Reviews of the Month – March 2012

Below are our favourite reviews for March. Review are picked for being helpful, insightful or just really interesting.

Each reviewer will receive a £20 Escentual gift voucher! For your chance to win, simply review your past purchases.


TheWolf’s review of Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile Eau de Toilette

Acqua Di Parma Iris Nobile Eau de Toilette Spray

It’s interesting that Iris Nobile should be largely billed as a feminine fragrance. In its stronger concentration as an Eau de Parfum I would concede that the female of the species is more suited to its abundant charms but the Eau de Toilette could just as easily be worn by a man without fear of undue controversy!

This has everything to do with the spicy note of star anise which emerges from a fresh citrusy opening (bergamot) before getting down to the main business : its resounding orris root heart – albeit a heart somewhat sweeter than many other iris -centred fragrances. The measured addition of vanilla becomes gently apparent in the dry down and knits the whole together into a subtle woody finale. A lovely scent to enhance a warm summer evening.


Sonya‘s review of Vichy Aera Teint Pure Fluid Foundation

Vichy Aera Teint Pure Fluid FoundationI remember the time when the first VICHY foundation was launched, I received a sample from the pharmacy and fell in love with it. Since than I have used it on and off for a while, together with more expensive ones form brands like Este Lauder, Clinique, Helena Rubinstein, and now some loose mineral foundation. But all this time I realized my best choice was and will be Aera Teint.
I have used the cream version, the fluid and the Normaderm version. The cream is good for the winter, but this is perfect for the rest of the year.

I really like the pump dispenser, compared to the original bottle.

The fluid is very light-weight, blends well, has no perfume that I can detect, and i do have a sharp sense of smell. My only gripe is probably the fact that it needs to be reapplied by the middle of the day depending on the way my skin feels and the weather. Also, it can transfer on your clothes after becoming a little loose on the skin from the hours of wear. Other than that is perfect.
My skin is sensitive, combination, acne-prone, dehydrated. It blends better when applied over a moisturizer. On a bare skin can stay a little mask-like. Sometimes I set it with powder, but because it has a lovely glow, I love it in a natural way more than with a pure mat finish.

I am very pale and opal fits me perfectly. Escentual is one of the few places that stock opal as a shade.

KiwiCherry’s  review of DIOR DiorSkin Sculpt – Line-Smoothing Lifting Makeup SPF 20

DIOR DiorSkin Sculpt - Line-Smoothing Lifting Makeup SPF 20I have used Dior Sculpt for a couple of years now. I have changed to other products but always return to my ‘old faithful.’ It does what it says on the bottle! What more can a girl ask for?

As time goes on a girl needs all the help she can get-you can’t fight age and gravity! (I am 44yrs old). I apply this in the morning and it stays true all day until I remove it-no need for touch-ups or re-applications.

The texture is smooth and glides on easily, sits well with any moisturiser,skin feels luxurious and not weighed down so I think it is worth the money. Also if you opt for cheaper brands it is false economy as you end up using more. With Sculpt it does really last longer. (Contents and application!) I purchased this from Escentual (great service and price, complete with freebies!) when my existing stock was running low. One bottle lasts me easily 3 mths+ and I apply every day. You only need a little to go a long way. I would definitely re-order this product from Escentual-thank you.


DIOR Backstage Skinflash - Radiance Booster Pen

Blue’s Review of DIOR Backstage Skinflash – Radiance Booster Pen 

I love this product! It’s not a concealer – it doesn’t completely cover up bags under the eyes but definately makes them less noticeable. It’s great to use a tiny bit at the corner of eyes and just above to open your eyes up as well! You only need to use a little bit each time so it will last. I’ve had compliments on my makeup since using this so I will buy it again 🙂


Miclsa’s review of Annick Goutal Sample Set

No doubt about it, there are some extremely talented noses / designers at the House of Annick Goutal. The quality is just so impressive. The only issue you’ll have with these fragrances is choosing which you will buy.

There are some truly stunning scents in this set. So much so that even though the one I was hoping to test “Mimosa” (my reason for buying) wasn’t in there, I am still so happy that I bought this. You get ten samples, too many to review individually, and I can honestly say that I liked all of them bar one.

I am not a fan of gourmandes and this is the only reason that I disliked the fragrance “vanille exquise”. The benzoin resin and gaic woods do however smell just lovely and really impart their earthiness on the musks (not a musk fan either) making the base very sensual indeed and not at all sickly as musks can be.

I was blown away by “Un matin d’orage”. For me this is the most beautiful gardenia scent. The gardenia is accented by a crisp, cool magnolia and warmed by a jasmine / orange blossom accord. These contrasts do not clash, but play eachother off beautifully. On warmer skin I get more of the jasmine, but on these cool spring evenings this is a true gardenia soliflore. It feels spiritual. There are not many florals I would wear, certainly not pure gardenias, but this I will go back to time and again. Really this could be worn by women throughout the age ranges, not at all just for the more mature women as one might expect with a pure floral.

I think the designer is also a gastronomer, as there are a number of accents in these perfumes evocative of fresh foods. The citrus notes are so true to their freshly squeezed forms, the green notes potentise and add interest like herbs. Sweet, sour, bitter, earthy, fresh are all perfectly balanced as if one were creating a dish. And all components seem placed to showcase the star of each frangrance. The blending of these fragrances is for me stimulating and delightful, not at all boring.

I’m primarily a chypre person and don’t like to wear things that smell like foods. I even prefer my chypre tops to be derived from acidic facets of flowers and green materials rather than citruses. So I was so surprised to find “Ninfeo mio” to be such a lovely and wearable perfume. The main two listed notes are italian lemon and fig. The lemon is so lemonny and the fig so figgy, but this doesn’t smell like dessert. The wood base grounds it, and though balmy (smells like sandalwood) somehow manages not to create fine furniture polish. Very impressive.

The last one of the set I’ll mention is “Ambre fetiche”. For me such a great find, because I’ve been questing both a lovely amber and a frankincense scent. So this is two hits in one. It’s the most stunning of all in my opinion and an absolute must for those, who like me, love ambers but don’t like gourmandes. This is not sickly caramel sweet like so many others. This is beautiful earthy resin. Rich yet subtle. And, the frankincense (if you are not an incense fan; no problem) is just indescribably nice and very alert on the top (makes you alert). Not in the least bit churchy. These two are blended perfectly, in my opinion, with the other resins. This isn’t a hippy scent, but something very sensual that just melds with you. The incense becomes a very pleasant mild leather. Through the middle this perfume gets sweeter, richer and creamier. Never too sweet and never the confections of say “flowerbomb” or “Angel”. I got someone else to test this, and on them it became particularly clove oilish and medicinal through the middle, but not on me. Whatever molecules were responsible, they produce instead a hint of something animalic on my skin like fur (on a live animal). Finally it dries down to become simply like the most wonderful smelling skin. The dry down was just the same on the other person that tested it. If it were me, I’d happily go through the ‘clove oil’ stage to get to the base. I think this is the perfect amber. It’s grown up, sensual, warm and very natural. I would also say it could be worn by both sexes. If you are into allegorical ‘clean’ scents that are more evocative of skin cleansing agents than actual skin, this won’t be for you. If you enjoy that you are a physical being, this will make you enjoy it more. This is definitely one I will be buying.

The sample set contains about 6 edt’s and 4 edp’s. The quality is lovely. It is also really good value for money, especially when you consider that you get the purchase price back when you choose to buy a full sized bottle (not sure if it’s a limited offer though).

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