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The problem of mugginess

in Reviews by

As the weather turns from the beautiful warm summer we’ve enjoyed in Wales this year, and we move towards what I hope will be a gloriously colourful autumn, this week I felt a bit stuck. Mugginess had me stymied.

You may have noticed that my fragrance choices are very much dictated by the weather. I’m lucky not to work in an office, so I don’t have to worry about wearing perfumes that are ‘office appropriate’ and when I do have to go to a meeting, there is Chanel No. 19. (Meetings were what No 19 was created for, surely?) So I can pretty much follow my instincts with what I choose to wear each day. I’m a massive fan of greens and citruses in the summer, but in autumn I tend to turn – like the leaves – to ambers. These are the scent equivalent of cosy fuzzy jumpers – not the full-blown winter warmers that you need to keep the frost at bay, but soothing, enveloping comfort scents that are as obvious and easy to wear at this time of year as a cashmere hoody. KEEP ON READING

Scented souvenirs

in Reviews by

I keep a bottle of supermarket Eau de Cologne in my fridge and just soused myself in it after hanging the washing out in the hot sun. It was gratifyingly cooling and refreshing, and its scent flashed me back to summers spent in France and Switzerland, where it was often this hot, and I learned this cooling trick.

Because I’m writing a review rather than simply enjoying my favourite eau, which by the way is Mont St Michel Eau de Cologne Ambrée, I took notice of the barbershop-ish initial impression it gives me. As a confirmed anti-frou-frou woman who loathes ruffles, pink and florals, I spent years trying to find fragrances that worked for me. (Thank goodness for Yves Saint Laurent, is all I can say.) Anyway, I came across this particular favourite of mine via soap (another weakness). I was in France and needed to buy a bar to use while I was away. After sniffing several packages, I found the soap version of this eau de Cologne and was pleased by its non-floral spicy and ambery notes. I used it the whole time I was away, and now it is one of my favourite ‘flashback’ scents. KEEP ON READING

Oh the cologne! Part 2

in Reviews by

If you can’t stand the heat, get (fragrance) out of the kitchen

I am fascinated by the wide array of notes that are eminently suited to eaux de Cologne – it means that everyone can find a version that suits them. Today I’ve gone into the kitchen to try eaux based around food and drink – from a mouthwatering herbal refresher to a nice cuppa tea.

You may think it’s not worth spending money on a fragrance that is essentially built around topnotes and designed to be fleeting and gone in a couple of hours. However, many big-name brands are ridiculously affordable for fine fragrance (15 Euro for 125mls? no, that’s not a typo), and supermarket brands are even cheaper. I almost always have some Maurer and Wirtz 4711 original eau de cologne in my handbag, just like my Grandmother before me (no violet sweeties though – mint chewing gum is more my speed). I use it like the French do – to cool down and refresh my skin on hot days. I have family in France where in every bathroom there is a bottle of Eau de Cologne, usually a litre bottle of a supermarket brand, and it’s treated like any other bathroom consumable such as showergel or shampoo. KEEP ON READING

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