Monday, 29 August 2011

Elie Saab Le Parfum

This is the first perfume from Elie Saab, the designer responsible for some of the last decade's most beautiful couture gowns. He is the man behind Halle Berry's Oscar dress and Katy Perry's wedding dress. His couture house sells more gowns than any other couture designer. I love the flowing gown featured in the advertising campaign for the scent, which looks gorgeous against the urban landscape.

This perfume has been two years in the conception, and went through 279 trial versions before the 'nose' behind the scent, Francis Kurkdjian settled on the final version. Kurkdjian has created some of the most well-known and iconic scents on the market: Narciso Rodriguez for Her and Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier.

Kurkdjian wanted to try and capture some of Saab's  design philosophy when creating the scent: "With Elie Saab, it's about the mixture of opulence and light effervescence. His gowns are sophisticated, but almost immaterial. The fragrance needed to radiate that same airy, solar, warm feeling with that same big trail."

The scent contains the following notes: orange blossom; jasmine; patchouli; cedar and rose-honey. I am not a fan of overly floral scents, as I like a fragrance with some depth. Therefore I really liked the fact that this was a woody-floral, thanks to the cedar in the blend. I found that this scent was a great mix of floral and woody notes, with a definite warmth to it. I had planned on wearing this for a couple of days to trial it, but ended up wearing it all week. I found that this also had good longevity and lasted approximately 6 hours.

I am a sucker for gorgeous packaging, and I *loved* the Elie Saab bottle. The scent is in a glass bottle which at first glance has a classic vintage feel, but on closer inspection has a contemporary feel, with it's cube-like shape. This ties in with the scent, which I think has a classic feel to it.  The bottle looks beautiful on my dressing table, especially when the light catches it, and certainly ties in with the "radiant femininity"  and "ode to light" concepts that Kurkdjian has spoken of.

The scent comes in 30ml, 50ml and 90ml sizes. If you would like to try this scent, then you can purchase it from most perfume retailers, including Escentual. At the moment, Escentual are offering a free 30ml body lotion with the purchase of any Elie Saab fragrance over 50ml.

The vintage feel of the bottle inspired me to take a photo of a couple of pieces of vintage jewellery that I recently re-discovered in my closet.

Have you tried this scent? If yes, what did you think?

Fine Print: I was sent this perfume by Escentual for review purposes.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Lou Lou Muses : Escentual Blog of the Week

I was really pleased over the moon to find out this morning that Escentual had chosen me as their Beauty Blog of the Week. I love this site as they have a great range of products, and their email newsletters are a daily dose of temptation in my inbox! When I first heard of them I didn't realise that they were a locally based company (only five minutes from my office in Cardiff), which of course means that my purchases with them are doing my bit for the local economy *cough* . Having met them on a few occasions to discuss Give and Make Up and Cardiff Blogs (the local bloggers meetup that I help organise), I can confirm that Louise and Emma (the resident blogger) are also lovely ladies to boot!

Escentual Beauty Blog of the Week

As the lovely Emma is on holiday, Escentual put a shout out on Twitter two weeks ago for guest bloggers, I jumped at the chance to write a post, so if you would like to read my answers to their Pick 'n' Mix Beauty Questions and discover my deepest, darkest beauty secrets (sort of!) then here's the link: Lou Lou Muses Pick 'n' Mix Beauty Questions

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Whistles 'Carrie' Red Pleated Midi Skirt v Warehouse Red Pleated Maxi Skirt

If you read my last post (for which I thank you!), or follow me on Twitter, then you will know that I have a lot of love for all things 'Whistles', when it comes to my wardrobe. My first 'Whistles Want' of the year was the gorgeous Carrie skirt which was a hit with style bloggers everywhere. However it was 'slightly' out of my budget, so had to stay firmly on my 'Whistles Wishlist'. This season, 'Whistles' released the skirt in three new colourways: burgundy; coral and leopard print *swoons* . 

Whistles Carrie Red Pleated Skirt

Whilst the new releases only made me want this skirt more, my budget sadly remained the same, so I was determined to find a substitute at a more budget-friendly price. That's where Warehouse stepped in with it's vibrant red pleated maxi skirt, which retails at £60. However, before I got a chance to pop instore to try it on, I saw 'Bargainista Fashionista' s ASOS Sale Picks on Facebook, which included the object of my desire. ASOS had very kindly reduced the price to £36, and by using the sale discount code, I managed to nab the skirt for £32.40! I am even more pleased about this given that the item is still full price on the Warehouse website!

I only placed my order on Friday, so haven't actually taken delivery of the skirt yet. Whilst there are differences between the skirts, e.g. the Warehouse skirt looks longer than the Whistles one, I have a feeling that this will more than satisfy my desire for some crimson floaty loveliness. I think that it will be really versatile, and perfect for taking on holiday to Italy with me in a fortnight. In the day I can wear this with a simple top and some flats for sightseeing, and then in the evening I can add a pair of heels and some accessories for a different look. It will also be perfect as the Autumn chill sets in, as I can pair it with some tights underneath. This season, jewel colours were seen everywhere, and I think this will be the perfect way to bring some colour to my Autumn/Winter '11 wardrobe.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Whistles while I work - Part I

This season I have tried to buy fewer clothes, but where I have given into temptation I have tried to make sure I have gone for quality items that I love and that have also been discounted:

Reduced price + Designer Loveliness = What's not to love?!

I have picked up some great items in The Outnet and Cocosa clearance sales, but this post is about my love for all things Whistles-related. Whistles has long been on my fashion radar, but it was only last year that I purchased my first Whistles item - a black blazer - in their Bath store. It's been really useful and has definitely earned its £35 price tag, especially given that it was originally £150.

The first item that sparked my Whistles lust this year, was the Carrie skirt which came in a variety of highlighter pen shades, and was one of the biggest style hits of the season, and inspired dozens of imitations. However at £110, it was 'slightly' out of my budget.

Just when I thought my wardrobe this season was going to be devoid of any new Whistles accquisitions, I read Elle magazine's 'What Elle Wears' blog, which I always look at for styling ideas. Susie Wong, the Deputy Chief Sub-Editor a.k.a Bargainista Fashionista (one of my favourite style blogs) was wearing a gorgeous coral-orange dress that grabbed my attention immediately. Later that week she wrote a post on her own blog about my dress crush, giving more details, including the fact that it was in the sale for £60. I was still debating whether to buy it or not, when she wrote another post, which said that the dress was sold out everywhere, but that it was also available in other colours (lilac and navy). I decided to pay a visit to my local Whistles concession in House of Fraser, just to 'take a look' of course! 

Thankfully when I got there, they still had a couple of the dresses left. Luckily I had some Recognition Vouchers so I only had to pay £30. I think this dress is really versatile and can be worn for work or play, with flat sandals in the Summer, whilst still being perfect in the Winter with some opaque tights and heels. I really like the chunky zip detail on the back. If I was in any doubt about  my purchase, this was quickly swept away the first time I wore it. I don't think I've ever had as many compliments about a dress! This has already become a 'go-to' piece for me.

I also purchased a few other items in the sale, and I'll be posting about those soon, together with some of the new season items that are on my wishlist.


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