Saturday, 31 December 2011

Friday, 30 December 2011

Chanel no 5 - Audrey Tatou

Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel

Calvin Klein's Ocean Storm launch date 1 March 2012 - limited edition by invitation only

Dior - the Man Behind the Myth

Who adores Dior?

If you're looking for stylish elegant classics in fashion or perfume, you can't go far wrong with a look at the Dior collections.

Christian Dior (12 Jan 1905 - 23 Oct 1957) was born in the French seaside town of Granville. his father ironically brought the catchphrase to life, "where's there's muck, there's brass", with a fertiliser business.

Dior's parents wanted him to enter a career as a diplomat, but he was artistic and started to make money selling fashion sketches outside his house, with interested buyers including the likes of Pablo Picasso.

During WWII, Dior, along with a number of other leading fashion designers, dressed the wives of Nazi and French collaborator's wives. Meanwhile, Dior's sister, Catherine (1917 - 2008) was a member of the French Resistance and ws captured by the Gestapo and sent to the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp, from where she was liberated in May 1945.

Mystery still surrounds Dior's death in 1957, while on holiday in Italy. Some say it was a heart attack following choking on a fishbone, others say that it was a strong sexual encounter that brought on the heart attack.

Dior was homosexual and had no family of his own to survive him.

His name lives on in his elegant fashion designs and perfumes, now truly established as all-time classics.

Coco before Chanel (trailer)

Coco Chanel

Definitely one of the favourite perfumes for me and my over-40 crowd of friends; we simply call it Coco. It's not something we can rush out and buy, but a quick spray before going out somewhere special means that it really is a special occasion and we need to smell good. It is a strong smell, a lady in the perfume shop told me she can't wash the smell out of her work blouses, but that's no bad thing, surely??

Bizarre to think that Coco Chanel (or her real name, Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel) came from such humble beginnings, being born in 1883 (or 1893 as she allegedly re-invented this year as her birth-year), to an unmarried washer-woman in Saumur in France; her father was a vagrant street peddler who scratched a living with his horse and cart. When she was 12, she was sent to a convent for orphans after her mother died o f TB and it was here that she learned her fine needle skills. When not sewing, she sang cabaret in a place that cavalry officers frequented; here she met a young French ex-cavalry officer and textile heir, Etienne Balsan.

Coco Chanel went on to become a leading fashion designer, famous for her menswear-inpsired fashions, the Chanel suit and her little black dress.

She worked with the Wertheimer brothers, Paul and Pierre in 1924, directors of the Bourgeois Perfume House, to create Parfum Chanel, to launch Chanel no 5.

The Chanel brand is now firmly established as an all-time classic

Perfumes by Chanel

5 things to look for when choosing a perfume

Choosing a bottle of perfume is a complex process; here's 5 things to look for:

1 Price
Is it for you to wear every day in the office or a special gift as a one-off for someone special - how much are you looking to spend?

2 Appropriateness
Is it for every day wear, or a romantic evening out; do you need a spring citrus-fresh spritz, or a heady winter blackberry plummy warm musk? Who is it for and why?

3 Age
Are you looking for a timeless classic that will never lose its style and elegance or is this for someone who wants to be seen wearing the latest must-have fashion?

4 Packaging
Are you looking for something to slip in your purse to freshen up discreetly, or are you looking for a stylish bottle and cardboard packaging that you want to flash around and hope that people notice it as a talking point? Many perfume bottles are kept and collected, not discarded when empty.

5 Do you know anything about the perfume you're buying??
OK, so the last question is a bit of trick one; maybe you simply need to buy a bottle of someone's favourite perfume for them for a special occasion. They'll let you know what they want and usually, it's something so luxurious that they can't buy it regularly, but love it as a special treat. Buy it. You can be sure that whenever they wear it, they'll remember you.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Moi, J'adore "J'Adore" by Dior

My most favourite perfume? J'adore J'adore by Dior. With top notes blending citrus and ylang-ylang, this gives way to a powdery, clean soap-fresh frothy scented layer of middle notes, that evolves into a soft lingering vanilla musk of plum and blackberry base notes. I wear J'Adore as a special treat during the day, it's light enough for the office, but lingers long enough to last you through the working day without the need for a re-spray.

One of my children once smelled  J'Adore in the Duty Free Shop and told me she loved the smell of J'Adore on her clothes after I kissed her goodbye at the school gate, because it reminded her of me.

J'Adore is one of those perfumes that may or may not be your own personal favourite, but if you know someone who wears it, it will be a lovely gentle reminder of them and the perfect gift for them.

Usually on sale for around £50 for 30mls, J'Adore a slightly more expensive perfume, but with a delicate scent that's strong enough to last all day, it will last longer than cheaper competitor's perfumes, which will need a re-spray to freshen up. To make the smell last a little longer, layer the perfume by applying a scented J'Adore Soap or J'Adore Shower Gel first and then J'Adore Body Lotion, before spraying the eau de parfum. Shop around to see if you can buy these products as a gift set.

The bottle is an elegant shape with a tall glass lid with a glass globe on the top.