Monday, 22 June 2015


a beautiful life perfume sampler

I first saw A Beautiful Life's perfumes on the Urban Outfitters website, and was entranced by the unicorn clad bottle that claimed to smell of the 90s. I looked their own website up and found out they actually had a lot of perfumes, all of which sounded very interesting and unusual. As I do love trying new perfumes (one of my favourite things to do, sad I know!), I had to try their perfume sampler set.

This little pack of samples contains three scents which you choose yourself, then they add two random ones - giving you five per set. I bought two sample sets, choosing I Heart Unicorns, NO, Fawn, Variation No. 6, Black Rose and Pop, and ABL included: Sucre Blanc, Mermaid Kiss, Vrai Vert and Crush’d. They were very good with their random picks, and didn't duplicate any I had chosen myself (which was a nice caring touch!) - meaning that I almost got their whole range in sample form! Each set of five scents came beautifully wrapped, and the tiny sample bottles each had their own adorable packaging.

Over the last week I tried out each in turn, taking note of my thoughts as the scents changed. This is how they worked on my own skin, so they might be slightly different on you, but hopefully you’ll find it useful! Here’s what I thought:

a beautiful life perfume samples

Sucre Blanc EDPmilk, sugar, vanilla, musk, cinnamon, white pepper
At first smell I got intense sugary sweet cinnamon, like Christmas cookies. It was warm, sweet and spicy, and when wet was borderline sickly. As it settled, it became a little more subtle, and became a sweet spice smell. Very much like Christmas candles – I’m pretty sure there’s a Yankee candle very similar to this! Verdict: sweet spice.

I Heart Unicorns EDPlemon, peppermint, pomegranate, nag champa, frankincense
This is a sugary citrus smell. At first I got a clean fresh lemon smell with an undertone of peppermint. Then it settled into a sweet citrus, exactly like lemon sherbet! It was sweet, warm and almost sour. Verdict: sweet citrus.

Variation No. 6 EDPpear, fig, honeysuckle, osmanthus, lilac, sandalwood
To me this was a crisp and fruity floral. I got notes of crisp pear, sweet fruity fig and sweet floral. To me it smelled like an ornamental garden with orchard fruit trees and flowers. It was borderline ‘rich old lady’ on me, as it smells quite refined, rich and grown up. It settled into a lovely grown up pear and floral – sweet and rich. Verdict: sweet floral.

Mermaid Kiss EDPJamaican lime, pineapple, French cypress, pink lotus, bamboo lily, bay rum
The pineapple and lime in this perfume instantly hits you! It’s fresh and fruity, with a slight undertone of rum – a little heat in the background. The sharp lime and sweet pineapple combined to form a smell just like a starburst flavour! I found it very similar to I heart unicorns, but with lime instead of lemon. Verdict: sweet citrus.

Vrai Vert EDPcucumber, narcissus, bergamot, coriander, lavender
This opens with a strong smell of green melon, exactly like melon flavour sweets. It settles into an almost spicy blend of herbs and florals – fresh crisp green notes with warm spicy florals. This sounds odd but is surprisingly nice. It reminds me of a more subtle, and ‘green’ version of Lush’s Karma – that kind of spicy musk, but less intense. Verdict: green floral.

NO EDPoverripe fruits, wildflowers, pink peppercorns, patchouli
A very odd blend, and very intense. It instantly smells very musky, with heavy notes of incense. On me, it was a borderline mouldy smell to be totally honest (likely from the mix of patchouli and overripe fruits). Then some sweeter notes come through, the pink peppercorn (think Molton Brown) and some almost honey or vanilla sweetness from the fruits and wildflowers. It’s a very strong smell, and if you like Lush’s Karma there’s a good chance you’ll like this – as its Karma’s floral older sister. It settles into a subtle patchouli smell that is really nice. (If you buy the full sized EDP on their site they donate $10 to organisations that protect and assist victims of rape and sexual abuse – a fantastic cause!) Verdict: floral patchouli.

Crush’d EDPblood orange, vanilla, tonka bean, ylang ylang, sandalwood
Instantly I got a hit of bright orange, which was lovely and refreshing. It turns into a sweet fizzy orange smell, just like orangeade or sherbet. Then some sweeter notes come through, and it settles into something akin to a vanilla orangeade float, ending into a lovely sweet tonka bean smell. Verdict: sweet citrus.

Fawn EDPdandelion, lemongrass, marshmallow
At first this is a lovely and fresh herbal floral. It had a strong sweet pollen-like smell, like daisies, floral but also green. It had warm and sweet notes, and a slight tang and almost a nuttiness – very unusual. It turned into a white floral that reminded me of the Body Shop Moringa scent, and settled into a sweet rich white floral. Verdict: sweet floral.

Black Rose EDPBulgarian rose, leather, amber, musk
This is a classic warm rich rose. It had an almost powdery note, like ‘old lady’ rose, at first. Then it turned into a clean almost soapy rose, and settled into a pleasant, sweet almost vanilla-esque rose. I didn’t get any of the other notes – which made me a little sad as I was looking forward to that – just different variations of rose. More ‘grown up’ than I was expecting. Perfect if you like rose scents. Verdict: true rose.

PoP EDPcherry blossom, white peach, ginger, clary sage.
From this perfume I got an instant hit of marzipan. This turned into a marzipan with a nuttiness, which for some reason reminded me of a pet shop. It turned into an incense smell, still with a nuttiness, then a warm woody floral – with vague notes of cherry blossom and ginger. As time went on, more fruity notes appeared, like peaches. It settled into peach, cherry blossom and ginger, all wrapped in incense. Verdict: spicy fruit.

a beautiful life perfume samples

The A Beautiful LifePerfume Sampler is $12 each, and their shipping to the UK for my two items was $23. Taken altogether ($42 for both sample sets and shipping), this made a reasonable total for ten perfume samples from the US. This equates to £29, theoretically £2.90 each inc shipping, and I never could have tried these products otherwise, so I don’t mind paying a little extra. In interest of full disclosure (and a totally honest review): the shipping took about six weeks, which was a bit long too be honest, and their customer service was non-existent (I sent a few emails and facebook messages asking for a shipping date estimate, as I was moving house and panicking, but got no response) but the actual products are lovely and care was obviously taken with product selection and packaging. So, if you are willing to wait, definitely try the sample sets! Or if there’s a particular one you like the sound of, some online UK retailers carry a select few of the full sized bottles for around £40.

Purchase the A Beautiful Life products directly from their US siteor at UK retailers such as Urban Outfitters and ASOS.

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PS| If you would like to read up on the animal testing policies of ABL, check out their website.

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