Getting perfume samplers in the post were one of the little treats that served as a fantastic pick me up during the seemingly never-ending period that was lockdown. As I have now exhausted all the perfume samples that are available on the FeelUnique website, I had to look elsewhere, and was alerted to this very tempting offer from LookFantastic.
It's a box with five fragrances in, luxury-sized (so larger than the usual 1.2ml sample-sizes I reviewed from FeelUnique), with two other non-fragrance samples thrown in. The box costs £55, which may seem pricey… until you consider that the box comes with a voucher code, that gives you £55 off the price of a full-sized bottle of any of the five perfumes it trials (and I made use of this voucher!)
Here are my thoughts on the seven items in the box:
I thought this was a gorgeous fragrance. The initial impression I got from it was fruitiness (most notably the blackcurrent), and as it reacts with the skin, I detected the vanilla. With cedar, patchouli and amberwood as the base notes, Sì Passione has an enjoyably warm smell.
The perfume aims to exude ‘confidence, seduction and strength’, and for this, the middle notes of pineapple, rose, heliotrope and jasmine help to attain this aim. I love rose in perfumes, but there needs to be just the right amount – too much of it can be nausea-inducing. Armani Sì Passione has got the quantity spot on.
I did have issues with its longevity – I applied it before going to work, and by lunchtime, the smell had almost completely gone. But I tend to top up my perfume after lunch anyway, so I can work with that. Of the five perfumes in the box, this one was my favourite, and the one I used the £55 off voucher on, to add another perfume to my collection!
It arrived last week, and I’m in love with the bottle:
Armani Lip Maestro Mini-Shade 400
I’m not a big wearer of lipstick (in the corporate environment, overly dramatic lip-shades would be seen as unnecessarily attention seeking), preferring to wear Vaseline or lipgloss on my lips instead. As such, I don’t have a lot of experience at lipstick application, which may affect my impression of this product.
As you might be able to see from the photos below, my lipstick application is always quite messy, as some of the red from the lipstick went beyond the corners of the mouth. Rookie error. However, on this issue, I don’t think the consistency of the product helps, as it’s overly creamy and prone to smudging.
As with the Armani Sì Passione perfume, the Lip Maestro also suffers from problems of low staying power. After one drink, most of the lipstick had worn off. I get much better longevity on Maybelline and L’oreal lipsticks, for a fraction of the price.
The vibrant red is a very nice colour for a night out, but considering this is supposed to be a high end product, the formula of the lipstick was somewhat suspect.
The products as they came in the box!
Maison Margiela Lazy Sunday Morning
This is one of those fragrances where I must admit, I struggle to see the hype. It claims to smell like fresh clean laundry, but Lazy Sunday Morning has a distinctly alcoholic fragrance – my laundry doesn’t smell of alcohol!
There is a slightly detergent-like quality to the smell, although I think this tends closer to the soapy side of things, and we all know how perfumes that smell like soaps make me feel.
There is a whiff of rose in the formula. As discussed, I usually like my perfumes to have rose as an ingredient. But combined with the soapiness of the scent, the combination just makes Lazy Sunday Morning even more sickly. There’s also iris and orange blossom in the middle notes, but, due to the bad foundation of smelling like detergent, they all blend together to make a cloying, artificial concoction. Not for me.
Yves Saint Laurent Libre Eau de Parfum
Back when I started ordering samplers from FeelUnique, YSL Libre was one of the first I ordered. It was from getting samplers in the mail that I actually found the value in this exercise, because YSL Libre was a fragrance that I loved when I tried it on in House of Fraser, but with a larger quantity and a longer time to savour the smell, I decided it smelt nice, but not entirely deserving of its hefty price tag.
My thoughts on it here.
Viktor & Rolf BonBon Eau de Parfum
I also trialled this perfume in my first FeelUnique haul, back in September 2020. Revisiting it over a year later, my impressions are the same; it’s still an 8/10 scent for me. It strikes the right balance between caramel and citrus, with a subtle smattering of peach and amber.
The mini-bottle of BonBon, in the shape of a sweet, is quite darling, I’ll be holding onto this long after the perfume’s run out!
Lancôme La Vie Est Belle Soleil Cristal
The original La Vie Est Belle is one of my all-time favourite perfumes, and I have it in the large bottle. I was left wanting by this variation, though.
The perfume contains top notes of mandarin orange, pink pepper and bergamot; middle notes of iris, orange blossom, jasmine; and bottom notes of coconut, vanilla and patchouli. What didn’t work for me about this concoction was the coconut, a smell I’m not particularly fond of, and the iris. As discussed before at length, I don’t care for white florals in perfume, and if employed, it has to be used very sparingly.
The combination of the coconut, iris, and the vanilla absolutely lathered into the formula, meant I got a distinctly soapy smell from Soleil Cristal. On initial application, the perfume flattered to deceive, as it did vaguely evoke the O.G. scent. But in the drydown, the nauseating soap smell really came to the fore.
In short, a scent not at all worthy of the hefty price tag of Lancôme LVEBs.
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate
I must admit, facial oil isn't something that is currently part of my night-time skincare routine, but I am being made increasingly aware of its benefits. The 4ml sampler of Kiehl's that came in this beauty box, was a helpful way to introduce it into my regime.
Having used such a limited sample size over about a week, it's hard to comment on its long-term effects, but my skin did feel more rejuvenated in the morning. With 99.8% of the product being derived naturally, it does also feel like you're putting organic goodness into your skin. At least, I certainly hope so!