This is my granny’s cooking of fragrance. It is the most “comfort” fragrance that I own. It is warm, soothing, and just as cuddly as a my favorite soft cardigan. Bvlgari Omnia is a fragrance that I will always have around, just like my grandmother’s recipes. It isn’t my everyday fragrance just like honey cakes and mashed potatoes aren’t my everyday meals. I always will have this around. This is my soothing fragrance and I have been wearing it a year after its launch in 2003.

The thing that I have learned about the original Omnia is that you will love it or not. And you can “smell” it or not. Evidently on some people it fades very quickly or their sniffers are “immune” to it. Others can smell them hours later but they can’t smell themselves, so they don’t bother wearing it because perfume should make you happy first. I on the other hand, smell it. Currently, I have been wearing it for 3 hours and it smells just as strong as when I spritz it on. I also smell it on my cardigans, scarves, clothes after I wear it and when they have been sitting in the hamper for a few days. But, that being said. I know that it isn’t a “strong” fragrance to begin with. It wears pretty close in the beginning and it continues to wear closely. It is a cuddle fragrance, it’s intimate.

Omnia is simple, really. It is described as a “modern oriental”, that it is. It is a warm blend with a slightly citrus top note. But what sticks with me is the masala tea. So imagine a sweet, slightly spicy blend of masala spices (think cardamom and saffron) with hints of milky sweetness like a condensed milk. It is more of a Kashmiri Chai seasoning (with notes of almond, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, cloves) but instead of green tea, an Assam rich, black tea leaves. So in essence, it reminds me of a very Northwestern version of Chai, something that Tazo or Oregon Chai would do. Because it is Kashmiri with dark tea but sweet with a hint of white chocolate and vanilla flavored steamed milk. Now you can see why it is so comforting! It sounds very sweet and spicy, but is “sheer” and just slightly gourmand. It is more like smelling the steam from a hot cup of chai served from your favorite coffee house. (Less spicy, than those served at Indian and Pakistani restaurants).

I like the bottle, many people do not. It is plastic (cheap, I know) with warm tea colored plastic and chrome-ish accents. But, it does represent the infinity symbol and I like nerdy stuff like that. Even the name is soothing, it sounds relaxing/meditative and “omniah” is an Arabic word for “wish”.

The 1.33 ounce retails for $68 and the 2.2 ounce for $88. It is an ea de parfum and should last a long time. But, this is one that you should definitely try before forking over the dough. You may be one of the people that skin eats it. I recommend this one for those that don’t like floral fragrances, like light fragrances (Omnia is like a strange warm version of D & G Light Blue), fans of chai tea, like tea based scents and fans of comforting scents. It isn’t too foody or gourmand or sweet. It is one of my favorites. I wear it all year. It is available at fragrancenet.com.


Omnia Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 2.2 Oz by Bvlgari

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

Just in time with America’s newest obsession with India, thanks Slumdog Millionaire, there is Givenchy’s Maharani Spring 2009 collection. It is inspired by the “sensual and refined beauty of Indian women”. Wow, that isn’t generalizing. Don’t get me wrong. I believe that Indian women deserved to be in the spotlight, Indians do in general. Especially Indian Americans who make up a large population in the U.S. and who are rarely seen in the media. India is a very “exotic” place to most Americans. They mainly think of spicy food and hot Bollywood babes. But, generalizing groups is always a very dangerous practice. Creating looks on a “culture’s ornate clothing and makeup” is a bit generalizing. But, at least it is a bit positive. I mean what country doesn’t want to be known for its beautiful women? I’m sure most want to be known for their great values and minds, but hey this is a makeup/fashion company we are talking about here! We’re selling an image only. Lancome did the India thing this past fall. I liked Lancome’s ad because it had a lovely lady of color. Plus the bronzes and oranges together were lovely. I guess some almost positive press is better than none.

FACE: There are two Sari Glow Iridescent Blushes. There is Maharani Orange which is a golden peach glow and Maharani Pink which is a pink glow. Both retail for $42. There are two Prismissime Eye and Face Compacts. There is one in Maharani Apricots. It is filled with nine bronzy browns, warm tans, and perfect peaches. There is Maharani Pinks filled with nine summer tans, pinks, and taupes. Both retail for $53. I do like both of these because they are multi-functional and the possibilities are endless.

EYES: There is a Magic Kahal Eye Pencil in Black. This is a super dark and thick black pencil. It retails for $21.50. There are two Precious Sari Glittering Eyeshadow. These are gel/cream shadows that pair nicely with bold lips. There is Maharani Silver and Maharani Gold. These retail for $26.

LIPS: There are two Rouge Interdit Satin Lipsticks. There is Maharani Rose which is a deep but bright pink and Maharani Henna which is a deep brick red. These go for $27 and have lovely packaging.

Overall the collection is a “hot” and “spicy” with magentas and corals. It is pretty enough. I like light, sheer metallic eyes with bold lips. That is a look I usually go for in the summer. However, I think the looks could of had a better ad campaign. There is something for both warm and cool skins. Everything is housed in ultra luxury Givenchy packaging. It’s pretty but expensive. And it kills me that the company is idolizing Indian women and I am sure that they don’t even offer a foundation, concealer, or powder in a shade that will suit most Indian ladies.

I like the Chandrika soap but it is no Mysore Sandal soap. Of course, nothing is Mysore Sandal soap. It is in a league of its own. Chandrika soap is a little bright green bar. The color is really kelly green and the dye kind of stained my tub where I had it sitting. It did scrub off however with some elbow grease. The fragrance is really nice but doesn’t linger 0n the skin as long as Mysore’s. (Mysore’s is really strong and actually adds fragrance to my entire house.) The fragrance of Chandrika’s is a spicy blend of sandalwood, patchouli, and green “fresh” herbs. It is a really nice scent that wears nicely with many fragrance oils. It is unisex and cleanses very well. It retails for $1.69 and can actually be found at Indian markets or drugstore.com.

I am obsessed with this stuff! It is a steal and it is amazing. Dabur’s Jasmine Hair Oil retails for about $4.95 for 200ml of fragrant jasmine oil. This stuff makes me smile like the babe on the packaging.

The oil is jammed packed with jasmine flower essence. It is like buying a pure single note perfume oil. It is very “tangy” and powerful like a good jasmine. This oil is meant to be used on the hair. You apply it and leave it on for 45 minutes to an hour and rinse out with shampoo. I have done this. Your hair will smell amazing. Forget all of that expensive crap (I’m talking about you Blandi) that smells like jasmine, honeysuckle or whatever. This is the real deal. It leaves my hair so smooth and soft. I have long hair and it needs that extra care. However, what I normally do with this stuff is use it as a body oil after the shower. It leaves my entire body fragrant and well moisturized. I used to use Africa’s Hot Six Oil (don’t say it wrong, it sounds really bad..) but I love the fragrance of this Dabur so much. It leaves my body delicately scented with jasmine, one of my all time favorite scents. A little of this product goes a long way and the price can’t be beat. It can be purchased at most International Markets or Indian spice shops or on smallflower.com.

Jasmine worn in the hair.