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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Bright + Fresh Fragrance Favorites for the Spring to Summer Transition


I have another fragrance roundup of a few new perfumes I've been trying out combined with a repeat of a few favorites I've been loving right now. I have summer on my mind but it's still spring so I don't feel quite ready to wear full-on summer scents yet. I did my first round up earlier this year here (for him and her). Here are a few more to check out if you're in the market for something new as we transition from the spring to summer season.

Up first are two from Diptyque. The Eau de Sens is the latest fragrance release from Diptyque (my favorites from the brand rounded up here). It's one of the few orange blossom scents I feel I can wear. The combination of orange and floral is usually too powdery for me to wear although I do love orange-based fragrances. Many are great as a home fragrance whether it's a spray or candle but I simply cannot wear a lot of them. Eau de Sens is the first one I've fallen in love with - it's bright and lifts the mood.

Florabellio isn't a new fragrance, but it was recently launched in a Travel Size 30 ml size as part of the Voyage Collection and is cute beyond words. There are select items available in the collection, a few perfumes include Philosykos, Do Son, L'Ombre Dans L'Eau and Tam Dao. There are a few small size candles available in the special print boxes (jars are still clear glass) and a few minis of the body products. As of right now the entire collection is limited-edition and at most Diptyque retailers if you purchase any 3 items from the travel line you can get a complimentary travel zip pouch. More on the travel collection in a separate post but Florabellio is the most unique sweet floral with apple that I've ever tried. I would have never thought to wear something with apple blossoms, apricot, fennel, sea salt, coffee and toasted sesame - but it's really quite nice, especially for spring.

In general Diptyque fragrances have a medium lasting power. I have a very sensitive nose and can usually detect remnants of the scent many hours later even though often times others around me cannot. The scents do start to fade by hour 4-5 of wear.
 

Lumira Paradisium is also another one I adore. This is the perfect spring to summer kind of scent that makes me feel very much put together. It has bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, fig nectar, guava, vetiver, sea moss and cedarwood. It's a fig scent I can actually wear. I love fig scents for the home but whenever I try it in perfume form I feel like I'm wearing a sweet dessert. The bergamot, vetiver and cedarwood give this a slightly raw feel that balances out the sweetness. I've been wearing this one for a couples years now and I hope it's here to stay forever. In terms of lasting power this is one of the best and longest lasting. It's up there with Tom Ford and Frederic Malle.


Maison Margiela Replica scents are simply incredible. I first tried Beach Walk in a rollerball and it's definitely one of those perfect summertime scents. Lipstick On is a classic feminine blush kind of scent that smells like vintage makeup. If you don't really care for the makeup-like vibe Lipstick On has but do like the level of intensity/feminine quality it has, you might want to check out Flower Market or Promenade in the Garden. Both florals that are very wearable.

Flower Market smells just like a flower market. It's a soft bright floral that has freesia, sambac jasmine, Egyptian jasmine, tuberose, rose, peach, cedarwood and oak moss. To me it smells primarily of jasmine and with a hint of tuberose and moss.

Promenade in the Gardens is more green and less floral. It has a mix of green accord, freesia accord, coriander oil, turkish rose oil, peony accord, sambac jasmine, patchouli, vetiver and Australian sandalwood. It's clearly feminine to me, but it's not girly like Flower Market or Lipstick On if that makes sense.

The Replica scents are medium to long lasting on my skin. They're strong enough to notice hours after but aren't overpowering when you first spray them which is nice.


 Beautiful floral arrangement created by Hessney & Co @chrishessney


If you like to layer bright spring florals with shower gels and body lotions, Molton Brown is always a good idea :) The Dewy Lily of the Valley Star Anise Collection has everything covered including Hand Creams. If you're one is really particular about florals and wants something that isn't too strong, too powdery or too mature, this one is a good one. Notes are as follows:

Top notes: star anise, magnolia, green mandarin
Heart notes: lily of the valley, peony, white tea
Base notes: ylang-ylang, sandalwood and white musk

To me it resembles a more green + lily version of Diptyque Florabellio so it's no surprise this is one I like as well. I can smell the white tea and green mandarin and lily of the valley. It has a refreshing bright feel like jasmine even though there aren't any jasmine notes. If I had to describe this one in one word it would be fresh. You can buy items individually but they have a few sets that are beautifully packaged. The Fragrance Gift Set has the shower gel, body lotion and perfume at a value price. Lasting power of the Eau de Toilette is medium to long.

Last but not least is the Tom Ford Soleil Blanc which I know many would designate as a summer fragrance. It's a white floral that has beachy summer vibes but it's not so summery that I can't wear it right now (I've actually bought this months ago and have been loving it). In my experience Tom Ford fragrances are among the ones that last the longest on me from morning until late evening - but it does vary a little bit per scent. Some are stronger than others, but even the lighter ones still last a long time.


If you're looking for a new fragrance I hope you found this roundup helpful! I don't know if many of you are like me - but I feel the need to rotate scents frequently. I have some close friends who stick to 2-3 signature scents each season. I like to play around with different ones each season.

Do you have any favorites in rotation right now? If yes please let me know! I always love to read about your loves - especially when it comes to fragrance, layering etc.

Press samples featured include the Lumira Pardisium, Diptyque Eau de Sens, Replica and Molton Brown. Other items purchased by me.

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Beauty Look Book Diptyque Favorites


I've been a long-time Diptyque lover and many of you have seen that their candles and fragrances are a huge part of my everyday life. This post has been highly requested as many of you ask me for recommendations on a regular basis. I think fragrance shopping can be overwhelming if you're new to the line or don't have in person access to smell their products. When I first discovered Diptyque it was hard to find - only a few stores carried it and they were at least a 2 hour drive away from where I lived. Sometimes it took me several trips that happened over a few months before I could decide to splurge on one. You know the drill - sometimes you have to smell something and think about it before deciding whether or not to buy a scent whether it's perfume or for the home. In the past 5 years they've expanded their offerings to more retailers which I'm thrilled about and have also opened up quite a few new free standing boutiques. I thought it was time I did a roundup of my favorites and a mini guide on the brand in case you're new to the line and want some ideas of where to start exploring.

For me fragrance is seasonal and home scents are no exception. I've tried to include non-seasonal launches that will work for right now (spring to summer). Diptyque occasionally launches limited-edition seasonal options typically in the spring with a rose-theme (the latest one was Rosaviola) and also options during the holiday.

In terms of home fragrance brands in general, my favorite lines of the moment include Diptyque, Henri Bendel and Byredo. I do enjoy items from Malin + Goetz, Cire Trudon, Le Labo and Jo Malone as well - but my most-burned candles are hands down from Diptyque. Fragrance preference is so personal and for me Diptyque remains at the top of my list for adding a special touch to the home. I find the scents to be beautiful and love how well designed the packaging is. I love the way they burn and how the scents can lift one's mood. I truly think they are worth the splurge.

Standard Candles and Size Options
Up first is a breakdown of the standard scent options and sizes. Shown below from left to right are the standard options you can buy individually.

Colored Glass Candles $90 for 10.2 oz
Estimated Burn Time 90 hours
Available in Baies, Figuier, Tubereuse, Ambre, Feu de Bois

Standard Glass Jars $62 for 6.5 oz 
Estimated Burn Time 60 hours
Available in the widest range of scents in the line

Large Scented Outdoor Candles $290 for 51.2 oz
(shown repurposed as a flower pot)
Estimated Burn Time 190 hours
Available in Baies, Figuier, Tubereuse, Feu de Bois

Mini $32 for 3.2 oz
Estimated Burn Time 20 hours
Available in a smaller selection of 15 scents



Standard scents are split into categories like Fruity, Woody, Spicy, Herbal, and Floral. Most of the scents can be easily found at a wide range of retailers. You can also find the Collection 34 options at most retailers too. These come in a slightly different jar that is a matte porcelain jar currently available in 3 options (all shown in this post here, also priced slightly higher than the standard options).

For the standard options my top four picks include:
  • La Prouveresse (from Collection 34) - pulls on the masculine side with notes of fig, cypress and cedarwood with an earthy and raw feel
  • Feuille de Lavande - strong lavender with an earthy feel
  • Baies (black colored version c/o) - mix of blackcurrant and rose
  • Figuier - the best warm fig I've ever tried



Boutique Exclusives are scents that are exclusive to Diptyque stores and their website. In my experience their website frequently goes out of stock on a number of these options but they do restock frequently. Stores tend to have more stock compared to their website and although I find ordering online is what I prefer, their boutique have excellent customer service. My top picks on the boutique exclusives include:
  • Cuir - leather and birch bark with a very clean feel
  • Aubepine - hawthorn, powdery floral that has an almond feel
  • Tilleul - sweet linden scent with a hint of lime, floral fresh and green
  • Tomas Maier Palm Beach - mix of citrus and floral, with noticeable hints of jasmine, iris and sea salt with a green touch
Also shown below is a pair of the Wick Trimmers which I've found invaluable in trimming and catching burnt wicks. They can be found at all Diptyque retailers.



Photophores are decorative accessories and come in several options. For the most part these are exclusive to the boutiques. Here's a quick snapshot I took of the glass options lined up in Printemps when I visited Paris last year. They are on the pricey side but they make beautiful decorative accents for the home. In recent holiday seasons they've started offering the Large Photophore + Baies or Large Photophore + Feu de Bois as a set (one with straight lines) at multiple retailers.

If you're curious on which ones I own, I have the Large Full Twist (shown here), Small Full Twist (shown here) and Oiseaux Photophore (shown here).



Perfumes from the line are tricky for me. I adore the way many of them smell but there's something with my body chemistry that doesn't work the best with Diptyque perfumes. Others work well as a home fragrance like fig or vanilla but aren't scents I feel comfortable wearing. Three that I really love:
  • L'Ombre Dans L'Eau is the Baies equivalent in perfume form. It's a heavier blackcurrant kind of scent that I think is perfect for special occasions. For me it's not one I can wear everyday although my husband really likes it on me. (I have this one in a couple of the mini vials.)
  • Eau de Sens (c/o) is the newest fragrance from Diptyque. It's the best orange blossom I've found that works with my chemistry. Most turn too sweet or have a bitter dry down, this is just perfect as an in between kind of scent. It has orange blossom, bitter orange, juniper berries, angelica and patchouli.
  • Florabellio (c/o) was last spring's launch and to this day it's one of the most unique scents I own. It's description makes me think it would be the last scent I would ever wear as it has a mix of apple blossoms, apricot, fennel, sea salt, coffee and toasted sesame. It's sweet and summery.


Room Sprays - I just did a post on the two new ones Gingembre and Fleur D'Oranger (c/o) here so I won't repeat the review. Figuier and Baies reviewed here. I think they are all really good so I can't pick a favorite but I would say right now it's a tie between Baies and Gingembre. Thoughts on the difference between the candles and room sprays in both review posts linked above. (Note the lavender one isn't available in the US.)



Frequently asked questions:
  • Where is the best place to buy Diptyque? 
    •  You can find these at a wide range of retailers. My preference is to shop in the free-standing stores/boutiques because they have the best customer service in my experience and also have the widest selection. Since I don't have one near me though I also order online from Nordstrom and Space NK.
  • Do these ever go on sale?
    • I've never seen them go on sale, although they do offer occasional gift with purchase minis, these are unfortunately hard to find. Check Nordstrom during their Double or Triple Points Events, Neiman Marcus during their Incircle or Beauty Weeks, individual free standing stores often have promotions too.
  • I'm going to be buying my first Diptyque candle? Which one should I start with?
    • Oooh, tough one! I would say that it really depends on what kinds of scents you like but the three I've gifted the most frequently include Baies, Figuier and Roses - I don't think you could go wrong with any of these. You might want to consider the Mini Candle Trio to start. Some retailers still have the 10 Piece Holiday Candle set from the holiday season too.
  • How long does a candle last?
    • For me a standard candle can lasts months - I don't know why but it takes me forever to finish burning a candle! Notes on burn time near the top of the post next to each sizing. I haven't actually timed the burn time from start to finish though.
  • Are there any tips on how to care for candles?
    • Yes, lots of tips in my Candle Care Tips post - be sure to trim the wicks after each burn, also note the timing of the first burn is important to make sure you avoid tunneling.
  • The sides of my candle start burning and turn black with the residual burn, is this normal?
    • Sometimes wicks can migrate so you need to push them back to the center if they start to move. Be sure you trim the wicks before you burn - having long wicks can make them smoke and burn the sides.
  • Is the wick trimmer worth the price?
    • Yes I do think it is. You can use regular scissors or nail clippers or anything sharp to cut the wick too - but it is nice to have a dedicated tool so the wick doesn't smudge other things you have. The beveled tip also makes it nice to catch the trimmed portion.
  • Is there a difference between shopping at a retailer like Nordstrom or Space NK vs shopping at the individual stores?
    • Yes - individual stores have exclusives, offer beautiful gift wrapping and often have promotions that larger retailers don't. In my experience the staff at Diptyque stores are very knowledgeable, friendly and I've never felt pressure to buy. I've done a few stories on boutiques including South Coast Plaza (Costa Mesa), Maiden Lane (San Francisco), Larchmont (Los Angeles), 34 Boulevard Saint Germain (Paris).
  • What about their body products? Any thoughts on those?
  • Best way to clean out residual wax once the burn is finished? 
    • There are a number of different ways to remove remaining wax. I have a tutorial in my Diptyque Candle Jars Recycled post. My favorite way is to use warm water and dish soap in repeated steps to soften the wax and help clean the edges. Although others recommend freezing or boiling, I wouldn't recommend those methods which I find can make the glass prone to cracking or can damage the sticker labels.
  • What do you do with all the empties?
    • I recycle or repurpose most of them! You can use them to store pens, makeup brushes, beauty minis, roller-ball perfumes, q-tips, etc.

I hope you found this round up guide on Diptyque helpful! I've been a fan for years and still haven't tried every scent they have. For me everytime I visit a boutique I learn something new. I've tried a lot more than I've featured in the recommendations above but as a starting point I wanted to share the ones that were my absolute favorites. I get asked on a weekly basis what my top picks are and I think there is so much to explore and preferences depend on the season, but if I were to narrow down my top five favorites right now, they would include Baies, Figuier, Cuir, Gingembre Room Spray and Tomas Maier Palm Beach.

You can find Diptyque at a wide range of retailers these days. I'm always thrilled when I find they've expanded their distribution because it makes it easier for me to find. Available at Nordstrom, Space NK (special TBLB promo code valid through May 1st), Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Net-A-Porter and Diptyque.

Some items featured include press samples indicated with "c/o."
Most items featured purchased by me.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Diptyque Room Sprays Fleur D'Oranger and Gingembre


Diptyque launched two new room sprays for spring called Fleur D'Oranger and Gingembre ($65 each for 150 ml / 5 fl oz). Both are fresh and bright home scents with a citrus feel. I've been a fan of several others from Diptyque including Baies and Figuier because they are great room refreshers and also make for nice mood lifters for the home.




Fleur D'Oranger is a honey orange blossom scent with a citrus floral smell. I can clearly detect the orange notes but there is a strong floral feel to it. I asked my husband what he thought this one smelled like and all he could smell was "floral." When I told him it was orange and honey he had to take a minute to recognize the citrus notes. Overall Fleur D'Oranger has a very strong feel to it - it only takes a few sprays to fill the entire room - but this of course will depend on the size of the room you are trying to refresh. As mentioned in previous reviews on the Diptyque room sprays, the scent lingers for several hours but will fade slowly. The scents won't linger as long as the candles do, but the scent power of the sprays is more concentrated and stronger than the candles which I feel is what makes them last in a room for a while. Sometimes I like to spray it on our sofa cushions so I'm literally sitting in a beautiful bright-feeling fragrance.


Above: Love, Style Life book, Smythson Notebook, Gucci Sunglasses (discontinued, similar here and here), Truffle Clarity Clutch Mini in White (c/o), Surratt Prismatique Lips (swatched here)

The other scent Gingembre is a bright ginger scent with strong citrus notes. When I first spray it, Gingembre smells like a straight citrus orange scent, but after it sets for a little ginger notes become more visible for a very pure and fresh scent. It makes me feel alive and awake. Out of the two, I would say it would be very hard for me to pick a favorite - but I have a slight preference for the Gingembre.


A quick look at our little collection of Diptyque Room Sprays. They last quite a long time each. At this time we've used up one bottle each of the Baies and Figuier and repurchased both. My husband likes these because they refresh a room faster than waiting for a candle to burn and fill up the room with scent. I've been trying to ration the Feuille de Lavande because it's one you can't buy in the US (we bought ours in Paris last summer and I wish I had brought home more of the scents available in Europe) it's the most amazing relaxing home fragrance I've tried.


Bottom line both are beautiful home scents for spring. I hope they consider making Gingembre into a candle form. As with most Diptyque products these come with a steep price tag. Taking the first step to splurge is the hardest (it was for me) but once I tried one I fell in love. I know many friends who have also felt the same way and we've never regretted any Diptyque purchases.


You can find the new Diptyque room sprays at Diptyque stores and online. They are also available at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York. These just launched so I suspect more retailers will stock these soon. Have you tried any Diptyque room sprays? Which ones are your favorites? If not do you have any favorite home fragrance room sprays?

Fleur D'Oranger and Gingembre provided as courtesy press samples for review. All others from my personal collection and purchased by me.


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.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Details and Loves


Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you've been having a great weekend. The sun finally came back here in Southern California and we have weather in the 70s - I can't tell you how much of a mood lifter this warm weekend has been. I've been on a fragrance kick lately, I'll have a roundup of what I have in rotation soon on the blog. I just picked up my first Maison Martin Margiela in Replica Beach Walk (the rollerball mini) which is the most amazing beachy mix. It has bergamot, coconut milk, lemon, pink pepper, and musk ... I think it's only a matter of time before I pick up the full size spray. Right now I've been loving the Chloé Eau de Parfum for a soft femine scent (shown above). I have Love Story on my wishlist but it seems to have a very similar feel to the regular Chloé - if you've tried any of the Chloe perfumes please let me know what your favorite is!

Other details today include the Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara Waterproof in Noir (a go-to these days), NARS Blush Duo in Hot Sand + Orgasm (reviewed here) and NARS Babydoll Lip Gloss (such a pretty pink shimmer, lip swatch here). I just started playing with the new Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes last week and am beyond thrilled they've re-launched Platinum. It's one of the best all over lid shades that makes a great easy wash for lazy days. It also makes for a great base for powder shadows. Today I'm testing three layered together. Shown above from top to bottom is Platinum, Opale and Caviar. I have taken photographs of all the shades + swatches, I just need to edit them for a post very soon.

Last but not least, I wanted to do a comparison between two makeup bags. I splurged on the Louis Vuitton Epi Cosmetic Case in Dune last month. The nude pink color is just so pretty and it had been on my wishlist for a long time. I really like the durability and classic look of the Epi line and after thinking about this one for months decided to go for it. A few weeks ago I featured the Tory Burch York Cosmetic Case in my Valentine's Day Gift Guide round up post as a less expensive alternative (it's still on the pricey side, but more affordable). I purchased one in Light Oak which is a nude pink color. It's made of Saffiano textured leather and very sturdy. (More colors here.) If you're looking to treat yourself, a friend or a loved one on a pretty cosmetic case, I think either of these are great.


Here's a side by side comparison. The one from Tory Burch is slightly smaller in size compared to the one from Louis Vuitton, but the overall shape and function is the same.

Tory Burch Small York Case measures 6"W x 4"H x 2 ½"D
Louis Vuitton Epi Cosmetic Case measures 6.7" x 4.7" x 2.4" inches



I hope you are enjoying the last bits of your weekend! If you have any new beauty discoveries, or found some items in your stash that you have rediscovered, I've love to hear about what you are loving right now! P.S. if you're a fan of the Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipsticks note they are being discontinued so if you have any favorite shades you might want to stock up. On February 12th they will be launching a new lipstick formula (30+ shades) - I can't to share more details with you.



Some press samples featured above include NARS Babydoll Lip Gloss, Tom Ford Platinum and Opale Cream Shadows.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Diptyque x Olympia Le-Tan Rosaviola Candle


This spring Diptyque and French fashion designed Olympia Le-Tan have partnered to launch a special limited-edition candle for Valentine's Day called Rosaviola ($35-$67). Each spring I look forward to the new rose-themed candles for the fun packaging designs and this year's is the best one yet. Everything about this launch is beautiful, feminine and romantic from the pink boxes, pink glass jar, canvas print sticker label, fun illustrations to the Diptyque emojis. There are the cutest little match cases that have a magnetic enclosure - inside the matches are covered with the Diptyque x Olympia Le-Tan prints. I found mine at the boutique at South Coast Plaza, check your local boutique to see if they still have any left.

There are several items in the Valentine's Day collection, several of the items have already sold out at a few places. I had to search quite a few retailers to find the mini candle - I think this is the first year they have offered the limited-edition rose as a small version.
In addition, there are some Eau Rose items that have been repromoted but come with the Olympia Le-Tan packaging. I picked up multiples of the candles in both sizes. It smells of sweet roses and violets with really good throw. It's a girly scent that I've been absolutely smitten with. It's not too girly that it bothers my husband, but I don't think he would choose to burn it in his office (he likes Mousses and Cuir).


The packaging this year is a frosted baby pink glass jar with an embroidered canvas label that has the letters of Rosaviola embroidered in shades of pink, red and purple. There's also a little canvas lip-shaped print on the candle itself. The canvas appears to be solid and the adhesive is pretty strong. That being said, if you recycle the candles and rinse the remnants of wax out with warm water and soap, you will need to be careful not to get the canvas wet to keep it pristine.

A look at the box - I die for the prints inside!


Inside the boutiques the Olympia Le-Tan prints covered the windows with the cutest stickers:



A look at the regular standard size versus the mini. The mini ones have sold out everywhere I looked in store, but you might be able to track one down. It appears to have sold out online everywhere except Space NK. I would say hands down if you're debating which size to purchase, get the standard regular size. The mini is cute and nice to have, but in this case I think you will fall in love with the scent and the larger size will last longer (burn time is listed as approximately 60 hours while the small one is 20 hours, I haven't actually timed the burn time on any candle though).


A look at the past few years of spring launches from Diptyque, I'm still crying over the fact that I missed out on Rose Duet years ago. Rosamundi was launched a few times, shown below is the 2014 launch. Last year's version for 2015 was Rosafolia. This year the spring 2016 version is Rosaviola.


Bottom line, the collection is well worth a look. I can't get over how incredibly cute the packaging is. I wish Diptyque sold the matches as I would haven't hesitated to purchase them to give out as gifts for my girl friends this Valentine's Day.


It's nothing but pure love for this one. I know Diptyque candles come with a hefty price tag, but in my experience they are worth every penny. This one is an absolute must whether it's to gift to a loved one or to treat yourself. You can recycle the jars after they finish burning for a wide variety of uses (brush holders, pen holders, flower vases etc.).

Bottom line love and I don't think you should miss this one.

You can find the Diptyque Rosaviola candle at all Diptyque retailers now. It is limited-edition so I suggest you order sooner than later. The limited-edition ones always sell out each year. You can find it online at Diptyque, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York, Net-A-Porter, Space NK, Selfridges and Harrods.



Have you checked out the new candle from Diptyque yet? If not, what's your favorite one?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Tom Ford Beauty - New Spring 2016 Launches


There are quite a few new items launching this spring from Tom Ford Beauty. There appear to be mini product launches versus a full seasonal collection release. I did some major hauling over the past few weeks and have thoughts + swatches of my picks to share today. Shown above and swatches of what I picked up below:

Honeymoon Eyeshadow Quad ($80, on backorder at Neiman Marcus
Lip Color Shine SS16 ($52)


First up are new eyeshadow quads. The good news is that there are new eyeshadow quad colors in Disco Dust, Honeymoon, Last Dance, Starry Night and Lilac Dream. The bad news is that some like Cognac Sable are being discontinued. I picked up two of the new quads, the neutral warm ones in Disco Dust and Honeymoon. I had to call around to several stores to track down Honeymoon a couple weeks ago. I heard these are permanent so even though Honeymoon seems to be sold out for now, it should be available for purchase when they restock.

Both quads pull very warm on me. They also have shimmer in them which is absolutely stunning. Disco Dust has a cool silvery mauve sparkle, a warm satiny tan, a copper peach shimmer and a dark plum brown shimmer. Two of the shades are very similar to NARS Hammamet Eyeshadow Duo (swatched here) so if you're not a fan of glitter, you may want to check out the NARS.

Honeymoon is one of the warmest eyeshadow quads I own. It has a shimmering tan, shimmery copper bronze, reddish auburn shimmer and reddish plum. This one pulls very warm on my eyes but it's still very wearable if I layer and blend it and use the two darker shades along the lash line smudged. If you are very fair this one will pull a lot more red on your skin compared to me. On deeper tan skintones, I think this one will look absolutely amazing on.


Swatch comparisons to Charlotte Tilbury The Dolce Vita (another warm quad I have) and Tom Ford Orchid Haze. In terms of neutral quads, Orchid Haze is one of my favorite everyday neutral palettes from Tom Ford.


Quick eye swatch/look of Disco Dust:


There are two scents launched for early spring called Soleil Blanc. Since I was a huge fan of the Shimmering Body Oil from last year, I picked up both the fragrance and oil. I think I could have skipped the Soleil Blanc Shimmering Body Oil, although it smells amazing. I prefer the fragrance simply because it's stronger and I feel like it's not as messy as the shimmering body oil. Also this year's oil seems to be more emollient than last year's which I found absorbed quickly into the skin. This one has a lingering feel that isn't greasy, but definitely noticeable, almost like it's slightly sticky. For both of these, there isn't much I could find online to describe the notes except that it has floral combined with amber. 

Soleil Blanc Eau de Parfum is a white floral. I don't find amber notes to be very strong - but when I smell it closely, I can see how there is some blended in because this isn't an overly powdery floral. It's a warmer weather scent but I'm completely obsessed with it right now. The Soleil Blanc is what I wanted the Guerlain Terracotta fragrance from a few years ago to smell like (which I found too strong and too floral last time I smelled it).


Next up are one hit and one miss for me. I had very high hopes for the Lip Color Shine in SS16 and Shade and Illuminate in SS16. I almost never try lip color testers at the counters because they are loaded with germs, so I bought the Lip Color Shine without trying it on the lips. On the hands it swatched like a gorgeous glossy nude. On my lips it looks like concealer.



Swatched below is uneven, streaky and concealer-like on my pigmented lips:


If you're like me and can't pull off pale nudes, you may want to check out Lip Color Shine in Bare instead which is more pink in color:


Swatch comparisons:

Tom Ford Lip Color in Nude Vanille
Tom Ford Lip Color in Sweet Mystery (swatched)
Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Eddie (swatched here)
MAC Lipstick in Creme de Nude


Last but not least is the new Shade and Illuminate in SS16. This is the first Shade and Illuminate product I've tried from Tom Ford even though there are two other shades. This is a sheer dewy cream illuminator duo. The texture is very dewy and glossy for a natural sheen. I don't think it will be everyone's cup of tea since it's on the dewy side. I like using this as a base for powder blushes or bronzers because it gives the skin a natural glow from within look. If you have oily skin you many want to proceed with caution on these. On my skin this gives a barely there glow. I actually still prefer the Edward Bess All Over Seduction highlighters (they are my holy grail cream highlighters), so if you want something more versatile and more visible, check out the Edward Bess ones instead.


Two sets of comparison swatches:

Tom Ford Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust (discontinued, review)
Tom Ford Cream Blush in Pink Sand (discontinued, review here)


Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Sunlight, Afterglow and Paradise


There's lots to explore from Tom Ford right now. I believe there is a mix of permanent and limited-edition items. I suspect the SS16 items are all limited, but the quads are reported to be permanent. Also new from Tom Ford includes a new Purifying Cleansing Oil that I've been testing (review soon). It looks like new items for lips and eyes that just launched online including Cream Colors for Eyes, Patent Finish Lip Colors and High Definition Eye Liners.

Out of the items I reviewed on the blog today, I would say that my top picks are the Soleil Blanc Eau de Parfum, Disco Dust Quad and SS16 Shade and Illuminate Duo. The SS16 Lip Color Shine doesn't work for me by itself - I suspect it can be easily fixed with a deeper lipliner like MAC Boldly Bare or Subculture though. Honeymoon is all kinds of gorgeous - but does pull dark and warm on me. It's very pretty on but I prefer Disco Dust.

Have you checked out the new items from Tom Ford yet? Some pieces have sold out on different sites so if you're shopping online you may have to order from multiple places.

Eyeshadow Quads can be found at all Tom Ford retailers such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.

The Soleil Blanc Eau de Parfum appears to be exclusive to Neiman Marcus at the moment.

SS16 Shade and Illuminate + Lip Color Shine can be found at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Net-A-Porter.

 

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