Beauty: Perfumes that are scent with love
A flirty fragrance makes the perfect gift on Valentine's Day. Claire Spreadbury sniffs out the best
FLOWERS and chocolates are all very well, but receiving a beautiful bottle of perfume or cologne on February 14 (ideally paired with underwear) is always better. So why not opt for a different sort of bouquet this year, and frolic with fragrance instead?
:: Hugo Boss The Scent, £45 for 50ml (www.theperfumeshop.com)
This isn't your average Boss fragrance, thanks to a distinctive twist of ginger, leather and maninka fruit. The bottle has a fresh, urban design too and purchases of 50ml or more come with a free washbag and mini 8ml scent, while stocks last.
:: Help For Heroes Xtreme, £30 for 100ml (www.debenhams.com)
A traditional masculine scent with a slight fruity edge, this fragrance was created by five injured veterans to help raise money for British servicemen and women wounded in the line of duty. Comes in a great hip flask bottle and at least £3 from every sale goes to Help For Heroes.
:: Eisenberg J'ose For Men, £44 for 30ml (www.boots.com)
Seductive notes of mint and armoise, beneath a base of amber and patchouli, make this scent a light, understated and classy fragrance for men.
:: Jo Malone Orris & Sandalwood Cologne Intense, £105 for 100ml (www.jomalone.co.uk)
Woody yet floral, powdery yet deep, creamy yet sensual, this new Jo Malone cologne is definitely a keeper.
:: Parfums de Marly Akaster, £215 for 125ml (www.harrods.com)
If you're pushing the boat out and fancy a really different scent, this new blend contains strong aromas that are synonymous with Parfums de Marly. Sicilian lemon, Bulgarian rose and African geranium all come together in a fragrance that smells of an earthy log fire and a tumbler of whisky.
:: Carven L'eau Intense, £70 for 100ml (www.selfridges.com)
This is a new scent for men, which is heady and fresh. Pop into Selfridges and have artist Sarah Smart sketch you a complimentary illustration and personal message on the striking white bottle to make it a total one-off. Service available from February 12 in London Oxford Street; February 18 in The Bullring, Birmingham; February 19 in Manchester's Exchange Square, and February 20 at the Manchester Trafford Centre.
FRESH & FEMININE
:: Chloe Love Story, £46.50 for 30ml (www.johnlewis.com)
Chloe's latest fragrance is a fresher, more sensual scent, with dreamy notes of orange blossom, nasturtium and prunus flower.
:: Amore by Vince Camuto, £55 for 100ml (www.debenhams.com)
New launch Amore, by fashion designer Vince Camuto, comes in a decadent bottle containing a floral scent with fruity back notes. And it has the perfect name for Valentine's Day.
:: Liz Earle Botanical Essence No.20, £49 for 50ml (lizearle.com)
This beautifully packaged pink parcel contains a heavenly floral scent – with a spicy twist – that was made to celebrate Liz Earle's 20th anniversary towards the end of last year. A perfect daytime perfume.
:: Molton Brown Fiery Pink Pepper, £39 for 50ml (www.moltonbrown.co.uk)
Packaged to pink perfection, this scent has an edge of cologne to it, making it musky and sultry, yet still feminine.
:: Miss Dior, £49.50 for 30ml (www.houseoffraser.co.uk)
The citrus top note keeps this fragrance fresh, while the jasmine, patchouli and sandalwood add a sweet woody finish.
:: Barbour For Her, £40 for 50ml (www.selfridges.com)
This brand new fragrance contains fresh fruity notes, contrasted with spicy pink pepper and even a dash of vanilla – a treat for any valentine.
TRIED AND TESTED
Face masks can work wonders. Our testers put three new releases on trial...
:: Kiehl's Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque, £28 (www.kiehls.co.uk)
Infused with turmeric, this face mask warms up once it's on your skin. Although I wasn't overly keen on the tingling sensation, it does calm down after a few minutes and I did like exfoliating with the cranberry seeds when I washed the mask off my face.
:: Vichy Normaderm 3-in-1 Cleansing + Scrub + Mask, £11 (www.boots.com)
This soft, pale green cream does triple duty as a cleanser and scrub, promising to unclog pores and banish impurities on busier days, or works as a five-minute face mask when you've got more time to relax. Soap-free and perfect for sensitive skin, it leaves my face feeling fresh and shine-free.
:: La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Masque, £16 (www.my-dermacenter.com)
This intensely hydrating mask is great for sensitive skin. Simply apply to your face, leave on for 10 minutes and let your skin soak up the cream. It's a soothing treat your face will look forward to in the chilly months.
BUY IT NOW
Burning desires are all around come Valentine's Day. If you don't fancy buying perfume or cologne but still want to set the mood for love, try a Diptyque candle. The new Rosaviola range, designed in collaboration with fashion designer Olympia Le-Tan, will look beautiful in the boudoir.
:: Diptyque Rosaviola Candle, from £28 (www.diptyqueparis.co.uk)
:: TEEN SCHEME
Boots has launched a new long-term campaign to discover how they can help support the health and wellbeing of UK teenagers. Survey results revealed that 63 per cent of girls feel positive about their looks, but by age 15, skin becomes one of their biggest health concerns. A whopping 42 per cent of boys aged 15-17, and 55 per cent of girls in this age group, admit they want clearer skin. Damn hormones – but at least there are more and more products on the market to help keep blemishes and breakouts at bay.
STEAL OF THE WEEK
For the slightly younger valentine, Ghost Girl is a tough fragrance to beat, especially when it comes with an amazing free gift. Every purchase of the perfume currently comes with a complimentary cosmetic bag, complete with two lip crayons, in Berry and Blush, available while stocks last.
:: Ghost Girl, £25 for 30ml, available nationwide in stores including Boots, Superdrug and The Perfume Shop