Review: Benefit’s New Crescent Row Trio, Second Story

| 27 July , 2010 | 4 Replies

Benefit Cosmetics kindly sent out three sets of their upcoming new trio of scents “Second Story” for me to give to three of my readers to play with and write a review about.

Recap:  Crescent Row’s newest residents in three cute new London flats are Garden of Good and Eva, Lookin’ To RockRita and So Hooked On Carmella. They join fellow girlie neighbours; Laugh With Me LeeLee, Something About Sophia and My Place or Yours Gina.

My favourite scent is Garden of Good and Eva … I love the fresh summery scent, wishing I was in a London garden sipping Pimms & Lemonade having fun with my friends!  And I wish I had this little house to put in my walk-in dresser!!!

But read on to see what my three readers think of the new scents.

Courtesy of Maxted Thomas

Shitika Anand, Shitika’s Blog

It goes without saying that Benefit offers the most striking, quirky and fascinating products. They are prominent on every girl\’s dressing table. They must pay their packaging team a lot of money, for all the effort that is put into their products.

When I got sent Benefit\’s Crescent Row trio of fragrances, the first thing that crossed my mind was – these boxes are a keeper. I can see myself dismantling them and taping them to my wall. The girlie artwork is just phenomenal.

Despite the packaging getting a thumbs-up, the important and delicious stuff is inside the box. Some perfumes\’ characteristics bear their own personality. This collection is certainly one of those. The three fragrances; Lookin\’ to Rock Rita, Garden of Good and Eva and So Hooked on Carmella, are based on three fictional characters. Each of these “fictional” women, live on an imaginary street in London and these boxes represent their respective homes. When you enter (literally) each of their homes, you enter their contrasting and mysterious protagonists.

Lookin\’ to Rock Rita is sophisticated and fashionable. Picture this; you are lying on grainy sand under the warm sun, listening to the crashing waves of the sparkling sea and sipping your favourite Pina Colada. For me, it is a cruel reminder of a much-needed Caribbean holiday. But for others, it is the sweet scent of Rita. Its coconut, Brazilian rosewood and juicy fig notes stand out the most. The strong scent of hyacinth and violet also remind me of therapeutic candles and incense sticks in my yoga class.

Eva\’s box is an exhilarating “house”, as it opens up to a closet full of shoes, clothes and shopping bags. If you are hitting the town with the girls and flaunting your fashionable best out – you need Rita\’s help. Rating – 7/10

So Hooked on Carmella is perfect for a gourmand. It is almost like eating a lemon cake. The intoxicating blend of vanilla with a dash of floral scent is very sexy. The top notes of lemon, grapefruit and rhubarb twirl around the floral middle notes of cyclamen, peony, tiare flowers.

Carmella\’s apartment is trendy and classy. She is a sucker for intimate sensuality, which is obvious from the white bed sheets and a Chambord bottle on the side-table.

Its sweet scent can be over-powering for some ladies (like ME). Every time I smell it, I\’m reminded of a VERY sweet alcoholic drink, which reminds me of certain weekends that I\’m trying to forget. So, this one is definitely not for me. But if you generally woo your man with your sensual sweetness – this is your best bet.  Rating – 5/10

Garden of Good and Eva reminds me of a hot, sunny day, floral dresses and lemonade. It is crisp, fresh, delicious and sexy. The summery blend of fruits, flowers and citrus, promises to strike a chord on everyone around you. The soft and sensual top notes of pear and watermelon assist the floral middle tones of jasmine petals and rosebuds in creating a beautiful breeze. The floral edginess of this scent is almost like fresh cut grass mixed with some flower petals. It is divine. The devilish bottom notes of musk and sandalwood create the warmth in the scent.

Eva\’s house is actually her backyard. You can tell she spends all her time in the garden with her pear tree and a pot of tea.

I also discovered this to be a long-lasting scent (more than the other two). If you are a floral fragrance girl, you better take Eva home with you. I know I will be. Rating – 9/10

Elise Phillips, Stuff That I Bought

Life\’s tough when you\’re being sent not one but three perfumes to review. I\’m sure my fellow reviewers would agree with me. But since the Crescent Row fragrances come in a family it totally makes sense that you need to experience the whole ‘row\’ worth.

Firstly, I love the concept behind Crescent Row. A whole family of fragrances, each with their own unique personality much like any street. The first set of Crescent Row fragrances (Laugh with Me LeeLee, Something about Sofia, My Place or Yours Gina) were just gorgeous and I can get behind any sort of product with a back story. You\’re not familiar with it? Let me enlighten you…Jean’s daughters Maggie and Annie (as in Jean Ford, one of the creators of Benefit) were on a trip to Bath in England and were inspired by the beautiful Royal Crescent. The girls envisioned different types of chicks living as neighbours on this iconic strip, and Crescent Row was born. And now we have three new girls moving into the neighbourhood.

Of the three perfumes there is one I am head over heels in love with, one that I like and one that doesn\’t work at all on my skin.

Garden of Good and Eva is best described as fresh. The initial hit of pear and watermelon is very crisp, and then it mellows out as the rosebud and jasmine comes through. To me this is a really summery fragrance and it works well on my skin. It reminds me of being in the country and was very enjoyable to wear.

On paper Lookin\’ To Rock Rita should be right up my alley but it just doesn\’t smell on my skin. Perfume is a very personal thing and works differently with each person\’s skin chemistry; for some reason this just didn\’t work with my skin and seemed to disappear as soon as I sprayed it. This was disappointing because it\’s a beautiful scent with very coconut-y top notes followed by fig and violet. When I sprayed it on my guinea pig it was beautiful and had a slightly tropical feel (probably the coconut top notes – coconut always makes me crave cocktails and sunshine!)

My favourite of the three is So Hooked On Carmella and I have been wearing it obsessively since I first got my hands on it a month ago. It is an exquisite blend of vanilla, rhubarb and peony, and smells like Baileys. Honestly, I\’m totally cool with smelling like Baileys! This is definitely the creamiest and smoothest of the Row family, and is lovely and girlie.

Kellie McCurdy, Stylish Mummy

I was very excited to try the three new Crescent Row fragrances by Benefit. The boxes are absolutely divine with fold down fronts and flip top lids, which open up to reveal the gorgeous fragrance bottles. When you take out the fragrance you notice there is a scene in each box.

My favourite was So Hooked on Carmella, which is a gorgeous vanilla based fragrance. It is perfect for the rest of winter and spring. I am addicted to this fragrance now, as I love anything containing vanilla, I think this will remain one of my signature fragrances. The vanilla, sandalwood and amber really stand out after wearing it for a while. The scent lasts all day, which is fabulous. A lot of fragrances need to be reapplied during the day, so it is nice to find one which lasts. Sweet, flirty, warm and inviting& who could resist?

Next, there is Lookin\’ to Rock Rita with its freesia notes is perfect for a warm summer evening out on the town. It has a full fruity fragrance which isn\’t over powering but still very alluring. This is definitely a fragrance you could wear during hot summer days while out shopping, at work or anywhere really because of its light scent. Lighter fragrances are best for hot summer days.

Last of all there is Garden of Eva&a citrusy floral fragrance which reminds me of being outside in the garden on a beautiful sunny day and warm summer nights.  Garden of Eva could be worn during day at work or of an evening. A gorgeous summery fragrance which will definitely turn heads as you walk by. Garden of Eva wasn\’t really a ‘me\’ fragrance as it has very strong jasmine notes to it but I am sure it would smell beautiful on someone else. Like all fragrances, it depends on how they smell on your own skin.

Benefit’s Crescent Row Second Story fragrances will be in-store from 14th August, sold separately with an RRP$59.00, stockists 02-8353 5000 or available online at Adore Beauty.

Big thanks to Benefit Cosmetics!

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  1. A tale from the book of Benefit, about the Garden of Good & Eva | Sarah Ayoub's Wordsmithlane | 17 November , 2010
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  1. Jade says:

    Had a sniff of looking to Rock Rita on Sunday, instant love, on my must get list!

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