Eau des Minimes Cologne -Botanical cologne of the Minims

I was suckered in by the hokey looking Apothecary-type “Oo we’ve been doing this since 1862 in a convent to a secret recipe that goes back to the 15th century” packaging.

Apothecary type nonsense

But… I was in the market for a fresh smelling cologne now that summer is (slowly) coming and I spotted this, completely unknown to me brand (which is exciting in itself, to be honest). I’m a simple soul when it comes to perfumes: I tend to like significantly one-note fragrances, citrussy ones or ones that are very white floral heavy. Anything too complex and I want to wash it off -my nose goes into overdrive. Maybe it’s being a florist -I smell a lot of fragrances every day and poor imitations of flowers particularly offend.

Eau des minimesThere’s a whole range of different scents of which this is the original, but -staying on track- this one was my favourite by a Provencal country mile. It’s a gorgeously fresh, sparkling lively scent. Completely citrussy (Grapefruit, Lemon and Blood Orange), what gives it an edge of complexity are the other ingredients (Rosemary, wild pansy, burdock, lemon balm, mallow and benzoin that stop it smelling like you’ve just rolled in a vat of Cif.

Doesn't it just transport you to France? :-)

Doesn’t it just transport you to France? ūüôā

It’s ¬£19 for 100ml, so it’s not a¬†complete bargain, and being a cologne its staying power is virtually nil. But the beauty of a cologne is being able to splash it on in abundance, and every time get that lovely summery hit of citrus. You can even keep it in the fridge.

It comes with a spray nozzle which is a thoughtful touch, as I don’t quite fancy splashing it all over Brut¬†stylee.

This one is a definite Summer hit and is coming away on holiday with me.

What’s your summer scent? Do you like a cologne or a perfume in the summer?

Eau des Minimes range can be bought HERE

Info: Purchase

Cowshed Gorgeous Cow

I’ll not lie to you -I’ve always been a bit ‘meh’ about Cowshed. They are absolutely¬†above reproach when it comes to not using ingredients that give some people cause to worry (sulphates, parabens, animal ingredients etc) for which I doff my cap to them. But when I’ve been looking for a quick bathroom hit, I’ve always been put off by the price (¬£16+ for shower gels), and the fact that as much as I love ‘spa’-like scents, there has never been anything in their range that has made me go ‘ooo!’ enough to reach for my purse.

I understand that using high quality ingredients is going to elicit a higher price point, but I’m also someone who stockpiles Radox from the 99p store and am perfectly happy with that for my bathtime needs. The idea of paying upwards of ¬£15 for bath fluff when there are lipsticks out there that need investigating seems anathema to me.

Then, wandering through Selfridges with nary a care in the world, I spotted the Cowshed concession and without even thinking about it, started sniffing the testers. (I¬†always do this -even when I¬†know I don’t like something.)

Bam. Floral heaven. How had I not smelt this one before? It looked familiar (further checking shows it’s been out since the middle of 2013 -I’m nothing if not a late adopter) but I’m sure I would have remembered this one. Apparently not. Ylang-ylang and Rose are tempered magically by the high, lemongrassy ¬†scent of Palmarosa, so what could have just been a blousy floral scent is now wonderfully, alchemically transformed into a fragrance that has both height and depth. There’s lavender in there too but for some reason I don’t pick up on that.

Reader: I bought the lot.

Pretty much the whole Gorgeous Cow range

Pretty much the whole Gorgeous Cow range

The shower gel is silky on the skin and foams softly. The body lotion -which for me, is the star of the show- is absorbed quickly leaving no greasy residue and smells exactly the same on the skin as it does in the bottle, with the fragrance lasting for a few hours without dying down. Really, it’s as good as a perfume. The candle has so far filled a whole room with scent without even being lit, and is so pretty that I’m loathe to.

The one product that I have not been enamoured of has been the perfume oil. I was hoping for the same amount of fragrance payoff that I get from the body lotion, but instead the scent seems reedy, thin and dies down to a slightly powdery nothingy smell, with none of the wham! of the palmarosa. There is always the possibility that my skin isn’t reacting well with the oils, but I’ve tried it on bare skin and on skin with the body lotion underneath and neither makes a difference. Such a shame, as I was looking forward to being able to tote the tiny rollerball around with me in place of my current bottle of JPG perfume.

No matter -for an all round sensory experience, the Gorgeous Cow range has knocked me sideways, and the body lotion (I normally LOATHE body lotions!) is definitely on the repurchase list.

All available here

Disclaimer: Bought with cold, hard cash