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16 Jun 2017

Aenea Epigenic Cosmeceuticals

On Monday I attended the launch of Aenea Skincare at the super-glam penthouse suite of the ME Hotel on The Strand.  Aenea is a new cosmeceutical brand that aims to deliver a powerful cocktail of skin-strengthening ingredients.

The brand is a aimed squarely at those who are concerned with ageing/stress and environmental damage and who are in possession of a decent disposable income.  It will be available exclusively in Harrods, which gives you a fair idea of their target demographic, though I think their offering may also be well placed in Cult Beauty's Hall of Fame.

Damien, whose brainchild the range is, developed the range after observing his 2 Aunts who live in Cyprus.  Both have identical DNA but how it expressed itself was vastly different.  He took inspiration from this to create a brand that would support your genetic makeup to express itself in the best way possible. He was determined to create products that are youth enhancing whilst being safe for sensitive skin.

Aenea's main aim is "to make your skin look younger, feel healthier, and glow with a natural radiance." They are hoping to achieve this by using super-active ingredients coupled with innovative delivery systems (read: fancy formulas). My first impression was how gorgeous the packaging is.  It is the sort of detail that can turn skincare from a chore into a ritual. It's sleek, futuristic, clean and reassuringly heavy. When you dispense a pump of the product there is no stuttering, no over-shoot, just the right amount, delivered smoothly.

Looking at the ingredients list across the range I could see a wide range of active ingredients in residence.  I was gifted the Anti-Pollution Guardian £150, it contains (amongst others)  probiotics, milk thistle, blue agave, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E. If this sounds like a lot in one formula, fear not... it  feels as light as water on your skin so can be easily layered with heavy formulas to customise your skin care routine.  I love using this as it is so lightweight and leaves no residue what so ever.  It is great to know that your skin is being protected when you have a busy day in the city. As a side note the products are all PETA approved and vegan if this is a concern of yours.

Aenea also launched:

In conclusion, these are beautiful products both in packaging, ingredients and ethos and I would highly recommend. The price points are high, but not so high that it makes the products unavailable,  more an indulgent luxury.

13 Jan 2017

Samaya Ayurvedic Hydrating Cleanser Kapha Review

Hello My Lovelies,

Just a quick post today discussing a new cleanser I have been trialling.  It is Samaya's Ayurvedic Skincare Hydrating Cleanser for Kaphas.

It is a totally new formula for me, as it is neither a solid balm cleaner nor an oil cleanser, rather it is more like a lotion when it is dispensed but feels like a balm when applied to the skin.  The container is gorgeous thick opaque glass with a pump-top for hygiene ( a detail I love to see on products). The outer packaging it a beautiful cardboard cylinder from which you remove the glass bottle with a very satisfying suck/pop type noise.

I can't say I particularly care for the smell of the cleanser but I don't dislike it either.  It is a marvellous blend of naturally derived oils and therefore it smells as they themselves do.  As a quick overview it contains the following:
  • Almond Oil
  • Ashwaghandha Root Extract
  • Sandalwood Oil
  • Vetivert Root Oil
  • Frankincense Oil
  • Turmeric Root Oil
  • Rose Oil
  • Aloe Juice
  • Rosemary Oil
  • Sage Oil
  • Wheatgerm Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Vitamin E

You can see it's naturally derived credentials straight up front.  They say:

"Samaya carefully curates the finest authentic elements of Ayurveda, marrying them with clinically proven active ingredients and anti-ageing compounds, to provide effective skincare through a relaxing, holistic experience."

I found this to be an excellent first cleanse to remove all my makeup.  I apply a few pumps to my hands, rub it between the palms to get it going and then I massage it in to my skin to remove all my makeup and give a circulation boost to my skin.

It rinses off with ease, I use a flannel to aid exfoliation.  Afterwards my skin is left feeling super-soft and looking scrupulously clean.  I really love this cleanser especially being able to pump out a balm type cleanser as I am not a fan of scooping or pouring.

Overall I would give it a 9/10, the 1 point being lost due to the steep price point as it cost £69 for 100ml, which whilst reflected in the high quality ingredients, is still very pricey for a cleanser.

You can buy Samaya's products here and take their test to "discover your dosha" which helps you see what range of products is best suited to your skin.

Has anyone else tried any products from this range, I would love to hear your thoughts.

*I received this product in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.


11 Dec 2016

Back to the 90's with Urban Decay Vintage!


Just look at these beauties!

They look stunning in the tube but I expected them to be completely unwearable, luckily I was wrong!

My photos really don't do them justice with their colour shifts and classic vintage 90's styling (did I really just write vintage 90's.)  Check out the swatches below to see the diffrence between them in the tube, on my arm and on the lips.  If this doesn't teach you never to buy lipstick without colour swatching first, nothing will.

Don't they look gorgous in the tubes?
Each of the shades is an original cult shade from the 1990's specially re-launched for 2016 including the vintage packaging.  The best bit is they are only £15 a pop, which although hardly a steal is definitely an affordable treat.

  • Asphyxia is a pale lilac lipstick with micro glitter and when on the lips adds a lovely clean, cool tone to your lips. I'm sorry to say that this one is already sold out on line!
  • Plague is a creamy deep purple that is ideal when you need something to create a bit of drama without looking like a cartoon character,  It is so pretty on the lips.
  • Oil Slick is a sheer black with a green shift, sounds hideous but over the natural colour of your lips it is more of a colour increaser (that isn't a real word is it?)  I found it just made my lips look better.  This is the lipstick that suprised me the most as I was expecting it to be only suitable for halloween.
  • Frostbite a blue cream lipstick with plenty of glitter that wouldn't look out of place on Elsa's dressing tabel. I'm afraid it is not for me, but as it has already sold out online, so I imgaine it would look amazing on less red skin tones.
  • Bruise - This is the colour that defined the 90's a red purple plum.  Candice from The Great British Bake Off would be all over this like a seven tier croquembouche.  It is beautiful both as a lip stain, with a slick of sheer gloss over to give you a flushed look, or as a full on drama Christmas Day number.


Artificial Lighting

What really impressed me was how soft they made my lips feel, these have a similar consistency to the Revlon Lip butters and so feel super comfortable to wear. Great to see a blast from the past still rocking it 20 years later, a bit like whenever I see Dana Skully.

Which one is your favourite?  Mine is definitley Bruise, but I love Oil Slick too.

Available to buy here 

* Press Sample

27 Sep 2016

Balance Active Formula Dragon's Blood Review

Now as much as I, like any other female Game of Thrones fan I know, wish I was Daeneryes Stormborn.  I must be 100% honest here.  There is absolutely NO dragon's blood in these products.  There is however, a sap from a plant called the Croton Lechleri (sounds like it comes from Jurassic Park) which is where the name comes from.

The products claim to lift and tighten the skin, I could definitely do with a bit of that! So to give them a good and honest test, I used them every day for my 3 week holiday in France.  Obviously, I used other products too, seen as there is no cleanser nor any retinol nor an SPF, so I just used my standard go-to products alongside these three.

At the end of 3 weeks, I am delighted to report I LOVED them.  I cannot believe how cheap they are for such high-quality products (you can pick up all 3 for a combined total of under £9 at Fragrance Direct at the moment).  The packaging is really the only sign that they are not high-end products.  The consistencies and the fragrance are fantastic.  But most importantly of all they actually work if, like me, you could benefit from a little tightening to your skin, then I would whole heartedly recommend these. I honestly feel the skin around my eyes is tighter and looks smoother when I use these.

My favourite product is the lifting cream (I used it like moisturiser) it smells gorgeous is nice and light yet very moisturising and really seems to work.  I must be clear the results are purely a cosmetic effect not an actual change in the structure of the skin.  You can't buy over the counter products that do this, or they would be classified as drugs and your would need a prescription.  But, if you want something to give you a youthful, tightened look, at a bargain price, I would reach for this every time.  I am a big fan of the Balance brand, as I have used their hyaluronic serum before.  I have just purchased their vitamin C serum now and can't wait to see the results.

24 Aug 2016

What Can I do to Reverse Sun Damage?

It’s that time of year again, when no matter how scrupulous you are applying sunscreen, you end up getting some sort of sun damage.

It is impossible to treat sun damage completely, the sun exposure has irreversibly damaged your skin cells and it can’t be taken back, you can, however, treat the external signs of sun damage.
Check out my cunning use of dried out old bark as a metaphor!

Before I say anything else, and I KNOW it is has been said a million times before, but you MUST use Sunscreen from now on! If you want to up your daily protection make sure you're using Vitamin C. If there is one thing that can really help sun damage, this is it.  It protects the skin from free radical damage which will help with the appearance of brown spots and boost collagen production to improve elasticity.  It works best when labelled as ascorbic acid on the ingredients list, but anything with ascorbic or ascorbate is usually vitamin C and therefore great for sun damage. I use the fab La Roche Posay Redermic C10 which has 10% pure vitamin C (it is actually the second ingredient on the list.)

Now, let’s get tackling the visible signs of sun damage.

Age Spots (Senile Lentigo, snappy name!)

What used to be cute freckles, is now clearly age spots.  Luckily this is one sign of sun damage that can be treated easily.  What you are looking to do is inhibit or reverse the melanin production (the bit that created your tan) so your skin returns to it's previous even tone. First things first, start the sunscreen to stop it getting worse, the screening will stop the UV rays triggering the melanin production and preserve any gains you get from the ingredients below.

I currently use the  Ultra Sun Anti Pigmentation SPF50+ £35 as it contains Vitamin C. You can still get a tan through this formula though, don't worry.  It is the best SPF I know for reducing pigmentation and keeping it away.  If you suffer from melasma then you must try this.

I would advise a combination of the following 2 methods;

1) Glycolic Acid, this will strip away the damaged older skin revealing fresher, even toned skin beneath - Pixi Glow Tonic or Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix would both be affordable solutions.  If you want to know more, read up here.  Which exfoliator is right for you?

2) Niacinamide (Vit B3)
I get my niacinamide from our trusty friend - La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo, which really is a power house for the price.  It's being thrown in every other formulation at the moment though, so you may find you already have some in a product already in your arsenal, go check your ingredient lists.

You will hear a great deal about Hydraquinone for treating age spots, please don't go there. It has such a patchy safety record it's illegal in the UK for good reason.


Rough, dry skin

Hyaluronic acid - A true friend to ageing skin, see a more thorough post here; Everything you wanted to know about hyaluronic acid but were too afraid to ask.  Hyaluronic acid is a humectant which means it traps moisture and plumps the skin.  It is only a cosmetic effect, but one which can make a massive difference to the appearance of parched skin.  I thoroughly recommend Madara SOS Hydra Repair Intensive Serum - £37 as it is a great mix of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Hyaluronic acid, Antioxidants and essential oils.  It is also beautifully packaged and organic.  This is a great product to hit most bases if your serious about re-hydrating your skin.

If you want a product that can be left on overnight to leave you with softened, hydrated skin the next morning, then I thoroughly recommend Avon Anew Hydra Recovery Mask £20.  I have been trialing this for a month or so and it makes a massive difference.  If, like me, you have oily skin, you will be amazed how light this feels on and how good it makes your skin look.  It contains both sizes of hyaluronic acid, urea and phosholipids, that trap moisture and help other products penetrate.  Well done Avon for producing such an affordable high-tech product.  It looks really cool in the jar too.

Fine Lines 


Retinol - Again, what is left to be said.  There is nothing better for repairing damaged skin, it isn't a miracle cure but its the nearest thing. I won't venture into Retinol land again, check out this post if you want further reading.  I will say that the Exuviance, Super Retinol Concentrate is a super-star in this over-crowded arena.  When I first trialled it, I was very impressed, I even got some minor peeling after my first use, see my full review here.  The only downside is that I can't switch back now and this one costs £50!

13 Aug 2016

Exuviance Coverblend Review

They specialise in scientific formulations with solid research to back up their claims (I know, crazy huh!)  Exuviance was created by the partners who discovered the beneficial effect of AHAs on skin so they really know their apples from their pears.  I've tried the Super Retinol Concentrate (it's always about the retinol!) and I was stupidly impressed, which is lucky considering this retails for around £50 for 30ml. I was delighted to get some minor peeling after my first use. This may sound bad to most people, but as a habitual retinol user, it NEVER happens as my skin, as it has become so accustomed to it.  This showed me that the retinol in this product is either stronger or better formulated than my usual offerings. The only downside is that I can't switch back now and the price is nearly double what I would usually pay.

Another product I find myself reaching for from this line is their CoverBlend.  This is formulated to be both a light weight foundation and a skin treatment.  It contains AHA's, antioxidants, sunscreen and moisturisers alongside a light reflecting foundation.  This is the perfect product to reach for when you have just had a facial treatment and want some coverage to hide the redness but don't want to ruin all the good work.  I use this on no-makeup-days (ha ha, what are those!, I should more honestly call them, minimal makeup days).  It provides light to medium coverage and feels super comfortable on your face.  It's absolutely ideal for Summer when your skin looks good and you want to keep it that way.  The finish is dewy but if you like it a little more matte, just apply with a buffing brush and buff in well. What I love about this is that you can be safe in the knowledge that your skin is being pampered while you rush around. I will be using this every day on holiday!

I also tried a sample of their Vespera Bionic Serum, which is absolutely sublime.  I am definitely going to have to buy a full sized bottle as it feels lush on the skin and gives you such a lovely healthy glow.  It is filled with antioxidants and AHA to give you skin real boost. I'm not usually a fan of oil based serums, and I usually opt for gels but this looks gorgeous on your skin and sinks in well.  I wouldn't use this before wearing a long stay foundation as any kind of oil will obviously just melt it away, but I would love to use it before bed for a super dose of all the goodies while my skin takes a rest.

Is anyone else using this brand, I would love to hear some recommendations as I am so impressed with the quality.

12 Aug 2016

The Superbrand You've Probably Never Heard About

The one thing that always amazes me is how many great beauty brands there are out there that I have never heard of before.  They may get a cursory mention in a beauty book or a footnote in a glossy, but to everyday folk they are practically unheard of.  This is such a shame, as some of my absolute favourite products come from these under-the-radar super brands.  Neo-Strata is one such brand.  It is so highly regarded in the industry yet barely heard of outside of the press and blogs.

They speciialise in scientific formulations with solid research to back up their claims (I know, crazy huh!)  Neo Strata was created by the partners who discovered the beneficial effect of AHAs on skin so they really know their apples from their pears.  I've tried the Super Retinol Concentrate (it's always about the retinol!) and I was very impressed, which is lucky considering this selld for around £50 for 30ml.  This may sounds bad to most people, but as a habitual retinol user, I was delighted to get some minor peeling after my first use.  This NEVER happens as my skin is so used to it, it just expects to have retinol.  This showed me that the retinol in this product is either stronger or better formulated than my usual offerings.The only downside is that I can't switch back now.
Another product I find myself reaching for from this line is the CoverBlend.  This is formulated to be both a light weight foundation and a skin treatment.  It contains AHA's, Sunscreen and moisturisers alongside a light reflecting foundation.  This is the perfect product to reach for when you have just had a facial treatment and want some covergae to hide the redness but don't want to ruin all the good work.  I use this on no-makeup-days (ha ha, what are those!) I should moe honestly call them , minimal make up days.  It provides light to medium covergae and feels super comfotable on your face.  It's absolutely ideal for Summer when your skin looks good and you want to keep it that way.

2 Aug 2016

Sjal - The Skincare Brand for Russian Oligarchs

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I was slightly amused/intrigued when the lovely people from Sjal inquired whether I would be interested in trying their opulent brand.  It's billed as being charged with precious materials including, gold, silver, platinum, diamond and ruby, and I REALLY wanted to see what it would be like. The brand has many famous advocates of likes of Angelina Jolie, Sarah Jessica Parker, Naomi Watts, Jessica Biel and Uma Thurman.

I genuinely wanted to not like it, mainly because it’s hardly a bargain buy, but unfortunately for me and many investment banker husbands, it’s lush!

I tried the Balans Deep Pore Cleanser which is a gel-like cleanser designed to reduce pores, increase oxygenation, soften and sooth.  I found it hopeless at removing eye makeup but fantastic as a second deep cleanse after the first oil based cleanse to remove makeup.  It leaves your skin feeling super clean but not at all stripped.  I tried it on both damp and dry skin, and found it worked markedly better on dry skin.  You don’t need a massive amount, perhaps a 20p worth and it smooths on easily allowing you to massage it in easily. I can’t say I am a fan of the packaging but I don’t really care much for packaging anyway. My favourite result from the cleanser is the immediate reduction in pore size, which as I get older is the bane of my life.  If you are struggling with open enlarged pores this may well be worth a try.

I also tried the Mineral Kalla Energy Tonic which is very much in the vane of a Korean Essence.  It hopes to lock in moisture alongside healing and protecting your skins barrier.  It uses hyaluronic acid as the main moisture retention ingredient along with a plethora of “natural” extracts which, to be frank, I haven’t the slightest clue what they do.  This left my skin feeling divinely refreshed and again no tightening due to the moisture imparting ingredients.  I was pretty gutted when this finished mainly due to the price for replacement.

At £47 for 150ml of toner, I can’t say I will be rushing out to repurchase, but if I could buy it on offer or as a gift I would be very interested.

What are your feelings on top end skincare?  Do you subscribe to the mantra that "you get what you pay for"?

1 Aug 2016

Get Ready for Summer, in 1 hour!

It’s here, no it’s not, it's here, nope gone again!

With the constantly changing British weather, it is no suprise our beauty routines don't know which way is up.  Here is my super quick "Get Ready for Summer with Me" for when you've been invited to a BBQ and the weather is actually going to be summery

Here goes!

First get everything ready (5 mins) You best put some Summer songs on to get you in the mood.
In The Shower
  • Exfoliator
  • Razors
In The bathroom
  • Crispy Towels
  • Fake Tan & Mitt
In The Bedroom
  • Foot File
  • Foot Butter
  • Acetone & Cotton Pads
  • Nail Polish
  • Cuticle Oil
  • Body Moisturiser
  • Nail Strengther
  • Facial SPF
Let's start with a shower,

Step 1 - 2 mins Exfoliate like a MoFo, I adore Soap and Glory’s Pulp Friction for this as the grains are quite fine, and it smells gorgeous.  Alternatively do as the Korean's do and buy an Italy Towel, they're just a couple of pounds on Ebay and make light work of dull flaky skin. Now lets get depilating.

Step 2 - 5 mins -Now lets get smooth, I'm really not one for waxing as you have to wait for it to grow back (urgghh!) Don’t worry my fellow blade lovers, I have found a new razor every bit as good as your man's top end Gilette for a fraction of the price and in a nice turquoise/jewel design. The Bic Soliel Bella, is only around the £5 mark for 3 instead of the £10 plus you would pay for the cartridges from Gillette.  Every Razor has 4 blades each, a swivel head, a moisturising strip and most importantly they shave SUPER close, result!. I'm a fan of using "whatever is hanging around" as a shaving gel, I'll happily use, any shower gel or conditioner, to be honest, if it slips, it'll do.

Step 3 - 1 min - Now you're done in the shower towel off with a good crispy towel (one you dried outside or on the radiator, not a fabric conditioned/tumble dried thing.)  We need the extra exfoliation here to give your skin a glow and remove and dull skin.
DON'T MOISTURISE YET! (it'll ruin your fake tan)

Step 4 - 10 mins (of which 5 is drying)   Now let's get some colour going on. Because we didn't moisturise earlier (it can change the colour of your tan) you will need to go steady on your knees, elbows and ankles to avoid over-saturation, I recommend either Garnier Summer Body Gradual Tan, if you're a bit of a tanning scardy cat, or for a more convincing instant colour, break the big guns out and get yourself some Vita Liberata on.  I use a mitt with both for the most smooth even application.   The Vita Liberta gives the MOST realistic tan I have ever had, plus it goes on a dream.  The best bit is it fades naturally without that pixelated effect you get from most tans as they break down.  If you're feeling a bit brassic, then go for the Garnier Summer Skin it's only £2.50 at Boots at the moment. It smells of Apricots (well for the first hour or so anyway) and gives a lovely even colour.  Both dry really quickly so you can be slipping into your dressing gown within 5 minutes. But before you go on take the time to swipe a bit of facial tanner on.  I will happily use the Vita Liberata on my face, but for a better more tailored result I love the James Reed Facial Tanner, it works really fast and a little goes a stupidly long way.

Step 5 -5 mins - Let's sort our feet out now, Dinosaur feet be gone. I love the Scholl Velvet Smooth Wet & Dry Foot File, it really is the ultimate re-chargeable foot grinder. It's crazy fast to use and leaves your feet velvet soft (like the name)  I reckon I can do both feet in 2 minutes, but I'll give you 5.

Step 6 - 1 min -Next slather your feet in the strongest, greasiest foot lotion you have. You need to do this before you remove your old nail polish or the oils will make your nail polish go all blobby and weird.  The most intense foot cream I have ever used comes from English brand called SBC it's their Honey Body Butter and when they say butter they mean it.  This stuff is awful to get out of the massive tub but is so moisturising it’s ridiculous. You could ice skate across your bathroom floor with this on so be extra careful to only apply to the tops and sides of your feet.

Step 7 - 3 mins Now remove your old nail varnish, you need to get rid of every last bit. There really is nothing like Acetone for this.  I don’t care how moisturising some varnish removers say they are, they just don’t cut it on dark nail polish. Use a cotton bud to get every last bit from your cuticles for a perfect finish.

Step 8 - 10 mins - Now your nails with a vivid bright colour.  Something that looks awesome with a tan, think neon pink or fuschia.  Orly has developed a 2 step gel nail polish (Epix FX)  that is actually neon, like a highlighter pen, it's called "Put The Top Down"! You will need 2 coats of the polish and then one of the top coat, if you're looking for the ultimate summer toes then this is your baby. It should last a good 3 weeks too, result!

Step 9 - 3 mins -While your tootsies dry let's moisturise our bodies.  If you want some extra help evening out your skin tone go grab a bottle of Palmer's Anti-Ageing Smoothing Lotion with AHA's, or if you prefer something to get you in the mood for sun, just use your favourite low factor sun lotion.  I find the smell of Hawaiian Tropic is so divine that I happily use it as a moisturiser.
You're nearly there now.

Step 10 - 5 mins - I tend to wear just a Nail Strengthener like OPI Nail Envy in Summer.  Allowing your nails to get sunlight helps them grow long and strong so don’t hide them under dark varnish, just coat with a super shiny layer of this and let them speak for themselves.  No fiddly/perfect painting needed just a quick slick and a couple of minutes to dry.

Step 11 - 1 min - Last but not least, get a really good high factor sun screen on your face.  You can really reduce the amount of damage, skin texture change and sun spotting by applying a top quality sun screen.  I am currently loving Ultrasun’s Anti-Ageing SPF 50+, which is tinted and leaves a nice matte yet healthy finish.  It is pretty thick but even with my oil-slick skin, all is well.  I have found spritzing on an oil reducing toner like Serozinc before helps keep the shine at bay.

Step 12- 1 min -Last Step, now those toes are dry, paint a little OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil on your cuticles to give a lovely softened look.
And that my lovely ladies, is It. Total Time 52 minutes
You are now ready to go share your lovely self with the world.

4 Apr 2016

Miller Harris - Perfume for the discerning

If you're a little bored of celebrity fragrances and generic designer scents then perhaps it's time to try something a little more special. I was delighted to spend some time perusing the shelves at Miller Harris' Mayfair store on Bruton Street as it is a such a special treat.  When you enter it is so serene,  after the hustle of Berkeley Square. It feels like a chinese tea room or a library, it is somewhere you would go to appreciate carefully curated items.

Miller Harris is British brand which was created by Lyn Harris and named after her father.  Harris trained for 5 years in Paris before relocating to Grasse (the world famous home of fragrance) to train for a further 5 years.  She has an amazing "nose" an can identify 1000 different fragrances by smell alone. Miller Harris has grown quickly since it first came on the scene and has become known for it's grown up fragrances.  The perfumiers is a favourite of Kristen Scott-Thomas, Madonna and Sophia Copolla.

Miller Harris started with just a core collection of 4 fragrances but has since expanded to over 30. There is something for everyone and each is tied to a story such as an afternoon in Southern France or a morning cup of tea, if you read the description of each perfume on the website you can learn what inspired each fragrance.

Miller Harris works hard to ensure they only gets the most premium ingredients for their perfumes and wait months for just the right batch.  The perfumes aren't cheap but neither are they especially expensive at around £60 per 50ml of Eau de Parfum.  I was pleased to learn that they don't do Eau de Toilette, which I think is fantastic because who wants a watered down perfume, what's the point?

We were there to sample the new fragrance called Vetiver Insolent which is a bold fragrance for either men or women.  It is a truly distinctive smell and goes beautifully with so many of my other fragrances.  I use it as a long lasting base note upon which to layer more sweet and sharp top notes.  It smells of Vetiver, Lavender, Amber and Cardamon. For anyone who is as clueless as me, vetiver is the root of an exotic grass and has a distinctive smell often found in high-end male fragrances.  It is a smoky, woody, incense like smell, but also a little like mown grass and patchouli, that 70's hippy fave.  Vetiver Insolent is the creation of Perfumer Mathieu Nardin and I was delighted to learn that all  3 of the fragrances I liked best were his creations.

We were lucky enough to smell the myriad of fragrances on offer and my absolute favorites were Tea Tonique

Like hearing a captivating story for the first time, Tea Tonique’s energy infuses your surroundings without overwhelming them. Beguiling and cultured, it engages its audience with musical tones and an unpredictable nature. With an infusion of Italian Bergamot suggesting smoky birch tar, it is equally at home in the English countryside or a London cafĂ©, rejoicing in the many-layered characteristics of an aromatic tea.

and Rose Silence.
The week is gone, the room is your own. A beam of light streams in through the curtains and you wake slowly, breathing the scent of a fresh white pillow. An unexpected embrace: faint, fresh rose with undertones of sandalwood and patchouli, untouchable yet crisp, possessing an intoxicating magic. An intimate, thrilling moment.

The one things all the bloggers noticed was just how different the perfumes smelled on each of us.  Our personal PH, the food we had eaten and the level of oils in our skin, changed the smell of the perfume on each of us dramatically.  Never again will I just buy a perfume by smelling a tester strip.

I loved the personal hand engraved bottles we each received, it is such a beautiful touch.

Miller Harris fragrances can be bought online here, but I would definitely visit the store if you live near by so you can try the fragrances on and get a real sense of what works for you.  It feels like such a treat visiting them store in person and everyone we met was insanely knowledgeable about fragrance.

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