April 2010


I really like Annick Goutal Heure Exquise EDT. It’s old-fashioned, feminine, and mysterious without being cloying and heavy. I must add that I love iris/orris scents. They are fresh and green. Often iris based scents are masculine (a reminder of antique after shaves), not Heure Exquise. It’s a seductive fragrance with class. The iris in Heure Exquise is not as green and medicinal as some iris heavy scents. It is more powdery and feminine. It really is what Annick Goutal was going for, an “exquisite hour”. It is dusk hovering over a well manicured garden with classic blossoms of iris and rose. It’s a “darker” iris, an iris for evening.

At first the fragrance is green in a classic iris way. It’s fresh but in a dry, earthy way. It becomes sweet yet green, thanks to the Turkish rose. The fragrance smells of an old-fashioned and symmetrical Victorian garden. It’s proper but soft and grounded. It’s beautiful. (I’ve already let it out that I love iris scents). This iris heavy scent is made feminine by sweet roses. The rose gives this earthy floral fragrance a bit of honey sweetness. The fragrance smells powdery. Since this is an EDT, it does change rapidly. The mid is beautiful. You still get an old-fashioned iris that is powdery but it is almost like  incense. The Mysore sandalwood makes a presence, mingling with the dry florals. It is so soft but not delicate. It is really like the sun is setting over this proper garden. It has a bit of mystery, a bit of haze. The dry down is rich and incensey. I get lots of Mysore sandalwood, one of my favorite notes ever. It is made feminine by a light touch of vanilla. The dry down is sweet but not in a gourmand way. It is sweet like resin.

I really like the fragrance, but I like old-timey scents. This one is old-fashioned but since it is a light-wearing EDT, it is very wearable. It isn’t heavy. The top is refreshing like going on stroll through a flower garden. The sun begins to set and this fragrance becomes very mysterious. Shadows change the scenery. Even though you’ve seen it all before, it becomes new with the darkness, mysterious, but still harmless. This is an understated sexy scent. I think it is trying to be sexy but it manages to do so tastefully.

For an Annick Goutal EDT, I find that it wears longer than most. It wears for about 4-5 hours on me during “average” temps.

Notes listed include Floretine iris, Turkish rose, Mysore sandalwood, and vanilla.

Give this fragrance a try if you like fresh, powdery scents, Editions de Parfums Iris Poudre EDP, L’Artisan Parfumeur Drôle de Rose , Jean Paul Gaultier Classique EDT, YSL Paris EDT, Victoria’s Secret So In Love EDP, and/or Lubin Nuit de Longchamp EDP.

The 3.4 fl.oz. retails for $115. It is available at luckyscent.com. * Currently it is available at fragrancenet.com at a discount price!

Claude Monet's Iris

This is a home scent for the white floral lover. This scent is loaded with “exotic” white florals. This fragrant candle is like tropical, heady white floral bomb. It is sweet and slightly spicy for a white floral blend. It fills my house with a spicy tuberose and sweet, humid gardenia. I don’t get too much of the fern but this scent is much “cooler” than most tropical floral blends. So, I would say that the fern and lily of the valley are there but I can’t pick up on it since the tropical florals are pretty loud. I think those two subdued notes add a watery, humid element. For some reason, this fragrance reminds of Juicy Couture EDP (the “original”). I think because it is a sweet, creamy, humid tropical floral. So to sum this scent up- It’s a rich, humid, sweet tropical white floral. It is a heavy scent. I can see how some could find this one overwhelming. I like the scent. I don’t crave a scent this humid all of the time, but I do like it occasionally.

I do like the candle. It is very fragrant and it can fragrance my entire house. The candle burns evenly. The scent is throughout the candle. Oh, and the packaging is nice. Many sizes are available. So you can get just a little or a lot of a heavy champaca home scent.

Notes listed include champaca bloom, fresh fern leaf, muguet, and gardenia.

This is a candle to try if you like heavy tuberose and gardenia scents and you want your living space to smell the same as perfumes like Juicy Couture EDP, Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia EDP, Urban Rituelle Tahitian Gardenia EDP, Antica Farmacista Ala Moana EDP, Yosh White Flowers Parfum, and/or Tom Ford Private Blends Champaca Absolute.

Prices and sizes vary. It is available at b-glowing.com and CandleDelirium.

I just want summer to be here! Here’s a very easy to wear sunkissed 70’s look. It’s a nice look, but man, I hate 70’s hair…

FACE: Apply a no-fuss tinted moisturizer to clean skin. I like the formula and color selection of Bobbi Brown SPF Tinted Moisturizer. Dust a natural looking bronzer like Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder all over the face. Apply a little more to the cheeks to use as a blush.

EYES: Brows are thick and very natural. Apply a clear brow wax such as Anastasia Brow Fix Clear Wax Pencil. Apply a cream eyeshadow with your finger tips to the entire eye lid. I like the color of NARS Single Cream Eyeshadow in Corfu, a slightly glimmering taupe. Line top lashes and bottom lashes closely with a soft liner pencil like L’Oreal Le Kohl Pencil Smooth Defining Eyeliner in a charcoal shade like Smoke. Apply a black mascara to top and bottom lashes.

LIPS: Lips are a pale taupe. MAC Lipstick in Tanarama is the perfect shade for this look. Apply it to lips and then blot on a tissue to finish this laid back look.

This really is a simple, quick look that works blondes, brunettes, redheads, anybody with a warm, tan complexion. You can even be like Ali and not wash your hair for it…

This is a richly lathering skin conditioning bar soap with a mild coconut aroma. It isn’t as fragrant as the Skin Trip Moisturizer in the family, but it does have a lasting fragrance that lasts on the skin after washing. It also leaves my bathroom smelling nicely after a shower. It’s a basic, rich coconut, much more natural smelling than others on the market. I’m trying to say that it smells like a real coconut vs. a B&BW Piña Colada or a dessert coconut creme fragrance. The coconut fragrance hasn’t faded yet. The entire bar is scented evenly. The bar is pretty heavy and contains lots of nourishing oils. For a natural soap, it hasn’t melted away in the shower yet. I feel that it is dense and lasts in comparison to other natural bar soaps. It lathers nicely, this is a plus in the natural market. It isn’t very moisturizing but it isn’t drying. My skin feels squeaky clean like I’ve used an evil corporate bar soap 🙂 but I’m not dried out. Thank you, coconut oil. I really like the soap. I see myself repurchasing it.

The bar is a bit pricey at just under $5. I think it is a nice product for the money. It lathers nicely and it reminds me of trips to the beach, warm, Floridian beaches. I’ve purchased $12 bars of soap that I like less and that have dissolved instantly. It is available at stores like Whole Foods and drugstore.com.

I love plums. We have a plum tree in the backyard and this spring brought us the most amazing aroma of plum blossoms. Plus, the tree has been just beautiful when covered with blossoms. It’s been quite a view from my pink boudoir. I also love the aroma of the juicy fruit. Stone fruits really add to a fragrance. A plum has a richness that others do not, plus it lacks the “fuzziness” of peaches. It mixes well with florals and spices. Hey, it even mixes well with seaweed. I would love a fragrance that smells like plum furikake. I’ve compiled a brief “collage” of various plum heavy fragrances. Feel free to add.

Budget Plum Scents (under $50): TokyoMilk Parfum Sugar Plum Solid Perfume is a sweet plum as the name implies. It retails for $18. Bath and Body Works has 2 fruity plum floral EDTs: Cherry Blossom and Blushing  Cherry Blossom. Both retail for $26.50 for over 2 ounces. An “oriental” plum is Avon Imari Seduction EDT. This is a “purple” seductive fragrance with vanilla, plum, and orchids. The 1.7 oz. goes for $22.50. Crazylibellule & The Poppies 26 Juin ile d’Yeu Solid Cologne is a refreshing plum/fruity chypre. The crazystick goes for about $18. To me it smells like a plum tree full of ripe fruit on a hot summer day. I really do love that stick. Aroma M Geisha Pink Roll-On is a frivolous sweet, sugared plum fragrance oil in an adorable package. It retails for $40.

More Expensive Plum Scents: Juicy Couture Couture Couture EDP is a very sweet fruity-floral with plum. It’s a bit too sweet for my taste, but it does have candied plums. The bottle is beautiful. The 1.7 ounce goes for $65. Creed Aqua Florentine is a light-hearted fruity floral with dessert plums, flirty blossoms, and cedar. The smallest spray retails for $130. Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Quincridone Violet EDP (not pictured) is an energetic plum/fruity violet floral. The 1 oz. EDP spray retails for $65. If a plum based fragrance could be an edgy fashionista, it would be Editions de Parfums Le Parfum de Therese. This is a blend of stone fruits, citrus, cedar, and leather. Love it. The 1.7 ounce retails for $155. If you are looking for a dried plum AKA prune fragrance, more appropriate for fall/winter, give Serge Lutens Bois et Fruits EDP a try. It’s woodsy and powdery sweet. It retails for $200 for 1.7 ounces.

Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

This is a fragrance that I thought I hated. As I’ve matured, I have found that I don’t dislike this one. This is my favorite Clinique fragrance and one of my favorite mass market, line specific, department store fragrances. Clinique’s slogan for this fragrance is “Intriguing, Non-Conformist Fragrance performs the role of a perfume, but goes far beyond”. Pretty bold coming from the “safest” cosmetic company that I can think of. This fragrance was created in 1975 by Bernard Chant, the man behind the classic chypre, Cabochard, and the 60’s floral, Estee. So, yes, Mr. Bernard Chant, was the creator of the many fragrances that Generation X-ers and beyond refer to as “old lady” smells. I find that I like “old lady” smells. I’m a vintage, old-fashioned gal. I prefer the scents that my grandmothers wore.

At first spritz, Clinique Aromatics Elixir is mossy and has a greenness from an old-fashioned rose. There is so much oakmoss. I need to add that I love a heavy dose of oakmoss in about any perfume. After the mossy rose settles, I get tons and tons of patchouli. So, if you despise headshop patchouli then stay away from Clinique Aromatics. It is an oily and rich patchouli with a hint of dried vetiver and dried lavender. This adds a coolness to the earthy patchouli and its bed of mossy roses. This really hits me as a Pacific Northwestern scent because of the moss, roses, and wet dirt. It’s like being at The International Rose Test Garden in Portland on a wet and dreary October afternoon. I love it. The dry down is still heavy with patchouli but it lacks that wetness and coolness. It becomes slightly powdery with soft amber and sandalwood notes. There is a 70’s musk present too. This soft, earthy and musky dry-down is reminiscent of many dry-downs of juices in the mid-60’s to mid-70’s. This means that if you wear this, then somebody may carbon date you back to the 1970’s. The dry-down reminds me of going through grandma’s containers of vintage face powders and perfume oil bottles that she saved for their containers. It’s powdery but has that richness of dark perfume oils. I must add that my grandmother did (and continues to) wear Clinique Aromatics Elixir as her casual, “around the house” fragrance. So, I do like this fragrance because it reminds me of laid-back days with grandma.

I am so happy that I gave this one another try. This is why I should never let go of perfume samples 🙂 I’m moody and it only makes sense that my tastes would be too. I realize that many young adults will not find this perfume attractive. I don’t wear perfume for others. I wear what I like. This elixir is very long-wearing. I would say that I find it on my pulse points 12-15 hours after applying. It just contains so many rich and adhering fragrance notes.

Notes listed include: rose, jasmine, oakmoss, ylang ylang, vetiver, patchouli, musk, amber, and sandalwood.

You may like this if you like fougere scents or scents like Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac EDP, Estee Lauder Youth Dew Cologne, Tom Ford Private Blend Moss Breches EDP, Parfum d’Empire Fougere Bengale EDP, Serge Lutens Chypre Rouge EDP, Heeley Parfums Cardinal EDP, Tauer Perfumes Incense Rose EDP, The Party In Manhattan EDP, and/or Montale Orient Extreme EDP. The 1.5 oz retails for $42.50 and the 3.4 oz for $52.50. It can be purchased at Clinique counters anywhere or Sephora. It’s also available at fragrancenet.com.
Get it for a deal at…

Aromatics Elixir Perfume for Women Parfum Spray 3.4 Oz by Clinique

Weekly Cheap Secret:

Humphrey’s Lilac Witch Hazel is a very nice toner. Sure, it isn’t much different than your regular ole’ witch hazel, but it has an amazing springtime fragrance. It may be more expensive than that regular ole’ witch hazel, but it is still a great deal at about $6 for 8 fluid ounces. I think all of the “extras” make up the difference.

This toner contains no alcohol but it still leaves the skin feeling clean and refreshed without being “tight”. It contains lots of antioxidants, every tea extract imaginable, and soothing calendula and cucumber. Plus, it has exfoliating enzymes from pineapple and papaya (these enzymes are known to lighten discolorations as well). So, yes, I like the formula. It is nice for my normal skin and I enjoy seeing all of the grime on the cotton pad than on my face.  It removes makeup and keeps my skin feeling smooth. It is highly fragrant. I like this but it could bug some people. It smells of spring because of the lilac. It’s a plain and simple soliflore. It doesn’t completely mask the odor of witch hazel but somehow that works out. (I actually like the smell of witch hazel). In fact, I like the smell of this so much that I’m thinking of purchasing a bottle to put in a spray bottle to use as spray to freshen up stale closets/rooms and to refresh my skin throughout the day. The fragrance just screams “spring!” which I need right now. (Currently, the weather in Seattle is terrible. It snowed…in the first week of April and it has been cold). I also like the packaging. It comes in a plastic bottle which I don’t have to worry about breaking on my tile bathroom floors. I also like the artwork, the colors and subject matter remind me of turn of the century lithography used in perfume/cosmetic ads.

The product is available at many stores like Whole Foods or Humprehys website.

Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Parfum de Grasse is a sophisticated spicy, resiny rose blend with lots of chypre notes. It isn’t a green or “fresh” rose floral. It is a bit sweet but in a honey or crystallized rose petal way. This is what makes it different from the other rose scents in my fragrance library. I tend to purchase those fresh/green rose ones. This one is different. It is rich and luscious, dark and mysterious. It is a long-wearing fragrance because it is made from 100% botanical ingredients. You get your money’s worth with this purchase.

The top has a spicy crispness. I get lots of the carnation and orange blossom. This is a classic spicy floral mixture.  However, it has a bit of a dried vetiver that adds a woodsy freshness to the spicy florals. This is not an invigorating or overwhelming vetiver. It smells of dried vetiver and at times it has a mossiness, the kind that only classic perfumes seem to pull off. The heart is sweet and floraly. It has rosy florals mixed with musky, sweet beeswax. I love beeswax when used “right” and this is fitting in this blend. It keeps the florals grounded. The beeswax also helps the fragrance “stick”, meaning that it keeps it long-wearing. I get a butteriness. I assume this is the orris because it is a tad floral. The dry-down is animalic without being offensive or heavy. It’s woodsy and mysterious. And the moss comes back. However, this time it is more of a mossy incense.

I love how this fragrance uses natural botanical ingredients that mimic Old World animalic floral perfumes. DSH has vision and talent. This is a wonderfully modern take on Old World perfumery. This is a wearable resiny, animalic floral. It is packed with classic notes and it all works together. It has it all: spice, florals, sweetness, woods, and chypre notes. It’s a “dark” floral and that is why I like it. I also like it because every time I sniff it, I get something different. It’s complex and cerebral.

Notes include: bergamot, mimosa, neroli, carnation, centifolia rose, French beeswax, jasmine, orris, Brazilian vetiver, moss, and sandalwood.

Give this one a try if you are looking for a “darker” rose/floral or if you like scents like Les Parfums de Rosine Une Folie de Rose EDP, Tom Ford Private Blends Noir de Noir EDP, Lubin L de Lubin EDP, Byredo Parfums Rose Noir EDP, Guerlain Mitsouko EDP, and/or Shiseido “Classic” Zen Cologne.

The 1 oz. EDP spray retails for $135. Other sizes are available.This blend is available at DSH’s website and Beautyhabit.com.

Fragrance & Food:

Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange wasn’t what I expected it to be at all. I wanted rugged citrus rind/zest mixed with the sweet juices of a blood orange. I wanted something to pick me up in the dead of winter and to be refreshing in the middle of summer. Nope. Instead with this one, I got too much of  juicy berries. It isn’t a bad fragrance, it just wasn’t what I expected.

First things first, I’m not a huge fan of strawberry scents. I find them too synthetic and too young. I don’t mind sniffing strawberry scents on others but I can’t stand to smell it on myself. Tuscan Blood Orange is all about strawberries at the initial spritz, the name should not of been Tuscan Blood Orange. It should be something about strawberries. Strawberry fragrance lovers should know about this fragrance. It should be in the title. Instead Pacifica is giving berry lovers and detour and attracting citrus lovers whom most likely will be disappointed with this fragrance. At first spritz it is very strawberry-ish. Think of a limited edition Escada scent. It is that berry. In a short time, you get the zest of tangerines and oranges. This drowns the strawberry; however, since my sniffer is sensitive to strawberry, I still pick it up. The zesty orange peel hangs around. It starts to mellow out with another berry, raspberry. This takes a bit of the “edge” off of the citrus while keeping it bitter. Eventually the fuse together and create something that would make a delicious tropical cocktail. The berry begins to fade and you get a juicy citrus. This is beautiful, fruity, and refreshing. At this stage, I get blood orange juice and pineapple juice, making this one tropical frou-frou fragrance. Oh, but then there is the strawberry zombie! After I start enjoying the fragrance it then morphs back into the strawberry citrus blend that was the top. But, this time the citrus is less apparent.

The fragrance isn’t bad. It just isn’t me and it isn’t something that I see myself wearing frequently. I can name 10 other citrus scents on the market that I love more. This is a very fruity fragrance. I would of really liked this one if it had a floral to balance the berry or if the berries were left out altogether. I really love the heart of the fragrance but I can’t forgive the berries. It doesn’t help that they keep coming back from the dead. This is a “young” fragrance to me. That being said, it is a fun fragrance. I don’t hate it. Sometimes I do want a tropical cocktail-ish fragrance. The price is right with this one and it does wear longer than a Demeter PMU Cologne spray. I do think of it as more of a summer fragrance but I do fear that the berries will make it to icky and sticky for hot summer days.

The fragrance isn’t very long wearing. But, I think wears nicely for the price. It wears much longer than a body spray and cologne. I smell traces of it about 3 hours after spraying. It wears about the same as more expensive EDTs at department stores. The bottle is small and you could “refresh” throughout the day. Plus, it has natural ingredients.

Notes listed include: strawberry, raspberry, mandarin, and Italian sweet orange.

Give this a try if you like very fruity fragrances, tropical drink like fragrances, LE Escada fragrances, Urban Rituelle Sweet Treats Pomegranete EDP, Comptoir Sud Pacifique Mora Bella EDP, Fresh Strawberry Flowers EDP, Marc Jacobs Daisy In The Air EDT, Ralph Lauren Ralph Wild EDT, and/or Demeter PMU Cologne Sex on the Beach.

The 1.2 oz spray retails for $22. It is available at Sephora and Pacifica’s website.

Also, since this is a delicious fragrance and it makes me think of food, here is a Strawberry Compote with Blood Orange Juice. I would add raspberries to give it the full Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange touch.

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

I like the freshness of Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea EDT/cologne. It is fresh and zesty. It is a “pretty” fragrance since it does smell feminine. Many green tea scents could be unisex but not this one by Elizabeth Arden. Elizabeth Arden Green Tea is a light wearing fragrance, comparable to a body spray. Elizabeth Arden as a woman and a company has always been very competitive. This fragrance was launched in 1999 to compete with such popular mall fragrance/body product shops as Bath and Body Works and The Body Shop. Hence, the light wearing fragrance to be worn all over the body with a lower price point than other department store fragrances.

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea is not as “green tea” as other green tea fragrances on the market. This means it is less “dirty”, “earthy”, or “pondy” than actual green tea. This fragrance is a play on aromatherapy (just read the adjectives associated with the fragrance notes), but it is much more “commercial” than the aromatherapy I think of. Elizabeth Arden Green Tea is not a per se green tea fragrance but an interpretation of a spa-like experience. It embodies the healthiness of sipping on green tea and pampering oneself. So, if you are looking for a “real” green tea fragrance, this is not it. If you are looking for a refreshing, light fragrance than this will do. I mainly get beautiful, feminine citrus from this fragrance. I get a heavy dose of bergamot. This is good for me since I love bergamot. The bergamot is complemented by other generic citrus accords with a wee bit of fruity rhubarb.It reminds me of a delicious summer sorbet. It has floral bergamot, jammy rhubarb, and orange zest. This is very refreshing. The fragrance has a certain coolness. It is ever so slightly minty. I really do think of it as a rhubarb and citrus sorbet with a garnish of mint. The zesty notes fade but you still are left with citrusy bergamot and tart rhubarb. That mainstream green tea is faintly there as well, just like that garnish of mint. The green tea adds a green sweetness to the heart. The dry-down is a bit softer than the heart. It smells muskier but in a clean musky, citrus way. The dry-down manages to be musky, green, and fresh.

The bottle isn’t exciting. It is very, very plain and it does remind me more of a drugstore fragrance bottle. At least it is glass and not in a plastic spray bottle making it more desirable than a B&BW spray.

It is not a long-lasting fragrance and it doesn’t claim to be. It wears slightly longer than a body spray. I guess it is meant to be “sipped” throughout the day just like a few cups of green tea. I do find it very refreshing. I like it for spring and summer.

Give this a try if you like pretty bergamot fragrances, Mélange Green Tea Solid Perfume, L’Occitane Thé Vert EDT or ThéBergamote EDT, Tocca Bianca EDP, Heeley Menthe Fraîche EDP, CK One EDT, Fresh Hesperides EDP, Creative Universe Te Cologne, and/or Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mandarine-Basilic EDT.

Notes listed include: caraway, fruity rhubarb, lemon, orange zest, bergamot, cool minty peppermint, green tea, sweet jasmine, spicy carnation, fresh fennel, crisp celery spice, oakmoss, musk, and amber.

The 1.7 oz cologne spray retails for $27 and the larger 3.3 oz. for $37. It is available at all Elizabeth Arden counters and Elizabeth Arden’s website. * Currently it is available at fragrancenet.com.

Experience the fragrance in one more. Make a rhubarb sorbet (recipe here). Don’t forget the mint garnish! Perhaps you could put a scoop in a small cup of cool green tea…

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