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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Perfume Review: Lulu Guinness Cast a Spell

Lulu Guinness is a British designer famous for her creative, whimsical, kitschy, chic, and very intricate handbags. I adore her collectible bags, however they do not come cheap, costing somewhere in the region of GBP 300-400. Her fragrances on the other hand are quite affordable; unfortunately until now I wasn’t very impressed with any of them. Cast a Spell, Lulu Guinness’s new scent, is somewhat more to my liking. The scent was allegedly inspired by fairy tales like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, and is supposed to evoke “enchanted forests, magic love potions, the richness of Baroque art, and the dance between light and dark, coolness and warmth.”

The description as usual promises a little more than the fragrance can actually deliver. Eager as I am to see enchanted forests, all I get is a warm, sweet scent of berries (mostly blackberries), lavender and vanilla. Lavender (actually “iced” lavender) seems a rather unusual choice of a note to accompany a berry-based fragrance, but it actually works quite well, toning down the sweetness and overall berryness of the fragrance and providing the "coolness" noted in the official description. As soon as the lavender note disappears, Cast a Spell loses much of its charm and originality, and as far as I am concerned- forgive the pun, I don’t seem to be able to help it – the spell gets broken. The middle stage is rather too sweet, with a ghost of aniseedy Lolita Lempicka lurking in the shadows. The drydown is the least remarkable part of the fragrance, a pale blend of vanilla and something unidentifiable that may or may not be “white patchouli”.

All in all, Cast a Spell is a pretty albeit forgettable little scent. I don’t think I will be buying a bottle, I think I would rather put the money into the My Future Collectible Lulu Guinness Handbag fund.

Cast a Spell is available at Sephora, $32.00-88.00.

*The picture of Castle bag is from And here are some more of those wonderful collectible Lulu Guinness handbags, also from

Lilac Chocolate Box, £300.00

Tea Table, £395.00

Nouveaux Rose Fan, £395.00

Skeletons In The Closet, £435.00

Lilac Parisian House, £390.00

NY Skyline, £450.00

Department Store, £380.00

Christmas Room, £325.00


Blogger Marina said...

Christina, I know how you feel, there is so much I want to test...

I would imagine that the parfum version might have more depth and richness to it!

8:44 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Didn't care about the fragrance, but want one of those bags!!

10:42 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

R, for once we agree then! I think I want the Chocolate Box one, but I will settle for a Parisian House :-)

10:55 AM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

I just have little to no interest in this scent. The first one I thought also started out prettily enough, and then just fell flat on me. Such a shame. The purse I want is called the "Katrina" and has these bamboo handles with a flamingo print... it's awfully whimsical and cute, but mostly, it's the "Katrina." Heh. I came so close to justifying the price tag, but then we ended up needing to buy a new radiator and tires for the car, so I am Katrina-less. I still long for that purse, though, to the point I actually DREAMED of it one night. Stupid life: always getting in the way of my dreams of chicness.

3:39 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

V, there will be a bag that is "you", I mean Guinness is so prolific, don't lose hope. :-) I think they should just stop doing scents altogether and focus on bags alone :-)

4:00 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

K, I am going to google that Katrina bag now, if you have a link handy, I would appreciate that...I am very curious about that one.
I haven't dreamt about bags yet, but I saw a beautiful bee bottle of Attrape-Coeur in my dream yesterday *weeps*

4:01 PM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

Sorry, I've not got a single link. I'm sure there's probably some floating around on eBay, though. I just can't help but like my namesake bag, y'know?

4:42 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I googled it up! Cute, very cute. Love the handle (and flamingos).

6:37 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this scent, her bags are ridiculous. For tweens and cocooks exclusively.
They need to be sent to mental instutions where rosie o'donnell is stay and they can pump them out.
Oddly I am drawn to her scent. Her scent is also stuck in this child-like winter. Yet so much more hopeful with startling complexities. All the same a bit juvenille, yet it isn't want it seems. Oh the packaging really is horrible, it is geared toward the tweens when if packaged for a women, it would be more appealling.

11:26 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

parfum is at sephora

11:30 PM EDT  

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