I apologize ab out not updating my blog. I’ve been sick and really in no place to trust my sniffer. I’m feeling better and I’m trying to catch up.

Ligne St. Barth Vanilla Body Lotion is really a product for the vanilla lover. This is more of an “oceanic” vanilla. It is sweet and tropical with hints of salt water. This is definitely a vanilla scent. It’s sweet but not as sweet as other vanilla scents on the market that are trying to resemble baked goods. This is a nice tropical vanilla. It reminds me a of a vanilla scented tanning lotion. You get a whiff of salty sea air with this lotion. I think that is what makes it special.

The formula is rich but thin in consistency. It needs  rubbed in throughly. It leaves a shiny residue on the skin that resembles the appearance of oiled skin. (It has a rich avocado oil base and you can tell). This looks amazing on bare legs. I do think when the weather gets warmer that I will use this product as a “leg sheen”. It really adds a nice “glow” to my legs and it smells nice. It makes my legs look like they’ve been “oiled” but it doesn’t leave that kind of mess.

The scent of this lotion mixes well with all vanilla based scents. I’ve worn it with Prada EDP, various La Maison de la Vanille EDTs, Susanne Lang Vanilla Coconut EDP, and even Guerlain Shalimar EDP.  The scent of this lotion “enhances” the vanilla in other fragrances.

It’s a pricey lotion but it is a hard to find luxury product. I’m sure you could find something cheaper like it but I don’t have to explain the luxury market to you. This lotion comes in 2 sizes. It retails for $47 for the 6.8 oz. and $34 for the 4.2 oz. It’s available at beautyhabit.com.

frangiguide

Frangipani is an amazing tropical flower. It naturally has a sweet, almost toasted sugar and vanilla like floral quality. It adds so much to those “tropical” blends that fragrance houses love to flirt with. Here is a guide/collage featuring heavy on the frangipani fragrances in a variety of price points.

Budget Frangipani Scents (Under $50): Lucy B. Pink Frangipani Perfume Roll-On retails for $24. It is lush and tropical. Urban Rituelle Beachcomber Frangipani Perfume Travel Spray is an exotic floral with light staying power that retails for $10. Voluspa Victoria Collection Corsica Petit Roll-On is a warm, slightly spicy frangipani fragrance with orange rind, pink peppercorn, and musk. It retails for $24.

More Expensive Frangipani Scents: Lily Pulitzer Beachy is an aqautic fruity-floral with a heart of frangipani. The 3.4 oz. EDP retails for $68. Annick Goutal Songes EDP is an exotic floral cocktail with frangipani, ylang-ylang, and jasmine grounded by vanilla. The frangipani works so well in this blend. The 1.7 oz. spray goes for $80. Kenzo Amour EDT is a romantic floral containing delicate frangipani. The 1. 7 oz spray goes for $55. Memoire Liquide #400 Fleur des  Tropiques Parfum is a lush, intoxicating exotic floral with frangipani, gardenia, plumeria, and many more tropical florals. It’s a lush, torpical floral arrangement in a bottle. It retails for $65. Lolita Lempicka Fleur de Corail EDP is a warm, sunny frangipani fragrance in a lovely bottle. The largest goes for $69. Victoria’s Secret Dream Angels Desire EDP is a fruity-floral with frangipani. It’s not my favorite frangipani fragrance but it is in there. The largest 4.2 oz goes for $59. Usher for Women EDP contains frangipani with top notes of pink pepper and base notes of woods and vanilla. The 3.4 oz goes for $68. L’Artisan Parfumeur Fluer de Liane EDT is a complex “rain forest” blend. It is humid, green, woodsy, and an intoxicating floral all in one. I really like this one. The 1.7 oz. spray retails for $95.


Songes Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 1.7 Oz by Annick Goutal

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

This body butter is a great product for those with really dry skin. This is a super emollient and rich cream. It’s thick but easy to rub in if your skin is a little damp or just right out of the shower. It keeps skin moisturized and soft until the next day. It isn’t greasy, sticky, or icky. I like most of Korres products. They are gentle, natural, and of course, I like their smell. This Guava Body Butter has a very light scent, it’s scented but it won’t interfer with your fragrance of choice. The scent isn’t overly fruity or like a Bath and Body Works version of guava fruit. It’s a bit beachy, almost rich and coconuty with a bit of soury citrus like aroma, zesty. It isn’t straight up coconut or generic beachy piña colada. It just smells very tropical, exotic, and like it would be one delicious mixed drink if it wasn’t a lotion. I can’t really say that it smells like a real guava since there are many types of guava and I never seem to let it ripen enough. Anyways, the fragrance is nice but it doesn’t linger very long. If there was a body spray in this fragrance, I would so buy it. The 5 oz. pump bottle retails for $21 and other sizes are available. You can get it at beauty. com.

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Elizabeth Arden explains this fragrance as a “radiant woody floral and a modern expression of sparkling radiance“. I would definitely say that this fits into that category of “modern woody floral”. It is woody but not in a super masculine way. At first it comes on as a bit fruity with hints of citrus and stone fruits such as plum. This lasts a very short time on me. It then smells of spicy wood, like a mix of sandalwood and dry cedar. But, it floral in an “aquatic” fragrance sense of the word. It is floral with the hissy notes of “orchid” and “wisteria”. But, it is all blended together so if it is very difficult to go “oh, there is the wisteria and here is the sandalwood”. It is all blended together and this wears on me for a long time. At times I’ll sniff and smell the woods and then again I’ll sniff and pick up a certain floral sharpness that makes this smell almost soapy fresh. Eventually, all I smell is warm sun-baked woods with generic “clean” musk. It isn’t a horrible fragrance it just doesn’t have a lasting impression on me. I find it boring for a “Mediterranean” fragrance but find it interesting for a “sea” scent if this makes sense. I think this fragrance could of really benefited from a fig hint and herbs, but then again, I can find that elsewhere because that already exists. But for a “sea” scent,  I can appreciate that this scent is clean and fresh without being “aquatic” and overly hissy.  Overall the fragrance is a very clean “wood” scent that can be worn all year round. It’s “easy” to wear and it is a nice fragrance if you can’t stand the thought of wearing something sweet, foody, or overly floral. ( I have to love it for that).

I do find the bottle pretty for a mainstream fragrance. It has smooth cerulean blue glass. The glass feels heavy and it feels expensive. The cap is a hammered silver-ish something. To be honest, I can’t remember if it was metal or plastic. So, if it is plastic, then it did a good job of tricking me. It really looks like a pretty piece of resort wear jewelry and I have to give Elizabeth Arden props for this one.

I would say that you may like this if you like Michael Kors Island, Estee Lauder Sensuous, Avon U by Ungaro, Versace Versense, Demeter Laundromat, Pucci Vivara, and/or Dolce and Gabbana Sicily or Feminine.

The 1.7 ounce retails for $47.50 and the 3.3 ounce retails for $57.50. And there are extras like a shimmery body powder (very cool), body cream, and body lotion. A good time to pick this up is when Elizabeth Arden offers one of their GWP specials.

Even though it is a predictable scent for summer, I love coconut because it reminds me of the beach. It reminds me of frou-frou drinks and oily tanning lotion. It isn’t my favorite scent in the world and it is definitely low brow but it is so nice for that “instant” beach vacation. And it is rich and warm and delicious. You can’t say that about many other scents you can wear in summer. And you can find coconut scents and body products at a variety of price points. So if you just want the smell like a coconut sometimes, you can have it without feeling stupid for paying $60 for something you wear like 2 weeks out of the year. And if you are a coconut fanatic then you have so many choices!

Value Coconut Scents: I mention this brand all of the time but that is because they are cheap and high quality: L’Aromarine Coco. This is a fragrance oil that retails for under $10.  It is pure coconut: sweet and tropical.Yves Rocher has an EDT spray ranging in sizes but all are under $10: Le Plaisirs de Nature Noix de Coco. This is a “true” coconut as well in a convenient EDT spray. Urban Rituelle has a spicy coconut scent: Beachcomber Coconut and Ginger Perfume. It retails for $10 and a body line is available. Voluspa has a Victoria Collection (named after me of course, haha) in Malayan Coco. This is a sweet and exotic coconut that goes for $24. If you are looking for a sweet, gourmand coconut on a budget, try TokyoMilk Parfum in Let Them Eat Cake. It goes for $28 . A cheap EL Bronze Goddess substitute is Avon Tahitian Holiday. It retails for $15 for 1.7 ounces (watch out for specials, you can get it under $10). Bath and Body Works has an EDT, Ile de Tahiti Coconut Vanilla and it retails for $19.50 for 1.7 ounces. The Body Shop has a new Coconut line with body products and fragrance which retails for $16 for the fragrance oil. Demeter has a Kahala Coconut for $20 for 1 ounce and other sizes are available. This one is more like fresh coconut milk.

More Expensive Coconut Scents: LaVanila Vanilla Coconut is a sweet coconut scent that retails for $56 for 1.7 ounces. There is a also a body product line with this brand that includes deodorant. If you want a gourmand, dried coconut go for Laura Mercier Almond Coconut. It retails for $50 for 1.7 ounces and wonderful body products are available. One of my favorite scents ever is Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess. The EDT goes for $49.50 and the scent screams “beach” (more than it does coconut)! Comptoir Sud Pacifique has tons of “beach” scents. There is Vanille Coco and it is more of a coconut scent. It goes for $53. Susanne Lang has a Vanilla Coconut that goes for $50. French West Indies has a pure, light wearing coconut scent, Coco, and it retails for $42 for 4 ounces.

Coconut Body Products: If you want a “pure” and straight up coconut scented body product try Mountain Ocean Skin Trip Moisturizer and Soap. Both retail for under $7 each depending where you purchase them. These are my favorite coconut products ever, rich and creamy! Bath and Body Works have a few coconut lines: Creamy Coconut, Coconut Lime Verbena, and Exotic Coconut. And to be honest, I kind of like them all. The body sprays are nice for summer. Lush has some nice coconut products including: Coconut Deodorant Powder, Quinquereme of Nineveh Soap, and Creamed Coconut and Almond Shower Smoothie.

“Tropical” Coconut Blend Fragrances: This category is for those “based” on coconut scents. This is a fruity coconut scent: Ebba Miss Marisa Tropical Perfume Oil, retails for $62 and is long wearing. A nice “young” scent is Harajuku Lovers G fragrance it comes in a solid and spray and prices range from $18 to $45. Creed Virgin Island Water is a great “beach” scent and it goes for $210 for 2.5 ounces. If you can find a bottle of J.Lo Miami Glow get it if you want a rich coconut based scent. Also, Deseo is a nice “tropical” scent that isn’t as heavy on the coconut as Miami Glo.

Many of these products are available at their store (like Lush or Bath and Body Works), beautyhabit.com, b-glowing.com, Sephora, and even retailers like Wal-green’s.

coconutfragrances


Miami Glow Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 Oz by Jennifer Lopez

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

I don’t hate Michael Kors Island, if there is one thing that I have learned; it is that I have gotten kinder with age. I may of hated this a few years ago, throwing mean words out at it. But I mean really, this is no worse than any other mainstream fragrance made to sell, sell, sell. It’s just generic, not awful.

It isn’t offensive. I think that I don’t like it because I am not a fan of “aquatic” fragrances in general. For an “aquatic” and “airy” fragrance, this isn’t too bad . It opens with a bit of “fruit”. I can’t tell what fruit, just an accord trying to be juicy and fresh and a little sweet. (For the record, the company says that it is kiwi; I imagine that is a hard scent to replicate). It is floral and I do pick up on something honeysuckle-ish, but strangely the honeysuckle isn’t as sweet as honeysuckle should be. It is much more hissy and quite heady and piercing.  I dries down to a  floral , very modern rose with  sand and warmth, super humid. There is a certain heaviness on a “white” or a “dry” wood. It isn’t a dirty wood note but a super clean wood. I believe Michael Kors is calling it “driftwood” and I can see that, an aquatic wood that is drying out in the sand. This fragrance is a bit hard to explain since everything is very lab made. It can’t be picked apart. It is all or nothing.  It is a certain generic juicy fruit, a blend of “classic” florals with lots of warmth from wood. But, the entire time it is still really aquatic with heaviness on the “sea breeze”. For most of the wear on me, it smells of wood and water. It wears for a good half of the day. The company claims that this is a blend of such things as “Chinese kiwi, hydroponic honeysuckle, parrot tulip (which doesn’t have an odor), champaca flowers, Bulgarian rose, white bark accord, driftwood, and rice fields accord”.Hmm, rice fields, very interesting. There is also, “Kauai waterfalls and oxygenated water”.  So obviously this is a mood fragrance, a fantasy fragrance with lots of made up things to create atmosphere since many of the things listed really don’t present an aroma or at least a pleasant aroma. I have to give it credit. It is a fantasy fragrance, not very original, but it is trying to create an escape, trying to make us think of exotic places. Far from Michael Kors homeland island: Long Island. So this fragrance may not be as nice as an exotic island vacation, but it sure is trying with all of those lab created accords. I would of loved to be the chemist working on the “hydroponic honeysuckle” or “Kauai waterfalls” team.

The bottle is pretty but feels awkward in the hands. It is glass, a sheer turquoise to represent crystal clear water. The shape is just too chunky. The 1.7 ounce retails for $60 and the 3.4 ounce for $75. I would say that you would like this if you like Issey Miyake, Demeter Rain, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio, Bvlgari Omnia Green Jade, Calvin Klein Eternity, Giorgio Blue, Calypso Marine, Chaps for Women, Estee Lauder Beyond Paradise, Davidoff Cool Water, or if you like “aquatic” fragrance. There are many of these types of fragrances on the market. I can keep going: Elizabeth Arden Mediterranean, Jennifer Lopez Deseo, Carolina Herrera 212, OK, I’ll stop now.

The real deal.

The real deal.


Island Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 3.4 Oz by Michael Kors

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

This is a fragrance that I would have never of chosen for myself by reading the description. I am so happy that I’ve tried it (thank you Beautyhabit for the thoughtful sample). I find it very interesting. It is unlike anything that I own. The blend is fantastic and the fragrance oil is very long wearing.

Saffron James is a pretty cool company, with Hawaiian inspired fragrances. They are tropical but not in that beachy coconut or sickly sweet cocktail way that so many other companies flirt with. They are truly inspired by nature. Plus, I dig vintage tiki culture. These fragrances have that tiki vibe.

The Saffron James website states: PŪNONO (pooh-no-no): Filled with sunshine, ever beautiful; flushed red, as the skin (to blush). 2. To make attractive with bright or red colors, to dress or appear gorgeous. 3. An olfactory homage to the Puakenikeni flower. 4. An intoxicating scent with notes of Ylang Ylang, Pikake, Carnation, Vanilla and Tunisian Opium.

This fragrance is a little strange and that is why I love it. It isn’t strange like bizarre but it is different than mainstream fragrances. It has made me realize that I do not hate ylang-ylang at all. It is just that I have never smelled it used in such a wonderful way. I’ve under appreciated this note for too long. Bring on the ylang-ylang. The fragrance is an “homage” to the puakenikeni flower. I really need to take a fragrance adventure to Hawaii; I can’t comment on the actual aroma of this flower since I’ve never been and these things just don’t grow well in our cooler climate. I can only imagine, for now.  However, I do smell the whimsy floral top notes of gentle ylang-ylang and feminine pikake. But, this fragrance is “spicy” all the way through. Yep, it is floral but these otherwise heavy florals are not stealing the show (uh-um carnation). They are only enhancing the depth and mystery of “Tunisian Opium” which is otherwise an incensey head-shop fragrance by itself (which I like sometimes but it isn’t very every gal).  This is a very resinous incense scent that is made feminine by exotic flowers. I usually don’t love vanilla. It makes scents too foody or “sticky”; however, the perfect amount of vanilla is used in this mix. It makes the opium so well rounded, blended, perfect. This is not a “winter” fragrance. It is warm and spicy but totally appropriate for warmer weather and climates. It is really nice all year long or to be used for those “special” occasions. I would say that you would like this if you like Carol’s Daughter fragrances, tropical scents, or modern “oriental” ‘fragrances.

It retails for $85 for 30 mL (1 ounce). A little goes a long way and it last for like 12 hours on my skin. It does last a long time but very, very closely to the skin, so intimate and soft but always there. The bottle is simple and a has a cute wooden top. The bottle really completes the entire “vibe” of the fragrance. This is a fragrance that I have been using sparingly since I only have a tiny sample vial. When it is gone, I know that I am going to have to add this to my collection. It is very “me” since I have two real fragrance personalities: expensive heavy, white floral or no label head-shop oils. This is the perfect olfactory compromise. Must have it.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I love this stuff so. I don’t wear it as a “tanning” cream (since I don’t tan) and I don’t really use it for sun protection. I just like to use it because I like the way it smells and the way it makes my legs look. I’m sure many of you know of this throwback or have used this stuff. This lovely gelee in the metal “toothpaste” tube was always around my house growing up since I lived with sun-worshiping ladies that were naturally tan and couldn’t get enough of that bronzed look. This is a must for “vintage” gals. (It was launched in the 40’s).

This contains an SPF 4. Really, that is enough sun protection for me since I’m not out in it very long anyways. The formula is “greasy” and really packs a shine. Since it has a tinge of orange/bronze, it evens out the complexion. This is why I love to use it on my legs. They look sleek and flawless. This stuff really moisturizes since it has a mineral oil base. It is more of a “treatment” and protects my skin from the drying effects of the elements. It is sooo emollient. I am in love with its’ classic fragrance. It is a heady, jasmine-ish like floral blend. It is an “exotic” floral. Imagine a jasmine and orange blossom blend, very Southern California. This fragrance is amazing and I often wear it souly for that. I use it on my pulse points as I would a solid perfume for a pick-me-up. (If you really love this scent, Demeter offers Suntan Lotion PMU Cologne.) This stuff is so nice; it is nostalgic. It is from a time when beach culture was such a “culture”, everybody was tanning sans the guilt. I love it because it reminds me of a 60’s teen twist B film or a Sandy Nelson or Dick Dale album cover. It is so retro Southern Californian youth. Think surfing and late night beach bonfires.

Since it is tinted, it may stain clothing, swimsuits, etc. I haven’t had a problem with this, but I do wear lots of dark shades. You won’t find me sporting white shorts or a white swimsuit. Just something to think about…

It retails for $9.99 for 3.12 ounces. This stuff can be hard to find; however, drugstore.com always has it.

I love beach’n scents. And this is one beach’n scent. One of the reasons that  I love them is because I live in the Pacific Northwest. We really don’t have a rep for sunny, tropical beaches. We aren’t known for our lush tans or coconut based beverages. I didn’t realize than once I moved across the country to a place that had “beaches” that I would miss an Atlantic beach so much. After all of this rain, I really miss a Florida beach. Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess is my reminder than warm, sunny places do exist. What I love about this fragrance is that it really epitomizes a warm beach. It isn’t a fruity cocktail and isn’t coconut scented tanning oil. It is light and breezy and warm. It smells like skin that is in the sun. It smells like ocean breezes and sand. It is really a fragrance that does a wonderful job conveying an environment and a time, not just smells. It is one of those “experience” fragrances. I have been a fan of it for years, even when it was known as Tom Ford’s Azuree Soleil. I look forward to it every late winter/early spring when it is relaunched. It comes out just in time, when I feel like I can’t stand another minute of wintery weather. The scent is light and fresh at first with hints of lush and tropical tiare flower. So it has that gardenia and coconut oil fragrance without being too drugstore tanning oil. It is made fresh with bergamot. After the gardenia florals dry down, it is very warm. It smells of hot sand with light breezes of salt water. It is perfect in the sense that it smells like skin drenched in product after an hour in the sun, you can smell the towel on the sand in the sun, you can smell virgin ocean breezes. It is such a “paradise” fragrance. It is one of my favorites. It isn’t something that I wear all the time but it is something that I look forward to and it does bring back nice beach memories and it is a vacation in a bottle.

Bronze Goddess does have a lame name and I’m not very wild about the new bottle. I was a fan of the colors and the name “Azuree Soleil” but I can’t complain about the product. So I can overlook the J.Lo type references and dated packaging. It comes in an “Eau Fraiche Skinscent” which is a fancy name for an EDT. It does wear on the skin for a few hours. The 3.4 ounce bottle retails for $52. There is a Body Oil Spray which I am in love with. It is enriched with the fragrance and wears forever. Plus, it makes my legs look perfect. The 3.4 ounce bottle which is identical to the skinscent bottle (cheap ass Estee Lauder) retails for $32 and wears for hours. There is a Luminous Body Lotion which I fall for every time it launches because it comes out at a time that I feel dull and drab and long for “luminous” skin. It retails for $32 for 6.7 ounces. It has a faint golden shimmer. I like it but I always get pissed that I didn’t purchase two bottles of the oil instead since it wears for a long time and is so moisturizing. It is a limited edition product which is a good move on Estee Lauder’s part because it always causes me to part with my money since “I can’t get it any other time”.

I am a big fan of Pucci prints. I have a few vintage items and I love them. They don’t really fit the Pacific Northwest very well, but hey one day I’m retiring to Mexico! I really tried to love the new Pucci Vivara but I don’t love it. I like it but I don’t think I’ll ever purchase it. I was intrigued by these three new fragrances. I thought that out of three there would surely be one that would make me part with $59. Nope.

The first is Acqua, the blue one. It is much too aquatic for my tastes. I don’t do those type of fragrances. They burn my nose and I find them boring. This isn’t a horrible fragrance, it just doesn’t go with my tastes. I kind of knew this would be my least fragrance because of its reason of being, acquatic. It is too synthetic and not very “salty” like it claims. But, if you like Davidoff Cool Water, Estee Lauder Beyond Paradise, or any of those Bath and Body Works “aquatic” sprays then you’ll probably dig this.

The second is Sole, the yellow one. It is inspired by the sun. Actually I thought I would really dislike this one, but it isn’t too bad. It is a bit bitter from the tomato leaf and tangerine notes. But, it is made “warm” by jasmine, patchouli, and musk. But, it isn’t too warm and it definitely a summer fragrance and not a fall one.

The third is Sabbia, the coral one. It is actually my favorite of the three. This is a huge surprise. Just proves to smell things before making a judgment. It is inspired by sandy shores. I thought I would dislike it because of all the citrus notes listed like tangerine, lemon, and even bergamot. However, this isn’t what makes this fragrance. It is the cool and crisp iris. It is a pretty blend that seems very interesting even with its popular notes like bergamot, iris, and vetiver. It smells both warm and cool. It is that contrast that sand has. Sand can be so hot it hurts or so cool that it hurts.

Each bottle is 1.7 ounces and is an EDT. I thought that they were limited edition but I don’t think they are. Usually when a company offers lots of different items like this in one collection they are limited but I don’t know.