Bodyguard hand sanitisers: made by French perfumers (you’ll LOVE how these smell!)

There are so many hand sanitisers out there now, but when we were looking for a special extra gift to pop into our Treat Box, we wanted something that would be incredibly useful and smelled beautiful (of course we did!)
So as soon as we heard the BODYGUARD Protect hand sanitisers are made by French perfumers at an atelier in Provence, we knew we had to get our noses on them. Let’s face it – if we have to use them every day, we’d rather our hands smelled fabulous. And this is a fragrant ritual we can get behind.
Founder Celia Nicolosi explains:
‘Our heritage and all our expertise comes from creating fine fragrances in Provence, France. We use traditional techniques passed down through generations that take time and patience to deliver.
Our BODYGUARD anti-bacterial hand sanitisers are fragranced with a fresh Eau de Cologne formula, with each bottle made in our own L’Atelier in Manosque, Provence, this allows us to maintain the quality standards of our product. Our formula is also incredibly gentle on your hands, this is because we use a very high grade moisturising glycerin, which we don’t filter so that you receive all the added goodness to care for you hands.’

 

As we’ve discussed before, fragrant Colognes were traditionally used for health purposes – the alcohol was cleansing to the skin and many of the ingredients added additional anti-bacterial properties (though people didn’t realise that, then. They simply thought pleasant smells warded off sickness).

The BODYGUARD anti-bacterial hand sanitiser contains a powerful 70% alcohol formula with moisturising properties, to cleanse and calm your hands, each beautifully scented in four unique fragrances, and priced at £4.95 each.

Which will you choose as a daily fragrant pleasure…?

MORINGA BLOSSOM
The gentle clean scent of the tropical moringa flower subtly enhanced with violet and a touch of cedar.

MARINE
A breezy sea fragrance, of fresh Mediterranean bergamot, with a hint of woody cedar and musc.

COCONUT
Our coconut fragrance is an irresistible, dreamy, exotic cocktail of coconut, vanilla, jasmine and amber. A holiday must have!

CITRUS
Bursting with orange, bergamot and lemon, this classic citrus fragrance is awakened with notes of lavender and epice.

bodyguardprotect.co.uk

Meanwhile, if you’d like to try the always reviving Citrus Bodguard Protect Hand Sanitiser as an extra goody in our fragrant Treat Box, you can buy the whole box of THIRTEEN perfumes and two scented treats for just £23 (or £19 if you’re a VIP Club Member)

By Suzy Nightingale

Fragonard: the historic French house (with THE cutest miniatures)

Fragonard are one of the most beautiful fragrance houses in France, nestled in the heart of Grasse – itself the home of fine perfumery since the 17th Century. Proudly still in the same family, and currently being run by a trio of sisters who mark the fourth generation, Fragonard are something of a fragrant fixture, and well worth getting to know.

The perfumes themselves are simply divine, and the packaging always exquisite – yet we feel this lovely house can often be overlooked. No More! Here, we are thrilled to bring you not one but TWO boxes to indulge in. For yourself to explore, or as a perfect gift to give if you’re not sure what type of fragrance they prefer? Either way, get ready to be blown away by their outstanding character, quality and affordability…

A trio of darling little miniature-sized perfume bottles, holding three of Fragonard’s iconic fragrances, form the perfect way to wear and fall in love with their utterly charming scents. Wonderful for miniature collectors, travelling or keeping in your bag for on-the-go perfume top ups!

Etoile – inspired by the ladies of Provence, who wore broaches known as ‘stars of Digne’ which were regarded as lucky charms – the sparkling  bergamot, apple and ginger top notes blend to a heart filled with gardenia, lily of the valley and jasmine on a base of amber and cedar wood.

Emilie – a bewitching floral composition that blends sumptuous rose petals and jasmine with a more delicate violet note, then wraps them in sandalwood and amber. A fragrance to treasure, conjuring softly blushing shades of pink and mauve.

Diamant – dazzling mysterious, this leaves a luminous trail with mandarin, orange and pepper as top notes, rose, jasmine and plum in the luscious heart, balanced on a rich background of vanilla, patchouli, ethereal musk and caramel.

Fragonard Set of 3 Miniatures £25 for 2 x 5ml + 1 x 6ml

A stand-out collection of heavenly scents in just THE cutest miniature bottles, we invite you to immerse yourself in these joyful droplets of perfume pleasure, and understand for yourself exactly why this perfume house has become a legend.

Grain De Soleil – an alluring fragrance, delicate rose, subtle iris and intoxicating jasmine enhanced by cinnamon, mellow amber, rich vanilla and exotic incense, Grain de Soleil is a true Oriental fragrance.

Soleil – a heady blend of flowers – jasmine and orange blossom, lily and rose, iris and wisteria – off-set by amber, sandalwood and musk. An intensely radiant fragrance that irresistibly evokes the noontide southern sun. This is THE great Fragonard classic.

Diamant – a sweet-Oriental, with mandarin, orange and pepper as top notes, balanced by rose, jasmine and plum as middle notes, on a background of vanilla, patchouli, musk and caramel.

Fragonard – an elegant scent that unites suave white flowers, orange blossom with mellow amber, musk and wood.

Belle De Nuit – a true original, deep rich harmony of flowers and fruit on a warm velvety bottom note of musk. A precious fragrance, as magical as an Arabian night!

Fragonard Miniatures Collection £35 for 5 x 7ml eau de parfum

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Follow E. Coudray’s fragrant reign

There are few fragrance houses still as relevant after almost 200 years as the wonderful Paris-based house of E. Coudray – which can trace its roots back to the reign of Louis XVIII, no less, and the year 1822.

The Paris-born founder was a doctor-chemist, Edmond Coudray (the ‘E’ in E. Coudray), who went on to enjoy a spectacular career, creating eaux de Cologne, pomades, creams and soaps for the crowned heads of France, Italy and England – including Queen Victoria, for whom the perfume ‘Reine Victoria’ was made.

Others gloried in names like ‘Gants Poudrés’ (powdered gloves), and ‘Rêve de Reine’ (the Queen’s dream). And in 1829 he also wrote a book, charmingly titled L’Art d’Être Belle (‘The Art of Being Beautiful’).

You can read more about their fascinating history in our page dedicated to E. Coudray and their regal begininnings, but for now let’s get our noses into why, exactly, they remain so popular today…

 

‘A creamy and refined oriental fragrance, the scent of Ambre et Vanille was created in 1935 and has remained one of the most beloved and enduring of E. Coudray’s compositions. Moving from an opening of complex citrus aromas into a gorgeous floral bouquet with delicate spice notes, the eponymous amber and vanilla subtly colour the fragrance throughout, adding an enticing gourmand quality to the scent.’

E. Coudray Amber et Vanille £65 for 100ml eau de toilette

‘A gorgeous floral fragrance originally released in 1950 to great acclaim, Givrine has been updated for modern tastes by the highly regarded nose, Evelyne Boulanger. After a delicate citrus opening, complex floral accords shine through for a cosy, inviting aroma. Light and ephemeral, the scent is an image of grace and poise.’

E. Coudray Givrine £65 for 100ml eau de toilette

‘Created by perfumer Randa Hammami, Iris Rose is a rich composition redolent of the classic floral scents that have for so long typified our expectations of elegance. Building from a sumptuous base of vanilla, patchouli and white musk, the fragrance opens up into a beautiful patina of subtle rose aromas, the top notes serving to lightly floriate the base notes rather than overpower them. The cumulative effect is light and breezy, yet firmly grounded, an ideal fragrance for a spring day or summer evening.’

E. Coudray Iris Rose £65 for 100ml eau de toilette

‘Created by prolific nose Christophe Raynaud, Musc et Freesia is a sparkling and bubbly floral composition with surprising hints of fruity green accords. With delicate raspberry leaf in the top notes, and a sumptuous bouquet of peony, cyclamen, lily and freesia in the heart, Musc et Freesia is a luxurious and delicately balanced scent that brings out the best qualities of its constituent components.’

E. Coudray Musc et Freesia £65 for 100ml eau de toilette

‘Launched in 1983, Jacinthe et Rose is one of the modern icons within the current E. Coudray range. Developed by Evelyne Boulanger, Jacinthe et Rose is a floral composition of exquisite nuance. The lush aroma of peach gives the scent a full-bodied quality, while sparkling top notes of vodka and bitter orange serve as an intriguing counterbalance to the sumptuous scent.’

E. Coudray Jacinthe et Rose £65 for 100ml eau de toilette

Buy them at Roullier White

There several more to tempt your fancy, including the fabulously opulent (and very boudoir-esque) body oils and sumptuously rich bocy creams – all in beautiful packaging that just begs to be displayed. And with their characterful yet never overwhelming scents, E. Coudray offer the most charming selection of fragrant offerings that are perfect to wear in our currently sweltering climate…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

 

Angelina Jolie: Guerlain Parfumeur – a new fragrant personification of iconic, female fortitude…

Since 1828, the French house of Guerlain has been synonymous with perfumes inspired by and created for strikingly strong women. As Jacques Guerlain himself once said: ‘We create perfumes for the women we admire.’ So who better to personify that independent, wilful yet utterly elegant spirit than Angelina Jolie, whom Guerlain have just announced as their personification of their new fragrance… Guerlain Parfumeur Mon Parfum.
Master Perfumer at Guerlain, Thierry Wasser, created Guerlain Parfumeur by drawing direct inspiration from Angelina Jolie, expressing the idea of ‘…the notes of a woman,’ and the embodiment of modern femininity within her choices, emotions and dreams.

Angelina Jolie [photo by Wall Street Journal]
First known as an actress, Jolie is now a filmaker in her own right while also serving as Special Envoy to the UN Refugee Agency, co-founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and human rights activist, with many emotional and familial ties to France and the house of Guerlain itself. The deal was struck in 2015, with Jolie having long been a fan of Guerlain since childhood, with evocative scent memories of her mother’s love for a Guerlain powder. But Jolie also represents the continuation of a house that has ever pushed the boundaries while striving for modernity and perfectly executing a timeless, fearless femininity… Indeed, Jolie’s compassion is also at the fore, with her decision to donate her entire salary from the collaboration to charity.
guerlain-are-you-her-type-perfume-1920sThink of Guerlain’s most famous fragrances – scents that have stood the test of time and will likely outlive us all – and a powerful woman will be behind the inspiration for the perfume, somewhere. Such as the exuberantly mysterious Mitsouko from 1919. Composed by Jacques Guerlain the perfume was based on the novel ‘La bataille’ and the eponymous heroine and wife of a Japanese Admiral, caught in the web of a tangled love affair with a British officer. A masterful balance of the juicy peach and rounded oakmoss of the base, Mitsouko retains its ambiguous juxtaposition of alluring warmth and cool reserve – an echo of the story’s heroine who must control her raging emotions with dignity as she awaits news of which, if either, of her lovers will return from the war.
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If Mitsouko represents an attempted control of the vagaries of the human heart, then Shalimar gives free reign to overwhelming passion and devotion – a romance poem written in perfume and representing the legendary love of Emperor Shahjahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal, meaning “Jewel of the Palace,” and also composed by Jacques Guerlain, in 1925. During their marriage the couple were inseparable, but having given birth to thirteen children, she died during the birth of their gourteenth. Devastated by her death, Shah Jahan had the Taj Mahal built in memory of his wife and their undying love; and Shalimar is named after ‘The Gardens of Shalimar,’ her favourite place. One of the best-selling perfumes in the world to this day, Shalimar seamlessly weaves citrus freshness in to a beguiling floral heart garlanded by gauzy jasmine and may rose, with a charismatic dry down that wavers between the warmth of opoponax, tonka bean and vanilla, and a misty coolness of iris and ambergris.
These scented stories are merely two of the redolent, towering and immediately evocative fragrances in their rich tapestry – and with Jolie at the helm of their forthcoming fragrance – due for release in March 2017 – for Guerlain, the future is definitely a continued celebration of female strength…
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Terre de Lumière – feel the warmth of "the golden hour" as we take a sneak-peek at L'OCCITANE's new fragrance…

Dappled sunlight dipping low, skin still warm, running through corn fields in a crisp, white gown as the sun sets… ah, how the dreary days of January make us yearn for such simple pleasures. Even going outside without a coat and brolly right now would be a luxury! But fear not, for L’OCCITANE have bottled the sunshine from that ethereal, other-worldly time of day often termed “the Golden Hour“, and infused the glow into their new fragrance (to be launched in February): Terre de Lumière
L’OCCITANE say: ‘As the day draws to a close, the sky is set alight, embracing all the shades of gold. Beauty is suspended in time and this stunning spectacle reaches its height. Light infuses the ingredients in this fragrance, enhancing them in a rich, faceted creation that evokes the intense sensoriality of a walk through the fields of Provence at the Golden Hour.’
Sunset
Oh yes, take us there now, please…!
We were lucky enough to be present at the press launch of this perfume, and so excited to discover this will be the very first gourmand fragrance for the brand. We predict gourmand as a genre will be huge news once again in 2017 – the comforting, deliciously food-inspired fragrance family seems only natural to turn to in times of uncertainty – and far from the 90s scent bombs that truly began this trend, gourmand has taken a fresh turn of sophistication and wearability – for men and women alike.
Terre de Lumiere
Top Notes: bergamot, ambrette seed, pink pepper
Heart Notes: lavender, honey
Base Notes: acacia flower, bitter almond essence, tonka bean, white musk
Renowned perfumer Calice Becker was chosen for Terre de Lumière, closely collaborating with Shyamala Maisondieu and Nadège Le Garlantezec; Calice explains how the talented trio worked on the fragrance so that it ‘…plays on the tension between masculine freshness and delicious feminine softness. It’s a very innovative scent, the first gourmand aromatic fragrance from L’OCCITANE, absolutely addictive.’ Talking about the inspiration for composing the scent, Calice describes the Golden Hour as the time ‘…when the light is at its most beautiful. It is also when scents are at their height.’
Perfumers
And so what does it smell like? Well, close your eyes, imagine the setting sun still warm on your skin (move closer to the fire or add another layer of clothing, if necessary!) and let us take you to the glowing fields of Provence…

Aromatically zesty from the first spritz, there’s almost a sigh of delight as the fizz of bergamot and pink pepper suddenly melts into the true heart of honey infused with lavender and balanced by the milky freshness of acacia blossoms, the almond-like nuttiness of tonka beans and the balsamic warmth of the earthier base. Perfectly evoking that moment when the day slips impercitibly to dusk, it’s the sensation of contemplative contentment while sitting on a hay bale, having romped barefoot in flower meadows and paddled in cool streams. Deliciously revivifying and fragrantly soothing all at once, we bet you can’t wait to try it…
…And on that note, we suggest [*wink wink*] that you keep your eyes peeled for an exciting announcement, for you could be one of the first people to Discover Terre de Lumière with us. [*hint hint*]
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Zadig & Voltaire's fashion-forward fragrances have just one rule: be yourself, completely…

Parisians do that chic-but-edgy rock ‘n roll thing so insouciantly it must be in their very DNA, and the Paris-based fashion house of uber cool Zadig & Voltaire embody the concept of easy luxury every single day. And now you can, too, with the brand’s This is Her! and This is Him! fragrances enticing you to embrace modernity and break the mould – and if all that sounds like a lot of hard work, then we say simply relax while smelling distinctively sublime…
French designer Thierry Gillier was inspired by the iconic revolutionary philosopher of the Enlightenment, Voltaire, and his protagonist hero Zadig, to create his grunge-chic label, and being a scent obsessive it seemed only natural to have that ethos embodied in fragrant form. Explains Gillier:
‘I can’t imagine a life without fragrance. I like when it leaves a trail, asserts a personality. It’s an alchemy between you and someone else…’
Watch the ad campaign right here – read our review (below) and then run to sniff for yourselves. You can thank us later…

With arty looking bottles seemingly hewn from granite, the ‘jagged’ edges actually fit together in perfect harmony. And the scents? This is Her! imagines a free-spirited punk princess dressed in sensuous silk and cashmere, the woody-gourmand notes of chestnut and sandalwood buoyed by a burst of pink pepper in the top notes and sweet jasmine sighing softly at the heart.
We must admit that we swooned quite a bit over This is Him! While perhaps not being the target market of “…a powerful gentleman of rock, complete with a leather look”, we urge other women to try this on their skin, too, as the pepper and grapefruit zip almost immediately into an irresistible swirl of soft incense and salty vanilla – a definite wrist-sniffer, and the boys can go sulk because we’re not sharing this one, either.
zadig-voltaire
Zadig & Voltaire This is Her! from £38 for 30ml eau de parfum
Zadig & Voltaire This is Him! from £36 for 30ml eau de toilette
Buy them at Debenhams
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Lavender true… five scents to make your heart sigh for an everlasting summer

Swathes of purple patches embellishing the countryside truly lift the soul – there’s something about seeing simplicity en-masse that becomes staggeringly beautiful…
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Aesthetically pleasing we can all agree, but many fragrance fans unfairly discount a dominant note of lavender in perfumery as being ;old-fashioned; – perhaps recalling scented drawer-sachets or bath salts that rarely use the high quality, perfume-grade lavender, and instead the far cheaper, dusty-old-drawer smelling low quality essential oil or even poorly made synthetic lavender.
Judge not, oh ye of little fragrance faith, until you have read on!
Known in Provence as ;blue gold;, the best lavender used in perfumery tends to be grown in higher altitudes, and often doesn’t at all resemble what we think we know lavender smells of. Pure lavender essential oil can be spicy, peppery, herbaceous, misty, smoky or green and many cannot identify the note when asked to sniff blind.
Recently we took a group of our VIP Subscribers to the wonderful Mitchell & Peach Lavender Farm in Kent, and everyone was enchanted by the picturesque countryside and the family’s in-depth knowledge and passion for the land and the crops they tend there.
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With lavender having a resurgence as a note to rediscover in contemporary fragrances we suggested you try, it is also important to appreciate those British classics that have withstood the test of time, and fragrances that cherish it as the “hero note” – revelling in their true lavender love.
You can read more about the history of lavender’s use in perfumery on our fascinating Ingredients section of the website, but in the meantime, here’s our edit of the absolute must-try lavender scents. And every time you spray, you can keep summer alive that little bit longer…
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Freshly aromatic with a twist of eucalyptus and rosemary with the traditional lavender, the heart is a tender bouquet of geranium, rose and orange flower, with an earthier base of patchouli and musk for a dusky trail…
Bronnley Lavender £13.50 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at bronnley.co.uk
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Made by the Cistertian monks of tiny Caldey island in south west Wales, this is humbly presented yet unexpectedly sublime – all fresh air, hazy dawns and mist-draped secret gardens. Almost slightly minty, it’s like a late Summer breeze in a bottle…
Caldey Island Lavender £17.50 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at caldey-island.co.uk
Yardley-English-Lavender
With a green hay-like sweetness, this is Yardley London’s signature fragrance. Beautifully elegant, lavender leaves enhance the freshness on top, then the oil is infused with neroli and clary sage, geranium,  sandalwood and tonka for a smooth dry-down…
Yardley English Lavender £9.99 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at Boots
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With zesty lemon, verbena and grapefruit shot through the composition of this ultra-green lavender, it’s a wakeup call for the senses. Gauzy jasmine and delicate hints of amber intrigue the cedarwood trail…
Crabtree & Evelyn Verbena and Lavender de Provence £20 for 30ml Cologne
Buy it at crabtree-evelyn.co.uk
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One of the very first flowers distilled by founder Olivier Baussan, L’Occitane uses lavender directly sourced from farmers’ cooperatives in Haute-Provence. This aromatic tribute to their homeland is the softest way there is to soothe frazzled nerves…
L’Occitane Lavender Relaxing Roll-On £12 for 10ml Cologne
Buy it at uk.loccitane.com
Do you have a favourite lavender fragrance, or have you tried one recently that really changed your mind? Do get in touch by Tweeting, posting a picture and tagging us on Instagram or e-mail us here – we’d love to hear about it!
Written by Suzy Nightingale