Liz Earle, a brand better known for skincare, released their one and only fragrance so far last year, the Botanical Essence No. 1. And, unlike most other summer fragrances, this one isn't cloying, sweet, or synthetic-smelling at all. In fact, it's quite different, and I can really appreciate that.
The first thing I noticed about this perfume is that it isn't floral. OMG, guys, a summer perfume that isn't floral or fruity! Liz Earle Botanical essence No. 1 is actually more on the green side. The perfume itself comes in a green-and-white bottle decorated with images of plant leaves, very reflective of the scent inside.
The bottle is a basic, solid square bottle, containing a gold-yellow liquid. Nothing much in the way of fancy design, but very functional. It looks tiny, but it does contain 50ml of awesome perfume juice inside (the usual amount you get in a perfume bottle), so don't be mislead by the small bottle size.
The perfume itself is actually very pretty, if unconventional for a mass-market fragrance. I'd call it a leafy, citrusy green perfume, although it's a bit more complex than that. There's a hint of spice in the drydown that gives what would otherwise be a light, green scent a bit of complexity, and darkens the final tone of the fragrance. I couldn't make out any notes, but in addition to the leafy, citrus scent, I could also smell hints of something herbal. I really liked this scent - it really reminds me of running around in open plains in good sunny weather, and does smell like summer to me, even if it isn't billed as a summer fragrance.
The only complaint I had was that the perfume didn't evolve all that much on my skin, although it could just be my body chemistry (and you know, everyone's body chemistry is different). I got a big gust of green and citrus at the start, although the green headiness quickly settles down into a much more muted leafy herbal green scent with a hint of spice. Other than the big bang of green citrus, and the emergence of spice at the end, I didn't really feel like the perfume evolved a lot. And I wished it could have lasted longer on my skin - but then again, given that 98% of the ingredients are natural, it's a tall order, since natural perfumes do tend not to last as long as synthetic ones.
Much as I like the perfume, and much as I think perfume fanatics might like it, I'm not too sure how your average girl who doesn't care about perfumes is going to like this. I know plenty of female friends who aren't exposed to fragrances, and they generally like your usual cookie-cutter cloying-synthetic-overly-sweet-fruity-floral fragrance. I could imagine them scrunching up their noses at this one, although I personally think it's a lovely scent. I think that Botanical Essence No. 1, like so many other green perfumes out there, need a more developed nose to fully appreciate its beauty. Otherwise, it risks being consigned to the depth's of someone's drawer, which would be a waste of something so pretty.
On another note - why should this just be for girls? Because it's a leafy green scent, I do think it would be great for guys in addition to girls! I know it's not a unisex perfume, but I could imagine both men and women pulling this off with aplomb. You know those "For Him/For Her" perfume sets we always see around? Now you don't have to share a perfume set, you can even share the bottle! Some of the most famous perfumes of all time were unisex perfumes, like Annick Goutal's Eau d'Hadrien, so that's pretty cool.
So would I recommend this? If you're into green fragrances, or would like something a little less sweet and cloying than the usual summer offerings, this is a good one to look into. Or if you want to wear the same fragrance as the man in your life, this is also a great one to look into. Summer, we're all ready for you - please come soon!
(Product sent for review. Review is my honest and complete opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)