Category Archives:Perfume

saphir-all
Mar. 17.

Tried Tuesday: Fragrance by Saphir Perfume

tt-saphir-thI do love a good sniff around perfumes. There are so many different combinations that can be created, and they can evoke so many different feelings and emotions. One thing that always gets to me though is the price. You see a lovely looking bottle of something that smells good, only to then see the price tag. It becomes a case of putting the bottle down carefully and backing away. It doesn’t have to be like that though. What if you could have the designer scent, without the designer price tag that goes with it? That’s where Spanish company Saphir Perfume comes in.

saphir-all

New to Ireland, Saphir have been recreating designer perfumes in Spain for over 50 years. Using almost the exact ingredients of the designer perfumes, they pare back the bells and whistles, and therefore you save. The range is quite extensive too, with 48 scents for ladies, and a further 28 for gents. I was lucky enough to be sent four, three perfumes and an aftershave to try out, and my nose has been working overtime since then.

Ladies:

saphir-ladies

The 48 ladies scents cover a huge range of designers and fragrances, including Chanel, Armani, DKNY, Dior & Calvin Klein (to name a few). You are sure to find something lovely to wear out of the range, if you take the time to work through them all. The three perfumes I have are:

  • Black Femme, based on Armani Code
  • Rich Woman, based on Lady Million by Paco Rabanne
  • Vida de Saphir, based on La Vie Est Belle by Lancome

As you can see, all three have something in common – the bottle. The bottles are all the same. Same shape, size, design, lid and so on. There are no huge stocks of different bottles to buy in. It’s all the same, and it reduces the price. It helps too, that I actually like the design of the bottles. They are small, decorative without being overly so, and ideal for putting into a handbag. I’m not entirely convinced by the design of the lid, which looks a little tacky to me, but it fits well with the design.

The important thing though, as always with perfume, is what is inside the bottle. If it isn’t right, the rest is irrelevant. So, let’s get sniffing.

Black Femme:

saphir-blackfemme

Based on Armani Code, I am impressed with the depth of this perfume. It is rich, mysterious, and I think is a good choice for a night out. Being based on orange blossom, ginger and honey-sandalwood, I love the pleasant sweetness, mixed with the deeper spicy notes.

Rich Woman:

saphir-richwoman

Based on Paco Rabanne’s Lady Million, I am not at all sure about this one. The notes I am reading online say that this is a blend of citrus, floral, and deepening with amber. I love citrus fragrances for day time, but, I find this to be sweet. A little too sweet. Nearly tropical. I likened it more to pineapple, which starts off with a burst of freshness, but sweetens very quickly. I haven’t actually worn this one yet, only done the cotton ball test on it, so I will reserve judgement for now. It does show the personal connection to perfumes though. What I don’t like could be someone’s favourite.

Vida de Saphir:

saphir-vida

Based on La Vie Est Belle by Lancome, this could quickly become a challenger for the spot of my go to daytime perfume. The notes describe this as being sweet and fruity, with top notes of blackcurrant and pear, surrounding a heart that if floral and anchored by iris. The base is nutty and spicy, with tonka bean, praline and vanilla. This is the only one I have worn, and while the notes describe it as sweet, I adore how the floral heart tempers the sweet fruit notes. It evokes a summer stroll through a park for me. It will compete with my current favourite, Boss Orange, depending on whether I want something really fresh, or a bit more rounded. I am, though, really impressed with this.

Gents:

saphir-armoniablack

The 28 scents included in the gents collection also are based on top designers, and likewise are offered at a great price. The one I have from the gents collection is called Armonia Black, and is based on Armani Code for Men.

Described as having a citrus top note of lemon and bergamot, with spicy star anise, olive blossom and guaiac wood inn the middle, and base notes of tonka bean, tobacco and leather, my sniffing of this one led me to one conclusion. This is a really deep and seductive fragrance. It hits with a quick burst of freshness, before grabbing you and dragging you down into its depths. Really nicely done. I also gave my brother a chance to smell this one. He said it was lovely, but couldn’t explain why!

There is most definitely something for everyone from Saphir Perfume. If you are not sure what you like and want to try out a number of perfumes, or just want a great value perfume for day to day, you will not be able to go far wrong. I’ve held off on what constitutes great value for most of this post. Now though, I will tell you that for a 25/30 ml bottle, you are looking at spending €7.99. That’s all!

If this has piqued your interest, and you want to have a sniff for yourself, you can buy online at saphirperfume.com or find a list of stockists here.

Robyn

Product was provided for review

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Madame Glamour Box
Nov. 27.

Tested Thursday: Suddenly Madame Glamour & Suddenly Woman I from Lidl

tt-suddenly-thLidl isn’t the most likely place to think of when it comes to perfume shopping, and well, you’d be right in not thinking of them. But, remember, they sell all manner of weird and wonderful things on their special offers each week, so it stands to reason that perfume would come up once every so often. I have myself, previously bought and reviewed one of their perfumes. So the subject of Tested Thursday today is to have a sniff of two more from their “Suddenly” range, in the form of Madame Glamour and Woman I.

It appears Lidl are concentrating on doing a pocket friendly alternative to well known perfumes. The previous subject of a Tested Thursday, Suddenly Diamonds, on a side by side sniff test, was found to be an almost exact dupe for Boss Orange. The main difference between them was €30+ euro. From my research I am led to believe Madame Glamour and Woman I are dupes of two Chanel fragrances. in the form of Coco Mademoiselle (Madame Glamour) and Chanel No. 5 (Woman I). Unfortunately my budget doesn’t stretch to Chanel (yet), so I am unable to offer a side by side comparison, but there is a simple test I can do. If it smells like a cheap perfume, it fails. So, if I start talking about notes of petrol, white spirit and cow pat, it’s not a good sign.

Madame Glamour

Madame Glamour Box

Madame Glamour has been doing the rounds for a while now, and tends to sell very quickly when it does randomly appear. However, it and I haven’t always gotten along. When I first smelled it, alongside Suddenly Diamonds last year, I thought it smelled quite a bit “older” than the more fruity Diamonds. I hadn’t consciously put the link in place between Diamonds and Boss Orange, though subconsciously Diamonds smelled familiar. Put in front of me on its own though, and Madame Glamour comes into its own, as it is not competing for my pennies. I immediately classed this as a floral scent, light, quite a daytime smell. It smells like a stroll through a warm flower garden, enjoying the breeze. I could see this as a day to day perfume, when you don’t want to use something more intense, or upmarket. It’s a perfume to use when you are just going about, doing your thing.

Madame Glamour Bottle

The one thing that really lets me down with this perfume, is the container. I know, when you pay less than €4 you’re not to expect much, The bottle itself is elegant, without being anything special, with minimal amounts of writing on it. As your eye is drawn up along its curves though, you reach a plastic, gold coloured ring, and a lid that looks as if it was borrowed off a radiator valve. This is a bottle to quickly pull out of your bag, use, and hide it away again before anyone notices.

Woman I

This one is a deeper, richer, more opulent number than Madame Glamour. It is more sensuous and would be great for an evening perfume, or something for going out, or when you just want to feel decadent. I do believe there is an Irish Beauty Blogger who may be trying to fill a bathtub with this exact scent, judging by how many she bought when I put word out that it was available again. I will not name names, but she is a bit of a Makeup Addict, and that kind of endorsement of a scent is good enough for me.

Woman I box

I am also impressed by its lasting power. I haven’t had a chance to give it a full wear test yet, but I sprayed a couple of spritzes onto a cotton ball on Monday, and have been sniffing it periodically, and it is still there. It is not as intense as it was on Monday, but that is possibly a good thing, as it did smell slightly synthetic on first sniff. This did dissipate really quickly however, leaving just deep pleasantness behind.

woman I bottle

Again, the bottle isn’t brilliant, but I think it is nicer than Madame Glamour, with a more square profile looking at the bottle straight on, and a curved shape looking at it top down. The plastic lid is a little bit of an annoyance once again, but it is not too bad.

Overall

There are some out there who would never go near a budget perfume, and I respect that. I must also respect that the perfumes, when they do appear, tend to sell out quite quickly. And while they wouldn’t have been my first choice, now that I have them, and have been working with them, they are growing on me. And at €3.99 a bottle, could you ask for much more?

Robyn

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jommalone-logo
Aug. 28.

Tested Thursday: Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne

jomalone-thI am slowly growing a collection of perfumes, having 5 now. Most I would think of as being light, fresh, and well, daytime scents. There is one though, that I would usually consider as a night time perfume. The perfume in question is Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne.

jomalone-bottle

As always we start with the first thing that is seen, the packaging. Let’s be honest. This packaging is simplicity itself. It is a box that any of their small bottles can fit into. But it is not a throwaway box. It actually looks elegant. I am happy to put the bottle back into the box after each use, because while simple, the packaging looks good and feels good and makes me want to see it on my dressing table.

The same can be said for the bottle. Normally I would say that a simple square bottle would look kind of boring and not one that you want to have on display, but by making it part of the Jo Malone signature look, and by keeping things simple and elegant, it becomes something that I want to be able to show off.

jomalone-label

But anyway, enough talking about how it looks. Let’s get down to the most important bit, which is how it smells. When I first got a whiff of this perfume the words that came into my head were deep, heady and sensuous. It smells, well, glamourous. I can definitely get the fruitiness of the pomegranate in there, but unlike my daytime fruity perfume (Boss Orange is my go to) the addition of deep woody scents too gives this a richness and a depth that I could get lost in forever. I definitely feel more glamourous when I am wearing it, no matter what else I am wearing.

The Jo Malone website gives quite a similar description of Pomegranate Noir, describing it as:

The sensuality of a daring red dress. Ruby-rich juices of pomegranate, raspberry and plum are spiked with pink pepper and laced with Casablanca lily and spicy woods. Dark and enigmatic.

I actually did write my description of it before reading theirs, but I am glad that we are in agreement about it. Now, the only thing that I am in need of is enough to fill a bathtub, then I will be a very happy Robyn. Or I will have to get the Pomegranate Noir Bath Oil. Hmmm… Temptations!

What do you think of Pomegranate Noir? What other Jo Malone fragrances do you recommend?

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir is available in Brown Thomas for €50 (30ml) or €102 (100ml)

Robyn

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celinedion-box
Jun. 13.

Tested Thursday: Celine Dion All For Love Perfume

celinedion-thApologies for this belated Tested Thursday post. I was meant to write it last night, and sat down at my desk to do just that, and instead promptly fell asleep. So, for Tested Thursday on Friday, I’m looking at a celebrity perfume, in this case Celine Dion All For Love perfume, which is made by COTY.

celinedion-box

The first thing you see, as always is the packaging. In this case we have a taupe and cream circular pattern box, with a huge Celine Dion signature in the centre, leaving us in no doubt of who is endorsing this. This whole celebrity endorsement thing continues on the back of the box with a photo of the lady herself, with another signature. The name of the perfume, “All For Love” that it’s an EDT, and the size all take a back seat to it being one of Celine Dion’s perfumes.

celinedion-bottle

Opening the box we get to the bottle, which I’ll honestly say is nothing much to write home about. It’s a fairly simple rectangular bottle, with yet another signature, and an embossed, flowing female form on the reverse. We also have a gold accented top and a circular lid. It was all going well until we got to this point. I could live with the signature, but it would be better off without it, yet the top and lid are plastic, and both look & feel cheap. They really let the whole thing down, and that is very unfortunate.

As for the actual perfume, things do get better. It’s listed as having the following notes:

Top notes: Freesia, Mandarin, Green Notes
Heart: Rose, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Cedar
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Veltivier, Musk

Having been sniffing a cotton ball that was sprayed with the perfume some 20 hours ago, I initially got a slightly sweet smell, yet not overly so, while now it has mellowed into a rich, more warming scent, that I’m actually really liking. It’s rich enough to do for evening and night, without being so rich as to take it out of daytime use. It is quite a good all rounder.

Overall, this is really nice for a celebrity perfume, or at least the perfume itself is. I just couldn’t see myself taking this bottle out of my handbag to reapply during the day, as it just looks far too cheap. Use it in the morning before I go out, yes, but I’d be more inclined to bring a different perfume with me.

Celine Dion All For Love perfume has a RRP of €17.95

Have you tried this perfume, and what do you think of it? What celebrity perfumes do you like? Please do let me know.

Robyn

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tt-suddenlybox
Apr. 17.

Tested Thursday: Suddenly Diamonds by Lidl

tt-suddenlythThis is going to be a bit of an experience for me, as it’s my first time talking about perfume. As a result, I’m going to ask you to read this in my confident voice, as sounding confident when you don’t really know what you’re talking about is half the battle. The perfume I’m going to be talking about comes from an unlikely source of actually pretty good products… Lidl. And the perfume in question is called Suddenly Diamonds.

I had heard many good things about Suddenly Madame Glamour, the other perfume in the range, as being a close match, if not exact, for Coco Mademoiselle, and was fortunate enough to find both recently in Lidl at the top of Moore St in town (where I had actually gone in to buy chocolate). I’ll be honest in saying I wasn’t enamoured by Madame Glamour. It smelled a bit old to my untrained nose. Suddenly Diamonds, on the other hand, was a much better prospect. It was fruity, sweet without being sickly, and reminded me of another scent, whose name eluded me at the time. At just €3.99 I decided it would be wrong to not take a chance with it, and it landed in my basket.

After a bit of googling, I learned that Suddenly Diamonds is considered a dupe for the (much more) high end Boss Orange, by Hugo Boss. In a case of things working out very fortunately, I am a fan of Boss Orange Sunset (which I unfortunately lost along with a handbag and laptop a couple of years ago – don’t ask) and my staple daytime perfume is in fact, Boss Orange! That means I have both perfumes on hand to have a nose of together. Go accidental genius me!

tt-suddenlyboxFirstly the packaging. The boxes are different enough to be separate products, but so close as to make no difference. A white box, with silver edging and orange writing. The Boss Orange does look a bit more high end, both in box and bottle, by virtue of the embossing of the box, and bottle design, but for €3.99 I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece bottle. It is effective, plain, square(ish) and solid.

Now for the actual inside bit. The perfume itself. I’m sat here inhaling cotton balls (yes, a strange image – no photo will be supplied) which have had 2 pumps from the respective bottles applied. The slight difference in products here is that Boss Orange is billed as an Eau de Toilette, while Suddenly Diamonds is billed as an Eau de Parfum, which should be stronger, and last a little longer. I don’t find this to be the case, the Suddenly Diamonds EdP has a similar longevity to the Boss Orange EdT. In terms of scent, I am getting virtually identical scents and sensations from each one. In fact, being completely honest, now that I have mixed up the cotton balls, I can’t tell which is which. What I am getting from both is a bit of citrus, sweetness and a vague hint of something more deep and rich. From looking at the ingredients on the box, and without being able to translate chemicals exactly, a lot of the actual scent ingredients are the same, albeit in different orders.

tt-suddenlybottleI actually can’t fault Suddenly Diamonds. Okay, it’s not going to win many prizes for style, but it is bigger than, cheaper than, and almost an exact match as makes no difference for Boss Orange. If it is still available in Lidl, and that’s a big IF, for €3.99, go forth now and snap up a bottle.

Robyn

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