I know Mother's Day is fast approaching for my UK peeps, this Sunday in fact! So I thought this post would be ideal for the kids out there who might be looking to give their mum a new perfume this special day. But perfumes are for any special occasion really, so feel free to be inspired to treat yourself later too :P
Personally my family celebrates the Belgian Mother's Day (yap they're different!) which made sense when my brother and I were kids and were producing those little hand drawn cards from school (a Belgian primary school), but as we've grown older we've had to be on the ball to buy Mother's Day cards when they come out in the UK (to get an English one as opposed to the French/Dutch selection we get here), so as to have one ready in time for our Mother's Day in May (luckily enough it comes after the UK one). Because surprisingly those hand drawn scribbles are no longer acceptable at 24 years of age. :P
So recently as my Dad went to buy a new perfume for my Mum's birthday this January, the sales assistant took pity on him (I'm sure they recognise the bewildered look men often have on their faces as they go gift shopping for perfume!) and loaded him up with lots of perfume samples...more for me...muahahaha (gathers all perfumes in my arms and walks away). No, but really as someone that often chooses perfumes after sniffing them from magazines (yes I'm aware I look insane while doing it!) your sense of smell just disappears after a while if you go directly to a perfume store. And I find samples, whether magazine ones or little spray bottle ones, are best when you want to make an informed decision without overwhelming your senses!
P.S. As with my last perfume post, all the perfume notes come from the much trusted fragrantica.com website. I highly recommend this site if you're at all curious as to what is in your favourite perfumes. :)
Viktor & Rolf - Flowerbomb (Eau de Parfum)
Don't be fooled by the name, this one is definitely on the sugary side of things (which is odd when you look at the notes). I don't know why I've never purchased this one before as it's right up my alley with its sugary vanilla-y smell, albeit with a tiny (and I do mean tiny) tinge of floral-iness after you've had it on for a while. Although I do detect a bit of the green tea note, but only because I'm looking for it (or should I say sniffing for it?), the sharp "freshness" I've come to expect from floral perfumes is certainly not present here! So even though fragrantica does in fact label it as a floral (for which the notes would make sense), I think this would be an ideal perfume for a mum who loves the sugary sweet scents of a gourmand perfume (and might I add; quite strong ones too...not that I would mind. More sugar I say!).
- TOP NOTES: Bergamot and green tea
- MIDDLE NOTES: Sambac jasmine, Centifolia rose, freesia and Cattleya orchid
- BASE NOTES: Musk and patchouli
Lancôme - La Vie Est Belle (Eau de Toilette)
This perfume was quite an odd one, because both my Mum and I loved this one! This is not to say that I don't trust my Mum's tastes; but she likes her florals and I like my fruity sweets (which looking at the base notes, cough...cough, vanilla, people! It's not surprising that I like it). It's very rare, in fact it only happened with this perfume, that we both see ourselves wearing it.
My Mum's two favourite perfumes are Oscar by Oscar de la Renta (the original one that's very hard to find these days) and Trésor by Lancôme, so really it shouldn't be surprising that Lancôme has produced another one of her favourites. But when my Mum, my Dad and I went perfume shopping for a new perfume for my Mum's birthday (January last year) I smelled this one first, liked it, and immediately thought; nope Mum's not going to like this one (usually this is a pretty accurate assumption). But she smelled it and loved it too, and it was bought! Now I know Julia Roberts is the face of this perfume's campaign, but I'm sad to say that a free Richard Gere did not come with it! Although I'm sure if that were the case, this perfume would be sold out faster than you can say "Pretty Woman"!
- TOP NOTES: Blackcurrant and pear
- MIDDLE NOTES: Iris, orange blossom and jasmine
- BASE NOTES: Tonka bean, praline, patchouli and vanilla
Christian Dior - J'adore (Eau de Parfum)
I think we can all recall at least one of the Dior ads for this perfume; involving a gold mermaid dress mimicking the shape of the bottle. But I've got to admit, till this sample I had never actually smelt it before...(but I do want that dress, "nul points" for effective marketing Dior!) :P Definitely on the more floral side of things, I don't hate it! Actually at first I thought I smelt lily-of-the-valley (that very soft powdery floral scent) but in fact I think it's magnolia (although I couldn't find a magnolia note in my search), and funnily enough this one reminds me the most of my Mum (even though she doesn't own it) because she loves the magnolia deodorant from M&S and the more I smell it the more I think I need to get her to smell it too (but whether she wants to have her deodorant smell as a perfume is yet to be determined). A reviewer described this perfume as having an old-world feminine element to it, which I think suits it perfectly! A soft powdery floral which you have a nostalgic inkling you've smelt before, this one definitely ticks all the right boxes for a "mum perfume" if ever I smelt it. :P
- TOP NOTES: Fresh mandarin and ylang-ylang
- MIDDLE NOTES: Jasmine, plum, orchid and rose
- BASE NOTES: Amaranth, musk and blackberry
Chanel - Coco Mademoiselle (Eau de Parfum)
This one is a very citrus-y fresh perfume, it has that just come out of the shower after using a great shower gel feel to it. The problem with citrus scents is that they can very quickly smell like cleaning products, now whereas I can still detect the "perfuminess" of this smell, I wouldn't be surprised if someone stopped me in the street to ask me what I had been cleaning that day. However once the citrus-y top notes make way for the more floral middle notes (they kick in quite quickly), there is no doubting this perfume, it's a lovely fresh and sweet floral, and if your mum likes florals then have her smell this one (just give it a minute to settle a bit first).
- TOP NOTES: Orange, mandarin orange, orange blossom and bergamot
- MIDDLE NOTES: Mimosa, jasmine, turkish rose and ylang-ylang
- BASE NOTES: Tonka bean, patchouli, opoponax, vanilla, vetiver and white musk
Cartier - La Panthère (Eau de Parfum)
This is described as a chypre perfume; a perfume composed from citrus top notes, middle notes based on cistus labdanum and base notes of mossy-animalic substance (i.e. oak moss and musk) - you learn something new every day! This perfume is another lovely surprise and very much one I can see mums wearing. It smells like a "powdery" but gorgeous soap you would get in a very expensive/exclusive hotel (you know the one; with mini hand towels you put in a basket when you've finished washing your hands). Definitely the most unique and yet classic perfume of the bunch (it has a modern twist I can't quite describe), I really like this one too, which is not that surprising with all the fruity top notes (it's still quite floral thanks to the gardenia). Undeniably one I can see myself wearing along with Dior's J'adore when I'm a little bit older and "wiser" and I've retired all my sugary sweet vanilla-y scents (shock horror...I know!). I'm putting this one in the "Mum must sniff" pile too!
- TOP NOTES: Rhubarb, strawberries, dried fruit, apple and apricot
- MIDDLE NOTES: Gardenia
- BASE NOTES: Ketone musk and oak moss
Guerlain - Shalimar (Souffle de Parfum)
Now starting on the more masculine looking samples (they are definitely all labelled for women despite appearances). The original Shalimar is known to be the go-to perfume if you like vanilla scents, I mean there is a reason it's one of the best selling perfumes ever. Personally, I find the vanilla smell too synthetic. But this new "souffle" version really softens the much stronger smell of the original. It has a more floral and fresh hue that gives it the perfect touch of femininity, ideal for the sweet floral loving mums out there.
- TOP NOTES: Lemon, bergamot and mandarin
- MIDDLE NOTES: Sambac jasmine and orange blossom water
- BASE NOTES: Vanilla from Tahiti and India and white musk
Sisley- Eau Du Soir (Eau de Parfum)
The most masculine smelling one of the bunch (I had to double check that it was indeed for women) "an ode to femininity" I don't think so (despite the female bust as the bottle's lid), this smells too much like a man's cologne or aftershave to me, certainly at first spray. It does soften and have a more floral element to it once you get past that first whiff, but it's undoubtedly what I would call a "characterful/strong" perfume. I think this one could pull off the unisex label no problem! Clearly for the powerful mums/women out there (can a perfume be a no-nonsense perfume? Because this one would be it).
- TOP NOTES: Mandarin orange, grapefruit, spruce and carnation
- MIDDLE NOTES: Seringo, jasmine, rose and lily-of-the-valley
- BASE NOTES: Musk, amber and patchouli
Boucheron - Boucheron for Women (Eau de Parfum)
This one (also for women) is a more masculine version of Oscar de la Renta's Oscar, or Lancôme's Trésor, without my Mum's perfume on hand I can't remember which one (will correct when I can double check). This perfume reminds me an awful lot of the boxes of "masculine" soap my Mum used to get my Dad for Christmas from Roger & Gallet. Again like Sisley's Eau du Soir, it is nice (it does remind me of soap after all) but it's definitely also in the "strong" perfumes category. In fact the original Boucheron is a male perfume (which makes sense when you know that Boucheron is close to the French word "bûcheron" which means lumberjack); this one is its female counterpart. Now the notes for this perfume were quite hard to find as there are apparently three Boucheron pour femme (two of which were limited editions from years ago and the third is in a different bottle on fragrantica). I would say that even though some of the notes are different, the female version doesn't smell much more feminine than how I would imagine the male version to smell like, so if your mum likes more unisex perfumes then this is the one for her.
- TOP NOTES: Basil and pelargonium
- MIDDLE NOTES: Jasmine, ylang-ylang, tuberose, daffodil and orange blossom from Morocco
- BASE NOTES: Civet, benzoin, woody notes, Tonka bean, Indian vanilla, oakmoss, ambergris and musk
So there you have it, all the samples I have acquired as of late, I think the stand out ones were definitely Lancôme's La Vie Est Belle (as my Mum already owns this one, I'm pretty sure it would be a success with yours), Dior's J'adore and Cartier's La Panthère. That's it! Hope you enjoyed this post, and that it proved useful! Now I'm off to sniff some coffee beans to clear my palate because I can't feel my nose...I don't know how parfumiers do it!
What is your all time favourite perfume?
What is the funniest Mother's Day card you've ever found? Funny cards are my personal favourites! :P
As a kid, what was your best piece of macaroni jewellery ever made for your mum? We've all been there! :P