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Something exciting has opened its doors in the heart of London’s Covent Garden. The first of its kind, Clinique has launched a standalone pop-up store that takes the customer on a digital and interactive journey of their skin and how to #StartBetter with their skincare.

Situated on 4 East Piazza (on the same side as the Royal Opera House), the Great Skin Lab is flooded with bright lights and is, I imagine, what Clinique would like heaven to look like.

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It has been designed to hero Clinique’s latest skincare innovation, Clinique’s Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush but also sells the brand’s hero products for skincare including the 3-Step Cleansing System and the reformulated Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+.

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Being in its own enclosed space, this is a great opportunity to approach the brand without the intimidation and overwhelming fear brought on in a large department shop floor. When you walk in, you won’t be pounced on by a sales assistant. Instead you are encouraged to walk and look around and get up close and personal with the interactive screens and tablets dotted about at various stations and discover your skin type.

There is one particular feature which reads your face and can put together an image of what you will look like in 15-20 years time. It uses the same technology as the police do for photo-fits actually.

Of course help is at hand from Clinique consultants if you would like to try something like the Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush on your face – yes, on your face! – so you can decide whether or not it’s an investment you wish to make.  At £79 it’s a very fair offer to allow customers to try the device on themselves.

Also for every personalised skin consultation, customers will receive a generous complimentary sample of their custom-fit moisturiser.

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Whether you’re a loyal customer or a Clinique virgin, the Great Skin Lab has something for everyone. Hopefully it will get more people taking better care of their skin.

Clinique’s Great Skin Lab is open for a limited time only (I’m told till Christmas) so hot foot it down to Covent Garden if your curiosity is getting the better of you.

Clinique’s Great Skin Lab is at 4 East Piazza, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8HD.

posted by on Clinique, Fragrances, L'Occitane, Perfume, Yardley

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It’s fragrance central at Just Nice Things with a string of new spring scents to update your wardrobe of perfumery.

First up is Jade, the latest from Yardley. A modern twist to the influence of the swinging sixties, Jade is fresh like Yardley’s Royal English Daisy but with bit of a bite to it.

When I read the description of Jade, I knew I would like it. The fragrance is a crisp, zesty scent that sits on the skin delicately. Top notes are peach, bergamot and galbanum with heart notes of rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang and orris and base notes of patchouli, sandalwood and moss.

The bottle itself is contemporary and a stark contrast to the usual packaging Yardley is recognised for and an obvious indication that Yardley wants to attract a new and younger audience. It bears a striking resemblance to Chanel’s Chance actually, which might be the obvious give-away.

While Yardley has made a conscious effort to break away from its established traditions, one thing it hasn’t compromised over is its price which remains sincerely reasonable at £19.99 for 50ml. Available on Yardley’s website as well as Boots and other stockists.


Alien Eau Extraordinaire is Thierry Mugler’s angelic sister to the original Alien. And it’s nothing like the dark, broodiness of the original. Except for the identical looking bottle.

Eau Extraordinaire is a mix of bergamot, tea and neroli, tiare flower and white amber that makes this a light and sweet floral fragrance.

I have the original and much prefer Alien to the new one, which is dainty rather than daring and distinctive. Thierry Mugler has the Marmite effect – you either love or hate his scents (*cough* Angel). Alien Eau Extraordinaire dangles its legs over the fence in a playful way.

Eau Extraordinaire is £50 for 60ml and is available in Boots and Debenhams.


Ghost’s iconic crescent moon shaped bottle makes a return with a difference in the form of the summery Eclipse. I wasn’t at all keen on Deep Night and found it too sickly but Eclipse sways to my senses. It’s fresh, feminine and flirty with top fruity notes of sweet bergamot, lemon, mandarin, apple, marigold, blackcurrant and peach. Heart notes are freesia, lotus flower and rose with base notes touching on amber and musk. This sounds like a recipe for a very sweet scent but it’s not. A total surprise.

Eclipse will be available exclusively at Superdrug and The Perfume Shop from 7th May and available nationwide from 1st July at Boots, Debenhams and The Fragrance Shop, with a 30ml bottle for £25, 50ml for £34 and 75ml for £46.50.


L’Occitane’s Néroli & Orchidée Eau de Toilette is another fragrance perfect for the spring and summer seasons. It is a lend of radiant neroli essence from the Mediterranean with white orchid absolute from Madagascar. With bursts of orange and heart note of peach, it’s a sensual floral scent that sits lightly on the skin. As it’s an Eau de Toilette, its intensity and longevity will be boosted with layered its matching perfumed Body Milk.

L’Occitane’s Néroli & Orchidée Eau de Toilette costs £49 for 75ml and is available from L’Occitane’s shops and counters.


Finally there’s Clinique’s Calyx. I am not familiar with the original scent when it was introduced in 1986 though it makes no difference as Calyx smells so fresh and modern.

Out of all these fragrances, it’s definitely the most distinctive one. It’s a very energising and bold scent so beware. Top notes are grapefruit, mango, passion fruit, papaya, mandarin, guava and green leaf with middle notes of freesia, muguet, rose, neroli, jasmine, lily and marigold. Bottom notes are oakmoss, orris, sandalwood and vetiver. You can certainly smell the grapefruit in this one and although it sounds like a fruit cocktail, Calyx is a very sharp, crisp and citrusy scent.

Calyx is available in 50ml and 100ml bottles, priced at £46 and £66 respectively.

*PR samples