Showing posts with label Fragrance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fragrance. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fresh and Light

Right now I'm loving fresh, light and uplifting scents for the home. I always find it interesting how my scent preferences change with the seasons. I usually think I lean towards all-occasion types of fragrances but these days I'm gravitating towards lighter fresher scents. A few favorites right now I find to be unique with good throw:
  • Malin + Goetz Mojito ($52 for 9 oz for 60 hour burn) is a fresh mix of lime, mint, basil and rum. This is my first Malin+Goetz candle and I love how this burns really cleanly, the scent is so unique, I've never smelled anything like it before. Mojito has a fresh unique uplifting scent including top notes of lime, rum, mint leaves, peppery basil, middle notes of spearmint and Chinese mint, base notes of white musk. I highly recommend this one for a clean fresh scent.

  • Diptyque Geranium Rosa ($60 for 6.5 oz, 60 hour burn) is one of the Diptyque scents that is harder to find (for me at least), you can find it all Diptyque stores and more retailers are starting to carry it now. This one is a fresh light green floral with a hint of mint (however I think I'm the only one who detects any mint). Geranium Rosa is one of those scents that is extremely green and very floral, if you prefer scents that aren't quite as green, opt for Roses or Baies which are not quite as sharp. I like this one for the fresh green feel it creates.

  • Byredo Fleur Fantôme ($80 for 10.5 oz, 60 hour burn) is one of the splurgiest candles I've ever purchased, it has a highly complex mix of florals. Top notes: Rhubarb, Lemon Petitgrain Leaves, Middle notes: Violet Leaves, Tulip Extract, Base notes: Galbanum, Heliotrope, Suede. It has a refreshing floral mix and for something so complex, it actually has a simple fresh feel. Fleur Fantome has to be one of the most beautiful smelling candle I've ever burned, it smells like a beautiful garden.

  • Henri Bendel Beach ($15 for 4 oz travel size or $30 for 9.4 oz size) is another unique fresh scent (it's one of my most repurchased candles). Beach is like the ultimate vacation scent and the mix is pure genius. There is nothing like it and it smells exactly like a beach vacation. If you're new to Henri Bendel's line and are looking for a recommendation to try something new, Beach would be my top pick. Notes include warm white sand and earthly driftwood blend with the summery smells of jasmine, white lotus, creamy coconut milk and sweet rosewater. I find Henri Bendel to be among the best candles at a decent price range. They have a diverse range of amazing scents that aren't too overpowering but still have really good throw.

What home fragrances are you loving right now as we transition into warmer spring weather?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tom Ford Oud Wood Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford recently released a series of Oud Fragrances to expand on one of his earlier releases Oud Wood Eau de Parfum. The three scents released in smoky grey-colored packaging include the Oud Wood, Oud Fleur and Tobacco Oud. At the counters I fell in love with the classic Oud Wood. After testing a small sample made at the Tom Ford counter, I went back a week later and purchased the 1.7 oz/50ml version for $210. It's the most I have ever spent on a perfume, but well worth the price given how much I adore the scent and it's lasting power.

Small 4ml samples made at the Tom Ford counter:

I've tried Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille which is a lovely bold and rich vanilla. I had it on my wishlist for over a year but could never bring myself to purchase a full size bottle. Right when I had decided to buy it, I tried the Oud Wood series and Oud Wood blew me away. I still decided to test for at least a few days before committing to a full size. Oud Wood is described as "Exotic Rose Wood and Cardamom, blended with exuberant Chinese Pepper, envelop the wearer in warmth. Eventually, the center exposes a smokey blend of rare Oud Wood, Sandalwood and Vetiver. Finally, the creamy scents of Tonka Bean, Vanilla and Amber are revealed."

It's a strong and bold fragrance without being too overpowering. It does lean more masculine but I still think it's unisex enough for a woman to wear. It has a lovely mix of vanilla, amber and sandalwood. It is a creamy warm scent. The oud in the scent is noticeable but on the softer side when mixed with the Tonka Bean and Vanilla. It wears very well on the skin and like most Tom Ford fragrances I've tried, lasts all day long without fading. I recommend reading the reviews on Fragrantica,, Kafkaesque and Temptalia.

It usually takes me a long time to decide to purchase a fragrance. Even after careful consideration and time, I don't always end up choosing ones that work for me (ie Jo Malone Ginger Biscuit, and I really wanted to love this one). After a month of wearing Tom Ford Oud Wood, I've found my perfect winter fragrance. It's proven to be one of my favorites that I've tried (my other current favorite is Frederic Malle Carnal Flower). Oud Wood is strong enough to last all day long but mellow enough to not be overpowering and make me self conscious while wearing this to work.

I'm still considering Tobacco Vanille as I've read it layers well with Oud Wood. My other favorite by Tom Ford is Santal Blush. For now I'm 100% smitten with Oud Wood. Given the high price tag and number of perfumes I'm still working my way through, I'm going to wait a while before looking into buying another Tom Ford fragrance.

Tom Ford Oud Wood is available at Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Tom Ford Boutiques. The scent is available in a variety of sizes and body products. I bought the Shower Gel for my husband as I found it to be more woody/earthy and more masculine in scent. Oud Wood comes in the following options:
Do you have a Tom Ford favorite? I'd love to hear about your experiences and thoughts!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Diptyque Eau Duelle Solid Perfume

I recently ordered Diptyque Eau Duelle Solid Perfume ($48 for 4.05 g/0.14 oz). It's a very soft earthy vanilla. I had tested this a few months ago at the San Francisco Boutique and South Coast Plaza stores. I found it less intense and not quite as sweet as the Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum versions. Vanillas can be difficult for me to tolerate so I usually have to do sampling on various occasions by spritzing at the counter and wearing the scent for a few hours. My sensitive nose tends to react very strongly to sweet vanilla scents (in a bad way). It took me several months of thinking about Eau Duelle before I decided to buy. By the time I decided to purchase, all the counters and stores near me were sold out. I could only find it online at Neiman Marcus. Although the Diptyque reps have assured me it's only temporarily sold out, a couple readers have told me that the solid version is being discontinued. At this time I'm not sure which is true.

I was lucky to get a few samples of the different versions of Eau Duelle. The liquid sprays are significantly stronger and sweeter in scent. The Eau de Parfum has an almost incense-like smell to it. The Eau de Toilette is lighter and sweeter. I prefer the Solid Perfume by far as it's the softest, however I feel I may be in the minority in my preference. The lasting power is medium. Since I prefer softer vanillas I don't mind that this one fades within a few hours.

I'm still on the hunt for the perfect vanilla fragrance. I love Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille on others. It's a bit too dark for me. Others are too sweet or strong. For now the sweeter round scents I like are Tom Ford's Oud Wood and Jo Malone's Dark Amber and Ginger Lily. Not exactly vanilla-like, but there is a slight vanilla-ish undertone to each one (review on these soon).

I'm happy I purchased Diptyque's Solid Perfume version of Eau Duelle, but I'm still on the hunt for my perfect vanilla scent. If you have one you love I'm all ears for your recommendations.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Diptyque L'Ombre dans l'Eau Solid Perfume

While in San Francisco both my husband and I fell in love with the solid perfumes at the Diptyque Boutique on Maiden Lane. His favorite for me was L'Ombre dans l'Eau while I preferred the Eau Duelle. I spent a few weeks thinking about the scents before deciding on the L'Ombre dans l'Eau ($48 for 3.6 g). This scent is the companion to the Baies candle. It's described as a "mixture of crumpled blackcurrant leaves and rose petals." L'Ombre dans l'Eau is a unisex scent that is fresh and green and floral with a hint of blackcurrant all mixed into one. It's one of those scents I feel is perfect for fall.

The solid perfume comes in a heavy weight oval compact. There is a tiny grey pouch to store it in which protects the packaging. It's beautiful to look at and I love how easy it is to carry with you in your purse or small clutch. The lasting power is medium. It's quite strong when you first apply but fades very slowly throughout the day. Most Diptyque fragrances in the liquid form fade very quickly on me. I find the solid perfumes to last a bit longer on me.


The L'Ombre dans l'Eau Solid Perfume is almost identical to the Eau de Toilette, but there are noticeable differences. They basically dry down to the same scent, however I prefer the Solid Perfume version which is more earthy and natural smelling. The Eau de Toilette is a bit greener and fruitier which is still nice but a bit synthetic smelling. The only other scent I've tried that I can think to compare it to is Jo Malone's Blackberry and Bay which is significantly sweeter with berry notes. Comparing the two side by side, the Jo Malone makes the Diptyque smell slightly musky. They layer quite nicely together although I prefer to wear them separately since I prefer subtle scents.

L'Ombre dans l'Eau Solid Perfume

Overall love. I'm normally not a fan of strong florals but the more scents I explore, the more I find that I like scents that have some kind of floral blended into them. L'Ombre dans l'Eau Solid Perfume is a perfect everyday rose/blackcurrant scent. It's not overpowering so I don't feel self conscious wearing it to work. It's a nice feel-good kind of scent. It's also a huge plus that my husband likes it on me. If you can try in person I highly recommend testing it. I still have my eye on Eau Duelle but will hold off for now.

L'Ombre Dans l'Eau comes in a wide variety of other formulas and options. I absolutely love the convenience and compact size of the Solid Perfume. It also comes in an Eau de Toilette, Eau de Parfum, Roller Ball Oil, Shower Gel, Lotion and Soap. The scent is one of their best sellers.

The Solid Perfume in L'Ombre dans l'Eau retails for $48. You can find it at all Diptyque locations and online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barneys and

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Diptyque Boutique Maiden Lane - San Francisco

Diptyque | Maiden Lane, San Francisco

I took a much-needed mini vacation this month with my husband. We spent a week in San Francisco visiting family and friends. I've been a die-hard Diptyque fan so the Diptyque Store on Maiden Lane was on my list of must-see places. The store featured the new Diptyque Electric Diffuser (quite impressive) which will accomodate a small selection of scents in 34 boulevard st germain, Figuier, Baies, Amber and Feu de Bois. Both my husband and I were seriously tempted.

The Maiden Lane boutique is a small intimate store. It has a warm slightly rustic-library feel with the wood shelves and decor. The store is split into an upper and lower level creating a home-like feel. The combination of all the scents was so incredible. I wished I could take the entire store and transport it into my own home. I learned so much from the Diptyque staff on each of the different categories of scents - they were incredibly friendly and patient with all our questions as we asked about each candle. I've since developed quite a long wish list of items to try in the future. Due to our traveling situation I limited myself to 2 items (since we didn't want to check any luggage) and purchased two of the Boutique Exclusives in Mousses (forest-moss) and Tilleul (linden tree). If you have a chance to visit one of the boutiques I highly recommend it. The store Diptyque reps are incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. The stores themselves are decorated so beautifully - I felt inspired to up the game in our own house decoration-wise with subtle candle accents.

Mini 2.4 oz candles shown below all lined up ($28 each):

Boutique accessories (photophores are store exclusives):

My picks Mousses  and Tilleul

Have you been to a Diptyque Boutique? I normally purchase my candles from Nordstrom or Barneys but fell completely in love with the Diptyque store. What are your favorite Diptyque items?

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower and En Passant

I've discovered a number of wonderful fragrance lines at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills. Each trip I've only been able to sample a few since the nose can only take so much and there is only so much arm space before the spritzes start to blend/mix altering the true scent. I've been eyeing Carnal Flower by Dominique Ropion for some time but hesitated due to the heavy floral notes and steep price tag. I don't consider myself a tuberose-loving kind of person, yet I'm strangely drawn to L'Artisan's Nuit de Tubéreuse. A week ago I had on my wishlist to purchase one fragrance from Frédéric Malle: Carnal Flower, En Passant or L'eau d'Hiver. I had my sister and the sales associate help me choose. The final vote went to Carnal Flower in the 10 ml trio ($155 for the set) so I could split it with my sister. Little did I know that while I was distracted browsing the other goodies at Barneys, my sister (in stealth mode) made her way back to the counter to purchase the En Passant by Olivia Giacobetti trio for me. I didn't realize until late in the evening after I was home that she had slipped in a little wrapped black Barneys box with a sweet note. I am truly blessed to have such a sweet and thoughtful sister. (Thank you CL!)

The perfumes by Frédéric Malle typically come in two different sizes for the bottles, 50 ml and 100 ml. Prices per fragrance have a diverse range due to ingredients (so I'm told). Carnal Flower unfortunately is one of the priciest at $230 for a 50 ml bottle. Fortunately they also carry these in trios of small 10 ml vials. I find these perfect for me since I have a finicky nose that tires easily of fragrances. Here you can see the size of the 10 ml vials. (On the nails is Chanel Pirate Le Vernis.)

Carnal Flower is strong floral primarily tuberose. There are varying descriptions online of the notes, but what I can smell includes hints of white musk, coconut, jasmine and orange blossom. I agree with Scent Hive that this is a fragrance that will either have you swooning or nauseated. I personally was not fond of the scent upon first impact but fell in love with the drydown. On my skin I found it turned slightly to give a luscious floral that is slightly creamy, most likely due to the notes of coconut and musk. The Non-Blonde described it perfectly as a luscious floral that is well balanced without being too floral. On me the scent gets better as it wears and fades, although the lasting power is excellent and doesn't fade too much like many other scents. I think it's a lovely scent, on the stronger side for me, but not too strong that it is overwhelming. One single spray is sufficient for me for all-day wear. I love that it has depth and is complex, but still fresh and soothing.

En Passant is one of the lighter scents by Frédéric Malle. It has been recommended to me on numerous occasions by virtually every fragrance specialist I've worked with at Barneys once I tell them that I adore L'Artisan's L'Été en Douce. The price points for this one is easier to justify ($95 for the 10 ml trio, the 50 ml and 100 ml versions are also lower in price point compared to Carnal Flower). This is a green scent, less complex, more straight or linear (as described by the ladies at the Barneys counter) with blend of cucumber, lilac and wheat. It's simple, fresh, elegant. The initial spritz feels more floral (noticeable lilac) but dries down to a more green scent that isn't quite as floral on me. The wheat becomes apparent in the drydown and helps balance out the floral notes. The lasting power of En Passant isn't quite as good as Carnal Flower, but still decent. There is a softness that makes this a well rounded comforting scent. I adore it.

The travel sizes are sturdy in the packaging but still rather delicate. Definitely too delicate to carry around in a makeup bag or purse. Due to the strong lasting power, I don't really need to carry these with me in my purse to freshen up. I almost never carry fragrances with me (except for the rare occasion I have a small sample) because I worry about breakage or spilling in my purses. However, I have found that the Trish McEvoy Delicate Beauty Voyager set (reviewed here) I bought houses 2 Chanel lipsticks and 1 vial of Frédéric Malle perfectly if the double-decker card is removed.

Bottom line: I'm in love. Have you tried Frédéric Malle? What are your favorites? I'm all ears for recommendations! The sales associate kindly gave me sample cards of L'eau d'Hiver and Lipstick Rose which I'm dying to dive into.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bond No. 9 Central Park West Eau de Parfum

The latest from Bond No. 9 is the 7th city-inspired fragrance called Central Park West. The actual packaging of the bottle is exquisite with the houndstooth checkerboard pattern and large pink flower (the vial shown is a lab sample sent for review). The description of this scent indicated this would be a highly complex floral. I was surprised to find that it's more of a pure clean scented floral. Since this is in the Eau de Parfum formula, the fragrance is quite intense. A single spritz provides a highly-concentrated floral mix of gardenia and jasmine. As Central Park West dries down, it becomes slightly less floral/green, but still remains a pure floral throughout the life of its wear (which I found lasted all day from early morning to late evening).
  • Top notes include narcissus, ylang ylang, black pepper
  • Middle notes are gardenia, jasmine, citrus-like linden, orris
  • Base notes are vetiver, must, white oak and treemoss

Central Park West is perfectly suited for spring, but I have other fragrances that I prefer. I found this one a bit too mature for my taste, but I do like it more than the fragrances that were recently released Jo Malone London Bloom Collection. If you're looking for a new spring floral scent to wear, this is definitely one to check out. Although I found it too mature, it's light enough to not be too heavy, but I still prefer scents that are on the lighter side.  I do envision myself wearing the sample down to the last drop, however, right now I'm just not quite smitten enough to justify a full bottle. Currently my favorite Bond Fragrances are the ones my husband wears (Chez Bond, Copper Square, New York Amber). I'm also quite fond of Chinatown as well (for me) and occasionally West Side (I have these in the mini bon-bon sprays).

Central Park West is currently available at Bond No. 9 New York Stores, Saks, Nordstrom and and available in a 100 ml ($250), 50 ml ($180), body silk ($130), candle ($110) and shower gel ($75). You can visit for more details.

Have you tried Central Park West? What did you think? Do you have any other favorites from Bond No. 9?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Le Labo Fragrance Samples

My newest discovery: fragrance samples for purchase, direct from Le Labo online, samples are $5 each for 1.5 ml (0.05 fl oz). I really like their economical creative packaging. Each vial comes packed in a cardboard sleeve/tube with a lab sticker. Even better is the fact that each vial comes with a spritzer for easy application. I love that shipping was included in the price (or rather that I was not charged extra).

More fragrance lines and stores should offer samples for purchase or even a sampler set like this (like Bond No.9 and Lucky Scent). Fragrance testing takes quite a bit of time for me so samples are an economical way to try something to decide if I want to splurge on a full-sized bottle. I have yet to test all these for an extended period of time. I sprayed each on a little card to sniff. My first impressions are these are very green and earthy. These are all very different from what I'm used to. I'm not sure whether or not these types of scents will grow on me. I doubt I will be purchasing a full size anytime soon as I just splurged on L'Artisan yet again for the Barneys Beauty Event. Still these vials are a nice way for me to take my time and play for an extended period of time. Even if I end up not loving any of these, I think it's time saved from driving over 2 hours to the nearest Le Labo location or money saved from buying a full bottle that I don't absolutely love 100%.

I'm new to Le Labo but I've read all sorts of good things. I've been most drawn to Neroli 36 so far, it's a beautiful and simple, fresh and uplifting - it smells beachy to me. The initial smell is a bit off, but I like the dry down. The others seem a bit raw to my nose. Santal 33 smells intriguing but I much prefer Tom Ford's Santal Blush instead.

Of course while researching this line, I'm most intrigued by some of the city exclusives. I missed out on their online availability offerings last November. Hopefully Le Labo will make them available for sale again this year sometime as it will not be possible for me to travel to each city to smell each scent.

Have you tried Le Labo? Loves? I feel that I'm still more drawn to L'Artisan and Jo Malone for now but I am excited to try these in the next few weeks or so.

All photos by me.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Fragrance Collection To Date

Photographed in one post by request: my fragrance collection. All 15 fragrances I own (minus one from Tocca which I gifted away and not including the little tiny samples I have accumulated). Where reviews are applicable I will link them. All photos were taken with my iPhone 4S Hipstamatic App.

Row 1:
Jo Malone Sakura Cherry Blossom

Row 2:

Row 3:

Row 4:

Row 5:

I rotate my fragrances more frequently than I rotate my foundations. My nose is fickle and tires quickly of the same scent when I wear them. I'll alternate depending on mood. The longest I've worn a single fragrance is 4 days in a row (Jo Malone Wild Bluebell which I consider magical b/c I use it quite liberally and have barely made a dent in usage). I find the Jo Malone fragrances to be the most simple/pure which allows for easy layering. Out of all of these, my Jo Malone Tea Fragrances are my most worn. Have I used up any yet? No ... but I'm more than 1/2 way finished with some of my limited edition Jo Malone tea fragrances.

What fragrances do you own? Or have owned/used up? I feel like my fragrance collection grew overnight and I completely blame my friend LJ along with other fragrance bloggers. Can I count some of my Jo Malones as 1/2 a fragrance because of the size? I know my L'Artisan Holiday Trio is getting used up very fast (each are in the miniature sizes which I will count as 1/3 of a full-sized one). I almost always purchase the smaller option for fragrances even though the larger sizes are often a much better buy. I'm curious to know how many fragrances do you own?

Friday, February 3, 2012

L'Artisan L'Été en Douce Eau de Toilette

Continuing my Barneys obsessions with my newest fragrance discovery is a feature on L'Artisan L'Été en Douce Eau de Toilette ($100 for 50 ml/1.7 fl oz). L'Artisan says that L'Été en Douce is "all about purity and light" and I couldn't agree more. After having fallen in love with the holiday trio (featured here), I was determined to pick up something full-sized from L'Artisan at Barneys. This particular trip was my first experience with the L'Artisan line and I couldn't have been more pleased with the experience. High-end department stores can sometimes be extremely intimidating and a hit or miss, so I didn't really know what to expect. I had my fragrance-expert friend with me to help, but luckily we were both assisted by a wonderful specialist named Lily.

I'm still new to fragrance shopping but I'm slowly but surely venturing into more brands. When asked "what do you like?" I still am not exactly sure how to answer. I feel as though it's more of a "I know it when I smell it" kind of thing. Lily started by asking what other scents we liked and disliked and after a few minutes of questioning was able to pick out some amazing choices. I thought it was incredible that she knew exactly what to select for each of us. I personally narrowed it down to Vert Violette, Navegar (even though it's for men), Thé Pour un Été, and L'Été en Douce.

Both my friend and I each left with the 50ml version of L'Été en Douce. (Twinsies!) It's the perfect skin-perfume that is gentle, soft and subdued. It is clean and refreshing with a slight mixture of floral and green. The notes include orange blossom water, green hay and white muscs. Lasting power is decent on me, I've read some reviews that say this one disappears on impact, but I tend to prefer scents that fade nicely. It's soft and very subtle, perhaps too gentle for some, but perfect for me. I can wear it to the office or anywhere without feeling self conscious. My only regret - that I didn't purchase the 100ml size instead.

My fragrance collection has been growing! Those wanting to know all the fragrances I own can simply click on the Fragrance Tag below this post. I've reviewed all the ones I have that aren't minis/samples. I plan on doing a comprehensive fragrance summary soon. Many thanks to those who offered wonderful L'artisan recommendations to me a few months ago. If anyone else has more, I'm all ears!

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