When I was doing a lot of beauty writing, I received bags of pretty, scented frippery, daily. Ergo, beauty and fragrance posts on this little blog of mine, were plentiful. Building a life in a foreign city robbed me of perfume pocket money and moving countries took me off PR lists. Ergo beauty and fragrance posts dwindled, replaced with insane ramblings about the weird, the mad and the straight-laced. The pain of not having a draw full of Benefit cosmetics faded, somewhat, but the emptiness of having left behind my entire perfume collection – all 80+ of the carefully researched, selected, purchased and stored bottles – didn’t and I was forced to begin building up a baby collection. I can live without many things, as it turns out – being fashionable, wearing heels on a night out, mineral powder, being able to fit into any of my pants – but fragrance? No.

It started with Calvin Klein’s Truth, a gift from a lovely friend, and my little collection now boasts a handful of eclectic scents including La Martina’s Mujer, Christian Dior’s Dolce Vita, Cacharel’s Scarlett and JPG’s Madame. As of today, I can add three more to this burgeoning bunch and I find this tremendously exciting. Tremendously.

Armand Basi’s Lovely Blossom

Top – apricot and orange blossom

Heart – plum and jasmine

Base – wood and heliotrope

I found this little baby on sale for 17€, whilst Christmas shopping. Obviously it became a gift to myself. Soft, floral and a little bit juicy, Lovely Blossom succeeds where Elizabeth Arden’s conceptually similar Pretty failed a little for me – it isn’t too sweet. It is a lovely little bouquet that stays quite nicely and gives one the sense of walking through an English garden in full Spring bloom, when one is really traipsing down a rainy street in a German winter.

Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Jasminora

Top – galbanum, bergamot, cyclamen

Heart – Calabrian jasmine, freesia and lily of the valley

Base – musk and amber

I have long lusted after Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria range, each scent designed to pay homage to a certain strain of nature, and despite always thinking I would go for the Mandarin and Basil, today I opted for 2011’s release, Jasminora. The former was a touch too mandarin-y. Jasminora is your classic, well made, warm, sensuous jasmine number that gets better every second it develops. By the time it has dried down to its amber and musk base, the creaminess of the jasmine has well and truly taken hold and suddenly, like magic, you’re in the Mediterranean on a balmy summer’s eve.

W’eau Sea

Top – lemon, tangerine and lime

Heart – jasmine, rose and lily of the valley

Base – musk, vanilla and amber

Simple and fresh, this Spanish made bottle of zest is the ultimate beach fragrance and shall be duly taken to Santorini and splashed about with gay abandon.  There are no pretenses with Sea, no fancy notes; just a dash of citrus, a floral heart and a nice, steady dry down. Invigorating and refreshing, just like its namesake.