Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH d’Anjou is a great “work” or “my first fragrance” type of perfume. I typically prefer something heavier (thank goodness I don’t work in a fragrance free zone) but I can appreciate the softness and wearability of this fragrance. For a fruity-floral, this is one of my favorites. For a pear, d’Anjou is one of my least favorites… This is one that is fresh, fruity, slightly floral. It is flirty without being hissy or overwhelming. It is light and breezy. The perfume house describes it as “sheer as a veil, ethereal as a cloud, d´Anjou is Spring…the delicate scent of green pears, leaves, and early flowers.” This is a lovely description that really fits this “simple” fragrance.

At first it is very “pear”. It isn’t cheap or coy like Victoria’s Secret Secret Garden Pear Glace type of pear. Like I said, this one is flirty but not skanky. It’s a nice smile, not too “touchy”. This is a scent that takes you to lush green grove on a soft blanket on a picnic. You bite into the best tasting pear of the season. The weather is perfect, still warm enough for bare arms and sandals. You are enjoying the simple things: orchard fresh fruit, warm sunny afternoon, great company, and lots of laughs. You then lounge in the sun, absorbing it’s warmth. It warms your favorite white cotton tee and perfect jeans. Your toes feel the breeze. It’s a good day. It’s simple, casual, nothing over the top but it is so special. So back to the top note…it is juicy and you can almost smell that pear texture. You can feel the stickiness of the juice. It’s a beautiful, simple, pure pear. It is then accompanied by soft, delicate petals. It is so soft and not overwhelming and too floral. I pick up on the lily of the valley. Like I said, this is light. I wouldn’t say that this is a lily of the valley heavy scent. It really just smells so sweet and dainty. The floral notes complete the “entire pear” experience from juice to skin.  It seriously smells like ripe pear juice on clean, fresh, warm skin. That would be my summary.

I really do like this scent because it really does describe the beauty of a pear. It is a fresh, light scent. I also find it innocent enough to be a “first” fragrance. It sure beats many of the awful celebrity scents out there. I know that this scent is supposed to remind one of the freshness and beauty of spring. This scent really is seasonless and quite effortless to wear. However for me, I see it as more of a late summer/early fall scent since this is when pears become to ripen here.

This fragrance is a soft, close the skin type of fragrance that wears for about 5-6 hours. I must emphasize very closely to the skin. This is a soft fragrance from start to finish. I would say that you would like this if you are a fan of light, fresh scents, Kiehl’s Essential Oil Rollerball in Pear, Yosh U4eahh!, Rosie Jane Leila Lou, Annick Goutal Petite Cherie, and/or Tocca Florence. This is also a great scent for the person who doesn’t think that they like fruity fragrances. This is one sophisticated fruity fragrance. Notes include: green pear, petitgrain, Bulgarian rose, cyclamen, lily of the valley, and musk. An one ounce EDP spray goes for $60. This size and other sizes are available on the company’s website.

We all know that sun damage is no good. I’m not going there. If you are even reading this blog, you know that. When I lived in Tennessee and had a 4 hour commute to work daily, I was a huge fan of body lotions and hand creams that contained a SPF. I was getting tons of sun exposure just from driving, not to mention my other daily activities. I still experienced a change of color but never burned. I really hope that using a product with a SPF helped with any future damage as well. Now that I live in Washington, I only see the sun for 3 months out of the year. I no longer have a long commute. I only use these products during the summer here. The rest of the year I have a vitamin D deficiency. Docs here advise not to wear sunscreen during these “rainy” months. In the summer I’ll get my 15 minutes of sun exposure and use these moisturizers. I usually go for the cheaper ones with a SPF of 15 or lower. They do their jobs.

Bargain Body Lotions (under $20): If you want SPF, shimmer, and gradual self-tanner, try Avon Skin So Soft Satin Glow Ultimate Body Moisturizing Lotion SPF 15. It is a “do it all” product that retails for $12. Victoria’s Secret Bare Bronze Sheer Tinted Body Lotion with SPF 15 (not pictured) has a sexy bronze shimmer and warm, nutty scent. It goes for $18. Vaseline Aloe Fresh Protecting Body Lotion with SPF 15 retails for $8. It is light-weight and a bargain. I am a fan of Palmer’s products. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Body Lotion with SPF 15 has a rich cocoa scent and rich moisturizers. It retails for $8. I mainly use Eucerin Everyday Protection Body Lotion with SPF 15. It is light-weight and fragrance free. It goes for $10. I also like Nivea Body Natural Tone Body Lotion with SPF 4 (there is also a hand cream in this line). The fragrance does not interrupt with my fragrances. It goes for $7. Aubrey Organics Unscented Body Lotion with SPF 15 is nice. There is no odor but it does need to be rubbed in a little bit more. It retails for about $13. Alba Botanica Very Emollient Daily Shade Body Lotion with SPF 16 is rich and makes the skin look younger with alpha hydroxy acids. It’s a pretty awesome product and retails for $16.

More Expensive Body Lotions: Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Light-Weight SPF 30 body lotion is very nice for summer. It is light-weight and has a higher sun protection which means that you can stay out in that summer sun longer. It retails for $26.50. Juice Beauty Green Apple SPF 20 Body Moisturizer contains fruit acids to help skin look younger while protecting skin. It retails for $29. MD Skincare Firming Body Lotion with Vitamin C and SPF 8 (not pictured) is a nice fix and protect product that goes for $42. Glytone Body Lotion with SPF 15 exfoliates skin and moisturizes it with shea butter and glycolic acid. (Probably needs a SPF so you don’t get burned). It retails for $44, but it does come in a big bottle. Clarins Bright Plus Breezy Cool Body Lotion with SPF 30 helps skin feel cool/fresh, helps with discolorations and protects. The texture and feel is very nice for summer. It retails for $40. Duwop Revolution Body Moisturizer contains tint, shimmer, and a SPF of 15. This product looks great on legs. It retails for $25 and comes in a few shades.

Hand Cream: Borghese Radiant Lightening Hand Cream contains SPF 30. This product moisturizes, help fight discolorations, and help prevent any further damage. It goes for $15. Shiseido Benefiance Protective Hand Revitalizer with SPF is a rich cream perfect for daily use. It isn’t greasy and it retails for $37. Clarins Age Control Hand Lotion with SPF 15 is very moisturizing. It does have a strong scent and retails for $30. I really like Kiehl’s Unusually Rich But Not Greasy At All Hand Lotion with SPF 10. It is what the name implies and goes for $15.50. Studio Gear Handiwork Protective & Brightening Cream with SPF 25 retails for $22.50. It’s a rich cream that helps lighten discolorations on the hands. There is Erno Lazlo Intensive Hand Cream with SPF 25. I’ve used this one and it goes for $55. It’s lightweight, so I had to apply frequently. Natura Bliss Hand Silk Cream with SPF 15. This product claims to be waterproof which is really nice since we wash our hands throughout the day. It retails for $32. Lippman Collection Rich Girl Hand & Cuticle Cream with SPF 25 hydrates, protects, and brightens without bleaching. It goes for $24.

Just because a product has a higher number doesn’t mean it is better or more efficient. I really don’t think those high number products are necessary for daily wear or at least for my lifestyle. I only get about 30-60 minutes (that’s being very liberal) of direct sun exposure daily 3 months of the year. I burn at over 30 minutes of sun exposure with no SPF. If I am going to be out for a few hours I will use a longer wearing sunscreen product. With the hand creams, I apply those throughout the day due to frequent hand washing.

Oh, geez. Our brains are going to fry here in the Northwest today. We are experiencing temps in the three digits. I have no air conditioning and I have to be out of the rental home this Friday, so I’m moving all my stuff. Ughh, SPF is the least of my worries right now!

spflotions

cucumbercollage

Cucumber is a great scent for summer. It is light, fresh, slightly green and fruity with a watery and faint melon like odor. I crave cucumbers in the summer. Everything from little tea sandwiches of cucumber, dill, and cream cheese to my water pitchers of cucumber, lemon, and mint. Cucumbers are refreshing. I’ve put together a “collage” of cucumber scents that I think would be perfect for summer. And as always if you have any more to add, please do.

Budget Scents: This isn’t a “true” cucumber since it is a fresh, fruity floral but it dose have a healthy dose of cucumber: Carol’s Daughter Ocean. It retails for $27 and is nice for summer. This is light-wearing but awesome for summer: Tocca Aqua Amalfi Body Mist. It reminds me of a my favorite summer beverage which is water with cucumber, lemon, and mint. It retails for $30. Now, this product is very light wearing too but it is nice for a mid-day pick-up: Dove Go Fresh Body Mist in Cucumber & Green Tea. It retails for $4.50. It’s a “fresh” scent. I love the “pureness” of Kiehl’s Rollerball Essence Oil. It retails for $25 and has a great lasting power. I really do love everything about it. You can layer it with whatever you want. I think it would wear nicely with white florals or lemon/citrus oils. Demeter Cucumber is a garden fresh cucumber scent that goes for $20. It smells great but also has a light staying power. There is an entire genre of “Cucumber Melon” products from brands like Bath and Body Works, Avon, Body Fantasies. These are usually body sprays that are more on the melon side than cucumber.

More Expensive Scents: You get a lot of cologne splash for $68 with Marc Jacob Cucumber. This is a crisp and refreshing blend. This is a flirty floral cucumber scent: Yosh U4EAHHH!. It retails for $130 and I love its staying power and freshness. It is so pretty. Tocca Cleopatra is more of a citrus scent(grapefruit) but it has cucumber and it makes it refreshing. The EDP spray retails for $68. It’s a nice “heavier” summer kind of cucumber. Like the evening wear of cucumber. Jalaine Cucumber is a long-wearing fragrance that comes in a beautiful bottle. It is a blend of cucumber and Egyptian musk. It’s simple but heavenly and goes for $150. Fresh Index line has Cucumber Bale. It is a perfect summer scent with lots of cucumber, fruit, and blackberry musk. It goes for $75 (not pictured). But, I am not wild about its staying power.

Other “Cool” Products: Yes To Cucumbers Completely Cooling Body Butter is really awesome for summer. It’s moisturizing, cooling, and refreshing. Keep it in the fridge, its’ great for overheated skin. Kiehl’s Deluxe Body Lotion in Cucumber has such a fresh scent and a lightweight moisturizer. Origins Eye Doctor Moisture Care For Skin Around Eyes is cooling, lightly moisturizing, and has a fresh cucumber scent. It is great “beginner” eye cream. Estee Lauder Sparkling Clean Purifying Mud Foam Cleanser has a nice citrus and cucumber aroma. It’s a cleanser for oily skins. I also like Mario Dadescu Cucumber Cleansing Lotion. Once again this is a product recommended for oily skin. Many cucumber scented items are recommended for oily skin. I have normal to dry skin but sometimes in the summer I will reach for the normal to oily products because I get a bit greasy, especially when I lived in the humid Southeast. So it’s a nice match between product and scent.

And since I usually wear cucumber scents during the summer, I keep them stashed in the fridge, especially the all-over splashes and sprays. It is so refreshing and great for when you can’t take the heat.

Could any fragrance describe the Pacific Northwest better than Kiehl’s Forest Rain? I mean just the name is so Northwestern, crisp evergreen forests and lots and lots of rain. Forest Rain is a unisex fragrance and it is EDT spray that retails for $38.50 for 1.5 ounces. The bottle is simple, sturdy evergreen/Douglas Fir colored glass. It is simple with an apothecary styled label.

I love this fragrance. Keep in mind that I am the kind of gal that loves “masculine” scents and loves patchouli and “foresty” scents. This is a great scent because it is very woodsy yet fresh and floral. It reminds me of a walk through a damp, spring forest. It is woodsy and spicy in an evergreen/cedarwood and sandalwood way. It has dirty hints of patchouli. It is made fresh by vetiver, oakmoss, and citrus rind. This gives it a certain “zest” and keeps it from being too headshop. The most original aspect of the fragrance is its aquatic and wild floral hints of muguet. So many wild lilies grow in the forests in Washington. I was so shocked in mid-spring. This has been my first PNW spring. After months of being locked inside to keep out of the rain, I went out. It was still chilly and damp in the forests. Oakmoss was made “fresh” by the rain, but there was a different odor. It was all of these wild lilies popping up everywhere. They have that certain wild muguet/ lily of the valley odor. It is sweet, floral but really muddy and dirty smelling because they are so close to the forest floor, near oak moss and decaying fir needles. This scent completely describes the forest floor in spring. It is warm and woody and cool and floral. I was shocked when I smelled this fragrance after a romp through the woods. They are similar. Kiehl’s formula contains 122 fragrant oils. Damn, the forest is complex. Forest Rain is made pretty and complex by a nice touch of musk. The musk keeps the fragrance grounded to the skin. For an EDT, this scent is very long wearing. I would give it an 8 hour time span. I have to say, even though I am a fragrance flirt, I keep coming back to this one. It is perfect for rainy days and it is a great fragrance for transitioning seasons. This is a scent that I will definitely keep around. It is complex, natural, and moody. I wish the company would make it in a travel rollerball as well.

Does anybody know what these are? They are everywhere and have such a lovely scent?

Does anybody know what these are? They are everywhere and have such a lovely scent?

I like fragrance oils and I love rollerball fragrances. They are great to travel with and usually because the fragrance is an oil, the lasting power is nice. I also have no issues with single note fragrances. It isn’t quite an “art” but I still like quality ingredients. Sometimes you don’t want a nicely crafted marinara, you just want a vine-ripened tomato. Kiehl’s has introduced four .23 ounce unisex fragrance oils for $25. There is the original Musk which I love. I rarely wear this fragrance so this size would be perfect for me. This musk isn’t your “white musk” or “Egyptian musk”. It is a bit more heavy and “offensive”. So of course I love it! There is Grapefruit, a nice clean citrus. My skin eats this in no time. This mixes very well with other single note fragrances. There is Vanilla which is very rich and sweet. This isn’t my favorite scent but sometimes in the winter I like to smell of vanilla. It mixes well with other notes too such as bergamot or lavender. Then there is Coriander. I really like this one. It is a bit ctirusy but my skin doesn’t devour it. It wears nice with green tea fragrances, citrus scents, and “wood” scents. It’s a nice refreshing fragrance. I really wish they’d offer a travel size roll-on of Forest Rain.