100% Vegan & Cruelty-Free – Marks & Spencer Alphabet Personalised Beauty Gift Set

Hi there! Today’s post is about this Marks & Spencer Personalised Beauty Gift Set. They had a few random letters left on sale (half price = £6.25), and I opted for J over X or Q. This gift set contains 3 items – a fragrance, a hand cream and a lip balm. All of these products are vegan and certified cruelty-free – they carry the Leaping Bunny logo!

Let’s start with the fragrance which contains the following notes: red berries, pomegranate and musk. On paper, this doesn’t sound bad. However, this fragrance is the stuff of nightmares. They forgot to list one major ingredient – cloves! I’ve never smelled such a disgusting mess of cloves and overly ripe fruit.

I sprayed it once, smelled it, then I washed my arm and threw my cardie in the washing machine. The stink lingered for hours despite the window being open. I couldn’t and wouldn’t gift this to anyone. This fragrance is rubbish!

Onto the next product, the hand cream! The hand cream smells like an extremely watered-down version of the fragrance. Fortunately, the scent is very weak and fleeting, so it doesn’t stink up the room. The formula is very rich and nourishing. However, after the fragrance nightmare, I wasn’t too keen on the hand cream. So my husband is using it as a foot cream – and it works well.

And here’s item number 3 – the lip balm. This is the surprise of the month! Wow, what a beautiful lip balm! It’s very similar to Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect Lip Care! This beautiful lip balm has a very subtle vanilla scent, it glides on, it’s very lightweight, and it’s incredibly hydrating. I love it! 😍 One of my favourite products this month!

All in all, whilst the lip balm is the absolute bomb, I had to bin the fragrance and I’m also not using the hand cream. I would hope that M&S will bring back the lip balm next Christmas, or that it will be available to buy on its own!

Mrs Strawberry Blonde 💙💛

100% Vegan & Cruelty-Free – M&S Fragrance Collection Mimosa & Bergamot Eau De Toilette

Hi there! Today’s post is about this M&S Fragrance Collection Mimosa & Bergamot Eau De Toilette which I bought as part of a fragrance duo. The other fragrance is Peony & Rhubarb, and I’ve already reviewed it.

But let’s focus on the Mimosa & Bergamot fragrance now. According to M&S, it contains… bergamot, pink grapefruit and coconut water (top notes), ocean breeze (?), fig leaf and violet (heart notes), and sea salt, sandalwood and musk (base notes). M&S doesn’t mention “mimosa” in the notes. 🤷

I think this fragrance is good. But unfortunately, it hasn’t wowed me.

Ler’s start with what it smells like – the bergamot and musk notes are very strong. The bergamot note in particular gives the fragrance a rather masculine feel. This fragrance smells like a summer edition of a “for men” fragrance.

I don’t really mind looking at fragrances as unisex – I love the pink Joop “for men”, and I’ve been obsessed with Midnight in Paris – another “for men” fragrance – until it was discontinued. At the same time, I love it when my husband wears D&G Light Blue “for women” – which, I think, is THE most perfect unisex fragrance ever.

Having said all this, Mimosa & Bergamot is a lot more masculine than any of the fragrances I listed above. I also find it more masculine than CK Be. I do like wearing it, but I actually prefer this fragrance on my husband. Why am I saying all of this? Well, I was hoping for another sweet and cuddly fragrance like M&S Vanilla & Woods. And if you have the same expectations, you’ll be disappoined. However, if you love the sugarfree zest of bergamots, this fragrance might be right up your street.

If you’re interested, M&S Fragrance Collection Mimosa & Bergamot Eau De Toilette is available as 100ml for £12.50. I have a 50ml special edition from a gift set. Also, this fragrance is vegan and certified cruelty-free – it carries THE Leaping Bunny! 😍

Mrs Strawberry Blonde

100% Vegan & Cruelty-Free – M&S Discover Water Jasmine, Fresh Lychee, White Coconut

Hi there! Today’s post is about a fragrance set that I picked up about 4 weeks ago – M&S Discover Water Jasmine, Fresh Lychee, White Coconut. On the back of the pack it reads that these fragrances are suitable for vegetarians, but the actual product pages for the individual scents confirm that these fragrances are suitable for vegans even. And they’re also certified-cruelty-free as they carry the Leaping Bunny logo! 😍

M&S Discover Water Jasmine is my favourite of the bunch, and I’ve already bought the big 100ml bottle. The notes for this fragrance are citrus (top note), jasmine and rose florals (heart note), and soft musk, cedar and amber (base note). The fragrance smells like… a green version of D&G Light Blue! This means that, within the Discover collection, M&S has made 2 fragrances which are reminiscent of D&G Light Blue (the other fragrance is M&S Spided Bergamot). Outstanding stuff!

M&S Discover Fresh Lychee lists lychee, pear and jasmine as top notes and amber and musk as base notes. This fragrance is the one that should have been called Water Jasmine! It has a very clean (and watery) and transparent jasmine note with hints of lychee and pear. It’s really nice too, and of all the 6 fragrances from the Discover collection, this is the 3rd best, in my opinion.

M&S Discover White Coconut has sea-salted coconut and exotic white flowers as top notes, sweet blossom and iced citrus nuances as heart notes and vanilla musk, sea moss and amber as base notes. I don’t like coconut scents and flavours, so I was expecting to hate this fragrance, but it’s actually not bad – the coconut note is on the transparent side, and the salt and the citrus notes are strong too, so the coconut note isn’t overpowering. This is actually a wearable fragrance!

Based on my experience, I would recommend this M&S Discover Water Jasmine, Fresh Lychee, White Coconut set. I picked it up when M&S ran a pre-Christmas 30% off promotion on certain gift sets, but even at £9.50, this is a total steal! Even if you end up not loving every single one of these fragrances, I’m sure you have a friend or colleague who will be happy to have it. If you like any of the individual scents, they’re available as 100ml for £9.50, and I’ve now also seen smaller 30ml bottles (same size as in these gift sets) for £5.

And now that I tried all the fragrances from the Discover collection, I’d rank them in this order (3 yays, 3 nays):

Water Jasmine(I already purchased the 100ml)
Spiced Bergamot
(I already purchased the 100ml)
Fresh Lychee (I might repurchase it)

Soft Iris (I liked wearing it while the 30ml bottle lasted, but I won’t repurchase as it’s not very special)
White Coconut (I have better fragrances to wear, so I think I’ll give this one away)
Pink Pepper (I absolutely hate it and will give it away)

If you want to read about the other 3 fragrances, click here.

Mrs Strawberry Blonde

100% Vegan & Cruelty-Free – M&S Discover Spiced Bergamot, Pink Pepper, Soft Iris

Hi there! Today’s post is about a fragrance set (3 x 30ml) that I picked up about 2 weeks ago – M&S Discover Spiced Bergamot, Pink Pepper, Soft Iris. I’ve now given these fragrances a try (= I’ve worn each of these fragrances for at least 3 days in a row), and here’s what I think of them.

M&S Discover Spiced Bergamot contains the following notes: bergamot, lemon and orange flower (top notes), white flowers and cardamom (heart notes), and cedar and amber musk (base notes). Spiced Bergamot smells like a pink version of D&G Light Blue. It’s lovely! The fragrance is on the fleeting side, but it’s dirt cheap, so… spray away! This fragrance is my favourite of the bunch and I’ve already purchased the large 100ml bottle. 😍

M&S Discover Pink Pepper contains the following notes: bergamot, grapefruit and mandarin (top notes), iris and jasmine (heart notes), and pink pepper, vetiver, vanilla and musk (base notes). The notes sound promising, but Pink Pepper is a rather unsophisticated scent which smells of candy floss with hints of fruit chew (during the first few minutes) and coffee (towards the end). This is my least favourite fragrance from this set, and I think it would be most suited to a teenager or someone who generally likes sweet and simple fragrances.

M&S Discover Soft Iris contains the following notes: iris, jasmine and bergamot (top notes), orange blossom essence (heart note), and vetiver, amber and patchouli (base notes). This is an inoffensive floral and powdery scent – it’s perfect for the office or for wherever you just want to smell nice without trying to attract attention. This isn’t the most special fragrance, but it’s definitely nice and pleasant.

Based on my experience, I’d recommend the set. M&S Discover Spiced Bergamot, Pink Pepper, Soft Iris is £9.50 (I paid £6.65 thanks to a pre-Christmas 30% off offer), and you get 3 30ml fragrances to try and wear for a short while. Even if you end up not liking one of the fragrances, I’m sure you’ll have a friend or relative who will be happy to have it. For those who end up loving one or more of these fragrances, they’re also available as individual 100ml bottles for £9.50 each.

Also – these fragrances carry the Leaping Bunny logo – this means they’re certified cruelty-free. On the individual product pages on M&S’ website I found “suitable for vegans” under the product description of every single one of these fragrances!

Mrs Strawberry Blonde