Friday, December 31, 2010

Lush, what's all the fuss about?!

I have been trying Lush on and off.  I like the natural, cruelty free concept in an un-franchised shop. I like their body and bath products, they aren't exceptional but quite good. The products are a bit overpriced, which also is fine. But what's with their perfumes?! I have tried many in the past and I have hated most of them. I am very open minded when it comes to perfumes. I hardly ever put down a perfume or a house but I cannot get myself to like Lush Perfumes. These are the perfumes I have had the displeasure of trying:

Flying Fox Temple Balm: I was persuaded to buy it by the sales assistant. She recommended it for PMS, don't what gave me away, maybe my crankiness in their shop with those smells around!
I came home and smelt it properly and gosh! I really can't get over whatever is in it. It smells of synthetic Jasmine, very distinct burnt rubber smell, very revolting.

Vanilliary: So artificially sweet. It is very close to that bad after -taste Saccharine leaves in the mouth.

Lust: Oh my, my nose hurts! Jasmine again, comes out in its full blown synthetic form, only accompanied by a rotten flower note. Positively ghastly!

Orange Blossom: Opens really beautifully with fresh, cheerful orange. I can smell Neroli, not in all its glory, but nice enough. Just when I was about to put all my negative feelings about Lush aside, there came the burnt smell.... Gosh, I had to go to the public toilet and scrub my wrists!

Honey, I Washed The Kids: I have to say, this is nice! I love the bath products in this scent. The perfume has a nice honey- toffee note. Nothing to be worried about this.

I don't think Lush is for me. I know some people don't like Lush because of it 'head shop' smell. But that is not my problem, I love head shop stuff! I think it all comes down to
1.Indolic, synthetic, overbearingly agonising, headache inducing Jasmine which is a combination of rottenness and burnt rubber smell.
2. Saccharine like after taste of the sweet smell, which makes me run a mile away
3. The concept of the natural ingredients is great but it over hyped.
4. Price is not very pocket friendly, especially to land up in headache-ville
5. They are against animal cruelty, all good. But they are hurting my nose and head with their mentally disturbing notes, that should account for some cruelty!

Some people are so positive about Lush. I even hear the words 'divine' 'yumm' and 'heavenly' associated with Lush.  I don't know, I feel like I am the only one. Honestly, I don't like Lush. What's wrong with me?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Perfume Collection

With the impending move to Sydney, there is a lot of work being done at home. Getting rid of stuff, finding lost things, deciding whether to keep or throw stuff..... It is a great chance to organise my perfume stash. I am in the process of sorting stuff and threw away 2 empty bottles and a lot of finished samples. I finally got to see my collection at one place! Samples, decants, oils, miniatures and full bottles all arranged and packed up in boxes to go!

It turns out, my perfume collection is quite humble but I love everything!
Decants and Perfume oils: All over the place right now :(

Carded samples: please excuse the mess, they all go into makeup bags.
My miniatures: I don't see Balenciaga Talisman miniature, got to look for it!
The place where my full bottles live , or used to live! Yes, I keep them in the original box!
Full bottles: Missing in the picture, Lanvin Rumeur and Tom Ford bottle.
Now up close :D
Mont Blanc Presence Dune Femme, Viva La Juicy, CK Eternity Moment,
Chanel Nº5, Yardley Lace, Revlon Charlie Red, Bvlgari Omnia

Guerlain Shalimar, Yardley Honeysuckle, Tokyo Milk No 6 Dead Sexy
Aquolina Chocolovers, Badgely Mischka, Burberry Touch

La Prairie Life Threads Gold, Jessica Simpson Fancy,
Bond No 9 West Broadway
Body sprays in use:

I hope the move goes smoothly and my perfumes reach the destination in good condition. I am quite nervous about it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Guerlain: Vol de Nuit

Vol de Nuit, Night Flight, a masterpiece by Jacques Guerlain created in 1933. It was named after Antoine Saint Exupery's novel 'Night Flight', a story of love and romance of aviation. I have been reading about the fantastic story that was the inspiration for the fragrance. According to the Guerlain website the story goes: 
Design is based on
a moving
Aircraft Propeller!
"In the dawn of the aero-postal era, a plane takes off from Paris for Buenos Aires. Suddenly, the radio loses contact. A tornado rushes through the cordillera of the Andes.
The pilot has been married for six weeks. But every second takes him a little farther from her, from her voice, from her smile.This perfume is an homage to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, whose celebrated 1931 novel exalted courage, heroism and the fierce will to succeed. As courageous as the book, Vol de Nuit is the perfume of risk and dangerous games.
Brimming with audacity, it is the perfume of the woman who goes for broke." 


I have been trying Vol de Nuit for the past few days and I am really enjoying it! It the Parfum version of which I have a tiny sample. But, I have been liberally spraying myself from the little bottle of Parfum at Myers for the past two days. Loving the privilege, as VdN is quite rare to find, especially the parfum!

I can't really say that this is an expert review as my nose is not that well trained. To be honest, I feel minuscule to review masterpieces such as VdN. Here are just my thoughts....

Vol de Nuit smells old, in a vintage way. It has Guerlain written all over it! It is a powdery and warm scent, also very sexual. VdN begins with a lot of jasmine and some greenness, which do not stay long on me. Soon comes the clean aldehydes and the powdery violets. Very pleasant and very soft. There is a tiny bit of vanilla somewhere there, that gives warmth. The dry down is very animalic, musk is the dirtiest but so sensual! I can most definitely smell leather which makes it edgy. The leather, some spice and soft violet powder linger on for hours!

VdN is a sensual and strong fragrance in a very feminine way. I really like it, admire it and respect it. Vintages are way out of my usual comfort zone, so is VdN, but I love the experience and the fascinating inspirations translated into perfumes.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Les Floralies: Aromatherapy Sniff Box

Spotted at David Jones! These sniff boxes from Les Floralies, a New Zealand based company, are filled with aromatherapy essential oils. All you have to do is sniff in the vapours of the essential oils that are held together by the tiny plastic beads. What an intriguing idea! I was totally sold for its novelty. 

I picked up The Jet Lag Kit for $9.95, which has a sniff box for sleep and one to stay focussed. My default state of mind now-a-days kind of jet lagged. I could always do with some more sleep and stay focussed while awake. It comes nicely packed in an organza bag. Each sniff box is a blend of aromatherapy oils which are specific for a purpose. 
Focus is a blend of Bergamot, Lemon and Cinnamon. The citrusy smell plus spice is not strong but pleasantly awakening to the senses. Sleep is a blend of Neroli, Lavender and Chamomile. It smells nice.

Apart from the fact that the idea of the sniff box pleased me, I cannot really say it helped me therapeutically. It is very hard to please my mind and get aromatherapy working because my mind is very skewed towards modern medicine. Unless I read something has a psychotropic drug in it, it is unlikely to affect my mind!

Once the oils in these boxes evaporate, I'm planning to add a few drops of some perfume oils and keep it just for the sake of sniffing. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I do not celebrate Christmas, it has no religious significance to me. But I love the spirit of Christmas, the spirit of joy, generosity and celebrations. This year, I am making a Christmas Pudding and Eggnog, the recipe that lovely Mich of RitualEyes shared.

Another great thing about Christmas is of course shopping! I think the fact that I do not celebrate Christmas takes the edge off shopping too! I love giving gifts to friends. Christmas time is a great chance to make someone (or myself) smile. I smiled a lot this year, in fact, I am grinning ear to ear with excitement to share all the goodies I got for myself. With internet shopping out of the equation, I set aside a crisp and new $100 bill for myself so that I need not use my card with which I can go overboard. It turns out, you can get a lot for $100 (for a little more than $100) with Christmas discounts and sales all around. Here is what I bought for myself, what was left under the metaphorical Christmas Tree by Santa!

Guerlain Shalimar: 

So, so excited about this one! I finally have a bottle of this masterpiece! I love this perfume dearly and can't describe it in words (I can hear your 'oh thank god' sigh :D)

I paid, drumroll please... $64 for 30 ml EDP, a bargain! It was marked down from $130 RRP to $80 at the National Pharmacies and with my member discount it came to down something that I could afford. I cried when I saw it on sale! I love the bottle. I love, love, LOVE the perfume. I am scared to touch the bottle without washing my hands, lest I leave fingerprints! It is so beautiful. Hail to Shalimar, glory to Guerlain!

Prada Miniature set: 

Oh, I love miniatures! This my first time ever trying Prada. This perfect set has 4 perfumes which includes Infusion d'Iris 8 ml, Prada Intense 7ml, Prada Tendre 7ml, L'eau Ambre 7ml out of which Prada Intense is my favourite and Infusion d'Iris comes a close second.
It cost me $42 at National Pharmacies, retails at $65.

Two other great bargains from Chemist Warehouse.

Revlon Charlie Red 100 ml $9.95 and Lanvin Rumeur 50 ml for $14.95.

I'll be smelling good and hopefully cooking well on Christmas Day. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and enjoy the holidays! xoxo

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

BPAL '10 Weenie: Ghoulish

I am probably a season too late to review this Halloween perfume since everyone is talking about Yuletide perfume oils, which I totally missed. I am wearing Ghoulish today and it put me right in almond state of mind, which could be festive I guess!







Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Ghoulish
This season's Ridiculous Scent! Creepy like Creepy and as spooky as Spooky, this is the scent of a black cherry and coconut amaretto confection gently laced with saffron.
Silky almond veil wrapped around the body, bliss! The almonds are bitter almonds, not the creamy sweet kind but it smells intense and deep. It also has a hint of boozy quality which could be the amaretto. This is mellowed down by creaminess of coconut. I can't smell fruit of any kind which is a good thing as I have seen that the fruity notes of BPAL turn syrupy on me. It dries down to a beautiful bitter almond scent which is unmistakable foody!


What made me wear Ghoulish today was Benzaldehyde! I have extremely dry skin, which cannot be fixed by even the most moisturising of the body washes. In fact they leave me drier, even the soap free ones. I have switched to DermaVeen Shower and Bath Oil which has worked wonders for me and my Baby Elephant. It is an oil that I replace the shower gel with. It is non greasy, can be washed off with warm water in the shower and cleans very well. I can even skip my body cream if I am lazy.
About the smell, it is fragrance free but Benzaldehyde is one of the ingredients that is good for skin. Benzaldehyde is an aromatic compound that I very well remember admiring in my chemistry lab around 10 years ago. Benzaldehyde smells distinctly of bitter almonds. The benzaldehyde makes the fragrance free DermaVeen smell like bitter almonds! This is what made me to wear BPAL Ghoulish today!




Speaking of almonds, I have recently discovered another great product, Burts Bees Almond Milk and Beeswax hand creme which has lovely creamy sweet-almond smell and oh so nourishing!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Drugstore Perfumes: Jovan Musk

Who hasn't gone past this in the pharmacy?! If you lived in the 80's, whatever age, you must have smelt Jovan Musk on almost everyone. I was a little girl in 80's and I remember many women smelt of Jovan Musk including my mother. There were different forms the Musk original, White Musk, Black Musk, both for men and women. The Musk Oil was also popular around where I lived. I have used Musk for Women as a teen and I remember liking what I smelt!

Jovan Musk is an ubiquitous musk scent. It is not an earth shattering perfume, but nice nonetheless. It is a clean scent, soapy and fresh. It smells of freshly washed skin. Very subtle scent, very likable, nothing too grand. Musk in general has a sexy tag attached to it, but I associate musk with a warm feeling that is close to the skin. It is like a pashmina wrapped around the shoulders, comfortable, velvety and charming, in its own understated way. Jovan Musk, is just that. It is perfect for layering over perfumes that are overtly floral or sweet, for a musk kick. The original Musk for Women reminds me of The Body Shop White Musk, but is more linear than the TBS one.The Jovan White Musk is powdery and floral and similar to TBS White Musk.

The price ranges from $5 to $15 in most pharmacies for the cologne/EDT which comes in the same retro packaging. Chemist Warehouse has some great Christmas packs on sale right now. I am thinking of getting the body spray, just for the sake of nostalgia.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Perfume oils tested this week

Good Judy: Va Va Voom 
Leather bustier. Thigh high stilettos. Leopard print mini. Lipstick stained cigarette. Hair up to beehive heaven. Va Va Va Voom! 
Scorched honey, blonde tobacco, soft leather, Chantilly cream

Gorgeous! Sexy and sultry, has a bad girl vibe to it. Va Va Voom is a beautiful leather honey and light floral combo. It is rich and dense, very heady!
I generally stay away from leather and of the opinion that it is masculine. But I have been testing a few leathers lately and discovering how sexy and overtly feminine it can be. Leather will be a note for me explore more. 

BPAL: Bite Me
Croquembouche with almond silk and a drizzle of caramel.

A scrubber! I bought a full bottle on eBay for a very little price. I thought the combination would be beautiful. I like croquembouche, I like almonds and I like caramel. But this turned out be a stinker on my skin. I have tested on my wrist many times. I applied it properly, i.e everywhere, a couple of times and both times ran to the shower to wash it off. 
Here is what it smells like: On opening the bottle, the candies fruits of the croquembouche is overbearingly sweet and syrupy. Then the caramel shows up in its thickest and the most sweetest form. The almonds are lost in this overpowering combination. After sometime, it is just turns into a scrubber. It is a foodie one and I love foodie ones in general. I really tried to like it. Even if this was made into a real edible desert I would stay away from it.

BPAL: Velvet
Envelop yourself in the soft, sensual embrace of gentle sandalwood warmed by cocoa vanilla and a veil of deep myrrh.

Jade has described it very well, spot on. It is a nice chocolate scent. I definitely get the musty-oldness. Weird!

Possets: Silver Carnation
There has been a clamber for this and here it is. I really love this one, it turned out better than I thought it would. Long lasting and just beautiful from the start, Silver Carnations stays true from the first moment until the last. The "silver" part that you love combined with the spice and flower carnation that you wanted. A winner.

So pretty! what a lovely scent! soft floral with 'silver" the silver note if you can call it, it slightly metallic and slightly spicy. It develops beautifully on my skin, soft, sensual and sweet.
Poison Apple Apothecary: Cheshire Moon
Inspired by the beloved Cheshire Cat who informs our dear Alice that everyone is a bit mad here. 

This feline is exotic, magnetic, and full of riddles. The Cheshire Moon perfume creates the same atmosphere with a blend of Neroli, Sandalwood, and Sweet Tahitian Vanilla.

The limited edition perfume oil was passed on to me by dear Dee because she knows exactly what I like! Cheshire moon is a wonderful vanilla scent. Neroli always intrigues me and sandalwood always makes me fall in love. The combination is to die for! 

Conjure Oils: Speakeasy - InjureAle
injureale is what you get when Gin and Ginger Ale work their magic together in a tumbler with ice.

It is fresh. Ginger is crisp and raw, slightly medicinal. Gin smells piny and sparkly. It is cold and not very boozy.  It is like ginger ale on the skin. I don't particularly like this scent but it something different and nice.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Layering: Il Profvmo Chocolat + L de Lolita Lempicka = Angel!

Today as I was getting ready to go out, I decided to wear L de Lolita Lempicka. It matched the cloudy weather with sun shining occasionally and my strapless black dress with a denim jacket and disheveled hair. L de Lolita Lempicka is a gorgeous fragrance. It is lemony-sweet vanilla with a touch of cinnamon. It is soft, pretty and dessert like without being too sticky. The sweetness complements the beautiful citrus note so well.

As I was done wearing it, a sample of Il Profvmo Chocolat caught my eyes. I had forgotten how it smelt so I generously applied it on my wrists and layered it over L de Lolita Lempicka. Il Profvmo Chocolat is a deep, dense and sensual chocolate. It is not sweet, it is dark and seductive, mostly masculine. I get a myrrh note and some spices. It is quite different from Thierry Mugler Angel, except for the chocolate note.


After an hour or so, when I was out, I could smell something so familiar, weird similarity to Angel, I could definitely smell Angel! The citrus and sweetness from L de Lolita Lempicka with the chocolate and darkness of Chocolat turned into Angel on my skin. Now I wonder if my natural scent is Patchouli?! as it is prominent in Angel but not detectable in the other two. I am sure that the nail polish smell from my freshly painted nails also had something to do with getting Angel out of this combination. I do get that sharp note in Angel too. Angel is a beautiful perfume, I like to wear it. I like the serendipitous new combination that I got out of layering.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain

L'Heure Bleue: The Blue Hour

The sun has set, but night has not yet fallen. It’s the suspended hour… The hour when one finally finds oneself in renewed harmony with the world and the light. L’Heure Bleue is the moment when the sun disappears beneath the horizon and the sky is painted with night’s velvet. It is an atmosphere, an inexpressible rendering exceptional moments.

L’Heure Bleue was born in 1912 of the fleeting sensation that inspired the Impressionist painters whose works Jacques Guerlain collected. He pictured this bouquet of roses softened with iris, violet and vanilla, which evoke his favorite moment of the day when, as he put it, “the night has not yet found its star” and all of nature’s elements are cast in blue light.


I tested this today and I have decided that this what I want to die wearing! It smells beautiful and romanticizes a sad feeling. It is like the entire life flashing in front of my eyes. I feel the tender baby powder caressing the skin, the romantic flowers, the warmth along with something sad, something deep, something mysterious just what I imagine to feel at the blue hour, of life!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Drugstore Perfumes: Revlon- Fire & Ice

Drugstore perfumes, the perfumes that you go past in the pharmacy, constantly visible at the corner of your eyes, taunting you to try them. You might have reluctantly sprayed them on your skin. Or not, thinking you may smell too generic or too cheap because they are cheaply priced, something you can buy with spare change. Well, I am going to review some of these drugstore perfumes that I have tried, one drugstore perfume a week. Some of these are fantastic, some are masterpieces and some are plain stinkers! Here goes the first one:

            

Revlon - Fire & Ice

Top
Osmanthus, Orange Blossom, Davana, Tangerine
Mid
Yellow Sunset Orchid, Magnolia, Tuberose, Narcissus
Base
Musk, Spices, Exotic Woods, Amber, Vanilla

What an unassumingly wonderful scent! It is a soft Floriental. Lovely fragrance that is warm, floral and slightly spicy. At first, I get syrup which mellows down into some beautiful florals. I love it at this stage. It is comparable to some higher priced scents when the magnolia and the tuberose are blossoming. The dry down has nice depth with an incensy-spicy quality and very warm with vanilla and amber.
Staying power is just awesome. I recently was packing away my winter clothes and one of my scarfs smelt so nice, it was Revlon Fire & Ice! Sillage is quite nice and I have gotten compliments when wearing it.

This perfume was created for Revlon by Givaudan, the very perfumers who created Black Orchid, White Patchouli and the White Musk Collection for Tom Ford, Badgley Mischka Couture and Elizabeth Arden Pretty to name a few! Surprising? It indeed is, great for a drugstore perfume! The cost ranges from $15 to $30 in most Australian pharmacies. It is worth having a sniff and buying one for your collection.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I want: Etat Libre d'Orange LE Coffret

Etat Libre d'Orange 
Limited Edition coffret of 16 fragrances in beautiful 10 ml glass bottles. 

Scents included: 
Antihéros, Encens & Bubblegum, Don't Get Me Wrong Baby, Divin'Enfant, Jasmin & Cigarette, Rien, Putain des Palaces, Sécrétions Magnifiques, Vraie Blonde, Vierges & Toreros, Eloge du Traître, Delicious Closet Queen, Je Suis un Homme, Charogne, Nombril Immense, Rossy de Palma. 

Available at:
Lucky Scent for $150 US

Lusting over this much?! Who me? Yeah baby, I want!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Aftelier Tango

It has been my fantasy to try out Tango from Aftelier Perfumes, the wonderful and unique creation of Mandy Aftel. I had built up an amazing idea of Tango in my mind after reading all the wonderful reviews. It lives up to every bit of my fantasy. Even without the image getting in the way, you'll be left oohing and ahhing when you smell this! At least I am! It has been such a pleasure to sample this. 



Top: wild sweet orange, fresh ginger.
Heart: coffee CO2, champaca.
Base: choya, blond tobacco, tonka.

What a rich floral scent! Champaca is my absolute favourite floral. In this, the note knocks my socks off every time I sniff it. It is deep, intoxicating and simply mind blowing! The orange and ginger are uplifting. I can sense a slightly burnt coffee smell which adds more depth. Choya Nakh is the smell of roasted sea shells in a clay vessel, which, I have to confess, I am not familiar with it. Roasted sea shells, I can sense its smokiness which amplifies the effect of the perfume. 
It is an amazing composition that is romantic, sexy and very feminine. It leaves my skin with a warm and tender yet sexy feeling. This perfume is like a Tango of notes in perfect harmony, very enjoyable!

I tried a sample of Tango in liquid perfume form, 1/4th ml costs $6. The website has various other wonderful perfumes and they offer a whole range of samples. I got the samples in a cute little tin with Aftelier logo on it. The precious liquid is quite expensive, but well worth the money. The silver flask with one ounce of Tango costs $300. Are you listening Santa?! 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

L'Occitane: Cherry Blossom Solid Perfume

I got this as a little treat for myself yesterday. I couldn't get over how cute this heart shaped tin of the solid perfume looked! 

It is the wonderful cherry blossom scent, light and lovely, very refreshing, just right for spring and summer. It is a beautiful soft floral. It has the smell of a fresh cherry that is freshly handpicked from the tree with the twig still intact. Slightly powdery, slightly green, slightly sweet. It has an innocent girlish charm about it.

I have tried the Cherry Blossom EDT, as lovely as it is, the staying power on me is poor. The solid perfume is better staying power wise, but sillage wise, it is just a skin scent how much ever generously applied. 

This pretty little tin cost me $19.95 at David Jones. Orange Blossom and Roses 4 Reines also come in the heart shaped tin. It is great to throw in the hand bag for touch ups or just for occasional sniffling!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

L'Artisan Bois Farine

L'Artisan Bois Farine: "Bois Farine is a single and unique fragrance, a magical union between witch wood and flower powder … As rich and fresh as flour rain."

"A bewitching blend of powdery flowers and mellow woods, a sensual bouquet that will caress your skin" 


Wow, this one is unique. It is true to its name, Bois Farine ~ wood flour. At first I was very intrigued and couldn't imagine smelling anything close to flour or saw dust!

It opens with deep woody notes. Cedar and sandal wood which stand out on my skin. Soft, dewy flowers are present throughout. As I sniff deeper, I sense something of a dough-y aroma turning into a nuttiness. The dough is like a finely ground flour, that is kneaded by hand and ready to go into the oven to bake! Raw but fluffy. The nuttiness actually racked my brains, oh what was it that was so familiar?! I forgot that I was testing this perfume and carried on when something in it aroused my brain. A faint smell of peanut butter hit me, like an open jar at a distance! Then I sniffed my wrists and there it was, the peanut butter! The nuttiness is almost peanut butter, barely there and soft.

I would have never expected dough or peanut butter to smell so good! The woody notes are sensual and the florals are soft. Overall, a very wearable, non gourmand, hedonic perfume, sadly short lived perfume. Beautiful.