome La Vie est Belle side of life. Also, for all the Red Door haters out there (myself included), you’ll be glad to know there is nothing, NOTHING Red Door-ish about this scent in the least. In fact, when it dries down, it becomes a total soul sister to Gucci Rush. Good news for me, as that’s a fragrance I still adore to this day.
If you like statement-making scents that are warm, sexy, sweet (but not overtly so) with a certain juiciness to them then you’re going to want to try Arden’s latest. Much like Si, the staying power is excellent.
Now let’s talk about Gucci Bamboo. Usually when a fragrance launches a second version of itself they end up going deeper or darker or make it more intense but Gucci’s gone the other way by whipping out Gucci Bamboo EDT (R1000 for 30ml, R1 245 for 50ml and R1 705 for 75ml). (You can read my review of the first Bamboo, the EDP, over here.)
A lighter, more luminous version of an already fresh-smelling scent, Bamboo EDT is a sparkling citrusy-floral that’s just in time for summer.
Much like the EDP, the new EDT’s opening is pure zingy bergamot and citrus, refreshing ‘pick-me-up’ notes I love and adore. As far as the heart’s concerned, it’s all about white flowers lily and ylang-ylang but this time, unlike the EDP, they’re softer smelling. With the EDP, I can almost smell the stamen of the lily, but the EDT’s variant is more like a muted, ‘hand cream’ version of the flower. This sounds awful, but it’s not a bad thing in the least.
Now how about that dry down? Both the EDP and EDT end up in the creamy sandalwood zone but the EDP has a bit more musk in it and a touch of sweetness to it that makes me think of Gucci’s Flora. The new Bamboo, however, doesn’t have that subtle sweetness to it. It’s more of a clean sandalwood that doesn’t let go of its initial citrusy top notes. Like I said, this is a perfect scent for a hot summer’s day when you want to feel easy breezy but retain a dash of elegance.
In saying all that though, the two fragrances are very, very similar and I love them both. If the EDT is slightly more refreshing its only marginally so to the point that if you already own one you might not need the other. But if you don’t have any Bamboo in your life and adore a clean, citrusy floral, something like Versace Versence, then you’ll probably like both of the Gucci Bamboo fragrances as much as I do. (Which is a lot!)
Last, but not least, let’s talk about Jimmy Choo’s Illicit Flower EDT (R645 for a 40ml, R945 for a 60ml and R1095 for a 100ml). A woody floral with a subtle dash of fruit, despite containing several, its notes include apricot, mandarin, grapefruit blossom, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, cashmere wood and musk.
I haven’t been a fan of all the fragrances the Choo brand has produced as most of them contain a cloying toffee note that I pick up on straight away and just can’t move on from. They broke this pattern, however, with Blossom, a clean, easy-to-wear floral and then continued on the lighter side of life with Illicit. Despite its sexy name, Illicit is a soft, subtle fragrance that’s warmed by honey, amber and vanilla, even though the last note isn’t officially listed.
New Illicit Flower, however, in my opinion, is even nicer than it’s older sister. Again, despite its name, it’s not the sexy, tease of a fragrance its marketing spin would have you believe. Instead, it’s a super subtle, very easy to spritz-on-and-go floral that makes me think a little of Crabtree & Evelyn’s sadly discontinued Tom Kitten. I know, I know… what an awful thing to say. Comparing Jimmy Choo to a cologne for children? But you have no idea how much I loved the soft, comforting peach notes of that particular fragrance. I never actually owned it but used to douse myself with it every time I was in store ‘cos it made me feel happy and clean. Illicit Flower, however, is a way to get that same feeling, but in a much more grown up way. It’s the kind of scent you could shower in and it still wouldn’t be over powering. In this way, it’s a great scent to wear to the office.
See anything you’d like to sniff? They’re all in store right now waiting for you to give them a try.