Beauty: Fragrances that are set to grow on you
Just in time for the Chelsea Flower Show, a heavenly bouquet of flower-powered fragrances has bloomed on the beauty counters. Katie Wright gathers spring's freshest floral scents
THIS month sees the return of the Chelsea Flower Show (May 24-28), when the world's best horticulturists descend upon London in the hope that their show gardens will attract an elusive gold medal.
But don't worry if you can't make it to the capital – you can still enjoy the joyous aroma of gardens in full bloom, thanks to the bumper crop of flower and foliage-inspired fragrances that have landed this spring.
From subtle and herbaceous, to sweet and heady, there's a scent for everyone, you'll just have to pick your own...
THE WILD ONE
Part of the limited edition Herb Garden collection, Jo Malone Wild Strawberry & Parsley, £44 for 30ml, melds the savoury tang of flat-leaf parsley with the juicy sweetness of strawberry and blackcurrant, resulting in a gorgeously green blend (www.jomalone.co.uk).
THE QUEEN OF FLOWERS
Opening with a burst of ravishing pink rose, L'Occitane Violette & Rose de Mai Eau de Toilette, £52 for 75ml, dries down to reveal a heart of zesty mandarin and bergamot. Musk and sandalwood combine to complete this complex, creamy concoction (www.loccitane.com).
THE PERSONAL PERFUME
When fashion editor Jo Levin ran out of the scent oil that had garnered her so many compliments over the years, she decided to enlist the help of Escentric Molecules founder Jeff Lounds to recreate the fragrance. In OdeJo Eau de Toilette, £55 for 50ml, aromatic lily and Tahitian rose meet their yang in cucumber oil and blue sea kelp, the blend evoking dusk during summertime (www.harveynichols.com).
THE ITALIAN JOB
Imagine a cool breeze rolling in off the Ligurian Sea, as you stroll through a sun-dappled lemon orchard on the Italian Riviera... That's where you're transported with the latest addition to the Tom Ford Private Blend collection, Neroli Portofino Eau de Parfum, £145 for 50ml, which is inspired by the glamorous holiday destination (www.johnlewis.com).
THE FRUIT COCKTAIL
Diptyque Eau de Sens Eau de Toilette, £60 for 50ml, takes a new approach to citrus, combining elements of orange tree blossom, peel and flowers. Rounding out that acidic trio with musky angelica and patchouli, the florals really shine through (www.johnlewis.com).
THE DARK HORSE
A delicate floral threesome – rose, carnation and lily of the valley - is elevated to heady new heights by liquorice and fig in MOR's deeply enveloping Rosa Noir Eau de Parfum, £39 for 100ml (www.feelunique.com).
THE FRESH STAR
Giving the familiar floral a new lease of life, Molton Brown Dewy Lily Of The Valley & Star Anise Eau de Toilette, £39 for 50ml, adds spicy star anise into the mix, plus magnolia, peony and white musk, making it as fresh and bright as a spring morning (www.moltonbrown.co.uk).
THE LITERARY AGENT
The next volume in Amouage's Library Collection is anything but by the book. Opus X Eau de Parfum, £180 for 50ml, is a bold confluence of no less than four rose notes, ably assisted by geranium, leather, oud and rich ylang-ylang (www.amouage.com).
THE SUGAR RUSH
Like a cool Cosmopolitan on a hot New York night, DKNY Summer for Women Limited Edition, £44 for 100ml, is a sparking medley of goji berry, peach bellini, water lily, violet and rose, that will satisfy any sweet tooth (www.superdrug.com).
THE ASIAN SENSATION
Created without any synthetic ingredients, Weleda's Garden of Life trio is powered by natural essential oils. Grenade Jardin de Vie, £19.95 for 50ml, is inspired by an exotic Persian garden, fusing plump pomegranate with herbaceous davana and warm vanilla (www.weleda.co.uk).
THE THAI TAKEAWAY
Drawing on the native flowers of her favourite holiday destination, Thailand, the third fragrance from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is centred around a pair of jasmine accords and rose centifolia. The floral heart of Rosie For Autograph Summer Rose Eau de Parfum, £28 for 75ml, is followed by sumptuous sandalwood and musk (www.marksandspencer.com).
THE POWER PLAYER
The latest launch in the Eclectic Elements collection, Bronnley Zealous Flower Eau de Toilette, £35 for 50ml, combines jasmine and rose notes with fruity pear and mandarin, pink pepper and amber, adding both warmth and depth (www.bronnley.co.uk).
TRIED AND TESTED
:: Kate Whiting puts a pair of tangle-busting brushes to the test...
Tangle Teezer Original Lemon Sherbet Limited Edition, £10.99 (www.boots.com)
"I've heard lots about the Tangle Teezer, but this was the first time I'd ever used one – and I'm a complete convert. It doesn't look all that – a lightweight plastic bean with two layers of spines – but the proof is in the brushing, and this tamed my dry hair with far fewer strokes than its rival and was a dream on my wet hair. Ergonomically designed to fit snugly in the palm, it feels like the extension of my hand that's been missing. My barnet has definitely met its match!"
Wet Brush Shine, £14.99 (LookFantastic.com)
"Designed to be used on wet or dry hair, the Wet Brush promises 'no more pulling, tugging or pain', thanks to IntelliFlex Bristles which are firm on one stroke, but give on the next. The soft grip handle is comfortable to hold, but on dry hair, the first tug through did hurt and it took quite a lot of brushing to detangle my frizzy mess. On wet hair, it's much smoother, and the soft tips were gentle on my scalp."
BUY IT NOW
With two interchangeable heads, the Darphin L'Institut Sonic Facial Cleansing and Massaging Tool, £125 (www.spacenk.com), is like a facialist you can keep in your bathroom cabinet (wouldn't that be handy?). Use the vibrating bristle head with a gel cleanser to thoroughly remove make-up and dirt, then follow with the stainless steel massaging head and moisturiser to boost circulation, hydrate and smooth lines.
:: TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
Cargo Cosmetics has joined forces with augmented reality company FaceCake, so you can now virtually try their make-up before buying. Simply upload a photo of yourself, or use your webcam, and then hit the 'try' button and watch the make-up be 'applied' to your face. The tool is on the brand's US site only for now (www.cargocosmetics.com), so once you've had a play – it's really addictive – head to Debenhams.com to make your purchase, safe in the knowledge that fuchsia lipstick really does suit your complexion.
:: ALWAYS USE PROTECTION
While 76 per cent of UK women regularly use heated hair appliances, only one in seven say they use a protective product at the same time, according to a new survey from Unilever. Hair is made up mainly of proteins and lipids, both of which are damaged by temperatures higher than 160 degrees, so make sure to coat your locks with a protection spray or serum before you fire up your hairdryer, tongs or straighteners.
STEAL OF THE WEEK
To mark the fifth birthday of its Health & Beautycard, Superdrug is rolling out a range of offers during May. BaByliss Pro Ceramic 12-in-1 Styler, usually £49.99, is reduced to £33.34, and cardholders get an extra 10 per cent off, making it just £24.99 (www.superdrug.com).