Reviews Swipes

Swipes: Crabtree & Evelyn Femme De Force

Thankfully it’s not a rose soliflore…

Swipes is my new abbreviated format for fragrance reviews in 2022. My goal is to create more content about the many wonderful fragrances in the often-overlooked solid format. I’ll write a little less but publish a little more frequently. Hope you enjoy it!–Jodi

Perfumer: Unknown.

Size: 0.14 oz./4 grams

Base: Propylene Glycol. Aqua (Water). Glycerin. Ceteareth-25. PEG-4. Stearic Acid. Steareth-100. Palmitic Acid. Sodium Hydroxide. Behenic Acid. Caprylyl Glycol. Myristic Acid. Tetrasodium EDTA.

I really like the whimsical illustrations on the packaging.

Vegan-friendly: Possibly not, due to the glycerin.

Natural or Mixed Media: Mixed media. The ingredients list includes both “parfum” and a number of natural isolates.

Fragrance Description by the Brand: from the product listing on the official website: “…Wanderlust in a bottle, it transports your senses through scorched Italian lemon groves and breezy English rose gardens with a base of sun-soaked spice…

“Smells like…Delicate rose with hints of citrus and spice. Feels like…Light, cloud-like foam. Gives you…Refreshed, radiant skin.”

Notes: from the product listing on the official website: “Fresh top notes give a burst of citrus, with Italian lemon, frankincense and cassis. A heart of crushed English rose petals, warm nutmeg, cashmere wood and musk. Earthy vetiver, smoky guaiac wood and musk create a sensuous, lingering base.”

Longevity: Five to six hours. It was pretty much a skin scent by the fourth hour but I was impressed by the wafts I was still getting an hour or two later. It lasted longest under clothing and the scent clung to the fabric of my shirt a little bit.

Sillage: Arm’s length at application, settling to intimate within an hour.

Fragrance category: Floral woody musk.

The illustration on the cap continues the whimsy of the box.

The experience: I was a longtime of fan of many “retired” Crabtree & Evelyn products, especially the Jojoba lotion and soap and the Apricot shampoo. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the revamped (and much smaller) line, since it is now available only on the web, but $25 for a Femme De Force solid perfume felt like an acceptable risk.

Folks, this scent is wonderful and is one of my best blind buys of 2021. I am not a huge fan of rose soliflores, and thankfully, this isn’t one! The brand’s signature Evelyn Rose aroma is noticeable but it’s just one facet of this gem. A strong, non-sweet citrus douses the rose petals at the opening, and the rose wafts in and out of the spicy resins and woody musk thereafter. The closest fragrance associations I can make are actually two fragrances I’m not crazy about: Cacharel Eden and Avon Skin So Soft bath oil, but whatever was unbalanced and unpleasant in those has been corrected in Femme De Force. I can sense a trace of the brand’s original DNA–perhaps in the “spicy” aspects, but the scent is more like something I would expect from a niche brand than from a company that used to make my favorite soap and shampoo. Taking into account the scent, the charming packaging with delightful illustrations on a sturdy black metal case and the reasonable price of $25, it’s well worth the money. The brand also offers this fragrance in a liquid format and matching Evelyn Rose body products, which I’m considering for layering purposes.

Occasion(s): Daytime, office, casual occasions that call for clean, fresh scents but when you want to add a little mystery, too.

The black metal twist-up tube is both chic and functional.

Season(s): This unique blend of tart citrus, floral notes and spices is suitable for all seasons but works especially well in warmer weather.

Gender considerations (Note: I include this information for people who may find it valuable, though I believe all fragrances are unisex and you should wear what you love): marketed as a fragrance for women. Despite the pink packaging and the word “Femme” in the fragrance name, I find the scent quite unisex. It’s a good choice for anyone who dislikes sweet fragrances or overly girly florals.

Where to buy: from the official Crabtree & Evelyn website; also plentiful on Ebay and Mercari.

Availability: Crabtree & Evelyn is a U.S.-based company and orders from the U.S. site ship domestically. Check the official website for your country’s specific site. Many sellers on Ebay will ship internationally as well.

All images by me.

By Jodi at Solidly Scented

A lover of all things fragrant

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