Weekly Cheap Secret:

I love the smell of monoï, especially for summer. It’s warm, floral, and very beachy. Yves Rocher Jardins des Îles Alcohol-Free Tiaré Flower Body Mist isn’t my favorite monoï on the market, but it isn’t bad and the price is great. It’s a very simple fragrance. It’s a slightly coconut-y gardenia in an alcohol-free water, glycerin, and coconut oil base. It’s a very light wearing formula. It wears like a body spray but the formula isn’t as drying as a “typical” body spray. This does not have an oily texture so it isn’t like a monoï oil in a spray bottle. It’s just a non-drying tropical floral scent in a spray bottle. This fragrance is usually limited edition. Yves Rocher releases it for summer. It’s a nice and cheap reminder of a cherished tropical vacation. It isn’t overwhelming and wears nicely in summer heat. A 4.2. fl.oz. bottle is usually $6. Yves Rocher runs sales all of the time and I usually pick one up when it is about $3. It’s available on Yves Rocher’s website.

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Yves Rocher Yria is a floral oriental blend. It isn’t the most exciting that I have ever sniffed in this genre but it isn’t the worst either. It’s a very basic oriental floral, pretty true to the genre. It’s resiny with lush petals and a base of sandalwood. It’s a pretty scent and the price is right. Most oriental blends may be too overwhelming and overpowering for “day” wear. I think of Yria as a lighter oriental that could work at anytime. You can’t say that for most of the blends in this family and that is coming from me and I love strong fragrances. And this is coming from me, so maybe it is too heavy for the average person… hmm…Yria hits me as a pretty floral blend at first. For a very short moment, you get bergamot/orange blossom like citrus. These then melts into a rose and jasmine fragrance. I pick up  much more of the rose than I do the jasmine. In fact, I like to apply a jasmine solid perfume under this to really emphasize the jasmine. It’s floral but in a classic floriental way. It has lots of “warmth” grounding it. For a long time it wears on me as a rose/amber blend with the slightest warmth of amber. After some time, the sandalwood shows up and keeps the blend grounded. It’s a warm floral fragrance with classic powdery softness. The dry-down is a rich, warm, close wearing sandalwood. It does wear nicely on me and the lasting power is about 4+ hours. Because of the rich oriental notes, I do think of this EDP as being more appropriate for fall and winter wear. Worn during these times, it doesn’t appear to be so “heavy”. I could see this one as really “heavy” if worn in the middle of summer, like most floral oriental blends.

The company lists the following notes: bergamot, coriander, jasmine, sambac, rose, amber, tonka bean, and sandalwood. The 1.7 oz. spray goes for about $39. This is a fair price for this fragrance and Yves Rocher often runs amazing sales. I would say to give this one a try if you like Halston Women, Borghese Il Bacio, Guerlain Samsara EDT, Estee Lauder Tuscany Per Donna, Avon Candid, Lancome Attraction, Prada L’Eau Ambrée, and/or Must de Cartier.

I love the scent of honeysuckle. It’s such a nostalgic scent for me. What I have realized after I moved across the country, is that honeysuckle isn’t the same. It appears to vary from region to region. In our back yard here in the PNW, we have these orange honeysuckle blossoms. The blossoms smell jasmine-ish and sweet, but they are far less sweeter and honey-ish than the white ones that I grew up with in the South. I’ve tried to keep an open mind to the different honeysuckle based fragrances that I try. I try to keep in mind that there is more than one honeysuckle and many fragrance houses use the term loosely. Here is a list of honeysuckle based fragrances in a variety of price points. Every spring I get a honeysuckle “bug”. I’m sure I will this year too. Please share any that you like so that I can give them a try. One of my favorites was the now discontinued Cynthia Rowley EDP (not the Avon one). It was heavy on honeysuckle and many other flirty florals.

Bargain Honeysuckle Scents: Yves Rocher has Fraîcheur Vegetale Honeysuckle/Chevrefeuille Cologne, it is light-wearing but very pretty and refreshing. It retails for $20 (watch the website for mega-sales and BOGO). Melissa Flagg Clementine (my review) is one of my favorite scents with its blend of orange blossom and honeysuckle. It retails for $32. Now a solid is available. I haven’t tried it yet. Bath & Body Works Wild Honeysuckle EDT is much more floral than sweet and retails for $26.50. A single note honeysuckle is Demeter Honeysuckle which retails for $20. It is pretty and I only wish it would last longer! Mary Kay has an EDT, Sparkling Honeysuckle, that is sunny and fresh. It retails for $25.

More Expensive Honeysuckle Scents: A classic honeysuckle soliflore is Calypso Chevrefeuille EDT that retails for $55. An intoxicating honeysuckle scent is Jo Malone Honeysuckle & Jasmine Cologne. Jasmine and honeysuckle were meant to be together in a blend. The largest bottle retails for $100. A fresh and flirty honeysuckle oh, and a classic is Annick Goutal Le Chevrefeuille EDT. The largest size gos for $115. Creed Chevrefeuille is rugged and “pastoral” kind of honeysuckle, much more green than the others listed. I like it and it retails for about $150. It really does stand apart from the others listed.

Plus 5 More Nice Honeysuckle Blends: Miller Harris Fleur de Matin is a green, fresh scent with honeysuckle. I think of it as a nice summer honeysuckle. Cielo Napa Valley (my review) is a blend that is heavier on fig and honey but the addition of honeysuckle type notes are very nice. It’s a sweet fragrance that I love for fall.  Harajuku Lovers Music EDT is a sweeter honeysuckle scent with adorable packaging. I love the crisp “green” with honeysuckle in Annick Goutal Eau de Camille. It is so easy to wear and very flirty. Victoria’s Secret Dream Angel’s Wish EDP is a very fruity floral with a kiss of honeysuckle. It isn’t my favorite in the list, but I feel I should list it.

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.

blackberrycollage

Well even here in the PNW, summer is almost over. This doesn’t mean that the weather will get horrible (autumn is my favorite season).  It just means that we have a few more weeks of sunshine 🙂 The brambles still have lots of ripe blackberries and will continue to for a few more weeks. I love blackberries. They are one of my favorite things of summer even if they signal the “end”. I love the smell of picking blackberries with the mix of leaves and dried out dead grass. I love the smell of sweet blackberries and their juiciness that stains your finger tips (why can’t I find a lipstain that color?). I love the smell of overripe blackberries. These do get almost musk like and floral. Since we have been renovating intensively, I haven’t had the time to bust out my favorite blackberry recipes. I was able to freeze a few reductions ranging from basic blackberry to blackberry, lemon, lavender which is amazing on angel food cake. We threw a few in salads and ate them by the handfuls. But, I didn’t make my sweets this year because life has been to hectic. Anyways, here is a guide of blackberry fragrances ranging in prices. Since blackberry is a musky fruity scent, it is often made more “sensual” by adding vanilla. I would love to find a blackberry scent that is more tangy and bitter and perhaps “living” but mixed with dried grass/hay, more of an “early” blackberry fragrance. My 2 favorites out of this list include: Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis because it is a bit “darker” than the others and L’Artisan Parfumeur Mûre et Musc Extreme because it is a fruity scent that isn’t childish or teen.

Budget Blackberry Scents: Yves Rocher Les Plaisirs Nature Mûre Sauvage/Blackberry is a single note blackberry fragrance. It is fruity and juicy. The largest EDT , 3.3 oz, goes for $11. It’s nice to have around for late summer. L’Aromarine Mûre Musc Perfume Extract is a long wearing oil. It seems much more expensive than it is. It goes for about $10. A sweet and “young” blend of blackberry and vanilla (and light wearing) is Victoria’s Secret Pink Fruity & Bright  All-Over Body Mist. It retails for $15. To my surprise, I kind of like Bath and Body Works Midnight Pomegrante EDT. It’ a fruity blend including blackberries and cassis but it has musk and patchouli making it much richer and not as fruity. It goes for $26.50. They also have Black Raspberry & Vanilla EDT for the same price. This is a super sweet in a vanilla way, “berry” EDT. Sula Blackberry Blush EDP (not pictured) is a blackberry and vanilla blend with much needed florals. It’s simple and retails for $32 for 1 oz.

More Expensive Blackberry Scents: Mistral Wild Blackberry EDP is a fruity blackberry dessert type fragrance. It has zesty citrus notes and musk. The 1.7 oz goes for $50. Trish McVoy #9 EDP is sexy and heavy blackberry inspired scent with notes of vanilla and musk too. The 1.7 EDP goes for about $80. L’Artisan Parfumeur Mûre et Musc Extrême is a rich fruity blend. It is much more “sensual” than the cologne and I would love to try the pure extract. It goes for $115 for 1.7 ounce. The Cologne is very green and fresh with blackberry and almost medicinal. I like it just as well. It has a time and a place. The smallest size is $95. Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis EDP is absolutely delicious. It is a late summer mix of blackberry and fig with smoky amber notes. It is heavenly. The 1.7 oz goes for $135. DKNY Delicious Night is a much more floral blackberry blend with freesia. The 1.7 oz goes for $55. Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau de Gantier EDT (not pictured) is a crisp citrus berry blend. Not sweet but refreshing but very light wearing. The 3.4 oz. goes for $110.

Other Great Blackberry Products: Lush Blackberry Bath Bomb is a fun product that is heavy on that blackberry musk scent. It goes for $6. Ulta 3-in-1 Shower Smoothie Blackberry Blast is one of those faux super fruity blackberry scents. It is a fun product that retails for about $15. Naturally Victoria’s Secret Blackberry & Tonka Bean Restorative Scrub is a faintly blackberry scented scrub. It does a good job and retails for $18. D.L. & Co. Cassis Diffuser is an amazing scent of blackberry and fig. I love this scent because it does such a good job of seasonal transitioning. It retails for $95.

lavendercollage

Who doesn’t love lavender on those late summer days or nights? I never knew I loved lavender so much until I moved to an area with many lavender farms. Even I can grow tons of lavender here. I love to have the doors open and just let the breeze carry the aroma throughout the house. There are many lavender products on the market and I have “collected” a few. If you have any others please share. Usually if I want all out lavender I use an oil from one of the local farms. I know a few companies have launched fragrances with lavender but I haven’t given those a try yet (like Acca Kappa White Moss and Lostmarch L’eau de l’Hermine).

Budget Lavender Scents: A light wearing, sweet lavender fragrance is Body Fantasies Body Spray in Clean Lavender Vanilla. The scent is a bit sweet for my tastes but it isn’t horrible. It makes a nice linen spray as well. It retails for $7. Apivita Lavender Fragrance Spray is a fresh lavender. It retails for $12 for .33 oz.  Provence Sante Lavande EDT (my favorite budget lavender) is a great lavender scent for the lavender purist. It retails for about $30 for 3.5 oz. Yves Rocher Pur Desir Lavender EDT is lavender with a hint of wood. It retails for $22 for 2 oz. L’Aromarine Lavande Perfume Oil is a long wearing and pretty strong lavender scent. It retails for $9.50. L’Occitane Joyful Mood Touch Fragrance is a take along fragrance. It is a sweeter, feminine lavender blend. It retails for $20. Another great travel friendly lavender scent is Bonny Doon Farm Lavender Creme Parfum. It goes for $16 (not pictured).

More Expensive Lavender Scents: Jo Malone Amber & Lavender Cologne is a very rich, sensual lavender scent. It makes lavender sexy. The 3.4 oz. bottle goes for $100. LaVanila Vanilla Lavender is a sweet lavender scent. It’s very comforting and the spray goes for $56. Yardley Lavender EDT was one of my first fragrances ever. It is a pure lavender, almost medicinal. It’s $55 for over 4 ounces. Potter & Moore Lavender & Italian Lemon EDT is a super refreshing lavender that is perfect for summer. It’s fresh and light-wearing. It retails for $42 for 3.4 oz. Lollia Relax EDP is a sweet, comforting lavender floral blend. It retails for $46 for 3.4 oz. Parfums DelRae Eau Illuminée is a beautiful herbaceous lavender, almost “hippie” blend. It goes for $135 for 1.7 oz. Surge Lutens Gris Clair is a bewitching smoky lavender scent. It goes for $120 for 1.7 oz. Acqua di Parma Colonia is a classic refreshing citrus, herbal lavender blend. The 3.4 bottle retails for $117. I love Diptyque Eau d’Elide EDT. It is a “shrubby” lavender blend. The 1.7 bottle goes for $88.

Other Lovely Lavender Items: Diptyque Feuille de Lavande Candle is so relaxing. It’s the perfect at home scent. Candle goes for $60. L’Occitane Lavender Harvest Hand Creme is a rich formula with a soothing scent. This cute tube goes for $20. Ombra Lavender Bath Foam is a super concentrated lavender scent. It is perfect for those rotten days that life throws us. The bottle goes for about $10. Boscia Lavender Blotting Linens are great for mid-day shine. Plus, the lavender scent is very soothing. A pack goes for $10. Agraria Tassle Air is a cool product and it comes in a Lavender & Rosemary fragrance, perfect for the bedroom and it is so fresh! These retail for $40.

lavender field in Sequim, WA

orangeblossom

I can’t get enough of orange blossom/neroli scents this summer. It is very difficult to find “guides” online, so I’ve created a brief  collage/guide to fragrances which are heavy on this light, bitter floral. There are many scents on the market with these notes. I’m focusing on those that are heavy on orange blossom, like a splash of a refreshing Lebanese floral water in an iced beverage. I am looking for those “delicate” scents. From what I understand orange blossom and neroli are the same thing it just depends on how the oil is distilled (steam vs. water). However, neroli is supposed to be from a bitter orange blossom while most orange blossoms are not “labeled”.

Budget Orange Blossom Scents: Yves Rocher Pur Desir Orange Blossom/Fleur d’Oranger EDT is light and beautiful. It really competes with the more expensive stuff. It is $22 for 2 oz, body products are available as well. It’s a bit crude but still very orange blossom, a bit medicinal. I like it in a strange way. It is a nice drugstore find and the price is awesome: Sanborns Orange Blossom Cologne. It retails for about $4 for over 6 oz. of product. Tokyomilk Lotus Sake Petit Parfum Solid is a fruity/citrus orange blossom fragrance. It retails for $18. This would be a very light fragrance but very refreshing pick-me-up if transferred to a spray bottle: Caswell-Massey Orange Flower Water. It goes for $16 for 6 oz. It’s a pretty orange blossom with the help of jasmine, The Body Shop Neroli Jasmin. It retails for $17 for 1 oz. Parfums des Beaux Arts Eau de Fleur d’Oranger du Roi (review) is a lovely and simple soliflore orange blossom scent. The EDP spray retails for $27 for .25 oz.

More Expensive Orange Blossom Scents: 88 Orange Scent Blossom EDP is a clean, spring like floral with orange blossom and lilac. The 2 oz. spray retails for $55. Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne is crisp and light. The large bottle (3.4 oz) goes for $100. Diptyque L’Eau de Neroli is a tart, citrusy orange blossom. The cologne retails for $98 for 3.4 oz. Annick Goutal Neroli EDT is a beautiful, elegant orange blossom/neroli scent. The 2.4 oz. bottles goes for $115. To my surprise I found out that I really like Prada Fleur D’Oranger EDP. At first it wears hissy but the dry down is great and worth it despite the unusual top notes. The 3.4 oz. spray retails for $100. I’ll never forget the 1st time I sniffed Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger. Did it start my obsession? The 1.7 oz. retails for $120. Le Labo Fleur d’Oranger is a fresh and citrusy orange blossom scent and I can’t get enough of it. It is $200 for 3.4 oz. Laura Mercier Neroli is EDP is a fresh, floral orange blossom. It is $75 for 1.7 oz. Cinq Mondes Pluie D’Aromes Ritual d’Atlas is a fresh blend of citrus and orange blossom. The 1.7 oz. spray goes for $85.

I was reading that neroli/orange blossom is used to relieve tension and anxiety in aromatherapy. No wonder I am loving this stuff, it has been a stressful summer. However, we did close on the house and we’ve started repairs. I spend all my day removing wallpaper, cleaning, and pulling faux fur off of doors. What fun! (See the home blog if you want more.)