Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May In A Pic

May was my birthday month and that's why I got myself more perfume than I usually do. Pretty good justification, huh? Plus, my lovely internet friends sent me fabulous goodies, thank you all ladies!

Embrace by PG Organics : Thanks to Sugarpuffish, who was kind enough to pass on these perfume samples to me. It smells mostly of Ylang Ylang and you can feel the essential oil and the natural goodness in it. A gentle, wearable floral.

Clean Favourites Coffret: Thank you Jac, I am thrilled to try all these wonderfully 'clean' perfumes! I am so tempted to pour some in my underwear drawer for that clean, fresh, laundry smell! The bottles are so cute too.

Lots and lots of perfume oil samples and SmashBox makeup: I am really stoked to get all this in the mail and to read a lovely birthday note from Michelle. She is generous as she is beautiful! Thank you!

Somethings I bought, well, just for the sake of it:
Bvgari Jasmin Noir Purse Spray
Narciso Rodriguez Essence In Colour Purse Spray
Kiehl's Amber Essence Oil Roll-on: Reviewed here.

Finally a decant of Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur from Surrender To Chance: The ladies who ran The Perfumed Court split and two of them started a rival perfume decanting website called Surrender To Chance. Whatever the drama is, I don't care and my loyalty lies with whoever gives me a better deal. After all, competition is a good thing. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

BPAL: Smut

Smut 2012
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Limited Edition for Lupercalia (Valentine's Day) 
Re-released every year. 

"What a great freakin' word. BPAL LOVES TEH SMUT! Three swarthy, smutty musks sweetened with sugar and woozy with dark booze notes."

ME LOVES TEH SMUT TOO! Yeah, smutty, sexy, boozy and all that. Smut was a blind buy with my Lupercalia order because I love BPAL's musk notes and mostly because when BPAL says it is Smutty, it usually is. Glad I did. Smut is one such fragrances that develops dramatically and I it perceive in phases.

The Iffy Phase: When I first sniffed Smut, I was sure I was going to hate it. First sniff from the bottle, it smells syrupy. Reminds me of the sweet cherry liqueur Bite Me which didn't work for me. Sniffing carefully from the bottle, it smells of very sweet booze with hints of cherry liqueur and very faint hints of almond liqueur. Not so syrupy, not so bad.

The Love Phase: When it touches my skin, magic! The syrupy booze is incense laden which makes me think of Snake Oil. It is very boozy but both the cherry/almond liqueurs merge and I can't detect anything particular, just a boozy smell that is being obscured by the emerging incense. The musk starts to show in about 5 minutes are so.

The Headache Phase: I love BPAL's musks. The red musk note is gorgeous! One of the musk blends I love is Enraged Orangutan Musk, a blend of 5 kinds of musk is awesome. It has a phase somewhere which gives me a headache. I wish I could tell each musk apart but I just cant. I think Smut has a similar musk. Smut also gives me a transient headache, nothing too serious and passes once the fragrance progresses into the dry down.

The Smutty Phase: The dry down of Smut is to die for! It takes about an hour to come to the smutty part. A beautiful sweet musk with hints of booze and incense. The musk is a sweet floral with a clean (fresh skin musk) aspect to it. The toned down booze adds to the smuttiness. Beyond gorgeous!

I feel absolutely sexy when I wear Smut. The musk and booze make it deep, dark and somewhat luxurious in an intense kind of way. It is in-your-face sexy but in a comfortable way. I can so pull it off! You would think my man would go crazy when I wear it. But it turns out he thinks it is 'too much perfume'. Well, what does he know! Smut is gorgeously SMUTTY!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dupe Alert: Kiehl's Amber Essence Oil Vs Tom Ford Amber Absolute

I was wandering the aisles of David Jones yesterday when I had a sudden urge to go into Kiehl's counter to smell the Musk. After I tried the Musk, I moved on to try Amber Essence Oil. I was very impressed with Amber. It took me five seconds to realise that it smelt familiar and another ten to know exactly what it was. It smelt so close to Tom Ford's Amber Absolute. While still smelling the Kiehl's Amber on the backside of my left hand, I walked up to the Tom Ford counter and sprayed Amber Absolute on the backside of my right hand. Comparing the two side by side, yes, they smelt almost similar. Next step was easy, I immediately bought Amber from Kiehl's counter.

Tom Ford's Amber Absolute is my ideal Amber. It is an intense but smooth, spicy, smoky, warm and sexy amber. Labdanum, gives a radiant warmth and resinous vanilla gives a boozy sweetness. It also has a good amount of incense and balsamic notes to add depth and brilliance. It costs nearly $300 for 50mls in Australian retail. Kiehl's Amber oil, the similar kind of amber, costs $25 for 7 ml roll on.

Of the two, the Tom Ford one has a beautiful finesse to it. All the rough edges are well trimmed, the notes are well tuned to make a masterpiece. Kiehl's is similar but it is kind of crude. The difference between the two is subtle. Though one may miss the beautiful progression of top to base notes in Kiehl's, it is identical in the dry down to Tom Ford.

What Kiehl's makes up for with the quality of amber for the price, it compensates for it with its staying power and projection. Kiehl's is diluted and its staying power doesn't even come close to Tom Ford. If I wear Tom Ford in the morning and go to bed at night (without a shower) I can still smell the perfume on my sheets and pillows the next morning! Such is the awesomeness of Tom Ford's staying power. Projection wise also, Tom Ford takes the trophy.

Have we found a dupe? Kiehl's Amber was made in 1942 and Tom Ford's Amber Absolute was made in 2007. So, can't decide which is a dupe of which. But price wise, Kiehl's is a steal. A damn good substitute for Tom Ford, really. Till the day I can buy a full bottle of Amber Absolute, Kiehl's is mine to enjoy. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Well, We've Come This Far Without An Amnesia Joke

Today, I turn 30. I don't feel particularly sad or elated. I don't feel anything at all. Just another birthday, just another day. I would like to think of it as detachment. Or it could it be denial? All I can say is that I never imagined to be where I am now, say, 10 years ago.

I thought of doing something totally crazy like body piercing or getting a tattoo or running away to become a hippie but I decided to save those things for either of the two occasions: mid life crisis or menopause, whichever comes first. Instead I turned to altruism for rescue and donated blood, something I do usually do but this time it made me feel more useful. Deciding not to see life in black and white, I am seeing shades of Tiffany Blue and Silver. I bought myself this ring which I totally love.
I can always hope that one day I can travel at a speed more than that of light to the edge of the Solar System and come back to a time in my past to relive those moments again. Till then, I'll be marinating in Amber Absolute and wearing a bright red lipstick.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ayala Moriel: Les Nuages de Joie Jaune, Vetiver Racinettes, Finjan

Les Nuages de Joie Jaune
"Mimosa Soliflore. Woody, wet and slightly sweet with notes of vanilla and cassie.
Cabreuva, Cassie, Frangipani, Jasmine Grandiflorum, Mimosa, Orris Root, Vanilla Absolute, Violet Leaf"
Mimosa is my favourite floral smell. Even thinking about mimosa brings on a flood of memories. Smelling mimosa takes me straight to my childhood. The shrub grew everywhere and was full of thorns, ouch! I don't know what my little self was admiring at, the smell of these tiny little flowers, or how beautiful these were to look at, or how the light from the sunset shone on the little yellow flowers. They were these bright little perfectly round things and the evening sun made them brighter. Mimosa, both the smell and the sight has a soft radiance to it. It brightens the mood and makes everything cheerier. I so totally get the "Les Nuages de Joie Jaune" (yellow clouds of joy) analogy, that is exactly how mimosa flowers make me feel!

This mimosa perfume is not too literal, not at all like sticking your nose in the handful of mimosa flowers. It is more like smelling the unbloomed buds. I think so, because it is not as sweet as the real flower is. It is green, sharp to begin with, mimosa slowly emerging from the background and diffusing into orris root, a bitter, paper like smell with hints of green mimosa wanting to come out and blossom but just doesn't. It is a gorgeous perfume actually. May be my expectation of how Mimosa should smell is coming in my way of appreciating the perfume.

The closest to natural Mimosa I have smelt is the Cassie absolute from New DirectionsThe most literal mimosa I have smelt in a perfume is the generic, cheap fragrance oil that you can buy anywhere. Sweet, powdery, floral and I love wearing it!

"Spiced Turkish Coffee gourmand with a hint of floral notes.
Balsam Tolu, Blood Orange,Cardamom Cinnamon , Clove Bud,Coffee Absolute Coriander, Honey Absolute , Jasmine Grandiflorum Rose Maroc, Sweet Orange"
Very sweet, yet light perfume. Mild spices, mild florals, beautiful rose with a very light hint of coffee. I get candied rose petals, or is it candied orange? Maybe both. It does remind me of Turkish coffee, with more accents of sweetness than actual coffee itself. The sweetness fades and becomes a foody rose, very wearable one.

Vetiver Racinettes
"Our signature vetiver fragrance is like no other, combining the earthiness of thousand rootlets in deep dirt with the sweetness of refreshing root beer.
Black PepperVetiver HaitiVetiver Indonesia, Vetiver Sri-LankaVetiver Madagascar (Bourbon)Ruh Khus Attar MittiKaffir Lime LeafCardamom C├ĘpesCoffee AbsoluteSpikenardTarragon (Estragon)GingerNutmeg Absolute"
Vetiver has the rap of being a masculine note and I think it works beautifully in a feminine way as well. When I look for a something fresh, I turn to Vetiver because it is cool, fresh and so juicy. The smell of vetiver for me is the smell of summer because we used to put a few little strings of the roots (without soil of course, they were dried roots) in our water bottles. It smelt so good and cooled the heat right off. 

Vetiver Racinettes is a powerful vetiver. Very rooty, vetiver in its truest form. The vetiver is strong. There are about 4 kinds of Vetiver in it though I can't tell one kind from another. It is so earthy like it has been freshly plucked from the earth with smell of wet damp soil still clinging to it. It must be the Mitti (soil of the vetiver) part of it. It smells delightfully of the dirt. Barely there spices and ginger give me the root beer feeling. It is kind of dense and watery at the same time. The more I smell it, the more I fall in love with it. The freshly turned earth and sparkling ginger ale with vetiver which ties the freshness down to the earthiness is just magic! I want more!

Ayala Moriel has a fantastic range of all-natural perfumes. You can sample all of them. Samples cost $12 for 1 ml. I bought a set of 6 last year for $40. Full sizes are $120 for 15 mls. Given that Ayala uses natural ingredients, they are pricey. The perfumes have varying staying power on me, some last a few hours while others I can smell most of the day. Only compelling perfume that I may get a full size of in future is Film Noir. 

Wow, writing about Mimosa and Vetiver is making me very nostalgic suddenly!