Sunday, March 27, 2011

Drugstore Perfumes: Yardley Lace

Yardley was the house I was smitten by when I was a kid. I loved the packaging with delicate floral design and the pastel colours, so pretty!  I had my very own perfumed talc in Rose and Lily of the Valley. I really loved them and wore them to school everyday! My mum wore Lace in the 90's. Though I liked it, to my young nose, Lace smelt different from the talcs I had. It was more 'perfume-y' and something only grown-ups wore.

I rediscovered Lace recently at Target. It is no more called Yardley Lace. It is now owned by Fine Fragrances and Cosmetics. It smells exactly the same. I bought it just for the nostalgia factor plus, the fragrance was released in the year of my birth, 1982. A good reason to buy!

Notes: Aldehydes, Rose, Oak moss
Lace starts off with blast of aldehydes, really clean, powdery and cold. Combined with rose, it smells very feminine and very classy. Moss adds a touch of oldness. It is a very pleasant and light, perfect for daytime wear. Something about it brings to mind the olden days of 80's and 90's. It is old in a very fond and nostalgic way. It may be the aldehydes and the oakmoss or just the feeling when I smell it, it brings back a gush of memories! Nose behind the perfume is Dominique Ropion, who has a long list of masterpieces to his credit.

You can find Lace at any chemist for about $15. I think it is money well spent for such a nice perfume. I used to spray it on freshly washed and dried towels because it is really crisp and powdery! 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nocturne Alchemy: Desire of a Queen and The Netherworld

Just playing around with Nocturne Alchemy....

Desire of a Queen
Arabic woods, Cognac, Egyptian Oud, Raw Teak, Musk of the Nile
This was a limited edition perfume oil from "The Scents of the Dead" 

When I smelt it first, it was fresh and green. It was a very familiar smell. It smelt something like soap. Very masculine. I liked it. It took me while a to place it, but it smells exactly like the good old Brut Cologne! This is one of those perfumes where the association is so strong that the smell goes beyond the notes. I can't really pin point any of them.
Needless to say, it would smell great on a man. I really like it on myself but I am not sure if I would wear it often. 

The Netherworld
Resins of Benzoin, Benzoin Tincture, Styrax Tonkinesis, 4 Peru Balsams - 1 of Peru, 2 of India and 1 of El Salvadore, Amber, NA's Vanilla Resin, Patchouli, Organic Sea Buckthorn, Heliotrope 
and Labdanum. 
This is from the limited edition NAlloween '08: created for Halloween '08.

OMG, very impressive notes, with all those resins I love! In the bottle, it smells of boozy benzoin. On my skin, it smells beautiful! Warm vanilla with lots of rich amber really highlight the benzoin. It dark and very deep yet very comforting. It is just right in heaviness for me. I can't stop sniffing wrists!
It also has a kind of "oldness" to it. Can I call it musty? Not really. It is not wet, it is kind of like dry dust. The website says that it ages beautifully. My bottle is 3 years old. The oil itself is dark brown in colour and I can see that the bottle needs a quick shake to make the brown fluid uniform. I think this changes the way it smells too. mixing it makes the warmth of the amber come through better.
Overall, this is amazing! I really like the deep and rich resins. I think this bottle is a score!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nocturne Alchemy: Eternal Egypt

Nocturne Alchemy is a whole new world to me. My knowledge of Egyptian Mythology is a little beyond The Mummy (both parts), thanks to my husband who has sprung my interest in the archeological aspect of the Pyramids and the tombs. Perfume oils based on ancient Egypt and mythology sounds very intriguing.

At the first look, the website looks simple, but look closer and there are so many different categories of perfume oils. The names are really enchanting. There are 9 kinds of Royal Ambers, The Eternals: a tribute to the eternity of Egypt, Gods, Goddesses and Deities: so many beautiful names and significances, Om Na for spiritual harmony and so many more. It is so very fascinating to learn all the names and the stories/inspiration behind these creations that is translated to a perfume.

They cost $13 - $15 for general catalogue and limited edition full bottles. The samples (1ml vials) are called Skarabs, like the flesh eating insect! You can pick a Skarab with a scent of your choice for $3 or a pack of 6 Skarabs for $15. Shipping to Australia is $13.75 I cannot really comment on the service, (which I have heard is generally good) as I got mine from eBay.

I recently got my hands on a stash of Nocturne Alchemy perfume oils, most of them are full bottles, some are Skarabs. I have been exploring the oils and this is my first review.

Eternal Egypt:
Eternal Egypt is the signature scent and available in the general catalogue. The notes from the website:
White Amber, Red Egyptian Musk, Egyptian Amber, Sands of Egypt

This one is a really beautiful scent. It is warm and so lovable. The amber is so soft and so pleasant. I can't really tell the musk apart, but it is not too soapy, just adds a nice touch to it. There is something amazing about the scent, the sand note! It is like walking on desert sand and smelling the heat and the dust. It is so unusual and beautiful. It has a smokey quality, kind of incense like but not that harsh. It smells a lot sweeter in the bottle. But on the skin, it is not as sweet, just a soft vanilla like creaminess. Just gorgeous!

The bottle comes with a reducer cap, which should work alright till the oil is well above the vent tube, after which it may have to be surgically removed. One thing I like about these caps is the oil trickles perfectly into drops.

I am totally impressed by Eternal Egypt and I am looking forward to trying so many other NAs I have. I am starting to love Nocturne Alchemy which may not be a good thing for my purse!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Perfume Oil Haul!!

I am one happy chick today! I just collected from the PO, my perfume oil haul from eBay!! So many oils, so many new companies, oh so much to smell! Clapping hands! Wheeee!!!

Here is what I got.
Nocturne Alchemy: It is a perfume oil company that is based on Egyptian Mythology
Eternal Egypt
Desire of a Queen
The Netherworld
Nokturne: Tabasheer
X-Mas in Cairo
Nokturne: Ember

More Nocturne Alchemy: imps, some decanted, some direct from NA. They were free imps that was generously thrown in by the seller.
Anubis: 2 imps, both smell different!
Shadow of Anubis: Halloween 2007
Darker Scarab: Halloween 2007

Enraged Orangutan Musk
Rose Red

A nice mix of various perfume oils companies:
Cobalt Blends: Palaver
Mythos Mixtures: Epic Quest
Mythos Mixtures: Ehbon
Violette Market: Diablo Canyon Cemetery
Violette Market: The Sea Dragon
Good Judy: Trustafarian 

Arcana: Pax Mundi. This is huge 10 ml bottle!

All the oils are full to the brim. Some are Limited Editions. I have not tried any of the above mentioned companies, except for BPAL and Good Judy. I am so excited to try so many new smellies!! I am already looking at Scent Base for descriptions!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: Tom Ford Private Blend Amber Absolute

I am the hugest fan of Tom Ford's Private Blend Collection. It is amazing how all the perfumes in the collection are so very well made. Each one feels so special and true to the description. Due to the price, which is really steep $285 for 50ml and $795 for 250ml, I am satisfying myself with decants and samples. If you spot a mesmerised, crazy haired girl standing at the Tom Ford counter in David Jones, trying the wonderful creations on different parts of her upper limb, do say Hi!

Tom Ford Website says:
A hallmark PRIVATE BLEND fragrance. AMBER ABSOLUTE is a honey-colored scent infused with the purest form of Amber, joined by a tenacious refrain of African Incense, Labdanum, Rich Woods and a touch of Vanilla Bean.
Recently I had the opportunity to try Amber Absolute. The generous 4 ml sample has me fixed for sometime. It smells as alluring as the golden fluid in the little bottle! Amber Absolute is absolutely stunning! I am a huge amber fan and Amber Absolute is all that I can ask for and more. The perfect amber scent. It is warm, sensual and so sexy. The spices come through beautifully, to fill the nostrils with warmth. There is a hint of booziness to it. I do get some benzoin which adds a incense-y, smoky, rich balsamic feel to it. It is deep and intense. The dry down is just gorgeous. The spicy boozy amber is turns into a softer, velvet-like amber with traces of vanilla and some woody notes. If this is not to die for, then what is?!

It stays and stays on my skin, has an amazing throw too. It wears really well even in the mushy summer weather in Sydney, without feeling heavy. I can't wait for colder months so that I enjoy it even more. I must be crazy to buy a full bottle paying a mini fortune or some person's livelihood but this is on the list following Tobacco Vanille. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

D&G Rose The One inspired FOTD

This is more of a makeup post, but inspired by perfumes. Makeup and perfumes are the two great loves of my life and this is a great way to bring them together! I hope it doesn't deviate from the tone of my perfume blog but it is nice to do something different for a change.

I think Scarlett Johansson is the sexiest woman alive. I may not have her peaches and cream complexion or blue eyes and blonde hair, neither do I ooze sexiness like she does! But I think I can pull off pinks quite well, which is the theme of Rose The One ad campaign. Here is my take on Scar Jo's look.

Face: L'Oreal Studio Secrets Primer
Lakme Perfection foundation
Nude by Nature foundation powder in medium
MAC blush in Springsheen
Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Nectar

Eyes: Revlon Illuminance palette in Polished Platinums as base
Pure Luxe eyeshadow in Frou Frou
Grey eye shadow smudged from 88 Metallic Palette
Mirenesse Eye/lip duo for lower lash line
DB liquid liner for upper lids
Benefit BadGal Lash mascara

Lips: Bourjois Lip Stain in ?, a pink shade
Elizabeth Arden Lipstick in Desert Rose

Hair: just washed, air dried

Perfume: Iso E Super. 
Unfortunately, I don't have Rose The One.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Guerlain: The Exclusive: La Petite Robe Noire and the Candies!!

Guerlain is my favourite perfume house. I admire their vintages, enjoy the modern ones and ADORE Shalimar for life!! I don't believe that there is anything like Shalimar in the whole universe. I can wear it everyday, all my life. Why I keep smelling other things is beyond me!
Advertising at Guerlain Counter
Myer, Sydney
I was at Myer today enquiring about the release of the newest version of Shalimar, Shalimar Initial. No news on that but I spotted the latest fragrances from The Exclusive Collection, La Petite Robe Noire 1 and 2. La Petite Robe Noire 1 was released way back in 2009 and the second one is released this year, 2011. This collection is inspired by the Little Black Dress. So, expect it to be modern, stylish and chic. 

This collection is exclusive to Myer Stores. The whole ad campaign is really pretty. There is a tiny little wardrobe with tiny little LBDs hung on tiny little hangers, tiny little black stilettos, a tiny little parasol... OK I'll stop saying 'tiny little'... It is all so cutesy! 
The tester strips are made of fabric with the Guerlain logo and come with tiny little black envelopes to keep them in.

I tested both today and here are my thoughts of the collection. Both the perfumes are full on gourmands. Both are housed in Guerlain's signature style flacons, bringing to mind, L'heur Bleue and Mitsouko with same hollow heart stopper. These two scents are comparable to the newer Guerlains like L'Instant and Insolence, only the sweetness is taken to the next level.

La Petite Robe Noire 1
Notes: Lemon, Liquorice,  Almond,
Smoky Tea,
Musk, Vanilla
La Petite Robe Noire 2
Notes: Galbanum, Bergamot, Lemon,
Iris, Orange Flower, Marshmallow
Leather, Musk
La Petite Robe Noire 1: At first sweet lemon, then very sweet liquorice jumps on you. It is not just a gourmand, it is a syrupy gourmand. Tastefully made buy too sweet. It has hints of smokiness, tea and almonds but somehow lost on me.

La Petite Robe Noire 2: I like this better than the first. It is fresh to begin with. The green notes of galbanum add a nice refreshing feel. The gourmand-ness is in Marshmallow. It is soft and nice. The flowers are powdery. It feels pink! The dry down is also nice. The leather is more like suede and fades away into musk. It is almost like the first one, a pre- teen has 'grown up' to become the second, a teenager, within the time of two years!

When most people say 'this perfume is so good that I can eat it', they mean figuratively. But right now, I am really eating the fragrances, in a candy form!! The candies are flavoured with the fragrance!! The black one is the liquorice one and the pink is the marshmallow. 

The candies, the tester strips and the envelopes.
The pink one smelt good but the black one was very yumm!! I think it like the perfumes itself, the black one more edible than pink and the pink is more wearable! But when fragrances can be converted to candies, is it a good thing?

Overall, I am a little disappointed. The words 'cute', 'little', 'pretty', 'candy', 'sweet' should give you an idea of what these fragrances are about. I think they are 'celebrity' sweet which aim at a younger population. The first one is younger than the second. The term 'modern' is lost in translation to become a syrupy gourmand. This is coming from a lover of all sweet fragrances!! I don't think I'll be shelling out $180 for a 50 ml bottle anytime soon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Frederic Malle: Carnal Flower

Visiting Mecca Cosmetica frequently has definitely narrowed down my TPC wishlist. I can try so many perfumes there. It is like French perfume heaven for me. Having heard so much about Carnal flower, I was so excited to spritz it all over myself at Mecca Cosmetica. 

I have grown up with a lot of tuberose around me. The smell definitely brings back memories. The scent of tuberose is a very intoxicating one. It so dense, soft and powdery. Carnal Flower is like amplifying the smell of tuberose 100 times! 
Tuberose, Gardenia, Salicylates, Coconut, Musk

Carnal Flower is tuberose heaven! Very intoxicating, seductive perfume. The 'carnal' factor is all about the tuberose: sensual, clean and sophisticated. It comes on as a blast of tuberose, quite strong and heady floral. Being rich and opulent floral, there is a freshness and crispness to it, making it wearable. The lush tuberose is enhanced by the creamy underlay of something pleasant and soft which contrasts the potent tuberose. There is a great throw to it, projection is great. No one will ever miss you when you wear it!

I think moderation is the key to Carnal Flower. A heavy handed spritz goes straight to the head through nostrils! It is great for whenever you want to feel sexy, day or night. Perfect for a romantic evening, just to put yourself and your partner in the mood! Being a unisex perfume, I would love to smell it on a man. I bet it makes a sexy juice blending with his masculinity.

It retails at AUD $490 for 100 mls. $335 for 50 mls and $205 for 3x10 mls at Mecca Cosmetica. I don't think I'll be paying that much . I'll look out for it on The Perfumed Court. I'll be happy with a small decant without having to pay a mini fortune for a full bottle. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Impending haul, excitement and giveaway winners!

I love eBay and hate eBay! I love that I can find what I want, especially perfume oils at great discounts. It is less painful of a wait than ordering directly from companies like BPAL, who take eons to ship and not paying a bomb for shipping is always good. Most eBay sellers of perfume oils know about their oils, very helpful and take very good care of their goods.

What I hate about eBay is the bidding. I am the highest bidder till there is 35 secs left for the auction to end and someone swoops in to make a .50c higher bid than mine and BAM! It is gone! I am fairly new (just got my yellow star) and learning to swoop myself.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of bidding on a huge perfume oil lot including Arcana, Violet Market, Cobalt Blends, Good Judy, Mythos Mixture etc. Second lot is of 3 BPAL oils and third lot is 5 full bottles of Nocturne Alchemy. Most of them are limited edition and I am getting all of them! Wheeee!!

That is not all. When I checked my PayPal account, I saw that the transaction was done to a familiar name. It was none other than the perfumer Brent Leonesio, the founder of Smell Bent!! I am surprised, excited and privileged at the same time to deal with him, although I feel silly asking him for a discount on combined shipping for all the items!

Last week, on my blog post I announced a tiny little giveaway. It was very easy for me to choose the winners. Everybody who responded gets to try my handmade perfumes! Congrats Jac and Jaime!! Jac, I already have your details. Jaime, please email me sdr.aus@ so that I can post it off asap. Thank you.

I am actually about to take a very important exam in less than a month's time. If I pass the exam, I will get registered to practice medicine in Australia. Wish me luck! I will still procrastinate by shopping, smelling and writing about perfumes!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

New Purchase: Etat Libre d'Orange "Don't Get Me Wrong Baby...."

I have been wanting to try Etat Libre d'Orange ever since I heard all the hype about Secretions Magnifiques. Don't Get Me Wrong Baby keeps up with the image of Etat Libre d'Orange with its novelty theme and promiscuous title. Pardon my French, but the line sounds corny and try-hard with the shock value that may or may not take it too far. I bought it because I scored it at half price, a great bargain at Mecca Cosmetica which has become my new haunt.
Composition: Jasmine, Aldehydes, Lily Of The Valley, Orange Blossom, Solar Accord, Amber, Patchouli, Coconut, Musk and Marshmallow....

I have used it twice and don't really know what to make of it. Don't Get Me Wrong Baby is a very very good girl. Too good for my liking. Given the name, I expected some naughtiness. But there is none. I doubt if this girl even performs the job that eventuates in swallowing!

It is a clean and neat floral which begins with a fresh blast of Jasmine, orange blossom and a pleasant Lily of the Valley note. It remains a strong floral for a long time. I was impatiently waiting for something else to come through. Finally, I could get a whiff of something soft and sweet. Fluffy, light and sweet marshmallow note comes through but somehow lost in the overtness of floral top notes.

Looking beyond the shock value of the name, it is well made floral, very wearable. It has a nice refined feel about it. Not really the kind of perfumes that I'd prefer but a soft light floral is a nice addition to my collection. I want to try Putain des Palaces, aka Hotel Slut which seems to have some resinous notes and ironically more character.