November 2009


The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

I actually really like the original White Linen. I remember smelling it as a 5th grader and thinking it was a genius of a creation. It was bold without being White Diamonds, fresh without with being CK1, and most of all I could talk my grandmother into buying it for me if there was a GWP. I did succeed and I did get the tiniest bottle there was. I’m sure it was an odd choice for a 5th grade girl but I like it much more than any cotton candy body spray or Exclamation or some Tommy Hilfiger creation or Secret deodorant spray, whatever the kids where wearing in those days.As an adult I’m not really into White Linen. It’s a nice “memory” fragrance. Did I also mention that I loved Sand & Sable at this time as well?

When Pure White Linen was launched it kept being “sold” to me as a younger, fresher, more modern White Linen. Obviously, the sales person did not know what I was looking for. I wore the original at the age of 10. I associate the “old lady” one with youth. A younger one did not appeal to me. Young fragrances don’t appeal to me anyways. I would so rather be sporting an old-fashioned rose based fragrance, Coco Chanel, or Guerlain Jicky. She would not back off and handed me a sample of this. I gave it a try and actually found it stronger and “older” than the original. Maybe I was just grumpy because I hate being sold to…

This fragrance is very “linen”. It has that fresh from the laundry vibe but much more concentrated and feminized. At first spritz I really don’t pick up on all of the fruity notes listed by the company. I definitely get that “fresh air” accord. I am not saying that the crisp fruits aren’t there. I guess I am just overwhelmed by the synthetic piercing air accord. After the alcohol begins to fade. I can still pick up on the “air” but it is much more humid and lush like it is with tropical ferns. I can slightly pick up on berries but it is more of a “fuzzy” cotton candy berry that is buried in a rain forest.  This fragrance seems to be sweeter than the original. I guess this why I don’t like it as well. It smells like the original but with a dash of some drugstore cotton candy body spray and a mix of a floral Victoria’s Secret Garden body spray. Luckily this stage fades pretty quickly. The fresh air accord is always there throughout the wear of this. It lingers around and it smells like a Downy ball has exploded all over a slightly sweet bouquet of freesia and the kind of honeysuckle that mainstream companies love to use. It becomes a fresh laundry-floral blend. It isn’t bad. It just isn’t to my liking. I do like the woodsy fresh dry down. This could possibly “save” the fragrance in my book.  It smells clean and I love it with the white cedarwood. It adds a warmth. I like this fragrance once it loses its tropical humidity. The dry down smells like having a crisp, white beach towel drying on a driftwood on a hot but breezy summer day. I wish I could get it just “as is” for the dry down. So why do I think it is so “old”? I guess because I feel it is trying so darn hard to be young with the fruits and hissy “flirty” florals thrown into the “original” formula. It is like a beautiful lady in her 40’s making herself look cheap and silly by wearing an entire outfit from Forever 21. It isn’t a bad thing. I am sure she looks great if she wears it with confidence but it is just a bit silly. What do I like about the fragrance? I like the dewy greens and I do like the dry down. This is a great fragrance for spring, even that early time of spring when green buds peep out of the dusting of snow.

Estee Lauder says that this fragrance contains: Italian mandarin, cool fresh air accord, raspberry, dewy greens, white freesia, red tulips (totally lacking fragrance in reality), rose, wild honeysuckle, gardenia petals, white cedarwood, patchouli, and white heliotrope.

It’s a very long-lasting fragrance. In attempts to use up the sample I would spray it on at night. I would wake up in the morning and the fragrance did not lose endurance. It still stayed strong. My bed linens would smell of Pure White Linen until a washing. I really wouldn’t mind a bottle to use to freshen up linens and linen closets or to cover up Frink odors. But, if I want a “lighter” original, then I will just go for the White Linen dusting powder. The original dusting powder is heavenly.

I would say to give this a try if you like Issey Miyake, Calvin Klein Eternity, Armani Acqua di Gio for Her, Annick Goutal Eau de Camille, Van Cleef & Arpels Feerie, Elizabeth Arden Mediterranean and/or mark Earth. The fragrance comes in 3 sizes (1, 1.7, 3.4) with prices ranging from $39.50 to $72. And just like back in the day, you can still get a GWP with it if you do your shopping at the right time.


Pure White Linen Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 1.7 Oz by Estee Lauder

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

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Sometimes I run into a fragrance and wonder “why haven’t I had you in my life sooner”? This is one of those scents. Sometimes I smell something and it is so me. Despite my extensive fragrance collection, I see this (10 Corso Como)  is the kind of scent that I will keep going back to and using again and again and again. I flirt with many, many types of fragrances, but at heart my fragrance personality is “woods”. Especially, dry warm woods.

10 Corso Como doesn’t possess a certain in your face “wow” factor. It isn’t a chameleon. It doesn’t contain a collection of strange  “isn’t it ironic notes”. It’s just really pretty and a must have for the woodsy fragrance lover. It’s for those that love the richness and warmth of sandalwood, musk, oud, frankincense but don’t want to smell like hippies or like they stumbled upon a Grateful Dead tribute band concert when they were just trying to have a romantic picnic in the park. Don’t get me wrong. I adore a “headshop” fragrance oil, but I don’t want that from a $115 perfume. I want it to have some class, some beauty, some refinement.

10 Corso Como is one of those fragrances that you love or you hate. If you love sandalwood or oud, then you will most likely this one. In fact, you won’t find this very strong at all. You may find it too “weak” and “pretty”. The wearer that doesn’t reach for a woodsy scent may find this one too strong, too animalic, too smoky. I find it woodsy in a feminine way. It smells almost of a wood carved jewelry box where one would store their dainty perfume oils and aromatic elixirs. I can barely pick up the rosy elements. I get more a fresh, balsmy wood at first. It is a little strange. It’s very woodsy and balmsy. It smells like a clean, tidy recreation of an evergreen forest. When I say “clean”, I mean there isn’t any grit, moss, dirt, moisture. It’s the foresty perfume equivalent of those unadulterated “aquatic” based perfumes. It’s pure but it is not a synthetic forest scent that would remind someone of Irish Spring soap or a men’s cologne. I pick up on smooth woods and vetiver. It is very resinous and slightly “green”, but green like a mustard green or chicory (this I think is porcini raised in their pine needle beds, this aroma takes me on a mushroom hunt. I am an amateur mycologist, this does smell mushroomy). That’s the weird part of the fragrance. The strange forest, pine/vetiver, mushroom-ness. This stage quickly passes, about 5-15 minutes. It then becomes a turpentine-ish woodsy fragrance. It still smells like lady-like sweet woods such as sandalwood but with a bit of evergreen/turpentine edge. It really reminds me of the sap from an evergreen, mainly pine. A buttery sweetness is present among the woods and slight turpentine-ness (most likely the reason that I love it). This woodsy blend wears for some time. So to sum it up at this stage: Buttery sandalwood sap next to a a dried out piece of smooth evergreen wood. It’s much prettier than it sounds. I don’t really get the “smokiness” of this fragrance. I get an incense like aroma but no smoke. Frankincense provides an incense sans the smoke aroma. It smells rich and exotic but I feel it is there but in moderation. This is definitely more of a balsamy wood scent than it is a resiny oriental scent. The frankincense and musk is more apparent as the evergreen/porcini a.k.a turpentine fades. It becomes a sensual mix of sandalwood, frankincense, and musk. It becomes very elegant and almost too pretty. This happens after about 45 minutes of wear. It smells like a classic dry woods perfume. But, there is something a bit “off”, a certain strangeness that doesn’t scream at you but makes you realize that this isn’t your regular sandalwood obsessed fragrance. I think it is the oud wood/agarwood, one of my favorite notes in fragrance ever. I didn’t realize that I loved oud as much as do until about 2 years ago. It is such a weird note. It can smell like pretty dry woods, oil, floral, and even like porcini. Of course I love this wood for the fungal factor alone. It’s mesmerizing. I think why I like this fragrance so much is because the prized oud wood is there. In the beginning, I think this is what is making the top notes so strange. That spicy mustard/chicory must be the porcini like aroma of oud wood, it then gets a sandalwood warmth and really rounds out the sweetness of the buttery sandalwood present in this mix. It adds a bit of an unusual character that makes this scent glamorous and in my opinion worth the price.

Some people complain that this fragrance doesn’t last long. Yesterday when I wore it, it wore for 16 hours. Today it wore for over 14. It is the kind of fragrance that lasts a long time but just very closely to the skin. That is typical of woods heavy fragrances. They are there, you may not notice it, but others will. Woods make a fragrance last.

Notes listed include: rose, geranium, vetiver, frankincense, musk, sandalwood, and Malay oud-wood. Prices range from $85 to the 1.7 to $115 for the $3.4. Bath products are available in this line as well, oh, and a solid perfume. Have I mentioned that I love the 30’s vintage feel of this bottle? Since I have been renovating our 30’s home, I have been all about that era’s design. This bottle is right on and based on a flea-market find antique perfume bottle. It is available at beautyhabit.com.

Here’s another Rita Hayworth look that I love. It’s a clean, fresh, glowing look that is all about the lips. There was a reason why this woman was once voted to have the best lips in the world by the Artists League of America. I feel it’s the kind of look that will work with all complexions/hair/eye colors if they are going for a vintage look.

FACE: I say go for a glowing, satin complexion. Even out skin with NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in your shade. Apply concealer where needed. L’Oreal Visible Lift Concealer is nice for the under the eye area. Apply a sheer and not too matte loose powder like Sue Devitt Hydrating Marine Minerals Loose Powder. It has SPF 30 to keep skin looking beautiful. Cover Girl TruCheeks Blush in #1 is perfect for this look. Take a big blush and run it all over the three colors and apply to the apples of cheeks. There is enough shimmer in the blush to make skin look flawless but not “glittery”.

EYES: Rita’s brows are penciled and thin. If you must, draw brows in with a thin pencil such as Prescriptives Groom Stick for Brows in your shade. Apply a matte antique white shade such as Revlon Matte Eyeshadow in Vintage Lace all over eyes from lash line to brow. Take a sheer greenish/brownish/gray shade like Bare Escentuals Glimpse Eyeshadow in Moss and lightly apply from lash line to crease. Blend for a “natural” look. Apply a soft liner to the top lash line, something like Bobbi Brown Creamy Eye Pencil in Mahogany. Apply a few coats of mascara to top lashes (after curling) and one coat to bottom lashes.

LIPS: Apply a deep pink lip liner like Avon Ultra Luxury Lip Liner in Rosebud. Apply one of my all time favorite lip colors to the lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Cherries in the Snow. Apply MAC Clear Lipglass over the lipstick with a lip brush for added shine.

ritaslook

burgundyliners

I love burgundy or wine eyeliners for hazel, green, and brown eyes. I have blue eyes and still really love them but I do have to watch out for the undertones in the wine shade or I will look like I have wine-o eyes. When paired with a pale, nude lip, it is a sexy look. Here is a guide to a few burgundy liners ranging in formulas and in prices.

Budget Burgundy Liners (Under $12): Rimmel Special Eyes Precision Eye Liner Pencil in Burgundy is a wooden pencil liner in a burgundy shade. The color is pretty but I found the formula a bit waxy and that I had to use the body heat from my finger tips to soften it. It retails for about $3.50. Sephora Long Lasting Metallic Eyeliner in Aubergine (not pictured) is a long wearing metallic burgundy plum that goes for $10. mark Eyemarker Color On Line in Wine (not pictured) is a retractable and smooth wearing wine/burgundy shade that goes for about $5.50. It is my favorite out of the budget list.

More Expensive Burgundy Liners: L’Oreal Hip Kohl Liner in Burgundy is a deep burgundy shimmer powder. I really like this formula since it reminds me of Guerlain Kohl eye liner but much cheaper and in a wider variety of colors. It retails for about $13 and can be used as a shadow as well. It will create a beautiful merlot smoky eye. Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Eye Liner in Now (not pictured) is a plum burgundy mineral powder liner. It retails for $13. It is a beautiful color and the formula provides a softer, more natural finish. Kat Von D Autograph Eyeliner in Turbo Lover is a liquid liner with a plummy wine base that is warmed by bronze sparkles. This color really works well with blue eyes because the warm undertones make the eyes really pop. It retails for $16. Yves Saint Laurent Dessin du Regard Haute Tenue Long Lasting Eye Pencil in Shimmering Burgundy (not pictured) is a deep burgundy in a soft easy to use pencil. It retails for $28. Laura Mercier Liquid Eye Liner in Bordeaux is a long wearing metallic liner that goes for $22. DuWop Smoke in Plum Wine contains a burgundy cake eyeliner and a deep purple shadow to create a sexy smoky eye. It retails for $28. Make Up For Ever Flash Color in Wine (not pictured) is a highly pigmented cream that can be used a liner. Wine is a red-ish shade so watch if you have too much red in the whites of your eyes. You could end up looking monstrous. It goes for $18. MAC has a few burgundy liners. I like Liquidlast Liner in Powerplum because it is a purpley plum with red shimmer in a liquid form. I love the addition of the shimmer. It goes for $16.50. The other one is the versatile Technakohl Liner in Purple Dash which is a reddish aubergine that goes for $14.50 (both aren’t pictured).

Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH d’Anjou is a great “work” or “my first fragrance” type of perfume. I typically prefer something heavier (thank goodness I don’t work in a fragrance free zone) but I can appreciate the softness and wearability of this fragrance. For a fruity-floral, this is one of my favorites. For a pear, d’Anjou is one of my least favorites… This is one that is fresh, fruity, slightly floral. It is flirty without being hissy or overwhelming. It is light and breezy. The perfume house describes it as “sheer as a veil, ethereal as a cloud, d´Anjou is Spring…the delicate scent of green pears, leaves, and early flowers.” This is a lovely description that really fits this “simple” fragrance.

At first it is very “pear”. It isn’t cheap or coy like Victoria’s Secret Secret Garden Pear Glace type of pear. Like I said, this one is flirty but not skanky. It’s a nice smile, not too “touchy”. This is a scent that takes you to lush green grove on a soft blanket on a picnic. You bite into the best tasting pear of the season. The weather is perfect, still warm enough for bare arms and sandals. You are enjoying the simple things: orchard fresh fruit, warm sunny afternoon, great company, and lots of laughs. You then lounge in the sun, absorbing it’s warmth. It warms your favorite white cotton tee and perfect jeans. Your toes feel the breeze. It’s a good day. It’s simple, casual, nothing over the top but it is so special. So back to the top note…it is juicy and you can almost smell that pear texture. You can feel the stickiness of the juice. It’s a beautiful, simple, pure pear. It is then accompanied by soft, delicate petals. It is so soft and not overwhelming and too floral. I pick up on the lily of the valley. Like I said, this is light. I wouldn’t say that this is a lily of the valley heavy scent. It really just smells so sweet and dainty. The floral notes complete the “entire pear” experience from juice to skin.  It seriously smells like ripe pear juice on clean, fresh, warm skin. That would be my summary.

I really do like this scent because it really does describe the beauty of a pear. It is a fresh, light scent. I also find it innocent enough to be a “first” fragrance. It sure beats many of the awful celebrity scents out there. I know that this scent is supposed to remind one of the freshness and beauty of spring. This scent really is seasonless and quite effortless to wear. However for me, I see it as more of a late summer/early fall scent since this is when pears become to ripen here.

This fragrance is a soft, close the skin type of fragrance that wears for about 5-6 hours. I must emphasize very closely to the skin. This is a soft fragrance from start to finish. I would say that you would like this if you are a fan of light, fresh scents, Kiehl’s Essential Oil Rollerball in Pear, Yosh U4eahh!, Rosie Jane Leila Lou, Annick Goutal Petite Cherie, and/or Tocca Florence. This is also a great scent for the person who doesn’t think that they like fruity fragrances. This is one sophisticated fruity fragrance. Notes include: green pear, petitgrain, Bulgarian rose, cyclamen, lily of the valley, and musk. An one ounce EDP spray goes for $60. This size and other sizes are available on the company’s website.

tuberosecollage

Tuberose is one of my favorite notes. It’s intoxicating, enchanting, and so feminine. It’s for a confident woman who isn’t scared to be a little over the top. It is many fragrances so I narrowed this “collage” down for the tuberose enthusiast, for the person wanting a tuberose heavy scent. As you may notice, it’s a luxe note so you will see more in the “expensive” category.

Bargain Tuberose Scents: Tokyomilk Pafum French Kiss is a lovely white floral blend heavy on tuberose and gardenia. It is a steal at $28 for 1 oz. A slightly sweet and exotic tuberose scent is Voluspa Victoria Collection Tuberosa Agave Roll-On. It smells of tuberose and coconut milk. It retails for $25 for half an ounce. Parfums des beaux Arts Tubereuse EDP is a pure tuberose soliflore. It’s one of my favorite “tuberose” scents. It retails for $27 for 1/4 oz. Filles des Iles Floral Exotique is a sultry blend of tuberose, orange flower, and jasmin. The .33 oz. roller-ball retails for $18. I know it isn’t a “budget” scent but the roll-on available at Sephora is a nice deal. Piguet Fracas is a lovely scent with tuberose and the adorable roller-ball retails for $25. It has always defined the tuberose scent for me.  DL & Co. Angel’s Trumpet is a nice blend of night blooming florals like tuberose and angel’s trumpet. The roller-ball retails for $45.

More Expensive Tuberose Scents: Jo Malone Tuberose cologne is a pure, intoxicating tuberose fragrance. The 3.4 oz. bottle goes for $100. Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia is a must have for the white floral lover. It is a lovely marriage of tuberose and gardenia. The pure parfum comes in a beautiful bottle that resembles jewelry and retails for $325. It is also available in a less expensive EDP spray. Jean Patou Joy is a classic floral heavy on tuberose. The 2.5 EDt goes for $110. If you like Piguet Fracas then give Joy a try. This fragrance brought tuberose pack into the scene: Michael Kors EDP. It’s a moden tuberose fragrance, still very sexy and classy. The largest bottle goes for $90. L’Artisan Parfumeur Tubereuse is a sweet and exotic tuberose scent with coconut and ylang-ylang too. The 3.4 oz. bottle retails for $135 and it smells like a tropical vacation. Creed Tubereuse Indiana is a sexy tuberose soliflore with ambergris hints that keep it grounded. The 2.5 oz. bottle goes for $210. Editions de Parfums Carnal Flower (gross sounding name, I know) is a nice tuberose interpretation. It retails for about $195. Profumi Capri Capri Night is a romantic blend of tuberose and gardenia. It retails for $62. This is a beautiful scent, a simple blend of tuberose and jasmine: Profumum Tuberosa. It seems simple but it sexy. It retails for $240.

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