applecollage

Here in Washington we know apples. We know which orchard has the best “genetics” and sometimes I wonder if you can find these varieties elsewhere. Probably not. I’ve seen stuff here that I would of never of seen in Tennessee. Apples have a wonderful crisp aroma. If you know your apples then you know that each variety smells very different. You also know that the “apple” used by the fragrance industry is very fake and could never do the real deal any justice. I wish that they would better describe “apple” as well. A Granny Smith smells (and tastes) very different than a Honeycrisp. Any apple just won’t cut it. Each variety is special. Some are used for fermenting, some for cinnamony treats, some for caramel. And don’t forget the symbolism of apples. It’s often seen as a forbidden fruit because of Eve; it’s a symbol of temptation. On the other hand…paired with honey, it symbolizes a sweet New Year during Rosh Hashanah. I’ve compiled a “collage” of fragrances containing apple. Many of these listed are fruity-florals, a bit young, fresh, flirty. I still haven’t found my favorite apple scent. I want something appropriate for fall. I want something mixed with moss, leaves, late figs, dried dates and honey…something that smells like Rosh Hashanah.

Budget Apple Scents: Avon Wish of Luck is a lighter green apple and floral blend that reminds me of DKNY Be Delicious but cheaper. The 1.7 fl.oz. EDT retails for $16.50. A fruity floral that is nice for summer is Voluspa Victoria Collection Green Datura Roll-On that retails for $24. It is a blend of tart fruits, including apple, and freesia. TokyoMilk Parfum has I Want Candy which is a sweet blend of peach, apple, violet, and rose. It’s sweet and flirty but romantic because of the rose.  It retails for $28. L’Aromarine has a “true” apple, Pomme, perfume extract oil that retails for $9.50. It is a sour apple bomb and I have a review here. Aeropostale Promise Me is a flirty scent with apple, white tea, and gardenia. The 1.7 fl.oz. goes for $19.50. Body Fantasies has a body spray (don’t expect long wear) in Apple Fantasy. This is a fruity musky apple based scent that retails for $6.99 and makes a nice linen spray. Victoria’s Secret Garden has Secret Charm which is a honeysuckle and apple fragrance. The EDT retails for $9.50. (It does remind me of a Glade scent). Demeter has a few “apple” scents and the 1 ounce spray goes for $20. There is the sweet Apple Pie, Jolly Rancher New Green Apple, Sour Apple Lollipop, and the more “authentic” Golden Delicious. Golden Delicious is one of my favorites from this list because it is more “true”.

More Expensive Apple Scents: It’s in the apple shaped bottle so it has to be apple, right?: DKNY Be Delicious is green apple and floral blend. The largest bottle retails for $70. It’s a super popular fragrance and I’m sure it has won everybody over with its crisp blend of apple, citrus, and soft woods: Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue. The largest bottle retails for $82. It’s one of those super popular scents that even I can appreciate and I’ve smelled so much. Nina Ricci Nina is a sweet, gourmand apple blend with vanilla, citrus, and woods. The largest bottle goes for $72. It has a tempting apple bottle that sued the Twilight fragrance out of exsistence! This is more of a rose scent but it is made flirty and fresh with hints of citrus and lots of apple: Parfums de Rosine Une Zest de Rose EDP, retails for $125. If you want a spicy, apple cider type scent, try Brandy EDT. This retails for $48. Brandy is a great fall scent. I’m guitly of overlooking it.


Be Delicious Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 3.4 Oz by Donna Karan

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

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strawberrycollage

I love strawberries but unfortunately I can’t eat them. I have an icky allergic reaction to them. I enjoy their scent when I can and will stand over and breathe them in at the market. Unfortunately fragrance technology hasn’t exactly mastered the scent of most fruits. Strawberry is one of those. It seems to smell synthetic (it is) and it smells a bit like a Jolly Rancher would taste (this makes sense because fragrance accord companies are also in the taste accord business). Since, I can’t eat them, I’ll settle for fake strawberry scents. Many on the market are much too sweet or “young” for me, but I’ve included many of the products that I know of that are “heavy” on strawberry accord (good or not in my opinion).

Budget Scents (Under $50): The Body Shop has a “pure” strawberry fragrance that is pretty long wearing and super “fruity”, Strawberry Perfume Oil for $16. It’s sweet but not terrible. Another long wearing juicy, juvenile fruity, strawberry scent is L’Aromarine Fraise Perfume Extract, retails for $9.50. Victoria’s Secret has Strawberries & Champagne EDT for $9.50. This is just like the name implies: strawberry fruit submerged in cheap sparkling wine with a bit of cassis. Strangely I like it. Please don’t judge me 🙂 Carol’s Daughter Ecstasy is a sweet tropical treat with strawberries, fruit, vanilla, and Egyptian musk (one of my weaknesses). It goes for $27 and I like this blend. Think of a more incense like strawberry fragrance. Demeter has Strawberry Ice Cream for $20. Demeter’s is too sweet for me but some people are wild about it and that is why I mention it. CB I Hate Perfume has  a Strawberry Accord oil that goes for $25. It’s “fresh” strawberry as far as strawberry scents go. I just wish it was longer wearing.

More Expensive Scents: Estee Lauder Pleasures Delight is much too sweet for my tastes, but many people like gourmand “confection” scents. This is a blend of fruits like strawberry, sweets like caramel, florals, and woods. The 3.4 ounce EDP retails for $72. I’m sure it is a limited edition, Escada Ocean Lounge EDT, but it is a super fruity floral that is really heavy on gummy-ish strawberry. The 3.3 ounce goes for $70. Escada’s aren’t my first choice when I’m shopping but I have to admit that they are fun. I love the bottle of Ed Hardy Woman (but not the scent). This is a fruity-floral heavy on strawberry accord. The largest size goes for $75. I am guilty of actually liking Dior Miss Dior Chérie EDP. It’s sweet with strawberry and caramel but it manages to be “green” with strawberry leaves and sexy with patchouli. The 3.4 ounce goes for $92. All I can remember of Ralph Lauren Ralph Wild EDT is that it smelled like strawberry Kool-Aid. The largest goes for $62.50. This is strange and one of those “isn’t it ironic that I exist niche scents, Hilde Soliani Fraaagola Saalaaata EDP. It is a blend of strawberry and saline and it retails for $175. Montale Mukhallat is a nutty, sweet, gourmand strawberry EDP that retails for $95. It’s a bit more sexy than the rest.

Lip & Body Products: Smith’s Rosebud Strawberry Lip Balm is a nice treat at $7. If you want a super sweet candy-like strawberry experience try Philosophy’s Strawberry Milkshake Shower Gel or Dylan’s Candy Bar Strawberry Licorice bath line. Avon has a tropical fruity strawberry body line: Natural Strawberry & Guava. It is a juicy, tropical line but I think it is a limited edition.

Others worth noting: Hanae Mori Butterfly, Marc Jacobs Daisy, Hollister Crystal Cove Body Mist, Etat Libre d’Orange Delicious Closet Queen EDP, Calypso St. Barth Lily EDP, Aquolina Pink Sugar EDT



Ralph Wild Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 Oz by Ralph Lauren

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

blackberrycollage

Well even here in the PNW, summer is almost over. This doesn’t mean that the weather will get horrible (autumn is my favorite season).  It just means that we have a few more weeks of sunshine 🙂 The brambles still have lots of ripe blackberries and will continue to for a few more weeks. I love blackberries. They are one of my favorite things of summer even if they signal the “end”. I love the smell of picking blackberries with the mix of leaves and dried out dead grass. I love the smell of sweet blackberries and their juiciness that stains your finger tips (why can’t I find a lipstain that color?). I love the smell of overripe blackberries. These do get almost musk like and floral. Since we have been renovating intensively, I haven’t had the time to bust out my favorite blackberry recipes. I was able to freeze a few reductions ranging from basic blackberry to blackberry, lemon, lavender which is amazing on angel food cake. We threw a few in salads and ate them by the handfuls. But, I didn’t make my sweets this year because life has been to hectic. Anyways, here is a guide of blackberry fragrances ranging in prices. Since blackberry is a musky fruity scent, it is often made more “sensual” by adding vanilla. I would love to find a blackberry scent that is more tangy and bitter and perhaps “living” but mixed with dried grass/hay, more of an “early” blackberry fragrance. My 2 favorites out of this list include: Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis because it is a bit “darker” than the others and L’Artisan Parfumeur Mûre et Musc Extreme because it is a fruity scent that isn’t childish or teen.

Budget Blackberry Scents: Yves Rocher Les Plaisirs Nature Mûre Sauvage/Blackberry is a single note blackberry fragrance. It is fruity and juicy. The largest EDT , 3.3 oz, goes for $11. It’s nice to have around for late summer. L’Aromarine Mûre Musc Perfume Extract is a long wearing oil. It seems much more expensive than it is. It goes for about $10. A sweet and “young” blend of blackberry and vanilla (and light wearing) is Victoria’s Secret Pink Fruity & Bright  All-Over Body Mist. It retails for $15. To my surprise, I kind of like Bath and Body Works Midnight Pomegrante EDT. It’ a fruity blend including blackberries and cassis but it has musk and patchouli making it much richer and not as fruity. It goes for $26.50. They also have Black Raspberry & Vanilla EDT for the same price. This is a super sweet in a vanilla way, “berry” EDT. Sula Blackberry Blush EDP (not pictured) is a blackberry and vanilla blend with much needed florals. It’s simple and retails for $32 for 1 oz.

More Expensive Blackberry Scents: Mistral Wild Blackberry EDP is a fruity blackberry dessert type fragrance. It has zesty citrus notes and musk. The 1.7 oz goes for $50. Trish McVoy #9 EDP is sexy and heavy blackberry inspired scent with notes of vanilla and musk too. The 1.7 EDP goes for about $80. L’Artisan Parfumeur Mûre et Musc Extrême is a rich fruity blend. It is much more “sensual” than the cologne and I would love to try the pure extract. It goes for $115 for 1.7 ounce. The Cologne is very green and fresh with blackberry and almost medicinal. I like it just as well. It has a time and a place. The smallest size is $95. Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis EDP is absolutely delicious. It is a late summer mix of blackberry and fig with smoky amber notes. It is heavenly. The 1.7 oz goes for $135. DKNY Delicious Night is a much more floral blackberry blend with freesia. The 1.7 oz goes for $55. Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau de Gantier EDT (not pictured) is a crisp citrus berry blend. Not sweet but refreshing but very light wearing. The 3.4 oz. goes for $110.

Other Great Blackberry Products: Lush Blackberry Bath Bomb is a fun product that is heavy on that blackberry musk scent. It goes for $6. Ulta 3-in-1 Shower Smoothie Blackberry Blast is one of those faux super fruity blackberry scents. It is a fun product that retails for about $15. Naturally Victoria’s Secret Blackberry & Tonka Bean Restorative Scrub is a faintly blackberry scented scrub. It does a good job and retails for $18. D.L. & Co. Cassis Diffuser is an amazing scent of blackberry and fig. I love this scent because it does such a good job of seasonal transitioning. It retails for $95.

I didn’t know that I loved the scent of grapefruit so much until I bought this product. I used to shy away from grapefruit in scents because it was A. too sweet and sugary or B. cat piss. I didn’t hate grapefruit, I just stayed away from it because cat piss is hard to pull off. L’Aromarine Pamplemousse is a “rugged” citrus blend. It is bitter, fresh, but is still sweet like a grapefruit. This oil is just enough of the peel and the fruit. It is a tad kitty pee-pee-ish but enough to make it interesting and not fake. Grapefruit kind of smells like that in “real” life. It doesn’t smell sugary unless you add the sugar. I would also say that this is a grapefruit, not a pink grapefruit or any of those other sweeter varieties. This is “rugged” citrus.

Since this is a fragrance oil, it is very long-wearing. This is a scent that I see myself wearing year round. It is crisp and tart for summer, clean and natural for fall, etc. I also would imagine that it would mix very well with bergamot oils, oakmoss oils, lemon oils, floral oils like honeysuckle or jasmine. This is a very versatile fragrance and by adding any of these, you’ve created something “new”. The scent is unisex; however, my husband finds it too “girly” for his taste. He doesn’t do citrus at all. I really like it and cant wait to play with it by mixing up something of my own in a vodka base. It retails for $9.50 and is available on beautyhabit.com.

L’Aromarine Opopanaux is a very rich scent in a very rich medium. It is a long wearing perfume oil. It can be diluted into alcohol for a lighter scent or mixed into other things such as epsom salt as a bath salt. It wears all day, but after the first few hours very closely to the skin. It is a rich, resin scent. It is both powdery in an amber way or myrrh and almost citrusy at times, like a mix of lemongrass and lavender. So what I guess I am trying to say that it is almost pine-y and coniferous while being boldly sweet and ambery. So, yep, a resin or a balsam: opopanox. This is a scent that I like but rarely wear except for in the winter months when I wear amber and frankincense based fragrances. You can pull off heavier scents then.

I would guess that you would like this fragrance if you like warm and rich amber, opopanox, myrrh, and frankinsense based fragrances, smoky incense scents, headshop fragrance oils, “oriental” scents,  Demeter Incense, Annik Goutal Encens Flampoyant EDP, Serge Lutens Chergui or Ambre Sultan (Serge loves to put opopanox in stuff), Regina Harris Amber Vanilla, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist (if you watered the L’Aromarine down), and/or Guerlain Shalimar. This scent is nice alone or mixed. You can mix it with vanilla oil for a sweeter take or with a rose oil for an elegant oriental perfume blend. I would say that it could very easily be unisex and very nice on a man if mixed with a woodsy oil like cedar or patchouli. It retails for under $10 and can be purchased on beautyhabit.com.

Once again I have fallen for L’Aromarine’s adorable vintage packaging. I bought it for its cute packaging and I was looking for something to replace Guerlain Vetiver. The Vetyver fragrance is simple, an unisex single note fragrance, and is perfect for warmer weather. Vetiver is a grass that is used in so many perfumes and even household items from mats to hampers (which I really, really want). The fragrance is clean, refreshing, and well, “green”. You know vetiver when you smell it. It is grassy with a hint of citrus. It is like lemongrass but much more green and less foody. The L’Aromarine EDT is cute. It is cheap, under $20 (there are different sizes), long wearing, and simple.  It smells “refreshing”. L’aromarine’s is light but still manages to wear the entire day. The dry down, many, many hours later reminds me of the woodiness of patchouli. It isn’t fancy but I do like it just as much as Guerlain’s. I find this scent easy to wear for both sexes. It doesn’t smell masculine or feminine. It just smells clean and fresh.

But, I can promise you an amazing rose fragrance oil that is really inexpensive. L’Aromarine Rose fragrance oil perfume extract is a big red rosebud. It is classic rose. It is strong and fresh and not a bit “dried”. The oil is rosy, old fashioned which isn’t a bad thing, and very ladylike. It is French and has a vintage bottle, you’ll want to slap on some red lipstick with this one. It is simple and sooo long lasting just like all the other L’Aromarine oils. A little dab on the skin seriously lasts 12+ hours. The dry down, like after 8-10 hours is a bit powdery and way more “dry”, like dried rose buds. It has an elegance to it that can’t be beat. It smells amazing mixed with Patchouli and Amber. If you find the scent too strong you can dilute it with vodka and make a splash. The fragrance smells wonderful and I can’t wait to make some killer rosy bath salts with it. Once again, I have found another L’Aromarine winner. The price is awesome and you can find it for under $10. I purchased mine from beautyhabit.com and I will be purchasing this one again. If you don’t have classic rose in your fragrance library then you should definitely add this one.

My trip to the Portland Rose Garden.

My trip to the Portland Rose Garden.