Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

This is a fragrance that I thought I hated. As I’ve matured, I have found that I don’t dislike this one. This is my favorite Clinique fragrance and one of my favorite mass market, line specific, department store fragrances. Clinique’s slogan for this fragrance is “Intriguing, Non-Conformist Fragrance performs the role of a perfume, but goes far beyond”. Pretty bold coming from the “safest” cosmetic company that I can think of. This fragrance was created in 1975 by Bernard Chant, the man behind the classic chypre, Cabochard, and the 60’s floral, Estee. So, yes, Mr. Bernard Chant, was the creator of the many fragrances that Generation X-ers and beyond refer to as “old lady” smells. I find that I like “old lady” smells. I’m a vintage, old-fashioned gal. I prefer the scents that my grandmothers wore.

At first spritz, Clinique Aromatics Elixir is mossy and has a greenness from an old-fashioned rose. There is so much oakmoss. I need to add that I love a heavy dose of oakmoss in about any perfume. After the mossy rose settles, I get tons and tons of patchouli. So, if you despise headshop patchouli then stay away from Clinique Aromatics. It is an oily and rich patchouli with a hint of dried vetiver and dried lavender. This adds a coolness to the earthy patchouli and its bed of mossy roses. This really hits me as a Pacific Northwestern scent because of the moss, roses, and wet dirt. It’s like being at The International Rose Test Garden in Portland on a wet and dreary October afternoon. I love it. The dry down is still heavy with patchouli but it lacks that wetness and coolness. It becomes slightly powdery with soft amber and sandalwood notes. There is a 70’s musk present too. This soft, earthy and musky dry-down is reminiscent of many dry-downs of juices in the mid-60’s to mid-70’s. This means that if you wear this, then somebody may carbon date you back to the 1970’s. The dry-down reminds me of going through grandma’s containers of vintage face powders and perfume oil bottles that she saved for their containers. It’s powdery but has that richness of dark perfume oils. I must add that my grandmother did (and continues to) wear Clinique Aromatics Elixir as her casual, “around the house” fragrance. So, I do like this fragrance because it reminds me of laid-back days with grandma.

I am so happy that I gave this one another try. This is why I should never let go of perfume samples 🙂 I’m moody and it only makes sense that my tastes would be too. I realize that many young adults will not find this perfume attractive. I don’t wear perfume for others. I wear what I like. This elixir is very long-wearing. I would say that I find it on my pulse points 12-15 hours after applying. It just contains so many rich and adhering fragrance notes.

Notes listed include: rose, jasmine, oakmoss, ylang ylang, vetiver, patchouli, musk, amber, and sandalwood.

You may like this if you like fougere scents or scents like Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac EDP, Estee Lauder Youth Dew Cologne, Tom Ford Private Blend Moss Breches EDP, Parfum d’Empire Fougere Bengale EDP, Serge Lutens Chypre Rouge EDP, Heeley Parfums Cardinal EDP, Tauer Perfumes Incense Rose EDP, The Party In Manhattan EDP, and/or Montale Orient Extreme EDP. The 1.5 oz retails for $42.50 and the 3.4 oz for $52.50. It can be purchased at Clinique counters anywhere or Sephora. It’s also available at fragrancenet.com.
Get it for a deal at…

Aromatics Elixir Perfume for Women Parfum Spray 3.4 Oz by Clinique

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I love a fig fragrance. They are what I “collect”. Sometimes I find myself purchasing less-than-perfect-figs just because I can’t help it. And I love a fig fragrance that actually smells wonderful and retails for under $10. (This product retails for $9). So, what I am saying is that I love Pacifica Mediterranean Fig Solid Perfume. It is a must have for the fig lover. And even a must have for those wanting a simple scent. I see why this is one of Pacifica’s #1 sellers.

The tin is adorable. I love the almost Marimekko inspired fig graphic design. The tin is nice for travel and is about the size of a lip gloss tin. The texture is a bit waxy but “sticks” just fine when mixed with the warmth of your fingers rubbing it in. It is moisturizing with coconut and soy wax. I love the intimacy of a solid perfume. They wear closely and you wear them, not the other way around. It doesn’t wear very long because of its medium, but that is why it is travel friendly. It wears on me for about 3 hours and I actually enjoy applying it again. It’s a nice fig pick-me-up. And isn’t that big of a deal to re-apply. I re-apply lipsticks like 30 times a day.

The fragrance is fig, not so fruity, but much more woodsy and green. My all time favorite fig scent is Diptyque Philosykos. Pacifica is no Diptyque but look in the difference of price! Diptyque is a great fig fragrance in a solid fragrance medium and I have layered it under the Diptyque EDT for “lasting power”. Like I said, it isn’t fruity fig or fruity fig sap like some fig blends. It isn’t blended with sugar or vanilla for a fig dessert like scent. This is more of a “Mediterranean” scent. It is warm, simple, and cozy. It smells of smooth fig tree leaves, “greeness” from neighboring plants, and a woodsy base of dry sandalwood. Since this is a solid, I feel it is what you smell is what you get. There isn’t a transformation. This is a well-rounded green fig scent mixed with sundried driftwood. It’s effortless to wear. It’s a great reminder of late summer seaside strolls. This is a great unisex solid perfume. I say to give it a try if you are a fan of fig scents or if you like Antica Farmacista Green Fig EDP, Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Amalfi Fig EDT, Diptyque Philosykos EDT or solid, TokyoMilk Marine Sel Perfume Solid, Heeley Figuier EDP, L’Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier EDT, Marc Jacobs for Him, and/or Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue for Her EDT.

It is available at www.pacificaperfume.com (I have to support them as they are a PNW company) and Whole Foods markets.

Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Gingembre is a perfect cool weather fragrance. I live in Washington, not just anywhere, around the Puguet Sound: Western Washington. We are known for our massive amounts of gloom and rain. For a closet goth and a mushroom hunter, this is paradise. I love the cooler, foggy,  seaside days. The rain is here just like clockwork starting on October 1st. It’s a bit chilly (50’s), cloudy, and rainy. If you’ve ever visited this area during the rainy season, then you know why we love our coffee. It is the only thing that warms you up and gives you energy during this season (even though many of us are into our tea). Today I am wearing Gingembre. It is my comforting travel mug of steaming dark roast and cashmere blended hoodie on this cool, rainy, classic PNW day.

Gingembre is spicy and comforting. If you love gingerbread or ginger snaps then you should love this. At first it feels and smells like the steam off of a masala coffee or chai. It’s spicy with nutmeg, allspice, anise, and clove. The ginger comes in, more of a dried powder, Indian market ginger. This scent then becomes my spice cabinet. You can smell the gourmand spices mixed with ginger powder. It has a bit of beeswax which adds so much to this fall/winter spice blend. It gets a little sweeter but not super sweet like a spice cake with cream cheese icing. This is more like a chai with a sugar or honey. If you pay close attention you can get a bit of a floral, like a honeyed, dried rose. It’s so beautiful. The great thing about the PNW is that this time of year you crave fall baked goods heavy with ginger and cloves, hot beverages, you smell the ground which is soaked, mossy, mushroomy. But, it isn’t “dying”. There are many evergreens and roses are late. We get roses up until November. It just delights me that this perfect fall/winter fragrance has rose. The dry down is delicious like a handsome man wearing a cologne heavy on patchouli and resins while sipping suavely on spiced rum in front of a blazing fireplace.

This one is a keeper for me. I thought my favorite ginger scent was Serge Lutens Five O’Clock au Gingembre, but  right now I love this one more. Five O’Clock is more of the aroma of a moist, baking gingerbread cookie ready to come out of the oven. This one is more of a crispy gingersnap and a cup of comforting chai. This being said, I think this is a nice unisex scent. It’s sexy on either a man or a woman.

I would say that you would like this if you are looking for a fall/winter ginger scent (not a tropical or fresh ginger), something  like Serge Lutens Five O’Clock au Gingembre , Jo Malone Nutmeg & Ginger Cologne, Laura Mercier Minuit EnchantĂ©, L’Artisan Parfumeur Navegar, Armani Prive Ambre Soie, Perfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique, Mark Buxton Sounds & Visions, and/or Bois 1920 Sushi Imperiale.

This fragrance is made from 94.5% botanical ingriedients. It’s long-wearing, very realistic and natural. The 1 oz. spray goes for $70 and other sizes are available. It is available on the fragrance house’s website.

greennailcolors

I am totally craving dark green nails for the cooler months. (It all started with Butter London’s British Racing Green.) I have been searching for the perfect, mysterious, deep, dark green. I want something the color of a Douglas fir tree. I think an evergreen makes a great winter shade. Here is a list of dark green nail colors that I have stumbled across.

Budget green colors (Under $5): NYX Nail Polish in Las Vegas (not pictured) is a shimmery green with envy deep money green. It’s a nice formula and a good price at $4. Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Fast Dry Nail Color in Jumpin’ Jade Frost is a perfect for winter, shimmery, rich peacock green shade. I really do love this formula because it does dry quickly and you never have to worry about smudges. It retails for about $4. Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Green With Envy is a jade-ish green shimmer. It takes a few coats to get it darker. It has a nice price at about $3. It isn’t my favorite out of this list but it is what you pay for and nice if you don’t plan on wearing this color very frequently.

More Expensive green colors (Over $5): I’m totally obsessed with Butter London Nail Lacquer in British Racing Green. “British racing green” is one of my favorite colors anyways. I’ve always wanted a vintage Triumph in this shade. It’s snazzy. This shade is dead on that “racy” color. The formula is great and it’s a Seattle based company so I have to love them. It’s pricey at $14. OPI for Sephora Nail Coulour has Dark Room. This is a satin shimmer free deep, almost black green. I wanted to love this color but when I saw it in person, I found it to be less than “film-noir” inspired like the claim but more mucky and boring. It is still a nice alternative to black though. It retails for $9. Lippman Collection Nail Color in Don’t Tell Mama is a super shimmery, metallic deep green with a dash of blue. It’s enchanting, very festive. It goes for $16. OPI Nail Color in Here Today…Aragon Tomorrow (not pictured) is a rich, moody emerald. It’s a beautiful shade that goes for about $8. Illamasqua Nail Varnish (not pictured) in Rampage is a nice dark forest green that looks like what I am looking for; however, I have never tried this formula. It retails for $14.

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 MĂ»re et Musc Extreme because it is a fruity scent that isn’t childish or teen.

Budget Blackberry Scents: Yves Rocher Les Plaisirs Nature MĂ»re 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 MĂ»re 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 MĂ»re et Musc ExtrĂŞme 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 am not a Twilight fan. Saying that I have only seen the movie and have never read the books. I found the movie very, very dull but felt I had to see it since it was like literally filmed in our backyard. The film was beautiful just for the scenery of the lovely rainforests and coast of Washington (even though it did Rialto beach/LaPush no justice). I just found the story really boring and I felt too old for it. I do consider myself a vampire fan and I am a closet goth. I love Nosferatu, Vampyr, Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, etc. And I am a mega fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. So the human/vampire love story is not new to me. Maybe the Twilight books are much better and I could feel some attachment to the characters, but the movie I could care less about. No character development.

Anyways, I can’t deny the popularity of this series. It has brought so much tourism to this area and that makes me happy. Plus, I can’t imagine a better setting for a vampire story than Western Washington. So I’m not going to complain. Maybe if I was 15 I would love this story or if I wasn’t a mega Buffy fan. You can’t travel to Port Angeles, WA or the dumpy Forks without running into Twilighters. They love to spend dough, so it is no surprise to me that DuWop has made a lip plumper in Twilight’s honor. I have to admit that even I am attracted to this product. How badly I want it and I am not a Twilighter! For years I have wanted a lip plumping lip stain and here it is. It is ” a blending of the vampire and human worlds”, meaning it is duo-phase. It is half DuWop Lip Venom lip plumping gloss (which is awesome but burns like hell) and a scarlet lip stain. Oh, and it has gold shimmer. It sounds like a perfect product in my book. However, it is limited edition and I missed out on the special on DuWop’s website. This breaks my gothic heart. I will get my hands on this and I will fight swarms of 15 year old girls and Edward lusters for this product. You can only get 2 anyways, so boo-yah!

Retails for $16 and is now available at Nordstrom. It is supposed to debut this fall at other retailers. I really wish they would make a Buffy/Angel or Buffy/Spike one of these and call it “The Hellmouth” since Lip Venom does plump but it burns your mouth like hell.

rialto

Visit to Twilight land 2 weeks ago, La Push

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!

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