Love In Idleness: If Naughty Fairies Wore Scent

Atkinsons Love In Idleness Fragrance Review

Atkinsons’ Love In Idleness is such a romantic, beautifully feminine fragrance – I mentioned this in my Valentine’s Day post as a springtime alternative to the more predictable rose scents, but it’s good for all-year-round-wearing, really, so long as you like your perfumes light and pretty.

I don’t know too much about Atkinsons as a brand, other than the fact that they sell their fragrances in big, 100ml hip-flask type bottles that feel slightly as though they should be part of an Alice In Wonderland set… I know also, from the tatters of my baby-brain memory, that its a brand with quite the heritage – founded over 200 years ago, and, at one point, the official perfumer to the royals.

Despite my lack of background knowledge, I’ve tried quite a few of Atkinsons’ perfumes, including the golden-bottled Oud Save the Queen, but Love In Idleness is the first I’ve adopted into my personal fragrance arsenal. (The one I keep in the house, rather than the stacks of fragrances I have in my office, waiting to be tested!) It made the cut primarily because I love the smell of violets and I rarely come across one that doesn’t smell artificial, like bottled Parma Violets.

Love In Idleness is the sort of powdery violet perfume I’ve been hunting down for years. It’s soft, sugary and rather frivolous, but not one of those silly, giggly scents that belong in a twelve-year-old’s body spritz. The mossy, woody base notes prevent it from being too young, but they never really come to the front of the stage, so to speak, so the overall effect of the perfume is that it’s light and fresh, almost sparkling.

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The inspiration behind the fragrance is (you may have guessed from the name) Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and it really does spark little thoughts of fairies’ bowers and magical forests and long, summer nights. I’d love the base notes to come through a little more, if I were to be very picky and incredibly selfish, but I do think that this makes for a wonderful lightweight scent. It has a naughty edge – or mischievous, I should say – that stops it from being too sickly sweet.

You can find Love In Idleness at Selfridges here – it’s £100 for 100ml.

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  1. February 23, 2017 / 1:24 pm

    Being a naughty fairy, that sounds just like my perfect fragrance. To keep that naughty fairy spirit alive through grey office days.

  2. Madeleine Glynn
    February 23, 2017 / 2:57 pm

    Try Guerlain Insolence if you like grown up violets with a hint of berry. Just lovely and AllBeauty do it for about £27 for 30ml.

  3. Abigail
    February 23, 2017 / 5:17 pm

    I’ll put this on my list to try. If you get the opportunity Ruth, here are two to try that have violet notes but aren’t the screechy parma violet type. Parma violets have their place in fragrance but sometimes you just want a simple violet note that isn’t too gussied up with sugar and powder. My picks are Creed Fleurissimo and Ormonde Woman.

  4. Gisela Spencer
    February 23, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    ooh naughty fairie #lifegoals

  5. February 23, 2017 / 5:58 pm

    I really want Oud Save the Queen since we bought my OH Oud Save the King, such a distinctive different scent but I’m still saving (it’s £150). That said they have a new one called ‘Her Majesty the Oud’ (I think!) that I should check out too……

  6. Alex P
    February 24, 2017 / 11:48 am

    Ooh, sounds amazing! Who wouldn’t want to smell like a naughty fairy? Must, must, must try this! X

  7. February 24, 2017 / 8:24 pm

    I am a Gothy Tinkerbelle look-alike, so this seems right up my alley, especially since I love (dark) rose scents. Thanks as always, Ruth. You are my fragrance guru for sure.

  8. February 27, 2017 / 3:39 pm

    Oh, that sounds great. Usually those are too sweet or fake smelling!

    • February 27, 2017 / 3:51 pm

      Yes this one is very well-pitched! x

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