Even by our standards, putting a new fragrance through its paces – from dawn to dry-down – is quite a challenge. So we take our hats off to Samantha Gough, whose blog – I Scent You A Day – has documented her quest to do just that, since January 2013.
As regular visitors know, each month we showcase the work of a blogger – and this time, it’s Sam’s blog. As she explains, ‘IScentYouADay means I review one perfume a day and then tell you about it. It may be a fragrance you want to try, or it may be a fragrance that makes you run for the hills screaming with horror. My opinions are merely subjective. You may be largely lustful for Leathers or violently dislike Violets. Perfume is like poetry: there’s no right or wrong.’ (A philosophy which chimes perfectly with The Perfume Society‘s, NB.)
‘This is a true journey for me in so far as I am a passionate pilgrim, learning as I go. I would love you to share my discoveries as I explore the endless landscape of the Perfumed World, often bravely ending up in a dusty discount chemist, or epically scrolling through fragrance websites long after I should be in bed.’
‘I also want to prove that having a perfume obsession can be done affordably, without shelling out for 365 bottles. I will borrow bottles, unearth bargains, syphon samples and try not to bankrupt myself, or you, in the process. Watch me as I either repulse or attract my husband, gasp as I greet the postman with joy as another box of tiny samples arrives, and when all else fails, pity me as I trudge to my local perfume store and ask to be squirted. One day I will get to keep that Guerlain bottle…’
She also occasionally writes longer features – ‘Perfume for Paupers: How to Smell Great on a Budget’ is definitely worth a read. We got to know Sam when she began posting reviews of samples from our Perfume Society Discovery Boxes – and we really enjoy her writing.
So here’s a taster – almost literally! – via her review of the stunning Agonist Vanilla Marble, from our Scent with Love Discovery Box, which perfectly conveys its mouthwateringly seductive qualities.
‘Agonist is a Swedish perfume house that is the brainchild of Christine and Niclas Lydeen. With Christine’s fashion background in Paris and Niclas’s design flair, together they launched Agonist in 2008 and their popularity as a major niche house is snowballing.
This is the first Agonist scent I have reviewed, although not the first I’ve tried. I shall be revisiting the other two I have after this, since Agonist Vanilla Marble really piqued my interest.
You may know of my oft lamented vanilla ennui, but believe it or not, this new take on vanilla has won my heart. Agonist Vanilla Marble somehow manages to use the warm butteriness of vanilla with none of the added sugar.
Top notes are tiaré flower, vanilla and almond. Now despite not being a fan of gourmands, I really like almond in vanilla scents. It seems to make this one more of a liqueur and is a welcome step further away from the smell alike confectionery scent that we are currently saturated with at beauty counters. Tiare flower always smells like floral coconuts to me and in this instance, it gives Vanilla Marble a lovely hint of pipe smoke.
Middle notes are orchid, white fig, amber and patchouli. I didn’t catch orchid, but the hint of sultana like fig is in there, along with the welcome warmth of amber and the subtle spikiness of patchouli. The base notes are tonka bean, sandalwood, more vanilla and benzoin.
All in all, this is has a coolness as well as a warmth, reminding me of a milky bar straight from the fridge , but with a grown up tobacco vibe and a golden heat that makes for a cosy, unfussy, not overly sweet vanilla scent that becomes slightly addictive the more I wear it. Equally good on men or women, this is a real gem and gives me hope that a good vanilla scent, done well, will still always be worth doing. Imitators need not apply. This is how vanilla should be done.
Stockists: My sample was from The Perfume Society Scent With Love Discovery Box, available from here. You can buy Agonist Vanilla Marble from the Agonist website or from Liberty or Selfridges. The full list of international stockists can be found on the Agonist website, where they also provide a sample service and a rather nice discovery box.’
For a picture of Samantha on her fragrant travels, see below. And do, do, do follow her fragrant meanderings at: