Fragrance & Food:

Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange wasn’t what I expected it to be at all. I wanted rugged citrus rind/zest mixed with the sweet juices of a blood orange. I wanted something to pick me up in the dead of winter and to be refreshing in the middle of summer. Nope. Instead with this one, I got too much of  juicy berries. It isn’t a bad fragrance, it just wasn’t what I expected.

First things first, I’m not a huge fan of strawberry scents. I find them too synthetic and too young. I don’t mind sniffing strawberry scents on others but I can’t stand to smell it on myself. Tuscan Blood Orange is all about strawberries at the initial spritz, the name should not of been Tuscan Blood Orange. It should be something about strawberries. Strawberry fragrance lovers should know about this fragrance. It should be in the title. Instead Pacifica is giving berry lovers and detour and attracting citrus lovers whom most likely will be disappointed with this fragrance. At first spritz it is very strawberry-ish. Think of a limited edition Escada scent. It is that berry. In a short time, you get the zest of tangerines and oranges. This drowns the strawberry; however, since my sniffer is sensitive to strawberry, I still pick it up. The zesty orange peel hangs around. It starts to mellow out with another berry, raspberry. This takes a bit of the “edge” off of the citrus while keeping it bitter. Eventually the fuse together and create something that would make a delicious tropical cocktail. The berry begins to fade and you get a juicy citrus. This is beautiful, fruity, and refreshing. At this stage, I get blood orange juice and pineapple juice, making this one tropical frou-frou fragrance. Oh, but then there is the strawberry zombie! After I start enjoying the fragrance it then morphs back into the strawberry citrus blend that was the top. But, this time the citrus is less apparent.

The fragrance isn’t bad. It just isn’t me and it isn’t something that I see myself wearing frequently. I can name 10 other citrus scents on the market that I love more. This is a very fruity fragrance. I would of really liked this one if it had a floral to balance the berry or if the berries were left out altogether. I really love the heart of the fragrance but I can’t forgive the berries. It doesn’t help that they keep coming back from the dead. This is a “young” fragrance to me. That being said, it is a fun fragrance. I don’t hate it. Sometimes I do want a tropical cocktail-ish fragrance. The price is right with this one and it does wear longer than a Demeter PMU Cologne spray. I do think of it as more of a summer fragrance but I do fear that the berries will make it to icky and sticky for hot summer days.

The fragrance isn’t very long wearing. But, I think wears nicely for the price. It wears much longer than a body spray and cologne. I smell traces of it about 3 hours after spraying. It wears about the same as more expensive EDTs at department stores. The bottle is small and you could “refresh” throughout the day. Plus, it has natural ingredients.

Notes listed include: strawberry, raspberry, mandarin, and Italian sweet orange.

Give this a try if you like very fruity fragrances, tropical drink like fragrances, LE Escada fragrances, Urban Rituelle Sweet Treats Pomegranete EDP, Comptoir Sud Pacifique Mora Bella EDP, Fresh Strawberry Flowers EDP, Marc Jacobs Daisy In The Air EDT, Ralph Lauren Ralph Wild EDT, and/or Demeter PMU Cologne Sex on the Beach.

The 1.2 oz spray retails for $22. It is available at Sephora and Pacifica’s website.

Also, since this is a delicious fragrance and it makes me think of food, here is a Strawberry Compote with Blood Orange Juice. I would add raspberries to give it the full Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange touch.

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The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy EDP is a floral oriental blend that tries very hard to be seductive. I think of it as a floral oriental for those that did not live through the 80’s to experience the heavy floral oriental genre. It is more of a “now” floriental. It’s a bit more fresh and floraly.

At first spritz, I kind of like this fragrance. I pick up a spicy mandarin. It’s refreshing and zesty. This energizing top note quickly fades. I do not smell the citrus after 5 minutes of wear. I then get something that I am not wild about. It is a powdery floral blend that is sweet and has a generic “vanilla musk” vibe. I take it that the powderiness comes from the “mimosa” listed but it doesn’t smell like the mimosa I love found in Guerlain Champs-Elysées or L’Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa Pour Moi EDT. It isn’t a light and fluffy mimosa. It’s a strong floral with a forced powderiness. The powder does go away or perhaps I can ignore it more. It then has a coolness and it almost reminds me of a rosey magnolia. I guess this is the camellia note. I haven’t had the chance to experience a “real” fragrant camellia. All of the ones that I have encountered were more about color and hardiness than aroma. Hydrangea is also listed as a fragrant note. My hydrangeas smell awful! Anyways, back to this fragrance. This strong, cool floral stage lasts and lasts. Imagine the green notes from a rose intensified. There is a faint vanilla like sweetness but still very floral. It is definitely more like a vanilla orchid than a vanilla bean. I do pick up lots of rose. It reminds me of a fragrance interpretation of somewhere floral and Southern, like the Garden District in New Orleans. The dry-down , is slightly woodsy. It manages to be a “clean” woodsy dry down. It is soft. If you like white musk then you should like this base. It’s woodsy but is is still very floral to its core. I know that this fragrance claims to be “sexy” but I’m just not getting it. I see it more of a nice, prim, and proper floral blend. I guess if your usual stand-by is something fruity like Ralph Lauren Ralph EDT or DKNY Be Delicious EDP, than this could be interpreted as a “sexy” and “seductive” fragrance.

Notes listed include: capucine, pepper, cactus flower, clementine, camellia, hydrangea, mimosa, vanilla orchid, musk, soft woods, blackberry, and white amber.

This isn’t a bad fragrance, it just isn’t something that I would see myself wearing very frequently. A teeny tiny bottle is more than enough for me. I love florals but I find that I am more of a fan of white floral blends. This is more of a cool and watery floral with a sweet dry-down. I’m just not a fan of humid florals. They don’t wear nicely on me but I can appreciate them from a distance. I would say to give this one a try if you like Bath and Body Works Enchanted Orchid EDT, Love & Toast Pomme Poivre EDP, Harajuku Lovers Love EDT, Estee Lauder Dazzling Silver EDP, Antica Farmacista Magnolia, Orchid, and Mimosa EDP, Tokyomilk Parfum Gin & Rosewater EDP, and/or Voluspa Victoria Collection Vanity EDP.

Three sizes are available and the largest, 3.4 oz., retails for $59. It is available at Victoria’s Secret.


Very Sexy Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 3.4 Oz by Victoria’s Secret

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com


Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance:

Ughh, talk about a fragrance that I never want to sniff again…I’m so sick of the Clinique Happy fragrance line. I try not to be. I try to have an open mind. I really do. But, I’m so sick of it. This is one of those fragrances that my generation went nuts over. They then introduced it to their moms,who then went insane over it. Before long, everybody and their sister and mother were wearing this stuff. I would say that this is a fragrance that women love. I didn’t like it then, after revisiting it and trying to keep an open mind, I don’t love it now. But to no surprise, would a closet goth like something named Happy Heart? Um, no.

It’s a citrus-floral. It’s too hissy and aquatic for my liking. It has citrus but it is the kind of citrus that made me think that I hated citrus. I think I avoided citrus for many years because all I could think of was the Clinique Happy fragrance line. At first spray it is hissy in a wet hay way. I would think I would like something like that but this is much too aquatic and soggy. I get a bit overwhelmed by something grapefruity and soggy grasses. There are so many humid florals. I would that this is trying to be a sultry water garden. After about 3-5 minutes, the strange bitterness of citrus mixed with something grassy begins to fade into a full-blown aquatic floral explosion. The floral notes are pretty if you don’t think about them too long. Unfortunately, I think about them too long and they start to hurt my nostrils. It smells overwhelming. I get hot, humid flowers. I don’t know much about water hyacinth, a note listed in this fragrance, but I do know that it is a plant that is super invasive. This is what the floral notes of this fragrance remind me of: an exotic but invasive species. A few of these plants are beautiful but when they won’t go away and start stealing the oxygen of everything around it…not a nice thing. The aquatic florals in this blend take over. They start to devour me and start to feel heavy. I do get a bit of bitter citrus but I can’t get past the weight of the heavy, humid florals. It seriously chokes me. I smell so much plumeria and “lotus” like notes in this that it starts to make me feel light and airy and not in a so-happy-in love way, more of an open-a-window kind of way. Sometimes when I sniff it (the rare occasion where I can think of something other than piercing florals), I smell fruity and cucumber-ish melon note. This makes this blend a little more “flirty” and once again very aquatic with watery fruits. The fruity notes make it “young” and “innocent”. The dry down is a bit more citrusy with clean warmth from light woods. Think pretty, juicy citrus with warm dried out driftwoods.

Notes in this floral as listed by Clinique include: water hyacinth, mandarin, cucumber, yellow primrose, and blond woods.

I find this as a very intense and overwhelming “hissy” fragrance. I know I can’t pull it off and it just doesn’t fit my angsty personality. I know that I am a freak. I can’t watch Friends or eat at chain restaurants. However, I can see why people like this and I do see why they think it is “fresh”. It is so aquatic and humid that it like taking a shower. I can also see why someone would feel “pretty” wearing this. It is very feminine and floral with juicy and sunshine drenched fruits. It is all “girl”, no masculine notes in it. I would say to give this one a try if you like Gwen Stefani LAMB, Juicy Couture EDP, Victoria’s Secret Body EDP, Lilly Pulitzer Squeeze EDP, Dior Addict 2 EDP, Issey Miyake EDT, Tocca Cleopatra EDP, and/or Ralph Lauren Ralph EDT. The 1.7 oz retails for $39.50 and the 3.4 oz. for $52.50. It does wear for a long time, so you are getting a great deal. I think everybody owns or has owned a bottle thanks to GWPs. I have given so many of these little bottles away.

Just like water hyacinth, pretty but choking every living thing in sight.


Happy Heart Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 1.7 Oz by Clinique

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

It’s that time of year again. Mandarins, satsumas, whatever you like to call them, are at market to be purchased by the boxful. Citrus is a nice treat during these cool winter months. I’ve compiled a “collage” of zesty mandarin fragrances with a variety of price points and formulas.

Budget Mandarin Scents (Under $50): Trish McVoy Mandarin & Ginger Lily EDT is a citrus floral blend that is light-wearing. It retails for $48 for .5 oz (not alot of product for the dough). Crazylibellule & The Poppies Les Garçonnes Tamara Charleston is a very interesting humid, green, mandarin blend. This solid Crazystick retails for $18 and is well worth it. My review of it is here. Lush Olive Branch Solid Perfume is a simple and refreshing unisex blend of olive oil and mandarins. I love the solid formula. tIt retails for about $8. Lancome Ô de Lancome EDT is a classic, cool feeling mandarin, floral, and rosemary scent. The 1.7 oz. bottle goes for $38.50.  Voluspa Victoria Collection Pink Fatale is an incredible flirty fruity-floral with citrus and lilies. The .5 oz. roll-on goes for $24. Oh, and I almost forgot the mandarin classic: The Body Shop Satsuma Perfume Oil. It’s all about mandarin and the .5 oil goes for $16. (not pictured)

More Expensive Mandarin Scents: Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne is a zesty, herbaceous citrus blend that is unisex. It’s a great summer scent. The 3.4 oz bottle goes for $100. It’s a limited edition fragrance but it is still available: L’Artisan Parfumeur Mandarine Tout Simplement. It is what the name implies. It is a sparkling mandarin citrus blend. It is light wearing and the 8.4 oz. spray goes for $135. If you are looking for a creamier mandarin fragrance, the kind that can transition into cooler weather even though it is refreshing, try Antica Farmacista Vanilla Bourbon and Mandarin Perfume. The 1.6 oz. bottle goes for $58. Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Madarine Basilic EDT is a naturally sweet citrus blend with clementine, mandarin, and blood orange. The 1.7 oz bottle goes for $57. Here’s my review. Manuel Canovas Route Mandarine EDP is a mandarin and orange blossom mix, a citrus floral. It retails for $79 for 3.4 oz. Fresh Bergamot Citrus is a light blend of bergamot, citrus, and foresty base notes. The 3.4 oz. retails for $75. Creed Millesime Imperial is a unisex blend of crisp citrus, salt, musk, and woods. It is truly lovely and goes for $250 for 4 oz. (I just ordered one and I’m waiting anxiously for its arrival). Molinard 1849 Vervaine de Molinard is a green, crisp, fresh mandarin. Plus, the bottle is a must have. The 3.3 oz goes for $185.

5 Other Great Mandarin Products: Mistral Black Tea Mandarin Soap is a great scent for cooler weather. A bar goes for under $8. Ahava Body Sorbet in Madarin & Cedarwood is a refreshing and very moisturizing blend. The cedarwood really adds a special something. I love it for cooler weather. It is very foresty. A tub goes for $26. Lush The Big Tease Styling Gel is a hair gel with an orange blossom, mandarin, and lemon scent. It smells heavenly. It goes for under $17. Diptyque Oyedo Candle is a refreshing blend of grapefruit and mandarin. The candle retails for $60. A rich and lush mandarin fragrance for the home is Alora Ambiance Tre Reed Diffuser which goes for $58.

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

I actually really like the original White Linen. I remember smelling it as a 5th grader and thinking it was a genius of a creation. It was bold without being White Diamonds, fresh without with being CK1, and most of all I could talk my grandmother into buying it for me if there was a GWP. I did succeed and I did get the tiniest bottle there was. I’m sure it was an odd choice for a 5th grade girl but I like it much more than any cotton candy body spray or Exclamation or some Tommy Hilfiger creation or Secret deodorant spray, whatever the kids where wearing in those days.As an adult I’m not really into White Linen. It’s a nice “memory” fragrance. Did I also mention that I loved Sand & Sable at this time as well?

When Pure White Linen was launched it kept being “sold” to me as a younger, fresher, more modern White Linen. Obviously, the sales person did not know what I was looking for. I wore the original at the age of 10. I associate the “old lady” one with youth. A younger one did not appeal to me. Young fragrances don’t appeal to me anyways. I would so rather be sporting an old-fashioned rose based fragrance, Coco Chanel, or Guerlain Jicky. She would not back off and handed me a sample of this. I gave it a try and actually found it stronger and “older” than the original. Maybe I was just grumpy because I hate being sold to…

This fragrance is very “linen”. It has that fresh from the laundry vibe but much more concentrated and feminized. At first spritz I really don’t pick up on all of the fruity notes listed by the company. I definitely get that “fresh air” accord. I am not saying that the crisp fruits aren’t there. I guess I am just overwhelmed by the synthetic piercing air accord. After the alcohol begins to fade. I can still pick up on the “air” but it is much more humid and lush like it is with tropical ferns. I can slightly pick up on berries but it is more of a “fuzzy” cotton candy berry that is buried in a rain forest.  This fragrance seems to be sweeter than the original. I guess this why I don’t like it as well. It smells like the original but with a dash of some drugstore cotton candy body spray and a mix of a floral Victoria’s Secret Garden body spray. Luckily this stage fades pretty quickly. The fresh air accord is always there throughout the wear of this. It lingers around and it smells like a Downy ball has exploded all over a slightly sweet bouquet of freesia and the kind of honeysuckle that mainstream companies love to use. It becomes a fresh laundry-floral blend. It isn’t bad. It just isn’t to my liking. I do like the woodsy fresh dry down. This could possibly “save” the fragrance in my book.  It smells clean and I love it with the white cedarwood. It adds a warmth. I like this fragrance once it loses its tropical humidity. The dry down smells like having a crisp, white beach towel drying on a driftwood on a hot but breezy summer day. I wish I could get it just “as is” for the dry down. So why do I think it is so “old”? I guess because I feel it is trying so darn hard to be young with the fruits and hissy “flirty” florals thrown into the “original” formula. It is like a beautiful lady in her 40’s making herself look cheap and silly by wearing an entire outfit from Forever 21. It isn’t a bad thing. I am sure she looks great if she wears it with confidence but it is just a bit silly. What do I like about the fragrance? I like the dewy greens and I do like the dry down. This is a great fragrance for spring, even that early time of spring when green buds peep out of the dusting of snow.

Estee Lauder says that this fragrance contains: Italian mandarin, cool fresh air accord, raspberry, dewy greens, white freesia, red tulips (totally lacking fragrance in reality), rose, wild honeysuckle, gardenia petals, white cedarwood, patchouli, and white heliotrope.

It’s a very long-lasting fragrance. In attempts to use up the sample I would spray it on at night. I would wake up in the morning and the fragrance did not lose endurance. It still stayed strong. My bed linens would smell of Pure White Linen until a washing. I really wouldn’t mind a bottle to use to freshen up linens and linen closets or to cover up Frink odors. But, if I want a “lighter” original, then I will just go for the White Linen dusting powder. The original dusting powder is heavenly.

I would say to give this a try if you like Issey Miyake, Calvin Klein Eternity, Armani Acqua di Gio for Her, Annick Goutal Eau de Camille, Van Cleef & Arpels Feerie, Elizabeth Arden Mediterranean and/or mark Earth. The fragrance comes in 3 sizes (1, 1.7, 3.4) with prices ranging from $39.50 to $72. And just like back in the day, you can still get a GWP with it if you do your shopping at the right time.


Pure White Linen Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 1.7 Oz by Estee Lauder

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Could a name be any more unfortunate than “Ralph”? Seriously. It sounds disgusting. Maybe the kids don’t say that anymore, but I still use it that way. Ralph is obviously marketed to a younger crowd. It has a simple bottle and tons of auxiliary products. I don’t find Ralph offensive (well, other than the name), I just find it dull and boring even for a fruity-floral. It has been around a long time, it has many spin-offs, and it is worth reviewing. Notes include: apple tree leaves, yellow freesia, Italian mandarin, Japanese loquat, osmanthus, magnolia, linden blossom flower, purple freesia, boronia, musk 2000, and white orris. At initial spritz Ralph is kind of hissy like freesia (which I find difficult to replicate) and generic fruits. It kind of smells like an Herbal Essence shampoo (not the old stuff, the new stuff). It continues to be super fruity. The fruits are difficult to determine, but they seem to be a bit sour apple and like a loquat lozenge with a kiss of pink grapefruit. It just seems like a canned jelly mixture of pectin and delicate synthetic blossoms. The florals eventually become stronger than the fruits and it becomes less like those jelly candies that one may find at an Asian market. The florals last and mix with generic musks, a fruity musk, not a “skin” musk or “sensual” musk. It’s a bit humid and aquatic and this helps to make it a bit more fresh but still floral. It’s a fragrance that one could use the following words to describe: flirty, young, girly, carefree, and well, generic.

I don’t find this fragrance exciting or interesting one bit, but it does define a genre: fruity-floral. This genre isn’t my favorite but it has been popular for sometime, especially with a certain age group. The fragrance isn’t horrible. I just don’t like it for myself.

I would say that you would like this or if you like this you may like Paris Hilton EDP,Gucci II EDP, Britney Spears Believe EDP, Harajuku Lovers Music EDT, Lily Pulitzer Wink EDP, JLo Love At First Glow EDP, Benefit B Spot EDT, Victoria’s Secret Pink EDP and/or Vera Wang Truly Pink EDP.

Prices range from $28 for 1 ounce to $62.50 for 3.4 ounces. It is available at most department stores, beauty.com, and sephora.com.

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

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

Les Garçonnes Tamara Charleston is inspired by Tamara de Lempicka and her amazing paintings. I am so delighted that the dazzling Tamara was the inspiration for this fragrance. The packaging of this one contains the dramatic (and one of my favorite) color combos of chartreuse and aubergine. When I first heard of this collection of Crazysticks, I was very intrigued by this one in particular. It sounded so interesting with notes of gardenia, sambac jasmine, green mandarin, peach, lisylang, freshly cut hay, amber, and absinthe. It is described as a “fresh and flowery cocktail, almost prohibited“. I am pleased with this solid perfume even though it isn’t exactly what I expected. I guess I expected for it to be kind of herbaceous like dried hay with a heavy anise or licorice note. I expected it to be more bitter. I guess I thought it would be heavy on “absinthe”. I would like my “in my mind version” since I love anything licorice, but I could see it turning many people off. Tamara Charleston is much prettier than I could ever imagine and much more interesting that I could ever imagine. It’s fruity, green, raw, floral, and a little bitter.

According to the company’s Olfactive Star, this scent is heaviest on green mandarin, absinthe, and lisylang. I know what the 1st two are, but lisylang, never even heard of it. Well, it is a Robertet creation and is described as an aquatic floral note. So I guess I won’t be getting this wonderful “flower” for my garden, haha. Tamara Charleston wears closely to the skin like other Crazylibellule & The Poppies solid fragrances. It is soft and intimate. When I first put this on my skin and took a whiff, it took me to a place. It really reminded me of something but I didn’t know what. Then it hit me. It reminds me of this abandoned house down the road that I pass on my evening strolls. It is a menacing, rotting craftsman with an unkept yard. This yard grows widly and bears fruits like figs, olive, peaches, apricots, and blackberries with no maintenance. The weeds are grown up and have taken over. Across the street a wild jasmine grows. I will stand there, checking the ripeness of the fruit because I am so bumrushing the fruit trees one day, a warm breeze will go by and it brings in a scent that reminds me of this fragrance. I guess because of the jasmine, unripe fruits, dried out weeds, and a warm sea breeze, it is like this little stick. So I was a bit stunned when I sniffed this. It is much prettier than that abandoned lot but it reminds me of it, I refer to that lot as my secret garden. Anyways, I bet you are ready for a fragrance review.

Tamara Charleston smells fresh and green. It smells almost ammonia-ish from the unripe or green mandarin. This gives a complex and very different citrus to this blend. Strangely this is my favorite note. It smells slightly floral. The blossom smell airy and light. It isn’t like I smell “jasmine” but more that I feel like I am catching the odor of a warm breeze being carried in from a flower garden. I just go “flowers” but I can’t identify them directly. It smells warm and sweet just like cut hay and amber resin. You also get a “warm” fuzziness from an almost perfectly ripe peach. It’s a sweet peach, maybe from a hint of sugar in the absinthe. The absinthe is there and it provides a bitter “green” note. It isn’t licoricey but smells more like if you were standing over a mixed herb garden that contains everything from fennel to juniper.

This scent is a winner. I really like it because I have absolutely nothing like it in my extensive collection. It is fresh, bitter, and green but still really pretty and wearable. I think it is a perfect scent for late summer and early fall. I also love the attention to detail by Crazylibellule & The Poppies. Their inspiration was a hedonistic visual artist. They’ve done nice things like use absinthe in this blend, something historically loved by bohemian artists. “L’Histoire” on the box brings to mind an encounter with one of Tamara’s models and/or lovers. I love solid perfumes and  I love that I carry this cute thing around with me. It is available at beautyhabit.com and b-glowing. com for under $20.

Young Lady with Gloves

Young Lady with Gloves