Summertime Scents

Pink Elephant Blog Summer Fragrance ReviewIn the words of Mundy, Oh my my July…  you’re not exactly working out as planned this year! It’s hard to get into summer mode with an umbrella constantly on hand and one evening last night I’m ashamed to say I actually put on the heating. Admittedly I am the coldest person in the history of all time, but still - heating on in July is bad even for me. That said it’s not a ride off just yet, I maintain the eternal summer optimist and have high hopes that clear blue skies are just around the corner. I’ve also spent the morning googling flights to warmer climates by way of insurance…

And so in the spirit of midsummer optimism let’s talk summer scents. I’ve really got into changing up perfumes along with the seasons over the past few years. Scent is a very individual and funny thing, your olfactory system (sense of smell) is actually the sense most likely to trigger emotions and memories. To this day a blast of Tommy Girl takes me right back to junior cert exam stress and teenybopper discos, synthetic watermelon scent brings me back even further to scented markers I was a little obsessed with in first class, and cinnamon equals mulled wine which can only mean Christmas, simple as that.

Pink Elephant Blog Vera Wang Princess

I generally lean more toward heavy winter scents, having an ongoing borderline obsession Viktor Rolf Flowerbomb Extreme and a recent fixation with Jo Malone Incense & Cedrat to carry me through the colder months. But for now, dodgy weather forecast aside, it’s the right time of year to lighten things up a little. I’ve three go-to summertime scents, which when combined with the right Tropical House Spotify playlist will have you feeling all summery in no time at all!

Firstly up is a scent I first discovered almost ten years ago (eek!) in Hawaii, Vera Wang Princess. We were lucky enough to be spending three weeks on the island of Oahu and this scent takes me right back in a heartbeat. It’s a really soft and delicate scent,  sweet and oriental with notes of waterlilly and Tahitian flower layered over base notes of vanilla and royal musk. Every time I finish a bottle I decide that’s it, that I’ve grown out of this one now… and then every time I pass a duty free I somehow end up restocking! Vera Wang Princess is available from larger Boots store nationwide, usually priced €76.00 for the larger bottle but currently on offer for €41.99 (bargain!).

Pink Elephant Blog Review Jo Malone

Then there’s my bridal fragrance which holds the sweetest memories for me and is something I’d highly recommend every bride to be to put a little thought into. I was lucky enough to be treated to a surprise pre-wedding fragrance consultation with Jo Malone (care of my maid of honour Alex!) where we played with layering scents and choosing a combination that  represented the style and feel of my big day.

I decided on Blackberry & Bay, an intoxicating combination of sweet & fruity blackberry, spice of bay and deep base note of cedarwood. Its feminine and summery and created the most beautiful layered scent when combined with the amber & patchouli notes of English Pear and Fresia Body Creme. Only on my wedding day would I put this level of thought into fragrance, but it’s actually such a lovely special bridal treat that will take you right back to your big day for many years to come. Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay is available from Jo Malone counters at larger Brown Thomas and BT2 stores, priced €52.00 - €105.00 (30ml - 100ml).

Pink Elephant Blog Review L'Occitane

Finally my most recent summer scent discovery comes care of the French fragrance guru’s at L’Occitane. Violette & Rose de Mai Eau de Toilette is a new summer scent from L’Occitane, and the latest addition to their Le Collection de Grasse - fragrances inspired by the perfume region in the South of France.

Violette & Rose de Mai beautifully combines violet and may rose floral notes with musk and sandalwood base notes. This is my new everyday go-to fragrance, it’s perfectly balanced but still maintains that  feminine quality and lightness for this time of year. A seasonal fixture in my handbag for the next few months! Violette & Rose de Mai Eau de Toilette is priced €62.00, available from L’Occitane stores nationwide. What's you go to summer scent for this time of year?

Becky Signature

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Christmas Picks: Scents from L'Occitane

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Christmas Picks: L'Occitane

If anyone deserves a special mention for their Christmas campaign this year it definitely is L'Occitane! Again, they have knocked the ball out of the park with not only the unbelievably beautiful packaging but also great products. 

When it comes to L’Occitane you can be sure that the scent combinations are going to be something special. This year’s Chrsistmas offerings have been created by Olivier Baussan, founder of L’Occitane and Pierre Hermé, pastry chef and true inventor of unique flavours. In this festive collection we have two truly unique and interesting scents: Jasmine, Immortelle & Neroli and Grapefruit & Rhubarb (my fave).

One of the things I love about Christmas gifts from L’Occitane is that they are actually not that heavily Christmas-scented, which makes total sense! Usually by the time December is over I’ve had enough of all the flavours of Christmas and am happy to move on to something fresh & new.

Christmas Picks: L'Occitane

First up we have, for me at least, the star of the show the Grapefruit & Rhubarb fragrance. I’m not usually a huge fan of fresh and citrusy scents but this one has captured me. It is so interesting and complex with the rhubarb really coming through. It’s definitely one to try!

Christmas Picks: L'Occitane

The Jasmine, Immortelle & Neroli fragrance is also beautiful but definitely more on the sweeter and floral side, a very feminine scent.

In the collection you have an Eau de Toilette (€56), Shower Gel (€17,50), Body Lotion (€24,50), Soap (€4,50), Hand Cream (€10.50) & Lip Balm (€10).

Christmas Picks: L'Occitane

The beautiful packaging deserves a special mention, for sure! It is inspired by the gorgeous macaroon packaging from the patisseries of France, the boxes the eau de toilette come in are just divine! No wrapping needed here!

If you are looking for Christmas presents for any ladies in your life make sure you stop at L’Occitane and have a sniff of the limited edition Christmas range!

Alex Signature

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Scents of Spring: L'Occitane Spring Cherry Blossom l’Eau

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Loccitane CHERRY BLOSSOM L’EAU

Thank heavens spring has finally started to show it's beautiful face! We are so over winter and totally ready to break out all our spring goodies! As cherry blossoms have started popping up outdoors we are very excited to also change our heavy and rich winter scents to something lighter and fresher. The recent L'Occitane launch - Cherry Blossom l’Eau has very quickly become a firm favourite that we will be wearing this spring!

The only way I can describe this scent is delicious... It's not a scent I would normally go for but for some reason I just cannot get enough! It's fresh and fruity but not in a sickly way - it really brings sunny spring days to mind and makes me feel better, especially on days when the sun is hiding behind the clouds. The top notes of this fragrance are lemon, blackcurrant and watermelon, the heart notes are cherry blossom, violet and rose and all of this is made slightly more grown up and sophisticated with base notes that nestle into a subtle musky woody trail.

If you are in the market for a new spring fragrance make sure you swing by a L'Occitane boutique and give the collection a sniff!

Spring Cherry Eau de Toilette 50ml* - €41 Spring Cherry Shower Milk 250ml* - €17.50

Do you have a favourite spring scent?

Alex Signature.011

*PR Sample

 

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New In: L'Occitane Aromachology

L'Occitane AromachologyThis must be one of my favourite launches (if not THE favourite) when it comes to aromatherapy / bodycare this year! The packaging just screams vintage apothecary chic and what's inside is even better! The new line from L'Occitane is all about expertly blended essential oils designed to help you de-stress, unwind and... smell amazing!.

There are two groups of products in this range: the Relaxing Line and the Revitalizing Line. For someone who has trouble getting to sleep, like myself, the bedtime and bathtime rituals are a godsend! I particularly love the Relaxing Pillow Mist (€20) that I have been spraying every single night since I got it! The combination of Lavender, Sweet Orange, Rosemary and Bergamot oils is heavenly and truly does help me relax. The same goes for the Relaxing Massage Body Oil (€16.50) - it smells fantastic and feels gorgeous on the skin. If you love your pamper time and relaxing products this range is for you!

L'Occitane Aromachology

The next product I tried was from the Revitalizing Line and it was the fresh, citrus-scented Revitalizing Body Scrub (€27). It's a delicious concoction of sugar crystals, lemon zest and essential oils like lemon, rosemary, grapefruit, mint and orange. I kid you not, this stuff smells good enough to eat and I will admit that I was tempted to give it a go! I am not sure about the culinary value of the product (haven't quite braved it..) but I can vouch for the cosmetic one - the product is beautiful and leaves my skin feeling luscious and fresh. The scents are truly uplifting and perfect for an early morning shower!

I cannot rave enough about this beautiful range! Even if only for the amazing, retro packaging you must go into your nearby L'Occitane Boutique! And while you're there give everything a sniff, you will not regret it! The range launches in L'Occtitane Boutiques in August 2014.

I cannot wait to pick up the rest of the range, I have my eye on the bath salts and the revitalizing roll-on, which will come in handy as a pick-me-up during those long busy days I spend in the city.

Are you a fan of aromatherapy? If so, let me know your star product, I'd love to hear your recommendations!

A. x

Roger & Gallet Fleur de Figuier Ultra Nourishing Oil

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Roger & Gallet Fleur de Figuier Body Oil

A brand new and exciting launch from Roger & Gallet has arrived at the Pink Elephant Blog HQ recently and I cannot tell you how excited I was when I saw it! I am a known fig scent addict and if I see anything fig-scented I just have to have it. There is something addictive about this scent, it’s fruity in a grown up way and earthy at the same time. It is the perfect summer scent, it smells very natural, just as if you bit into a fresh, ripe fig! And the fact that it comes in a beautiful dry oil formula makes the Fleur de Figuier Ultra Nourhsing Oil* all the more fabulous!

The oil has a wonderful velvety texture and contains some fantastic ingredients - vitamins A, E, F and K help to soften and hydrate the skin, as well as six rich fruit oils, for maximum nourishment:

Nourishing grape seed oil, with emollient and free radical properties thanks to its omega 6, vitamin E. Pomegranate seed oil, recognised for its soothing properties thanks to its punicic acid (omega 5), a rare fatty acid known for its anti-inflammatory action. Sweet almond oil, helps to prevent dehydration by forming a soft, protective and soothing film on the skin’s surface. Blackcurrant seed oil, with omegas 3 & 6 and vitamin E, is recognised for its ability to bring suppleness and elasticity to the epidermis. Olive oil, rich in oleic acid (omega 9) and vitamins A, B, C, E and K. Avocado oil, recognised for its regenerating and soothing powers, nourishes the skin and helps to keep it moisturised.

This dry oil is suitable even for sensitive skin and can also be used on the ends of your hair (it makes your hair smell amazing!!!). To tell you the truth, I slather it on pretty much from head (well, the dry ends of my hair) to toe because I love the scent & the way it softens my skin. It  gives my skin that gorgeous sheen, which is especially nice for the days I have my legs out! I also find that if you layer the oil with the Fleur de Figuier Eau Riche fragrance (€39.75 for 100ml) the scent lasts the whole day and you walk around smelling delicious!

This launch gets a massive thumbs up from me, if you are passing a Roger & Gallet stand make sure you give this a sniff!

Roger & Gallet Fleur de Figuier Ultra Nourhsing Oil is €26.95 for 100ml

There are also some other products in the range that I will be picking up as well: Perfumed Soap (€6.95), Gentle Shower Cream (€9.90) and Replenishing Body Lotion (€15).

Have you tried any products from the fig range?

A. xx

*PR Sample

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Space NK in Grafton Street Now Open!!!

Space NK Grafton Street

On Thursday 19th June the first standalone Space NK store opened in Dublin's Grafton Street! If you are a beauty geek you will already know about the brand but for those of you who aren't, Space NK is an amazing luxury beauty store and home to some of the world's best (and many of my favourite) beauty brands.

Space NK Grafton Street

The brands in store include giants like Sarah Chapman, Sunday Riley, Oribe, Kevyn Aucoin & By Terry. A group of highly skilled make-up artists and skincare specialists in store is there to give you advice & help with your shopping. I have been a fan of Space NK for years and cannot tell you how excited I was when I stepped over that threshold on Thursday. The event was only made better by the fact that I was there with some of my favourite beauty bloggers: Karen from Lovely Girlie Bits, Stephanie from Polished And Primed, Emma from Fluff & Fripperies, Mags from Emerald Eyeliner, Kat from Dolly Rouge and we spent our time drinking champagne and chatting about all things beauty.

The lovely people at Space NK have planned some fantastic events for next week as well and the one I am most excited about is Caroline Hirons's (THE skincare queen!) visit on 25th June.

Here are some photos I took at the event but don't take my word for it, go and check the store out for yourself, it is absolutely fabulous and I can already tell, I will be a regular there!

Have you already visited the store? What do you think?

A. xx

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Loccitane: Let's Go To Brazil...

Loccitane Made in BrazilI have to admit the football part of the World Cup is leaving my pretty lukewarm (I can hear my husband sigh in exasperation even as I type this..) but I wish nonetheless that I was over there now, sipping cocktails & enjoying the sunny weather of Rio. I would even watch a football game if I had to. But even though I can't be there in the sun, I can be there in spirit... (or scent, to be more precise) with the new L'Occitane Made in Brazil collection.

Each of the products was designed from three crucial elements: a specific geographical region, a natural ingredient and local artist. For this collection L'Occitane has adopted two new plants from Brazil: Jenipapo (a citrus tree from the Cerrado region) and Vitória Régia (a water lilly from the Amazon.

Vitória Régia (artist: Joana Lira) This collection, inspired by the Brazilian water lily and contains two fragrances the Day Flower and Night Flower to follow the natural rhythm of this aquatic plants life. During the day the lily sleeps covered up to protect itself from the sun and at night it blooms to reveal it's blush pink petals.

The Vitória Régia Night Flower* fragrance is a deep floral scent. It is sensual, yet still feels refreshing with notes of lime, peony, musk and sandalwood. A gorgeous nighttime fragrance that is sexy but not too heady.

The Vitória Régia Day Flower* fragrance is very fresh and green with notes of orange and lemon, gardenia, victoria amazonica and lilly of the valley. This is a fantastic day fragrance - refreshing and perfect for a hot day!

Vitória Régia Day Flower Hand Cream

Jenipapo (artist: Andrés Sandoval) This line is a selection of suncare and fragranced products inspired by the moisturising properties of the Jenipapo fruit. Here you can expect gorgeous floral and fruity notes, with hints of citrus and vanilla. These products smell like they are good enough to eat!!

I particularly love the Jenipapo Body Jelly Milk SPF 20*. It is ultra light, not greasy at all and smells divine! This will have you not only protected from sun damage but also smelling amazing on the beach! And should you need to top up your scent in the evening you can use the same scent in a handy Oil Roll-On*. It's a tiny bottle that will be perfect for traveling or the handbag!

There are a few more products in the range: shower gel, body lotion, lip balm and a face sun protection veil with SPF 30.

So, if like I you are staying on this end of the world during summer 2014 head over to L'Occitane and give this collection a sniff! It is no secret that I love L'Occitane products and I can highly recommend this collection - it really is summer on the beach in a bottle!

Have you tried any Brazil themed products this summer?

A.

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Sore Muscle Therapy: Neals Yard Warming Massage Oil

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Neals Yard Ginger & Juniper Warming  Oil | Pink Elephant BlogI have recently upped my yoga practice and can proudly say, I manage to squeeze in a yoga session at least 4 times a week these days. Unfortunately, more often than not it results in some kind of sore muscles, mostly in my legs and shoulders. I've always reached for the trusted Deep Heat but to be honest, I hate going to sleep smelling of it - not the most attractive smell in the world, let me tell you!  I found the Neals Yard Ginger & Juniper Warming Oil at this year's Irish Beauty Show and have used it regularly ever since.

It contains a mix of essential oils of ginger, juniper, rosemary and sage for healthy circulation, plus muscle relaxing lavender, in a base of skin softening and conditioning sunflower, almond and wheatgerm oils. The ingredients are 100% organic.

It feels absolutely lovely on the skin and the smell is just out of this world - I wish you could smell it through the laptop. It smells warming and soothing... and just heavenly. I love applying it into my shoulders and legs at night, it not only relaxes my tight muscles, but also leaves my skin feeling softened and hydrated.

Neals Yard Ginger & Juniper Warming Oil €14.95 from the Natural Skincare Emporium (also available in Harvey Nichols / Space NK)

I love aromatherapy products. What is your favourite?

A. xx

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Candle Bargain: Next Garden Mint And Elderflower Candle

Next Wild Mint & Elderflower CandleThis beauty is hands down my favourite spring candle of all times. If you have read any of my previous candle posts, you will know that this is a big statement - I am incredibly fussy when it comes in scented candles. I love having a nice, light and natural fragrance wafting through my home but don't want it to smell like I just sprayed a load of Febreeze around. Unfortunately, the more natural and less offensive scents are usually the more expensive ones. I love Jo Malone, Dyptique and Neom but it physically pains me to pay €40+ for a something I am going to burn every other day.

I gave this candle a rather anxious sniff in Next Home a few weeks ago, expecting (very snobbishly) a harsh and fake scent. I was so delighted to find that this candle genuinely smells like a fortified mint and elderflower tea. It is a sweet, herbal scent that is refreshing and uplifting at the same time. I normally gravitate towards quite heavy and spicy scents but this candle has taken over lately.

The best thing about this candle is that it costs €8!!!, which is a fraction of what you would have to shell out for Jo Malone and smells just as good! It also comes in a very cute ceramic container that I will definitely be using after the candle is gone.

If you are a fan of scented candles get yourself to Next ASAP and buy one of these. This must be my find of the year! I will be buying more of these and also have my eye (or nose, he he) on another candle from this collection, Basil and Lemongrass, a gorgeous, fresh scent.

Next Garden Mint And Elderflower Candle €8 from Next shops or next.co.uk

What is your favourite spring scented candle? I would love to hear your suggestions...

A. xx

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