Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Mahjoun is a decadent gourmand that is a must have for the honey lover. I love the scent of honey. It’s sweet but raw. This makes it difficult to wear. If you are one of the lucky and confident few out there that could wear a heavy honey based scent then this is a must for you. The fragrance’s website describes Mahjoun as “exotic, sensuous, and delicious“. Oh, it is. And it is based on the Moroccan delicacy (an ancient cannabis confection). I have never traveled to Morocco. Mainly because I love the “exotic” vision that I have of it in my mind and I don’t want to be let down. I want it to always be that “faraway” place. I love to picture the textures and smells of Morocco. I imagine bold spices, dried fruits and flowers, and precious resins. This is what I imagine and this is what Mahjoun delivers. It makes my mouth water. It is much sweeter than what I would imagine the streets of Morocco being like. This is much more dessert and gourmand and intoxicating, as the name implies. I usually can’t (or won’t) wear “sweet” fragrance but I see myself wearing this one frequently. It is sweet but it has so many other things keeping it interesting and “raw” while remaining beautiful. It is so sweet like honey as soon as you put it on. It’s sweet but very musky and sexual. At first spritz, it is a all about the sweetness of raw honey with a heavy dose of bitter almonds and zesty citrus juices. You can pick up a bit of lavender. This makes this is a crisp but sweet scent. Lavender honey is one of my favorite treats, especially in a black tea with a squeeze of lemon. The crispness fades fairly quickly and you are left with the “heart” of this fragrance. The heart is much like a sweet, sweet confection. It is heavy on the honey. It’s rich and golden, syrupy. It is mixed with dried fruits. I pick up on the dried dates and the dried pipe tobacco like aroma of dried figs. It is far from smoky, it just smells like a mix of honey and dried fruit flavored pipe tobacco. It has a dusting of sweet spices like nutmeg. It isn’t really “spicy”. The spices just add to the richness of the honey and sticky dried fruits. They are very understated. The “heart” has a bit of toasty nuttiness. Hazelnut in fact. My favorite. This makes this scent almost masculine/unisex and a must have for the lover of L’Artisan Parfumeur Mechant Loup EDT (my review here). I imagine it as a very intoxicating scent on both males and females. It’s really for anyone who has dreamed of being swept away by Rudolph Valentino as The Sheik. (This fragrance really does embody that Silent Film obsession with “exotic” and “sensual” and “forbidden” Bedouin culture).

The dry-down is less smoky and resiny than I would of imagined/predicted but it is there. It is an oriental blend of “exotic” resins and precious woods. It remains honey-ish but more in a beeswax with honey way with lots of amber, myrhh, sandalwood, frankinsence. It smells of exotic incense. I have to say that this is my all time favorite honey based scent that I have tried throughout my many years of sniffing. It is less “pissy” than L’Occitane Honey & Lemon EDT. It is sweet without sweetness being its soul purpose of existence like Lush Honey I Washed The Kids Solid Perfume.

Notes include the following: bitter almond, cardamom seed, cherry blossom, lavender, lemon, sweet orange, Bulgarian rose, fig, hazelnut, honey, nutmeg, orange blossom, sugar date, amber, atlas cedarwood, cinnamon, clove, frankincense, sandalwood, and Arabian myrrh. Many sizes are available. It’s a rich fragrance that wears for many hours closely to the skin. An 1 ounce EDP spray goes for $65. It is available at the Parfums des Beaux Arts website. I would say to give this one a try if you are a fan of complex honey scents or L’Artisan Mechant Loup, L’Artisan Havana Vanille, Tokyomilk Honey & The Moon EDP, Serge Lutens Chene, Arabie, or Fumerie Turque, Napa Valley Cielo EDP (my review here), just to name a few in the honey oriental genre.

This fragrance is what the name implies. It is a rich, warm, and seductive scent. The packaging is perfect and contains a skull and crossbones, suggesting the poisonous side of the product. (Who doesn’t love the antiquarian styled packaging?) Initially I wasn’t attracted to the product despite its cool packaging. To be honest, I found the name dull and boring. “Sexy” is an overused and bastardized word. I mean if it is being used by some slimy designer on HGTV to describe a ceiling fan, then it is dead. Yep, dead is “sexy”.

However, I am so pleased that I was talked into and had a chance to try this fragrance. Dead Sexy is warm and comforting without being overly sweet. It is perfect for these chilly and drizzly and moody western Washington days. This fragrance is the epitome of the “modern woods” fragrance genre. In the beginning this fragrance is a high quality vanilla liquor and a dry, rare woods blend. It is almost oud-ish but less abrasive. It has a bit of a smokiness which is what I think makes this so sexy. It reminds me of being in an Old World “bordello” filled with the abstract incense smoke and fine wooden furniture and the softest linens, surrounded by ebony panels. It’s luxe and goth in An Interview With A Vampire way. Once it starts to dry down, it is more of a “woods” scent. The vanilla is there but it isn’t as “liquory”.  The vanilla is smoky and incensey. It just smells of a melange of  rich and slightly sweet “modern” woods. These woods aren’t dirty. They are round and robust and very feminine. There is the faintest aroma of delicate white petals. It smells more like your in this “bordello” and you pick up a whiff of little white flowers in a vase next to a candelabra filled with burning candles. The florals are there but almost ghostly, you catch their cold “feeling” every now and then amongst the warm woods. In fact, this blend is a great balance of “warm” and “cool” like a rich mahogany bed with crisp, smooth sheets. It has a mix of exotic and precious woods, smoky vanilla, rich amber-like resins, and a dash of flirty petals. It’s a beautiful thing, really. This scent reminds me of vampy Theda Bara. This is a must have fragrance for all the real-life vamps and working goths out there.

This fragrance is a sexy (not my favorite adjective but fitting for this scent) scent that isn’t overwhelming like most “modern woods”. I wear it during the day. It is soft but very rich and bewitching. It wears closely to the skin for a few hours. I say about 4-5 hours of wear. It contains notes of deep vanilla, exotic wood, white orchid, and ebony. I would say to give this one a try if you like dry woodsy scents, Tom Ford Oud Wood,  Tom Ford White Patchouli, Estee Lauder Sensuous, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist, Nanette Lepore Nanette, Prada EDP, Calvin Klein Euphoria, and/or Laura Mercier Minuit Enchanté.

The 1 ounce spray retails for $28 (a steal) and can be purchased at b-glowing.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.

For once I am purchasing a product not just because of its fragrance. In fact with the Caress Exotic Oil Infusions, I am not too wild about the fragrance. I just love the product. It is the perfect shower gel for my skin. I use this stuff and then slap on some cocoa butter lotion and my skin looks so healthy and like it is glowing. It feels very “touchable” and I actually get compliments on the condition of my skin. It just looks flawless.

The products comes in three “flavors”: Moroccan, Brazilian, and Japanese. The fragrances are pretty faint in comparison to other shower products on the market. Moroccan is a blend of cassis cream and starflower oil. It smells somewhat floral but a bit woodsy as well. It reminds me of Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy, a very faint and tolerable version. It’s somewhat feminine but just a little masculine. Brazilian is enhanced with passion flower cream and acai fruit oil. It smells somewhat fruity and like passion flower. It smells a bit “fuzzy” and a little fermented.  Japanese has white lotus cream and kuikui nut oil. I have not used this one so I can’t comment on its fragrance. The funny thing about this product is that despite it’s “exotic” ingredients and fragrance that is supposed to represent its “country”, they all feel exactly the same (who knew that acai fruit oil and kuikui nut oil are so similiar?). And the fragrance left on the skin smells the same. One world, I guess. Luckily the scent doesn’t hang around very long. I am sure it would disappear completely if paired with a fragrant body lotion/cream. The scent doesn’t linger but the moisture does. I can’t get over how smooth my skin is when I use this. I think in the summer this would be all I need. No lotion. I don’t use it with a loofah. I just apply it directly, massage it in, and rinse. This seems to really work for me. The price is under $7 for a big bottle. Granted that since I do not use a loofah/sponge, it doesn’t last very long. But, I have used very expensive things in the past and nothing has actually improved the condition of my skin like this. I can ignore its scent. I have to say that so far my favorite scent is Moroccan out of the ones that I have tried. So ignore the scent and the image of the product that says, “Want to try a Moroccan beauty secret? You’ll enchate everyone around you!” Lame but a really nice product. It’s available at drugstore.com.

I can’t get my hands on enough of this stuff. This is the best soap in the world. I am a huge fan of Mysore Sandal Soap. It is heavily scented with sandal oil. I have no idea how they can put so much fragrance oil in this soap for this price. It leaves your skin scented all day with the heavenly scent of sandal. It leaves your whole house smelling wonderful. It is like a sandalwood bomb went off. It blends so well with the other fragrances that I wear. In fact I wish I could get this in an EDP. It has Prada beat.

This soap is a combo of glycerin and 100% sandalwood oil. It leaves the skin feeling smooth and moisturized. Plus, have I mentioned the amazing scent? It is known to relieve rashes and dryness. I use it after shaving my legs and I have no icky rash.

The packaging is adorable and you can smell the box a mile away. It is the highest quality product out there for the money. No joke. I flirt with lots of other products but I keep coming back to this. It can’t be beat. Oh, and dudes love it. It is intoxicating. Plus, I think it smells wonderful on dudes. It mixes well with manliness.

It retails for $2.25 to $3.00 depending on the size. It is a “soft” soap so it will “melt” fairly quickly in the shower. Maybe keep it somewhere else. I’ve thought about buying a bar to put in my lingerie drawer. I want everything I own to smell this good. It is available at most International Markets and Indian spice markets or smallflower.com. Beware, I am going to buy all of this up, relabel it and sell it for $15 a bar. Suckers.