I hope everyone is having a great Valentine’s Day. I am, nothing glamorous. I have a 4 day weekend and I’m catching up with getting things done around the house. The weather is perfect here in Seattle, OK, it’s mid-50’s and sunny, maybe not perfect. But, it is giving me spring fever. Hubby is out doing yard work, getting things ready for my moon garden. Isn’t that a great Valentine’s present? I’m still waiting for a Guerlain vintage…post doesn’t run today, so I doubt I’ll be getting that.

I’ve spent a portion of the day fretting over what fragrance I should wear. What is a “Valentine’s” fragrance? I think rose based fragrance are a bit cliché but they are what I crave when I get spring fever. And I do love rose. It’s very “committed”. I don’t want something too sexy, too smoky, or trying too hard. I like sexy fragrances but on Valentine’s, hmm, too expected. I figured I should wear what my husband likes. This is difficult being that I really think he can’t tell what he likes and he is spoiled by the fact that I wear fragrance 24/7. He likes woodsy scents like Prada EDP or Tom Ford White Patchouli EDP or heavy gardenia florals like Kai. He pretty much says that he likes everything being that he isn’t interested in fragrance. I finally reached for Piguet Fracas perfume. It seems like an appropriate Valentine’s fragrance with so many florals and a woodsy base. So, what is your “Valentine’s” perfume?

Demeter Rain is nothing like I wanted it to be. I would guess that recreating the actual aroma of rain is very difficult and who would want to smell like humidity and motor oil anyways? Demeter Rain is just too pretty for me. It is a flirty tease of a fragrance. It’s more a light shower on late spring day. It’s corporate, mainstream bar soap fresh. I was looking for a gloomy, moody fragrance. I was looking for a Seattle shower. I wanted a dark sky against a fir tree horizon. I wanted cold, salty winds. I guess I wanted a mushroomy, moldy, salty rain on city asphalt.

Demeter Rain is described  as a mixture of plant botanicals, soil, and minerals. It is so “hissy” at first that it hurts my sinuses. It’s loud and does somersaults across the skin. It’s all over the place. It reminds me of cough syrup because of the burning alcohol content. Eventually it becomes a fresh and aquatic scent. If you are a fan of aquatic floral scents then I would say that you would like this. It almost smells of chlorinated water against humid “soapy” ivy. It’s a very forced and fake rain. It’s a romanticized spring shower. It smells like if Irish Spring was to make a “rain” soap for women. It just smells like a mix of chemicals that make my sinuses say “ouch”. Because this is a cologne, it fades rather quickly. I don’t mind the scent once it has had about 15-20 minutes to get its “wiggles” out. It dries to a squeaky clean aquatic floral that would make a nice fragrance for a hand soap. I’m not a fan of aquatic scents so I am not a fan of Demeter Rain. I was wanting something a bit more earthy.

This scent wears for about 30 to 40 minutes on me. I would say to try this one if you like fresh/clean aquatic florals like Emilio Pucci Vivara Varizaioni-Acqua, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio Woman, Davidoff Cool Water for Women, KenzoL’Eau par Kenzo, Yves Rocher Ming Shu, and/or Marc Jacobs Rain.

The 1 oz spray retails for $20. It is available at Apothica.

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.

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.

Fragrance dominates every aspect of my life. The most recent craze has been my obsession with nice smelling cleaning products. I have used a few Mrs. Meyer’s products and so far I have been pleased with all of them. This all purpose cleaner has to be diluted down. I have it in an industrial spray bottle.  I have found that a little mixed with water goes a long way. It cleans all my regular spills and gets rid of my grim. I don’t know about “serious” issues, since you shouldn’t let your life get that grubby anyways! But, I found that in comparison to other “natural” cleaners that this one really gets the stuff up. Plus, actually like cleaning because I get to smell this stuff.

It claims to be “basil”. I don’t buy that. It isn’t that crisp, green fragrance. It isn’t a anise/licorice Thai basil. It isn’t basil at all. It claims to have basil oil. It also claims to have parsley, black pepper, and eucalyptus oils. I think that this smells much more “fresh” and less foody than the oils listed on the package. It smells almost floral, sweet, like drying cut grass. It is a very pretty fragrance really and I wouldn’t mind smelling like this myself. It is a bit like GAP Grass but much prettier. The scent really lingers. I’ll clean and my husband will come home like 5 hours later and comment on the “nice” fragrance. This sure beats the noxious fumes of other cleaners on the market.

Plus, this stuff contains biodegradable ingredients (good, I don’t want to ruin my beautiful Puget Sound) and isn’t tested on animals, including French bulldogs. This stuff doesn’t irritate my skin or cause me to have respiratory distress. Bonus! It seems to cost alot at about $8.50 for 32 ounces. But, I must emphasize that a little goes a long way and you can mix it to the water/cleaner ratio that best battles your messes. It cleans much better than cheapy stuff that I have used. Plus, it smells good and you won’t see me purchasing any home fragrance oils when I have this stuff. It’s available at most grocery stores/supermarkets and drugstore.com.

My fashion goal this summer is to be as fabulous as Lucy Lawless as Xena Warrior Princess. I can check off Xena hair from my list since I’ve went from red to dark brown. I can check most of the killer wrap up the leg shooties and sandals off my list. I can also check the makeup off my list, I just need to get tanner. Hubby and I have been re-watching the show. I didn’t realize what a huge impact it had on me the first time around. I learned that adding “and then Xena saved the day” to any high school Greek mythology essay would really piss off your teachers. I learned that all sandals must wrap up the leg. I learned that we all have “many skills”. After re-watching I’ve realized that my “Cleopatra” complex isn’t a “Cleopatra” complex at all but a “Xena” complex. I also realize that being a fan of the show, no wonder everybody thought I was a mega lesbian. I also have learned that I am a dork. I want to be as glam as Xena but I really want the fashions of the extras in the show. They are so whimsy grunge and look like all the kids that sell fruit at Pike’s Place Market. So my goal is to be everything ancient and old and warrior like with a mix of Jethro Tull and folk metal with Xena hair with a purple glaze. Yep. So to get Xena’s simple makeup look with Lancome products:

Apply a tinted moisturizer in your shade. I love Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital Teinte Tinted Moisturizer. Since this is a summer look, I recommend going a shade darker than usual. Since tinted moisturizer is sheer, it is a nice way to add some “color” without looking like a peanut butter face. Since tinted moisturizer is sheer you may need to apply concealer where needed. I love Lancome Maquicomplet Complete Coverage Concealer. Apply bronzer, try something like Tropiques Minerale Mineral Smoothing Pressed Powder Bronzer. I would still apply it with a fluffy brush. You can reapply the bronzer to cheeks as blush or use more of a peachy blush such as Blush Subtil in Cappucine.

One of my favorite products ever is Lancome’s Le Crayone Poudre Eyebrow Pencil. It is a pencil with a powder texture. It looks really natural. Brush brows into place with the spoolie and then fill in and brush with the spoolie again to blend the color. For the eyes, apply Color Design Sensational Effects Eyeshadow in Gaze or Positive from lashline to brows. In the crease blend Impress. This will really make blue eyes pop too. Or you can brush the bronzer into the crease. Apply Le Crayon Khol Smoky Eyeliner in Black Coffee to top lashline. Apply to bottom lashline, halfway. Take a stiff liner brush dab into the bronzing powder and blend outward for a smoky look. Apply a dark mascara to top and bottom lashes such as High Definicils mascara.

Lips are nude and defined. Apply my favorite lip liner ever: Le Lipstique in Bronzelle. Contour the lip line. Apply Color Design Lipcolor in Natural Beauty, a nude taupey mauve. Now you’re finished and ready to get into bar fights with warlords and to look damn good will spitting flaming liquor into their faces.

First off, I fell for this product because of it’s adorable and “eau” so Pacific Northwestern packaging. I love the raven and snow owl imagery. I just love it. I love nocturnal animals and I wish I could more raven and crow merchandise. So, Pacifica got me with with this one with packaging alone. And I just happen to like the fragrance.

OK, so for a solid perfume, Pacifica’s formula is pretty creamy. It comes in a tin about the same size as Burt’s Bees lip balm tins. It has the nice imagery on it 🙂 It is composed of many wonderful and moisturizing, natural ingredients. It is a solid perfume so it wears very closely to the skin. Since it wears so “intimately” it doesn’t appear to last very long. However, if you are a fan of solid fragrance, then this is not new to you at all. If you don’t like solids, Pacifica makes a spray too. That I have not tried.

Now to the fragrance. I love the version of the solid. It isn’t very “junipery”. I have a juniper outside the window and I love its evergreen aroma. I also love the aroma of the berries which I have tried to squish into some strange oil based concoction to burn in an oil burner. That idea failed miserably. This solid fragrance has a bit of that juniper berry vibe. It has a faint evergreen fragrance, almost like a martini. I mainly smell zest of grapefruit. I usually don’t do citrusy fragrances but I can do this one because it is kept level by the “woods”. This fragrance smells “cool” because of heliotrope and that makes it much more femme. I think the juniper turns a lot of ladies off but it shouldn’t. This is not Pine-Sol. It has enough floral to make is less “piney” and the citrus makes it very tangy. That being said, this is not a winter only fragrance. The citrus makes it totally wearable in warmer months. I actually wanted this to much more woody, but Pacifica had to pretty it up 🙂 I think if you like woody, herbaceous scents then you will really like this. Especially with the $9 price tag. Oh, and if you like Demeter Gin and Tonic or Martini. And if you want a “wintery” citrus than this is nice.

And, I know that this says that this is a solid perfume review only, I must comment on the body butter. It doesn’t resemble the solid perfume at all! That is my warning. If you want to slather yourself in the Avalon Juniper fragrance than you will be disappointed by the body butter and vice versa. If you want a fragrance that smells like the body butter don’t buy the solid. The body butter is very, very fruity. It smells like sweetened grapefruit juice. It is a little tangy but mostly sweet. It almost smells like a tropical cocktail. They played up “berry” but not juniper berry. It wears very nicely with the solid, making it more of a complex and more of a “girl” scent. I personally won’t be purchasing the body butter again because it is too LE Escada fragrance and not “earthy” or “woodsy” enough despite its nice texture.

This fragrance is very “walking through a Pacific Northwestern evergreen forest in early spring”. I love it for that because I am a big fan of forest walking, especially in cool air. It is also a nice unisex fragrance. Or at least that is what my husband says. It wears much more “woodsy” on him. I think he even uses it on dry skin patches since the rich soy and coconut wax base make it a nice moisturizer.

My poor juniper in one of the first days of the great Seattle blizzard of '08

My poor juniper in one of the first days of the great Seattle blizzard of '08

TokyoMilk Waltz Parfum is a clean and fresh floral that is perfect for spring. At first spritz it is both energetic and sweet. It smells slightly like raw honey, but not in a sickly sweet or sticky way. It really balances the green and floral notes. It smells of linden. Linden is a lovely note. It is slightly citrus, lime-like and floral. It is so artful in this composition because it blends so nicely with the “honeyed rose” note that is vaguely honeysuckle-ish. I have a family of beekeepers and linden honey is often priced for its sweet floral citrus taste. It is practically ambrosia in my mind. Also, I am a tea addict and I love linden tea (made from the tree’s flowers) especially mixed with linden honey and a dash of orange blossom water. I fall hard for this fragrance from first spritz. Fragrance is about memories and this scent takes me to a place that is partly my memories and partly fantasy. The fragrance is a monofloral linden limey citrus in a bouquet of roses. Which from the smell, makes me want my ambrosia quality linden honey and linden tea mixed with a bit of rose water. The rose is light and not “old-fashioned”. In fact, it does remind me more of delicate rose water than of 50’s rose perfume or tuberose blends. By the time you’ve been able to appreciate the linden and rose mix, you are taken over by the invasive wisteria blossom. I love wisteria, don’t get me wrong. It is such a wonderful floral fragrance. It is a bit of a “green” floral and reminds me of watery fruit, like grape or kiwi. My grandfather had these planted around an open patio and it was used (trained) as shade. The smell was wonderful in a gentle summer breeze. He had a few different types of wisteria, some used for bonsai and the others as free growing trees. This wisteria reminds me of the tall Chinese wisteria. I don’t know what was really used in this mix but this is what it reminds me of.  It feels like the wisteria “vines” in this fragrance will take you over. I love that. The fragrance is faintly citrus from the linden, sweet from the honey, floral from the rose, fresh from the wisteria. It claims to have white musk. The white musk doesn’t take over and really keeps the rest of the scents grounded. It is a beautiful composition, just like a Waltz. Tokyo Milk got the name and the image right on this one.

The bottle looks like all the other TokyoMilk fragrances with it’s simple glass bottle. The sticker has a lovely black and white evening ball print on it. It is is beautiful complete with the heady chandelier. It really completes the fragrance since the fragrance really reminds me of a Fragonard painting with its flirtiness and feminine charm. The fragrance wears for many hours. I wore it to Pike Place in Seattle, one of the stinkiness places in the universe due to fish markets, tourists, and bohemian BO, and I could still smell myself. And so could others. I managed to smell like a spring/summer breeze. It retails for $28 for 1 ounce and can be purchased on beautyhabit.com or b-glowing.com. I have a feeling I am going to go through this one ounce fairly quickly. The floral notes make it dance into spring and the green and citrus notes make it wearable for summer.

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.

Thankful to be out of the South

Thankful to be out of the South

I try to keep this blog from being too personal. I don’t expect people to enjoy reading about my fortunes or misfortunes. That’s what reality TV is for. Anyways, on this Thanksgiving I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. This has been a huge year for me. I’ve made my first huge move. Drove across this barren country, starting in hot and bothered Nashville and making it to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments. I was prepared for the worst. It was a ballsy move. However, this has been the best thing I have ever done. Well, other than marrying my sweetheart. (Sorry to gag you with a spoon.) I’m so happy that this move worked out. I never realized why I was so unhappy. I just thought I was a bitch. I’m still a bitch but at least I am a happy one that spends weekends on the rocky coasts, finding so many golden chanterelles that I never want to see this little fungi again, and exposed to the most amazing produce ever. I love living in a place that keeps me so busy, either shopping for my new fave niche fragrance or kicking so many toadstools. It’s nice. It was a nice match for me. All I wanted was was mountains and sea with lots of fungus, good food, and feeling like I am in a place that is apart of the globe. My husband and I are happy, living in a cute yellow craftsmen a few blocks from the sea. Still no buttermilk colored French bulldog pitter patting about, still working on that. My French bulldog biological clock is still ticking. Still no delicious Mexican food. How I long for that daily! People don’t “keep it real” out here and I miss that. I come across as bitchy and pushy and that is funny. I miss people saying for Thanksgiving, “that they gonna eat till they get sick” or “until they hope to not see food ever again.” There are some differences but I needed a reason to romanticize the dirty South just like the rest of the country does. I needed a reason to think that making biscuits is cute and charming and eating pintos is something that you do even if you aren’t so damn poor that your parents can’t afford Top Ramen. It has it’s ups and downs but I’m just happy to be away from the South for a while. I’m thankful to have my own blue potato mashed potato Thanksgiving dinner sans driving to Grandma’s house stuck behind a huge ass SUV with anti-Obama, anti-gay, anti-everything bumper stickers.

Two happy peeps.

Two happy peeps.