Weekly Cheap Secret:

I love these little old school highly fragranced body lotions. I hope Avon realizes that this “retro” packaging is what sells these Perfumed Skin Softeners. Well, at least it does for me. I like to have them out, there isn’t a logo, a label. They are just in a “sphere”. They really look nice in a boudoir. They retail for about $5 and are frequently on sale for about 99¢ on Avon’s website.

Candid is a nice fragrance for those that like a classic late 70’s floral oriental type fragrance. I love a late 70’s oriental. It’s a dated blend of heady jasmine, red roses, woodsy but feminine sandalwood with vetiver. It manages to smell “fresh” and clean, I guess because of the vetiver. The scent isn’t very complex. It’s all blended together to make a feminine, fresh oriental scent. I find that it does mix well with pure fragrance oils of any of the scents mentioned above. I love to wear it with either jasmine or rose to bring out the feminine quality. I can make it more masculine and zesty fresh with a spritz of L’Aromarine Vetyver or Guerlain Vetiver. Since the product is heavily scented, I can still smell it wearing very closely to my skin after all day wear.

The lotion is thick but not buttery. I still find that at night I need to apply a heavier cream to keep from being ashy in the winter. I just use this skin softener for the nostaligic novelty. And it does wear nicely with fragrance oils and some of my more “classic” fragrances.

So first things first. I am not a fan of aquatic fragrances. I find them too synthetic, fake, and they “burn” my senses. I can handle a “saltwater” accord here and there but I typically despise scents that are souly aquatic. For some reason I have all the products available in Sea Island Cotton from Bath and Body Works. I don’t know why, oh, stupid gifts that I couldn’t return. I use them anyways. I hate to waste.

This scent is described as “ a clean scent, inspired by pure white cotton flowing in fresh ocean air”. That is quite strange. Didn’t Bath and Body Works think about how odd that sounds? Don’t they understand that beach real estate is far too expensive for cotton plantations these days? Or is the cotton supposed to be like lava? I don’t get it. Anyways, this scent is slightly aquatic in a wet detergent way and it is “fresh” in a Downy fabric softener way. Plus lots of floral notes and clean, white musks. It isn’t an offensive fragrance. I just don’t love it enough to go out and purchase it myself but I don’t mind using it.

It is strange how each product in the line smells different. I suppose they all “work” together since B&BW is all about the excessive layering of products to sell more and more to ladies.

The body cream is very laundry powders. It smells like warm linens, but not in a good way. More like somebody added baby powder to the wash. It is strange, warm, and just straight up washing powders and baby powder. It is my least favorite “scent” in the collection. It is too baby-ish and powdery.  At least the lotion is very moisturizing and absorbs quickly.The scent from the lotion doesn’t hang around too long and is pretty faint all day.

The body spray is better than the body cream. It does present a sense of freshness that isn’t the type of freshness like a room spray that is meant to cover something stinky up. It all the laundry detergent and ocean accords but with a bit more “fresh” flowers. It is a hint of freesia and other hissy florals. The dry down is classic white musk. It isn’t very special but to be honest I do like it better than most of the fragrances Clean has to offer (and those are much more expensive). This fragrance only lasts like 10 minutes since it is a body spray.

The creamy body wash lathers nicely and a little goes a long way. It smells much more “clean cotton” than the body cream or spray. It is warm, cuddly and very fresh towels just out of the dryer. It is comforting and clean. I kind of like it because it reminds me of a cheap but discontinued brand Smell This in Fresh Towels. I wish the entire collection smelled like the creamy body wash.  But, it is a soap and maybe I expect for a soap to well, smell like detergent. It is a nice product but I know I won’t purchase it again unless it is on sale. It is hard to pay for a shower gel that costs $10.50 just to get that low-brow Downy fresh fragrance. However, it has an excellent lather.

I could see people liking this if they are a fan of the “detergent”/clean fragrances such as mark Pure, Demeter Laundromat, Clean fragrances such as Fresh Laundry, even Philosophy Amazing Grace/Pure Grace, J.Lo Glow, Marc Jacobs Cotton, GAP Washed Cotton, or if you like white/clean musk fragrances. Suprisingly, this fragrance appears “heavier” than others like it on the market. It isn’t so hissy, it is more “warm” but still “aquatic”.

I love beach’n scents. And this is one beach’n scent. One of the reasons that  I love them is because I live in the Pacific Northwest. We really don’t have a rep for sunny, tropical beaches. We aren’t known for our lush tans or coconut based beverages. I didn’t realize than once I moved across the country to a place that had “beaches” that I would miss an Atlantic beach so much. After all of this rain, I really miss a Florida beach. Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess is my reminder than warm, sunny places do exist. What I love about this fragrance is that it really epitomizes a warm beach. It isn’t a fruity cocktail and isn’t coconut scented tanning oil. It is light and breezy and warm. It smells like skin that is in the sun. It smells like ocean breezes and sand. It is really a fragrance that does a wonderful job conveying an environment and a time, not just smells. It is one of those “experience” fragrances. I have been a fan of it for years, even when it was known as Tom Ford’s Azuree Soleil. I look forward to it every late winter/early spring when it is relaunched. It comes out just in time, when I feel like I can’t stand another minute of wintery weather. The scent is light and fresh at first with hints of lush and tropical tiare flower. So it has that gardenia and coconut oil fragrance without being too drugstore tanning oil. It is made fresh with bergamot. After the gardenia florals dry down, it is very warm. It smells of hot sand with light breezes of salt water. It is perfect in the sense that it smells like skin drenched in product after an hour in the sun, you can smell the towel on the sand in the sun, you can smell virgin ocean breezes. It is such a “paradise” fragrance. It is one of my favorites. It isn’t something that I wear all the time but it is something that I look forward to and it does bring back nice beach memories and it is a vacation in a bottle.

Bronze Goddess does have a lame name and I’m not very wild about the new bottle. I was a fan of the colors and the name “Azuree Soleil” but I can’t complain about the product. So I can overlook the J.Lo type references and dated packaging. It comes in an “Eau Fraiche Skinscent” which is a fancy name for an EDT. It does wear on the skin for a few hours. The 3.4 ounce bottle retails for $52. There is a Body Oil Spray which I am in love with. It is enriched with the fragrance and wears forever. Plus, it makes my legs look perfect. The 3.4 ounce bottle which is identical to the skinscent bottle (cheap ass Estee Lauder) retails for $32 and wears for hours. There is a Luminous Body Lotion which I fall for every time it launches because it comes out at a time that I feel dull and drab and long for “luminous” skin. It retails for $32 for 6.7 ounces. It has a faint golden shimmer. I like it but I always get pissed that I didn’t purchase two bottles of the oil instead since it wears for a long time and is so moisturizing. It is a limited edition product which is a good move on Estee Lauder’s part because it always causes me to part with my money since “I can’t get it any other time”.

Pacifica body butters are pretty nice. They are smooth and not heavy. This means that it is very easy to rub in and it acutally absorbs. It moisturizes and is fragrant. There are many fragrances to choose from (from girly lilac to foody cocoa to lusty sandalwood and everything in between). I’ve tried a few and I liked them all. Let me warn you, do sniff before buying (I did), especially if you are going by the scent of the solid perfume or fragrance spray.  The body butters can smell very different from the actual perfumes. The fragrance of the butters are more to work with fragrances. It will not be a dead on twin (I’m definately thinking of Avalon Juniper here). It will help to make the other fragrances by Pacifica last and appear more “complex” and well rounded.  These claim to contain natural ingredients and are in a shea butter, almond, and safflower oil base. Very nice. Plus, they represent the Pacific. I love the West coast. Just love it.  They retail for $18 for 8 ounces.  Sephora carries a few from this line, the entire line is available at the company’s website, www.pacificaperfume.com. I love the Fig. It can be worn with any of your favorite fig scents.

Benefit’s Maybe Baby is one of my favorite in your face, I’m not sorry to be a girly girl fragrance. It is so playful and feminine. It is very different than my typical mossy, spicy, or patchouli based fragrance treats. This is the one I pull out when I want to feel like an irrational gal that pulls at suitor’s heartstrings. It’s flirty, it’s bat those lashes, and giggle worthy. It’s lighthearted without being too juvenile smelling. It doesn’t smell like cotton candy or melons. Bonus!

Maybe Baby has a burst of fuzzy apricot without smelling like a teenage girl’s body spray. It is grown up with a tang of white ginger. (Speaking of white ginger, does anybody remember Avon Hawaiian White Ginger? I would love to get my hands on that! Or at least something like it.) It is floral and fruity and thank goodness for me it wears heavier on the floral side. It is grounded on me by the greeness of bergamot. It manages to smell peachy fresh, white floral-ish, and it is made fresh by greenery. It isn’t a particularly sophisticated fragrance but it is fun and it does attract my mate. Heck, it could of attracted my mate for all I know. He is wild about it. This fragrance is pretty much a dude magnet.

The bottle is a strange shape (a.k.a. uncomfortable to hold)  and has stupid little sayings all over it that I guess are supposed to make me feel good about being frivolous. I could live without that but I’m not complaining at that $48 price tag for 3.4 ounces. ($32 for the 1.7 ounces) It wears long enough for an EDT and I think it wears longer on me than most people. I don’t really smell it but others comment on it. It is funny because I have hundreds of things and people never comment on the complex, expensive stuff, just things like Maybe Baby.

I do have the lotion. It smells very nice. It isn’t super moisturizing but it is highly fragrant and contains the prettiest amount of champagne shimmer. It really makes my skin look flawless and plasticy. (Plastic is a nice thing in my book.) The shimmer shade works wonderfully with my skintone. The lotion goes for $26 and isn’t as good of a deal as the fragrance. So, if you like flirty fragrances or want a flirty fragrance that are so flirty it makes your worn out jeans into white lacy lingerie than this is for you. If you want something uncomplicated that screams “I’m a gal looking to play hard to get” then this is for you too.

It is available on Benefit’s website.

First things first, I am not a fan of Bath and Body Works. I find many of their fragrances boring and well, artificial and I can usually find somewhere else to spend my money. However, I do like some of their fragrances. I find them simple and layerable. Vanilla Bean Noel has been one of my B&BW guilty pleasures since 2004. I’m not a huge fan of gourmand fragrances but they do have a time and a place. Cooler weather makes me want to wear richer fragrances even if they smell like baked goods. Every year I buy the Vanilla Bean Noel body lotion by the time I am finished with the bottle I am finished with the fragrance. It’s limited edition. Vanilla Bean Noel is a vanilla fragrance, but it isn’t too cake batter-ish. It kind of smells like creme brulee because it has a burnt sugar note. Pretty much the fragrance is French Vanilla with a burnt caramel note. It is simple but complex because it isn’t straight up vanilla. I love to layer it under my fave fragrances such as Prada, L’Aromarine oils like Oppanaux, and Le Maison de Vanille fragrances. This scent doesn’t fight other perfumes. The scent is rich and comforting but not too juvenile. I haven’t used any of the other products in the line such as the body wash or body spray. I just like the richness of the lotion. It is very moisturizing and I like the smell. It is great for winter. I wish it didn’t have such an annoying name. The bonus is that this stuff goes dirt cheap after Christmas because of its annoying name. Currently, it retails for $11.

I love this now classic fragrance. I find the fragrance EDT spray a little too “intoxicating” for everyday wear. That is why I wear Yves Saint Laurent Opium Body Moisturizer which retails for $50 and is available and macys.com. It is a lightly moisturizing lotion packed with the classic incense fragrance of Opium. The initial notes are of that of a strong, warm, and  citrusy tangerine. This keeps the fragrance from smelling too “dark”. It then continues with the spicy notes of coriander and cloves. It is mixed with strong floral notes of syrupy rose and crisp lily of the valley. It eventually dries down to a warm and resiny myrrh, opoponax, and earthy cedarwood. It is a lovely complex and passionate fragrance that always gets me compliments. The fragrance in the body moisturizer is very long lasting. I can go to sleep at night wearing it and wake up the next day still smelling like seductive Opium. I can put it on in the morning and come home after work and still smell spicy. I love it even though I don’t love the price 🙂 This fragrance is such high quality and this is why women everywhere years and years later can still ask for something named after a pre-heroin drug and still feel like a nice person. Oh, I’m so happy it made it through the scandal!


Opium Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 3.3 Oz by Yves Saint Laurent

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com