2009 was a busy year for me. (This past decade has been incredibly busy.) Since I have been working on the home renovation, I haven’t really been up on all the new beauty/fragrance releases. I do feel like Serge Lutens was releasing a new fragrance every week and I feel I have ignored a few small, niche fragrance houses that were popping up from the woodworks. How is a gal to keep up? This year I hope to go back to my days of knowing what was going to be launched before it was launched. The house project is wrapping up and I should be able to indulge in my fragrance addiction.This is my doable resolution.

I hope that everybody has a glamorous 2010 filled with new polished color stories, delicious fragrances, and frizz-free hair!

lindencollage

Linden/linden flower is such a pretty, bubbly, and flirty scent. It is one of my favorites for spring and summer and lately I haven’t been able to get enough of it. It’s a slightly honey-ish floral in a honeysuckle way and tart like a lime blossom. It brings back sweet memories of linden tea and linden honey in early summer. If you are a fan of citrus blossom fragrance then I think you’ll love linden like I do. I love this scent but it can be difficult to “find”, so that’s why I’ve put this “collage” together. I want to help myself and others find a place to start when finding that perfect linden based fragrance.

Budget Linden: I have raved about it before for its true linden-ness, Le Provence Santé Tilleul/Linden. It retails for $27 for a big, simple looking bottle. This is an EDT so lasting power isn’t so great  but it smells amazing. This is the “truest” linden fragrance that I have found, it is a single note. Tokyomilk Pafum has a gorgeous floral linden with delicate touches of rose and wisteria, Waltz (I have raved about this one also). This scream femininity and retails for $28 for 1 ounce. It comes in a really cute bottle. A nice white floral linden blend is Voluspa Floraison Linden Blond Tabac, it’s a heady blend of tuberose and linden. It’s ultra femme and flirty. The 1 ounce cute travel spray goes for $18. Demeter has a Linden that goes for $20 for 1 ounce. It smells lovely but the lasting power isn’t hot. I hate to include a limited edition fragrance, but MAC has a nice one for $25, Naked Honey, it is a bit like sweet linden honey. I recommend trying it while you can.

More Expensive: A complicated but beautiful linden that contains notes of lily of the valley, ylang-ylang, and vetiver, Pafrums DelRae Début EDP, $135 for 1.7 ounces. A fruity, “young” feeling linden is Trance Essence Whyte Rabbit which retails for $90 for the largest bottle, a roll-on oil is also available and is cheaper. I love the playful, bubbly floral of L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse Aux Papillons EDT. It is a fun floral with linden, citrus blossoms, and jasmine. It’s so beautiful and I find myself using it frequently. This retails for $95. I like the “moodiness” of Annick Goutal Eau de Ciel. It’s a wet and rainy blend of linden, violet, and iris. It goes for $115. This fragrance contains linden but is heavy on lots of other stuff like aquatic and wood notes, Estee Lauder Pure Linen Light Breeze. It  manages to be playful and fresh with linden blossom. The largest bottle goes for $72.

This is my “beginners” list, if you have any others to share, please do. I am always on the “smell-out” for linden based fragrances. They just make me happy.

Even though it is a predictable scent for summer, I love coconut because it reminds me of the beach. It reminds me of frou-frou drinks and oily tanning lotion. It isn’t my favorite scent in the world and it is definitely low brow but it is so nice for that “instant” beach vacation. And it is rich and warm and delicious. You can’t say that about many other scents you can wear in summer. And you can find coconut scents and body products at a variety of price points. So if you just want the smell like a coconut sometimes, you can have it without feeling stupid for paying $60 for something you wear like 2 weeks out of the year. And if you are a coconut fanatic then you have so many choices!

Value Coconut Scents: I mention this brand all of the time but that is because they are cheap and high quality: L’Aromarine Coco. This is a fragrance oil that retails for under $10.  It is pure coconut: sweet and tropical.Yves Rocher has an EDT spray ranging in sizes but all are under $10: Le Plaisirs de Nature Noix de Coco. This is a “true” coconut as well in a convenient EDT spray. Urban Rituelle has a spicy coconut scent: Beachcomber Coconut and Ginger Perfume. It retails for $10 and a body line is available. Voluspa has a Victoria Collection (named after me of course, haha) in Malayan Coco. This is a sweet and exotic coconut that goes for $24. If you are looking for a sweet, gourmand coconut on a budget, try TokyoMilk Parfum in Let Them Eat Cake. It goes for $28 . A cheap EL Bronze Goddess substitute is Avon Tahitian Holiday. It retails for $15 for 1.7 ounces (watch out for specials, you can get it under $10). Bath and Body Works has an EDT, Ile de Tahiti Coconut Vanilla and it retails for $19.50 for 1.7 ounces. The Body Shop has a new Coconut line with body products and fragrance which retails for $16 for the fragrance oil. Demeter has a Kahala Coconut for $20 for 1 ounce and other sizes are available. This one is more like fresh coconut milk.

More Expensive Coconut Scents: LaVanila Vanilla Coconut is a sweet coconut scent that retails for $56 for 1.7 ounces. There is a also a body product line with this brand that includes deodorant. If you want a gourmand, dried coconut go for Laura Mercier Almond Coconut. It retails for $50 for 1.7 ounces and wonderful body products are available. One of my favorite scents ever is Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess. The EDT goes for $49.50 and the scent screams “beach” (more than it does coconut)! Comptoir Sud Pacifique has tons of “beach” scents. There is Vanille Coco and it is more of a coconut scent. It goes for $53. Susanne Lang has a Vanilla Coconut that goes for $50. French West Indies has a pure, light wearing coconut scent, Coco, and it retails for $42 for 4 ounces.

Coconut Body Products: If you want a “pure” and straight up coconut scented body product try Mountain Ocean Skin Trip Moisturizer and Soap. Both retail for under $7 each depending where you purchase them. These are my favorite coconut products ever, rich and creamy! Bath and Body Works have a few coconut lines: Creamy Coconut, Coconut Lime Verbena, and Exotic Coconut. And to be honest, I kind of like them all. The body sprays are nice for summer. Lush has some nice coconut products including: Coconut Deodorant Powder, Quinquereme of Nineveh Soap, and Creamed Coconut and Almond Shower Smoothie.

“Tropical” Coconut Blend Fragrances: This category is for those “based” on coconut scents. This is a fruity coconut scent: Ebba Miss Marisa Tropical Perfume Oil, retails for $62 and is long wearing. A nice “young” scent is Harajuku Lovers G fragrance it comes in a solid and spray and prices range from $18 to $45. Creed Virgin Island Water is a great “beach” scent and it goes for $210 for 2.5 ounces. If you can find a bottle of J.Lo Miami Glow get it if you want a rich coconut based scent. Also, Deseo is a nice “tropical” scent that isn’t as heavy on the coconut as Miami Glo.

Many of these products are available at their store (like Lush or Bath and Body Works), beautyhabit.com, b-glowing.com, Sephora, and even retailers like Wal-green’s.

coconutfragrances


Miami Glow Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 Oz by Jennifer Lopez

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

This fragrance claims to be “An ode to everlasting beauty under cover of night’s rich plumage”. Um, OK. If that wasn’t a good enough description then maybe this will help you more:

A phoenix, the mythical bird of legend burns at the height of its splendour before emerging triumphant, reborn from the ashes in a choreography of flame, conjuring the shapes of yesterday in a dance of ashes. The swirls of oriental grey enrich the twilight with depth and intensity while windswept memories hint at the beauty of transformation

Oh, now I get it! As with any Serge Lutens fragrance, we have a wonderful marketing campaign that strives for weirdness and exoticism. This fragrance has many “haters”, read Kevin’s review on Now Smell This blog. Ouch, but a very entertaining read and why I got my hands on a sample vial to begin with. I find this fragrance odd but not horrible. Actually, I find it quite intriguing. The dry down isn’t as odd as initial spritz, actually it is very “pretty” and very “Serge”, think a woodsy-amber scent (heavy on dry cedar) but with a hint of dental office anesthesia. That can be pretty, right? Well, I like it.

The top notes are what are so strange if I had to blame it on one thing. It is “citrusy” but more like a Listerine or a citrusy mouthwash, kind of a medicinal odor mixed with lemon zest. That is odd. Smelling like you just gargled is weird. It is heavy on cinnamon, almost makes me sneeze, it has a Christmas potpourri fragrance. Not quite, your spice cabinet cinnamon or a foody cinnamon. The cedar is what takes over on me. It smells like a cedar hope chest in a stale, mildewy basement or attic. Hell, the odor of the Pacific Northwest: mildew and evergreens! After the medicinal cedar begins to wear down, you pick up half-rounded bits of resiny amber. This adds some beauty to this strange scent. But, I am a fan of amber, that’s why I like Serge Lutens fragrances. The cedar still is there. So think cedar with amber with a strange medicinal vibe. Seriously, it reminds me of having my teeth cleaned by a nice hygienist that wears a resinous fragrance. It smells “clean” and “uncomfortable”, alot like having your teeth cleaned. Yep, it feels good, getting all the gunk out but it hurts and there is always the sound of drilling going on in the background even if your experience is pleasant. That is how I would describe Serge Noir, not like a mythical Phoenix bathing in ashes or whatever. I think going to a dentist’s office in early summer. Why early summer? Because the fragrance is “cool” in a synthetic way but still “warm”, it smells like there is a hint of mildew there like from the initial blast of an air conditioner that hasn’t been used in some time. And you feel like you are on goofy gas trying to break this fragrance apart.

I know this fragrance isn’t for everyone. It is weird and there is that little fact that a bottle goes for $140. So, before you buy you better try. Strangely, I have recieved compliments on this fragrance. But, where I am at you get complimented on the strangest things…