Having a signature scent is something that I think is talked about a lot in the beauty community, conjuring up images of old glamour, dressing tables and perfume atomisers. I love the power of fragrance, the ability of a scent to recall memories, and my little collection of perfumes is something I've explored before here on the blog. But I have a little confession: I've become a very specific perfume hoarder. 

The collection of scents from Elizabeth and James (aka Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen's line for those hibernating) SHOULD have been a 'sniff and select' process. Four scents, each distinct and quite different, I was certain that I couldn't love them all. One of them was called Rose for Gods sake, and I had sworn off all things rose-y a long time ago.

I started my collection with Nirvana White. This sophisticated, light and slightly sweet scent struck a chord with me instantly. It smelled like summer, but not crudely of sea salt and Tommy Girl, this was much more refined - grown up, I guess - peony, muguet and musk make up the fragrance. I bought the rollerball 3 years ago and it's just about still hanging on.

Then, Nirvana Black joined the family. I'll be honest, when I first smelt this, it didn't work for me. The scent is heady, sexy, sweet - it reminded me of cloying Arabic sandalwood-based perfumes that I had been trapped in lifts with in Dubai one time too many. But it really, really grew on me. This is a fragrance for dates, for when you want to feel sexy and sensual. Powerfully connected to your femininity, notes of violet and vanilla make it womanly without being girly. I adore it now.

Nirvana Bourbon was never going to be a misfire for me. Bourbon is my drink of choice and the sweet, spicy taste of the whiskey perfectly translates to scent. There's a hint of oakwood and tuberose in there too, which gives this a gorgeous depth. I love wearing this to work, it's almost like day drinking!

So when the option to buy all of the fragrances in miniature in a Sephora value set (aptly coined 'Find Your Nirvana') came along, unable to buy them here in the U.K. and with willing beauty mule en route to NYC (thanks Nicole!), I thought screw it, I'll take the chance on Rose. Here's where it gets weird...

This is a HEAVY rose scent. This isn't Rose lite or some dainty fashion editor take on Rose, this goes hard on the floral. And when I first sniffed it, I predictably hated it. However, I decided to see how it settled on the skin and, to my surprise, it dried down to a really feminine, soft scent that was sweet without being overpowering. There's also something quite Eastern about it, I guess the notes of vetiver, which I don't mind at all. Its subtlety is best appreciated when warmed on the skin.


So there you have it - I'm totally in love. Unfortunately the value set is no longer available on Sephora.com, but I think you can still try in store if you have one near you! My only problem now is - you can't get these perfumes in the UK!!! Still, something tells me I might have JUST enough to keep me going for now...

3 comments

  1. I'm no expert when it comes to fragrances - I only own The Body Shop White Musk and Clinique Happy. I am looking to venture deeper into the world of fragrance, however!

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    1. Ooh, my very first 'favourite' perfume was The Body Shop Tobacco Flower, so I know their fragrances are good ;) You should definitely give some Jo Malone a go if you can, Ela! Their perfumes are so amazing and the range is insane! Thanks for reading and commenting. T xx

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  2. I've tried black and white - i got them as rollerballs in a Sephora value set and redeemed the full size of Nirvana white. I ended up selling the rollerballs, I liked Nirvana black but I do think I needed time for it to grow on me! I much prefer white, it's such a beautiful scent! I really want to smell the other two!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

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