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 Enchanté, 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.

I always find stuff when I am broke or well, buying my first house. How badly I want this little box of Tom Ford fragrances! It contains 12 private blend fragrances that Tom Ford describes as, ” My own scent laboratory; it’s where I have the ability to create very special, original fragrances that are unconstrained by the conventions of mainstream scent-making. Private Blend is designed with the true fragrance connoisseur in mind.” Haha. “This line isn’t about pleasing the mainstream to make tons of money but by marketing a few million fragrances as “original” so that I can sell them to fragrance whores for $180 to $450 a pop and since big department stores carry them as well I’ll get the people that like “mainstream” fragrance because I am a “mainstream” man!” Brilliant really, Mr. Ford. Anyways, I still want it. It wasn’t that I was or wasn’t blown away by any of the Private Blends when I played with them in store, it was just that I didn’t want to pay a minimum of $180 for something that I just liked or didn’t have the time to experience. I am a fragrance flirt so I want to have as many fragrances as possible. This kit contains 12 .05 fl.oz EDPs (I think that’s the size, I had to zoom in on the product and the number got blurry): Noir de Noir, Amber Absolute, Black Violet, Velvet Gardenia, Tobacco Vanilla, Oud Wood, Moss Breches, Bois Rouge, Purple Patchouli, Tuscan Leather, Neroli Portofino, and Japan Noir. Many of these are pretty nice blends since I have a thing for leather and mossy scents. And a few of them I really did want to spend more time with. They come in a little brown, almost cigar box. I love the entire vibe of this. It is very turn of the century Belle Epoque apothecary. (That is what Tom Ford’s Private Blend has done best, the whole antique apothecary vibe. Even thought the $180 range bottles are boring and all the same to save money, I like the apothecary look.) It’s a wardrobe of fragrance and something very fun to sniff when cuddled up in the chair by the window on a rainy, dreary day. I would so rather spend a few evenings doing this than anything else. And if I fall madly in love with one of the blends, then I will make the smallest available bottle my very own. I wish more companies would offer these kind of coffrets. It seems that everybody “niche” or not launches like a million fragrances at once, all in the same bottle, and it’s much too difficult to keep them separate. We addicts can’t afford to purchase them all and we forget about half of them because there are at least 30 launches a month and our lists keep expanding. Sometimes we simply forget. This coffret goes for $180 and is available at neimanmarcus.com.

What I really wish it was in.

What I really wish it was in.

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 thought I’d give i Profumi di Firenze Fiori del Cielo a try. I wasn’t wowed nor did I despise it. With a name like “Flowers From Heaven” you really expect a whole lot. This is where they shot themselves in the foot in my opinion. These are hand crafted from Italian tradition. It is supposed to represent a lovely spring bouquet of iris, narcissus, anemone, and cyclamen. It is inspired by “the natural beauty of Florence”. I love iris fragrances. I really do like this fragrance. I was wanting to love it but I’m not there. It has the crispness of iris in the initial spritz. It is fresh and green but almost aquatic at times. So it does have a fresh rain element. Which is nice because it is trying to resemble Florence’s flowers after the rain. The scent is a very updated scent of classic iris based fragrances. It is crisp and almost grape like at times. I love the smell until is dries down. It just doesn’t work for me. It starts to smell like dried flowers and not like the crisp notes that were there before. I also felt like this one didn’t last on me. It only lasted a few hours before I grew numb to it. It isn’t a horrible fragrance and it is worth testing. I think I am going to test it again. It just isn’t something that I keep sniffing because I love it so much and it isn’t living up to the “Flowers From Heaven” name. But it does smell expensive and not “cheap”. I’ll give it another shot maybe when the weather warms up. Maybe I’ll love it in the spring. I’ve been stuck in the snow for a week. You would think any floral would “wow” my mind when I have cabin fever and a longing for spring.

It retails for $89 for 50 ml and is available at beautyhabit.com and barneys.com.

Every now and then I go through a 70s phase. Or at least what I thought was glamorous of the 70s, things like tans and jumpers. I guess I am feeling a bit washed out here in the Northwest. So I just want that 70s ideal of a “healthy” and “young” look. Yes, I have even considered going to the tanning salon even though I know that is horrible for you skin, etc. I’ve never done such a thing before but of course I was living in the South and there I actually saw the sun and felt the warmth of its rays every now and then. I didn’t even know I could get so pale. I mean I’m right there with Dita Von Teese. And I wore sunblock when I lived in the South. I wore that stuff daily and I still had “color”. Anyways, enough of my complaining and back to this Farrah fab look.

I look this look but Farrah looks a bit dry, maybe all that sun? I would suggest applying a tinted moisturizer for a bit of dewy complexion. One can’t look “healthy” without being a little dewy. Use something like Clarins Hydra Care Tinted Moisturizer if you are fairly dry with cool undertones. If you aren’t either or these then use something else. Follow with bronzer. My all time favorite is NARS Bronzing Powder. Apply with a large bronzing brush and apply where the sun would “naturally” hit. You guys may have to remind me of these points since I live like in the Artic Circle and seem to forget these sorts of things. Brows are pretty natural and soft. Just brush them into place with a clear brow gel such as The Body Shop Brow and Lash Gel. Apply a nude eye shadow from lash line to brows. Apply the lightest shade from Bare Escentuals Meet The Nuts kit; this shade is Pistachio Light which is a sheer nude. From the lash line to crease apply the medium shade, Pecan Medium, and blend. The eyes are dark. Apply the darkest shade, Chestnut Dark, around the lash line, smudging outward for a perfect smoky eye. I love a brown smoky eye. It really makes eyes pop and is usually OK to wear all the time. Line the eyes with a black eyeliner for extra drama (if needed), use something like Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Zero. Apply tons of mascara. You need dramatic lashes to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays 🙂 Now to the blush. Apply Cargo Beach Blush in Cable Beach to cheeks or you can apply more bronzer to cheeks. I do like a little bit of  “color”. Lips are nude and natural. Apply a balm such as Revlon Beyond Natural Protective Lip Tint in Nude. For fragrance I am thinking of Origins Ginger Essence for some reason. Maybe because it is spicy without being too heavy? Now, to hair, no, maybe not.

So, my gothness is just growing greater and I can’t fight that force right now. I mean I never see the sunlight living here in Seattle. I thought “they” were exaggerating but I feel like I never see the light of day. Which I mean isn’t a bad thing if I was a vampire or something but it is nice to know what time of day it is. Anyways, I have really been wanting one of these Edwardian/Pagoda shaped umbrellas, so gothic and lovely. I would probably pop one of these out on the beach in the summer. So why do I not own one? Well, if you have an umbrella in Seattle you look like a tourist, a hood or a stylish hat should do. And nobody here cares about their hair so no need to worry about frizziness and hat hair. And I’m trying to fight those gothic carry around a parasol urges. These do come in other colors, but I would probably go for the sooty black or gray and not the cream or mint.And I can’t seem to find one in the States. I have found them on www.powder-blue.co.uk.

And I really like antique umbrella stands. They’re nice but I’m sure some tweeker or high schooler would steal it out of my mud room. You never now when a shanty town will need one of these.But, if they were really Northwestern hardcore they wouldn’t be carrying an umbrella anyways.