Saturday, August 28, 2010

Delices de Cartier

Look at this baby! My newest perfume acquisition Delices de Cartier miniature! How adorable is this bottle!

Top Notes: Cherry, Pink Pepper, Bergamot
Mid Notes: Jasmine, Freesia, Violet
Base Notes: Musk, Amber, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean
By its name and by looking at the bottle anybody can guess that it is a fruity cherry based perfume . Yes, it is a delicious cherry scent, but not Yum kind of cherry, it is more Ooh kind of cherry!  The cherry is perfectly sweet and perfectly tart. 

To me it is a ripe, juicy cherry that is naturally sweet and sour, all fructose with no added sugar! It has a zing of fresh bergamot to add to the soft powdery fruit before advancing into floral territory slightly losing its connection to cherry and turns very jasmine-y. It dries down to a creamy musky base, still maintaining the powdery sweetness. The one I got is EDP, I have not smelt or compared it to the EDT form. EDP does last for say, 3 or 4 hours before completely disappearing.

Overall it is an easy to wear, pleasant, happy and cheerful perfume. This fruity floral perfume is very sophisticated and modern that feels as glamourous and lovely as the bottle.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vanilla Challenge Day 7: Su's own blend!

Yesterday, I was slack to write, a bit of a personal drama. I found my first grey hair, two of them. The situation felt like a psychological experiment, I went through every defense mechanism.
Delusion: It is just a shiny strand, that looks grey.
Denial: Impossible! I'm just 28.
Impulsive: To pluck it out, but I didn't.
Hypochondriasis: I must be malnourished or anaemic or could it be a major free radical disorder.....?
Intellectualisation: Damn those melanocytes in the hair follicles!
Procrastinated on the three important projects at hand.
Passively got aggressed at poor husband.
Introjected all these reactions to the fact that I am not there in my life where I thought I'd be when I am grey, the lost sense of purpose, sense of achievement. Or the total lack of it.

To suppress all of these, I wore my own blend of perfume oils (and I can brag about it here!) Call it escapism or sublimation, I do feel a sense of achievement!

My work station!

Following my DIY disaster, I continued to blend oils. This time I bought some great essential oils from In Essence from Myers and Sweet Almond oil as a carrier. My blend is a Sweet Spicy Vanilla. It basically has
25% top notes, 20% middle notes and 55% base notes mixed in the carrier oil in 1:1 ratio.

Working out the percentages and ratios into drops and altering as needed, I came up with

Base Notes = 30 drops
Sandalwood oil: 10 drops
Vanilla oil: 10 drops
Cinnamon and clove oil: 10 drops

Middle notes = 10 drops
Ylang Ylang: 5 drops
Gardenia: 5 drops

Top Notes = 14 drops
Vanilla 10 drops
Zanzibar oil from In Essence: 10 drops. I know it won't add up to 14 but then, it smelt right!
I cheated by adding some of BPAL Gluttony around 5 to 6 drops because it is rich, buttery and sweet, balances the spiciness and adds more vanilla.

I used 2 mls of Sweet Almond oil to blend it all. Previously I had used 5 mls which made it weak. After leaving it in a cool dark place at least 72 hours, smelling and testing occasionally, it is ready to wear!

Overall it is a warm vanilla blend that feels comfortable but still has an edginess of spices. It is strong and mellow at the same time. But no one will ask you what you are wearing, it just doesn't stand out, it blends into the skin.

Back to my greys, after drenching my head with coconut oil yesterday and washing off, saturating with an overnight treatment, I have promised to take care of my hair and importantly promised myself not to stress.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Vanilla Challenge Day 6: Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum

I love the dessert Turkish Delight (especially when it is coated with chocolate, like the Cadbury version!) It is a sugar based confection that is jelly like, flavoured with rose water, with lots of nuts and dusted with sugar. It is an intriguing idea to wear the dessert as a fragrance. Being a lover of full on foody fragrances, it strikes the right chord for me!

I love Keiko Mecheri's take on the dessert, it is delectably sweet, very sweet and so enticing! But there is something about it that prevents me from eating it, it is the floral-powdery note. At the first sniff, I get a dramatic rose note. It is the syrupy, candied rose petals, very jammy indeed! The rose gently drifts into a powder. To me, the powder is just like the gentle powdery pollen from fresh flowers, rather than harsh talc. The powder note balances the sweetness, makes it more feminine and sophisticated. The almond notes to make it more crunchy. The entire confection is glazed with vanilla flavoured honey! After a while, it dries down on my skin into a powdery rose with subdued sweetness. I think it is perfect! Though not a true vanilla fragrance, I get some vanilla in the whole medley of all the sugary goodness.

The other version of Turkish Delight that I have tried is Raahat Loukhoum by Ava Luxe. Sniffing these two side by side, Ava Luxe is more nuttier, the rose is less strong and there is no powder. I have to say, I like Keiko Mecheri's version better. I haven't tried Serge Lutens Loukhoum yet, but I soon will!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vanilla Challenge Day 5: Jessica Simpson: Fancy

I shun away from some celebrity fragrances. I don't even look at them directly and avoid them like an eclipse! Having said that, I'm not a designer/niche snob. I love some and have previously owned a few celebrity fragrances like SJP Lovely and NYC, J Lo Still, Queen by Queen Latifah. I also keep smelling Sean John Unforgivable Balck at the stores contemplating to buy it. Although Jessica Simpson is not a celebrity who I want to smell like, what's a girl to do when she is gifted a perfume that she would not wear by some one she loves (and gasp, by the same person who surprised her with a big bottle of Chanel NÂș5!) Well, I wore it and have come to like it!

Jessica Simpson's Fancy is a vanilla based fruity floral that borders towards being a gourmand fragrance. At first I get sweetened and fermented fruits, which is quite nice and I wish that it lasted longer. It then develops (yes, this one develops unlike some celebrity fruity florals) into a burnt caramel, creamy foody vanilla that is mouth watering. The almond note is lost on me or maybe it is blended into the foody-ness. Overall, it is a well made frangrace that really suits my taste.

I love the colour of the bottle, it is pinkish gold with a delicate filigree design. Cap of the bottle not only looks like but also is as heavy as a door knob is quite tacky and ridiculous. On the upside, I like the fragrance and since I am not worried about running out of it, I can spritz away to my heart's content!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vanilla Challenge Day 4: Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille

Tobacco Vanille is what I wore yesterday and still wearing today. It is so addictive that I can wear it everyday and never get bored. Vanilla in it is a dark, sultry, sexy kind that totally blows me away. I get a vanilla orgasm every time I smell it! 

A rich creamy, soft vanilla is blended with the most beautiful, dry, tobacco leaves and a hint of spices with just a teeny tiny bit of smoky sweetness, it can't get any perfect than this. Tobacco is not the kind that you smell in the smoke of cigarettes, it is dry, leafy kind that is exquisite and just beautiful. The spice in it is interesting and the coco adds a depth to the vanilla. Staying power is amazing too, silage is massive making it the perfect perfume to own.

One day I am going to own a full bottle, I just need to get a job or win Lotto! I think I could trade all my perfumes get a bottle of this!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Vanilla Challenge Day 3: Laurence Dumont Vanille Frangipanier

I'm in love with the whole range of Laurence Dumont Les Senteurs Gourmandes which literally means The Greedy Scents, nothing can explain these better! They are fabulous foody scents which are very refined and classic with a French sophistication. Today I'm wearing Vanille Frangipanier which is a part of the Travel Diary collection.

Vanille Frangipanier takes me to an exotic tropical holiday. It opens with a creaminess, with just a hint of citrus that blends away into some very pretty florals. Though it is a frangipani fragrance in spirit and I can totally feel it, I don't particularly smell it. I get jasmine-like exotic ylang ylang that is combined with very serene sandalwood. Then comes the creamy, spicy vanilla, mixed with toffee that is to die for!

The gourmand-ness of the scent does not overpower its sexiness, making it wearable by lovers and haters of foody scents alike. I think it would be a perfect foody scent for summer as I can imagine it to be light and not too cloying for the heat.

I have bought samples of Laurence Dumont from The Perfumed Court and I love them all. Yet to pick a favourite and yet to find an online store that ships to Australia to buy a full bottle. Good luck to me for that!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vanilla Challenge Day 2: The Girls Love Vanilla ~ Possets

OH MY GOD! Is this the yummiest Vanilla or what!  Vanilla soaked in sweet, not sugary sweet but honey sweet. It is pure vanilla which is supersaturated with honey. It is not the grown up, serious kind of scent, but an easy going scent that is fun to wear. It leaves my skin with a smoked-powdery sweetness, I am so tempted to lick it off! 

Possets is the wonderful perfume oil store which has the sweetest, yummiest foody scents ever! Sampler packs are the best way to try out their scents, they are not very expensive and the shipping is very quick. Fabienne, the person behind it all is very generous with freebies. Definitely buying a few full sizes next time, especially the ones with Sigmund Freud on it, which are delicious chocolate scents and have psychological names like Id, Ego, Super Ego!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vanilla Challenge Day 1: Annick Goutal Vanille Exquise

Today my mind was on auto pilot mode for a long time, not remembering how I woke up or how I got dressed. I was engrossed in thought, a little stressed about a deadline and just felt lazy. Nothing could stir my brain, not even two cups of coffee.

A sniff of Vanille Exquise was all I needed to kick start my brain. This perfume really makes me think! It makes me think about what kind of vanilla it is! It is difficult for me to describe this vanilla with certainty. The vanilla in it is not a gourmand, it is not sweet, it not simple. It has a depth, complexity and a character. It begins with pure and clean vanilla, that is unadulterated with sweetness. It is combined with benzoin, which gives an incense like quality to the fragrance making it dry, smoky and slightly boozy. Then I catch a hint of bitterness and nuttyness of almond. The drydown is warm, woodsy and creamy which is comforting and elegantly feminine.

It is a must try for a vanilla nut like me because the perfume presents vanilla in very different dimension, very exquisite! It doesn't last too long, I couldn't smell it half way through the day. I just have a sample and considering the price (about $126 AUD on StrawberryNet) not sure if I would buy a full bottle.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vanilla Challenge!

Today, I realised a few things, as I was organising my makeup and finding a place for my perfume samples while singing along to the 60's 70's and 80's Bollywood songs and felling absolutely blissful! Many of my thoughts and revelations were perfume related.

One, I don't have that many perfumes after all, at least not enough to satisfy me! 
Two, vanilla dominates my perfume wardrobe, not much of a surprise as I am a gourmand girl through and through. 
Three, I found a bunch of samples that I hadn't even tried once! 

So I am thinking of taking a challenge, to try one perfume with dominant vanilla note a day, come back and report here. I think I can easily stretch my scents to a 2 week challenge, starting from tomorrow! Wish me luck everyone!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Versace Versus: Review

This new fragrance from the house of Versace has been on my radar since the past month or so. While reading about this perfume, I found out that though it shares the name of a long gone, 1991 fragrance, Versus Donna, it is a brand new concoction. Even after occasionally sniffing it at Myers, I wasn't too sure what to think of it. Today I received a sample from The Perfumed Court and I am so glad I did as I can really get a feel of the fragrance.
Official notes
Top: Amalfi Lemon, Kumquat, Star Apple
Middle: Amalfi Orange Blossom, Tincture of Rose, Stephanotis
Base: Musk, Patchouli, Amberette

First sniff: fresh, zesty, energetic, effervescent, crisp citrus note with a tinge of sourness and bitterness to it. It is definitely not "me", not something I would love. If I had smelt it blindly, I would have bet my bottom dollar that it is a men's cologne. I am relieved that this freshness does not last long on my skin, it develops to unveil sweetness of fruit, maybe its the apple and some florals, maybe its the rose combined with something soapy and musky. I think the element of connection is missing between the opening and the rest of the notes in the perfume. Given the name, it maybe deliberate!

Versus supposedly combines contrasting characteristics in the game of opposites, from romantic to aggressive, from punk to melodious, from tough to feminine. I totally get the contradiction in Versus, to me it is
men's cologne VS women's perfume,
fresh VS floral fruity,
citrus VS me!
The design of the bottle is simple but not so appealing to me. I can't see myself wearing it even though I wear Versace Eau Fraiche with love. For someone who loves fresh fragrances, it is perfect. I am sure that it will be a hit for the coming months of spring/summer.

You can get a sample and enter the contest at the Website. I am not too comfortable with getting freebies for vouchers, if anyone is, it is a great way to try it out!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Scent of the day: smelly mess!

I received two fake The Body Shop perfume oils, Woody Sandalwood and Juba yesterday. The seller gave a slack reply saying that they were authentic but "reformulated". It indeed is reformulated, not by The Body Shop, but by the seller herself using a thin, low viscosity diluent oil! I am disappointed, hurt and feel ripped off but have no patience or the will to open a dispute, which I am pretty sure will only add more stress to my already full-on life. I am just bearing it all with a grin.

Anyhow, I thought I'd give the benefit of doubt to the seller and tested the Woody Sandalwood oil on my freshly showered body. Gosh! It smells of something earthy, not in the pleasant way. I also smell some kind of wood that I can't even name and no trace of sandalwood whatsoever. It smelt awful on my body, so I thought I'd layer it with some frankincense and myrrh oil thinking that frankincense and sandalwood are a pair made in heaven. I don't know what happened there but frankincense just is so overpowering that instead of masking the nastiness, it added to it.  I know I should have stopped there and showered but went on to layer this mess with Calvin Klein Obsession because it can disguise anything, thankfully it did for a while. But now I smell like a mess, a smelly mess. This thick, dense, obnoxious cloud is following me wherever I go. I haven't yet found time to shower, I might just head off to get rid of the stink, before I get a headache which surprising I haven't developed yet.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Serge Lutens Datura Noir: Review

As I was sifting through my little hill of samples yesterday unable to decide what to wear for the day, I found this old forgotten beauty, Serge Lutens Datura Noir.  I could not remember what it smelt like and why it was in hiding. I quickly sprayed it on my wrist to test out what it is like, then the tuberose hit me. I figured out that was the reason for its exile, it was so floral that it tingled my nose.

But then the magic started to happen, the intoxicating, heady florals transforms into something exceptional, so delicious but inedible. I want to say creamy but it is more velvety, soft and dense, it is a beautiful combination of coconut, almonds and tonka bean. There is also a 'happy' element of the mildest of citrus notes which makes me smile. Tuberose and white flowers which are the heart, soul and base of the fragrance are present throughout and not lost anywhere. I am not torn between the two, the florals and the creamy notes are blended seamlessly well. Lasts for some hours in same dose!

One unique thing about this fragrance is that it is constantly changing. Some of the notes emerge from time to time, to stand out more than the others, it matches the current morphing weather of Adelaide from winter to spring! It's been chilly and breezy with the Sun peeping out every now and then which is a warm welcome amidst the gloomy winter. The light creaminess is just right for the chill and the white flowers unfold when it is bright and sunny!

This stunner as I understand is not for all round the year, it needs a mood and a weather to go with it. But it is making me smile in the last couple days.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Scent By The Sea: A Bouquet Of Lovelies, A Review

My review of A Bouquet of Lovelies

Dark patchouli
This scent is exactly like squashing a fresh patchouli leaf and placing it under your nose. It has depth and darkness to it. It is pure patchouli essential oil mixed with the diluent oils, nothing creative but for someone who loves patchouli, it is like heaven. Yes, I am a patchouli lover, I love to wear patchouli and don't think I smell like an unshowered hippie!

Patchouli Rose: 
Rose petals dipped in sugar syrup dominates the patchouli smell. On my skin, it is sugary rose, with hints of patchouli. The longest lasting scent of the lot.

It is a single note jasmine fragrance, I love jasmine, so obviously love this one. Also great for layering.

I don't really know the smell of violet. This smells floral and powdery, soft and pleasing. Very wearable and feminine.

Sweet, sugar laden florals with caramel-y, soft, fruity notes. Girly, playful and flirty scent.

I loved it when Dee sent me a sample to try. It is such a beautiful chocolate scent, it has hints of citrus notes like fresh lemon and orange. I can also smell subtle floral notes coming through. It is yum and very wearable! I passed on this scent to a friend and she just loves it, she says that she hasn't smelt anything like this, ever!

Green Tea: 
It is bitter green tea with a squeeze of fresh lemon and loads of sugar. The bitterness, citrus and sweet comes together very well and is very well balanced. It is a scent that you wear and feel fresh, best for spring or summer.

Heady seductive florals predominantly rose. Powdery and bold, a little too floral for me. 

Dreamy and hypnotic with lavender and a creamy vanilla base. I don't like lavender but this one is quite pleasing and wearable. 

Sweet Hashish:
I think I know what hash smells like, it is resinous as is and when smoked, it is herbal and less pungent than tobacco smoke. This scent is a combination of resinous hash and the smoke coming from a hukkah which is sweetened by some kind of fruit. It is unexpectedly beautiful and rich.

Scent by the Sea has anther sample set called A Caravan of Fragrant Treasures, can't wait to order it and test out all the scents, I am sure I'll find more favourites!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Scent By The Sea: Review

Look what the Sea Scent me! This is my haul from an Etsy store Scent By The Sea  ( 88 metal mania palette peeping from behind). When Dear Dee sent me a sample of Cioccolata,  I loved the scent and the cute little dram bottle with a tag label. I ordered two sampler packs from the store which were shipped at lightening speed and arrived in one week's time from far away US. Impressive! The two sampler packs I ordered are Garden Of Earthly Delights and A Bouquet of Lovelies with 10 different scents in each sampler pack. The cost is affordable at $12US for each sampler pack. The size is generous with 5/8 dram* in each bottle. They come in pretty little organza draw string gift bags, they are like little gifts for yourself!

Here is my review of the Garden Of Earthly Delights sample sets.
Middle Earth: 

What a surprise! When I first sniffed it out of the bottle it smelt very fruity. But on my skin, it transforms into a green forest full fruits and flowers. The green component is supposed to be pine but to me it is distinctly marjoram and davana leaf, both of which have floral and herbal quality to them to add to the greenness, which I love! The base is woody, sweet, slightly resinous and rich. This is forest in a bottle indeed!
Sandalwood Vanilla
Amazingly sweet vanilla with woody sandalwood, makes it my top scent of the lot. On my skin, the sweetness is subdued, the depth of the sandalwood is enhanced and the vanilla comes out beautifully. It is so unique with the balance of creaminess of vanilla and sensual sandalwood.

Egyptian Honey:
   Such a charming honey scent! It does not smell like "real" honey, it is more complex but easy at the same time. It has just the right amount of honey, with delightful florals and musk, making it more of a refined, sexy, floral scent than a gourmand.

Cinema Rouge
It is sweet and dries down to soft and rich amber. On my skin it is almost pure amber, which I haven't smelt in a long time.

A punch of florals maybe honeysuckle or magnolia, laced with sweetness which is not sugary but very light and honey like. It is a cute scent.

Fiori di Roma
Flowers of Rome, it smells like mashed fresh flowers, fresh and gentle.

It is a sensual floral scent, that has something tropical about it. It is a strong floral which oozes sensuality but smoothes out to a bearable floral on my skin.

I thought it was a single note fragrance of frangipani and got a little excited, but it is not the kind of powdery floral frangipani I expected. It is sweet, very sweet, coconut-y, tropical cocktail-like scent. I like it though.

China Rain
Fresh, unisex, slightly floral, hints of spices and musk.

Cote d Azure
OH MY! Supposed to smell like southern cost of France, with champagne, lavender, vanilla and coconut. When I had a whiff, it smelt like rancid, fermented coconut milk or the smell of coconut gone bad. I figured out what can produce this smell, it is the combination of lavender and coconut, very strange and not very pleasing to me. I did wear it on my skin, the rancidity went away leaving  lavender, but oh no, definitely not for me!

*dram is an apothecary unit. Being used to the metric system, I had to do a little math to work out the measure of dram in mls.
8 drams = 1 ounce = 30ml
5/8 dram ≃ 2.4 ml
which is generous enough for many uses.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Weird Smells I Love

No gagging guys, not referring to Secretions Magnifiques or perfumes like that. And no, I am not a glue sniffer or a solvent junkie or abuser of any kind! Just some smells around me that I love, drawn to, addicted to. Some may hate them or  may just find me weird or some may even share my likes. Here goes my list.

I Love The Smell Of Vicks. I may have been born with an addiction to Menthol and anything with a counter irritant effect. As a baby sleeping in my crib, it seems that I had eaten up a whole bottle of Vicks! The affinity still persists for the rub, inhaler, cough drops, Vicks  in all forms! A panacea for my senses, with or without a cold. The touch of it is soothing on the skin with strange combination of warmth and chill. The fumes tickle my  nasal mucosa in a fuzzy way, the inhaler enhances it for me!  I just placed a bottle under my nose as I am typing. A deep breath... oh what a relief, so satisfying!
Oh those rubs for sore muscles like Badger Balm, Goanna and Migrastick.... what a bliss!
Amruthanjan, is an Indian product similar to Vicks but it smells different, it is more citrusy and spicy with the same menthol, camphor and eucalyptus. I should pick up a bottle next time I am at Indian grocers.
The stronger versions like the ones you find in Asian stores: Tiger Balm, Dragon Balm and the like. These have a punch to them, they are really spicy with loads of cloves and cinnamon and lots and lots of counter irritation, strong enough to literally cauterise the mucus and the muscles! Love them all!

I Love The Smell Of Carbolic Acid Soaps,  aka the disinfectant soaps.  I associate the word sterile with it, not just clean but sterile. Washing my hands to clean myself after a playing in sand as a kid with Lifebuoy was really purifying! I also remember occasionally using it for a shower or bath. Then as a med student, scrubbing my hands with it, this along with surgical spirit and povidone iodine. The smell of Lifebuoy's antiseptic relative, Dettol, and Phenol, its disinfectant relative, so clean, bring on the hygiene!

Like most people,  I love the smell of
the first drops of rain on hot, dusty road
fresh, clean laundry
burning wood
just blown out candle
new books
new electronics
fire crackers
rusted coins
....... And the smell of my Baby Elephant, my dear little boy!