Tried and tested

Edel Coffey enjoys sampling fragrances from Versace, Chanel, Lancome and Jo Malone.

(€45, 30ml EDT)

I’ve always been pleasantly surprised by flash fashion house Versace’s beauty and fragrance line. They are wonderfully delicate and complex and this new fragrance, despite its peacocky name, is no different.
Beginning with juicy freesia and rose-petal notes, it settles into a woody, musky base of black tea and cedar wood. The black tea gives it a tart, sharp edge with a lingering freshness, cutting through the warm muskiness, while osmanthus and tiare flower keep it light and sparkling. An intriguing and sophisticated female fragrance.

(€92, EDP, 50ml)

A new, female fragrance from the house of Chanel is always something to jump up and down about. Nobody does scent better than the master perfumer, Jacques Polge, who created Coco in 1984 as a way of referencing Coco Chanel’s inspirations from the Orient — woods, leathers, spices and fruits. In 2001 came the updated Coco mademoiselle, with its radiant burst of fruit and flowers. And now, 11 years later, Coco noir is a mysterious, night-time version of the original, taking inspiration from Venice, the place Chanel went to mourn the loss of her one true love, Boy Capel.
Just listen to the base notes — frankincense, patchouli, tonka bean, vanilla, sandalwood and vetiver. Add those to the pink peppercorns and grapefruit top notes, and the defining Chanel ingredients of jasmine and rose, and the result is a miraculous fragrance that balances light and dark, warm and sparkling at the same time. Beautiful.

(€46 Cologne 30ml)

Jo Malone’s omnipotence looks set to continue apace. The perfume brand started out as a small, independent house and has expanded into a global beauty super-power on the back of fragrances like basil, lime and mandarin and pomegranate noir.
It’s the fresh, pure notes of their scents that have made them so popular and this September’s new cologne, blackberry and bay, won’t do them any harm. It’s a cologne, which means it’s a unisex fragrance, but the masculine bay is tempered with a jammy burst of blackberries and a sharp, shimmering grapefruit note.
It’s clean and simple enough to forget you’re wearing it, so a brilliant fragrance for every day, when you don’t want to decide what perfume to wear.

(EDP, 30ml, €47)

Lancome are no slouches in the fragrance department, so the launch of their new scent, ‘la vie est belle’, was cause for fanfare. Created by Anne Flipo, Dominique Ropion and Olivier Polge (son of Chanel’s Jacques), this fragrance is ultra-feminine, with white flowers, including iris, jasmine, and orange blossom, but also, surprisingly headier notes, like patchouli, vanilla and tonka bean.
It reminded me, initially, of earlier Lan-come fragrances, like Tresor, but also more modern, popular fragrances, like Viktor and Rolf’s flowerbomb. I simply love that Lan-come are capturing a feeling, a state of mind with this fragrance, from the name (‘life Is beautiful’) to the bottle (first created in 1949 and kept in the vaults for just the right fragrance).
Wearing this feminine fragrance, you can’t help but agree with the perfume’s title.


Louisa Earls is a manager at Books Upstairs, D’Olier St, Dublin, which is owned by her father, Maurice Earls.Virus response writes a new chapter for Books Upstairs

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