Weekly Cheap Secret:

I love the smell of monoï, especially for summer. It’s warm, floral, and very beachy. Yves Rocher Jardins des Îles Alcohol-Free Tiaré Flower Body Mist isn’t my favorite monoï on the market, but it isn’t bad and the price is great. It’s a very simple fragrance. It’s a slightly coconut-y gardenia in an alcohol-free water, glycerin, and coconut oil base. It’s a very light wearing formula. It wears like a body spray but the formula isn’t as drying as a “typical” body spray. This does not have an oily texture so it isn’t like a monoï oil in a spray bottle. It’s just a non-drying tropical floral scent in a spray bottle. This fragrance is usually limited edition. Yves Rocher releases it for summer. It’s a nice and cheap reminder of a cherished tropical vacation. It isn’t overwhelming and wears nicely in summer heat. A 4.2. fl.oz. bottle is usually $6. Yves Rocher runs sales all of the time and I usually pick one up when it is about $3. It’s available on Yves Rocher’s website.

whitemuskcollageOh, white musk…one of my favorite modern marvels! This synthetic aromachemical brings me much happiness. It’s clean, sexy, smooth, and laid-back. I’ve tried to compile a few “heavy on the white musk” ranging from the drugstore favorite Jovan White Musk to the soft blend of Serge Lutens Clair de Musc.

Budget White Musk Scents (Under $50): I judge all “white musk” scents on Jovan White Musk Cologne. It seems to be the epitome of what a white musk should be. The 3.3 oz bottle goes for $23. It’s one of my favorite cheap things. The Body Shop White Musk EDP is a floral white musk scent. The 1 oz. retails for $24. An EDT spray is also available and it’s cheaper but not as long wearing. Victoria’s Secret Dream Angels Heavenly EDP is a warm, creamy white musk blend. The smallest spray goes for $39. Harajuku Lovers Baby EDT is a powdery white musk blend. It’s delicate, the name suits it, and the bottle is adorable. The 1 oz. goes for $45. It’s not my favorite white musk scent but it is cheap: Body Fantasies Fresh White Musk Body Spray. It retails for under $7 and is a white musk and floral blend. It doesn’t make a bad linen spray. I love the crispness and cleanness of Crazylibellule & The Poppies Les Divine Alcôves Presque Nue. It’s mainly white musk with a dash of romantic ylang-ylang. It’s clean and feminine. The solid perfume retails for $16 and actually wears for a long time. I’m almost out of mine and plan on picking up another.

More Expensive White Musk Scents: Annick Goutal Musc Nomade EDP is a sensual white musk blend with woods and resins. It’s a bad-gal white musk. The 3.4 oz. bottle goes for $175. Clean Original Musk EDP is a light-wearing white musk blend that wears more like an EDT. The 2.14 oz. bottle retails for $76. Philospophy Amazing Grace EDT is a hot-selling soft musk blend and I’m sure you know somebody that wears it. The largest bottle, 4 oz. retails for $60.  Montale White Musk EDP is a soft and tender blend of white musk and delicate petals. The 1.7 oz. retails for $95. Surge Lutens Clair de Musc EDP is a soft orris like musk. It is unlike other SL’s because it isn’t animalic but it has musk. And I still love it! It’s a great white musk splurge. The 1.7 oz. retails for $120. Anamor All That Matters EDP is a romantic, high quality “white musk” blend. It retails for $155 for 1 oz. Stephanie de Saint-Aignan Blanc d’Hiver EDT is an icy, light blend of juicy pear, white musk, and powdery florals. The 1.7 oz spray retails for $135. It’s light and innocent.

OK, don’t get me started on the inappropriate marketing of this product line by Blue Q. I could write a long ass paper on why the “Miso Pretty” line is offensive. I know Blue Q can be offensive with product lines such as “Looking Good For Jesus”, “Wash Away Your Sins”, or “Total Bitch”, but those are choices that people make like religion or having a bitchy attitude. Targeting a group of people by the group they are born into, wrong.  Putting pretty, edgy girls with “Asian” things and giving it a pun using poor English grammar is well, wrong. But, anyways, I said I wouldn’t write about that. I am here to review the fragrance. I still don’t know how to take it because I see it sold at hip Japanese markets/boutiques in Seattle. Oh, well. Here’s my review:

This is a super hissy fragrance in a high alcohol body mist base. It mainly consists of “plucky peony”, cut grass, and tuberose. It’s a flirty fragrance and once it dries down, very light and fresh. It’s OK for summer. I love the actual fragrance of peonies but I haven’t found anything that is really dead on for those growing outside. This is a hissy peony, almost sneeze inducing unlike those in the garden. There isn’t a hint of powder or sour peony in this mix. Peonies play an important role in Chinese and Japanese cultures, or at least that is what wiki tells me. I love to read about plant symbolism, history, etc. Anyways. This spray is pretty straight forward. It consists of hissy flowers like peony and tuberose. But,it has a “fresh” odor from freshly cut grass note. I’m sure to make a many a people sneeze if you are sensitive to freshly cut grass. I went through a quick phase a few years ago where I craved cut grass and cut hay fragrances. This is when I picked this up. I didn’t sniff it, I just read that it contained “cut grass” and purchased it at Ulta to get a free gift. Bad move really considering that the marketing is questionable.( Hexanal and cis-3-Hexen-1-ol, any “hex” aroma compound, I was in a chemistry class and obsessed with all of these kind of fragrance compounds, I would of changed my major but I was to graduate in like less than a year. Anyways, that’s off the subject.) This has that “grassy” smell but not like an old-fashioned aldehyde but more like Demeter Grass, a wet grassy scent. This is a body mist so it doesn’t wear very long. I think it could be nice if it had less alcohol, like if this was in a solid or an EDP. This isn’t a fruity body spray or a sweet body spray. It’s a green floral. Like I’ve said, even I’m a bit sensitive to this. I find it makes me sneeze. So I would say “try before you buy” if you are interested, especially if grass bothers you. It’s OK, I like it, it’s a nice green, wet floral. If you like fresh grass scents go for it.  It retails for $9.99 and is available on blueq.com.

cucumbercollage

Cucumber is a great scent for summer. It is light, fresh, slightly green and fruity with a watery and faint melon like odor. I crave cucumbers in the summer. Everything from little tea sandwiches of cucumber, dill, and cream cheese to my water pitchers of cucumber, lemon, and mint. Cucumbers are refreshing. I’ve put together a “collage” of cucumber scents that I think would be perfect for summer. And as always if you have any more to add, please do.

Budget Scents: This isn’t a “true” cucumber since it is a fresh, fruity floral but it dose have a healthy dose of cucumber: Carol’s Daughter Ocean. It retails for $27 and is nice for summer. This is light-wearing but awesome for summer: Tocca Aqua Amalfi Body Mist. It reminds me of a my favorite summer beverage which is water with cucumber, lemon, and mint. It retails for $30. Now, this product is very light wearing too but it is nice for a mid-day pick-up: Dove Go Fresh Body Mist in Cucumber & Green Tea. It retails for $4.50. It’s a “fresh” scent. I love the “pureness” of Kiehl’s Rollerball Essence Oil. It retails for $25 and has a great lasting power. I really do love everything about it. You can layer it with whatever you want. I think it would wear nicely with white florals or lemon/citrus oils. Demeter Cucumber is a garden fresh cucumber scent that goes for $20. It smells great but also has a light staying power. There is an entire genre of “Cucumber Melon” products from brands like Bath and Body Works, Avon, Body Fantasies. These are usually body sprays that are more on the melon side than cucumber.

More Expensive Scents: You get a lot of cologne splash for $68 with Marc Jacob Cucumber. This is a crisp and refreshing blend. This is a flirty floral cucumber scent: Yosh U4EAHHH!. It retails for $130 and I love its staying power and freshness. It is so pretty. Tocca Cleopatra is more of a citrus scent(grapefruit) but it has cucumber and it makes it refreshing. The EDP spray retails for $68. It’s a nice “heavier” summer kind of cucumber. Like the evening wear of cucumber. Jalaine Cucumber is a long-wearing fragrance that comes in a beautiful bottle. It is a blend of cucumber and Egyptian musk. It’s simple but heavenly and goes for $150. Fresh Index line has Cucumber Bale. It is a perfect summer scent with lots of cucumber, fruit, and blackberry musk. It goes for $75 (not pictured). But, I am not wild about its staying power.

Other “Cool” Products: Yes To Cucumbers Completely Cooling Body Butter is really awesome for summer. It’s moisturizing, cooling, and refreshing. Keep it in the fridge, its’ great for overheated skin. Kiehl’s Deluxe Body Lotion in Cucumber has such a fresh scent and a lightweight moisturizer. Origins Eye Doctor Moisture Care For Skin Around Eyes is cooling, lightly moisturizing, and has a fresh cucumber scent. It is great “beginner” eye cream. Estee Lauder Sparkling Clean Purifying Mud Foam Cleanser has a nice citrus and cucumber aroma. It’s a cleanser for oily skins. I also like Mario Dadescu Cucumber Cleansing Lotion. Once again this is a product recommended for oily skin. Many cucumber scented items are recommended for oily skin. I have normal to dry skin but sometimes in the summer I will reach for the normal to oily products because I get a bit greasy, especially when I lived in the humid Southeast. So it’s a nice match between product and scent.

And since I usually wear cucumber scents during the summer, I keep them stashed in the fridge, especially the all-over splashes and sprays. It is so refreshing and great for when you can’t take the heat.

jeannatecollection

One of my favorite things about summer (other than lots of time off and the mild climate of the Pacific Northwest) is that I get to use my entire bath line of Jean Naté. Busting out the Jean Naté means that summer is here. It’s fresh, clean, citrusy and not fussy, making it a perfect summer must have.

Jean Naté or Jean Nate as my grandmother would say (like blue “jeans” and “nate” rhymes with “late”) was launched in 1935 under Charles of the Ritz, now Revlon. This is a best selling bath line. It was a hit then and continues to be so. Every generation of women in my family has used this stuff. It’s timeless despite the lame 70’s ad campaigns that my mother was exposed to. The scent is one of my favorite scents ever. And to my benefit this product is inexpensive, available at drugstores all over the country, and has the cutest vintage packaging (got to love that font).

The trademark is “clean never felt so fresh”, OK, not very brilliant but I promise that the products are. Overall the fragrance is a super fresh blend of citrus, bergamot, and lavender. But, each item has its own “special” quality and scent that it plays up. It’s like if you use the body wash you have the top note, the lotion you have the middle note, and with the splash you have the base. They all work together wonderfully.The scent is light and refreshing and really reminds me of very, very expensive European EDT/colognes.

Moisturizing Body Wash: This is my favorite body wash of all time. It is so fresh. It leaves my body clean all day. It’s my girl version of Irish Spring, making it a summer must have, especially here in Washington with no a/c. This body wash is “sparkling” and almost effervescent and bubbly in fragrance. This reminds me of a “top” note used in fragrance. It is heavy on the lemon and bergamot. I love it. It seriously leaves a faint scent on my skin all day. It lathers nicely and is everything I want in a shower gel.Unfortunately this is a very hard product to find. When I find it I pick up a few bottles because it is my favorite shower gel of all time. It goes for $6-$10.

Hydrating Body Lotion: The texture of this lotion is lightweight and perfect for summer. It isn’t greasy or sticky. It is very fragrant but less effervescent than the shower gel. This has the lemon and bergamot but with more lavender making this is a very refreshing and soothing product at the same time. Plus, you can pick up a fresh, dewy floral such a geranium. It is lovely.This goes for about $6 and you can sometimes find a very large bottle for $10.

After Bath Splash: I would say this is the most popular product in the line. This hit it big in the 70’s and 80’s when “light” fragrances were all the rage. People were simplifying their routines. The After Bath Splash is now available in 3 sizes in a convenient spray bottle. I love the old school splash with the big black spherical top, but since I pretty much bathe myself in this stuff the spray bottle is much more functional. The scent is so refreshing and much more herbaceous than the other products. It is lemon rind, bergamot, and English lavender. It is simple and refreshing and has a slight almost patchouli dry down. This reminds me of a classic Guerlain EDT such as Mitsouko, refreshing herbaceous Provincial inspired colognes like Potter & Moore Lavender & Italian Lemon, Hierbas de Ibiza Agua de Colonia Fresca, Satellite Paris L’Ombre, and even Lubin L’Eau Neuve. I love this stuff. It’s what I want in the summer. It is light wearing, I mean it is a body splash with a high alcohol content. Sometimes in the summer this is all I want. But, if I want more I will layer it under the fragrances that I have mentioned above. Hint-Put it in the fridge for an extra refreshing, cooling spritz. The prices for this range from $6 to $10 depending on size.

Silkening Body Powder: I love a dusting powder because I am an old-fashioned kind of gal. The powder comes in a cute yellow container with a nice puff. I only wear body powder in the summer so I happy it is available in this scent. This is a floral herbaceous blend that smells like the after bath splash in powder form.It’s soft and easily mixes with other fragrances you may layer over it. It retails for $10. I love to use this after one of my very late evening summer strolls. Or to freshen up in the summer midday if I don’t have time to shower before going back out.

A cologne spray is available but I have not tried it but I hope to soon. Since this product is a classic you can find good deals on it. For example, limited edition jumbo sizes for summer where you get 30 fl. oz. of bath splash for $10. Many say that the formula has been tampered with in 2007 and that it isn’t close to the original. I’m sure the formula has been changed but I think it is all a matter of opinion. My family members declare that what they buy today is what they remember it being like. I’ve been using it pre-2007 and post-2007 and find it the same. But, with classic products it is a touchy game. Old customers tastes could of changed but they would never admit it. But, I’m not going there. I just bought a new batch of every item I mentioned for this summer and love them all. There is an old commercial on youtube here that further emphasizes the “exhilarating” aspect of the product. It’s funny but warning, video quality isn’t so hot.

So first things first. I am not a fan of aquatic fragrances. I find them too synthetic, fake, and they “burn” my senses. I can handle a “saltwater” accord here and there but I typically despise scents that are souly aquatic. For some reason I have all the products available in Sea Island Cotton from Bath and Body Works. I don’t know why, oh, stupid gifts that I couldn’t return. I use them anyways. I hate to waste.

This scent is described as “ a clean scent, inspired by pure white cotton flowing in fresh ocean air”. That is quite strange. Didn’t Bath and Body Works think about how odd that sounds? Don’t they understand that beach real estate is far too expensive for cotton plantations these days? Or is the cotton supposed to be like lava? I don’t get it. Anyways, this scent is slightly aquatic in a wet detergent way and it is “fresh” in a Downy fabric softener way. Plus lots of floral notes and clean, white musks. It isn’t an offensive fragrance. I just don’t love it enough to go out and purchase it myself but I don’t mind using it.

It is strange how each product in the line smells different. I suppose they all “work” together since B&BW is all about the excessive layering of products to sell more and more to ladies.

The body cream is very laundry powders. It smells like warm linens, but not in a good way. More like somebody added baby powder to the wash. It is strange, warm, and just straight up washing powders and baby powder. It is my least favorite “scent” in the collection. It is too baby-ish and powdery.  At least the lotion is very moisturizing and absorbs quickly.The scent from the lotion doesn’t hang around too long and is pretty faint all day.

The body spray is better than the body cream. It does present a sense of freshness that isn’t the type of freshness like a room spray that is meant to cover something stinky up. It all the laundry detergent and ocean accords but with a bit more “fresh” flowers. It is a hint of freesia and other hissy florals. The dry down is classic white musk. It isn’t very special but to be honest I do like it better than most of the fragrances Clean has to offer (and those are much more expensive). This fragrance only lasts like 10 minutes since it is a body spray.

The creamy body wash lathers nicely and a little goes a long way. It smells much more “clean cotton” than the body cream or spray. It is warm, cuddly and very fresh towels just out of the dryer. It is comforting and clean. I kind of like it because it reminds me of a cheap but discontinued brand Smell This in Fresh Towels. I wish the entire collection smelled like the creamy body wash.  But, it is a soap and maybe I expect for a soap to well, smell like detergent. It is a nice product but I know I won’t purchase it again unless it is on sale. It is hard to pay for a shower gel that costs $10.50 just to get that low-brow Downy fresh fragrance. However, it has an excellent lather.

I could see people liking this if they are a fan of the “detergent”/clean fragrances such as mark Pure, Demeter Laundromat, Clean fragrances such as Fresh Laundry, even Philosophy Amazing Grace/Pure Grace, J.Lo Glow, Marc Jacobs Cotton, GAP Washed Cotton, or if you like white/clean musk fragrances. Suprisingly, this fragrance appears “heavier” than others like it on the market. It isn’t so hissy, it is more “warm” but still “aquatic”.