Sunday, 27 March 2011

The Perfume Shop

Spring is coming and it’s time to change your heady winter perfume to a lighter fresher scent. Here’s The Perfume Shop’s guide to your spring /summer scent.

They say you should have at least 5 pieces of fruit/veg a day, I wonder if fruit in fragrances count?

Ed Hardy’s new Love and Luck

This fruity scent may look oriental on the package, with the tattoo image a Geisha girl, but she’s only there for the sake drink. Yes the top notes include a red sake accord along with cherry blossom and blood oranges. Apparently red sake smells like honey-laced apples with a dash of cinnamon.  But that’s not the end of the fruitiness, in the heart notes there’s black currant, nectarine and forbidden plum along with pink peppercorn. 
This Geisha girl is a light fruit cocktail with a sake kick.

Another perfume you may think would be oriental is Jimmy Choo, again because of the packaging (a pink snake skin print on the box.) The heart note is the exotic Tiger Orchard, but the top notes are sweet Italian orange and pear nectar. Mixed with a base note of toffee, it sounds good enough to eat, but you’ll either love it or find it a bit too sickly sweet.

And a great fragrance for Wimbledon tennis would be Marc Jacobs Daisy bursting with top notes of wild strawberries. Cream not included. And like at Wimbledon, classic white is her preferred colour, but she likes to glam it up with a touch of gold.


Flower power is back again with a vengeance and this time is taking no prisoners. Marc Jacobs Lola . She starts fresh and fruity with tops notes of pear and ruby red grapefruit, but really she’s all floral heart with rose, fuchsia, peony and geranium.  Unlike her sister Daisy, this girl likes to wear colour.

DKNY Woman. This is urban floral, New York style. On top she is a strong Bloody Mary cocktail mix of blood orange, vodka and tomato leaf. But open up her heart and she is all notes of daffodil, orchid and lily, with soft undertones of tulip tree wool and white birch.  Tall, slim and classic, she prefers silver.

Hot and Spicy 
The allure of the exotic keeps the temperature rising. The name and bottle of Vera Wang Anniversary  doesn’t conjure up images of the mystic east, but that’s because our Vera is celebrating her 20th anniversary her fashion house, so hence the name and is paying homage to the classic Vera Wang bottle, hence the style . But it’s what inside that counts and like all women who are comfortable in their own skin, she doesn’t need the frills or loud colours to attract attention. She starts as she means to go on with her top notes of hot blooded Sicilian bergamot, red apple leaves and mandarin oil, all cooled down with a splashed of dew. Her warm heart is all feminine white gardenia, rose absolute and orange flowers, whilst her simmering base notes brings out the animal in her with creamy orris, silky musks , warm cedarwood and golden amber crystals.

Cutey Pies
And for all you beach lovers who still like playing with dolls, go for one of The Perfume Shop’s predicted hottest scents for this summer-Harajuku Lovers G of the Sea. The package is so cute; it has ‘G’ dressed up as a mermaid doll. There are crisp surfing top notes of apple and berry, with a summer breeze floral blend of peony, freesia and jasmine in her heart. But it’s her base notes of sundrenched woods, transparent musk and amberwood which make her such a beach babe.

Get fresh with Joop Splash. Lure them in with your melon fresh calypsone top note, snare them with your lethal heart note of wild cassowary fruit and then soothe them with your woody base notes. They won’t know what crashing wave has hit them.

Joop also have a limited edition summer scent called Sexy In Pink. It’s for the guys who prefer the hot passion of pink to the cool dude of blues.  He may start fresh with grapefruit top notes, but soon shows his smouldering warm heart of aromatic saffron and his deep base masculine notes of leather. Pink has never looked so good on a man.

The Perfume Shop’s prediction for one of the hottest fragrance for men this summer is Boss Orange. He starts light with crisp apple and coriander top notes, shows he can be exotic in his heart with heady Frankincense and Szechuan pepper, but keeps grounded with his base notes of vanilla bean and the rich exotics Bubinga wood. The choice of Bubinga was because the perfumer’s brother played the flute (made from Bubinga) and every time he took it out of the box, this creamy deep wood scent filled the air. And with Orlando Bloom in its adverts, it’s a definite winner.

And last but not least is Lacoste with a trio of new men’s fragrances, taking the iconic polo shirt as inspiration.
Blanc- like the classic white polo shirt is pure, clean with understated simplicity.  The top note of zingy grapefruit reflects the cool and fresh petit pique fabric, whilst the floral heart note of Mexican tuberose reflects the purity of the shirt.

Bleu – is all masculine from its classic masculine Fougere fragrance down to its traditionally masculine colour of blue.

Vert – a fresh scent with bamboo wood accord, birch leaf and sandalwood to give a more relaxed smell of the outdoors.

Available through

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Gianmarco Lorenzi

Gianni Renzi's love of shoes goes way back to his childhood in Italy’s Marche region, a region famous for its leather craftsmanship, and where his parents ran a small family business making handcrafted children’s shoes.  With the help of his brothers, Marco and Renzo, and luckily for us, Gianni decided to convert the business to the production of women's shoes and so the brand Gianmarco Lorenzi was established.

Gainmarco Lorenzi uses the old Italian traditions ensuring each shoe is completely handmade haute couture and of the highest quality. Gianni personally studies the technical aspect of every shape and fit to guarantee comfort even on the highest heels – a dream shoe come true!

And to add to the dream shoe - all heels are made of titanium and so unbreakable.

His Black Label Collection surprisingly is a rainbow of colourful crystals and gemstones embedded in satins. Some with silver lame fabrics gracing the inner side of the heels and the soles. Others with crystals and gems adorning heels and sandwiched between double layered platforms – a style Beyonce chose for her International tour.

For the AW10 collection the feeling is sensuality and romanticism. Main features include towering heels, gunmetal metallics and soft satins.

Gold or silver studs on black leather or suede bring an edgy Donna Matrix style to long boots, ankle boots and shoes with matching gold or silver high heels and toe caps. 

Another great style is the military look on long boots, ankle boots and even sandals adorned with military badges, pins and ribbon styled leather. Heels are slim but platform soles chunky, suede colours a mix of light and dark blues or black and light grey paired off with patches of leather.

Contrasting bright colours brings fun to suede high platform shoes with shades of blues, pinks and purples. Others sport leather encased heels and backs.

There is a Cossack feel to the sheepskin lace up ankle boots; a metropolitan feel to the fur trimmed high suede boots with large suede bow decorating the back and a Boho / hippy chic look went to the muted suede tasselled boots with silver or gold eyelets and toecaps

The SS11 collection evokes the glamour of the Italian Riviera with towering platforms in soft summertime tones, ranging from sand, cream and dove grey to powdery blue and pink with splashes of vibrant fuchsia, coral and mint. New to the collection is the 8 inch wedge espadrille.

Providing a softer feminine alternative look to the glamorous glitzy Swarovski embellishments, is the use of delicate silk, satin and leather flowers on ankle and toe-traps.

This season it’s all about mixing contrasting fabrics – think fluid silk with python, lace or butter-soft suede.
With this high quality, attention to detail and variety of styles, it’s no wonder why Gianmarco Lorenzi has such a celebrity following.

And not forgetting the guys, Gianmarco has now started to design men’s shoes. You will love the eel skin leather lace ups, very elegant and soft to the touch.

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Melvita Bio-Excellence Beauty Range

This cold weather and central heating are playing havoc with our skin causing it to dehydrate and redness to increase. The French organic beauty brand, Melvita , have come up with the Bio-Excellence beauty range especially to combat the bad effects of the winter weather.

Bio-Excellence moisturising serum.
Containing the essential oil of Everlasting flowers sounds promising – just the name gives hope. And apparently it lives up to its reputation with anti-ageing properties.  Combined with the smoothing properties of Beech Buds , the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles are reduced.  Also in this beauty garden are the moisturising and cooling properties of Aloe Vera . Not forgetting the fruit cocktail anti-oxidant properties of  Cranberry, raspberry and black currant, lemon pectin topped with honey. Mouth watering? Maybe not, but skin hydrating ?Yes.

Bio Excellence Extraordinary day cream
This  rich and ultra-creamy texture is designed to suit skin that is prone to dryness during the winter. Combines the anti-ageing Olive Squalane with softening mango and cocoa butters, anti-oxiding action of pomegranate and manganese, plus Aloe Vera and Linden water for sensitive skin. Although rich, the smooth cream is mattifying so no shininess.

Bio-excellence extraordinary night cream
Whilst you are sleeping, this cream gets to work and targets the skin when it is at its peak repairing phrase. Its innovative formula includes the magical ingredient of moonstone powder with its regenerating properties. The potassium rich blue stone is known to hold ‘all the powers of the night’.

Adding to the magic are the nutritive and softening properties of the Butterfly Lavender, Marula – an oil used by the Tsonga women of S Africa and Mozambique as a body lotion, olive and argan oils found only on the Moroccan coast. This ‘gold from Morocco’ is rich in Vitamin E, phenols, carotenes, squalene and essential fatty acids.
Wake up in the morning feeling radiant.

Bio-Excellence Eye Contour Care
They say the eyes are the windows of the soul. Then we need to make sure the frame doesn’t let us down. The gel contains Aloe Vera, caffeine, willow bark and phospholipid complex for an immediate tensing effect. Whilst chlorella, a blue micro-algae goes to work on tackling any dark circles,  the Arabic Acacia gum and Rhizobium on their lifting effects, and Centella Asiatica on its restructuring benefits. Refreshing cornflower, camomile and orange floral waters bring calming decongestant properties.

Other Bio-Excellence products available are:
Ultra Gentle cleansing milk
Micellar toner
Extraordinary Day fluid
Facial Scrub

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky