Ylang-ylang is a note that I have learned to love. It’s tenacity always turned me off. I never felt like I could pull-off such a heady, floral note. As I’ve “matured” to put it nicely, I’ve realized that I can pull-off ylang-ylang. If you can pull-off jasmine than you can do ylang-ylang. It’s a special fragrance, very exotic for me since I’ve shunned it for so many years. Here is a very brief ylang-ylang fragrance guide with varying price points.

Budget Ylang-Ylang Scents: Lush Flower Market Perfume is an old-fashioned blend of ylang-ylang, carnation, and violets. I like the scent but I get so overwhelmed in Lush markets that I can’t pull this apart. So, I assume that I really like this natural blend. The 1.3 oz goes for about $40. Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs EDT is a floral blend with ylang-ylang, jasmine, rose, and lilies. It’s a nice scent that unfortunately now is seen as old-fashioned. The 1.7 oz. spray goes for under $50. Demeter PMU in Ylang Ylang is a pure, tropical, short-wearing soliflore. The 1 oz spray goes for $20. Demter PMUs also make nice linen/room sprays. Nuts Cream Perfume in Ylang Ylang d’Amore (not pictured)  is a nourishing cream perfume that is heavy on this tropical, romantic floral in a moisturizing solid form. It goes for $12. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Ars Amatoria Suspiro is a intoxicating white floral blend with exotic white blossoms and dainty lilies. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Excolo Skuld is a sweet and sticky ylang-ylang with honey and resins. (Both are not pictured and retail for $15 for .5 oz oil).

Moe Expensive Ylang-Ylang Scents: Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang-Ylang EDP is a warm, rich, sexy ylang-ylang based scent. It’s a nice modern oriental. The 2.5 oz spray goes for $135. There is a pure parfum with a breathtaking bottle that costs much more and I haven’t had the opportunity to sample it. Tom Ford Private Blends Musk Pure EDP goes for $180 for 1.7 oz. Imagine a ylang-ylang, tonka, and musk and you have this. I like it for a floral musk scent. The ylang-ylang feels almost powdery against the musk. A more floral ylang-ylang based scent is Henry Dunay Sabi EDP. It has floral notes of ylang-ylang, rose, and jasmine. It retails for $110 for 1.7 oz. Annick Goutal Songes EDT is a tropical floral blend of ylang-ylang, frangipani, jasmine with a dry-down of vanilla. The 1.7 oz retails for $80.

Yves Rocher Yria is a floral oriental blend. It isn’t the most exciting that I have ever sniffed in this genre but it isn’t the worst either. It’s a very basic oriental floral, pretty true to the genre. It’s resiny with lush petals and a base of sandalwood. It’s a pretty scent and the price is right. Most oriental blends may be too overwhelming and overpowering for “day” wear. I think of Yria as a lighter oriental that could work at anytime. You can’t say that for most of the blends in this family and that is coming from me and I love strong fragrances. And this is coming from me, so maybe it is too heavy for the average person… hmm…Yria hits me as a pretty floral blend at first. For a very short moment, you get bergamot/orange blossom like citrus. These then melts into a rose and jasmine fragrance. I pick up  much more of the rose than I do the jasmine. In fact, I like to apply a jasmine solid perfume under this to really emphasize the jasmine. It’s floral but in a classic floriental way. It has lots of “warmth” grounding it. For a long time it wears on me as a rose/amber blend with the slightest warmth of amber. After some time, the sandalwood shows up and keeps the blend grounded. It’s a warm floral fragrance with classic powdery softness. The dry-down is a rich, warm, close wearing sandalwood. It does wear nicely on me and the lasting power is about 4+ hours. Because of the rich oriental notes, I do think of this EDP as being more appropriate for fall and winter wear. Worn during these times, it doesn’t appear to be so “heavy”. I could see this one as really “heavy” if worn in the middle of summer, like most floral oriental blends.

The company lists the following notes: bergamot, coriander, jasmine, sambac, rose, amber, tonka bean, and sandalwood. The 1.7 oz. spray goes for about $39. This is a fair price for this fragrance and Yves Rocher often runs amazing sales. I would say to give this one a try if you like Halston Women, Borghese Il Bacio, Guerlain Samsara EDT, Estee Lauder Tuscany Per Donna, Avon Candid, Lancome Attraction, Prada L’Eau Ambrée, and/or Must de Cartier.

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Dolce & Gabbana “Classic” EDT, the one in the red, is one of my favorite department store fragrances. I am not the kind of person that can go to Macy’s and find many fragrances that I like. However, this is one that many department stores carry and I love. It is warming, intoxicating, and it smells very “expensive”. This oriental fragrance wears very resiny and soft on me. It has a blast of citrus and refined flowers, but it smells woodsy and powdery. In my mind, it is what a fancy Italian women’s perfume should smell like.

At first I can pick up on the citrus but it is a perfumey citrus oil. I get rich neroli/orange blossom mixed with “classic” florals such as carnation and jasmine. The first few minutes are very neroli heavy. I know this fragrance hasn’t been around as long as other fragrances, but it really has a classic Italian perfume vibe. This is like a “going out on the town” fragrance, a seduction fragrance. It is very Anita Ekberg to me and makes me think of her in dream woman status in La Dolce Vita. The citrusy florals mix in to a powdery perfume blend. There is that spice from carnation mixed citrus blossoms. It becomes resiny, feminine, powdery, and sexy. It manages to be all of this while still smelling clean and fresh. I guess I have an old-school image of  the “clean” fragrance, less aquatic and soapy and much more powdery. The dry-down is a pretty blend of carnation, powdery amber, and soft vanilla. This is a fragrance that I like to wear in the fall because I like its warmth but I also like how it has a certain crispness thanks to the citrus and clove-like carnation. Somehow I can manage to wear this one in late summer, a little bit goes a long way.

Notes listed include tangerine, orange flower, red carnation, and vanilla. For an EDT, this fragrance wears for many hours on me, longer than many things labeled “EDP”.

I recommend this fragrance for those that like a warm oriental fragrance, YSL Opium EDT, Miller Harris Fluer Oriental EDT, Guerlain Les Parisiennes Derby EDP, Guerlain Sous Le Vent EDP, Estee Lauder Spellbound EDP, Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Parfum de Grasse EDP, Saffron James Punono EDP, Cartier Baiser du Dragon EDP, Serge Lutens Datura Noir EDP, Crazylilbellue & The Poppies Shanghaijava Collection Encens Mystic Solid Perfume and/or Avon Timeless Cologne. It comes in a few sizes and retails for about $64-$80.



Dolce & Gabbana Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 1.7 Oz by Dolce & Gabbana

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

I’m a sucker for chalky pink lipstick. The other thing that I am a sucker for is “cateyes”. So, I’m loving Claudia’s look. To get this look:

FACE: Apply concealer if and where needed. If you have under eye circles to cover, I like L’Oreal Visible Lift Line-Minimizing Under Eye Concealer. I would apply a powder foundation like Clinique Perfectly Real Makeup Compact in your shade. Apply a little bit of bronzer to cheeks as a blush like Maybelline Expert Wear Bronzer Pressed Powder in Salsa Sun.

EYES: Brows are brushed in place and filled with a powder. I would use a brow powder/wax kit like Estee Lauder Brow Perfecting Duo. Apply the powder with a brush then set with wax. It’s simple and really completes a look. Apply a light shadow like Clarins Single Eyeshadow in Vanilla Beige from lash line to brow. These eyes are all about the liner. I love Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink. Take a liner brush that you are comfortable with. For me, this is a thin and fine point art brush. Apply the liner thickly to the top lash line and winging out. Apply a “half” line to the lower lash very thinly. Connect your top and bottom lines for a retro look. Apply a few coats of black mascara to top and bottom lashes.

LIPS: Make sure lips are well moisturized and not flaky. You may want to exfoliate and deep conditioning lips a day before doing this look. Chalky pink lipstick is so pretty but it doesn’t work on dry lips. NYX Round Lipstick in Strawberry Milk is the perfect shade for this look. It looks just like the color Claudia is wearing in the photo. Apply it directly from the tube on healthy lips. I’ve been through a few tubes of this shade. It’s a great retro pink.

This Katharine look is all about the lips. It’s a very versatile look that many people can wear.

To get this look:

FACE: The complexion has a nice healthy glow. Apply concealer to under eye area if needed. I like Clinique All About Eyes Concealer. Apply a tinted moisturizer or a sheer foundation for an even but natural look. I like Origins Nude & Improved Bare-Faced Makeup. A dusting of a luminous loose powder will really make skin look glowing. Use my all time favorite luminous powder, Guerlain Meteorites in Beige Chic. Cheeks are accentuated with a bronzer in an upwards motion. Apply Maybelline Mineral Power Loose Bronzer Shimmer Loose Powder in Sunlight Bronze (not pictured).
EYES: Brows are very natural looking. Just apply a clear brow gel or wax like Revlon Brow Styling Gel to keep brows in place. Apply a sheer and shimmery champagne shadow from lash line to brows. Try something long-lasting like Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Sin. From lash line to the crease, apply an illuminating golden shadow like Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Glimmer Eye Shadow in True Glow. Apply a brown eyeliner closely to the top lashes. Applying this is all about making the lashes appear thicker. Use something like L’Oreal Micro Liner Ultra Fine Eyeliner. Curl lashes and apply a few coats of mascara to top and bottom lashes. I like an all around product like Bobbi Brown Everything Mascara.
LIPS: This look is all about the lips so make sure that they are perfect. Line with a rust colored lip liner like Lipstick Queen Lip Liner in Rust. Apply a golden reddish rust shade of lipstick like Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick in Autumn. This is a beautiful color with a smooth formula (not very long-wearing). Apply a coral lip gloss over the lipstick, something like Kevyn Aucoin The Liquid Cyber Lip Gloss in Datura for extra shine and sparkle.

Since being involved with this 30’s home renovation, I have been obsessed with 30’s everything. If I’m not peeling wallpaper, then I am out at the home salvage places looking for the back of my deco speakeasy. I’ve spent more time paying attention to the 30’s and more than just home trends. This includes 30’s hair and makeup. I must brag that my marcel waves are improving. I absolutely adore this look of bleached blonde turned red head Sybille Schmitz of Vampyr fame. (One of my all time favorite movies and you’ll notice many of my “favorites” in this look).

FACE: Skin is matte and perfect. Apply concealer where needed. A stick concealer usually can do it all and I love the packaging of Paul & Joe Stick Concealer. Apply a powder foundation like MAC Studio Fix, one of my all time favorites. Apply a pinching pink blush to the apples of cheeks with a large fluffy brush or a soft fan brush. NARS Powder Blush in Desire is the perfect color for this look. It is one of my all time favorite blushes for light to medium complexions.

EYES: Fill in brows with a brow pencil. 1930’s brows always had a bit of a waxy look. Apply a stiff pencil like Maybelline Expert Eyes Twin Brow Pencil in a shade darker than your hair if you are going for a genuine 30’s look. Apply a subtle champagne shimmer shadow to the entire lid from lash line to brows. I like Clinique Colour Surge Soft Shimmer Eye Shadow in Champagne. A warm brown shadow should be applied to the crease. L’Oreal Wear Infinite Eye Shadow Single in Brushed Suede is a nice rich, warm brown. Apply to the crease. Apply more of the champagne to closed lids and apply where the pupil would be if your eyes were open. This will add some light. Take the brown shade and apply to the bottom lash line with a smudger brush. This will make the lashes appear thicker. Apply a soft, dark brown kohl liner to top lash line. Don’t wing out and stay close to the lash line. Apply a shade like MAC Eye Kohl in Costa Riche. Whimsy false lashes are a must for this look. There are many out there with a variety of price points. I like the look of Laura Mercier Full Faux Lashes for this look. Apply mascara to top and bottom lashes.

LIPS: Lips are pink and pretty simple. Try a color like Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Lipstick in Stay Pink. Apply a tiny dab of Smith’s Rosebud Salve (another favorite) to lips to keep them looking healthy and moist. And that’s it. Well, those finger waves, I’m saving that for another day.

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