Thursday, September 29, 2011

Photos

Poverty of speech due to laziness is compensated by lots of pictures! 
Tsunami 1.26
by Janet Echelman
Art and About, Sydney
It is a fibre optic net lit up at night that hangs above the junction of George Street and Park Street
It is inspired by the Chilean earthquake of 2010 that created the Tsunami. When you look at it from the powerhouse Museum, it looks like the 3 D model of the Tsunami wave.

Artwork Ahead...... End Artwork!
Not a crash site, a piece of art with a boulder that looks like it has crushed the car!


The Challenge
Magnificient bronze bull statute at the World Square
by Alan Somerville
"The bull, a mythological beast....."
Really?! I think bulls really exist! Don't they?

YellowBrickRoad
Somewhere in the wetlands of Hunter Valley

The craziest thing in the neighbourhood. It is called Tongue. A place which has a huge red tongue hanging in the front, with no description. I thought it was an exclusive night club. Husband stole my words when he said it could be a lesbian bar. We do think alike, dirty minds and all!

Turns out, it is an ad agency, because they get people talking (with their tongues) about your brand. Cheesy much? Does this qualify to be one of Australia's "big things"? Like the Big Banana, Big Prawn ..... Big Tongue!


Who says He doesn't exist? Forget the image of Jesus on toast. This is better and real. It is a miracle!
Captain Jack Sparrow on our garage wall. Call it the Second Coming? Nah, must be the fifth, ominous sign of completion of the script for "The Pirates Of The Caribbean 5"
Please tell me you can see it too! Uncanny!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

By Kilian Back to Black: Aphrodisiac

Everyone is on a quest for a perfume they love. Some are after the best rose, some after the best vanilla and so on. Some may have found it, some may not have. I very rarely actively search for the perfect perfume. I am never really that aggressive to search for something I like. I am easy to please, if I stay within my comfort zone of my favourite notes. Or maybe, after sampling 100's of perfumes, I am just going with the flow, passively but at an unconscious level, I am still on the quest. I may randomly fall in love with something without even looking for it, making it all the more special!
By Kilian Back to Black: Aphrodisiac
L'Oewre Noire collection
"A tobacco aroma with sweet undertones of honey"
Perfumer: Calice Becker
The name based on Amy Winehouse's song on the same name.

My ideal perfume has no floral notes. It has a ton load of resins, some sweetness and whole lot of sexy intensity to it. I can name many perfumes that I can say are ideal to me. Black to Black just joined the list!

I met By Kilian Back to Black in a set of The Perfumed Court Samples. This Aphrodisiac knocks my socks off with its smooth intensity! I feel in love with it from the first sniff. This fits the brief of my ideal perfume (I excuse the Chamomile and Geranium, as I don't smell them much)

To my nose, Back to Black is a boozed up tobacco with creamy smooth spicy amber. Kilian's family were cognac makers of the well crafted, expensive kind. Back to Black has a boozy undertone of cognac on which the tobacco and spices flourish. The tobacco is very fresh, high quality and something that comes out of a pipe. The spices are mild and very soft. I don't get any smokiness. The cognac is honey-sweet and smells really sophisticated especially combined with amber.

Finest of tobacco on honeyed cognac seems like something that an exclusive men's club would smell like. By men's club I mean, a place where snobby rich people hobnob, talk about opera, sit on antique french furniture and sip on 10 year old cognac while smoking finest tobacco pipe. The smell of power! On me, it smells beautiful. Rich, tasteful and kind of mysterious, surprisingly not at all masculine. It has a sweetish, feminine elegance to it.

Some people hate it when perfumers blurt out the formula because it takes away the mystery. But I really like the idea of the list of ingredients with proportions that I found on the By Kilian website. It is a great insight into the formulation and actually inspiring. One may not come up with something that smells even close, ever. But it is nice to know the concept of a particular "note" and how they achieve it. Genius? Yes!


I just tipped the last drops from the 1 ml vial all over myself. Ah, bliss! Therefore no photo of my own!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Random Sniffs

Just to sum up what I have been sniffing recently. A trip to the city after a long time, catching up on what's new, testing new perfumes, bringing home heaps of tester strips. Some thoughts before they all go into the bin or the nicer ones become bookmarks. These are just my first impressions about the first sniff from my mediocre nose. They aren't really descriptive or evocative of any emotions. If it's neither, have I completely lost the plot and writing rubbish? Maybe.


Shalimar Parfum Initial: You can definitely tell it is a flanker of Shalimar, even if you smell it blindly. So very close to Shalimar but somehow not as "bad" or dirty. I get less of the powdery note and less animalic notes of Shalimar. It is a more refreshing, slightly sweeter and softer version. The dry down has the character of the Guerlainade, only milder. Shalimar Initial is not just toned down Shalimar. It has a personality of its own.
Do I like Shalimar Initial? Yes. Do I prefer it to THE Shalimar? No! Shalimar is my Holy Grail. But if Shalimar doesn't work for someone, Shalimar Initial is worth a try.

Madly Kenzo! The newest Kenzo. The sight of the butterfly paper strip attracted me straight to the counter! The perfume is unique. Floral, incense, spicy with a woody musk base. It is bright and perfect for summer. A good stand out from all the overly fresh scents which I am dreading will take over the hot months.

Burberry Body: As boring as unbuttered toast. I wish it smelt like unbuttered toast, would have been more interesting. Nothing in it makes me want to go for a second sniff. I can't find the minutest interest in it, even if I looked at it through an electron microscope.

Le Parfum by Elie Saab: The fashion house's newest and the only perfume. First sniff, very promising. Gentle floral notes of neroli and jasmine, it is a delicate floral, very refined. I smelt something vaguely familiar in it. People tell the perfumer by their perfumes. I can't, but now I know how they do it! Retrospectively looking at it, the vague familiarity is to Francis Kurkdjian's Lumiere Noir and Narciso Rodriguez. Guess who the perfumer is!


Narciso Rodriguez For Her In Colour and Essence In Color: The tester strips come with a fancy piece of cloth. Reminds me of the colour blocking trend that is hot right now. Sadly, I can't pull off bright colours, but I sure can wear these two perfumes! Essence In Colour is the purple one. It is a beautiful floral with a powdery musk. Sexy! For Her In Colour is the pink one. Very much like the original EDP which I really like. To be honest, I did not sniff it long enough to tell the difference.

Benefit Crescent Row: Ring My Bella For a change, it is not a sweet/fruity fragrance from Benefit. It is an overt floral, mostly rose with an admixture of indistinct flowers. Comes out as too floral and strong, dries down to a veil of perfume-y something. Would be great for hot days/nights, for someone who loves florals.


Jo Malone: Wild Bluebell: Ah, spring! Spring with lots of flowers around. I don't know what bluebell smells like, but this is light, pure and angelic. It is so airy and fresh that it is almost watery. I really enjoyed smelling it. 


Molton Brown: Navigations Through Scents Series: 5 new scents from Molton Brown representing 5 different locations along ancient silk and spice routes. All of them are different and really reflect the beauty of the ingredients used. I especially liked Apuldre: London Via Kent, has the nicest violet leaf extract smell!


Chanel Nº19 Poudre: I have somehow never liked Nº19. Poudre version is supposed to be heavy on iris and the greenness. I am undecided about it. Have brought home a sample with me to test out properly.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Haul: Black Phoenix Trading Post

My very first order form Black Phoenix Trading Post (BPTP) Can't say how excited I am!

I placed an order for a fridge magnet with the words "All great truths begin as blasphemies"
and two soaps: 
Snake Oil
Snow Glass Apples
(It is a limited edition, inspired by Neil Gaiman's story of the same name.)

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw what was inside my package! So many extras and a note from Puddin' saying that he forgot which magnet I ordered, so he included all of them! How nice!

BPTP is a pleasure to deal with. They pay good attention and answer all the questions. The shipping was quick. I got my order in a week! How is that for great service?!

Thanks Puddin'
The Soaps
Busting to rip off the plastic from the soaps and give them a try. Before that I'm planning to carefully cut them out and make them into quarters.
Extremely excited to try the Atmospheric Linen and Room sprays!


My wish list from BPTP is growing! I want the pendants/lockets so bad! My husband has been directed to the website and been told that if he ever wants to surprise me, that is THE place to go!

In other news, Halloweenies are out at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. I am lusting over the Celestial Apples. But will hold it this year because last year I ordered the 'Weenies with Dee in a group order. Maybe I'll do Lupercalia this time, next year that is!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Haus of Gloi Autumn: Ghost Puffs, Pixie Sorcerer, Pumpkin Eater, Old Cider Haus and Licorice Chew


Ghost Puffs 
Buttery popcorn and marshmallow goo orbs, presented on a wooden stick.

It is buttery and sweet, something like butterscotch cookies or a rich caramel sauce! Creamy, buttery, gooey caramel which dries down to a sweet syrup but tones down a lot on my skin. Makes me hungry for sure!


Pixie Sorcerer 
They look cute, but beware! Deceptive pomegranate candy floss, beneath that a spiteful blend of coffee co2, vetiver and myrrh.

The most interesting of all the scents! Sniffing directly from the applicator, the candy floss hits my nose, laced with a bitter sweet pomegranate. It immediately morphs into sweet coffee and leaves a long trail of vetiver behind. On the skin, it smells of sweet vetiver and myrrh. I find it interesting and unusual because I have never sniffed vetiver which is sweet. The combination of vetiver and coffee as in Bond No 9 New Harlem and Thierry Mugler A*men Pure Coffee is not really sweet and they aim at fresh coffee/masculine scents. But Pixie Sorcerer is a candied vetiver with hints of coffee, beautiful combination and makes you want to keep sniffing and admiring at it.


Pumpkin Eater
Cream, glowing pumpkin, rich vanilla bean and the tiniest touch of nutmeg butter.

Oh, a very nice pumpkin scent! This may be the best pumpkin scent I have smelt without being overwhelmed by the sweetness or spiciness. Inedible, aromatic pumpkin which becomes soft and creamy on the skin. I wouldn't regret getting a full bottle of this. It is a beauty.


Olde Cider Haus 
Old oak, sweet drying hay fields, crushed apple pulp and vanilla bean husks.

Yummy, juicy, ripe apples! You can almost taste the juiciness! The ripe apples remain fresh and don't turn boozy. Apples are combined with oak, something bland and dry. I am total wine noob, so I can't really tell a good wine. But whenever I taste any wine, I always get the woody aftertaste from the wine being aged in the oak barrel for a long time. Sometimes it bothers me and sometimes I like it. I can smell the oak barrel dry/woodyness in Old Cider Haus. It is like the cider has matured in an oak cask. I like it!


Candy Bowl: Licorice Chew
A warm caramel flavored with anise seed

I heart liquorice. Absolutely love the taste of liquorice and love the smell of liquorice in perfumes. That is why I bought a full bottle from the Candy Bowl. You can't get samples of Candy Bowl due to limited quanities, have to buy a full bottle.

Licorice Chew is a nice and soft liquorice perfume. It is exactly like Vice with a hint of liquorice. Vice is the best chocolate coffee scent I have ever smelt. Licorice Chew is softened Vice with anise note. But I wish I had gotten more liquorice from it because I looking forward to smelling the intensity of the anise note. My favourite liquorice scent will still remain Ayala Moriel Black Licorice. 
Licorice Chew is nice. If you like Vice, you must try it. It is a nice twist. If you like a mild liquorice scent, you must try it!

This ends all my reviews for Haus of Gloi Autumn perfumes. It was fun sniffing and writing up about all the fabulous perfumes. I hope someone finds it useful!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Haus Of Gloi Autumn 2011 Reviews: Ceremony, Hedonic, Queen Mother 1


My thoughts on the Haus Of Gloi Autumn Sampler 3. These are non gourmand scents, have a great feel of Autumn to them.
Ceremony
Dusty beeswax candles, frankincense, myrrh, mastic, spikenard, pale honey, a pinch of tobacco and faded musk.

Ceremony smells sacred. The smell of Frankincense and Myrrh is undeniably the smell of church. But it is not just that. It smells dry, old, dusty, like an old church altar with dripped wax from long burnt out candles, traces of holy water, remnants of incense.

Ceremony is a dense resinous perfume that has an amazingly soft, sweet base. In the vial, it smells heavy and waxy, turns into something really awesome on my skin. The incense-y ness of frankincense combined with Myrrh is not as harsh as it usually is. I expected it to smell like Olibanum oil but it is not as strong. It is surprisingly soft and blends very well with the rest. Spikenard is a herb that resembles holy basil/Tulasi and also somewhat smells like it. The Spikenard adds a bit of green freshness, enhancing the holiness of the perfume. All this lies on a base of honeyed tobacco, opulent, dense and very beautiful. The honeyed tobacco note vaguely reminds me of By Kilian Back to Black, a favourite of mine, which takes a whole new direction of sexiness, nothing like Ceremony.

As it dries down, becomes dense and so soft. On me, it does last long but the projection is close to the skin. I love Ceremony for its oldness and dullness. It is definitely unique.

Hedonic
Black fig, golden honey, saffron threads and Indian agar musk.

Saffron is the centre of Hedonic. In the vial, it smells of the highest quality saffron with something pleasant and sweet. On my skin, oud starts to develop alongside of the subtleness of saffron. Contrasting but they blend in well. This was kind of a dreaded moment for me given my Oud-o-phobia but all is well in this perfume as oud comes alone with no accompanying rose. I actually like the oud in this. Fig is fruity but not sickeningly so. It just adds a teeny bit of sweetness and is gently laced with honey.

Hedonic is delicate golden threads of saffron, drenched in honey, combined with luscious figs and oud. All very expensive and luxurious. Puts me in mind of a royalty, Middle Eastern perhaps. Fit for a queen (or king, it is unisex) who enjoys and appreciates the finer things and pleasures of life. Hedonic is rightly called so! 

Queen Mother 1
Last years Pumpkin Queen oil with 5 year aged patchouli, jasmine essence and the blackest vetiver, co-distilled with honeysuckle blossom.

The new Halloween tradition at Haus Of Gloi. Every year, HoG will release last year's blend of Pumpkin Queen spiked with some interesting notes. It will be aged one year and the numbers of bottles limited. I am very lucky to get to sample Queen Mother 1 as I don't see it listed on the website, either as a full bottle or a sample anymore.

I do have last years Pumpkin Queen oil. It came in handy as I can compare the two exactly. I can smell it in Queen Mother 1. Same spicy pumpkin with the camphor note but the spiciness is mellowed down and pumpkin really comes out. It smells more of pumpkin than last years Pumpkin Queen. But what really intrigues me is that I can't really smell any of the other notes mentioned. No patchouli, no jasmine, no honeysuckle, may be just a trace of vetiver which is barely there. 

I am looking forward to what the next year's oil will smell like. I think it is a good idea to buy a sample or a full size of this year's Pumpkin Queen and compare it with next year's Queen Mother 2 for those who are interested. 

Okay, so my thoughts on these turned out to be unexpectedly, epically long! Thank you for reading and your patience! Reviews of Sampler 2 coming soon.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oh no! I can see the bottom of my glass!

No, it's not my drink that needs a refill. I'm talking about empties! I rarely do empties post because I tend to "save" things and not empty them or chuck them out. It is due to the association of the smell with something special or just because I can't replace the perfume because of the cost or because it is a limited edition or just because I don't want them to finish! 
This is my first empties post, hopefully of many more to come!

BPAL Harikata: Reviewed here. I can't take all credit for finishing it. I bought a partial but I think I did a pretty good job finishing it. It is a LE for Lupercalia (Valentine's Day) but I don't think I'll replace it when it gets released again.

Possets Madame X: Lovely scent. Womanly, sexy, soft and a creamy scent. Full bottle worthy.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh: Reviewed here. I already have a full bottle of this, which will get used a lot in hot weather.

Tom Ford Jasmine Musk: Reviewed here. LOVE it! Would love to buy a full size, only I should have $300 lying around! I wish!

Kenzo Flower: Amazing floral with a potent powdery undertone! I have finished my miniature which came in a set of 3. I have 2 more to go. But this is the EDT and I like it in EDP strength due to its staying power. I like the shape of the bottle but don't know what I'll use it for though. Surely keeping it!

Abdes Salam Attar Chocolate Spicy: Dee sent me this TPC decant ages ago. It is a lovely chocolate with a cumin-y turmeric note. I can't say I am overly fond of it and the reason is the turmeric note. 
Now for the full bottles! Thanks to my dear husband for letting me touch his empties. Anything he empties, shouldn't live in the house, they go straight to the bin! He thinks, he should have just one or may be two perfumes/colognes on the go at any given time. He will not buy or even open a new bottle until he has finished what he's using. He is the opposite of me. I'm a hoarder and he is a clean freak! Anyway, he has finished two in the past 6 months. 

Tom Ford EDT: It suits him a lot and smells nice. Fresh but not too citrusy, it had a lovely fresh pepper note that is not only refreshing but also very sexy on him. This is how a man should smell.

Tom Ford Extreme After Shave Splash: Spicier and sexier version of Tom Ford. Very dense and powerful, even in this concentration. 

I need to do more empty posts. I need to de clutter and organise. Speaking of which I will have a BLOG SALE coming up! Watch out!