Sometimes I run into a fragrance and wonder “why haven’t I had you in my life sooner”? This is one of those scents. Sometimes I smell something and it is so me. Despite my extensive fragrance collection, I see this (10 Corso Como)  is the kind of scent that I will keep going back to and using again and again and again. I flirt with many, many types of fragrances, but at heart my fragrance personality is “woods”. Especially, dry warm woods.

10 Corso Como doesn’t possess a certain in your face “wow” factor. It isn’t a chameleon. It doesn’t contain a collection of strange  “isn’t it ironic notes”. It’s just really pretty and a must have for the woodsy fragrance lover. It’s for those that love the richness and warmth of sandalwood, musk, oud, frankincense but don’t want to smell like hippies or like they stumbled upon a Grateful Dead tribute band concert when they were just trying to have a romantic picnic in the park. Don’t get me wrong. I adore a “headshop” fragrance oil, but I don’t want that from a $115 perfume. I want it to have some class, some beauty, some refinement.

10 Corso Como is one of those fragrances that you love or you hate. If you love sandalwood or oud, then you will most likely this one. In fact, you won’t find this very strong at all. You may find it too “weak” and “pretty”. The wearer that doesn’t reach for a woodsy scent may find this one too strong, too animalic, too smoky. I find it woodsy in a feminine way. It smells almost of a wood carved jewelry box where one would store their dainty perfume oils and aromatic elixirs. I can barely pick up the rosy elements. I get more a fresh, balsmy wood at first. It is a little strange. It’s very woodsy and balmsy. It smells like a clean, tidy recreation of an evergreen forest. When I say “clean”, I mean there isn’t any grit, moss, dirt, moisture. It’s the foresty perfume equivalent of those unadulterated “aquatic” based perfumes. It’s pure but it is not a synthetic forest scent that would remind someone of Irish Spring soap or a men’s cologne. I pick up on smooth woods and vetiver. It is very resinous and slightly “green”, but green like a mustard green or chicory (this I think is porcini raised in their pine needle beds, this aroma takes me on a mushroom hunt. I am an amateur mycologist, this does smell mushroomy). That’s the weird part of the fragrance. The strange forest, pine/vetiver, mushroom-ness. This stage quickly passes, about 5-15 minutes. It then becomes a turpentine-ish woodsy fragrance. It still smells like lady-like sweet woods such as sandalwood but with a bit of evergreen/turpentine edge. It really reminds me of the sap from an evergreen, mainly pine. A buttery sweetness is present among the woods and slight turpentine-ness (most likely the reason that I love it). This woodsy blend wears for some time. So to sum it up at this stage: Buttery sandalwood sap next to a a dried out piece of smooth evergreen wood. It’s much prettier than it sounds. I don’t really get the “smokiness” of this fragrance. I get an incense like aroma but no smoke. Frankincense provides an incense sans the smoke aroma. It smells rich and exotic but I feel it is there but in moderation. This is definitely more of a balsamy wood scent than it is a resiny oriental scent. The frankincense and musk is more apparent as the evergreen/porcini a.k.a turpentine fades. It becomes a sensual mix of sandalwood, frankincense, and musk. It becomes very elegant and almost too pretty. This happens after about 45 minutes of wear. It smells like a classic dry woods perfume. But, there is something a bit “off”, a certain strangeness that doesn’t scream at you but makes you realize that this isn’t your regular sandalwood obsessed fragrance. I think it is the oud wood/agarwood, one of my favorite notes in fragrance ever. I didn’t realize that I loved oud as much as do until about 2 years ago. It is such a weird note. It can smell like pretty dry woods, oil, floral, and even like porcini. Of course I love this wood for the fungal factor alone. It’s mesmerizing. I think why I like this fragrance so much is because the prized oud wood is there. In the beginning, I think this is what is making the top notes so strange. That spicy mustard/chicory must be the porcini like aroma of oud wood, it then gets a sandalwood warmth and really rounds out the sweetness of the buttery sandalwood present in this mix. It adds a bit of an unusual character that makes this scent glamorous and in my opinion worth the price.

Some people complain that this fragrance doesn’t last long. Yesterday when I wore it, it wore for 16 hours. Today it wore for over 14. It is the kind of fragrance that lasts a long time but just very closely to the skin. That is typical of woods heavy fragrances. They are there, you may not notice it, but others will. Woods make a fragrance last.

Notes listed include: rose, geranium, vetiver, frankincense, musk, sandalwood, and Malay oud-wood. Prices range from $85 to the 1.7 to $115 for the $3.4. Bath products are available in this line as well, oh, and a solid perfume. Have I mentioned that I love the 30’s vintage feel of this bottle? Since I have been renovating our 30’s home, I have been all about that era’s design. This bottle is right on and based on a flea-market find antique perfume bottle. It is available at beautyhabit.com.

So far, I am really loving Les Garçonnes fragrance collection. Pompon Gardenia is an amazing heady white floral blend with sweet lime. This is one of my favorite white florals ever. I love a super feminine white floral and this is a winner with its blend of gardenia, lilies, and lime.

I assume that the inspiration for Pompon Gardenia was François Pompon, a 20’s era sculptor and Rodin’s assistant. I’ve always remembered him for his sleek chouettes. But, it could just be pompon as a fashion accessory. I don’t know for sure and I really don’t care. I love the sleek and portable, ecological cardboard packaging. It’s a lovely poppy print with rich green and mauve. I peeled a bunch of ’36 era wallpaper in my rehab home that reminded me of this print and color scheme.

At first Pompon Gardenia is a lush, humid white gardenia. There is a faint aroma of watermelon and gardenia. This doesn’t smell like a Jolly Rancher watermelon hard candy or too fruity. It just adds a humid quality to the gardenia, something that is more a sweet aquatic quality than just “aquatic”. It’s more “watermelon rind”, a bit green and fresh, bitter and sweet,  and what is keeping it from being like a candy-esque body spray. The sweet lime is an amazing touch to this blend. I love limes for their tart fruitiness and slight sweetness. We always have them around the kitchen. I love the smell that they leave on my hands. It is very beautiful and I always thought it would be perfect with a heady floral. Pompon Gardenia has a very pleasant slightly bitter but mostly sweet type of lime. I’m talking you smell the entire little sweet lime, including zest and juicy pulp. It’s beautiful. All of these fruits mix with dainty white lily of the valley (very understated in comparison) and big, white gardenias. Gardenia works very well with these fruits because gardenia has a slightly fruity aroma anyways. Eventually, the fragrance becomes a strong gardenia fragrance with a sweet lime twist, the watermelon rind fades, so do the other dainty white flowers. After a bit of wear, you pick up on the faintest and mildest tobacco ever. In fact the 1st few weeks that I wore this, I could barely pick up on it. It has been many, many years since I smelled the warmness and hay like quality of dried, light tobacco. I ended up wearing this one day in the summer and my husband drug me to a cigar shop. There I smelled the lovely jars of various flavored and unflavored tobacco. I smelled some that the owner referred to as “mild” and “blonde”. I could then smell this ever so slightly in this solid fragrance blend. It is faint and definitely overshadowed by the white florals. It does add some much needed warmth to the blend. Don’t let the tobacco fool you. This is not a smoky blend, “dry”,  nor is it even close to being masculine. This is a pretty girl wearing an old-fashioned gardenia perfume oil and red lipstick in a quaint tobacco shop. That’s it.

This fragrance isn’t what I expected it to be. When I read the notes when it was launched, I was thinking of something much more dry, smokier with a  less fruity gardenia, and maybe the kind of sweet lime wedge that has been swimming in honey colored whiskey. I was thinking something to wear in cooler weather. I was thinking of a sexy but desperate 20’s lady at a smoky bar with messy, uneven pin-curls. This is much more feminine, alive, pretty, and almost coy. It’s much more 40’s cheesecake pin-up. It is glowing with a bright red lipstick smile exposing more than pearly whites. It’s perfect like a Vargas created girl. Like I said, it wasn’t what I expected but it is something that I really like. I am happy that I bought it. It’s fairly simple aquatic gardenia with lime with a very slight tobacco dry warmth.

It retails for about $16 and is available at b-glowing.com and beautyhabit.com. It’s a great price, cute vintage packaging, and wears for a few hours without any touch-ups. I’m touching up my red lipstick more frequently than this stuff.

This is a decent “chapstick” styled lip balm that goes for $5.99. That’s kind of expensive in my opinion but the packaging was just too cute and that was what got me. Being from Nashville, I’m all about vintage country western. Dreaming of being country western rhinestoned darling but lacking real talent and considering that vintage country was dead many moons ago, no wonder I just fulfill my dreams with little products in cute packages.

Time to round ’em up, boys…it’s basic and not greasy. It doesn’t leave a shine on the lips, very natural looking. It contains SPF 18 which did not burn the heck out of my lips like most SPF lip products. The formula was pretty smooth until the last 15%-20% left. It then became a bit gritty, uneven, and too much would be distributed to my lips. I did have to reapply frequently but I’m a big mouth that is always sipping coffee or tea, so I have to reapply everything frequently. The fragrance was slightly sweet, not honeysuckle in my opinion, more honey with a bit of orange juice. But, the fragrance was very,very faint and didn’t taste gross/metallic/anything like that.

So, it’s a decent product. I’m not sad that I purchased it. I did use it up. Will I puchase again? Most likely no. I’m a flirt anyways and I didn’t fall in love with this product. Like most Blue Q products, it is all about the novelity, the cuteness, the packaging. It’s an OK product housed in Dale Evans-ish cuteness. I guess it just depends on what is important to you in a product. It can be purchased at www.blueq.com.

Dior’s fall 2009 makeup collection is inspired by the 1920’s. For the past few years this era has been very popular in the makeup color collection world. Since I’m into most things vintage, I’m not going to complain. However, I don’t think of this collection as very 20’s but more of a 2009 take of a a jazz club in the late 40’s/early 50’s. The look is OTT with bold smoky eyes paired with boldly colored lips.

EYES: There is a Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow in Night Butterfly. This has shades ranging from glittery black to stainless steel to reddish plums. It’s a pretty compact but I would say that most people wouldn’t find it appropriate for daily wear. I really do think this is a compact that would make a great smoky eye for those with green or hazel eyes. It goes for $56. There is a DiorLiner Eyeliner in Plum. This is is a liquid liner in a berry purple. I would also say that this is a nice color for green and hazel eyes. It retails for $31. The Diorshow Brow Styler is featured in this look. I have never used it so I can’t comment. There is a Total Eyelook Makeup Clutch in a nice package. The colors are pretty neutral, for everybody colors. It contains 4 shimmery neutral eyeshadows, a brow powder, and a cream-to-powder eyeliner. It goes for $65.
NAIL: There is a Vernis Nail Enamel in Black Plum. It goes for $20.
LIPS: There are 2 Addict Ultra-Gloss Reflect Lip Glosses in Draped Burgundy, a glossy garnet, and Taffeta Plum, a golden plum. I do love this lip gloss formula and the packaging is very luxurious. These retail for $25.50. There are 2 Addict Lipcolors in Decadent Plum, a rich purpley blackberry juice, and Négligée Pink, a rich magenta. Once again this is a nice formula with nice packaging and I do like these bold shades. These lipcolors go for $26. There is a Dior Rouge Contour Lip Liner featured in Thrilling Plum, a deep plum color. This formula is super smooth and long-wearing and goes for $26.

The colors are nice if you are into dark and bold. Many of the shadows are nice for green and hazel eyes. I would say that the lip colors featured would pair nicely with cool complexions in a variety of tones. And I think the lip colors would go nice with brunette, black, and gray hair colors. This collection is available at Nordstroms and Sephora.

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

Oh, something else that I want. The packaging for this product, Miss Ferling Baume de Levres Iris a la Violette or Kiss Me Sweet Mona Lip Balm, is sooo cute. I am a sucker for this kind of stuff. It comes a cute collage Mona Lisa box. The tube is dainty and violet. And to top it off it is a natural product with a silvery violet tint and sweet violet flavor. I’m sold. I love the scent and taste of violets. This product retails for $15 and is available on beautyhabit.com.

I must say that I haven’t sniffed any of these yet but I know that I want them all. Sometimes a company just “gets” me. I get branded and I can’t help it. This is what I’ve been “into” for quite sometime, why don’t they just stamp a French bulldog on the package and pair it with some violet mints and a stereoscope and you have consumer me. I am a sucker for this stuff. I may have long hair but I do flaunt 20’s turbans and head wear. I love the elegance of the “flapper” but I promise that I am not obsessed with them. I have more of a Gibson Girl’s tastes, well pair that with a 60’s biker b-film hag’s tastes and you have what I like. Anyways. I love Crazylibellule & The Poppies. These budget friendly solid sticks have not disappointed me yet. I love their intimacy and how well they wear. I also love the designs on the packaging and they are travel friendly. The notes in the fragrances sound really nice (I’m not going to list everything, just a few “key” ones, visit their website or b-glowing’s website for more info). All retail for $18. Les Garçonnes line is all about the flapper. The company states, “A new breed of woman in the 1920’s who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair and flounted the conventtional standards of behavior.” So, lets not get my Woman’s Studies minor self talking here, you can romanticize the flapper anyway you want to really, people have always been fascinated by them, especially young, modern gals. In my opinion the flapper was all about consumerism, fashion, smoking, and all of that jazz while still trying to trap a man as a financial investment…but, anyways, back to fragrance here. (Where’s the suffragist fragrance line 🙂 ? )

There is Chère Louise (of course, in honor of Louise Brooks, Lulu, my favorite “flapper”): It has notes of hyacinth, violet, saffron, pepper seed, and patchouli. Sounds like a nice spicy floral. It is housed in a navy and poppy orange colored container with poppies, so cute! (All of the fragrances have that same adorable poppy design like a nice vintage silk handkerchief.)

Hommage A Gabrielle: It has notes of ozonic flower, Indian jasmine, cedar, and Russian leather. It has the poppy container with white and black. I sure hope it is heavy on the leather.

Jeanne Voyage: This has notes of Sicilian bergamot, iris of Florence, heliotrope, and musk. THis one has espresso and blue poppies.

Josephine Jonequille: This has notes of lemon, cardamom, ginger, jasmine, black chocolate, and patchouli. Packaging is navy and yellow and this one “sounds” great for cooler days.

Pompon Gardenia: It has notes of lime, lily of the valley, heliotrope, and tobacco. Packaging is mauve and forest green.

Rose À Saïgon: This has notes of mango, passionfruit, jasmine, ylang-ylang, and vetiver. Packaging is a forest green and magenta.

Tamara Charleston: It has notes of green mandarin, peach absinthe, Sambac jasmine, gardenia, freshly cut hay, and amber. Packaging is a deep purple and chartreuse green.

How badly I want all of these to conjure up a smoky speakeasy! I want them to be heavy on smokey tobacco, leather chairs, the rose often used to scent lipstick, and gin! I definitely know that I want to buy Pompon Gardenia, Tamara Charleston, and Chère Louise. It’s dangerous to purchase unsniffed, I find that I usually would go for the fragrance with the dullest description but I think these seem pretty safe. I have found that in this line most of the fragrances just smell like their “heart” notes despite the lists of other notes. But, trust me, whatever I purchase, you will definitely hear about it here.

The Collection

The Collection