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…

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.

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 color is very sheer but very pretty. It looks healthy and “ripe”. The color in the tube looks much darker than it appears in real life. On, it is a very sheer and satin reddish plum. It adds a healthy tint. It looks like wine stained lips with a layer of sheer glossy lip balm. I really love the color because it really makes my complexion look healthy. It has a little sheen buy zero shimmer. It is the classic Eight Hour formula. It has an odd herbaceous odor. If you are familiar with the original Eight Hour cream, this is the same medicinal, herbaceous odor. That really doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is that it burns my lips after a day’s wear. I don’t know if it is the added SPF 15. My lips don’t take kindly to sunscreens. Sunscreens usually cause them to burn, itch, and become extremely dry. This is what wearing this does to my lips. By the end of the day my lips feel really chapped. I still use it because I like the color. Stupid, I know. I just won’t repurchase. Alot of people rave of this, I would too if it didn’t irritate the crap out of my lips. It retails for $17. It is available at drugstore.com.

The cosmetics world knows that some of us are not ready to let go of summer even though the temps are still high in most areas, so they’ve equipped us with a few new bronzer kits. First off, I am not a huge bronzer fan but it does have a time and a place. It’s not a staple for me like it is for some people but I do use it occasionally. I find that most people do not use it because they haven’t found that special product for themselves yet. Bronzer is not meant to look orange or leave a line. My favorite is Nars Laguna and is looks amazing and natural on me. Sephora offers a great kit which I am almost out of and need a new one. It’s the Nars Blush/Bronzer duo. I use the one in Orgasm/Laguna which contains both of Nars cult favorite classics in one compact. There is another for deeper skintones in Sin/Casino. It retails for $37. Occasionally, I use this compact as an eyeshadow and it looks wonderful.

Too Faced is offering a new limited edition bronzing compact which is The Bronzed and The Beautiful. I love shimmer so I find these bronzers lovely. But beware, they are very shimmery. The compact contains three bronzers and a “flatbuki” brush. I could care less about the brush, please stick to a big fluffy brush. The kit contains Snow Bunny which the company calls their winter shade and which I call perfect for lighter skin tones. There is the Pink Leopard bronzer which is mainly a warm shimmer powder in my opinion. And finally there is the Sun Bunny shade which is a dual shimmery classic bronze. It retails for $35.

Sugar Cosmetics offers a new Beauty School Bronzing Kit which contains four bronzed minis. It has a Sugar Cream Concealer Compact that is a medium shade, Tropic Tan bronzer which is a shimmery true bronze, a mini bronzer brush that is the perfect size for the compacts and a mini Cell Phone Charm Lip Gloss in a medium bronze shade. It retails for $28 and is the perfect travel size.

Pop Beauty offers Bronze Belle which is a compact that offers eight very wearable bronzer shades that can be used anywhere and is very versatile. I like this compact because it can be used any time of the year because it offers a variety of shades that will adjust to your skintone as the seasons change. It retails for $28. It is a great kit for contouring.

Cat Cosmetics has a bronzer trio which is the Ultimate Bronzing Kit. It contains a bronzer powder in DandyLion II which is a rich warm bronze, cult classic bronzer in Catnip which is a golden brown sans orange, and a creme blush in Beach Cheeks which is a super sheer warm peachy pink. Kit retails for $28 and you can create any face type of face kit on the website.

Elizabeth Arden offers a Bronzing Beauty Kit for Face and Eyes. It is in a lovely compact that includes a mirror. It has a blush/bronzer duo in a very wearable shade (Beach Bronze and Pink Sand) and four beachy inspired eyeshadow shades in Beach, Party, Sun and Bronze. It also contains a useless brush. Retails for $35.

Tarte has the Infinite Glow Palette which contains the awesome Park Avenue Princess Mineral Bronzing Powder which melts into the skin (it’s pretty shimmery so if you want matte this isn’t for you). It has Gel Cheek Stain in Tipsy which is a shimmery coral with a yummy scent and a 24/7 Lip Sheer in May Flowers which is a natural pink shade in a lip loving formula. It is in a bronzed compact and retails for $30.

Fresh has an Island Reverie Face Palette which is in a beautiful pink and coral compact. It contains three mineral based eye shadows in  a sheer champagne, creamy pink and rich, deep bronze. It has a soft coral blush and a lovely bronzer that leans to the light side. This is a must have compact for blondes in my opinion.Retails for $55.

Duwop, the kings of multi-taskers, have Bronzerush which is a bronzer/blush kit that contains a powder bronzer and sheer gel based blush. There are two shades: August a golden bronzer with a cherry blush and June a golden tan with a sheer poppy red blush. Retails for $35.

Sonia Kashuk (available at Target) has a bronzer/blush duo that is perfect for drier skins. It’s the Creme Bronzer/Blush Duo in Golden creme that offers a creamy golden bronzer and a creamy pinky peach blush. It retails for $8.99. A little goes a long way and this item gets awesome reviews from buyers.

Of course they are a billion more kits if you look hard enough that contains eyeshadows and even mascara (Cargo, Smashbox) but I feel these are the most travel worthy sets.

Many bronzers are super shimmery to add light to the face and prevent the formula from looking “mucky”. I find that if I want a matte formula that looks very natural, use a sheer pressed powder foundation in a darker warmer shade. I use Revlon New Complexion One Step in Natural Beige which is a few shades darker than my skintone. I brush it one with a bronzer blush such as Sephora’s. It looks warm and lovely. Retails for $11.49. If you have drier skin, a nice option is to use a tinted moisturizer in a shade darker than usual. For example go from medium to dark. I use Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital Tinted Moisturizer which retails for $44. It is perfect for hot summer days.

More tips: I apply cream and powder bronzers in the same places, where the sun hits: cheek bones, nose and lightly on the forehead. Blend and you’re set. A big fluffy brush is a must when using powder bronzers, I prefer Sephora’s Bronzer Brush. Sometimes I bronze my neck and chest when I feel I am looking a bit sallow. I prefer a subtle but shimmery powder. It makes the skin look fresh and younger. I really like Tarte Mineral Bronzing Powder for this.