Manface reviews Paco Rabanne.

Manface reviews Paco Rabanne.

Sometimes when we find a fragrance brand we love, we tend to stick to it and there’s nothing wrong with that! Our guest blogger, Thom from the talented Manface, loves the Paco Rabanne brand and has reviewed their best selling scents to tell you which fragrance suits which occasion!


Paco Rabanne 1 Million

When? – Evening/Night Out/Club


Despite having a citrus top, the most prominent notes are amber, leather and cinnamon, creating a deliciously prominent aura of sultry sexiness. It’s a gorgeous fragrance and my all-time guilty secret but a word to the wise, don’t douse yourself in it; I don’t want to taste your fragrance when I’m boogying away (that’s right, I boogie!).


Paco Rabanne Invictus

When? – Daytime/Apre-Sport


This has grown on me and I can really understand why it was one of the best selling fragrances of 2013. It’s sexy; really sexy. With fabulous oceanic notes, lemon and bay leaf, it’s fresh but still distinctively Paco Rabanne with a definite sweetness. After showering from a hard workout, Invictus energises and compliments the pump; leave the gym feeling confident and upbeat.


Paco Rabanne Pour Homme

When? – Daytime/Work


This has to be my favourite of the Paco Rabanne family. It’s reminiscent of a strong, sophisticated and mature mediterranean man. This fragrance means business. Launched in 1973, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme is loaded with Oakmoss, Lavender, Honey, Clary Sage and Geranium. I wear this for meetings and business lunches, it oozes sophistication, experience and if good business could be a fragrance ‘ this’d be it!


Paco Rabanne Black XS Potion

When? – Hot Date


This enticing, seductive and warming fragrance is the latest edition to the Pacco Rabanne family. With rum, cashmere wood, labdanum, wormwood and juniper, it almost sits in the Thierry Mugler ballpark, but less heady and booming. It’s a little sweet but unquestionably masculine and be sure to use only a little as it’s very long lasting and throws quite a distance. Wearing this for a date will be sure to make an impact and who knows, if she opts for the Paco Rabanne Black XS Potion for Her, maybe it’s meant to be?


Paco Rabanne Ultra Violet

When? – Whenever


This definitely breaks the mould as far as Paco Rabanne fragrances go, with bizarre and seductive grey amber as well as mint, oak moss, vetiver and vanilla. It’s probably a little heavy to wear first thing on a morning for work, but definitely on a day off, evening or special event; no one will recognise it straight away, I guarantee! I’ve been wearing this for travel and find it comforting and not too heady but distinctive enough to stand out.

By Thom Watson.

What is your favourite Paco Rabanne fragrance of all time? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Meet The Perfect Scents for Spring

Meet The Perfect Scents for Spring

Spring is the time of year to invest in a new fragrance. Why? Well, besides the fact that some of the world’s biggest fragrance brands bring out their highly anticipated new releases, there’s also the matter of the season’s dramatically changing.

With the warmer weather arriving (hurray!), our stronger winter scents have earned a well deserved break. New fragrance releases come with a new territory ‘ Are we really ready to let go of our old faithful? Well with our new fragrance releases, we think you’ll be more than prepared to jump ship to our perfect scents for spring!

Perk up your mood and embrace the warmer weather with a fresher scent that is wearable for any occasion. With Dolce & Gabbana, Elie Saab, Marc Jacobs and much more to choose from, where do we begin?


Calvin Klein Endless Euphoria

If you’ve delved deep into the bloggersphere recently, you’ll have seen Calvin Klein Endless Euphoria popping up all over the show. For their newest fragrance release, Calvin Klein enlisted the help of celebrities, fashion and beauty bloggers to capture what Endless Euphoria is all about.

Romantic and dream like, Endless Euphoria is intensely fresh yet delicate, putting it high in our ranks for the ultimate spring fragrance. Featuring notes of Cherry Blossom, Mandarin and Rose, Endless Euphoria aims to be the fragrance that you instantly think of when you get that ‘euphoric’ feeling; be it something you experience at a key moment in your life, or simply when you see the first flower buds on a warm spring morning!


Dolce & Gabbana Dolce

Dream of Italy, specifically the Mediterranean island of Sicily when you wear Dolce & Gabbana Dolce. Named after the Italian dynamic duo, Dolce is a hot contender for this year’s best spring fragrance.

Pretty is the word that comes to mind when it comes to describing the Dolce spring fragrance. Presented with an amazing video campaign, Dolce tells the story of Italian love. Soft and feminine, this highly wearable fragrance boasts notes of Papaya Flower, White Amaryllis and Musk to create a soft yet fresh scent that delicately lingers on the skin throughout your day.


Marc Jacobs Summer Daisy Editions

Were you as excited as we were when we heard that Marc Jacobs was releasing a set of summer edition Daisy scents? We bet you were because so far, these summer edition scents have become some of our best sellers!

Daisy Delight and Daisy Eau So Fresh Delight are limited edition fragrances that sum up spring perfectly. The packaging is only one of the million reasons why we need to have this fragrance in our springtime collection. Daisy Delight is the fruitier of the two scents, developing with notes of Freesia and Crisp Apples while Daisy Eau So Fresh contains sweeter undertones with notes of Blood Orange and Raspberry. Suitable for any age group, Daisy brings out the ultimate girly girl within us!


Elie Saab L’Eau Couture

With St.Patrick’s Day just around the corner, could there be a more fitting fragrance? Elie Saab released L’Eau Couture as their springtime scent, complete with this striking green tinted glass bottle which represents the ultra chic motto of the Elie Saab brand.

Inspired by the couture collections at an Elie Saab show, L’Eau Couture is a radiant scent that features notes of Magnolia and Orange Blossom which create a new level of sensual freshness. We could spray this all day every day to get us in the mood for an amazing spring season.

How To Take The Perfect Selfie

How To Take The Perfect Selfie

What is the allure with a selfie? We’re used to photographing pictures of our food, surroundings and pets, so when did it become a regular occurrence to snap pictures of ourselves? The astonishing popularity of the ‘Selfie’ has sweeped across the nation and now we can spot the selfie taker anywhere, from our morning commute to our local restaurants. Should we be getting involved in the categorical rise of the internet’s hottest craze?

It’s not that I’m particularly vain or think that my face is so painstakingly beautiful that it needs to be shared with the world; but I must admit, taking a selfie with the tap of a finger can be fun! And there’s a whole community of selfie cliques that I can hone in on, like an untapped resource ‘ Check out the Fragrance Direct staff image selfies above!

So where has the selfie craze come from? The introduction of a smart phone with a forward-facing camera created the watershed selfie moment. Let’s take into account why ‘selfie’ became the word of 2013.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a ‘selfie’ is ‘a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.‘ Unlike other internet crazes which quickly spiral and fall flat on their faces, the selfie looks like it’s set to stick around in 2014.


So how has it evolved from the early days? Well, not only have selfies become a recognized form of self expression, they’re now being taken to new heights. Forget face selfies, we now have body selfies, pet selfies, photobomb selfies and so much more to choose from.

Let’s start with the old school selfie ‘ the simple taking face shot. So what are you going to need? Well, if you have any hope of looking like the celebs above, you’ll want to acquire a few tools!

Tool Number 1 – A camera. More specifically, a smart phone (sorry all you old school Nokia users). Smart phones are your best possible option for snapping on the go. It’s a simple touch of the screen, a hit of the ‘post’ button and your selfie is ready for the virtual world to see!

Tool Number 2 – A photo editing app of course. The selfie is all about filters. Mayfair, Sierra and Nashville may ring a bell if you’re familiar with Instagram ‘ the ultimate selfie friendly app. The first of its kind, Instagram gives you the ability to change lots of photo elements, from the lighting, to gradients and everything in between. There are of course lots of other photo apps you can use but Instagram is a good place to start. It’s friendly and easy to use interface is accessible to even the most techno shy individuals.

So what are your next steps? We’ve rounded up 5 of them that we think you should try. We’ve rounded them up into a quick guide on how to get the best out of your selfie images, because let’s face it, we’re all guilty of taking one.


Check Yourself Out

That’s right. Don’t just assume that your make-up and hair are perfect ‘ CHECK IT! Otherwise you’ll find your hair in a scramble, your eye liner has smudged and you’ll still be stood in front of the camera trying to take the perfect picture half an hour later.


Lighten Up

When it comes to taking a selfie, lighting is your best friend (natural light to be exact). Stand by a window and aim to have the light hitting your natural facial features which can also help to hide blemishes! Just watch out that you don’t have the next door neighbour peeking in!


Background Check

Where there’s a selfie, there’s always an opportunity for a photobomb. Hilarious or just geniously annoying, it can be hard to avoid this viral trend. We’ve all seen the ultimate photo fails when a dirty pile of clothes crops up in the corner of a shot so be careful!


The More the Merrier

Did you check out The Oscars 2014 celebrity selfie? Well you should have by now because it became the most retweeted tweet of all time (you could say it went very viral). Taking a group selfie can be fun and can definitely set you up for your next Facebook/Twitter/Google+ profile picture.


Fabulous Filters

Like we mentioned earlier, there are a wide range of filters available on photo editing apps that can transform your look. Whether you’re using Instagram, Afterlight, AMB etc. there are a whole range of shades you can apply to your selfie. You could spend hours finding the right one!


Animal Selfie

If you’re too shy to step in front of the camera, why not enlist the help of your pet instead? We think they take a pretty picture too!

Are you a lover or a hater of the selfie craze? Let us know by leaving a comment below or you can even tweet your selfie to @FragranceDirect!

Fashion Week Favourites

Fashion Week Favourites

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll know that fashion week descended upon the world in February. Four cities, hundreds of designers and thousands of outfits has left us in a bit of a tizzy. With new trends, beauty looks and an array of inspiration to see, we’re feeling slightly overwhelmed.

To make things a little simpler, we’ve condensed the hoards of fashion looks into four easier to digest trends that we think are going to be huge hits this Spring/Summer season. And hey, we like to smell great while we look great, right? Good thing we’ve matched each trend to a fragrance we love for the new season!



The first Fashion Week of 2014 took place in the Big Apple. Amidst the sub zero temperatures and snow fall, fashionistas were lining the streets and the catwalk, celebrating the return of one of the most highly anticipated style occasions of the year.

We fell in love with Pretty Pastels during NYFW as seen during the Gucci Fall show. Effortlessly feminine and easy to transition into your wardrobe, pastels took a new stance; an unusual pairing with shades of nude and beige really brought this colour scheme to life.

Gucci Floral Gorgeous Gardenia

The first fragrance we thought of when we seen this trend was instantly Gucci Floral Gorgeous Gardenia Eau de Toilette. A special edition scent that blends together a delicious, floral fragrance instantly ranks high in our perfume expectations.

This every day fragrance contains notes of Red Berries & Pear, creating a sweet, yet not overpowering aroma. Did we mention the bottle design is gorgeous too? Simplicity and fashionable is our first thoughts when we set eyes on this must have scent.


Hop on a plane straight from NYC to London Town and you’ll find a real adaptation of trends. London has always been the centre of unique and urban style heritage. Clothes are vintage, thrifted, designer and chic and you can find a real hub of inspiration among the London streets.

Reds were an obvious trend setter duing LFW, as seen at the Vivienne Westwood Red Label Fallow show. Bright, eye catching and daring, red was revamped to show you how to transition this timeless colour into your wardrobe.

Cheeky Alice

When it comes to Vivienne Westwood, we of course thought of her hugely popular fragrance Cheeky Alice. Described at the ‘sexier older sister’ of Naughty Alice, Cheeky Alice is a provocative and intense scent.

Combining notes of rose, wood and musk, this is a fragrance that can easily be transitioned from day to night. Complete with a red bracelet, adorned on the bottle top, Cheeky Alice is a great fragrance to start your transition into the red trend.


Flying over to warmer climates, we meet Milan Fashion Week. Style is a credential which was born in this capital city. Effortless outfits with a touch of chic are evident in the queues waiting to enter the Milan Fashion Week Arena.

Bright, almost aqua shades of green were popping up all over the catwalks at MFW, in particular at the Giorgio Armani show. Lime greens weren’t a shade to stray from and were presented in a way which means we can wear them as part of our every day wardrobe! Paired with muted grays, lime green was given new life.

Giorgio Armani Code Pour Femme

Our favourite Armani fragrance to coincide with MFW, has to be their classic Giorgio Armani Code Pour Femme. This is a fresh and floral scent which you can wear on any occasion.

Containing notes of ginger, honey and sandalwood, Code Pour Femme is an unusual blend of ingredients but when combined, they create a warm and feminine scent, great for every day wear.


And then it comes to the grand finale that is Paris Fashion Week. Couture shows and Parisienne Chic are what we get hugely excited about when it comes to arguably, the most important location for Fashion Week.

Elie Saab was the designer to watch for us at Paris Fashion Week. During their catwalk performance, they showed pastel pink playsuits with a heave of embellishment; showing you how to work a couture inspired look into an evening outfit.

Elie Saab Le Parfum

We love Elie Saab Le Parfum as a designer fragrance we can wear all day, every day. Designed with light in mind, this fragrance contains notes of orange blossom, jasmine and patchouli which fuse to create a light yet lingering feminine scent that is beautifully addictive.

The bottle design is very simple but very fashionable and we know this would look right at home on our dressing table!

Check out some of our favourite street style snaps from Fashion Week!


ManFace Reviews Ralph Lauren

ManFace Reviews Ralph Lauren

We’re extending a warm welcome back to Thom from the ultimate men’s grooming blog, to review one of our best selling men’s fragrances, Ralph Lauren Polo Red. As a qualified beauty industry insider, we trust him to give you the best in-depth review of this classic scent for men, so it’s over to you ManFace..

With red sage, red saffron and lavender, mounted on a base of red woods, amber and coffee beans, Polo Red by Ralph Lauren created by Olivier Gillotin is something rather fabulous and a welcome addition to the world of men’s fragrance.

Olivier Gillotin is renowned for fabulous men’s scents including one of my first and all time favourite scents, Be Delicious Men by DKNY. It strays away from the classic Ralph Lauren fragrances with those sweeter notes contrasted with a soft and prominent base. There’s a top of grapefruit, lemon and cranberry; a heart of saffron and lavender and a base of woods, amber and coffee beans.


Housed in a red-painted glass bottle, Polo Red is all about the daytime for me ‘ being easy to wear and accessible to all. It’s got a touch of Paco Robanne fragrances such as Invictus and 1 Million, and correct me if I’m wrong but maybe a teensy touch of Eros by Versace, the same mellow fruitiness (Eros has a top Lemon and Apple whilst Polo has Lemon and Cranberry).

It’s pretty long-lasting and if you decide to wear it for work say, you might want to give yourself a quick top-up around lunchtime. What’s fabulous about this is that as you’re ready to leave the office, for drinks or a hot date, you can throw on your favourite evening scent without fear of it becoming an unsavoury blend.

Polo Red by Ralph Lauren comes in three fabulous sizes, 125ml for £49.99, 75ml for £34.99 and 40ml for £25.99. There’s also a gorgeous hair and body wash that will allow you to layer the scent for a longer lasting fragrance, priced at £16.99 for 200ml.

By Thom Watson.

The #SelfEye

The #SelfEye

This week, we enlisted the help of the super talented Sarah Barton from Friday Is Forever to test our Top 10 Selling Mascara and measure the results! What she trialled and recorded is one not to be missed..

As a gal who usually feels a magnetic pull towards high end make up counters, I was intrigued when asked to put ten mascaras, all at an affordable £10 or under, to the test. Knowing full well that I love a jet black colour with tonnes of volume, length and definition, these bargain offerings admittedly had a lot to live up to. But, after approaching them with an open mind, I was pleasantly surprised, and I now have Fragrance Direct to thank for my future savings! I can firmly cut the cost of my mascara habits in half after finding a couple of definite favourites less than half the price (and then some), of my obviously overpriced usuals!


Calvin Klein True Lustre Mascara

If you’re after a super natural finish, this is the one for you. It actually took loads of layering to achieve any lengthening effect as shown here, which does put me off, alongside the super cheap scent. I do however quite like the subtle brown colour at the end of it all, and the clump free formula is fitting for average day to day use.


Elizabeth Arden Extreme Density Volume Mascara

One of my favourites of the lot, and one I’d probably repurchase. Adds an impressive amount of volume in just a couple of strokes, but would get more points from me if it bulked the lashes just a little bit more than expected with the word ‘density,’ but I’d probably just pair it up with another mascara designed just for that purpose. A lovely blacker than black colour, and although care needs to be taken with the bigger brush, its worth the extra fiddle.


Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lash Extending Mascara

First off, I love the cone shape of this brush, making it easier to reach every little lash, especially bottom ones! Another natural looking finish, but with a lot less effort to apply! I don’t have much to say about the lengthening effect as I’ve only used this perhaps 2-3 times, but it doesn’t make my lashes feel ‘crispy’ like some mascaras do, thats got to be beneficial?


Bourjois Elastic Mascara

I’ve found a mascara that I really dislike, and I’m surprised to announce that the disappointment has come from Bourjois. The brush really scratches on application, and the wet formula takes a good while longer than your average mascara to dry, giving a bit of smudge-danger! If you like a plastic brush and a precise application, you might like this, and it does indeed darken the lashes with a true black colour, but it doesn’t separate and lengthen enough for my liking, and a rubbish brush is enough to make me want to throw a mascara away.


Maybelline Define-A-Lash

Another one of my favourites. The brush is made of dreaded plastic, but as its super flexible, I have actually got on alright with it, although that does mean theres a bit of a struggle to get the applicator back into the tube every time, and its not one to rush application with either! A lovely natural finish with absolutely no flaking or transferring throughout the day at all! My lashes are separated, lengthened and, exactly as the name describes – defined.


Maybelline Volum Express Lift Up

I found this mascara more thickening than the previous lengthening Maybelline mascara but still not quite as much as I’d hope for. I love the brush design, although I’m not sure it had any impact on curling my lashes. I actually found that this black mascara had more of a matte effect than any mascara I’ve tried, and I liked that, although it does flake a little if more than 1 layer is applied and does transfer to the skin under my eyes if I apply it to my bottom lashes!


Rimmel Lash Flirt

So many plastic brushes! This one has surprisingly long bristles which can be a bit annoying, but it does have a good finish with no clumps. This one doesn’t form a curl without curlers, and needs a few layers to get something decent, but once thats done, I’m pretty happy with the density it gives at the roots of the lashes, and the overall results really!


Bourjois Une All In One Mascara

After doing a little bit of research on Une, I’m not sure how my hopes were for the range. This mascara was the first Une product I’d tried, and with their super natural, organic philosophy, I’d convinced myself that it must all be rubbish to make up for it. I’ve been pleasantly corrected by this mascara which separates nicely and doesn’t flake or transfer. I’ve also been convinced that actually, a brown mascara can work for a natural, soft look, and maybe plastic brushes aren’t all my enemies. Good job, Une!


Bourjois Une Smart Length Mascara

So this little experiment has led me to discover that I’m a true lover of cone shaped wands, and here is another one, perfect for reaching corners and bottom lashes. A true black, and whilst I don’t think this mascara is anything amazing to shout about in terms of volume and density, its another awesome daytime mascara – It doesn’t transfer, smudge or flake at all.


W7 Big Lash

Now heres a case of when a brush has just been made bigger than necessary. Saying that, the mascara is creamy, and lasts a long time without flaking or clumping. Useless with one layer only, it really does take a good few layers to build up something impressive, which can get messy due to the big brush. However, if you use a business card to shield the eyelid, and get wiggling, this bargain offering rivals other big brands in terms of drama.

The best of the lot?

Maybelline Define-A-Lash and Elizabeth Arden Extreme Density Volume mascara, easily. Two entirely different mascaras in terms of wand, colour and formula. Define-A-Lash has surprised me with its plastic brush and subtle colour, as I usually prefer a bristle brush with a midnight black shade. This is a mascara that I’ve been picking up recently for day to day use, for subtle lengthening and definite separation with a natural finish. Extreme Density is a little like the mascaras I would usually go for, and whilst it’d need to be thicker to hit top points, its impressive lengthening can’t be denied – It actually seems to go beyond the lengths of my actual lashes, and it is fitting with my favourite blacker-than-black colour!

Have you tried any of these mascaras? Which is your favourite?

Check out our Top 10 Selling Mascaras right here.