Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

I really love this time of year…the flowers, the longer days and the promise of lots of Easter chocolate. Whether you’re looking to celebrate Mother’s Day or not, here are some perfumes which will make great gifts for family or special friends and at a range of price points.

Iridescent by Tabitha Webb

The first perfume on my list is quite new on the scene. I always find it quite exciting to receive a perfume which has just been launched; I’m always searching the archives to replace and discover old gems, so when Sam discovers a new perfume and surprises me it feels like an extra treat. This is an added reason to gift this to someone this weekend! Iridescent is the second launch from Tabitha Webb and the beautiful rainbow-shaped bottles certainly get lots of attention among perfume lovers in my reviews. The scent itself is a white floral with added notes of rhubarb, orange and salted vanilla. When I say that this is a ‘safe’ choice I mean it in the nicest possible way – I’ve noticed that lots of people I interact with seem to enjoy white florals and there is a classic, ‘signature scent’ feel to the perfumes which embrace these notes. As an added bonus, for every bottle of Iridescent or Colour (Tabitha’s first perfume) sold, £2.50 is donated to ‘GOSH’. This is a charity that supports seriously ill children who are cared for at Great Ormond Street Hospital which has added poignancy on Mother’s Day.

Jimmy Choo EDT by Jimmy Choo

My next suggestion has a luxe feel to it yet sells for £20 at B & M stores at the moment. I don’t know how you feel, but being able to buy gifts without necessarily facing a town centre is quite appealing! Jimmy EDT is light and fresh – great for this time of year. It has pear, rose, ginger and woody notes. The green notes are enjoyable too and I think this pretty bottle would be lovely to give and receive as a gift.

Mine Again by Mariah Carey

I’m so pleased to say that my next recommendation is selling for a mere £2.75! I actually had to do a double take when I saw the price. The bottle on sale (and the one pictured which I own) is 15ml and the scent is very well-done. There are notes of magnolia, chocolate, vanilla, orange and sandalwood. It’s sweet yet wearable and I LOVE the fact that there is also a cotton candy note. I think the bottle is cute and not too distracting from the scent. I have included the link below and it’s also worth knowing that the 100ml bottle is on sale for £19.99.

http://ZX8uYppm65Xb76uU1D9wdO0aOZRDtBoCmgMQAvD

Joy by Dior

Joy has been one of my favourite perfume presents. For me it was my wedding perfume and a gift from Sam, but I know my sister is a big fan of the fragrance and I was thinking how lovely it would be to receive on Mother’s Day. It’s of course more expensive than some of my other choices, but not outrageously so. I feel like Joy has a really unusual feel to it. It projects well and gets even better on the skin throughout the day. I love the peach in the top of the scent and anything with sandalwood gets my vote. There is also mandarin, cedar, jasmine and patchouli.

Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker

My last choice is one I’ve bought a few times as a gift because my sisters and my mum are also fans of the scent. I feel this shows how Lovely can suit different ages and a wide range of tastes; Catherine and I certainly aren’t similar in everything we like! Lovely has a classic-looking bottle and it’s another scent which projects really well. The notes include musk, lavender, patchouli and apple martini. You can find some really nice gift sets too which include lotions, the showergel or rollerball minis. It’s easy to find a bottle of Lovely for less than £20 and yet it feels like a real treat to receive.

I’d love to know if any of these scents appeal to you. Will you be buying any fragrance treats for someone special?

Love Sarah xx

So…? Unique Event

Discover Your Scent…

Last week I attended a So…? Unique event in London. I had been looking forward to the day which was set to include a masterclass with Nick Gilbert on how best to layer scents from the brand’s Unique range. The aim of the class would be to discover your perfect combination of top,middle and base notes.

The suite at Mortimer House was set out so beautifully with each of the 13 scents matched to a different pick’n’mix scent!

Sweets for every scent!
A perfect match of purples…

So even though my eyes lit up at the table of sweets, I was happy to be able to go and chat to Nick and Sam from Essence PR soon after I arrived. We got talking about some of our favourite scents and how it all started for each of us with our love of fragrance.

Nick Gilbert led the master class

Each of the places were set with all of the scents in the Unique range. I must admit I hadn’t realised there were as many as 13! I’m a huge fan of the So…? scents and had bought a couple of bits from the bath range for my friend’s birthday the week before. I had been telling Sam about a body spray I received (along with a box of Maltesers!) from a friend at Christmas circa 1998! It was a beautiful scent – spicy and warm – and if the brand ever want to bring back my beloved ‘So…there!’ I would be very happy indeed! After a few different chats like this throughout the afternoon it seems that everyone there had teen memories of the So…? scents.

A Polaroid of my childhood bedroom shows the much-loved So…there!

So back to the master class! I had the pleasure of sitting next to Suzy Nightingale and it was lovely to chat favourites with her. We were given a cute book full of blotters and a notepad and it was time to test the scents while Nick talked us through their notes.

It turns out I did need a LOT of blotters!
Notepad obsessed!

Even though the scents I *really* loved didn’t surprise me (think gourmand and super sweet) there were indeed some surprises in the range as a whole. For example, despite having an up and down relationship with white florals, I really enjoyed the subtle and well done ‘White Floral’ body mist from the range . The ‘Sweet Amber’ scent looked so inviting on the table and I just had to give it a proper chance at home; I can report that it’s such a good scent for this time of year and I love the caramel note in it.

A lovely ‘scent of the night’ for November…

After lots of testing my final, favourite combination was: Truffle Cream, Sugar Plum and Cashmere. Each of the scents are so good individually but there is something so good about layering and the feeling that you have something more personal to your taste.

My perfect combination!

I was also wowed by the amazing ‘Vanilla Candy’ – I believe that if you love the Ariana Grande scents then you will really enjoy this one! The notes include marshmallow, pineapple, peach and of course, vanilla. How perfect?! I’ve also really enjoyed wearing Truffle Cream on its own and even better, layering that with Vanilla Candy for gourmand heaven!

Two gourmands – perfect for me!

I was also lucky enough to take home Marine and Velvet Crush. Sam (husband Sam that is!) and I love anything with a marine vibe and I look forward to giving both of those scents more of a test.

Thank you to So…? Fragrance and Essence PR for an incredible event and some beautiful new scents in my collection.

The little touches…
So pretty!
Yum!
Fun with Suzy!
Thank you So…? Fragrance!

What’s your favorite So…? scent. Which of the Unique scents appeals to you?

Sarah xx

Revisiting an Old Favourite…

Today I have a new perfume to review. The brand, however, is by no means new to me. So many of my favourite perfumes came from this designer as a teenager and in my early twenties. Of course then my perfume collection was a lot smaller, so owning four or five scents from one brand was, I suppose, more significant. It just seemed that whatever came from Ralph Lauren, I liked! This was despite the fact that the scents I will write about today are all quite different in my opinion. My most recent addition – Woman – was actually launched four years ago and I’m only just getting round to trying it. Very recently I saw that someone on the Fragrantica site had said that Woman reminded them of Glamorous and my interest was piqued!

Those nineties vibes…

So I was all set to talk about a different scent and then I remembered my first ever Ralph Lauren perfume – Polo Sport! For me this scent fits into a certain genre of those clean floral perfumes that had an androgynous look with their bottles and were so popular in the late nineties. I’m thinking Hugo Boss Woman and Tommy Girl as other contenders. Looking at that picture of Polo Sport with its frosted glass takes me right back to my teenage years. I even remember drawing the bottle as part of an art project to show objects which I felt represented me! A Lauren Hill album and a karate belt were among the other items…let’s just say that only one of those still holds true! The scent itself was a floral aldehydic which had mint and melon in the top and wood in the base. I wouldn’t say that it’s one I’d love to wear now but it was certainly perfect for that time…a time when ‘Adidas trousers’ were part of my wardrobe!

On to Romance. I think it all started with my seeing an advert, which would have been very similar to the one above, in a magazine. Perfume launches were fewer and further between then and so a new launch was exciting and likely to have involved a sample or a tester before seeing the bottle itself in the shops. I loved the perfume immediately and received a bottle for my 15th birthday. I enjoyed that time and having a ‘signature scent’. It was the one my friends associated with me, one that would need replacing when I finished the bottle and I didn’t ever tire of it. As I write this I’d love to test it again! Over the six years when I wore Romance I of course found other great scents along the way. These included Cristobal and Boudoir which I feel will be favourites forever! However it was always Romance which proved the slightly more wearable scent that I’d return to in my collection. Romance has a kind of ‘fizz’ to it. I’d describe it as a pretty scent and the notes include rose, ginger, oak moss, violet and carnation. Sadly but my love of the scent ended abruptly. I can remember what I was wearing and how the room felt when I went to bed with a migraine one afternoon in 2006. If I’d been feeling good, I’d have loved how the scent smelt on my warm skin but not on this occasion. I felt so sick and like I couldn’t escape it. I still have lots of happy memories of wearing the perfume though, and I love how important it was to the start of my perfume collection.

Someone else’s scent…

The next Ralph Lauren perfume that caught my attention was Ralph. My chronology was a little out before I started writing because I had thought that this was launched a couple of years later than it actually had been. Ralph is fun and fruity yet somehow distinctive. The only other scent that’s reminded me of it since is Mariah Carey’s Ribbon perfume. I bought it as gift for someone shortly after its release and I have to confess, kept the free body lotion for myself. Happily my friend loved the perfume and while it has great nostalgia of the early noughties for me, the scent doesn’t quite feel like ‘mine’ as I associate it so much with the friend I gave it to. In 2007 I went on to buy ‘Ralph Rocks’ but I must admit it was one of those occasions where I had pretty much decided I would like the scent because I liked the original. I remember being in Macy’s New York and upgrading my bottle size with all the change I had to use up! The result was owning a perfume that was spicy and enjoyable but again not quite ‘me’. Now that I’ve researched the notes I have a new found appreciation of the passionfruit but at the time all I could smell was the orange and amber.

A slightly impulsive buy
What I wouldn’t give for a bottle of Glamourous!

This next scent is a perfume I’ve written about so many times in the last few years. My love for Romance led me to try Glamorous in 2003 and in it I had seriously found my ‘going out’ scent! It was Romance by day and Glamourous for occasions and the scent was just beautiful. Until very recently I had my actual bottle but it just didn’t smell the same and as you may have guessed, the perfume has been discontinued. It’s been such a loss and my little solace is the fact the Victoria Secret’s Love Star is similar – I think it’s due to the cashmere note. Other notes included clementine (a recent love in other scents), frangipani and rose. To smell it again would take me back to my university days in Leeds. If this was discontinued due to lack of popularity then I really don’t understand it!

Thankfully I’ve found a dupe to the discontinued Glamorous!

Cactus flower, violet, lily, rum and birch. Somehow the notes in Pure Turquoise just worked so well to create an almost spicy, unusual scent which just ‘worked’ and almost smelt as the bottle looked. The perfume could have easily been marketed as unisex and had a great balance between the woody and floral notes. I feel like this perfume could have been mistake for a niche scent and it was so distinctive. It reminds me of where I was living at the time and sunny days in autumn. As another scent that has been discontinued, Pure Turquoise can be found online selling for a couple of hundred pounds…suffice it to say – I miss my bottle!

Pure Turquoise – I miss it!

Apart from looking at Ralph Lauren’s Big Pony range of scents at the ‘Duty Free’ at the airport a couple of years ago, my love for the Ralph Lauren brand inevitably paused with so many of my favourites having been discontinued. Naturally I did choose a favourite from that range – I’ve always felt ‘collection’ launches are clever for the fact you find yourself choosing a favourite and perhaps, thinking that you like a scent more than you do. Incidentally it was the pink bottle – 2 – which I liked the best! As I mentioned previously, when I read that someone had likened Glamorous to the fairly recent ‘Woman’ by Ralph Lauren, I was desperate to try it. The team at Escentual gave me a bottle to review and here are my thoughts…

A throwback of sorts…

To start with, I didn’t ‘get’ the Glamourous comparison. What I did smell was a beautiful floral perfume that reminded me of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Covet Pure Bloom – certainly not a bad thing. The shared notes of orange blossom, tuberose and sandalwood explain the similarity and the overall effect is classic and pretty. The rhubarb gives the scent something a little different in the opening and there’s a spicy, woodiness in the base notes. On my second and third test, I could certainly enjoy that Glamourous DNA and immediately craved winter coats, going out and many a spray of ‘Woman’. On my skin it’s wearing a little bit peppery – think Carolina Herrera’s 212 Sexy – which is fitting as it was this scent which proved a good surrogate for evening scents when I no longer had my beloved Glamourous.

Such a beautiful bottle!

Overall I’m pleased to have been reunited with my ‘old favourite’ brand. Woman’s classic bottle is reminiscent of Glamourous and let me add – how amazing is the flip-cap detail?! I feel like it would be a great accessory on a train journey in a film set in the 1920s! With ‘fragrance wardrobes’ becoming the replacement of signature scents, it seems fitting that Woman could easily fit in to mine as my go-to ‘evening scent’ in the way that Glamorous once had been.

Have you tried any of these scents? Are there any brands you think of fondly or still love to collect from?

I’d love to chat in the comments,

Sarah xx

My Top Ten Celebrity Perfumes Right Now!

I’m no stranger to the celebrity perfume market. I think it all started for me because of how much attention there used to be around each and every launch. I didn’t quite get into J Lo Glow the first time around in 2003 (and the Elizabeth Taylor launches were before my time) but when the campaign for Britney Spears’ Curious began a couple of years later, I was interested.

Feeling Curious!

I remember a little postcard that I must have picked up in a ‘Boots’ store. It had a picture with oBritney on it and a peel-back sticker with a sample of the perfume underneath. Along with the TV and magazine adverts, the perfume arrived with an amazing array of products, including the very cute scented powder and the pump ‘perfect for a dressing table’ bottles. It all seemed so lovely and the whole range made it to my wishlist. I was so excited about perfume and adding to what was already a sizeable collection.

The ‘Curious’ shimmer powder…so lovely.
Such beautiful products…I just love that colour!

From that point the celebrity perfume launches came thick and fast, and it wasn’t just one scent per public figure; Paris Hilton has 28 and counting in her line today and even those celebrities whose ranges are now discounted had scents with many flankers a decade ago. It was in 2007 in particular that there were lots of launches of good quality celebrity scents. In the September I had started a new job and after work I would head to a little shopping mall to ‘visit’ Gwen Stefani’s L, determined to wait until my first pay day to purchase. Christina Aguilera’s eponymous scent was another good one, and before long I had a fair few of these scents in my collection. It seemed as though, when a new perfume was launched, there was always a big display in stores, ‘hype’ on the internet and in magazines, a lot of products in the line and potential for free gifts with the purchase. In Macy’s New York I came away with a hand cream and a T Shirt when I bought Britney’s Fantasy (oh how I wish I had the T shirt now!). Sadly even as long as a few years ago, I did notice that with an over-saturated market, each celebrity perfume launch became less exciting with perhaps a new product just seeming to ‘land’ in store – sometimes without even a tester. There was often a bit of a rushed feeling around the releases sometimes too; I know some perfume lovers aren’t too impressed when their favourite celebrity brings out fragrance after fragrance – it can be quite off-putting. Either the products have to be so great that they speak for themselves or we need to believe that some heart and personality has gone into the design and making of the fragrance! I know some people don’t like the idea of a celebrity fragrance at all, but for me my stance has been the same for the last few years. I will definitely be more interested if I like the celebrity (Katy Perry, Mariah!) but I don’t need to love them to think their fragrances are amazing – Rihanna! Ultimately I will try anything and if it smells good, fantastic.

Rihanna – a celebrity with a great collection of scents!

I wanted to create a “My Top Ten Celebrity Perfumes!” post but it proved impossible for me, so I’ve decided to look at this topic in two posts. Today’s will focus on (some of – I do have a big collection!) the scents I love right now and reach for, whereas next week’s will be more of an ‘All Time Celebrity Perfume Favourites’, including many of the scents which I love but are now discontinued. So…here goes!


In no particular order (that’s also for another time!) are:

1. thank u,next by Ariana Grande – The first scent that I tried by Ariana Grande was Cloud in Spring 2019. The scent was a real surprise compared to what I expected; strong, distinctive and with amazing longevity, so when I saw ‘thank u, next’ crop up online I couldn’t wait to try it. I liked the perfume instantly. I would say it’s more of a crowd-pleaser than Cloud in that it’s sweet and more feminine. The notes include pink rose,pear and macaroons. I always describe it as ‘yummy’ – that addictive kind of scent that you keep coming back to. That was why I kept trying it in stores before getting it for Christmas. I have really happy memories of receiving it for Christmas last year and that time. The bottle, like Cloud, is also very cute so it felt like having a new toy! I’m building my Ariana collection now and would like to add “Moonlight” and “Sweet Like Candy” into the mix. It seems that the Ariana scents get attention from a lot of people in the perfume community, and including those who might now always opt for celebrity scents usually.

thank u, next…addictive and yummy!

2. Stash by Sarah Jessica Parker – Stash is so different to anything else among the celebrity fragrance launches. The main note that strikes me is the olibanum; SJP wanted a ‘church’ type smell with this scent and the it really achieves that. Stash also has notes of grapefruit, black pepper and sage. It’s really loved among the perfume community and has been said to smell like niche-quality at what is an incredibly affordable price. One of SJP’s scent has also made it to next week’s list – watch this space!

3. VIP Private Show by Britney Spears- So a couple of years ago I had smelt the original Private Show and wasn’t a fan (crazy to think of that now – the coffee note in it is incredible!). However with the follow up “VIP” edition, I found a scent that I felt was much more ‘me’. I have used so much from my bottle of what is a fun, very sweet -smelling scent. I detect strawberry in what is in fact listed as raspberry along with mango, red apple, magnolia, woods and musk. I’ve seen 100ml bottles of this for a great price and think a purchase might be on the cards!

A typically sweet Britney scent – I love it!

4. Rebelle by Rihanna – I have written about this one a lot on Instagram. It’s in my top ten perfumes regardless of celebrity or brand and I’d really recommend trying it if you like gourmand perfumes. Rebelle is warm, sweet and spicy and the kind of scent I love wearing for evenings out. I think my bottle is my third one and I’ve reached for it in this past year even without the opportunity for night time meals out and events! Rebelle has notes of ginger, strawberry and coffee. The bottle looks good (and I love the red) but I must admit I find it difficult to hold!

Rebelle is perfect for going out…but I still couldn’t help but reach for it on lockdown days at home.

5. JLove by Jennifer Lopez- This perfume was a lovely surprise for me. I had been aware of the three scents by J Lo when they were first launched; JLuxe, JLust and JLove, but if they did make it the UK then it wasn’t for very long as I seemed to miss them. I found a full bottle of JLove on Vinted for an amazing price and while I expected a pleasant fruity floral, I didn’t expect to love it like I do. This scent is a real throwback to Betsey Johnson’s eponymous scent for me. The tangerine note is one that I love and it smells like something I want to wear for a day of shopping! Other notes include vanilla, orchid, sorbet and coconut.

A really pretty scent with an amazing tangerine note!

6. Sweet Darling by Kylie Minogue – I have so much love for this scent and the original Darling – I wish they were still available to buy! I should have bought “back up” bottles when they were still a reasonable price, but at least I have a very decent amount left of Sweet Darling. I find it funny to think that at first I found it too sweet – I no longer think there’s such a thing! – but now I love the mix of cotton candy and passionfruit. When I make my own perfume one or both of those notes will have to feature!

There’s no such thing as “too sweet”!

7. Diamonds Sapphire by Khloe Kardashian-
Last month I made an order on the KKW fragrance site, having been coveting some of those heart-shaped bottles since January! In an attempt to make the most of the shipping costs and have a big-old ‘we’ve had three lockdowns’ treat, I chose some other perfumes too. I must admit that it helps that I love Khloe and the blue of that bottle is beautiful. Happily I liked the sound of the notes too, and what I have now is a scent that’s a little reminiscent of Amor Amor and is another additive gourmand in my collection. Diamonds Sapphire has a marine accord, whipped cream, vanilla and my favourite of all – a panettone note! The trouble with the KKW fragrances for anyone outside of the US is the shipping costs as I’ve mentioned, but I really have been impressed so far with the perfumes I chose.

8. Heat by Beyoncé-

Heat was launched in 2010 but since then there have been so many flankers. The thing is, because the first scent is so good in my opinion, I almost feel as though there was no need for so many others! To be fair, I haven’t tried all of the other versions of Heat so I could in fact be missing out. The Wild Orchid edition does smell amazing and I added that to my collection recently. I was thinking of this line when I said that sometimes certain celebrities brought out new releases in quick succession. Let me know is you’ve tried any of the different versions. I love the original so much and it always remind me of buying it in Chicago. It’s great for evening wear and has notes of amber, tonka, peach, amber and magnolia. It’s like nothing else I own and because there are mutterings that Beyoncé is no longer with the same perfume house, I need another bottle in case it’s been discontinued.

The original and the best?!

9. La Bella by Samantha Faiers – I bought this after a long week at work because I fancied a treat and it was on special offer. This is another perfume that I had expected to like but not love. La Bella has an amazing biscuit accord which is the most prominent for me. There is also musk, vanilla and iris and the overall effect is so good. I found this one to be quite underrated but I’m glad that it’s still available to buy. It makes my top ten because I feel it’s so well done and for such a good price!

A biscuit accord makes this scent so good!

10. Rose Rush by Paris Hilton-

When I first saw the ‘Rush’ bottles I wasn’t immediately taken with them. That is, until I saw several collection photos online which had me loving how they look together as a set. I got to researching and found that Platinum Rush was a good price. That wasn’t enough for me clearly because within a week or two I had treated myself to Gold and Rose! Firstly, the Rose bottle looks SO much better than it does in the pictures. Beautiful colourful glitter. With regard to the scent, it’s the prettiest rose scent I own and with the addition of cedar and peony, the effect is refreshing and so pretty. I have had the Rush perfumes for a few months now and the novelty of the bottle design has not worn off – I love them!

Rose Rush – my favourite rose scent yet!

So that completes my “Top Ten Celebrity Perfumes Right Now!” I’d love to know some (or all ten!) of yours and look forward to hearing if you’ve tried any of my favourites.

Sarah xx

My Favourite Unisex Perfumes!

For the last few years I’ve considered my taste in perfume to fall into a few different categories; gourmand, super sweet (I realise there can be overlap with those two!), ‘unusual’, ‘woody’ and unisex. I think for another time I also need to talk about the scents that I would place in the unusual category! I’ve also noticed that I am more interested in fruit than flower notes at the moment, and also that some of my absolute favourite scents have certain notes in common.

It’s the unisex scents that I want to discuss today. In an article I read by Sali Hughes recently, she explained that the earliest scents and colognes were “made for all”. With that in mind, it really is strange to think that perfumes today mostly have a very strong marketing message to either a male or female audience. I’m talking about designer and celebrity fragrances as opposed to niche scents. When a scent is then considered ‘unisex’, the design house or celebrity seem to show this as a bold choice – which I guess it kind of is! So many of the perfume lovers I talk to don’t pay attention to the typical gender ‘norms’ and wear whatever they like. If I’m honest this might have been an added bonus for me in liking unisex and certain ‘male’ fragrances in the first place – I liked the feeling I was wearing something a bit different and not making the typical choice among my friends. I feel the same about age and scents. I really will wear anything I like regardless of whether or not others see those scents as ‘young’ or as strong reminders of their teenage years! It’s nice to see that in the fragrance community people aren’t afraid to wear what they want…this should now be reflected in the advertising campaigns of most perfumes!

In this post I’m going to discuss my favourite unisex scents, the ones I believe could have been marketed as such and also those that I’d like to add to my collection.

My Favourite Unisex Scents!

👃🏻 From top to bottom and left to right:

👾Eau by Lady Gaga- I think Lady Gaga can be relied upon to break norms, starting with her first scent, Fame, and the seemingly black liquid! Eau is my favourite of the two and got my attention from the very fact that she said it was designed as unisex. The bottle is beautiful and sleek and the scent is one of my favourite leather fragrances – so well combined with a lime note. I got my 100ml at a good price so this one is worth trying if you haven’t already.

🖤Stash by Sarah Jessica Parker- I think Sarah Jessica Parker, from what I’ve read, really enjoys and is passionate about her first perfume, Lovely, which was launched in 2005. It’s a beautiful and has a real ‘classic’ feel to it with notes of magnolia and lavender. However I remember it being said that what she really wanted was to launch something more bold and unisex which is what she did with Stash a decade later. Stash is so different to anything else among the celebrity fragrance launches. The main note that strikes me is the olibanum; SJP wanted a ‘church’ type smell and the scent really achieves that. Stash also has notes of grapefruit, black pepper and sage. It’s really loved among the perfume community and has been said to smell like niche-quality at what is an incredibly affordable price.

🌳 Ebony Wood from Zara Emotions Collection- I must admit – I did double check to see whether this one was designed as a women’s scent or a unisex one but my suspicions were confirmed that it is the latter. The Zara and Jo Malone collection was highly anticipated and my favourite of the perfumes is Ebony Wood which of course fits into two of my favourite categories with the fact it’s woody and unisex! This scent has so much depth and it’s warm, spicy and perfect for cold weather and Christmas time. Despite that, I wore and enjoyed it last week but it really does have an association with Christmas for me. The notes include ebony, cloves and black pepper and it would work so well on anyone – I’m surprised that my husband hasn’t worn it yet!

☕️ Prerogative by Britney Spears- I love this perfume! It’s actually the scent that I’m wearing as I write this and it’s one that I will always spray lots of and respray throughout the day. The bottle design isn’t particularly one of my favourites but somehow it’s really well-matched to the scent. The main note that appeals to me in this one is the coffee but I love the goji berries in the top and also the sandalwood in the base. This perhaps leans slightly more towards a typically feminine scent in its sweetness.

👔 Closer by Halle Berry- I love Halle by Halle Berry which was her first perfume launch, so I was doubly interested when I knew she was releasing a unisex scent. Closer is so enjoyable with its cashmere and mahogany notes. It’s smart and sharp and I like the fact it smells more like something a man might wear. The advertising campaign reminded me of Kylie’s for her unisex “Inverse” perfume which sadly I didn’t get my hands on and now sells VERY expensively online.

🤍Indi by Katy Perry- Katy Perry’s collection was sweet, fruity and floral until the launch of Indi which she described as androgynous. Indi has become popular among perfume lovers since its launch in 2017 and is seen as another ‘surprise’ among the celebrity releases. I enjoy Indi – but have to be in the mood for it. It has a lot of musk which for me can be a little headache-inducing or mean bad news if I have the beginnings of one already. I was surprised at enjoying the tea note in this which is mixed with plum and woody notes. You can buy this perfume very cheaply so it is worth checking out!

Scents for all?

So for the second part of my post I have gathered up scents that I felt could have easily been marketed as unisex.

From left to right and top to bottom;

🐑 L by LAMB- There is just something about this perfume. I love it. To be blunt, when I test it, it’s almost as if I’m trying to ‘breathe it in’ – that’s how good it is! L is a really underrated perfume in my opinion; the notes work so well together and the bottle is beautiful! Let me know if you ever tried it…or any of the Harajuku line for that matter. The notes include rose, pear, lily of the valley and frangapini but I have to say I don’t really find that the reviews I’ve read reflect how I feel about this one. When I smell it I feel it has this incredible depth, fruitiness and the same applies to when I spray – amazing projection and longevity. For me, it smells like there are lots of contrasts within and that’s how I feel it would make a good unisex scent. I can’t quite accept that this one is discontinued so I’m ready to buy a ‘back-up’ bottle and to look for similar scents!

🤎Rogue by Rihanna- I really love Rogue and it was pretty much my ‘going out’ scent for a time in 2017. With the launch of Rogue Man I was curious as to how Rogue wasn’t already something of a unisex or masculine scent itself, because in my view is at least. While I still need to check out the men’s edition, the original scent is a beautiful combination of plum, suede, woods and musk. It’s so well done and would smell great on anyone.

🧡Sweet Spice and Sandalwood by Bespoke London- This time a little more personal bias comes in to the mix, although I suppose with fragrance all opinions are ultimately personal and subjective! I really love a sandalwood note and this scent is so warm and inviting that I love to spray and test it, even though it’s part of Sam’s collection. The Bespoke scents are great value and often available with further discounts and offers at Superdrug.

⚫️Vibrant Leather by Zara- I love a leather note and when Sam bought this for himself just before our wedding, I made a mental note to borrow it for myself. The Zara scents get lots of love among the ‘frag fam’ and Vibrant Leather is my favourite. With bergamot in the opening and also a bamboo note, this scent is simple but perfect and despite not having great longevity I love that we have it in um, ‘our’ collection!

☁️ Cloud by Ariana Grande- I’ve said it a few times, but when a fellow fragrance fan told me that to them Cloud smelt like a boys’ aftershave in the eighties, I actually liked it more, not less! I love the musky eighties vibe. The scent is somehow dry and the woods, lavender and whipped cream mix to create a really unique scent. In actual fact this is said to be similar to BR540, but at what is a very reasonable price there is something very distinctive and likeable about Cloud. I really want Sam to wear it one day as I’m finding it more typically ‘male’ the more that I smell it!

Do you wear scents that weren’t necessarily marketed for your gender? Are there any unisex scents that you love to wear? Do you perhaps share scents with a partner or spouse? Let me know in the comments!

Sarah xx

New Brand Review – Niche 4 All

I spotted the ‘Niche 4 All’ minimalist bottles online at the end of January and I was intrigued by the brand name. I wondered what would set these scents apart from other brands and how they really would compare to ‘niche” quality. After a chat with Johan I chose three of the scents to review. Deciding what to pick wasn’t hard; the names of their perfumes are simple and based on the lead notes and as I can never resist anything which includes honey, I opted for ‘Honey Tobacco’, ‘Pineapple Oak’ (I have felt similarly about pineapple in the last couple of months) and ‘Almond Vanilla’.

The brand currently offer a ‘3 for 2’ deal on their 30ml scents.

I gave all three of the scents a quick test the day that they arrived. I had an initial favourite, and then Honey Tobacco was the first of the three perfumes that I chose to wear for a full day.

I love this so much more than I thought I would!

Honey Tobacco smells incredible and having experienced its lasting power on what happened to be a day in London, it has definitely taken the lead. It has the perfect balance of sweetness and spiciness. It’s marketed as unisex but for me I find it slightly more masculine, yet still the kind of scent I know I will realistically reach for and find wearable. Honey Tobacco also has notes of jasmine, lemon, tonka bean, bergamot and vanilla. It has the kind of warmth and addictive quality for me that Roberto Cavalli’s eponymous fragrance has; something that smells comforting in winter but would be great to smell on your skin in warm weather too. The lasting power is also great and so is the projection. I did respray it throughout the day but hadn’t needed to as such because it’s nice and strong!

I can’t decide…

My next choice was Almond Vanilla. The scent has notes of cypress and violet leaf in the top, bitter almond in the middle and amber and vanilla in the base. When I first smelt this I felt like I was smelling a good quality scent,I just wasn’t sure that it was for me. I have revisited the fragrance a few times and appreciate it a little more with each test. I found a kind of ‘cosy’ quality to it,thanks to the vanilla and I really enjoy the woody cypress note. I think the issue for me is almond being a note I can enjoy in small doses. When I gave it to Sam to try he interpreted the scent as something more tropical and a lot like one that he enjoyed at university. When I asked him if he would wear it, “definitely’ was the reply!

My final selection – Pineapple Oak – didn’t disappoint me in the opening. The pineapple really comes through straight away and works well with the blackcurrant and apple for that “good enough to drink” quality! The fruit has a lovely contrast with the oak moss which gives a smoky effect.

Pineapple…contrasted so well with the woody notes!

The scent also includes jasmine, bergamot, amber, musk and vanilla notes. I pick up jasmine and amber but not really any vanilla. I really enjoyed wearing Pineapple Oak. It’s the kind of perfume you’d smell on someone and want to know what it is! I would still happily wear this to any occasion even though it’s marketed towards men. It helps that Sam likes this one on me! The projection isn’t as strong as Honey Tobacco but I love how the scent smells on my skin.

Overall I really enjoyed these scents and feel like the brand is worth looking at if you’re a perfume lover. I liked Johan’s explanation of the idea behind the brand which he shared recently; great quality scents which are affordable for everybody! The fact that there is an offer on is great too. My scents were a PR sample to review, but I love to see great value in brands and people being able to enjoy quality at affordable prices. The collector in me loves that the offer brings a great reason to choose three scents that you love. I chose to review these scents and enjoy them in their own right, but I know they have similarities with some well-known designer scents which is worth looking into if you’re after a dupe!

Which one of these scents would appeal to you? I’d love to chat in the comments!

Sarah xx

The Ones I Used to Own!

This week I have thought about all the perfumes I’ve owned previously and no longer have in my collection! A lot of these scents come to mind when I see others posting reviews of them, or of course even just when I’m browsing the shops as is the cases with the ones that are still available. I’ve had fun thinking about some serious throwbacks and what I was doing at that time in my life when I wore the scent. I’d like to return this topic and add my thoughts on the scents and a little description, but this time I just wanted a simple list for readers to let me know which ones they’ve owned. There are some here that I regret parting with and others that I wouldn’t wear again. I don’t remember what happened to each one, but I know in the past it’s varied from gifting to friends and family, charity shop donations or selling on eBay. Let me know in the comments which ones you’ve tried!

Hypnotic poison by Dior

Coco Madmoiselle by Chanel

Coco by Chanel

Ck be by Calvin Klein

Euphoria by Calvin Klein

The One by Dolce and Gabbana

La Roue de La Fortune by Dolce & Gabbana

Tommy Girl Ten by Tommy Hilfiger

Cristobal by Balenciaga

212 Surf by Carolina Herrera

Viva La Juicy Sucre by Juicy Couture

I am Couture by Juicy Couture

Malibu by Juicy Couture

Velvet Teddy by Mac

Sin Garden by Vivienne Westwood

Polo Sport Women by Ralph Lauren

Ralph by Ralph Lauren

Ralph Hot by Ralph Lauren

Pure Turquoise by Ralph Lauren

Romance by Ralph Lauren

Ange ou Demon by Givenchy

Very Irresistible by Givenchy

Diamonds by Emporio Armani

Glam Princess by Vera Wang

Hot by United Colours of Benetton

Baby Rose Jeans by Versace

Idole by Armani

Fuel for Life by Diesel

Fuel for Life Denim Edition by Diesel

Sunset Heat by Escada

Guess by Maraciano

Angel Muse by Thierry Mugler

Angel by Thierry Mugler

Black XS by Paco Rabanne

Daisy Sunshine by Marc Jacobs

Hugo Woman Sport by Hugo Boss

Radiance by Britney Spears

With Love by Hilary Duff

Girlfriend by Justin Bieber

Unbreakable Love by Khloe & Lamar

Kim by Kim Kardashian

Couture by Kylie Minogue

Dazzling Darling by Kylie Minogue

Darling by Kylie Minogue

Showtime Intense by Kylie Minogue

Pink Sparkle Pop by Kylie Minogue

Forever by Mariah Carey

Forbidden Rose by Avril Lavigne

TFB by Tulisa

Mwah by Chanelle Hayes

Coleen by Coleen Rooney

Tease by Paris Hilton

Siren by Paris Hilton

Heiress by Paris Hilton

Just Me by Paris Hilton

Paris by Paris Hilton

Fairy Dust by Paris Hilton

Endless by SJP

Lovely Liquid Satin edition by SJP

Crush by Rihanna

Nirvana Black by Elizabeth & James

Maybe Baby by Benefit

Still by J Lo

Love & Light by J Lo

Love at First Glow by J Lo

Live by J Lo

Live Luxe by J Lo

Live Platinum by J Lo

Deseo by JLo

Signature by Victoria Beckham

Kelly Brook by Kelly Brook

Vivacious by Kelly Brook

Ice by Suzanne Shaw

Unforgivable Woman by Sean Combs

True Star by Beyonce

Heat Rush by Beyonce

Pulse NYC by Beyonce

Royal Desire by Christina Aguilera

Inspire by Christina Aguilera

G of the Sea by Harajuku Lovers

Super G by Harajuku Lovers

Lil’ Angel by Harajuku Lovers

Killer Queen by Katy Perry

Mad Love by Katy Perry

Reveal by Halle Berry

Pure Orchid by Halle Berry

Lilabelle by Kate Moss

Kate Summertime by Kate Moss

Vintage Muse by Kate Moss

Fancy Nights by Jessica Simpson

S by Shakira

That totals in at 91 so far but I can guarantee that I’ll be reminded of more in the coming weeks!

Would there be room for all those others?!

Love Sarah xx

How I Find Perfumes at Affordable Prices!

My collection of perfume is bigger than most people’s. Of course this means I have parted with the cash over the years but, there genuinely have been times when my claims of “I really don’t spend that much on it!” have been true! I decided to break this down into what are hopefully handy tips and tricks for finding the best value when buying the perfumes you love.

Perfume takes pride of place at home!

1. Set Rules!

I have certain rules and limits with how much I’m willing to spend on different perfumes and brands. This does take a bit of willpower (and I have a recent example of where I’ve broken my own rule – Festive Fantasy I’m looking at you!) but on the whole it means I feel I don’t pay over the odds for a scent. I would hate to spend nearly £40 on a bottle when it was newly launched to then see it be reduced in price. Also, I will stick to my guns when it comes to offers and freebies. If I only want a small bottle I won’t buy the bigger one because of the value of the larger ones or a free gift I’m not keen on.

2. Wait!

This links to the point above. If you wait for a little while after a perfume launch, it is more than likely that the price of the perfume will be lowered. I have only just bought myself Mariah Carey’s “Dreams” perfume because previously I just couldn’t justify the prices I had been seeing. I think it was created three years ago – easily- but to know I have only parted with £27 for a decently sized bottle makes it worth the wait!

3. Make a Wishlist.

It makes sense that if you’re playing the long game and waiting for lower prices, setting up a wishlist of all those perfumes you have your eye on will allow you the chance to check back and occasionally “Google” some names to see if any are on sale. Also, a wishlist that your family have access to, say, on Amazon (where they’re easy to set up) makes shopping for you easy for them and can help knock some perfumes from your list!

I always have a wishlist on the go!

4. Ask for Perfumes for Special Occasions.

I’m 36. I started collecting perfume when I was 15. That’s a lot of birthdays! I know sometimes my family have probably been a bit fed up with being asked for perfumes, but as I get so much enjoyment from them it makes sense that they are among the gifts I receive. Saying that, I know that one of my sisters is now fed up with being asked for Lush products…they’re such a treat though! Plus, I make sure that if I’m asking for a perfume I let my family know the best place to buy it from as I still hate the idea of anyone being overcharged!

5. Websites…don’t be afraid to shop online!

I have been shopping online since around 2007 and to date I’ve only had one bad experience – which happens to have been last month! I have found this is the cheapest way to buy perfume as a rule and it was most handy for me at a time when I didn’t enjoy shopping in town centres. Yes, there is the blind buy element, but as I don’t often feel I can relax in certain stores enough to really browse, I feel I might as well buy online. Even better perhaps, some of my followers on Instagram send for lots of testers – online AND low risk. Most of the time though, I am buying something I have had a quick test of in a shop and I’m sure enough about it to make the online purchase. My favourite sites include:

– All Beauty – I have had so many perfumes from here over the years, both for myself and family…the value and delivery is brilliant…my order history would make for a long read! Most recently I’ve bought David Beckham scents as gifts because the value is so good.

– eBay – I think for success with eBay you just need to read the seller’s reviews and ensure that you’re buying a brand new and sealed product if that’s what you’re after. There are some real gems on there at the moment including the Rock the Rainbow Juicy Couture scents. In the past I’ve bought scents from Jessica Simpson, Mariah Carey and Paris Hilton from eBay with no issues. In terms of the problem I had last month, I have myself to blame for not reading what had been poor reviews – lesson learnt!

Direct Cosmetics – I’m forever grateful to this one for stocking my beloved Harajuku Lovers scents in tester-sized bottles!

6. Always be on the lookout!

I can find a perfume section in a shop within seconds. Sam and I always have a look, even when probably we shouldn’t, because you never know when something from your wishlist will crop up in a supermarket or a TK Maxx. I don’t mind where my perfume comes from, after all it’s the product I want and not the store experience, so I will look any and everywhere for it. This has meant that I’ve found Christmas gifts for family nice and easily and unexpectedly. We bought one gift in the summer (I won’t say what in case the recipient is reading!) and it was such a find from Savers.

7. Buy perfume on holiday!

When on holiday, it’s likely you’re in treat-mode. It’s also likely that you’ve saved money or “gone without” a little in some area or other to be able to afford the few days ahead of you. Sigh. Who else misses flying abroad?! Be that as it may, after my first trip to New York, perfume shopping became a big part of my holiday fun and spending money. I’m not saying you have to come back with a case full, but looking ahead to a perfume you’d love to own and buying it while away means it comes from a set budget and is likely to be more affordable to you than a sudden purchase from home that you hadn’t planned out. A lovely bonus of this is that you then come to associate the scents with your travels. To be honest, even where I’ve tested certain perfumes now brings back memories of different places. Lady Million – Prague! Even for smaller trips, we end up perfume shopping because we are relaxed and if that’s what we are prepared to spend some of the money on it seems a little more justified! Sam and I both bought scents in Zara the night before we got married – Leather Oud and Bohemian Bluebells – and he treated me to Lord of Misrule from Lush the day after!

8. Try dupes

I love a good dupe. Especially an accidental one where I buy something I like and then realise how close to a certain perfume it is. Sadly, the internet is currently filled with schemes offering to “save you money” on your scents, but I find that there are so many brands who offer fun mists and sprays which can be enjoyed for themselves aswell as the more famous scents that they replicate.

My favourite brands for mists and affordable scents are:

– Primark – the bottles are cute and I have a lovely J’adore dupe in the form of PS…Rainbow and a Minnie Mouse mist (ha) that smells like Chloe!

– Superdrug – The Layering Lab Collection looks beautiful with its rainbow colours and each scent has been likened to a brand scent.

– Poundland. Impossible to go wrong! I’d have parted with more than a pound for the amazing Black Dust which smells so much like Black Opium. Beau Reve is also beautiful and is said to be a dupe for La Vie est Belle!

Beau Reve – a £1 dupe of La Vie est Belle!

Impulse – The sprays are unique, strong and have great note combinations. I love Tropical Beach + Espresso aswell as Burnt Marshmallow + Leather Jacket!

My favourite Impulse scent!

9. Test before you buy!

I’ve called myself “queen of the blind buy” in another post and I’ve had lots of luck. However, it would have been so easy for me to pick up the latest Britney scent – Prerogative Ego – without trying when I have so much love for all the others. Fortunately this time I waited to test and I’m glad I did – I find this one a little sickly and to have bought it would have been money too easily parted with. It’s different if you are determined to try something or you can afford to lose the money as such, but for anything closer to £30 I know I won’t buy now without trying.

10. Taste

O.K. This one is more subjective. I just don’t LIKE the idea of scents that cost the earth!I did sample a beautiful and very expensive scent from a brand recently and I would love to own the bottle, but I really can’t imagine paying the full price for it! I think for this reason I avoid certain brands altogether and if money were no object I would remain very choosy in what made it to the collection. People are different of course and some people choose to have fewer more expensive scents than a big collection like mine!

Have these tips helped? Is there anything here that you already do or can suggest to me?! I’d love to know!

Love, Sarah xx

All The Perfume…How It All Began!

(Most of!) today’s collection

I wanted to start my weekly posts with something that shows how and when (and maybe a little ‘why’) I came to have so many perfumes along with the more personal memories along the way. Next week I will finally be counting how many I have – at the moment!- which I don’t think I’ve done since the number was at about eight!

Some people talk about the perfumes they remember their family members wearing. My mum certainly has a few that I associate with her and both sisters have perfumes now (Catherine has around 60 and has appeared on my Instagram page!) but it isn’t something I discovered because of them or have strong memories of as a young child. Apart from being around eight years old and attempting to make perfume by putting rose petals in water (please let me know if you did this!) my first experience of wanting perfume would have come with the sporty/ designer trends of the 90s. When I was 12 and in my first year of secondary school there were some body sprays I also loved – a So…! one that was lovely and spicy, bought for me by a friend at Christmas, and the much-loved Impulse 02. However the first perfume I remember testing and wanting was Tommy Girl. In those days samples in magazines seemed a bigger deal and I’m pretty sure that’s where my little vial full of the scent had come from. I loved the smell of it and took it into school. Even as I write this, thinking of the smell makes me think of that time! The scent was new out and there was something exciting about it and the fact that lots of people I knew wanted it too! At Christmas when I was 13 it was ck be which I received and loved. I know I had asked for it and it’s one I still love it today and would happily have back in my collection. The memories with this scent and time are so clear; I had a new Nintendo game, a ‘dressy’ outfit and I was crimping my hair while watching Top of the Pops…the Spice Girls got to Christmas number one with “Too Much” – I set a very nineties scene here indeed! The following birthday the sporty scents continued with Ralph Lauren’s Polo Sport. I loved the wateriness of this one and love how these scents were kind of similar.

Me at 13 with my niece…sporty vibes for the 90s – they were Umbro shorts!

The next phase of my perfume journey was when I was 15 with the launch of Ralph Lauren’s Romance. I really associate this scent with the advertising campaigns, and as with the other scents I suspect that’s how I first heard about it. It’s such a pretty scent with notes of white violet, lotus flower and marigold. I received a bottle for my 15th birthday and it was my signature scent for a few years. Sadly my love for it ended abruptly with a migraine when I was 22. You know when you don’t feel well, you’re too hot, can’t go and have a bath so you’re just in bed in your clothes?! It was like that for me that day and there was no escaping the smell of it.

15 year old me when Romance was my signature scent!

Early in the year 2000 I had a London day trip with my mum and dad. We went to Selfridges and I was given a ‘sample’ (sprayed card) of Christobal by Balenciaga. I loved it! It’s so not a scent I’d associate with teenage but it was just…beautiful! The notes included fig leaf,patchouli,carnation and sandalwood. It was warm and spicy and the lasting power was amazing. I know that for certain because I took that same card into school and it still smelt so good! Somewhere between this and my 17th birthday I discovered Boudoir by Vivienne Westwood. It was another warm, spicy and perhaps unusual choice but I was so happy that it was one of my presents. My family and I went to Guernsey for a holiday that week and I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw Christobal on sale. In actual fact that was on an island off of Guernsey. I may have persuaded my parents to buy it for me and happily I had two new lovely scents in my collection. I don’t think I’ll ever get over Christobal being discontinued. I know one Insta friend who loved it and Michelle from Liberty X once said she loved it too! A real hidden gem.

On the holiday to Guernsey where I discovered Cristobal!

I have two key memories of starting university and my perfumes. 1) Glamorous by Ralph Lauren was my ultimate going out scent 2) House mates used to come to my room and remark that I had “so many perfumes!”. Um, I had about eight then! Speaking of Glamorous, another huge loss. It was gorgeous for night time and had a beautiful cashmere note. Fortunately Victoria Secret’s Love Star is similar enough for to give me a little reminder of it…Another scent that I loved then was Baby Rose Jeans by Versace. Hmm,think I’ll move on before mourning the loss of this one too!

Such a beautiful scent…Coco Madmoiselle by Chanel

In 2004 I discovered Madmoiselle by Chanel. I have such a strong memory of first smelling it. I was reading Marie Claire (where the sample came from), Jennifer Aniston was on the front cover and I had eaten some very yummy Sensations crisps! I can’t help the food reference – I’m such a foody and they were my favourites for ages! I had been travelling on the coach from my university city of Leeds. It wasn’t for a nice reason, sadly, but somehow and weirdly the memory of the smell and surroundings is.

Curious…a game changer for me

In my third year of university, Curious by Britney Spears was launched. I really pinpoint this one as the start of my collection. From the beautiful and unusual packaging to the range of products, I couldn’t wait to own this one and it sparked my interest for many celebrity scents that followed. I wasn’t very well that year and do wonder if the focus on perfume provided a bit of an escape for me.

A year later and I was feeling a bit better and living in my family home while working. I had a trip to New York arranged with a friend who felt our plan might be a bit expensive for her at that time. It was a kind of “year out” for me so I decided I would go on the holiday on my own while I was working and had the money. So. By this time Britney’s Fantasy was launched and I had plans to buy it in NY. What I didn’t expect was to come home with three other perfumes too! This started the “holiday money on perfume” trend for me and is a key way that my collection built up. The Macy’s staff showed me a lovely Fantasy hand cream. Of course I had to have it. They showed me Curious in Control. Amazing. Then along the way I picked up True Star Gold and Euphoria. I love how scents remind me of that trip! It was so exciting to have four new ones all at once. The year after we had a family trip to Gibraltar and let’s just say it was perfume heaven! My poor dad was dragged from shop to shop and saw the J Lo Glow selection many times over!

September 2007…I waited all month for this one!

Fast forward to September 2007 and I was working full time. I was living in Kent and occasionally I’d swing by a local shopping centre, of course to test perfume! Paris Hilton was a favourite with her newly released Heiress but the one I really wanted was Gwen Stefani’s L. It smelt incredible. Kind of unisex, aquatic and warm and even though I could have thrown it on a credit card I decided to wait it out until my first proper pay day to buy it. I also picked up the amazing Stunning by Katie Price which smells A LOT like Miss Dior, and before I knew it there were so many launches to smell,try and buy. Kate Moss, Christina Aguilera,Kylie…The next thing I knew, the same celebrities would bring out second and third fragrances so the collection grew further. I loved the excitement of each launch and I feel in those days much more of a big deal was made with the advertising of a new scent. Perhaps the market became over saturated…

Another celebrity launch that I loved!
The top says it all!

So I’d call the next phase, 25-28, spending and saving! It’s a good job I don’t mind revealing my age! Well I was at my parents’ house and saving for a deposit. However there’s no denying that this was a time that I also spent money on perfume. If there was something new I’d want to try it and I was queen of the blind buy. One thing that has never changed is that I don’t like paying too much for perfume. I think £25 is the most I feel comfortable spending on a celebrity scent even today and even if it’s a gift my family are buying for me, I’m normally directing them to the cheapest site or shop. In those days I was a fan of eBay and All Beauty. Who doesn’t love a perfume parcel? I loved so many of my new scents but of course I made mistakes along the way. Even worse,sometimes I’d sell or part with a bottle and then go on to regret it! It was a fun time and aswell as my own spending I would ask for perfume as birthday and Christmas presents – probably very tiresome for my family!

The next phase…

So my next phase is an odd one. The perfume passion died down ever so slightly. I had moved into my flat and had some lovely displays of perfume, as Milton demonstrates below, and even rushed in putting up “perfume shelves” in the first week only to find they hindered my furniture options for my bedroom. However a combination of things meant I just didn’t get the usual outlet or enjoyment. I didn’t like shopping in our town centre. I didn’t really like perfume shops because I like to look and think for myself and be in control of the testing, so really new discoveries were limited to holiday purchases or presents which,let’s face it, still saw the collection number rise quite a bit. I’ve always loved Instagram and in 2013 I started a perfume-themed one. It was called “she loves perfume” and I posted a scent a day. The pictures did fairly well but, now this is quite silly, I closed the account when a friend of a friend “discovered” and followed the account. I wouldn’t quite say I was embarrassed, it was more that I couldn’t really pair real life and an online persona as such. Fortunately those feelings were set to change…

Milton showcases the scents!
An ode to Sam…

In 2017 Sam and I met. I once heard it said that if you are quite extreme in your interests or collect something that it can be off putting to potential partners. What rubbish! Sam never made me feel silly for my collection and in fact he loved scents, loved mine and only encouraged me to pursue it as more than an interest when I stopped enjoying my previous work! He really is the best and doesn’t tire of visiting perfume shops. In fact, I actually enjoy what I call “town browses” now that we are together so I feel very lucky indeed.

2018 to now

All The Perfume. One afternoon two years ago Sam and I sat down to discuss how I could take my passion for perfume further. We noted ideas for an Instagram account and blog and after starting “All the Perfume” I tried hard to post pictures of perfumes I owned regularly. As a full time teacher this was not easy and I went days sometimes without opening the application. What did happen though, is that by chatting to people online and reflecting on my collection, I was able to enjoy perfume more than ever and share new scents that I loved. In April 2019 I made the big decision to become self employed (not something I could have done alone) and this gave me so much more freedom to think of and plan regular content. Sam and I plan so many of the ideas together and I love the opportunities that this has brought. I’ve made some lovely fragrance friends, shared my reviews widely and taken this on as a form of my income. I’m so happy I tried again with the online world and the effect this has had on my enjoyment of perfume from how I store it to what I wear and buy. It’s still true to say that I don’t actually buy that many. I’m lucky enough to receive a few for occasions and scents for reviewing and will always disclose those I’ve actually paid for. If you’ve made it to the end, leave me a comment or your own blog and I’d love to say hello!

Very happy!

Love Sarah xx

My Top Ten Favourite Perfumes!

I was interviewed for The Scented Letter last month and in preparation I had to think of my top ten favourite perfumes. I thought that it might be difficult to narrow down my favourites from such a large collection (there are really so many I love) but actually once I started to list them it was surprisingly easy!

My Top Ten Favourite Perfumes
Boudoir by Vivienne Westwood

So this was one of my earliest perfumes…perhaps back in the days when I owned no more than eight?! I discovered it when I was 16 and just loved the powderiness of it and how different it was to anything else I’d smelled. You couldn’t buy it in my home town then so my parents bought it for me from London for my 17th birthday. This is a newer bottle and I’m sure I will always want it in my collection; it’s perfect for winter and I just love the cinnamon note! Last December I took it on our trip to Liverpool because I was happy to associate it with that time of year.

Fantasy by Britney Spears

This.Is.So.Fun! I think most people recognize the smell of this one now…if not from having owned it in the past then on someone they knew who wore it. Cupcake accord…it’s just perfect for me! I always enjoy wearing this and it’s a bit of a complement-collector. There are some people who think it was reformulated after its original release but personally I can’t tell the difference.

Black Opium by YSL

I can thank Instagram for this one! I saw so many posts praising this perfume and when I realised it had a coffee note I knew I had to try it. I loved it instantly! To me Black Opium smells like the perfume section in a department store – this is a good thing! Maybe that’s because it has a classic feel to it, reminding me of perfume shopping years ago.

Rebelle by Rihanna

I love this perfume for going out and evening wear. This beat Reb’l Fleur (Rihanna’s first release) for me because it’s more wearable and once again I like the coffee note. It just smells so beautiful and creamy, as well as being a coconut scent that I don’t find sickly. My bottle has become a little damaged so it might be time for a replacement soon.

Stunning by Katie Price

I once heard Katie Price say in an interview that she based this scent on some of her own favourites. I can only remember one of them – Coco Chanel – but it got me interested and when I tried the perfume I loved it. Stunning is incredibly similar to Miss Dior but in my opinion is a little more wearable. Perhaps it’s because I like to spray perfume liberally and I feel that this is the one that you can do that with. I like the bottle and the pink juice too and I think that’s it’s such a shame that it was discontinued because I really thought it would last the test of time.

Roberto Cavalli by Roberto Cavalli

I got this scent in 2012 and I think it will always remind me of that summer. I wouldn’t say that it’s particularly summery, it’s more of an association for me and it so happens that it smells really good on warm skin! The notes include pink pepper, vanilla and orange blossom.

Covet by Sarah Jessica Parker

This perfume is so…green! It smells fresh…but sharp! The notes include lemon,lavender and chocolate and even that list alone would have encouraged me to buy it. Covet has become a bit of a favourite with perfume lovers and with rumors that it was being discontinued I was among a few people who have stocked up just in case.

Believe by Britney Spears

This is the most amazing fruity fragrance. It’s actually mouth watering! I think the key note for me is the guava, but there’s lots of patchouli too. I’d love it if a flanker came out in this line…I can really imagine the same bottle but with lilac perfume!

Fancy by Jessica Simpson

Thinking about it, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen this one in an actual shop in England. I bought mine online and I’m so glad that recently I’ve found other fragrance fanatics who’ve tried it and loved it. I think this smells like candy floss – which must be something to do with the caramel and vanilla. Other notes include pear, gardenia and amber. This is probably the perfume of mine which has received the most compliments and it’s definitely worth trying if you haven’t already.

212 Sexy by Carolina Herrera

This is the ultimate going-out scent for me, and since I met Sam, also an occasion scent. It has so many great memories and I save it just for evenings or special events now. I want to wear this when we get married but today my friend said that if I got a new perfume for the day it would always remind me of the day itself – so I think that’s now the plan!

Have you tried any of these? What would be in your top ten list of perfumes?

Sarah xx