Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wanted: A fresh pair of nostrils - Stat!!

My first giveaway!!! Well, giveaway with a little bit of homework! I have been frantically blending away and have come up with some nice blends. I cannot say that these are perfect, they have so much room for improvement. I need some honest feedback from my lovely reader about these perfumes. So, I have four of my perfume blends (1ml each) for two lucky people to try, enjoy and flex the nasal muscles. The blends are:

Topless: Called so not only because it is sexy, but also because I skipped adding top notes! It is a white floral blend with creamy undertones. Notes: Jasmine Sambac, Tuberose, lily of valley, creamy Sandalwood, Vanilla, Amaretto

Naked: A skin scent, very subtle. 20% of Iso E Super

Floral Blend: This is mostly an essential oil blend featuring Ylang Ylang. Orange is the top note. Has a drop of Rose, a drop of Musk, a drop of Patchouli with a sensual Sandalwood base.

Toothache: Mildly sweet Vanilla with cloves. The cause and the treatment of toothache in one!
Vanilla, spices, tobacco... does it ring a bell? I started off to make it something Tobacco Vanille, but it turned out quite different but nice!

I also have a Stinky Rose which has some reekers like Civet, Castroneum along with rose. To everyone's relief, it will not be included in the giveaway.

To enter, just comment expressing your interest to try these under this post. Include your email, so that I can contact you.

Open to Australian residents only.
Closes 5th March 2011 CLOSED
Two lucky winners will be randomly chosen from the comments.
Each winner will get 1 ml sample of four of the blends mentioned above.

*Ingredients are from various sources, include essential oils, fragrant oils, Baseblends, Aroma Chemicals etc. I can assure for their quality.
*No animal ingredients used.
*All the above are blended in Dipropylene Glycol as carrier.
*I make perfumes as a hobby. I have not studied perfumery. But I have read about the ingredients I use. I have followed the MSDS and IFRA guidelines about the quantities and concentrations of the ingredients.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I smell Coffee!

There is a coffee place near where I live that I walk past everyday. It is not a cafe but a place where they roast and powder Kenyan coffee beans. Oh My God! It smells so good that I always stop there for a moment and take the aroma in. The guys who work there think I am crazy! But I really can't help myself. I love the smell of roasted coffee.

I was never a coffee drinker for the first 25 years of my life. Something changed when I had my Baby Elephant. I crave for caffiene since he was born. But I am not a fan of the smell of the coffee as a drink. It somehow feels wet, soggy, stale and unpleasant. I think the difference between freshly roasted and ground coffee and the drink is like the difference between the smell of tobacco and the smell of cigarettes.

Freshly roasted, ground coffee has a beautiful aroma that is smoky, dark, bitter, rich and very refreshing! I have come across some coffee scents that remind of this tantalising aroma.

Ava Luxe: Cafe Noir

Long nights of dance clubs and after hours coffee shops ~ the inviting scent of black coffee, smoke, lavender, musks, woods , vanilla and spices.
Sensual and dreamy
 with an exotic sandalwood drydown.
Notes: Black coffee bean, Allspice Berries, Cardamom, French Lavender, Attar of Roses, Cedar, Patchouli, Vanilla, Mocha, Sandalwood, Siam Benzoin, Ambrette seed

A beautifully made coffee, that is warm, smoky and so exotic! More oriental than gourmand, the coffee in it is rich and smooth, almost straight up espresso! Combination with sandalwood and cardamom is just heavenly. A very enjoyable coffee scent!

Warning! Given its namesake, Vice may be habit forming.
Steam billows rolling off a vessel of fresh made Turkish coffee, marshmallow goo tainted by graham cracker crumbs, toasted hazelnuts and blanketed in black chocolate.

I blame Dee for getting me hooked on this! I am addicted to the coffee and the chocolate in it! The chocolate is dark, the coffee is smoky and rich with yummy nutty flavour! Just delicious! So warm and so comforting that I could bathe in it! Oh wait, I did! I have used the sugar scrub and the body emulsion in Vice scent along with the perfume oil. DIVINE!

Northbound with the A-train to cabaret-jazz club-central… a scent so brazen it was barely captured in a bottle. Molten liquefied swank with androgynous appeal, to wear after midnight, in — and on — hot-spots.

Notes: Coffee, vanilla, patchouli

A very modern gourmand that is soft and more like Cafe Latte. Sweet but fresh, the coffee is made creamy by the vanilla drydown along with the earthyness of patchouli. Very well made. Unlike most Bond No 9s it lasts. It is a perfect warm up for winter mornings where you crave for coziness and of course coffee!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Iso E Super

Iso E Super has intrigued me from a long time. I have been reading a lot about it everywhere, suddenly, at least in my world. In the recent past, I had the opportunity to try the famous, cult perfume Escentric Molecules: Molecule 01, the magical substance that changes from skin to skin, the perfume which unashamedly demonstrates a pheromonal effect and what not! It is made using the single component, Iso E Super. I ordered half an ounce of pure Iso E Super from The Perfumer's Apprentice $6 for 15ml. I have been playing with it since past two days and here are my thoughts.

What is it? Iso E Super is an aromachemical, a molecule that is used in fragrances. It is a trademark of International Flavors and Fragrances with a fascinating chemical name. If you want to doze off reading the chemistry and the safety part of it, you can do it here.

The Smell: Iso E super is one of those scents that has a 'your-skin-but-better' aroma. Like most aroma chemicals, it has a very little smell by itself (due to the large molecular size). But when diluted and used in perfumes, it morphs. It adds a certain character and affects the overall smell in subtle ways. Iso E Super is like an 'invisible elf' in perfumes that works all the magic. 

IFF description:
"Smooth, woody, amber with unique aspects giving a ''velvet'' like sensation. Used to impart fullness and subtle strength to fragrances. Superb floralizer found in the majority of newer fine fragrances"

Concentrations: Smelling directly from the bottle, it has a very faint smell. It should not be tested directly on the skin undiluted. I know, but I did. I diluted Iso E Super with Dipropyleneglycol (DPG, the carrier) in a 20% concentration (safe to use according to IFRA) It is interesting to compare undiluted Iso E Super with a concentration of 20%. The 20% Iso E Super has no odour at all compared to the undiluted. I could smell the undiluted one quicker on my skin. But 20% is more multi dimentional and develops much better.

Iso E Super takes ages to come through and show up on the skin. 20% Iso E Super takes full 10 minutes to even hit my nose. It keeps morphing and getting better with time. Once it develops, it really feels like an aura surrounding me. It smells exactly like the IFF description. It is very pleasant, woody, floral smell. It is soft, dense and pillowy with amber undertones and a tinge of synthetic smell. Weightless, invisible and charming.

It does stay close to the skin with an occasional waft in the air that keeps you wondering. Staying power is superb around 6 to 8 hours on me, even at 20% concentration.

                                                 Escentric Molecules: Molecule 01
This perfume has Iso E Super as the only component, the only note. Geza Schon, the nose behind the perfume has written this fantastic article. It is a nice read on how the perfume was inspired by simplicity. It also has a table at the end with the mention of top 10 fragrances which use Iso E Super graded according to the concentration, which is mentioned below:

1. Molecule01- (escentrıc molecules, 2005) 100%
2. Perles- (Lalique, 2007) 80%
3. Poivre Samarcande- (Herme`s, 2004) 71%
4. Escentrıc01- (escentrıc molecules, 2005) 65%
5. Terre d- Herme`s- (Herme`s, 2006) 55%
6. Incense Kyoto- (comme des garÅons, 2002) 55%
7. Incense Jaisalmer- (comme des garÅons, 2002) 51%
8. Fierce for Men- (Abercrombie & Fitch, 2002) 48%
9. Kenzo Air- (Kenzo, 2003) 48%
10. Encre noire- (Lalique, 2006) 45%

When I first smelt Molecule 01, I was confused. I sprayed on my skin and I smelt nothing. This was at Mecca Cosmetica where I had been testing a lot of perfumes. The Carnal Flower was turning overwhelmingly floral on me. I thought that was the reason. I sprayed some on the back of my husband's hand and nothing! After about 20 mins, a faint woody aroma was definitely there, but I wasn't paying attention. I did not have the pure Iso E Super at that time, so couldn't really know what to make of it.
Escentric Molecules: Molecule 01
retails at a hefty price tag of $210 for 100ml! Pure Iso E Super that I bought cost me $6 for half an ounce! 

Molecule 01 is an alcohol based EDT, which means that the concentration of Iso E super is in the concentration of 5 to 15%. I can imagine that my 20% in DPG will be a little more stronger and better. The price at which Molecule 01 sells is ridiculous. I surely will not be paying $210 for 100ml when I can get Iso E Super for $6 for half an ounce!

Iso E Super is supposed to have pheromonal/aphrodisiac qualities. I cannot really comment on those effects because, well, nothing happened! But I don't think that human evolution is that primitive for the concept of pheromones to work anyway... I don't know, but creationists would disagree with me for sure!

Iso E Super is a fantastic aromachemical. I think it is well worthy of the cult status. This, for me, only opens the door to explore so many more!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Perfumer's Apprentice Haul!

I recently ordered some perfume making supplies from The Perfumer's Apprentice. It is an awesome site for DIY perfume making. They have huge range of essential oils, fragrance oils, bases and key accords, carrier oils and all the tools that you'd need to make your own perfume!

In this order, I basically focussed on bases and key accords and mostly aromachemicals. I have only blended essential and fragrance oils till now and making perfume with DPG and bases will be an interesting experience! The website also has perfume making kits both for beginner and advanced levels which comes complete with guides to mix them. I decided not to go for it but I will look into it in future. Already planning the next order in my head, which will be the Aromachemical kit... oooo!

My shopping experience with The Perfumer's Apprentice has been very positive. There is a wide range of things to select and I spent two days looking at all the wonderful things on the site. The prices are reasonable. I paid a little more than $70 US for my haul. The shipping charge depends on the quantity of the order and for this order it was around $13.50 US. My order was shipped within 3 days and reached me within a week, actually on Friday but my annoying post lady doesn't ring the bell. So, I got my hands on it today. Everything was very well packed in Ziplock bags with lots of bubble wrap. I am very impressed with The Perfumer's Apprentice!

I'm very excited and so looking forward to all the blending I have to do! I'm most excited about playing with Iso E Super!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pour Un Homme de Caron

Pour Un Homme de Caron: A classic male fragrance that I have fallen in love with! The fragrance conceptualised in 1934 smells so much ahead of its time. It smells like a modern, unisex, niche perfume, unique and full of character.

Lavender is a huge no-no for me. If there is one note that I hate, it would be lavender. Even the lavender in Lomani (the cheapie), Serge Lutens Gris Clair and Etat Libre D'orange Antiheros does not do it for me. Surprisingly, I like the lavender in this perfume. In this strange combination with vanilla, lavender smells really nice. It is radiant and fresh. Not harsh, not unbearable, lavender is smooth and soft. It has a hint of green herbs and spices to it. Dry down is clean and soft vanilla, not sweet, just creamy and velevety. It is very elite and sophisticated scent.

I recently got my hands on a little 4 ml bottle of a roll on body perfume (alcohol free) version of this. I like it even better. The lavender is softer and almost completely blends away into a musky, vanilla background. Nice and fresh, soft, not too heavy. Great for summer, especially for someone like me who prefers non-citrus perfumes with a touch of creaminess for summer. Of course, a great vanilla perfume for men!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

BPAL Lupercalia '09: White Chocolate and Sugared Violets

White Chocolate and Sugared Violets
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
For traditionals with Sweet tooth, we present A Box Of White Chocolates
Lupercalia '09: Limited Edition

Does white chocolate even smell? Well, this starts off sweet, mixed with a croissant-buttermilk note. Then comes creamy chocolate. The whole thing turns sour on me. Like the smell of cream that is left unrefrigerated for too long. The violets are powdery and very faint. It is light and the sweetness is not too cloying. It dries down to tangy powder on me with a musty undertone. Quite disappointing. Blind buys don't always work but mine is only a partial with a couple of imps remaining.

BPAL: Lupercalia '08: Harikata

Adult Content
NSFW image

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Lupercalia '08: Novel Ideas for Secret Amusement
Limited Edition: Shunga Exhibition
Official Notes: Osmanthus, honey, golden musk, vanilla flower, and ginger.
Harikata: The ancient Japanese sex toy, is sure a novel idea for secret amusement! The image with phallic symbol from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab says it all. 

Harikata is a honeyed floral. It is all about Osmanthus. Osmanthus, the golden one is native to Japan and I have an essential oil that I can best describe as a toned down jasmine with some greenness and powderiness. Osmanthus in Harikata is really nice with the freshness of ginger and the sweetness of honey. Feels Japanese and very sexy, lives up to its name! If you want to love yourself this Valentine's Day, it should match your mood! 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ayala Moriel: Roses et Chocolat & Les Parfums de Rosine: Rose Praline

Roses and chocolate, all a girl wants for a romantic Valentine's Day. I have not been a fan of the rose in perfumes. It somehow seems 'cold' to me. I am not even a romantic person. Well, at least not roses-and-chocolate romantic. But these two perfumes have spoken to me in different ways. Two perfumes based on Rose and Chocolate, Ayala Moriel Roses et Chocolat and Les Parfums de Rosine: Rose Praline, both beautiful but so different.

Ayala Moriel Roses et Chocolat:
Notes: Allspice (Pimento Berry),AmberBenzoin Siamese Cocoa AbsoluteMaceNutmeg Pink Pepper AbsoluteRose de MaiRose Maroc Rose Otto (Turkey)
Roses et Chocolat is a romantic and indulgent perfume. It makes me feel warm and loved!
The rose in it is a lush, deep red rose. It is big, it is soft, it is velvety. This  dramatic rose is mixed with chocolate, making it warm and spicy. Chocolate is dark, which blends very well with the rose, making it richer and darker. I sense a bit of a boozy tinge, just to complete the mood of the Valentine's Day! It is gourmand but somehow more wearable than edible to me.
It was released as a limited edition but now has made its way into the general catalogue. I have a little sample of the parfum extrait in an 1 ml dram vial, a great way to try this piece of luxury.

Les Parfums de Rosine: Rose Praline

Top note : Cardamom, Italian bergamot, Rose oil
Heart note : Géranium, Chocolate powder, Rose absolue, Lapsang Souchong tea
Base note : Ambre, Sandal wood, Cacao, White musk
This is the first perfume from the house that I have tried. Les Parfums de Rosine has a whole range of rose based perfumes and only rose based perfumes Maybe the reason why I haven't been so keen to try them. I recently received a sample vial of Rose Praline with my Mecca Cosmetica order. Rose Praline is another rose-chocolate combo, a beautiful one.

Rose Praline is a modern rose. A crisp, fresh and light rose which feels more like a pink tea rose. The rose is so beautifully blended with a soft creamy chocolate base that it does not feel gourmand. The website describes the "The Woman" of this fragrance as
Her universe is her friends. Around a cup of tea, her afternoons shell between candies and confidences.
Exuberant and talkative, she is a sparkling and sweet young lady.
It is not something that really describes me, but when I wear it I can feel that 'cafe hopping-art loving-vintage silk dress' woman. It does live up to the projected image, young and sophisticated.

So, which of the two Roses am I?  I like Roses et Chocolat, a deep, dense and spicy rose. It is so 'me'. This rose perfume really evoked a romantic in a non romantic, non rose loving person.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bond No 9: West Broadway

This amazing creation by Bond No 9 is my summer perfume dream come true. It is perfectly light but equally warm and exciting. It has been my 'night out' perfume all this summer.

Official Notes: Lime, Lily of the Valley, Sheer Musk
Released in 2003
It has light lime opening, not really a screechy citrus blast, but oh so breezy! This lime is green and crisp. The light floral smell of lily of the valley and freshness of tea is so refreshing. There is a wow factor, a total surprise: the beautiful incense coming through which makes me go crazy! Warm spicy and edgy, slightly sweet and very soft. Very well blended. It is so easy to wear, it has a nonchalant sophistication about it. Even though it is unisex and directed mostly towards the male population, I can assertively feel its femininity and softness. It is light enough for summer and sexy enough for summer nights!

Most Bond No 9s don't really appeal to me because they seem mostly bland. West Broadway is definitely not bland! The staying power of most of them has disappointed me. A few good sprays and West Broadway stays for 3 or 4 hours on my skin but in my hair, on my clothes, etc, it stays and stays! It is so nice to get a whiff of yesterday's perfume from my hair. It does stay close to the skin. Unless someone is in your personal space, they wouldn't smell it. But if someone does, they'll love it so much that they wont stop invading your personal space!

I love this, West Broadway is a beauty! Loved it at the first sniff and I got a big 100 ml bottle. No regrets!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sparks: Perfume

Sparks: Mael Brothers, Ron and Russel, 2006
Genevieve wears Dior
Margaret wears Tresor
Mary Jo wears Lauren
But you don't wear no perfume

Deborah wears Clinique
Marianne wears Mystique
Judith wears Shalimar
But you don't wear no perfume

That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you

Anna wears CK One
Jeanie wears Opium
Trisha wears No.5
But you don't wear no perfume

Susan wears St. Laurent
Janie wears L'Air du Temps
Kirstin wears Davidoff
But you don't wear no perfume

That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you

The olfactory sense is the sense
That most strongly evokes memories of the past
Well screw the past

That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you

That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you

Genevieve wears Hermes
Annabelle wears Arpege
Betty Lee wears Guerlain
But you don't wear no perfume

Katie wears Giorgio
Lily wears Moschino
Jenna wears Kenneth Cole
But you don't wear no perfume

That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you

Carol wears Cacharel
Lana wears Tommy Girl
Cynthia wears J'Adore
But you don't wear no perfume

Jennifer wears Celine
Laura wears Armani
Deborah wears Polo Sport
But you don't wear no perfume

Jody wears Gaultier
Peggy wears Jean Patou
Stella wears Lagerfeld
But you don't wear no perfume

That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you

That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you

That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you
That's why I want to spend my life with you

That's why, that's why, that's why, that's why

Friday, February 4, 2011

BPAL Lupercalia '09: Man With Phallus Head


 Adult Content

NSFW image

Man With Phallus Head

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (BPAL)
The Salon: Novel Ideas for Secret Amusements II (Limited Edition)
Limited Edition released as a part of Shunga Exhibition during Lupercalia (Valentine's Day) 2009

Official notes: Smoky musk, ambergris, tonka bean, brown sandalwood, daemonorops, black currant, and honey.

Or should it simply be the d#@* head?! The name is really funny and comes with the image of a man with an actual phallus as his head (am I seeing the image correctly?)!! I guess that is the amusement part of it! Well, I cannot really define how it should smell, but this perfume oil smells unexpectedly nice.

After I got past the name and image of MWPH and the idea of smelling like one, I put it on my wrists. The scent is pleasant smelling. Lovely sandalwood first hits my nose, accompanied by warm amber. Really nice! 
The musk is definitely there. Musk is notorious for smelling like certain parts of the body (read Chandler Burr's description in The Perfect Scent) So I think the use of musk here in relation to the body part mentioned fits in. But the musk is not animalic in nature, it is just sheer, skin like and powdery. 
There is a phase in this perfume oil that is not my favourite. This when the black current starts to appear. It is syrupy and smells off. Thankfully, it completely disappears, leaving the Honey and Tonka Bean which add the much needed soft, sweet quality. 

Dry down is the best part. It smells of honey soaked sandalwood, with powdery musk and warm amber lurking in the background. Not too bad for the name! I have a bottle with about 3 imps remaining, which I will cautiously wear to places where I will not be asked what I am wearing.

Beautiful Blogger Award

I am so excited to receive fabulous Beautiful Blogger Award, not once but twice! Thank you so much Jade and Stef. I am so new to this world of blogging and I needed this boost to keep me going. I feel so special and this is most definitely an inspiration to write more. Thanks gals! 

                                                 So, here are the rules of the award, I have:
Linked back to the beautiful gals who gave me the award
7 random things about me
10 blogs to which I am awarding the "Beautiful Blogger" title

7 random things about me:

1. My natural smell is apparently of mangoes! You'll know better if you kiss me :) I should probably start sweating/drooling into bottles!! Yuck!

2. My name is shortened to Su from 
Sunayana ( pronounced as Su-nai-na) which is Sanskrit for "girl with beautiful eyes" 
I want to think it is true!

3. I love Astronomy. When I was 4 or 5 years old I wondered why the three stars which were lined up in a straight line when the other stars in the sky appeared random. Years later I learnt that it was the Orion's Belt. My fascination with the night sky has ever increased. I just wish I was smart enough with equations as Astrophysics really interests me.

4. I hate the smell of burnt food. It is absolutely revolting.

5. I LOVE spicy food. Spicier the better, my threshold for the heat and spice is very high. Fried chillies anyone?! I CAN'T eat a lot of sweet food, not more than a spoonful of sticky date pudding or a bite of Black Forest Cake or a few pieces of dark chocolate. Really weird given my taste in perfumes!

6. Nail biting is one bad habit that I'd like to break one day. I'm orally fixated according to Sigmund Freud, interesting and true to an extent (but I'm more of a Jungian)

7. My dream holiday is African Wildlife Safari. I would pick this over a shopping spree at NYC, if I just had to choose one.

Now for the awards! Drumroll please....
I award the "Beautiful Blogger"Award to the following 10 blogs. 

Dee of Miss Prissypants: Dee is my perfume guru, a great encouragement for my perfume addiction. I can't thank her enough for recommending so many perfume oil stores and being such a sweet person!

Stef of Girl With The Curious Nose: Stef is an amazing perfumista who has all the right words to describe perfumes and a great nose. She also writes the famous beauty blog The Lip Print.

Jade of Jade Musing: This girl is dynamic and I just love her personality. She has some great beauty reviews, thoughts and so many fabulous things on her blog.

Michelle of Ritual Eyes: An avid makeup lover who has great swatches of some of my most coveted makeup. She also makes her own mineral makeup (so many gorgeous colours) from the scratch and I have to say, she is pretty damn good at it!

Magda of All The Pretty Faces: This gal is immensely talented and very creative with makeup. It is amazing what beautiful looks she comes up with. She uses some really pretty colours and has a detailed description, a step by step how-to, complete with pictures for every step! I turn to her blog for inspiration.

ChloeBlue of Chloe Blue Likes To Sparkle* writes a great blog about makeup, with hauls, swatches and some fun things. I love her nail polish swatches! I am so envious of her nails! 

Melbournite of Aussie Beauty: Cosmetic addict and a fabulous blogger! She writes about everything beauty, love her freebie alerts!

Alice of Alice Jane In New Castle: Alice writes a great life-blog, about gorgeous dresses, hair styles, op shopping, makeup, nails (more nail envy!) and life as a cross dresser. I am so glad to have discovered such a fabulous person.

Lilpil of The Things I Love: Lilpil has really great reviews of all the beauty products that are hot and happening. Her reviews are honest, in depth and very informative, which I consider crucial before making a purchase, small or big!

Madam B Fatale: A great place for all cool beauty stuff. She is very knowledgeable about beauty and very talented!