Thursday, September 30, 2010

Flourish Perfume Oils: Review

I just can't get over how gorgeous these perfume oils are! I am so glad I listened to Stefanie's nose and bought myself some. Thank you Stefanie, they are awesome!

When life gets too complicated with too many things to balance, too many deadlines to meet (5000 word research project in 5 days and talk about it in 10 mins!) I start craving for simpler things in life, like the birds chirping, the sunshine and some simple gorgeous perfumes. I can tell you that every one of the Flourish Bath and Body perfume oils are satisfying and has really calmed my nerves down.

Almond Milk: Milk and almond, what's not to like?! But this is to ADORE. Just beautiful, very simple and sweet. It is not a try hard perfume, it is effortlessly wonderful. The combination of almond, milk and tiny hint of sweetness is very heart warming and tender. I am slathering it on like crazy since the last two days and my full size bottle is half over! It is very addictive!

Moroccan Fig: Green, fresh and spicy. The figs are raw, more of fig leaves than the actual fruit. It is a a great summer scent. The staying power is great! I got a full size of this one too.

Vanilla Amber: Another simple beauty. A lovely vanilla scent, amber makes it warmer and interesting. A cozy scent that is perfectly delicious and very enjoyable. I got a sample of this, goes right to my full bottle list!

Honey: It is a little more complicated than the others, it is a honeyed sandalwood which is slightly spiced and sweet. I love this take on honey, very delicious and very sensual. It is just so beautiful.

Brown Sugar: With sugar fragrances, I expect them to flavoured, but this isn't flavoured with anything, it is like sniffing from a pack of brown sugar at first. Later, some coconut starts to come through making it a dessert-like and sweet with a hint of woody-ness. Very mild but nice.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Haus of Gloi: Halloween scents

How I love the perfumes from Haus of Gloi! I can't thank dear Dee enough for introducing me to them. I have bought a couple of times from the Etsy Store but now they seem to have their own website up and running. The new limited edition Halloween perfume oils were too good to pass up, I ordered some a while ago and I am so excited that they arrived in the post today!

Hex: You've been bewitched! Lecherous: brackish amber, aged vanilla bean and three dark fruits, veiled in darkness and otherworldly secrecy.

It is wonderful combination of vanilla and amber. The dark fruits which are hidden somewhere, come out creeping, very spooky! Even with the fruits in it, it is not a full blown fruity perfume. The fruits are ripe and ready to pluck which add a slightly fermented feel to it, just lovely! It is definitely an autumn scent, very dense and opaque but not cloying. I am wearing it today and it smells warm and cozy yet dark and dense. I just knew that this one would be great, I don't regret buying a full size bottle of this lovely perfume oil. 
I have been Hexed and I love it! 

Pumpkin Queen: Gentle hay pillows, pumpkin, ripe peaches dusted with clove and nutmeg, dried summer herbs, and lastly, a lovely crown of amber.

Very spicy scent, the cloves and nutmeg are strong but quieten down as it progresses. The pumpkin is very mild and doesn't come out till the spices subside. Definitely has a dry grass/saw dust feel to it, but it is very pleasant. I don't why I can smell camphor in it which may be the sharp combination of spices on my skin. It is a nice but a strong scent. I have to let it settle for a long time to actually enjoy it. I just got a sample of it, not sure if I want a full bottle.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ayala Moriel: Film Noir and Black Licorice

I have been fantasising about trying Ayala Moriel perfumes for a long time. Finally I have 6 samples in my hand and I'm absolutely impressed by each and every one of them.

Ayala Moriel is a Canada based natural perfumery that uses 100% natural ingredients. The perfumes are so beautifully crafted that you can see the passion in them. Ayala Sender, the lovely lady is the nose behind the perfumes and the founder of the perfumery. They have about 55 different perfumes and come in various forms, oils, extrait, body care, candles, tea, truffles, candles and fantastic jewellery like perfume pendants and poison rings!
Given the high quality ingredients the perfumes are a little expensive, way out of my range but love the elegant flask like bottles! The samples are within my reach. The individual samples retail for $12 a ml. I got 6 samples in pure parfum form for $48 USD including shipping. They come in 1 ml tiny dram vials, so cute!

Today I tested two of them, Film Noir and Black Licorice. Here are my thoughts

Film Noir: Inspired by the film noir era of cinema, it is deep, dark and a wonderful scent. It is described as "Topless, Heartless, only with the darkest base notes of benzoin, cocoa absolute, patchouli and myrrh"

It has the darkest of the dark chocolate, very bitter. Made deeper by earthyness of Patchouli and Myrrh. On me it is very musty and dense, the dark chocolate turns a bit into cognac adding to the bitterness. Patchouli is present throughout and hangs around till the end. It turns into something medicinal but wearable. It is classed as gourmand scent but I think it is too dark for gourmand. The whole thing is dark, deep, old just like Film Noir. I really like it.

Black Licorice:  It is a seasonal Halloween scent from Ayala Moriel, the version of dark sticky candy.
Upon opening the bottle, a faint smell of anise hits my nose. Wow, it gets stronger and stronger. Spicy yet sweet with a hint of rose and honey. It does smell like liquorice.

In India, we have a spiced beetle leaf preparation called Paan. I can't stand the traditional one with lime ( not the fruit, calcium carbonate!!) and arecanut. In fact I hate it. But love a good Paan when it is spiced with fennel, rose petals and sugar, of course, un-spiked with tobacco! Black Licorice smells exactly like that Paan, the Paan I love! I never thought I would discover the smell of Paan in a perfume, well, I am impressed!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Viva La Juicy: How will you wear it?!

I adore Viva La Juicy. Such a pretty, young, floral fruity perfume, especially I love the creamy, coconut-y dry down takes me to a holiday island! What about the bottle? Pretty? May be a little too pretty for my taste. I think it is overdone with a bright pink bow and the gold, not to mention the huge crystal stopper, makes it look a little tacky. Not as blighted as the Couture Couture, but still!

Yesterday, I did a bit of dissection on the bottle, separated all the appendages!
The bottle by itself is no unique, it is the signature style of Juicy Couture fragrances including Dirty English! The huge stopper still looks a little unclassy even when toned down.

Individually they make great jewellery! I have been eyeing off the Juicy Couture Jewellery, I love some of them like the flower hoop earrings. These appendages of the perfume bottle are just as cute! The crowned J with the golden safety pin is something that I would buy right away if I saw it somewhere. The little chain with "couture" written on it looks like the Carrie Necklace! They both make great pendants worn together or separately on my gold chain-necklace that wear everyday.  Oh, please excuse the lateral inversion of couture! 

The pink satin bow looks nice. Makes a cute hair accessory, a tad too big and bright though! 

So, do they make good accessories?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stacked Style: Carnival Crush Perfume Oil

I got my hands on this perfume oil from eBay. Stacked Style is a US brand that I had not even heard of before. They make fun and luxurious perfume oils aimed at an age group slightly younger than me, but I think I can take the interpretation of fun, fruity, floral, fashion into perfumes at my tender age :) The little perfume vials or Scentarettes as they are called are stacked in a pack of four in a matchbox-like packaging, cool! The twenty set comes in a trendy cigarette box!

Carnival Crush is a fresh fruity perfume from the Stacked Style range. It has a cocktail of fruits like fresh green apple, peaches and delightfully mixed with roses and jasmine.
Looking for a twist? There is it, the fresh cut grass which I smell through out. I think it changes the whole fruity thing into something fresh, herbal and raw, making the concoction a summery fresh scent.

It is a pleasurable scent but I'm a little disappointed with how long it lasts (or should I say how short lived it is) especially given that it is a perfume oil. It probably needs warmer weather to bring it out.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bvlgari Omnia

I have been sitting in front of the computer for days, researching all published literature on Gastro Oesophageal Reflux, lost the plot a couple of times and had to restart again. Still, I am nowhere near completing the research. Well, all it did to me was to crave for fresh air and sunlight and to buy something nice for myself. So I did, I bought Bvlgari Omina EDP from Chemist Warehouse, unsniffed, after reading so many great reviews. The deal was too good to pass up, $40 for 40mls.

Top Notes: Ginger, Mandarin, Saffron, Pepper, Cardamom
Middle Notes: Nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon, Almond, Masala Chai, Lotus
Base Notes: Sandalwood, White Chocolate, Tonka Bean, Woody notes
What a delectable combination of spices with tea and almonds with a dry down of white chocolate and creamy woods! I like the how it starts off, gingery fresh with beautiful spices, then turns into something dusty, not in a dirty way but in a pale and dull way. I love masala chai and definitely can smell it here but it is more of the day-old undecanted leftover of masala chai. It is not bad, I think it is adds a nice character to the fragrance, making it more interesting. The creamy dry down of sandalwood and unsweetened white chocolate is absolutely heart warming and divine!

Do I like it? Yes! I would wear it often. There is something in it that makes me crave for more. I think it lacks the warmth and depth that I wish it had, otherwise, it makes a great perfume. Staying power is good, lasts for a few hours on me. Sillage is average, close to the skin. Perfect for a winter or a rainy day to snuggle in. It is very cosy, soft and warm!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Perfume Tag

Lovely Stefanie from The Girl With The Curious Nose started a "perfume Tag"! It is fun Stefanie, I enjoyed answering the question! So here goes my answers..

1. The fragrance you have most memories attached to?

I highly doubt if anyone knows this perfume, the first ever perfume that admired is Intimate (by Revlon/Jean Phillipe I think?) My dad bought a bottle for my mum in 1980's, I was so fascinated by it! I was only allowed to see it, only touched under supervision, (when I was 6!) It may have been spritzed on me only a few times, but I remember the smell, it was strong but addictive to my young nose!

The second perfume that I have most memories attached to is Mont Blanc Presence d'une Femme. It is the perfume that I used when I first went to UK, brand new country, brand new man, brand new house, so much freedom, romance, the future looked spectacular... ahh... Perfume is just beautiful, so fresh, peppery to begin with and has the most beautiful orchid, with a warm vanilla-y dry down. Very well balanced, it is very "me"!

2. Your most liked perfume bottle?
Tastefully grand: I love it when fine jewellery makers design perfume bottles! Van Cleef & Arpels Feerie, with a little fairy sitting on a branch and how beautiful is the watch! I have no idea what it smells like!

Tastefully simple: Annick Goutal ones: 
3. Which Perfume you wish was still produced or available?

Another less heard of one Silver Cape (by Prestige?) Can't find it anywhere....

4. Favourite perfume advertising campaign?

Recently Blue d Chanel, the guy is yumm!
How about this, if you can call it an ad or review?!
5. Best perfume related discovery:
The whole world of perfume oils, Etsy, BPAL, so many, thanks to my online friends Dee and 

5. Best perfume related discovery?
Introduction to Etsy, BPAL, so many perfume oils, thanks to my online friends!
The Perfumed Court, I love that place!

6. Perfume that you expected to love but didn't?
Eternity Moment by CK, I love Eternity and based on which I bought a full bottle of Eternity Moment... way too floral for me!
The other way round is Chanel NÂș5, I thought I would hate it, but love it so much!

7. The Perfume you'd give your left arm for?
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille

8. Top 5 notes


9. Perfume you wish would die a horrible death?
Oh no, I could never wish that upon any perfume!

10. Next perfumes on the "to buy" list?

I would love to try these:
Vanilia by L'Artisan Parfumeur
Aftelier Tango
Ayala Moriel anything
Spiritueuse Double Vanilla by Geurlain
Carnal Flower by Frederic Malle

Monday, September 13, 2010

Some chocolate scents from Possets

Yet again, I'm in the chocolate state of mind. To satisfy my craving, today I sat down to test and compare a few perfume oils from Possets. There are quite a few that are chocolate based scents from Possets but I have to confess that they are mostly similar, so they are either chocolate on chocolate or chocolate on florals! They leak a lot too and the mixture of all the smells put together makes them more similar and confusing!
But the service is fantastic, Fabienne is very generous with samples. They are really fun foodie scents and if you are looking for something different and lighthearted, they are great scents to try. If you are a gourmand fan, you'd be in heaven!

Id: This is the part of psychiatric trio of Id, Ego and SuperEgo, with aptly placed picture of Sigmund Freud on the vials. Very smooth chocolate at the beginning, creamy at first, then turns into something floral on the dry down. It is quite wearable.

Ego: The chocolate is dark and a bit complex with sugar and lavender, not too keen on lavender note in general and mixed with chocolate, it is bit weird. Definitely unisex, but not for me. I haven't tried SuperEgo of the psychiatric trio yet.

Fluoxetine: The antidepressant is full of sugar, something like candy floss, very sweet with a touch of spice to my nose. It is quite heavy to wear but very joyous to sniff!

Giddy: Chocolate, sugar and cream, unfortunately, the cream turns sour on me.

Glee: Chocolate and sandalwood touch of amber. It is rich but very pretty.

Guffaw: Soft milky chocolate with hot spice, can't put my finger on what the spice is but it smells dusty and pale. It is the least foody of all.

Passion: A supersaturated chocolate solution of chocolated chocolate with a smooth chocolate interior and a chocolate shell covered in chocolate sauce floating in a puddle of chocolate.....Should I say more?!

Full bottles? I'd go for Id, Glee and Passion, maybe. Like always, I blame Dear Dee for my addiction!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

German Expressionist Horror: BPAL

I got 7 bottles (3 full and 4 partials) of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfume oils from eBay yesterday! Woo hoo, so many to sniff! One of them is German Expressionist Horror. It is from Dark Delicacies collection called Summer Blockbuster 2009. The collection is based on genres of cinema ranging from B-Horror (low budget, cheap, inartistic horror films), Splatter Comedy (blood thirsty, gory, a bit of mockery, like the series of Chainsaw massacres) to J-Horror (supernatural, tense, chilling Japanese movies, like The Grudge) and few other genres.

German Expressionist Horror
"Highly stylised, stark and filled with dark symbolism, these films employed bizarre, striking geometry and mise en scene to convey mood and tell their tale"
Examples: Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu, M, Der Golem"

Casket dust, black musk and khus, black pine needle, patchouli, myrrh and black pepper

At first it smells of strong, unmissable and heady pine along with patchouli and myrrh. It is indeed a dark, dusty and dry scent. There is something disturbing about it. I think the pine makes it a little overbearing and masculine. As it settles on my skin, the pine is still prominent, but the myrrh and the black pepper emerge making it darker and deeper. Well after 1 hour, headiness is surprisingly subdued, the pine disappears and the beautiful musk and amber come out still retaining the sharpness of pepper. I love it at this stage, I wish the shift from the stronger side to its pleasant side was quicker.

I have not watched any of the German Expressionist Horror films, but I can get the symbolism of silently disturbing, dark nature. Technically may or may not be the kind of expressionism but it reminds me of Stanley Kubrick's movies like The Clockwork Orange which have strange backgrounds, lighting and colour that give me a freaky, chaotic feeling, so unsettling and disturbing. Something so compelling that you can't stop watching the horror and wish to unsee them.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Un Jardin Sur Le Nil by Hermes

I have never smelt anything like this before! I am not the one to like fresh fragrances but this has left me dazed! Wow, this one is such a crisp, refreshing fragrance that instantly revives the mood. It is a green-floral-woody fragrance to sum it up.

There is something very transparent about it that reminds me of monsoon, maybe walking in the mango groove in drizzling rain. Though it is the smell of the garden on the river Nile (that Jean-Claude Ellena conceptualised, an interesting story) I can relate to the monsoon-mangoes scenario better.

The opening is very exciting, a blast of freshly squeezed grapefruit along with the greenness of its rind. Then comes the most beautiful mango I have ever smelt, it is green, raw, unripe mango that is sour and bitter but not sharply acidic. I think it is this mango that gives an edginess to the perfume. Then comes the some spice, soft floral notes and the lotus stands out, so effervescent and light. The lotus is slightly floral, slightly aquatic, like the freshly cut stem of lotus than the actual flower itself. The drydown is woodsy and slightly incense-y. By the whole description, it may seem cold and lifeless, but it has a slight touch of warmth to it, given the spices and the woods in the dry down and the very vivid life-like citrus opening.

When was trying to find the notes for the perfume, I was a bit shocked, it does have the grapefruit, green mango, lotus and woods but to my surprise, there is a tomato, carrot note in the top notes! I cannot even imagine for those to be there. Only goes to show how lay my nose/brain is!

It is marketed as unisex and I can definitely picture how well it would smell on a man. I will happily be wearing the 2 ml sample that I have through this spring and it does last quite some hours, can't say the same as the days get hotter though. As it is a Hermes, I expected it to be quite pricey but Strawberrynet has a 50 ml for around $75 which could make a great gift to myself!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Aquolina Chocolovers

Chocolate is such a delight for all senses. I am so crazed about the idea of smelling chocolate on myself, more than actually eating it, as the olfactory pleasure of chocolate is more memorable, indulgent and gratifying than the momentary pleasure of its gustatory experience.

Aquolina Chocolovers does just that for me, pure indulgence, the picture says it all! It is like playing naughty sensory games with chocolate, which I have not done in real life!
Imagine a bowl of warm melted chocolate, so rich and creamy, mixed with orange liqueur and toasted hazelnuts, imagine dipping your fingers in, taking a deep whiff and licking it, that is Aquolina Chocolovers for you, the sight, smell, touch and taste of chocolate! The chocolate is sweet and mixed with slightly burnt caramel, just so delightful, with juicy orange. Overall it is not a sickly sweet perfume, just warm, comforting and delicious! I have the EDT form of this perfume, it is long lasting on me, but the chocolate becomes less intense leaving behind an orangey vanilla, mixed with light florals, making it more wearable as a perfume.
I got a 50ml bottle from FargranceX website for about $30 AUD, quite a bargain, but it took a really long time (a month and a half) to get here!

This perfume reminds me of a few others I have tried, one is Comptoir Sud Pacifique: Amour de Cacao. Amour de Cacao has the same orangey cocoa in it with more vanilla than chocolate, it is more like orange cake! But Chocolovers is sweeter and more satisfying chocolate wise.

Another scent Chocolovers reminds me of is Natali by The Morbid The Merrier, which was sent to me with a lot of love by Dee. Her description is spot on, just add a generous dollop of Nutella to make Natali more chocolate-y and to give that hazelnut taste to it and you have Aquolina Chocolovers!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy Birthday My Dear Husband!

Today is my sweetheart's birthday! Happy birthday! All he wants for his birthday is a lots and lots of love, but then, I wanted to spoil him with a great gift, as always. He is not a difficult person to buy gifts for. I know exactly what he wants, an antique Rolex or an Omega Constellation watch or Mont Blanc pen or a geeky tech toy to play with! I can't spoil him so much right now and I am not so good at the watch, pen or tech department. Last week, I almost bought an Elgin 1900's pocket watch for him, thankfully I consulted him before buying and he vehemently refused after just one look at it! His birthday is around Father's Day (first sunday of September)  so I have heaps of gift ideas and great discounts. This year I decided to go with perfume.

My husband wears perfume/cologne/deodorant, basically whatever is within his reach on the bathroom sink, on a daily basis. He has the same reaction to every perfume he tries "It smells like spirit" Well yeah, it is just spirit after all! He has no patience to sniff it after a while and see how it changes on his skin, he does not find that fun!! Another concept he has about perfumes is "One should wear perfume but no one should ever detect it, including oneself"

Over the years, he has liked many perfumes, currently stuck on CK One, successfully bypassing Versace Eau Fraiche. Since he is a man of fresh perfumes, I thought I'd take a chance and let him try something that he usually wouldn't. I bought him Aramis perfume set from David Jones which came with EDT, an after shave balm, a stick deodorant and a huge faux leather bag, all of which he can use. And what a classic perfume Aramis is!

When I smelt it from the paper strip, first thing that came to my mind was "leather". It is a heavy, masculine and very gentlemanly. It is begins off with the cleanness and freshness of bergamot which turns into an aromatic freshness of artemisia, with the depth of myrrh and a punch of spices. The leather in it is massive and present throughout, the most animalic I have ever smelt! It settles down well, still maintaining all the spiciness and depth but the vetiver stands out, making it more aromatic and strong.
On hubby, it smells great! It blends into his skin well and it really brings out his rough, brutal side, which contrasts his easy going, unruffled personality but definitely matches his taste in finer things. He did love it, he wore it to work and I could smell it with some intensity when he came back home.
I tried a teeny bit on my wrist and it was quite overwhelming on me. It is a true masculine scent that is fit for a man with character. I'm just happy that he had a perfectly great smelling birthday today!