Archive for June 2014

30 Days of Scent – a diversion   Leave a comment

I’m diverting from my usual one-scent-a-day-for-thirty-days formula to mention a couple of things:

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous enabled my fragrance habit, and a package from The Perfumed Court arrived on Saturday.  Within were seven decants:

  1. Do Son – Diptyque
  2. Eau Rose – Diptyque
  3. L’Ombre dans L’Eau – Diptyque
  4. Saint-Germain – Diptyque
  5. Trente-Quatre – Diptyque
  6. Eau Lente – Diptyque
  7. Russian Caravan – CB I Hate Perfume

Each of these will be written up as part of the series, and thank you so much to the donor!

I’m happy to write about any scent, provided that I already have it, can get a sample, or someone sends it to me.  *hint hint*

***

Someone asked me if I plan to write about any products other than perfume.  I hadn’t thought about it, and I certainly don’t have the know-how to do so.  Then again, I don’t really have the perfume know-how either…so, if anyone has suggestions, go ahead and send them over.  Otherwise, I’ll continue as-is.

Guest Post: Breaking The Low Mood Cycle   Leave a comment

A fantastic post from the crew at Captain Awkward.

CaptainAwkward.com

Image: a cheerful orange blob monster is chatting to a friend using a speech bubble containing a question mark and exclamation mark. The friend is a grumpy grey blob monster who looks away expressing grumpiness. Its speech bubble contains a grey scribble.

Hello friends! It’s Elodie Under Glass here with a guest post on Low Moods.

I particularly want to thank Quisty, Kellis Amberlee and TheOtherAlice  for their kindly help in reading and editing this piece. It would not have existed without their care, support, compassion, and wonderful editorial abilities. They are truly remarkable humans! (edited: And thanks to the radiant and patient NessieMonster, who let me come to her city and follow her around, burbling insensibly about this post, for far longer than most people would have.)

So recently, I went on a Stress and Mood Management course, and I thought that you all might enjoy sharing what I’ve learned.

This post is something of a correction/update to Adulthood is a Scary Horse, a post for the Captain which I was never quite satisfied with. It really crystallized for me on this course, in our…

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Posted June 30, 2014 by veggiewolf in Uncategorized

30 Days of Scent – Day Thirteen – Daisy Eau So Fresh by Marc Jacobs   Leave a comment

Today, I am wearing Daisy Eau So Fresh eau de toilette by Marc Jacobs.  Sephora included a single-use sample of it with my last order from them.

Fragrantica.com lists the main accords as fruity, sweet, green, floral, powdery, and citrus.  The description reads:

“Daisy Eau So Fresh by Marc Jacobs is a Floral Fruity fragrance for women. Daisy Eau So Fresh was launched in 2011. Top notes are grapefruit, green notes, raspberry and pear; middle notes are jasmine, rose, violet, litchi and apple blossom; base notes are musk, virginia cedar and plum.”

Let me start out by saying that I liked the original Daisy by Marc Jacobs until my sample atomizer malfunctioned and I was drenched in it one day.  Nothing smells good after being drenched in it, and so I was leery of trying this sample in case it brought back memories.  But, I needn’t have been hesitant – Daisy Eau So Fresh is a different animal entirely.

For starters, fruit is more prominent in Eau So Fresh – on my skin, I get grapefruit and raspberry with a bit of apple blossom.  (And yes, technically apple blossom is a floral scent, but in this fragrance it comes across differently!)  Second, the sharpness of Daisy is missing from Eau So Fresh – it’s a softer scent, and feels more versatile.  I think this may be another perfume to wear in a variety of situations – sweet without being cloying, and fruity without being overripe.  I’m definitely going to add Daisy Eau So Fresh to my list of “want to own”.

 

 

30 Days of Scent – Day Twelve – Dazzling Silver by Estée Lauder   2 comments

Yesterday, I wore Dazzling Silver eau de parfum by Estée Lauder.  I own two full-size bottles of this scent (one open, one still in box that is put away in a drawer).

Fragrantica.com lists the main accords as floral, green, white floral, aldehydic, and fruity.  The description notes:

“The fragrance starts with dewy exotic flowers: lily, wild lotus, Japanese mountain orchid. The heart of the composition is made of rare purple vanilla orchid, Sunset orchid, passion flower and rose. The base notes are magnolia, lily and sandalwood. The nose behind this fragrance is Evelyn Lauder.”

For years, Dazzling Silver was one of my two signature scents (the other was Poison, by Dior.)  It was launched in 1998 and I’ve been wearing it since that time…and I was furious when they discontinued it.  So were a bunch of other people – you can see some of that here.  I tend to love Estée Lauder fragrances, and other products, so I am not boycotting them over the discontinuation, but it’s still frustrating.

Some people think Dazzling Silver is a winter scent, or an evening one, but I’ve worn it in all seasons and (almost) all situations and cannot think of a single one it didn’t fit.  This scent just misses the ice queen mark for me – there’s something about the mix of greenness and florals that really works without making it too cold.  It has a sparkle to it as well and it projects nicely with only one or two squirts (I tend to do one on the back of my neck and one for my wrists.)  On me, Dazzling Silver is Phalaenopsis orchid mixed with day lily (the kind my grandmother grew) and a hint of dry champagne.

As it is discontinued, Estée Lauder no longer sells Dazzling Silver, and The Perfumed Court does not offer it as an option for decant.  You can still buy it on eBay and Amazon, but prices have (naturally) inflated – expect to pay $100 or more.

30 Days of Scent – Day Eleven – Amber Blush by Bath & Body Works   Leave a comment

Today, I wore Amber Blush eau de toilette by Bath & Body Works.  It’s a 7mL spray bottle gifted to me by a friend.

(Yes, I chose a B&BW scent for today.  I did it for two reasons, really.  First, I taught swimming lessons all morning and was exhausted when I got home and that was when I scented myself.  Second, for some reason Amber Blush felt appropriate with the weather of the day, which was warm but not humid.)

Fragrantica.com lists the main accords as sweet, fruity, amber, powdery, citrus, and vanilla.  It’s description reads:

“Amber Blush by Bath and Body Works is a Floral Fruity Gourmand fragrance for women. This is a new fragrance. Amber Blush was launched in 2013. Top notes are bergamot, mandarin orange, raspberry and champagne; middle notes are jasmine, gardenia, star anise, apricot and magnolia; base notes are vanilla, suede, crystal amber, sandalwood and musk.”

For anyone who thinks that a B&BW scent cannot be complex, the description above should change your mind – Amber Blush is all of the things listed.  It’s fruit without being overripe, champagne bubbles, and crystal amber.  It leaves a lovely vanilla-esque after-scent (is there such a thing as after-scent?  It probably has a real term that I don’t know.) and while it isn’t overpowering, it does have staying power.

I’ve not really made up my mind whether I love this scent or hate it – there’s an emotion it evokes, but I can”t quite pin it down.  On my skin, the citrus is downplayed and the raspberry notes really come forward, along with the amber (expected, with the name) and the sandalwood.  I think it is the sandalwood that surprises me about it and sandalwood mixed with raspberry actually works well…but I feel like it shouldn’t.  It perplexes me, which is why I keep wearing it and trying to make up my mind, I think.

 

30 Days of Scent – Day Ten – Nirvana White by Elizabeth and James   3 comments

Today, I am wearing Nirvana White eau de parfum by Elizabeth and James.  I own it in a roller ball that I ordered from Sephora.com after receiving a recommendation from a friend.  And, it’s a good thing I did – Nirvana White (and its sister scent, Nirvana Black) are exclusive to Sephora.

Fragrantica.com lists the main accords as floral, fresh, musky, rose, and green.  The description says: “…Nirvana White is a musky – floral fragrance composed of peony, lily of the valley and musk, signed by Honorine Blanc…”

(I took a look at the other perfumes Honorine Blanc worked on, but I’ve not tried any of them.)

While looking up information for this post, I stumbled across what appears to be a controversy over the roller ball delivery system.  Some people maintain that roller balls bring skin in direct contact with the perfume, thereby contaminating what remains in the bottle.  I saw some people talking about buying roller balls then taking them apart to remove the contents and re-bottle it.  If anyone knows more about this whole thing, and has an opinion they’d like to share, let me know!

So, Nirvana White.  On its own, I think it smells like the peonies that grow behind my house, heavy with scent; not just the flower part of the peony, mind you, but the entire plant – blossom, leaf, and stem.  When I put it on, I’m transported to the conservatory at Longwood Gardens – my skin makes both the floral quality and the green quality come out.

I like this scent very much, and I’m glad for my $20 splurge on it.

30 Days of Scent – Day Nine – Jasmine & Bergamote by L’Occitane en Provence   Leave a comment

Today, I am wearing Jasmin & Bergamote eau de toilette by L’Occitane en Provence.  It’s a sample I received from a friend.

Fragrantica.com lists the main accords as citrus, white floral, woody, aromatic, and fresh spicy.  Its description of this fragrance focuses more on L’Occitane en Provence than on the scent itself, so here’s one from the L’Occitane en Provence site:

“Evocative of a graceful, sensual dance, Jasmine (sic) & Bergamot Eau de Toilette offers the fragrance of a delicate flower blossoming in the light of dawn. Revealing the many facets of the jasmine flower, this eau de toilette blends absolutes from Grasse and Egypt. The addition of bergamot essential oil from Italy balances this floral fragrance with fruity notes.”

I should start with a disclaimer: I love love love L’Occitane en Provence.  I’ve been to Grasse four times, and I pick up L’Occitane products each time I go to France (they make the best shea butter hand cream, and it used to be slightly cheaper in France than in the US).  There’s also a L’Occitane en Provence boutique 30 minutes from me (note – must go).

So, what can I tell you about Jasmin & Bergamote?  Well, for starters, it is part of La Collection de Grasse, a fragrance group meant to celebrate the uniqueness of Grasse and its location.  I’d never tried any of the scents in the collection prior to receiving this sample,  but now I’d like to try some more (I’ve got my eye on two, actually.  Must send them an email.)

On me, Jasmin & Bergamote is reminiscent of a mixture of Earl Grey and jasmine pearl tea – floral and citrusy without being too much of one or the other.  There’s a spicy element, and with this scent I find that it differs depending on where I put it; behind my ears it is more floral, but on my wrists it is more orange-y.  It will linger on me all day – I daresay it will remain noticeable (if light) until I get into the pool this evening and it washes away on a sea of chlorine.

Jasmin & Bergamote is a fun fragrance, and I cannot think of a situation for which it isn’t suited.  I definitely need to pick up a full bottle once I have some discretionary income – the sample is simply not enough.

30 Days of Scent – Day Eight – Sel Marin by James Heeley   3 comments

Today, I am wearing Sel Marin eau de parfum by James Heeley.  It’s a (now empty) decant I got from The Perfumed Court.

(Perhaps I need to actually buy this one?)

Fragrantica.com lists the main accords for Sel Marin as marine, aromatic, salty, citrus, and woody.  The description they have up appears to be a paraphrase of the one on the Heeley website, so I’m going to put that one up here instead:

“Sun, sand and sea air

Sun, warm sand and a gentle breeze of fresh sea air. A refreshing and striking note of lemon fades to reveal an aquatic green, algue (sic) note, while vetiver and drift woods of cedar and birch dry slowly in the sand and salty, sea air.

♂ Ocean going sand boys. Jacques Mayol in The Big Blue.
♀ A radiant, natural, beauty. Sun kissed (with bikini lines of course).

Lemon . Italian Bergamot . Beech Leaf
Sea Salt . Moss . Algae
Cedar . Musk . Leather”

I usually hate the over-the-top descriptions on perfume sites but, aside from the typo, this description is right on the money.  Sel Marin has that indefinable quality that the really good salty marine fragrances have – it evokes memory with every whiff.  Putting it on this morning, I was overcome (assaulted?  pun intended!) by images of myself at the beach as a child, then as an adult with the ocean scent drying on my skin, and sand between my toes.  It (for me) is the beach experience in a bottle without the sunscreen notes of CB I Hate Perfume At the Beach 1966 – it’s the Maine coast, with the sea too icy for adults and the marine wind, and every summer vacation I most enjoyed.  It’s whale watching, and sea kayaking, and Acadia National Park.

I love love love this scent (as if you couldn’t tell!) and I clearly need to save my pennies to buy a full-size bottle.  It runs 120,00 € on the Heeley site, and $180 on Lucky Scent.

30 Days of Scent – Day Seven – L’Ambre des Merveilles by Hermès   3 comments

Today, I am wearing L’Ambre des Merveilles eau de parfum by Hermès.  It is one of two samples sent to me when I wrote to Hermès to ask if I could try one of their fragrances.

(Of interest – Hermès sent me two samples to try…neither of which was the scent I requested.)

Fragrantica.com lists the main accords for L’Ambre des Merveilles as amber, vanilla, balsamic, patchouli, powdery, and animalic.  The description says:

“L’Ambre des Merveilles by Hermès is a Oriental Vanilla fragrance for women and men. This is a new fragrance. L’Ambre des Merveilles was launched in 2012. The nose behind this fragrance is Jean-Claude Ellena. The fragrance features amber, labdanum, vanilla and patchouli.”

I had to look up labdanum –  it is a resin from cistus shrubs that has been used in perfumes and for medicinal purposes for centuries.  Near and dear to my own heart is the description of the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt wearing false beards of goat hair held together by labdanum…which makes me think that L’Ambre des Merveilles might make a nice ritual perfume.

(If you’re at all interested in my religious leanings, I have a blog specific to it.  If not, that’s fine too.)

So…an oriental vanilla fragrance.  I guess I can see that – I do get vanilla from it, along with a spicy underlay which is interesting because spicy is not one of the main accords.  Amber is definitely there, but on me any hint of balsam or patchouli is blunted.  I’m actually surprised by this; I tend to be overwhelmed by patchouli when I wear fragrances with it in.

L’Ambre des Merveilles’ wear-time (sillage)* is quite long.  I put it on two hours ago (at the time of this writing) and it hasn’t dissipated at all.  Based on past wearings, I fully expect to still be actively smelling it at the end of my work day.  I’d recommend it as a special occasion scent: wear it when you want to evoke a particular feeling or memory, or to put yourself in a particular frame of mind.

*Edited, thanks to my fabulous friend who corrected my terminology.  One day, I’ll get the vocabulary down!

30 Days of Scent – Day Six – White Sandalwood by Nest   2 comments

Today, I am wearing White Sandalwood eau de parfum by Nest.  It is one of five samples I received when I wrote to Nest asking about their new fine fragrance line.

(Tip: Most perfume manufacturers are happy to send samples if you ask and some retailers, like Nordstrom, carry samples for the public.  Of course, this means actually going in to Nordstrom…which can be intimidating in itself.)

Fragrantica.com lists the main accords for White Sandalwood as woody, almond, warm spicy, balsamic, powdery, and nutty.  The description is fairly brief:

“White Sandalwood by Nest is a Woody Spicy fragrance for men. This is a new fragrance. White Sandalwood was launched in 2013. The fragrance features australian (sic) sandalwood, white sandalwood, spices, white musk and almond.”

Interestingly enough, when I went to Nest’s website, I couldn’t find the fragrance listed and had to go to Sephora.com.  This leads me to believe that the fragrance cannot be bought from the manufacturer any more…and I find that odd for two reasons.  First, the scent just came out in 2013.  Second, it’s a really nice fragrance and I can’t imagine that people disliked it enough to have it discontinued after a year…

While it is listed as a fragrance for men, the sample I received was labelled “unisex”.  On me, White Sandalwood is very fragrant with a woody feel  and musky, but not overpowering which is saying a lot (i usually cannot handle any musk at all).  I don’t get an almond note per se but there’s something nutty in there that I really like once the top notes dissipates.

I do like this fragrance, although it is definitely not for every day (on me, anyway).  It’s a little strong straight out of the gate but very pleasant an hour or two in.  If you’re a sandalwood fan (and I know quite a few people aren’t), I’d give it a whirl.