Monday, February 27, 2012

The Morbid The Merrier reviews: Horseman, Delina, Lucy

My thoughts on some perfumes that I have tried from The Morbid The Merrier

Horseman Fiery jack-o-lanterns, black leather boots, temple incense, and the edge of a dark Autumn wood. Opens sweet, almost caramel-foody, but after only a few minutes on the skin, it darkens dramatically, almost changing into a different scent altogether.

Horseman is based on the character of Headless Horseman from Sleepy Hollow and was released as a limited edition for Halloween. It has found its way into the permanent list of perfumes on the website (thankfully!)

I bought a full size after all the rave reviews (by everyone who has tried it) not even bothering with trying a sample first. Boy, I'm glad I did. I love it and I have never smelt anything like it. Horseman is a great leather scent. Leather is not animalic. It is soft, like well worn leather. The perfume begins with a peppery spiciness that contrasts but complements the softness of the leather, giving it the 'heat'. Incense is dry, somewhat like hot sand. Under all this there is a layer of sweetness. The sweetness is like Benzoin without the booziness with mildly sweet vanilla. The scent may seem disjointed with leather changing into something sweet but the transition is beautiful. Perfectly blended.
The 'well worn leather on hot desert sand' effect gives a sexy edge to the perfume but actually it is a soft, cozy and an easy to wear perfume. Gives a feeling of warmth and comfort. 

Delina is a scent for a woman with a dark side. It's black garters and blood red lips, sweet and sinister simultaneously. Lotus gives it innocence, amber grounds, and red wine gives it just enough naughty! I think it's something Miss Delina herself would have liked.

This is dark and complex, big and feminine. I really like this one. First sniff, all I get is wine, thick and boozy but it disappears into some lush florals. I could have sworn what I smell is rose but I guess it is another 'nose trick'. The floral note is lotus I suppose which I can't really distinguish. Nevertheless, Delina is gorgeousness! It is sexy, sensual, feminine perfume.

Delina reminds me of another wine scent which is also my favourite. It is Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's Kali (cassia, hibiscus, musk rose, Himalayan wild tulip, lotus and osmanthus swirled with offertory dark chocolate, red wine, tobacco, balsam and honey.) While the similarity is in the red wine note, the two perfume take totally different directions. Delina leans towards a voluptuous floral while Kali becomes very dark, sweet and sexy. I like them both.

Lucy White-out! A melange of white, white, white. White musk, white sandal, vanilla bean, Indian white amber and white pepper. But don't worry. I've added enough black to keep it interesting.

Lucy is a very clean scent. All I smell is soapy musk, like freshly soap-washed skin. It has a smoky vanilla element, not sweet, still clean and very soapy. I was unsure about this at first but it makes good hot day perfume.

Quentin: almond cake, glazed walnuts, and black tea leaves 
This was a freebie sample vial with my order. It is yummy! Smoky almonds, vanillaic sweetness with a bitter black tea note. It is a foody scent but not too sweet as the all cakeyness is cut but the bitter tea. I love it. I think this was a limited edition scent (for Christmas or Halloween?) The full size came in a good looking square glass bottle, which I have missed. Hope it is re-released soon!

All the perfumes from TMTM have good staying power. The bottles have a reducer cap which is good but I have no preference over un capped bottles personally. If you haven't given The Morbid The Merrier  I highly recommend you do! The samples cost $2.50 USD and 5ml bottles cosy $12. Shipping is reasonable and quick, customer service is good. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Whaddya Think?!

I just bought this T-shirt from Esprit with 'Nº2 Eau De Parfum by EDC' written on it! I usually never buy T-shirts with quotes or writing of any kind but I just couldn't stop myself when I saw this! 
 If I wear it to a department store, people with refractory errors will think I am a sales assistant for Chanel's perfume counter. 

You think it's tacky? I think it is a bit. I'll still wear it though! 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Minature Perfume Inventory

I am partial to miniature perfumes for one most important reason: they are cute! I like that they come in the same shape as the big bottles, only smaller and cuter. I am happy with the quantity of perfume, 5 to 7 mls is ideal amount to try the perfume without having to deal with a 100 ml bottle that I may most probably never finish. They are way more glamourous than decants in generic vials. 

Looking at my collection now, I'm sad that I have bought most of these perfumes just for the sake of it. With a few exceptions of course, I don't wear them very much. Most of them are full and only tested once or twice. This is the downside of minis. If you are a collector, it is a good thing to have a lot of minis but I am not. I buy perfume to wear and enjoy it. I hate the clutter. It feels like a waste of space and money now that I think about it. If I like a perfume very much it is wiser to buy a full bottle rather than a mini. Calculating the cost per milliliter, minis (smaller sizes in general) cost a lot more than full bottles. 

 Dab Ons, Sprays, Roll Ons: Given the size, packaging of most minis is in Dab On bottles. I totally don't mind Dab Ons. It is convenient because I can control the amount applied and the area on which I apply. It is easier to diffuse a little amount of scent into a small area like behind the ears (unlike sprays). Or I can splash as much as I like! Some of them do spill making a mess and wasting the precious juice.

Sprays are really convenient and hygienic. I have not seen sprays on commercial perfumes with sprays on smaller bottles. I also wish the spray caps were "removable" so that they can be refilled with the same perfume again. 

Roll Ons are convenient and portable. The hygiene part of it doesn't really gross me out. It is just my own dead skin after all! Anti bacterial wipes come in handy to wipe them and keep them clean regularly. 

Here is my miniature perfume inventory.
Calvin Klein miniature set: Obsession, Euphoria, Eternity, CK One, IN2U Her. I like the first three, I hate the last two. I picked this up for cheap at Myer at post Christmas sale. I wore Obsession (a little too much of the already gaudy perfume) on the evening before my son, the Baby Elephant was born. I'm not sure what happened there but he was out after a few hours. This stuff is strong!
I like this set because there is generous amount of perfume (7mls each) and they are sprays (except CK One which is a dab on)

Revlon Roll on set. I like Fire & Ice and Pink Happiness and they are the most used. I have already gone through two little bottles of Pink Happiness already. I just keep these for traveling because they are convenient and nice for non special occasions. 

Yves Saint Laurent Travel Set: I love Cinema, it is cozy, warm and nice. I also like Opium (I'm pretty sure what I have is the new formulation) I don't particularly care about Paris, Elle or Baby Doll.

Flower by Kenzo: Love it! Such a nice, powdery scent. I have finished one bottle, almost two, with one more to go. My only regret is that it is EDT. I prefer the EDP because it exaggerates the powder and is much prettier and more intense. 

Versace set: Crystal Noir is almost empty. Love it for the soft sandalwood fragrance, very sexy indeed! Others are almost untouched. Bright Crystal is alright (I remember falling in love with it in 2005) Versence is also nice-ish. Pour Homme and Eau Fraiche, I think husband has full bottles that even he isn't using.

Cartier Delices: I bought it only for how nice the bottle is! It is a nice sweet cherry scent too. 
Annick Goutal Songes: Very chic romantic jasmine scent. Got to love the dreamy stuff!
Theirry Mugler Angel: Should I say more?! I like it but not enough to buy a big bottle.
Hermes Rouge: I haven't actually tested it yet.
Agent Provocateur Maitresse: Another floral, somewhat old school. I don't mind it.
Belanciaga Talisman: I was looking for a fruity boozy strong perfume and Talisman is perfect. It was hard to find, which is why I'll treasure it.

Elizabeth Arden Pretty and Mediterranean: I think both were Gift With Purchase items (I must have bought a lot of makeup someday!)

Miss Dior Cherie: This is from 2008/2009. I know that the formula is changed recently. What I have is the old formula which is hard to find. I like this one but don't wear it a lot. I haven't smelt the reformulation so I can't compare. It is there for keepsakes.

My favourite of the whole collection is Prada Miniatures set. The simple clean design of the bottles is a winner. The juice is great too. I love Amber Intense like crazy, the other two are nice too. All of them are full bottle worthy. 

So, this is my miniature inventory. To be honest I don't think it is a lot, even after seeing pictures of all of them together. I counted 34 of them. Miniatures is a vanity thing, I guess. I am not sure if I'll be buying any more of minis in future just for the sake of it (unless something is really, really cute!) The tiny Chanel miniature set tops my wishlist for minis, followed by Shalimar pure parfum.

Just curious, I'd love to know if you too get carried away by the cuteness of miniature perfumes or do you prefer full bottles or are you happy with decants?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Prada Infusion d'Iris

'Elegant', 'Polished', 'Chic', 'Simple', 'Muted'.... not usually the words I would use to describe my favourite perfume (don't know what that says about me!) Prada's Infusion d'Iris is all that and more. But I like it because it is a charming perfume that is neatly made and it wears beautifully on me. 
Prada Infusion d'Iris EDP
A rundown of notes on the side of the carton
Infusion d'Iris is a mild and muted perfume but a well made one. It is one of those perfumes that I perceive to unfold in layers. Layer after layer, it reveals something very beautiful: first a fresh layer, then a green one, then a powdery one and finally a woody incense layer.

It opens with a Neroli/Orange Blossom note, mentioned as two separate notes which has the fresh and crisp aspect of orange blossom along with some bitterness from Neroli. The freshness paves the way for all the greenness that is yet to come. Then the frangrance becomes very green. The galbanum is light and not heavy. The Lentisque (Mastic) note never ceases to intrigue me. I'm just beginning to appreciate it in fragrances (Eau D'Ikar, Untitled). Lentisque in Infusion d'Iris is quite prominent and enhances the greenness without weighing it down. 

Iris is an exotic smell to me. The only kind of iris I have smelt is the day old water spritzed, refrigerated ones from the florist and they smell like nothing. So, my only reference but a pretty good one for iris is the Iris Butter, the raw material from Guerlain (used in Iris Ganache) that I had the opportunity to smell a while ago. It is my gold standard. Orris root is the aromatic rhizome of the iris plant that gives a precious concentrate used in perfumery for its iris smell. I can never forget how Guerlain's Iris Butter smelt. It was the smell of paper, earthy, somewhat green and powdery. It did remind me of the 'makeup smell'. Iris in Infusion d'Iris smells complementary to the greennes of galbanum and lentisque but has a sweet, floral and a powdery character. Powdery, not like baby powder or old lady powder or soapy powder, somewhat like a luxury powder that is light and feminine. 
The powdery iris merges seamlessly into a base of woods, undeniably cedarwood the woodiness of which takes over the fragrance. It also has hints of vetiver making it fresher and lighter. The best part of the dry down is the beautiful incense that forms a delicate lattice on which the whole fragrance stands. 

To sum up the smell in a sentence, it is an amazing mild composition of green powdery iris on cedar and incense base. It doesn't stay long (mine is an EDP) and stays close to the skin. It immediately brings to mind Chanel N º19 Poudre and Maison Martin Margiela (untitled). Chanel Nº19 Poudre is a newer iris based composition (2011) which to my nose is similar to Infusion d'Iris but heavily green due to the 'oiliness' of glabanum on my skin and more powdery than Infusion d'Iris. I prefer the Infusion over it. MMM (untitled) is comparable due to the green component, only (untitled) is greener, fresher and not powdery at all. 

Infusion d'Iris translates elegance and chicness into a perfume in an understated kind of way. It is fresh, light and a dainty perfume that is often referred to as boring and inoffensive. May be it is to a certain extent boring and inoffensive but something in it makes me go for it. Maybe it is the powder and the green composition, maybe it is the incense, or just that it is well made. I am not really a fashionable person but if I could associate this fragrance with a look, it would be streamlined, clean yet something easy, like this.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Perfume Oil Inventory

This inventory post is inspired by Dee who was inspired by Liz (who does great inventory posts of her makeup collection). It has come at the right time because I'm in the middle of a huge clean up (tentative international move!). I'm trying to reduce my stash because it is impossible to take everything with me due to the cost of transport. Most of the perfume oils shown here don't work for me but I still love them all and want to keep them all. It would be very hard to reduce this collection. Geez, it is making me panic. I am so much attached to these things and I hate to let go.

This is my full bottle inventory. I try to keep my ScentBase profile updated but I haven't really recorded or counted my samples. My SB profile is basically a full bottle list with some samples I have. Samples come and samples go. Maybe one day I'll do an inventory post on just samples. Here is the link to my ScentBase Profile. Feel free to add me if you have your own profile!

This wooden box houses my perfume oils, samples and a few miniature perfumes. The ones with golden caps are dupe perfume oils from Hayward Enterprises and some are decants of Ajmal, Al Haramain and various Arabian perfume oils which I have not included in the list. I have found that used and cleaned body butter boxes are great to store decants and imps!

My full bottle list:

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Berry Moon
Bite Me
Black Phoenix
Carnaval Diabolique
Chaos Theory IV
Enraged Orangutan Musk
German Expressionist Horror
Paduan Killer Bees
Pomegranate IV
Pumpkin Latte
Rose Red
Snake Oil
Womb Furie

Haus of Gloi

Licorice Chew


The Morbid The Merrier

Nocturne Alchemy

Desire of a Queen
Nokturne Ember
The Netherworld
Christmas in Cairo  

Ava Luxe
Love’s True Bluish Light

Violette Market: Diablo Canyon Cemetery, The Sea Dragon. Smell Bent: Gelty Pleasures. Cobalt Blends: Palaver. Villainess: Jai Mahal. Arcana: Pax Mundi. Flourish/Firebird: Almond Milk. Mythos Mixture: Ehbon, Epic Quest. Good Judy: Trustafarian

Total Bottles: 52 
This inventory post is a reflection of what I have and why I shouldn't be buying more. But more importantly it is freaking me out that I have to reduce my collection from 52 down to 5 or 10. Time start giving some of these perfumes new homes and learn to let go. Sigh.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Some BPALs That Didn't Work For Me

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is hands down my favourite perfume oil company. I love the whimsy, I love the stories and I love, love the perfumes. I have often wondered how I have ever lived without some perfumes till now! I can't imagine not having experienced Snake Oil or Womb Furie or O... the list is long! BPAL has about 1000 perfumes. Which means there is something for everyone. It also means that there will be some regrets. Trying various scents in Imps (1 ml sample vials) is the best way to try the perfumes and decide whether or not the perfume is suitable. But if you are someone like me, you could easily get carried away and 'blind' buy full bottles based on the descriptions and then regret. Here are a few of my regrets: mini reviews and a bit of an explanation why each one didn't work for me and more importantly who would like it better. Many would actually love some of these scents. World would be a boring place if we all liked the same things!

Paduan Killer Swarm
Limited Edition
A swarm of genetically modified, extremely aggressive European bees that were created by Dr. Giacomo Rappaccini. These bees are attracted to a peculiar set of pollens and nectars, and possess a particularly vicious temperament, a lethal apitoxin, and cruelly barbed stingers.
"Tonka, black licorice, amber, golden sandalwood, ginger cream, bitter clove, stinging nettle, cinnamon bark, and coconut shell."
I bought it because I loved the story, based on the short story Rappaccini's Daughter. BPAL's imagination proceeds further to the garden and the specific type of poisonous plants that Dr. Giacomo Rappaccini created, perfumes based on this are in the Rappaccini's Garden series which is General Catalogue. Paduan Killer Swarm was an LE in Paduan Bees series.

This bee perfume is not a honey sweet one and stings like a toxic GM bee. Very true to its name. Smelt directly from the bottle, OMGWOW! Bitter, sweet and spicy! On the skin, the sweetness disappears quickly leaving behind a bitter and spicy nutmeg/clove combination. At this stage, it is extremely spicy. This is where the bees sting! The spices remain for a long time, which is what the scent is all about. It takes about 2 hours for it to soften to a creamy base laced with mild spices.
If you like spicy scents, it is for you. I love spicy scents but I can't really handle this perfume. Certain spicy notes of BPAL don't work well on me, especially the cloves. It kills me patience when it takes hours to soften. The dry down is actually nice. Maybe if I tried layering it with a creamier perfume, it would work. 

Khajuraho 2011
Limited Edition: Lupercalia 
"honey, date palm, tuberose, davana blossom, amber, white sandalwood, vanilla bean, Damask rose, and champaca flower."
It smells like a great floral in the bottle. Actually a very nice floral, mostly rose and hints of  davana leaf (which is basically Artemisia used as an essential oil extracted from the leaves/flowers in perfumes to impart a sweet floral character. Personally I love the smell of fresh leaves. It is heavenly) The sweetness is added by palm sugar-like smell. Then something soapy emerges, something so very soapy that I can't get past. My skin does crazy things with BPAL florals. The only one floral that has worked on my is Defututa. Most others turn soapy on me. I wish I liked more florals from BPAL.

Berry Moon (August 2009)
"A golden summer musk with warm fig, orange blossom honey, sweet blueberries, and bright velvety crimson raspberries."
This is my first from the Little Lunacy series from BPAL. BPAL come up with a new scent for every full moon and Berry Moon I have is from August 2009. 
Berry syrup in the bottle, on the skin with a beautiful dry down of sweet orange blossom. Really lovely but somehow not for me because of the overwhelming berries. If you are a lover of fruity perfumes with a light floral dry down, this is perfect for you.

Summer Blockbuster 2009
Dark Delicacies
The term Giallo, meaning yellow, was initally coined in reference to the yellow backgrounds used on the covers of Il Giallo Mondadori pulp crime and mystery novels that influenced Italian thriller filmmaking.
"Profoundly passionate and singularly sinister: opopponax, black plum, night-blooming jasmine, benzoin, red musk, violet leaf, orange blossom, mimosa, mandarin, smoky vanilla, tobacco, patchouli, and black amber."
This genre of movies appeals to me. Apparently movies like Basic Instinct, Se7en, I Know Who Killed Me, Black Swan have Neo Giallo elements to them. (Amer goes to my list of must watch) The perfume is based on this genre. I have tried this so many times but I really can't put my finger on any of the note, which I don't mind as long as the combination smells nice. Even the scent as a whole doesn't do anything for me. I feel there is so much going on. I don't know if I can call it complex because it doesn't really evolve in phases or anything like that. Though it is a mess, the dry down has a smoky vanilla element which is quite nice. Even though it is LE scent, you can find it on Dark Delicacies website

Chaos Theory V
Snake Oil Series
Each bottle of Chaos Theory is truly unique, a fragrant fractal, and exercise in the joy of chance and uncertainty! Each is a one-of-a-kind, utterly random combination of scents, the composition of which is based on whim, mood and gut instinct. Each bottle is numbered, and comes with a small parchment certificate.
My first ever Chaos Theory scent that I picked up from Dee's blog sale. Was very excited to try it because it is based on Snake Oil. I get very little SO in it. It is mostly sweetened musk with a mildly spiced dry down. It is actually nice and enjoyably wearable but I am a bit disappointed that I couldn't get much SO from it. Mostly, I have a weird skin reaction to this scent. My skin is quite tenacious to sensitivities but this one makes my skin red!

There are 10s of imps that didn't work for me, 10's of imps that I loved so much that they are on the 'List'. But I think it is natural to be bothered if full bottles don't work. Well, it is always good to be spoilt by choice, it is fun learn more about what works for me, what doesn't and also helps sharpen my nose. And these regrets will help me decide what to buy in future. They are not really 'regrets', after all.

I don't know what the fate of these bottles will be. I may keep them for sometime just for the sake of it (read: hoarding) They will eventually be sold away. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Provence et Nature: Lavande Ambree a l'Ancienne

Lavande Ambree a l'Ancienne by Provence Et Nature. I would just melt if a French person said these words! The name makes it sound like it is a $100 bottle perfume. But it is not. I picked it up at a pharmacy in Canberra a few months ago for a measly $9.95! Don't be fooled by the price, this French made perfume is really beautiful and could easily pass off for a $100 one. Before I start off the review, I must confess that this bottle lived in the glove box of the car for about a month. My fault because I totally forgot about it after buying. It hasn't ruined the smell but I feel bad for neglecting a nice perfume like that.

Lavande Ambree is a well made perfume that is so French, simple and beautiful. It is a combination of, well you guessed it, Lavender and Amber. It begins with the lavender note. Lavender to me has a masculine/fresh effect but in this fragrance, lavender is not fresh, it is dry and warm. The amber comes with lavender and is the reason to make it warm. Amber note is awesome, it is powdery and faded. It is not accompanied by any of the sweet elements that amber is usually made of. It smells somewhat like unsweetened raw vanilla with a powdery oomph added to it. Due to the character of lavender which is dry and of amber which is powdery, it is surely an unisex fragrance and smells really good on me. As time goes by, the lavender sublimates into a pleasant trail. All I'm left with is a beautiful, warm but dry and powdery amber.

I really love the feeling this fragrance evokes. It is like the smell of dried and pressed lavender flowers that is ageing in an old dusty book!

Provence et Nature (Google translated to English) has so many perfumes and Lavande Ambree is one from the Classics collection. I also see on the website that there is a wonderful range of organic and natural perfumes in EDT and EDP forms. I think the company has distributors in some Australian pharmacies. The only one I know of is the Pharmacy in Canberra Centre. Google search has led me to some online stores as well. If I go to Canberra again, I may get Black Musk which smelt really nice!

Lavender is not one of my favourite notes. To be honest, it brings back memories of a bad time in my life when I was stressed and as per some one's suggestion I used some fresh lavender under my pillow to help me sleep. Instead of calming me down, lavender had a gloomy effect on me that made me cringe and nauseated me. It still does. But I'm getting over it and scents like this are helping me to.

Interested to know if you have any fragrances or notes that bring back unpleasant memories which has led you to dislike it? 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Makeup Post!

Not feeling very wordy at the moment, so here is a filler post. Two EOTDs, eyes of today and yesterday! I was feeling a bit out of touch with makeup (I have been waking up at 4 am due to gastritis and the weather here is a bit blah, all the sweating is killing me) Yesterday, as I picked up my brushes and a palette full of bright colours, I was too inspired to attempt something bright and colourful. It did cheer me up a lot!

Look 1 (today): Pink and green
Pink is from Australis Paparazzi palette and 88 metallic palette
Purplish dark shade is also from 88 metallic palette
Green eyeliner is Ozone from Aromaleigh
Lancome Hypnose Doll Eye mascara
Rimmel Exaggerate eyeliner on waterline with Ozone smudged along the lashline.

Look 2 (yesterday): Green, purple, blue
Aqua green, purple and the blue eyeliner is from Inglot palette
The blue used on the lateral side is Yaby Butterfly Blue
Maybelline Lash Stiletto Mascara
Rimmel Exaggerate eyeliner in black and a bit of green smudged along the lashine

Here is face of yesterday with the green, purple, blue look.
No foundation! Yes, my skin is doing great! Pond's whitening cream topped with Nude by Nature finishing powder, Sassy Minerals blush in Celebrity, Lancome Color Fever lipstick in 312
Of course I had to tone down the brightness before heading out!