Tonight or never…I absolutely love Annick Goutal Ce Soir ou Jamais EDP. It’s a scent for the rose lover. It covers all aspects of a rose: the greenness, the fruitiness, the gourmand qualities, the floralness, and the romantic imagery of a rose. Annick Goutal considered this one of her prize fragrances and it took her 15 years to complete (launched in 1999). It’s her top-secret formula and it is supposed to make one’s head spin. I love this fragrance, but I must say that I love rose scents. This Turkish rose based perfume is unlike any other in my collection. It is complex but somehow very simple. It changes throughout the wear, this is what I guess makes one’s head spin (in a good way). It changes with me as the seasons change. Sometimes it is more of a fruity-rose floral. Other times it is more on a “classic” rose with a rich buttery, ambery dry-down on me. But, all in all, it’s a simple rose. Sure, it claims to have at least a hundred other notes, but I get a beautiful, romantic dewy rose garden most of the time. A very mature, ripe flower garden. All of the flowers are in full bloom.

At first the fragrance is well, astringent, a crisp green rose. I think this what some people refer to as “bug” spray. I don’t see that and I kind of like this “crisp” rose. It then mellows out a bit thanks to violets, not quite candied, but fresh and green dew covered violets.┬á It also has a very faint floral spiciness. Perhaps carnation? It’s a sweet,fresh, floral that is heavy on the roses. These other notes are there but with time it becomes a classic Turkish rose somehow sweet, green, and floral. The Turkish roses almost seem candied after some wear. I get pear, so I think. I get a fresh fruit note, perhaps a mix of pear, apple, and quince. It’s pretty, fresh, and light. It sets on the rich roses. I usually don’t like fruitiness but it works so well with this rose heavy floral. It’s a nice surprise. The scent does go back to rose, slightly powdery but much less so than others I’ve sniffed in the past. This is more of a “fresh” rose. The dry-down is still rosy but with a hint of hibiscus seed/ambrette seed. This adds a warmth, almost like amber, but not as resiny, more buttery. This keeps the rose grounded.

Notes include: Turkish rose, ambrette seed, and a blend of 140 secret essences. I have been impressed with the wear of the EDP; I have not tried the EDT. The EDP wears for about 6+ hours.

Give this one a try if you a rose lover or if you like Parfums des Rosine Un Folie de Rose EDP, Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Rose Vert EDP, Editions des Parfums Une Rose EDP, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Rose Muskissime EDP, Bvlgari Rose Essentielle EDP, Parfums de Nicolai Balkis EDP, and/or Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau EDT.

The 1.7 oz. EDP retails for $99. It’s available at luckyscent.com.

Advertisements

Tocca Crema de Mano hand cream is a nice hand cream. I have to admit that I only really like it because of the fragrance. The formula is nice but it isn’t heavy-duty or exceptional. The formula is pretty basic. It is moisturizing without being greasy. I do like that. I really dislike using a heavy-duty hand cream during the day. It can be so gross. You can have slippery computer keys, steering wheel, door knobs, smudging an iPhone, and you can find yourself unable to open anything. I like Tocca’s light weight hand cream. It’s practical for every day, day time use. It absorbs so quickly. But, what I really like is the Stella fragrance.

This hand cream is packed with fragrance. The Stella fragrance is an elegant interpretation of blood oranges. It’s a flirty citrus floral scent. It is loaded with cool, feminine lilies on top of a juicy blood oranges. I notice the feminine lilies over the juicy blood oranges. Together they work together wonderfully creating a beautiful dainty citrus-floral.

This cream is a bit expensive at $8 for 2 oz. but it is such a luxurious pick-me-up to use throughout the day. My job lacks glamor and using this product makes me feel a bit more glamorous. It is available at beautyhabit.com.

(Sorry about being behind on posts. My life has been very crazy lately. I promise I’ll get better about posting. I’ve been trying so many great new products and I can’t wait to share.)

Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

This is a fragrance that I thought I hated. As I’ve matured, I have found that I don’t dislike this one. This is my favorite Clinique fragrance and one of my favorite mass market, line specific, department store fragrances. Clinique’s slogan for this fragrance is “Intriguing, Non-Conformist Fragrance performs the role of a perfume, but goes far beyond”. Pretty bold coming from the “safest” cosmetic company that I can think of. This fragrance was created in 1975 by Bernard Chant, the man behind the classic chypre, Cabochard, and the 60’s floral, Estee. So, yes, Mr. Bernard Chant, was the creator of the many fragrances that Generation X-ers and beyond refer to as “old lady” smells. I find that I like “old lady” smells. I’m a vintage, old-fashioned gal. I prefer the scents that my grandmothers wore.

At first spritz, Clinique Aromatics Elixir is mossy and has a greenness from an old-fashioned rose. There is so much oakmoss. I need to add that I love a heavy dose of oakmoss in about any perfume. After the mossy rose settles, I get tons and tons of patchouli. So, if you despise headshop patchouli then stay away from Clinique Aromatics. It is an oily and rich patchouli with a hint of dried vetiver and dried lavender. This adds a coolness to the earthy patchouli and its bed of mossy roses. This really hits me as a Pacific Northwestern scent because of the moss, roses, and wet dirt. It’s like being at The International Rose Test Garden in Portland on a wet and dreary October afternoon. I love it. The dry down is still heavy with patchouli but it lacks that wetness and coolness. It becomes slightly powdery with soft amber and sandalwood notes. There is a 70’s musk present too. This soft, earthy and musky dry-down is reminiscent of many dry-downs of juices in the mid-60’s to mid-70’s. This means that if you wear this, then somebody may carbon date you back to the 1970’s. The dry-down reminds me of going through grandma’s containers of vintage face powders and perfume oil bottles that she saved for their containers. It’s powdery but has that richness of dark perfume oils. I must add that my grandmother did (and continues to) wear Clinique Aromatics Elixir as her casual, “around the house” fragrance. So, I do like this fragrance because it reminds me of laid-back days with grandma.

I am so happy that I gave this one another try. This is why I should never let go of perfume samples ­čÖé I’m moody and it only makes sense that my tastes would be too. I realize that many young adults will not find this perfume attractive. I don’t wear perfume for others. I wear what I like. This elixir is very long-wearing. I would say that I find it on my pulse points 12-15 hours after applying. It just contains so many rich and adhering fragrance notes.

Notes listed include: rose, jasmine, oakmoss, ylang ylang, vetiver, patchouli, musk, amber, and sandalwood.

You may like this if you like fougere scents or scents like Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac EDP, Estee Lauder Youth Dew Cologne, Tom Ford Private Blend Moss Breches EDP, Parfum d’Empire Fougere Bengale EDP, Serge Lutens Chypre Rouge EDP, Heeley Parfums Cardinal EDP, Tauer Perfumes Incense Rose EDP, The Party In Manhattan EDP, and/or Montale Orient Extreme EDP. The 1.5 oz retails for $42.50 and the 3.4 oz for $52.50. It can be purchased at Clinique counters anywhere or Sephora. It’s also available at fragrancenet.com.
Get it for a deal at…

Aromatics Elixir Perfume for Women Parfum Spray 3.4 Oz by Clinique

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I love the smell of mono├», especially for summer. It’s warm, floral, and very beachy. Yves Rocher Jardins des ├Äles Alcohol-Free Tiar├ę Flower Body Mist isn’t my favorite mono├» 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 mono├» 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.

tuberosecollage

Tuberose is one of my favorite notes. It’s intoxicating, enchanting, and so feminine. It’s for a confident woman who isn’t scared to be a little over the top. It is many fragrances so I narrowed this “collage” down for the tuberose enthusiast, for the person wanting a tuberose heavy scent. As you may notice, it’s a luxe note so you will see more in the “expensive” category.

Bargain Tuberose Scents: Tokyomilk Pafum French Kiss is a lovely white floral blend heavy on tuberose and gardenia. It is a steal at $28 for 1 oz. A slightly sweet and exotic tuberose scent is Voluspa Victoria Collection Tuberosa Agave Roll-On. It smells of tuberose and coconut milk. It retails for $25 for half an ounce. Parfums des beaux Arts Tubereuse EDP is a pure tuberose soliflore. It’s one of my favorite “tuberose” scents. It retails for $27 for 1/4 oz. Filles des Iles Floral Exotique is a sultry blend of tuberose, orange flower, and jasmin. The .33 oz. roller-ball retails for $18. I know it isn’t a “budget” scent but the roll-on available at Sephora is a nice deal. Piguet Fracas is a lovely scent with tuberose and the adorable roller-ball retails for $25. It has always defined the tuberose scent for me.┬á DL & Co. Angel’s Trumpet is a nice blend of night blooming florals like tuberose and angel’s trumpet. The roller-ball retails for $45.

More Expensive Tuberose Scents: Jo Malone Tuberose cologne is a pure, intoxicating tuberose fragrance. The 3.4 oz. bottle goes for $100. Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia is a must have for the white floral lover. It is a lovely marriage of tuberose and gardenia. The pure parfum comes in a beautiful bottle that resembles jewelry and retails for $325. It is also available in a less expensive EDP spray. Jean Patou Joy is a classic floral heavy on tuberose. The 2.5 EDt goes for $110. If you like Piguet Fracas then give Joy a try. This fragrance brought tuberose pack into the scene: Michael Kors EDP. It’s a moden tuberose fragrance, still very sexy and classy. The largest bottle goes for $90. L’Artisan Parfumeur Tubereuse is a sweet and exotic tuberose scent with coconut and ylang-ylang too. The 3.4 oz. bottle retails for $135 and it smells like a tropical vacation. Creed Tubereuse Indiana is a sexy tuberose soliflore with ambergris hints that keep it grounded. The 2.5 oz. bottle goes for $210. Editions de Parfums Carnal Flower (gross sounding name, I know) is a nice tuberose interpretation. It retails for about $195. Profumi Capri Capri Night is a romantic blend of tuberose and gardenia. It retails for $62. This is a beautiful scent, a simple blend of tuberose and jasmine: Profumum Tuberosa. It seems simple but it sexy. It retails for $240.

So far, I am really loving Les Gar├žonnes fragrance collection. Pompon Gardenia is an amazing heady white floral blend with sweet lime. This is one of my favorite white florals ever. I love a super feminine white floral and this is a winner with its blend of gardenia, lilies, and lime.

I assume that the inspiration for Pompon Gardenia was Fran├žois Pompon, a 20’s era sculptor and Rodin’s assistant. I’ve always remembered him for his sleek chouettes. But, it could just be pompon as a fashion accessory. I don’t know for sure and I really don’t care. I love the sleek and portable, ecological cardboard packaging. It’s a lovely poppy print with rich green and mauve. I peeled a bunch of ’36 era wallpaper in my rehab home that reminded me of this print and color scheme.

At first Pompon Gardenia is a lush, humid white gardenia. There is a faint aroma of watermelon and gardenia. This doesn’t smell like a Jolly Rancher watermelon hard candy or too fruity. It just adds a humid quality to the gardenia, something that is more a sweet aquatic quality than just “aquatic”. It’s more “watermelon rind”, a bit green and fresh, bitter and sweet,┬á and what is keeping it from being like a candy-esque body spray. The sweet lime is an amazing touch to this blend. I love limes for their tart fruitiness and slight sweetness. We always have them around the kitchen. I love the smell that they leave on my hands. It is very beautiful and I always thought it would be perfect with a heady floral. Pompon Gardenia has a very pleasant slightly bitter but mostly sweet type of lime. I’m talking you smell the entire little sweet lime, including zest and juicy pulp. It’s beautiful. All of these fruits mix with dainty white lily of the valley (very understated in comparison) and big, white gardenias. Gardenia works very well with these fruits because gardenia has a slightly fruity aroma anyways. Eventually, the fragrance becomes a strong gardenia fragrance with a sweet lime twist, the watermelon rind fades, so do the other dainty white flowers. After a bit of wear, you pick up on the faintest and mildest tobacco ever. In fact the 1st few weeks that I wore this, I could barely pick up on it. It has been many, many years since I smelled the warmness and hay like quality of dried, light tobacco. I ended up wearing this one day in the summer and my husband drug me to a cigar shop. There I smelled the lovely jars of various flavored and unflavored tobacco. I smelled some that the owner referred to as “mild” and “blonde”. I could then smell this ever so slightly in this solid fragrance blend. It is faint and definitely overshadowed by the white florals. It does add some much needed warmth to the blend. Don’t let the tobacco fool you. This is not a smoky blend, “dry”,┬á nor is it even close to being masculine. This is a pretty girl wearing an old-fashioned gardenia perfume oil and red lipstick in a quaint tobacco shop. That’s it.

This fragrance isn’t what I expected it to be. When I read the notes when it was launched, I was thinking of something much more dry, smokier with a┬á less fruity gardenia, and maybe the kind of sweet lime wedge that has been swimming in honey colored whiskey. I was thinking something to wear in cooler weather. I was thinking of a sexy but desperate 20’s lady at a smoky bar with messy, uneven pin-curls. This is much more feminine, alive, pretty, and almost coy. It’s much more 40’s cheesecake pin-up. It is glowing with a bright red lipstick smile exposing more than pearly whites. It’s perfect like a Vargas created girl. Like I said, it wasn’t what I expected but it is something that I really like. I am happy that I bought it. It’s fairly simple aquatic gardenia with lime with a very slight tobacco dry warmth.

It retails for about $16 and is available at b-glowing.com and beautyhabit.com. It’s a great price, cute vintage packaging, and wears for a few hours without any touch-ups. I’m touching up my red lipstick more frequently than this stuff.

I love Melissa Flagg fragrances. Many of them are super floral and super feminine. I have tried the perfume oil roll-ons and I am impressed with their portability paired with long-wear. Since I am a sucker for solid fragrances, I was so delighted to see that the line includes solid perfumes. The texture is divine. It is rich, not greasy, harder than most. It feels just like real shea butter because the base is shea and cocoa butter. This means it is never greasy and with the warmth of your touch it evens out smoothly. It wears soft and sensual to the skin. To my surprise it wears for some time in comparison to other solids on the market, like 4/5 hours of wear. The tin is a generous size and sturdy (about the size of a Rosebud salve). And it retails for $16. I find this a steal for what you are getting.

So, I love the formula about as much as I do the perfume oil. Now to the fragrance…Hazel’s is an intoxicating tropical floral of dewy white Hawaiian gardenias. Swoon. It is a romantic fragrance that reminds me of my dream Hawaiian wedding that never happened. Or the dream Hawaiian honeymoon that never happened either. I think of it as the perfect wedding/honeymoon fragrance for a tropical location. I never had that but I can at least pretend that I did when I sniff this fragrance. This is an exotic, humid gardenia with the right amount of pretty sweetness. It is intoxicating and consuming. My husband loves it. It isn’t overly heavy even though it is a sweeter gardenia scent. At first is has a “fruity” component. But, not fruity, it’s the kind of fruitiness that is subtle and what a gardenia has naturally. It then smells of white blossoms mixed with a bit of beachy coconut. This adds some smoothness to the gardenia but it never smells like suntan lotion or like a “beach” product. Overall, this fragrance is the epitome of the tropical gardenia genre. (BTW, there is a native Hawaiian gardenia. I am not familiar with the actual aroma of this plant because it is endangered by habitat loss. Since I am unfamiliar with its aroma, I imagine and want it to smell like this solid.)

Have I mentioned that I love the rich, moisturizing, natural base?

This fragrance is a keeper just like my darling Clementine. I can not wait to give the tropical floral explosion, Mily, a try. This is the fragrance for the tropical gardenia lover, the romantic at heart, the monoi/Hawaiian fragrance lover, those in need of a Hawaiian vacation, and those that like Lucy B. Tropical Gardenia perfume roll on,  Kai perfume oil, Antica Farmacista Ala Moana, Tocca solid parfums, and/or Moyette Paris EDP. These are available at beautyhabit.com.

native Hawaiian gardenia