Showing posts with label Byredo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Byredo. Show all posts

Friday, August 12, 2016

Summer Fragrance Rotation


Happy Friday everyone! This has been one of those busy weeks where I felt like I was not able to be as productive as I had hoped. I'm relieved that the weekend is almost here. I have quite a few reviews in the works. Testing is a non-stop continuous process and I have a lot of posts partially completed - stay tuned for posts on new launches from Lancôme, Dior, Chanel, Birchbox, Cle de Peau Beaute along with the roundup/routine type posts many of you have requested. Continuing another one of my routine posts you asked for, today I'm rounding up my warm weather fragrance edit. Summer is nearing it's end (I keep seeing end of summer promos everywhere!) but scents are the kind of beauty product I feel can be transitional in some cases. It takes me forever to use up a perfume and I tend to accumulate them in batches - there are a few of these I've had for a long time.

Up first are the scents I think are most unique. I don't mind wearing popular mainstream perfumes but sometimes it's nice to have something a little more unique.

Shown above, left to right:
  • Byredo Bal D'Afrique has been on my wishlist for ages. I have it in the small travel sized vial from a holiday discovery set I bought last year. I finally caved and bought the full size. It's a sweet warm floral that I feel smells like it has apricot but it does not. Notes include bergamot, lemon, neroli, African marigold, bucchu, violet, jasmin petals, cyclamen, black amber, musk, vetiver and Moroccan cedarwood. It also comes in other formats such as the Body Wash (just splurged), Body Cream (review here), Bath Oil and is also in the current Floral Discovery Set.
  • Lumira Paradisium (c/o) is one of my favorites and it's very unique. I feel I can wear this one year round. Full detailed review here. For a quick take, it has bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, heart of fig nectar, guava, vetiver, sea moss and cedarwood. It's one of the few scents that has fig that I can wear.
  • Diptyque Eau de Sens (c/o) is an orange blossom which I think most will think is best as a spring scent. I agree except that this is one of the very few orange blossom scents I've been able to wear so I've been spritzing it over the summer. Also reviewed in this post here.
  • Oribe Côte d'Azur (c/o) is an Oribe lover's dream come true. The signature scent that you find in most Oribe products is bottled in a perfume version and it's amazing. If you find the hair products to be strongly scented you probably can get away with just wearing the styling creams or sprays instead of buying the perfume. I personally find the hair sprays fade in scent after a few hours, the perfume definitely lasts all day long on me.

Next are two sweet options from Urban Outfitters. These are part of the Gourmand Line and are priced at $18 each. They are both on the sweet vanilla coco side - I know many of you like vanilla-based scents. I have a hard time wearing them because so many are too strong.
  • Sel Ocean is described as having honeysuckle, muguet, pink sea salt which I think is an accurate description. It's very sweet so if you don't like sweet scents, definitely try to test before buying.
  • Lait de Coco is a milky white fragrance you shake to mix the contents. Notes include bergamot, vanilla praline and creamy coconut. It's the closest scent I've found to the long discontinued Jo Malone Sweet Milk.

In my experience and opinion, the best date night fragrances are from Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb. It has a distinct scent that is easily recognizable but smells amazing on everyone.
  • Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb note include bergamot, tea, freesia, jasmine, orange blossom, orchid, rose, patchouli.
  • There are occasional limited-edition variations launched, the Flowerbomb La Vie en Rose is a lighter version of the original with a sparkling feel if that makes sense. Top notes are grapefruit, mandarin, pink pepper, green tea. Middle notes have jasmin, orchid and rose. Base notes have patchouli and amber.
  • Spicebomb is the cologne version for men and it's my husband's favorite. It's what I think all hot guys smell like lol. It's more of a date night fragrance but my husband find it suitable to wear everyday. He's already used up a travel size and full size bottle. I bought the Spicebomb Fresh for him because I often like the lighter/fresh versions. We both agreed it's too light and not masculine enough. It's a good one for those who like light scents but Spicebomb is better.

Last but not least, the scents that are true summer and warm weather scents that make you feel like you're on a tropical vacation somewhere on the beach.
  • NARS Monoi Body Glow II is the ultimate tropical vacation scent. It's not a perfume but rather a scented body oil which I can't get enough of. It has the most delicious monoi oil scent and has a tiare flower inside that has been soaked in refined coconut oil to capture the essence of the unique process used to make the oil. Scent lasts all day on me and gives the skin a nice glow.
  • Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Acqua (c/o) is the lightest Tom Ford fragrance launched and therefore priced at a lower price point compared to his perfumes. It's a lighter version of the Neroli Portofino which I like on others but don't really like on myself. The Neroli Aqua Portofino is a citrus beachy scent with hints of amber. Also featured in this post here.
  • Tom Ford Soleil Blanc is a white floral that has a beachy vacation like feel. Full review in this post here.
  • Urban Outfitters Gourmand Thé Matcha is one of the few I've used up entirely and am on my second bottle. It's a simple fresh fragrance that has a sweet clean green tea scent with citrus and white flowers.
My most-worn scents of the summer are the Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Acqua, Soleil Blanc and Lumira Paradisium. For evenings out or special occasions it's been either of the Viktor and Rolf fragrances. I also really like Diptyque L'Ombre Dans L'Eau (reviewed here) which wasn't featured in the roundup because I feel it's moer of a fall scent, but still nice for going out.

Do you have a favorite go-to for summer? Or do you stick with scents that you wear year round? As always I'd love to hear your favorites - for any season! There are so many scent options out there it's overwhelming to find a good scent so I rely heavily on recommendations!

Items provided courtesy for review consideration marked with a "c/o".

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summer Date Night Beauty Favorites and Clutch Essentials


Summer is in full swing and I thought I'd put together a roundup of some date night beauty favorites for the season. I like to keep things on the makeup side soft and shimmery - pretty much the same as everyday kind of colors but add more on the eyes. A good neutral lip can give a nice polished look and will go with every color of outfit. A good classic red, coral or bright pink lip can add more oomph to your look - if you like a good bright classic, I think the best color and formula right now are from the Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips and Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo lines. If you're a neutral lip lover, read on for my top picks.

First a note on clutches and pouches. Finding a good classic flat zip clutch is harder than you would think. For as long as I can remember I've been into the simple classic streamlined zip pouch, but being petite at 5'3" it's hard for me to find one that isn't too large. I'm forever looking for good classic options. The envelope style is pretty chic (one affordable option featured in this post here also eyeing this nude blush one here) but for some reason my heart belong to the flat zip ones.

My two most-used clutches are the Clare V Leopard Clutch (8" H x 11" W) and Truffle Privacy Clutch (6 1/2" H x 10 1/2" W). Small compact coin purses or card cases are also essentials for me. Any kind of textured leather makes wallets more sturdy and last longer, the Chanel classic quilted caviar is one of my favorites. The Tory Burch Robinson Coin Case is actually more like card case but also works as a more affordable option but still extremely well made and sturdy.


The best date night fragrances for me, some come in the tiny roller ball or small spritzer version to fit inside a clutch:
  • Diptyque L'Ombre Dans L'Eau which comes in a limited-edition travel size for summer. It's the fragrance version of Baies candle which I was surprised works well as perfume and has a mix of blackcurrant leaves and rose.
  • Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb is the ultimate date night fragrance (travel spray was taken with me on my summer trip). For daytime I feel like it's more of a fall/winter fragrance, but I think it's amazing for summer nights. It's a hard one to describe but the notes are bergamot, tea, freesia, jasmine, orange blossom, orchid, rose, patchouli.
  • Chloé Eau de Parfume is another favorite, I have a small bottle, but you can find it in a travel size as well, it's another classic floral with notes of Pink Peony, Freesia, Lychee, Magnolia Flower, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Cedarwood, Amber, Honey.
  • For those who want something more unique, Byredo is always a good option. I bought the Discovery Set over the holiday which has a sampler mix of scents. It's been discontinued but the current version is the Floral Discovery 6 Piece Set which has Blanche, La Tulipe, Bal D'Afrique, Inflorescence, Flowerhead and Rose Of No Man's Land. I highly recommend the travel/discovery sets. It's a great way to try out different ones without having to splurge on the full size bottle. Another option is the Nécessaire de Voyage Eau de Parfum Travel Set which has Black Saffron and Blanche with a case.


For eyes I like shadow sticks because they're easy to apply and blend with the fingers. They're great for touch ups or if you're on the go and compact enough to carry in a clutch if you don't have time to go back home to fix your makeup for date.


I like a good shimmer for the eyes because it dresses them up a bit whether it's to add highlight or deepen with a golden smokey shade. Favorites shown and swatched below include:


For lips, I'm all about the soft pink and peachy shades. Current favorites shown below to mix and match or layer:


Shown above but not swatched:
Swatched below:


For pressed powders, the two I've been reaching for the most include the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder in No. 20 and Clinique Stay Matte Sheer Pressed Powder in Stay Neutral. I've been on the hunt for a good retractable brush that's flat but not too small and I finally found one from Hakuhodo which is the H611 Portable Brush. It's soft and fluffy and super compact. If you don't need a powder to touch up, but want a good blotting paper to carry to absorb shine, the Tatcha Blotting Papers are the best ones I've tried (details on why they're the best in this review here).


That rounds up my summer date night beauty favorites! As always I'd love to hear what you love to wear and/or carry with you. If you have any favorite clutches or zip pouches - please share! One last note, shoes featured are from Ann Taylor.




Press samples featured include Tatcha Blotting Papers, Tom Ford Lip Color, Edward Bess Lip Definers, Truffle Clutch.

Friday, April 22, 2016

My Favorite At-Home Pamper Essentials


I have a roundup of things I wanted to share that I find best for at-home pampering. I try to take care of my skin on a daily basis but try to give it extra care on the weekends - kinda like doing a DIY at home spa session for a good reset or cleanse. There are a few body products I've been meaning to write about for a while - ones I found well worth the splurge. I've included several recommendations by category - there's no one product fits all so I've tried to cover a variety of options in case you're looking for something specific whether it's to purify skin, firm the skin, etc.

Cleansers



  • Cle de Peau Beaute Synactif Soap is probably one of the most expensive face cleansing products I've ever bought. I've gone through 4 of these - I probably would have purchased more if it came with a cheaper price tag. It gives the skin a very thorough cleanse without leaving a film. It cleans out all the pores and leaves skin feeling squeaky clean. When I feel like my face is getting clogged this helps clear up the complexion. With daily use 2x a day a single bar lasts about 4 months.
  • Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser has been mentioned before in my spring cleanser roundup. I really can't rave enough about this - I used mine up so I stocked up on a few more during the Sephora sale earlier this month. It cleanses the skin and helps keep it clear but gentle enough for daily use.
  • Ole Henriksen Empower Foaming Milk Cleanser (c/o) is a super gentle milk cleanser that won't leave a film. I really don't like milk cleansers because I often find them too rich for my skin type and they rarely leave my face feeling fully clean. A few of you mentioned you have really sensitive skin - this is a good one to try. It does give the face a good cleanse without drying it out. I still do a double cleanse with this one in the evenings (I remove all my makeup first with a cleansing oil or cleansing water), but in the morning it's perfect to use alone.
  • Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser is one of my favorite purifying cleansers. I've gone through several bottles and it's one I keep going to. In hot summer months I can use this daily (usually in the late afternoon or evenings, or post work out), for now I like to use it weekly to help give the skin a thorough cleanse. It helps reduce redness and irritation too.

Masks


  • Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment is hands down one of the most effective clearing face masks. It does have a tingle feeling when you apply it but it's not too strong and doesn't irritate the skin. It sucks out impurities and leaves the skin feeling super firm and tight.
  • Glamglow Gravitymud Firming Treatment is one of the newer masks from Glamglow. This one you leave on the face for 20-30 minutes and peel off. I normally don't like masks that require more than 15 minutes of application because I'm super impatient with skincare, but this one is worth the extra time. It is more on the gentle side for a firming mask and I feel like the effects are more immediate vs. long-term, but it does leave the skin feeling super firm and lifted.
  • Aesop Parsley Seed Mask is the best purifying mask for my sensitive skin. It dries up the gunk in your skin and leaves it feeling thoroughly clean and tight. Many have mentioned to me that their skin cannot handle the Glamglow because they find it too harsh. If that is the case and you still want a purifying mask to draw out impurities, try the Aesop.
  • Kate Somerville Eradikate is one of the most gentle acne-clearing masks. It works in a similar way to the other clarifying masks mentioned above but is super gentle and non-irritating. It won't leave the skin feeling tight. It's gentle enough to use daily - I wouldn't recommend using it every single day, but on weeks where I have some breakouts, I use this nightly for about 4-5 nights and it really helps clear up the skin.
Body

I usually don't splurge on body products. I typically keep things simple with L'Occitane or Nuxe, but I've discovered some new-to-me things that I am really excited to share with you.


  • Chanel Fresh Body Cream is something I'm beyond obsessed with. It's one of the most expensive body products I've ever bought and it's a bit hard to find (you can't find it at all counters). You can basically find this at any store or counter that sells the Exclusifs Fragrances. It's a super gentle body cream that smells really fresh but won't interfere with perfumes. I like to use this at night before bed because I have a sensitive nose and scents sometimes prevent me from falling asleep. This one is soothing enough that it doesn't interfere with my sleep. It's hydrating and non-greasy. I will keep repurchasing this one for as long as they make it.
  • Byredo Bal D'Afrique Body Cream is another pricey splurge but I adore the Bal D'Afrique scent I had to try it in the body cream. This one is super emollient and has a body butter feel which is super lush. A little goes a long way and the moisture lingers for an emollient feel. You can definitely feel the moisture after you apply but it's not greasy. That being said if you need a body product to have a dry-down you may find this too rich.
  • L'Occitane Shea Butter Extra Gentle Lotion for Hands and Body is another favorite. I've featured this a few times in past years. It has all the moisturizing and soothing qualities of items from the regular Shea line but it's lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly. Anytime I have irritation or flare ups - I use this and skin is instantly soothed. I love that it's non greasy, gentle, but effective.
  • NARS Monoii Body Glow II is the ultimate scented tiare body oil that makes you feel like you're on a tropical vacation. It lifts the mood instantly and absorbs quickly into the skin. There's no greasy feel or residue after it's absorbed into the skin. I'm about 99% happy with this one - if it came with a pump dispenser it would be perfect.
Home Fragrance


  • Lumira Travel Candles (c/o) are super compact and cute, I love having a few scattered around the house to burn. To date I don't think I've brought a candle with me while I travel but there are times when I have traveled that I wish I had one with me. I'm trying my best to save the mini ones for my next trip. My favorite from their line is the Tahitian Coconut.
  • Lumira Mini Destinations Box Set (c/o) launched over the holiday a boxed trio of the most popular scents from the line in Tuscan Fig, Cuban Tobacco, Persian Rose. I just finally started burning Tuscan Fig today - it's amazing and smells of sweet figs (Diptyque's Figuier by comparison is greener). Top notes are fig leaves and fig tree, middle notes are blackcurrant and cedarwood, base is iris and musk.
  • Diptyque Gingembre Room Spray (c/o) was reviewed a month ago (I can't believe an entire month has gone by). I won't repeat the review but it's a really nice bright and cheery kind of home scent.
  • Diptyque Colored Candle in Baies (c/o) is a classic. The larger size gives this one a stronger throw compared to the smaller ones. Don't forget if you have any Diptyque on your wishlist you can save online at Space NK US by using my special promo code through May 1st.

Lips

I have very sensitive lips when it comes to lip treatments. There are quite a few very popular options that make my lips go numb (Kiehl's, CO Bigelow, Chapstick etc.) so that may give you an idea of just how sensitive they are. The ones below are Beauty Look Book approved. Of course it's not a list of all the ones I've tested or like, but ones I like most for right now.


  • Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm is a great lip treatments that is also affordable. It's emollient and I love the simple classic squeeze tube packaging.
  • Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Smashed is my current favorite for the most moisturizing lip treatment to help with dry or cracked lips (swatched in this post here and here).
  • AmorePacific Moisture Bound Lip Treatment is one I just used up (review from winter in this post here), it's the best scent and taste-free lip treatment I've tried. Most others have some kind of scent or flavor. If you're really sensitive to any scent, I'd recommend you try this one.
  • By Terry Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur in Coral Stellar is one of the prettiest tinted lip treatments I've tried. Review + swatches here. It's worth the splurge.
  • Chanel Hydra Beauty Nourishing Lip Care is a good lip treatment but I do think it's overpriced for what you get. That being said I've never regretted buying this one and if you're willing to splurge it's a good gentle one that always soothes my lips. (More on this compared to others in this post here.)
If you're looking for something to help reset the skin, calm the complexion or give your body an extra boost of moisture, I hope you found this roundup helpful! I have super sensitive skin and there are some body lotions and creams that cause an immediate allergic reaction (I always do a patch test first). If a good purifying mask is what you have been looking for but want something suitable for sensitive skin I hope the recs above help you find something gentle enough for your skin type!

What are your favorite at-home pampering products? I really love hearing about your favorites. So many of you have recommended some great things for me to try. I'm pretty set on masks but I do have my eye on a few sheet masks. I'm intrigued by mainly the two from La Mer - if you've tried them should I go for the Brightening Facial Masks or Hydrating Sheet Masks? Or should I wait for the Eve Lom Brightening Sheet Mask to launch in the US?

I hope you had a great week! Enjoy the weekend :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Barneys New York Love Yourself Event: March 8 - 12


The Barneys New York Love Yourself Event starts today March 8th and runs through March 12th (while supplies last). This is one of the best gift with purchase events for beauty that I've shopped over the years. It usually only happens twice a year for Barneys and with any $200+ order in beauty or grooming (cosmetics, skincare, fragrance, men's or women's) you get a complimentary gift bag filled with selected Barneys favorites. There are two gift bag options, one for men and one for women - the sampling selection is top notch. I always find great minis to try out and some favorites I like to keep for when I travel. Today I've teamed up with Barneys to share the women's gift along with a selection of some luxury favorites in case you're in need of recommendations or ideas. The event happens in store and also online - over the past several years I've ordered through both methods which have worked equally well. I do recommend you put together your lists and order sooner than later as the gifts usually do run out every year.


Here's a list of the contents of the women's gift which comes in a zip cosmetic case. Contents per bag may have a few variations for scent options or colors (as indicated below):
  • Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara 2 ml
  • 3LAB M Cream Ultimate Lift 6 ml
  • Chantecaille Mini Brilliant Gloss 1.5 ml (assorted colors, Lucky shown above)
  • Costume National Parfum in Soul 1.5 ml
  • Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye 3 ml
  • Malin + Goetz Geranium Face Cleanser 15 ml
  • Moroccanoil Fragrance Originale Body Souffle 20 ml
  • Oribe Supershine Moisture Cream 15 ml
  • R & Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo 75 ml/1.6 oz
  • REN Keep Young and Beautiful Beauty Shot 3 ml
  • Ritual Wai Wang Body Scrub 70 ml
  • Bellatora Cellular Renewal Cream 12 ml
  • Tatcha Deep Brightening Serum 10 ml
  • Givenchy Phenomen Eye or Mini Le Rouge 1.5 g
  • La Mer New Lifting Eye Serum 3 ml
  • NARS Audacious Mascara mini 3 ml
  • Byredo Mojave Ghost mini 2 ml
  • Maison Martin Margiela mini spray 1.2 ml (assorted options Sunday Morning or Beach Walk)
  • Rene Furterer Hair Care (assorted options)
  • Raw Spirit mini 1 ml (assorted Desert Blush or Summer Rain)
  • Verso Reviving Eye Mask packet
The men's grooming bag (not shown) contains:
  • Ulrich Lang NY Fragrance - Lightscape and Nightscape mix 50 ml
  • Byredo Sunday Cologne 1 ml
  • Rituals for Men Magic Shave cream 70 ml
  • Kieh's Facial Fuel Heavy Lift Moist 7ml DLX
  • La Mer Eye Concentrate
  • Chantecaille Magnolia healing emulsion 8ml
  • Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face cleanser
  • Aesop Mouthwash
  • Harry's 4oz Aftershave Moisturizer
  • 3LAB M Cream 6 ml
  • Tatcha Deep Brightening serum
  • Raw Spirit Assorted: Winter Oak or Citadelle
  • Verso Reviving Eye Mask
  • Illuminum Assorted: Tahitian Yuzu Vaporizor, Vetiver OUD, Bergamot Blossom Vaporizor, Phool, Rajamusk Vaporizor, or Hindi OUD, 1.5 ml each
  • Tizian Terenzi Assorted: White Fire or Ecstasy
  • Sisley Botanical D-Tox 2ml
  • Bellatorra Cellular Renewal Cream 12 ml
  • Marital Vivot Shampoo
I've rounded up ten luxury items in cosmetics and fragrance featuring some brands almost never go on sale. These kinds of events are the best time to splurge on things like Diptyque, Byredo or even on luxury skincare.


Some of my favorites and a few new recent discoveries featured above:
  1. Frederic Malle Carnal Flower ($74 to $380) is one of my most favorite perfumes of all time. There are several different sizes that you can purchase. The travel sprays come individually for most fragrances or in a set of 3. The set or full size bottles are a better buy price per oz wise but if you just want to try one and see how it wears, I think buying the individual ones are the best way to go. It's the best tuberose I've tried.
  2. Le Labo Travel Trios in Santal 33 ($145 for ml) is my latest perfume splurge. I ordered mine last week because I could not wait for the event. Again I decided to go the travel size route (I'm splitting this one with a friend for her to try one). So far I'm obsessed. It has a mix of sandalwood, virginia cedar, cardamom, violet, papyrus, spices, leather, musk and amber.
  3. Byredo La Selection Perfume Set ($145) this is a discovery set that has an assortment of 6 Byredo scents including Bal D'Afrique, Blanche, La Tulip, Black Saffron, Gypsy Water, Oud Immortel, I've had mine since the holiday and love it as a way to explore a number of fragrances without having to splurge on the full size bottle (my favorites are Bal D'Afrique and Black Saffron).
  4. The Laundress Detergent x Le Labo Signature Detergent in Rose ($45, also in Santal) is something I discovered through one of my readers via Instagram, I've since purchased and tried both, I prefer the Rose because I think the scent is stronger and more noticeable. It's a soft sweet rose that I'm obsessed with for washing bed sheets. It's noticeable but still soft enough that it won't keep you awake at night.
  5. Diptyque Baies Mini Candle ($32) is a classic, if you're unsure about buying the full size the travel mini is a good way to ease into the brand.
  6. Byredo Hand Cream in Gypsy Water ($35, also available in Flowerhead, Blanche, La Tulipe and Bal D'Afrique) is as luxurious as hand creams get.
  7. NARS Lip Gloss in Chelsea Girls ($26) is one of my most reached-for peachy nudes these days. I'll repost a swatch of it below for reference.
  8. Lipstick Queen Seven Deadly Sins in Indolence ($24) is a pretty sheer to medium classic rose pink gloss. It has no detectable scent and has a nice natural healthy color to it.
  9. Surratt Beauty Prismatique Lips in Lili Doree ($36) gives the lips the prettiest wash of shimmer, it's a peachy shade that makes for a very youthful luminous glow.
  10. Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders ($38 each) are some of the prettiest powder highlighters I've tried. I think all four shades are winners but I've been reaching for Brilliant the most. 
  11. By Terry Baume de Rose in Coral Stellar and Mauve Moon (not shown above) are two of the latest tinted lip balm launches from By Terry. The colors are to die for gorgeous and if you were looking to shop these but didn't want to splurge, the Barneys gift event might be a good time to buy because you get goodies for splurging.





By Terry Mauve Moon and Coral Stellar swatches reposted:




You can find the Love Yourself gift with purchase online and in stores at Barneys New York now through March 12 while supplies last. I recommend ordering soon if you have your eye on anything. The gift bag should be added to your cart automatically as soon as the contents total $200 in beauty (men's or women's). Are you ordering anything yet for this event? If you do - please let me know! Would love to hear about what you hauled!

This post was created in partnership with Barneys New York. More information in my disclosures but as always all opinions my own.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Spring Fragrance Rotation for Him and Her


When it comes to fragrance, I feel like it takes me forever to pick something new and also forever to use one up. I have a few go-to's but love trying new things and if you're like me you will take a long time to build up a fragrance collection. If you're looking for a new fragrance for spring, here's what I have in rotation right now. I also have some of my husband's favorites if you're looking for gift ideas for any of the special men in your life.


My go-to spring scents are Byredo Black Saffron and Chanel Beige. Even though we have mild somewhat warm weather year round here in Southern California, I still think some fragrances are seasonal. It's finally that time of year when I feel like I can wear the sweeter florals. Most of these last pretty long on my skin, at least until early afternoon. I do have an extremely sensitive nose though, so what smells strong to me might be non-existent to others. Out of the ones below I would say Byredo, Tom Ford and Creed have the longest lasting power on my skin.
  • Byredo Black Saffron is a mix of berry and musk, I've had this one for like forever, it's one of the few berry scents I can wear because it's not too sweet yet not too musky
    • Top notes: pomelo, saffron, juniper berry
    • Middle notes: black violet, accord cuir, cristal rose
    • Base notes: blonde woods, raspberry, vetiver
  • Byredo Bal D'Afrique is something I am beyond obsessed with, I have this in the single mini from the holiday Discovery Set, it's a sweeter scent to me it smells kinda peachy and floral all at the same time, I also have it in the oil rollerball version, if you're debating between the oil or spray, get the traditional spray version, it has better lasting power
    • Top notes: bergamot, lemon, neroli, African marigold, bucchu
    • Middle notes: violet, jasmine petals, cyclamen
    • Base notes: black amber, musk, vetiver, Moroccan cedarwood
  • Tom Ford Soleil Blanc is one of the latest fragrance launches from Tom Ford, it's a clean white floral that has a summery beachy feel, there's a hint of amber in it to prevent it from feeling too powdery or too floral (review here)
  • Chloe Eau de Parfum is one of the most popular fragrances on Sephora's website, it's been on my radar for a long time, it's very soft and girly, for something this strong a floral I'm surprised that I liked it, I decided on the 10th time of trying it in store after spritzing samples on myself to just go ahead and go for it
    • Notes: Pink Peony, Freesia, Lychee, Magnolia Flower, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Cedarwood, Amber, Honey
  • Chanel Beige Exclusifs is one of my all time favorites, it's one of the only Chanel fragrances I've liked enough to splurge on, it's a clean white and warm floral mix that smells very natural and fresh
    • Notes: Hawthorn, freesia, frangipani, honey
  • L'Artisan Mure et Musc is one of the fragrances I've used for the longest period of time, I discovered this line from one of my long-time friends from college, it's a blackberry musk described as having notes of lemon, basil, blackberry and musk, I feel like this one is my no-fail everyday, every season kind of fragrance
  • Maison Martin Margiela Replica Lipstick On is my newest discovery, it's a soft feminine blush floral kind of scent that smells like makeup, it's a floral and has powdery notes, so it surprised me how much I like it because powdery scents typically make me gag, there is a very slight hint of vanilla in it which makes it feel warm and well rounded
    • Notes: Bergamot Oil, Heliotrope Accord, Neroli Oil, Orange Flower Absolute, Iris Concrete, Galbanum Oil, Tonka Bean Absolute, Vanilla Bourbon Extract, Patchouli Oil
  • Maison Martin Margiela Replica Beach Walk in the rollerball is the prettiest relaxing soothing beachy scents I've ever tried, if you've smelled the Henri Bendel Beach Candle, this is similar in fragrance form that's wearable, it smells like a fresh mix of musk and coconut with peppery notes, it's a beachy scent without the floral notes many others have
    • Notes: Bergamot, Pink Pepper, Lemon, Ylang Ylang, Coconut Milk, Heliotrope, Musk, Cedarwood, Benzoin
  • Creed Royal Princess Oud is the most exquisite and most expensive perfume I have ever owned, the Creed team kindly sent me a sample to try - I love Oud fragrances but my husband always says they are too masculine for me (even though I disagree and think they are unisex), this one has a distinct feminine touch to it, this is a lovely mix of violet, iris and sandalwood, lasting power is extremely good, one of the longest lasting fragrances I've ever tried
    • Top notes: bitter Sicilian bergamot, rose, sweet violet
    • Middle notes: jasmine, vanilla, patchouli, iris from Tuscany
    • Base: benzoin from Thailand, Mysore sandalwood, styrax
  • Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb is a classic favorite, this one is my special occasion or date night kind of scent to wear, it's too strong to wear everyday for me, but I know many other women have told me this is their all time favorite, the notes of patchouli are dominant in this one, noticeable floral notes are rose and freesia
    • Notes: Sambac Jasmine, Centifolia Rose, Cattleya Orchid, Ballerina Freesia, Patchouli
My husband is the kind of guy who wants to use 2 colognes at most. I think he smells amazing no matter what he has on so I don't mind if he wears the same scent on a regular basis, but I've been trying to get him to explore more which is where the little mini samples come in. Every time I order something online and they have the option to pick samples I try to find men's skincare or fragrance minis. If he has a mini sitting on his counter, he will try it. He's discovered a few new loves this way. Right now here is what he has in rotation:
  • Hermes fragrances can be found at a wide range of retailers, but at the Hermes Boutiques and online they have a Pocket Fragrance Set where you can customize your own travel set of 4 fragrances. You can mix and match any ones they have available, pricing varies depend on what you select, but it's around the $125ish range, I picked four for him:
    • Voyage d'Hermes Eau de Toilette smells of citrus, musk and leather
    • Voyage d'Hermes Eau de Parfum smells of amber and citrus with a hint of floral, this is more masculine compared to the Eau de Toilette version
    • Terre d'Hermes Eau de Toilette smells like a mix of wood, bitter citrus, spice and vetiver
    • Terre d'Hermes Eau de Parfum is a more masculine, woody, stronger version of the Eau de Toilette
  • Chanel Bleu de Chanel Eau de Toilette is his favorite fragrance of all time, he's gone through at least a dozen of the travel size versions and multiples of the full size bottles, every so often they will have gift sets with aftershave or showergel travel size minis that he likes to try, this one is a clean masculine woody scent
  • Dior Sauvage is a lightweight clean masculine scent, it has notes of citrus mixed in with pepper, in terms of everyday scents, he says this is one of them, but he prefers the Chanel Bleu de Chanel, he wanted me to mention that if the man in your life likes something simple but polished and new from his everyday cologne, the Dior is a good one to try
    • Notes: Reggio Bergamot, Sichuan Pepper, Ambroxan
  • Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb comes in a limited-edition gift set trio for Valentine's Day, this is one of the most peppery fragrances I've smelled for men, I thought it might be too strong or peppery for my husband, but for some reason everything transform into an amazing kind of smell on his skin, this one according to him is more for a date night or special occasion kind of fragrance, not for everyday, you can really smell the saffron, vetiver and pink pepper notes
    • Notes: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Cinnamon Leaf, Pink Pepper, Lavandin, Chilli, Saffron, Elemi, Vetiver, Balsam Fir, Tobacco Accord, White Leather Accord
  • One last men's fragrance of special note, he also really likes Tom Ford Azure Lime which he is currently out of, I will be getting this for him for Valentine's Day, it's a clean fresh masculine scent, for something so clean and simple smelling the notes are really complex
    • Notes: bergamot, lemon, Valencia orange, Thai basil, mint, rosemary, lime tonic accord, juniper berry, fennel, iris, jasmine, neroli, orange blossom, pittosporum, bucchu leaves, violet leaves, black currant buds, cypress, oak, patchouli, sandalwood, moss, skin accord, tonka bean
I always get the best recommendations from my readers of what to try. I'm pretty set on a lot right now, but it's always nice to explore and add things to the fragrance wishlist. If you have anything you love right now please share. Also if there are any new discoveries for you or the men in your life - let me know in the comments!

Press samples include the Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb, Spicebomb, Maison Margiela Lipstick On and Creed Royal Princess Oud.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Byredo La Sélection Parfum Set - Holiday Discovery Collection


For Christmas, I had the Byredo La Sélection Parfum Set ($145) on my wishlist so my husband ordered it for me as a gift this year. I'm one who adores exploring new perfumes and I've had so many from Byredo on my wishlist but it takes me forever to use up an entire bottle and I switch things up frequently so this little set is the perfect way for me to enjoy a lot all at once. This set comes with six fragrances all 12 ml/0.4 fl oz each (made in France). These are the same size vials as the Travel Spray Trios ($110), so I consider the set a value.

There have been other discovery sets launched from Byredo but I don't believe they had spritzers. I adore perfume sets because they allow you to try a lot of different scents over time, but the downside of some is that they don't come with a pump to spritz. I'm one who doesn't like to dab - I find it gets messy. The set comes in a beautiful white box. The presentation is clean, crisp and just stunning in its simplicity.



There are six scents in this set. I've owned Black Saffron and Gypsy Water in the full size bottles before and the Bal D'Afrique in a rollerball version:
  • Blanche is like fresh clean linen floral to me. It's a lightweight white floral that has a slight powdery feel. This one is hit or miss with the fragrance for me, sometimes it feels too powdery. I really like it in the Hand Cream and have been tempted by it in the roll-on oil version. Now that I have the spray it will give me some time to test.
    • Top notes: white rose, pink pepper, aldehyde. Middle notes: violet, neroli, peony. Base notes: blonde woods, sandalwood, musk.
  • La Tulipe is another fresh spring floral. It also has a very clean feel with noticeable freesia notes. It has a similar vibe to Blanche, but La Tulipe is more floral feeling.
    • Top notes: rhubarb, cyclamen, freesia. Middle notes: tulip. Base notes: blonde woods, vetiver.
  • Bal D'Afrique is amazing, it's a sweet mix of musk, violet, amber, cedar and smells like it has a hint of peach. I have this in the roll on oil and have been spritzing this since I got the set. I like this one so much, I indulged in the Body Cream (review soon).
    • Top notes: bergamot, lemon, neroli, African marigold, bucchu. Middle notes: violet, jasmine petals, cyclamen. Base notes: black amber, musk, vetiver, Moroccan cedarwood.
  • Gypsy Water is one I had a few years ago. It's the most amazing mix of sweet vanilla, berries and sandalwood. It gave me a horrible migrane if I didn't spray it just right  - I found I had to spritz it in a very fine mist. I'm going to give it another go - I've since acquired some sample minis from a few visits to the counter and tried them. They seemed to be ok, I'll report back.
    • Top notes: bergamot, lemon, pepper, juniper berries. Middle notes: incense, pine needles, orris. Base notes: amber, vanilla, sandalwood.
  • Black Saffron is one I own in the full size. It's my favorite berry fragrance. Review here.
    • Top notes: pomelo, saffron, juniper berry. Middle notes: black violet, accord cuir, cristal rose. Base notes: blonde woods, raspberry, vetiver.
  • Oud Immortel is the one I thought I tried at the counter and hated. I must have mixed it up with a different one because I just spritzed this one and it reminds me of Tom Ford Oud Wood and Jo Malone Oud and Bergamot, both of which I had and adored as unisex scents. My husband disagreed and said it was too masculine for me and decided to borrow it for himself instead lol. I asked a girl friend for her input and she agreed that they were both too masculine so I decided to acquiesce. I'll have to wear this one more to see whether or not I can pull this one off, but it smells amazing.
    • Top notes: limoncello, incense, cardamom. Middle notes: patchouli, papyrus, Brazilian rosewood. Base notes: tobacco leaves, moss.


For size comparisons and reference, below the 12 ml vial next to the 7.5 ml Roll-On Oil and 50 ml Bottle:


Held in the hand - you can see the bottles give you a decent amount of product for a proper sampling (on the nails Burberry Military Red Nail Polish):


Comparisons to a few other minis:

Byredo Roll-On Oil in Bal D'Afrique
Jo Malone Mini Cologne (from the Cologne Gift Set)


Bottom line, this set = love. I think it's a great sampler set for those new to Byredo or anyone who has been wanting to try a bunch of scents but doesn't want to spend the $145+ on the full size bottles just yet. I still have a long ways to go before finishing my Black Saffron, but after this set is used up I suspect I will be splurging on Bal D'Afrique.

Did you find any good perfume sampler sets this holiday? If so which ones? The Jo Malone Cologne Collection and Cologne Intense Sets are always great each year. I think it was awesome Diptyque launched one this year as well. I'm happy to see more lines offer these sets and hopefully next year more will incorporate the spritzer because I think it makes all the difference.



You can still find the Byredo Discovery Set at a few retailers, I do suspect it is limited-edition for holiday as their sets usually are. Online at Net-A-Porter, Barney's New York and Lucky Scent.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Spring Scent Rotation


Today I have a roundup of some of my favorite spring fragrances for right now. I have a mix of newly released fragrances alongside some classic staples. Purchasing fragrance is something I used to be so intimidated by. I found the options overwhelming and didn't understand notes. When shopping I always used to say, "I prefer something light." These days I'm not as timid in trying fragrances although I do prefer scent that are on the light fresh and floral side, sometimes with a bit of spice or amber mixed in. I think the best way to shop with fragrance is with a friend so they can give you a second opinion on the spot. It's something that can take time - if you're like me your nose can probably only take so many sniffs in one session. I like to browse reviews or new releases online and often make a smell list and take it to the counters with me. What I'm loving right now listed below. 

Diptyque Florabellio Eau de Toilette is a mix of apple blossom, sea salt, fennel, apricot-scented osmanthus mist and a hint of coffee. It's a sweet floral with a very slight musk feel. I like that it's light and refreshing and sweet but not too sweet. The coffee and sea salt give this one a bit of a more complex feel and prevents it from being too floral. Full review here.


Tom Ford Fleur de Portofino Eau de Parfum is the latest from Tom Ford and is new for summer. I have been a huge fan of the Mandarino di Almalfi for a bright citrus. I have a small decant of the first one released Neroli Portofino which is a stronger and deeper version. All three have a very similar vibe. The Mandarino is the brightest and most citrus. Neroli has more musk making it more unisex. The latest Fleur de Portofino has White Acacia Honey in it which gives it a more feminine feel and makes it less citrusy (but the citrus is still noticeable).

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Eau de Toilette is the latest addition to the La Collection de Grasse line. It's described as a velvety iris and has a mix of both blue and white iris. This one is predominantly floral and is very sweet. Lasting power and strength seems to be much stronger than the other fragrances from the line. It's a fragrance that feels like pure spring. It's also available in some cute sets like the Mini Fragrance Set, Iris Bleu and Blanc Duo, and the Iris Bleu and Blanc Collection Set.


Chanel Beige Les Exclusifs de Chanel is my husband's current favorite on me. It took me forever to splurge on a bottle and I can see myself wearing this one for many years to come. It's described as having "Hawthorn, Freesia and Frangipani, with shimmering hints of honey" and I can't think of better words to describe it. It's the perfect floral and honey mix. The honey isn't overpowering so it's not overly powdery or sweet. Full review here.

L'Artisan Mûre Et Musc is my husband's second favorite and one of my top picks in terms of fragrance. I bought this based on the recommendation of one of my long-time friends Laura. She's a fragrance aficionada and my go-to when it comes to fragrance recommendations. It's my most repurchased scent. I always try to buy the smaller 50 ml size even though the 100 ml size is a better buy. This is one of the few sweet blackberry scents I can wear without getting a headache or feeling like I am wearing a fruit smoothie. It has a mix of black berries, red berries and musk. The musk is pretty strong in this one it dries down to a soft feel. If you like blackberry scents you might also want to look into Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay. I prefer the L'Artisan because it's not as sharp or sweet.


Tom Ford Shimmering Body Oil isn't a traditional fragrance but I'm completely in love with this one. I don't typically like shimmer or glitters but this body oil smells so incredible I am doing everything I can to make it work. This sprays a fine mist of tiny glitter particles but it's not overly glitzy. The body oil has a mix of white florals and amber sandalwood which I love in scents. My husband prefers florals on me rather than sandalwood or amber and this is the first scented product I've found that he approves of on me. It smells like summer in a bottle.

Byredo Black Saffron is another fragrance that has been on my wish list for ages. I bought this at Neiman Marcus Fashion Island which has the best Byredo counter I've been to. They are super friendly, patient and don't pressure you to buy anything. I like that they take the time to walk you through the fragrance options. Black Saffron is another berry scent that I can wear. The notes in this one are complex with the top notes: Pomelo, saffron, juniper berr, heart notes: Black violet, accord cuir, cristal rose and base notes: Blond woods, raspberry, vetiver. I have the travel size vials on my wish list.


Do you have a go-to scent this spring? I'd love to hear about your tried-and-true staples or any new discoveries. I'm always looking for recommendations!

The L'Occitane and Diptyque scents were provided as courtesy press samples for review consideration. All others purchased by me.

 

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