Helen: A couple of weeks ago, Sheenie and I got a little taste of Christmas come early at an evening hosted by the people behind L’Oreal’s Prestige fragrances range.
The Prestige stable is home to some of the largest fragrance brands in the world (second only to Chanel), and includes Cacharel, Diesel, Armani, Guy Laroche, Martin Margiela, Paloma Picasso, Ralph Lauren and Viktor & Rolf.
We were given the opportunity to get up close and personal with a number of different perfumes and aftershaves, and it certainly served to inspire us in terms of gift ideas, and also have the chance to find out more about the fragrances in question.
After a significant amount of spraying and sniffing, We narrowed our favourites down to the following:
Flowerbomb. The first ever women’s fragrance by cult designers Viktor & Rolf. Described as “representing a heart-felt ideal, it’s an explosive bouquet, a host of sweet floral layers, mingling jasmine, rose, freesia and orchids, underlined with patchouli, which leaves a very chic, swirling trail. Flowerbomb is more than a name, it’s a way of seeing life, “an antidote to the reality against which we have only one weapon: dreams”.
OK so that’s all well and good, but what does it smell like? Well, it’s sweet. It doesn’t hit me with floral as much as it does sugar and vanilla and general sweet sensations. Other bloggers at the event had a very strong reaction to this, some loving it (like me), and others not being so keen (like Sheenie). If musky, woody fragrances are your thing, then this won’t be for you. But if you prefer sweet and fresh scents, then you’ll love Flowerbomb. (RRP £74.50 for 50ml EDP).
And not to forget the boys. Men’s fragrance is such a tricky thing to get right. I know too many chaps (well into their 30s) that still think that a spritz of supermarket deodorant will enhance their general allure and pulling power. Wrong, I’m afraid.
Giorgio Armani Diamonds for Men has been around for a while now. It’s described as the fragrance of “a man, sharp and unique, who conveys an image of a bold and elegant personality with enigmatic presence. He is the definition of masculinity and desire. He is the living image of seduction and sexiness creating the aura of energy and confidence. Unique.
Awesome. Is there any man out there who wouldn’t want to be described as that? Now picture the scene. You’re in Duty Free with your partner, trying to encourage them to try a new aftershave. They only wear one, and its a bottle they have had for years. And years. And they don’t even really like it any more because they only wear it when they go out, and so it reminds them of getting drunk and feeling ill. Just me and my husband? So this year, for Christmas, he will be finding a bottle of Armani Diamonds for Men under the tree. It smells fresh and citrussy without being overpowering. I just hope he likes it…. oh and don’t worry, he doesn’t read the blog. (RRP £43 for 50ml EDT and 75ml shower gel and aftershave balm gift set)
Sheenie: The gift of fragrances will never tire in my opinion. It’s a very personal gesture and a lot of thought and consideration goes into selecting the right scent for a particular person. Well, that’s how I perceive buying perfumes as Christmas presents.
At this special event, I was surprised to see how many fragrances made it into the bestseller category that I already possessed. I was thrilled to see Stella McCartney’s Stella (one of my all time favourites) as well as Armani’s Code for Women.
Torn between Diesel’s Fuel for Life and Armani’s Diamonds for women, eventually I settled for the latter. It’s a fruity scent unique to anything else I own, sculpted with rose, lychee and raspberry. It sounds good enough to drink actually… I’m glad I trusted my instincts on this one because it smells divine. It’s not too strong nor is it too lighty and fluffy. You’ll fall in love with Giorgio Armani’s Diamonds for women. Gorgeous.(RRP £34.50 50ml EDP with 2 x 75ml body lotion gift set).
For the fellas, I really liked Armani Code for men (RRP £45 for 50ml EDT plus 75ml shower gel and 75ml aftershave balm). While the female version is very delicate and sensual, Code for Men is merges the freshness of cologne with bergamot and olive flower while still maintaining a striking scent. This one is going straight to the number one man in my life – my daddy.
Thank you to Handpicked Media and L’Oreal Prestige for hosting this event.