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 haven’t met a Diptyque fragrance that I haven’t loved. I can say that Diptyque Philosykos is my all time favorite fig scent ever. Ever. I’m a fig fragrance nut. I “collect” them even if I love them or not. It is a nostalgia thing. It makes me think of my childhood spending summers in the Southeast and my big move to the Pacific Northwest as an adult.

Philosykos is a great blend. It is fairly simple but it completely conveys the fig tree and its surroundings. This fragrance was meant to contain all “parts” of the fig tree including sap, trunk, and leaves in growth. It does. This is a “fresh” fig fragrance because it smells like a living fig tree. This means that it doesn’t smell like a fig dessert or the fruit or the bark or dried leaves. It smells like a living fig tree, plain and simple. When you spritz the fragrance you get the feeling that you are standing beside a few fig trees in the late of summer with a warm Southern breeze.  Or maybe setting near the sea on a large driftlog, feeling the warmth of sea pebbles and sand below your summer sandals, and thinking of the fresh figs you’ve just picked on the your walk down to the shore. It’s that simple. You smell the greeness of the leaves, the woodiness of the smooth bark, and the fig sap which sometimes has an almost latex-like aroma. It also contains white cedar and this grounds this scent beautifully and makes it longer wearing. (It is much more noticeable in the dry-down and reminds me of sea smoothed driftwood.) Like I said, this scent is fairly simple and very realistic. I love it for all-year wear. It’s light, not heavy, wears for about 5 hours (good for an EDT), and it is a “memory” fragrance for me.This is a must for a fig fragrance lover since it seems to “define” the fig fragrance as a genre.

It retails for $88 for 1.7 oz. It is available at beautyhabit.com and barneys.com.

As you may know, I love a fig fragrance. It is one of my favorite fragrance “genres”. Satellite Paris A La Figue! is best described as a fruity fig. It is less “green” or “woody” than other fig fragrances on the market. A la Figue smells like the sap of a fig. You know the part that most people have an allergic reaction to…This is a fruity fragrance that I see myself wearing wearing when I want a more “playful” fragrance. Notes listed include: fig tree sap (I got it!), fresh fig, lily of the valley, patchouli, cedar, and musk. The company describes the scent as “Intense memory of a summer night, a hammock under the fig tree. The magic moment of the scents come out, underlining with purple the horizon“. Well, that’s where I want to be. If you read my home blog you will know I spend a lot of time under a fig tree. Right now they are in prime fragrance mode since the fruit is so ripe (almost rotten) it is plopping to the ground. It is very “fruity”. I personally adore the scent of fig tree such as the leaves. That is a beautiful smell. I do love the fruit as well and I love to catch a whiff of it in the breeze. This scent “creates” a summer memory. (However, lily of the valley blooms in spring here.) And the fig trees here have two seasons. This is a pretty fig scent, very sweet in comparison to other fig inspired scents. This smells more of a fig dessert and a local café in late summer, almost fall than a hammock at dusk. The dry down, after a few hours of wear, is very woodsy and cedar on me. This is lovely but there isn’t the slightest hint of fig. Fig fruit and cedar are a match made in heaven and I like to smell them together. This is more of a fig fruit scent then cedar scent. Not together. They are distant memories. It reminds me more of a summer turns into fall scent.

This isn’t my favorite fig scent (very fruity) but I do like it. My disclaimer, I love anything fig related. I would say that you would like this if you like fig scents or fruity scents that don’t smell like candy.

Of course the bottle is beautiful. I mean it is a jewelry company producing the fragrance. This fragrance retails for $80 for 1.7 ounces. There is also a candle that I am very curious about. It goes for $48. These are available at beautyhabit.com.

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Vera Wang Princess is one of those fragrances obviously marketed to a younger crowd. The closest it gets to senior is senior in high school. It doesn’t mean that you have to be a teen to like it, it is just obvious this is who the company was banking on. The fragrance is a sweet oriental blend and very different from the other Vera Wang fragrances. It’s pretty light and light wearing. Not overwhelming. It isn’t horrible but I just don’t like it. Of course, I’m older and I’m not wild about sweet fragrances; it’s a personal thing.

What really stands out to me the most in Princess is the dark chocolate note. When I wear this is this the overwhelming note. It isn’t bad, just not what I want. It wears like a teenage version of Mugler’s Angel. It’s chocolaty and woodsy with sweet powdery hints of vanilla and amber. Did I mention the hints of sugary frosting as well? I can tell that the fragrance contains everything including fruits and flowers but on me, I just get all the sweet notes. The bottom line is that this is a sweet fragrance. My sisters are teenagers and love this scent. They like it because it isn’t too fruity or floraly. And for them and their lack of exposure to other “grown-up” scents, they think this is heavy and sexy because of the wood and amber base. So the product is genius in that aspect. It’s a sexy and sophisticated scent in their eyes even though it isn’t heavy. So moms, don’t worry, you won’t be gagging when you are dropping your daughters and their friends off at the movie theater when you are stuck in the SVU with 4 teenage girls wearing this.

My verdict is that this scent is definitely not for me. I find it generic and boring, too sweet and foody. It smells like a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting was smeared on me while I was wearing a generic amber, woods, and musk based fragrance. I love the dry-down of the base notes after a few hours. It’s woodsy and amber-ish. It’s very pretty but I can get that from other scents without the sweetness. Since it is a sweet fragrance, I would recommend it for cooler weather wear. I don’t like this but I can see how others can. If you like sweet, gourmand oriental fragrances then you’ll most likely like this one. Sweet, gourmand orientals aren’t my favorite but they do have a time and a place and I know some people love them.

The bottle is really cute, the epitome of cute things. They should just put a pic of a fuzzy, white kitten on it and be done. Once again, this is what my sisters rave about. They love having it out on their dresser in their lilac painted room. The bottle feels heavy and sturdy. And I have to admit that even I think it is cute.

I would say you would like this if you are a teen, haha, if you like chocolate based or dessert sweet fragrances or if you like Carolina Herrera 212 Sexy, Aquolina Pink Sugar, Ralph Lauren Ralph Hot, Fresh Canabis Santal, Mugler Angel and/or mark Jewel. The 1 ounce goes for $45, 1.7 ounce for $57, 3.4 ounce for $72. There is a body butter, body polish, and bubble bath available. Sephora has a cute roll-on of this, the other end is a lip gloss. It makes a nice gift. *Currently available at fragrancenet.com.

Dont worry I found an ad with a fluffy white kitten! (Oh, and a hunk too).

Don't worry I found an ad with a fluffy white kitten! (Oh, and a hunky prince charming too!)


Vera Wang Princess Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 1.7 Oz by Vera Wang

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

Estee Lauder has attempted to make “warm tones of sun-baked nudes and rose, lit with glimmers of gold look flattering on every skin tone.” It is a collection of “rose golds” with “glimmers”(AKA big pieces of shimmer flakes). It is a pretty, neutral collection and I imagine that it will really work for many people. It’s sexy in a Victoria’s Secret supermodel way, I mean just look at bronzed up Hilary Rhoda, the model above. I say that it will not work on all skin tones. But, if you have warm or olive undertones, it should really work. They have “amethyst” colors too. These are warmed up plums and berries. Instead of thinking as those as warm cools that cool toned complexions can wear, I think of them as cool tones that warm complexions can wear. Does that make sense?

EYES: There are 2  Sensuous Gold Signature Eyeshadow Quads that retail for $35. To be honest, I was not really impressed with either of these. It’s the formula. I know you’ve seen it before. It looks like it has been dusted with shimmer flakes. The shimmer is not mixed throughout the powder so you’ll get one use that will be super, super shimmery. It isn’t ugly, it’s just deceptive, I guess. Plus, I don’t see this formula wearing very nicely on a mature eye area. The colors are pretty, but I just recommend trying before you buy. There is Rose Amethyst, shimmery shades of plum, pink, and gold. The other is Rose Gold, glimmery shades of rose/pink and gold. Double Wear Stay In Place Eye Pencil has been relaunched. It’s a nice long wearing formula. Another item includes Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara. I haven’t tried it so sorry, no insights.

FACE: There is a Gilded Rose Shimmer Powder that retails for $36. It’s a baked and marbelized shimmer powder with gold, rose, peach, taupe, sand colors like that. It’s pretty but no better than any other baked and marbelized complexion enhancer on the market. However, it does come with a nice wide, flat brush. And of course Double Wear Foundation has been relaunched.

LIPS & NAILS: There are Signature Lipsticks in a pretty rose gold container. This have been dusted in shimmer also. They retail for $19.50. There’s Cinnamon, Plum Amethyst, Rose Amethyst, and Terracotta. All are warm and range from rose to bronze. There are 2 new Pure Color Multi-Gloss. These have colored layers of shimmer and go for $18. There is Amethyst and Rose Gold. There are 2 Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Black Amethyst, a rich blackberry, and Rose Gold, a shimmery warm rose. Both retail for $18.

And of course there is the Sensuous EDP, a modern wood scent that really isn’t too bad. And to “honor” this collection, they’ve released limited edition products in this scent. A solid perfume, perfume, body oil, body cream, and touch on fragrance. Prices range from $39.50-$120. I am really interested in the body oil. Remember Tom Ford’s Youth Dew Amber Nude body oil? That stuff was amazing.

This isn’t a collection that I feel I must have but it isn’t bad. I do like the warm plums. This collection because of the warm gold undertones could really make blue eyes pop and it will really compliment brown, hazel, and green eyes. The warm tones will work very nicely with olive and tan skins or anybody with golden undertones. We all know that rose gold looks great on redheads so imagine the shades with “rose gold” in the title will look wonderful. It’s just the shimmer factor that may put some people off due to age or the fact that they don’t like to be glitzy during the work day.

laudercollercollection

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Elizabeth Arden explains this fragrance as a “radiant woody floral and a modern expression of sparkling radiance“. I would definitely say that this fits into that category of “modern woody floral”. It is woody but not in a super masculine way. At first it comes on as a bit fruity with hints of citrus and stone fruits such as plum. This lasts a very short time on me. It then smells of spicy wood, like a mix of sandalwood and dry cedar. But, it floral in an “aquatic” fragrance sense of the word. It is floral with the hissy notes of “orchid” and “wisteria”. But, it is all blended together so if it is very difficult to go “oh, there is the wisteria and here is the sandalwood”. It is all blended together and this wears on me for a long time. At times I’ll sniff and smell the woods and then again I’ll sniff and pick up a certain floral sharpness that makes this smell almost soapy fresh. Eventually, all I smell is warm sun-baked woods with generic “clean” musk. It isn’t a horrible fragrance it just doesn’t have a lasting impression on me. I find it boring for a “Mediterranean” fragrance but find it interesting for a “sea” scent if this makes sense. I think this fragrance could of really benefited from a fig hint and herbs, but then again, I can find that elsewhere because that already exists. But for a “sea” scent,  I can appreciate that this scent is clean and fresh without being “aquatic” and overly hissy.  Overall the fragrance is a very clean “wood” scent that can be worn all year round. It’s “easy” to wear and it is a nice fragrance if you can’t stand the thought of wearing something sweet, foody, or overly floral. ( I have to love it for that).

I do find the bottle pretty for a mainstream fragrance. It has smooth cerulean blue glass. The glass feels heavy and it feels expensive. The cap is a hammered silver-ish something. To be honest, I can’t remember if it was metal or plastic. So, if it is plastic, then it did a good job of tricking me. It really looks like a pretty piece of resort wear jewelry and I have to give Elizabeth Arden props for this one.

I would say that you may like this if you like Michael Kors Island, Estee Lauder Sensuous, Avon U by Ungaro, Versace Versense, Demeter Laundromat, Pucci Vivara, and/or Dolce and Gabbana Sicily or Feminine.

The 1.7 ounce retails for $47.50 and the 3.3 ounce retails for $57.50. And there are extras like a shimmery body powder (very cool), body cream, and body lotion. A good time to pick this up is when Elizabeth Arden offers one of their GWP specials.

This fragrance is what the name implies. It is a rich, warm, and seductive scent. The packaging is perfect and contains a skull and crossbones, suggesting the poisonous side of the product. (Who doesn’t love the antiquarian styled packaging?) Initially I wasn’t attracted to the product despite its cool packaging. To be honest, I found the name dull and boring. “Sexy” is an overused and bastardized word. I mean if it is being used by some slimy designer on HGTV to describe a ceiling fan, then it is dead. Yep, dead is “sexy”.

However, I am so pleased that I was talked into and had a chance to try this fragrance. Dead Sexy is warm and comforting without being overly sweet. It is perfect for these chilly and drizzly and moody western Washington days. This fragrance is the epitome of the “modern woods” fragrance genre. In the beginning this fragrance is a high quality vanilla liquor and a dry, rare woods blend. It is almost oud-ish but less abrasive. It has a bit of a smokiness which is what I think makes this so sexy. It reminds me of being in an Old World “bordello” filled with the abstract incense smoke and fine wooden furniture and the softest linens, surrounded by ebony panels. It’s luxe and goth in An Interview With A Vampire way. Once it starts to dry down, it is more of a “woods” scent. The vanilla is there but it isn’t as “liquory”.  The vanilla is smoky and incensey. It just smells of a melange of  rich and slightly sweet “modern” woods. These woods aren’t dirty. They are round and robust and very feminine. There is the faintest aroma of delicate white petals. It smells more like your in this “bordello” and you pick up a whiff of little white flowers in a vase next to a candelabra filled with burning candles. The florals are there but almost ghostly, you catch their cold “feeling” every now and then amongst the warm woods. In fact, this blend is a great balance of “warm” and “cool” like a rich mahogany bed with crisp, smooth sheets. It has a mix of exotic and precious woods, smoky vanilla, rich amber-like resins, and a dash of flirty petals. It’s a beautiful thing, really. This scent reminds me of vampy Theda Bara. This is a must have fragrance for all the real-life vamps and working goths out there.

This fragrance is a sexy (not my favorite adjective but fitting for this scent) scent that isn’t overwhelming like most “modern woods”. I wear it during the day. It is soft but very rich and bewitching. It wears closely to the skin for a few hours. I say about 4-5 hours of wear. It contains notes of deep vanilla, exotic wood, white orchid, and ebony. I would say to give this one a try if you like dry woodsy scents, Tom Ford Oud Wood,  Tom Ford White Patchouli, Estee Lauder Sensuous, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist, Nanette Lepore Nanette, Prada EDP, Calvin Klein Euphoria, and/or Laura Mercier Minuit Enchanté.

The 1 ounce spray retails for $28 (a steal) and can be purchased at b-glowing.com.