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

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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.

This pic of Arleen makes me want to dye my hair bright red again! I love everything about this look. It’s classic and who doesn’t want to be a ravishing redhead?

FACE: Arleen’s complexion is flawless. Isn’t it amazing what some airbrushing can do? To get an airbrushed look, apply concealer where needed. Almay Line Smoothing Concealer is nice for the under eye area.  Apply a matte foundation such as MAC Studio Stick Foundation in your shade. I love the ease of a foundation stick. Apply a small amount of loose powder to set foundation. I love the packaging and price of Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder. Cheeks are lightly dusted with a pretty pink powder blush. Try something like Rimmel Mono Powder Blush in Pink Rose and apply with a large and fluffy blush brush.

EYES: Brows are perfect. Use a brow kit like Urban Decay Brow Box in your shade. First fill in brows with a powder and then brush them into place with a brow wax. Eye shadow is nude but warm. I love the colors in Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow in Beige Massai. Take the lightest almost ivory shade and apply all over, from lash line to brow bone. Apply the lightest beige brown from lash line to crease. Take the warm bronze and brush into the crease. Apply a bit of this warm bronze on the bottom lash line but only halfway. Take the deepest center chocolate brown shade. Use it as a liner on the top lashline and bottom lashline, applying with a stiff thin, flat brush. Apply false lashes or apply a few coats of your favorite mascara. One of my favorites is Chanel Multi-Dimensionnel Mascara in Extreme Black.

LIPS: You need more than bright red hair for this look. You need bright red-orange lips. Make sure lips are in healthy condition and slightly moist from a lip balm. Apply a lip liner if you are wanting a “clean” line. Try L’Oreal Colour Riche Anti-Feathering Lip Liner in Timeless Coral around the lip line.  Apply Guerlain KissKiss Lipstick in Red Strass, this is one of my favorite lipsticks . To add shine, apply a sheer red shimmery lip gloss like The Body Shop Hi-Shine Lip Treatment in Red Gleam. Apply it with a lip brush. How ravishing?

arleenlook

OK, you all know that I am a Guerlain fragrance and cosmetics mega-fan. That being said, I shocked to see their model for the fall color collection. Doesn’t she look totally insane? Doesn’t that look like the makeup application that would be seen on Whatever Happened To Baby Jane (oh, I do love that movie) sans the ghostly face powder? They really should of rethought releasing this or at least fire the makeup artist responsible for this terrifying look. The model even has an uneasy expression about all of this. Poor, poor gal. Maybe her expression is what makes the look so disturbing. I hope the photographer doesn’t beat her. Well, the colors of the collection aren’t too bad and many of the products are very nice. It’s just that the look that presented is just awful and they made a beautiful gal look like she is going to serve you your pet for dinner and smile while doing it. But, anyways. I think this collection is supposed to be all luxe and opulent. It’s supposed to be hedonistic and self indulgent with a mix of Russian royalty and bohemian or maybe a bit of glam gypsy look. I don’t know. I’m thinking something pre-Russian Revolution and before those pesky Bolsheviks got in the way of the wealth. 🙂 The company’s website hasn’t released these details yet. The collection offers the following:

EYES: There is an Ombré Éclat Eyeshadow Palette for $58 that comes in a shimmery blackish gold compact. The colors are imprinted with a “champagne shimmer” design. The shades are inspired by Russian princesses and their OTT glimmery gowns. There is Brun Mordore which contains shimmering shades of browns and black. This compact creates a nice smoky eye for all eyes and can be worn during the day too. Just depends on your technique. The other is Tsarina which contains a warm brown shimmer, bronze shimmer, burgundy shimmer, and plum shimmer. Tsarina has lovely colors but I don’t think they all mix very well together. They could but they also have the chance of creating bruised looking eyes (check out the lady above). I do think if done right this compact would look amazing on cool toned eyes like blue. There is a Eye & Lip Palette for $69. It comes in a luxe case that is Slavic inspired. It contains 2 eyeshadows (champagne pink sparkle and a sea pebble taupe shimmer) and 2 lipcolors (sparkling party pink and a shimmer rosewood neutral). I like the palette but I don’t see myself buying it. I don’t like eye and lip products packaged together. The powders always mix and clump with the oil based lip products. It’s gross. I do like the colors featured but I don’t feel they are worth the dough. Retractable Eyeliner Pens have been launched and retail for $29. They come in elegant gold packaging. Two will be permanent: Gold & Silver. The other is Bohemian and it is a deep shimmery plum. Le 2 Guerlain Mascara has been relaunched along with a new color Boheme. This retails for $35.

LIPS: There is a KissKiss Baby Lip Balm (see had to put baby in the title) that retails for $30. I love this product. It is super moisturizing, lightly tinted with shine, and it comes in a ultra-glam Guerlain case. It comes in 6 colors ranging from clear to rosy neutrals. My favorite is Red Nude.

FACE: The Parure Compact Foundation has been relaunched. This is a great powder foundation that retails for $60.

This collection is available at Nordstrom and Dillard’s.

Hmm, this Guerlain collection is much too close...

This summer I have been all about the citrus. I can’t get enough of citrus or citrus blossom scents. Perhaps it is the record breaking heatwave that swept through the Pacific Northwest or maybe it’s just time for me to go through this phase. I haven’t really gotten into citrus scents. I didn’t think they were “me” and I felt like my skin ate it up. I also thought they weren’t very artsy blends. I just didn’t have respect for them. Well, this summer I have been sampling every citrus scent that I can find. This week’s wear has been Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mandarine-Basilic EDT. If you know me, you know that there isn’t a Guerlain fragrance out there that I don’t love. This isn’t the most sophisticated Guerlain out there, but I do like it. It really hits the spot when the weather is 80+.

Mandarine-Basilic is a fresh citrus scent. It claims to have these notes: orange blossom, white peony, green tea, ivy, Roman chamomile, mandarin, basil, amber, and sandalwood.  It wears about the same on me all the way through. It is really difficult to sniff out these different notes. It smells of a refreshing beverage. The mandarin orange is what I notice the most. It’s a sweet citrus fragrance that reminds me of the juice from a clementine. It’s an easy to wear fragrance, not heavy on the herbaceous notes of basil. You smell a bit of the herb garden/vegetable garden. It just smells “green” and fresh but very pretty and not a bit rugged or masculine. This is a girly citrus. After a few hours of wear, the dry down is a faintly citrus and woody. It isn’t the most “wow” producing fragrance and it is a bit generic, but I do really like it. However, I am more of the Imperiale customer if I am looking for a refreshing summer fragrance. AA Mandarine-Basilic is just so pretty and more feminine than Imperiale and gentler and kinder than AA Pamplelune.

The scent wears for about 2-4 hours on me during pretty intense heat. It’s lovely throughout the wear and not a bit heavy. It’s a great summer scent, great for everyday or in a work environment. It’s citrusy, green, clean, and fresh. I would say to give this a try if you like mandarin citrus scents, Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne, Balm Balm Mandarin EDP, L’Artisan Parfumeur Mandarin tout Simplement EDT, Marc Jacobs Lemon Splash Cologne, and/or Fresh Bergamot Citrus EDP. The 2.5 oz bottle goes for $57 and is available at Sephora.

Again, I have fallen for a Guerlain color collection. This is of no surprise for this happens quite frequently. I love the Summer Splash collection, it is so beachy without being overly “tan” and “bronzed”. The packaging is beautiful and glamorous. The company describes this collection as “a mermaid basking under the sun.” I like the sound of that.

EYES: I have found a new favorite. I absolutely love The Loose Powder Kohl in Lagoon Blue. This is a shimmery sea blue with a hint of gold. It is a “warm” blue. It really works with my complexion. If you think you can’t wear blue, I bet you can wear this. I am light with warm undertones with blue eyes, I imagine that this would also work well with medium complexions with brown eyes. It goes for $34 and I think it is worth every penny. I mean just look at the packaging! There is an awesome eyeshadow quad, Ombre Éclat. It comes in a nice rose gold shaded compact with 4 shimmery shadows: white, rose gold, tan, and aqua. Once again, this is a very kind color combo for my complexion. I think natural redheads, dyed redheads could pull this one off too. It goes for $58. I think it is worth it. The formula is so smooth. The Le 2 Guerlain Waterproof Mascara is out at $35. It’s even available in a teal blue! I haven’t tried this. I’m trying to spend less on things like mascara. The single shadows, Ombre Éclat are available in special shades: Pearly White, a white gold shimmer, and Pearly Brown, a nice sandy brown shimmer. These go for $34.

LIPS: There is the Kiss Kiss Stick Gloss in 3 shades. This is a great formula that provides shiney, sheer color in a stick. There is Corail des Mers, a glossy coral, Grenades Des Iles, a brownish/coppery rose, and Rose Des Sables, a warm rose. These go for $30 and are in the pretty summer packaging.

FACE: It isn’t my little pearls of perfection, but it is so nice. I am in love with Illuminating Powder in Poudre des Sables. This is a pressed shimmer powder housed in a mother of pearl like packaging. The print resembles a shell and it is a mix of gold, rose, sable, tan. It is a flattering shade even for paler gals. It goes for $65. The Blush 4 Éclats Sculpting Blush has been relaunched. This is a great formula available in a variety of shades with a nice, soft fragrance. It goes for $48 and provides a nice glow. There is also an Illuminating Pressed Powder relaunch. These are like pressed, super shimmery Météorites. It is lovely with pearly shades of beige and pink. It reminds me of seashells and goes for $65. These are both great complexion enhancers.

Overall, as you can tell, I love this collection. I know I am biased because it really works for my complexion! Hey, we all get lucky sometime, right? This collection is available at most venues that carry Guerlain such as Nordstrom and other department stores in your area.

guerlainsummercollection

This fragrance was difficult for Guerlain. It didn’t attract the “typical” Guerlain customer, you know the person that swears by Jicky or Eau du Coq, and it didn’t attract the mainstream consumer (the person that purchases every new release at Macy’s) because it is just too “odd” for their tastes. I am in the middle ground consumer. I love all Guerlain fragrances. I wear Jicky, but I also wear fragrances like Benefit Maybe Baby.

This fragrance is like a “young old lady fragrance” if that makes any sense. (I hate describing fragrance by age groups, its just wrong just like putting age equivalents on standardized tests). It is a super powdery fragrance. It’s kind of sweet like a dusting powder but it is very powdery from orris root and something that resembles candied violets (my ultimate weakness). It has a sweet rose, like a rose lozenge or pastille. Sweet, but only foody if you are a floral food fan like myself. It’s musky and clean while being powdery and floral.Guerlain’s website states that “olfactory pyramid has been ‘deconstructed’ to reveal three faucets of INSOLENT femininity that suits everyone’s taste and mood…sparkling violets, glints of red berries, and rays of iris.” Well, maybe not suited for everyone’s taste and mood, but definitely my own. Some of my favorite memories included last summer, my 1st summer in the Northwest. I would pick berries with a Choward’s violet candy in my mouth and I wore a cheap no label Italian iris/orris root EDT in the late days of summer. It was nice, happy times. So Insolence has nailed what I’m looking for. It is much more feminine than me sweating and ignoring bloody berry scratches. This is so feminine, soft, powdery. It is an “olfactory spiral”, this is just a gimmick that means that top note, middle, and base are all together and it pretty much stays the same throughout the wear. This is somewhat true. It smells much like initial spritz even a few hours down the road. I mean it is a little different but the idea is still the same. It isn’t like violet, berries, and musk. It is more all of these things in a blender once the alcoholic top note dries down. It is a sweet fragrance with candied violet, rose, vanilla, sandalwood but note overly sweet like cotton candy fragrances. It does appear fruity, but for some reason this just doesn’t linger with me (slightly like a red currant).  It is just sweet but not too sweet to wear for summer. I find that I wear this throughout the year.

I like Insolence much better than L’Instant which I find too vanilla-y and overwhelming. It is “young”, I guess but I found that many people under 30 are completely turned off by this fragrance that many ladies over 30 find this too “young”. I was working the launch of this fragrance and you wouldn’t believe how many people were offended by this one. I just didn’t get it but I am sure many of them would find Shalimar offensive and SJP Lovely not. I don’t find this one offensive at all, if anything it is too tame and pretty. Also, the use of Hilary Swank as the “face” of the fragrance was a bad idea. You don’t realize that the public is so sensitive to that kind of stuff until you see it in action. Many people do not find her glamorous (or attractive really!); people really do use her name and “horse face” together alot. Anyways…

It wears for many hours, extremely well for an EDT. I smell it on my jackets and scarves days after wear. My husband loves this one. It just smells “girly” so I am sure it will attract the opposite sex. My husband always says that he hates vanilla in fragrance because it smells “cheap” but he seems to like it in this. It adds a sweetness and softness to the floral notes. It also helps the violet stick around (I still haven’t found a violet fragrance that loves to be with me!)

The bottle is OK. It’s a bit chunky and the plastic top is a bit oversized. The 1 ounce bottle goes for $55. It is getting harder and harder to find! Please don’t tell me that it is being discontinued like I predicted it would be since it’s launch. I still have a 3.4 ounce bottle left and maybe I need to get my hands on another.