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

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black


Elizabeth and James launched the Nirvana Black and White Eau de Parfum as a Sephora Exclusive earlier this year. When the line launched, Sephora had adorable mini roll-ons available as 100 point perks for Beauty Insiders. They literally flew off out of stores but I was lucky to find them online via Sephora.com and I used up my points to redeem for both (and a couple backups of each). I fell head over heels in love with Nirvana Black and purchased the full size 1.0 fl oz ($55) version during the Summer Surge Event.

Nirvana Black is described as a "blend of alluring violet, sensual sandalwood, and rich vanilla that strike the perfect balance between masculine and feminine." I'm a fan of fragrances that have a hint of sandalwood which gives scents a sort of smoky, spicy, dark touch. On me it's more of a date-night kind of fragrance but I love it during both day and night. It has really good lasting power in both the roll-on and spray, I like the mini roll-ons because they fit easily into a compact makeup bag or clutch and don't take up much space.


I spritzed Nirvana White on me in store at Sephora when these first launched. I tend to prefer lighter scents and thought I would prefer the lighter version. By itself I found it too floral although my husband loves it on me. The Nirvana White is described as having "delicate peony, chic muguet, and tender musk for a feminine scent with dark sophistication." I'm not a fan of wearing peony scents on the skin, as I find them too floral and powdery, although I love the actual flower scent just as flowers. 

Book: Influence

After posting several snapshots of the mini roll-ons, several readers have suggested I layer them both.  It does create an interesting blend of floral and spice but I still lean more towards preferring the Nirvana Black. I love the simple design with the gold detail. When it comes to fragrance, the packaging design matters a lot to me. There are some fragrances I have not purchased that I love the scents of simply because the bottles are either too gaudy or just plain hideous. I like the textured grooves in the surface because it makes these more interesting without looking like spikes.




Nirvana Black is a bit too spicy for warm hot summer days but I still wear it. I personally think it will be perfect for fall. Bottom line love and I hope they extend the line to include home fragrance or oils.

Nirvana Black is available exclusively at Sephora in different sizes. $22 for the 0.34 oz rollerball, $55 for the 1.0 fl oz bottle, or $75 for the 1.7 fl oz bottle. Both minis are also available in the Sephora Favorites Bottled Dreams Fragrance Sampler $58 (you get a scent certificate to any US Sephora store to redeem for a full-size bottle at no extra cost, see website for details on how to redeem).

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Diptyque Oyédo Candle


Each time I visit the Diptyque boutique or counter I discover something new. I discovered Diptyque Oyédo Candle ($60 for 6.5 oz) several months ago but just started burning it this past week. Oyédo is a light and citrus scent that smells like a sweet blend of grapefruit and mandarin oranges. It is significantly sweeter and lighter than most Diptyque candles I've tested but I like that it's not too sweet. The scent itself seems on the subtle side once it burns but it is definitely noticeable and has decent throw. There is a refreshing uplifting feel to this one. It's supposed to have an awakening feel due to the citrus notes, I find that it's a more subtle citrus making it soothing. It's very different from other Diptyque candles in the sense there is no earthy, herbal or spicey feel to it. Just straight citrus.




If you like subtle sweeter citrus scents that aren't overpowering or too sweet this one is a good one to check out. I've been loving it this week and think it will be perfect for warmer summer weather.

At this time I'm not sure if it's discontinued or just simply just one of those hard-to-find scents. I saw it several times at local counters but haven't seen it in a while. It's currently out of stock on the Diptyque website. I know you can still find it in boutiques and online at Saks, Lucky Scent and SpaceNK (UK).

Monday, June 9, 2014

Jo Malone Silk Blossom Cologne | Limited Edition


Jo Malone has released a couple new fragrances this spring-summer. There are two new florals, Silk Blossom Cologne ($65 to $120) and Tuberose Angelica Cologne Intense ($145). Both are lovely soft feminine spring-summery scents. I opted for the Silk Blossom which I found to be more spicy and well rounded with a mix of spice, florals, apricots and hint of powder undertones. When you smell Silk Blossom by itself, it seems like a basic floral, but if you spray this and compare it to the Tuberose Angelica (more floral and clearly tuberose-ish) or even Peony Blush Suede (sweeter, simpler with a more youthful feel, on me this one turns a bit rubbery), you will notice that the Silk Blossom has more spice and complexity. It's hard to detect exactly what kind of floral notes there are since there is a blend of many notes. According to Jo Malone:
  • Top notes: White Pepper. Softer than black pepper, it diffuses elegant spiciness through the top notes.
  • Heart notes: Silk Blossom. Its fruity, peachy character and subtle green accent give the fragrance its enticing silky lightness. The heart of the fragrance is further enhanced by rose and jasmine petals.
  • Base notes: The verdancy of moss cushions the base of the fragrance in earthy, woody warmth.


I know many are fans of layering Jo Malone fragrances. I've mixed and layered a few on occasion but I prefer to wear them alone as is. That being said I've mixed my Silk Blossom with samples from gifts I've accumulated, I've found it blends well with Peony and Blush Suede and Orange Blossom.




Overall a winner in my book for spring and summer florals which seem to be taking over my fragrance routine these days. I find it lasts longer on me than most Jo Malone scents do and it fades nicely on the skin as it wears throughout the day. It doesn't turn sweet or bitter like some florals can.

I'm normally not drawn to such sweet florals, but these days I'm loving Dolce by Dolce and Gabbana, Diptyque Geranium Odorata and still going through Jo Malone Wild Bluebell.

Jo Malone Silk Blossom is a limited-edition scent. It comes in three options:


I've been contemplating the candle, however it seemed significantly sweeter in the store. The pink packaging is to die for but I have some Diptyque on my wish list right now. Silk Blossom is available while supplies last at Neiman MarcusNordstrom,  SaksSelfridges and Jo Malone.

Have you tried any of the new Jo Malone fragrances this summer? What are your favorites?



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Diptyque Aubépine / Hawthorn Candle

Diptyque Aubépine and Large Photophore

My latest Diptyque discovery is the Aubépine Candle ($60 for 109g/6.5 oz). My husband brought me home two candles from the Diptyque Maiden Lane Boutique from a recent business trip along with one of their Photophore covers. Aubépine translates to Hawthorn. It's described as a delicate wild flower with round and powdery accents. I'm normally not drawn to powdery florals but this one has a lovely mix of sweet almond and vanilla notes. It's unique and fresh with almond hints making this my new favorite by Diptyque. It's very soothing and brightens the mood. My husband picked a good one.

It's a well rounded scent. The powdery aspect can seem quite strong when you first take it out of the box, but Aubépine burns quite nicely with the floral and almond blending in well. I find it to be more on the feminine side but it's not quite as girly or floral as Roses or Rosa Mundi.






Above featured Lumira Persian Rose (reviewed here)

I absolutely adore it and was so impressed with my husband's picks. Aubépine is one of the Diptyque Boutique Exclusives in the US so you won't find it anywhere in stores except in their boutiques. It is available online at Diptyque, Lucky Scent, Beauty Habit and SpaceNK (UK).


Have you visited a Diptyque store? I always try to visit one when traveling as I adore the store layouts, creative decor and accessories they have. In case you missed it, check out my features on Maiden Lane, Los Angeles and South Coast Plaza.

What's your current favorite from Diptyque? I feel another store visit coming soon for me.

Monday, June 2, 2014

L'Occitane La Collection de Grasse | Néroli & Orchidée


L'Occitane recently released Néroli & Orchidée as a new addition to their La Collection de Grasse line, inspired by the world perfume capital in the south of France. There is a lovely Néroli & Orchidée Collector's Set ($85) which the 2.5 fl.oz Eau de Toilette, 6 fl.oz Shower Gel, and 6 fl.oz Body Milk. This fragrance line is a mix of both neroli and orchid, making it a lively juicy floral. I like that this set has a variety of items to sample. All are packaged in a lovely simply pink-beige tone making these lovely additions to your bathroom or guest room. The box is also quite lovely making this a great gift. Notes for these include orange, mandarin neroli, lily of the valley, fig milk, peach orchid, iris, musk - it is very feminine.


My favorite item of the three is the Shower Gel. It leaves the skin feeling very clean, I like to run a little bit into the bath - it bubbles nicely and I like that this feels nice on the skin.


The Body Milk has a soft and silky feel. The texture is thin but not too fluid, it's very moisturizing and absorbs quickly into the skin and leaves the skin feeling refreshed and soft (no sticky remnants or dry-down). The Eau de Toilette has a very lightweight airy feel. With both of these the initial scent after first application is on the strong side of sweet. The best part in my opinion is the dry down. It turns less sharp and less sweet to a soft fruity floral. Lasting power on both of these layered is medium - but I usually prefer body products that are more subtle. I like that these are compact and small enough to fit on your night stand or dresser table without taking up a lot of space.


The Néroli & Orchidée Collector's Set is available in stores and online at L'Occitane for $85 or individually as well. If you're shopping online, don't forget to check their Special Offers page for deals and gift with purchase offers. I've been eyeing the Vanille and Narcisse along with Mer and Mistral but have been avoiding the store because I always leave with more than what I have on my shopping list.

Have you tried anything from the La Collection de Grasse? What scent is your favorite?


This set was provided as a press sample by L'Occitane for review consideration, for more information see my Disclosures.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Diptyque Geranium Odorata and Eau de Lavande Eau de Toilette Roll-On Fragrances


Diptyque recently introduced two new fragrances additions to the Les Eaux Florales line in Geranium Odorata and Eau de Lavande. Both fragrances are available in a Full Size Spray Bottle ($98 for 3.4 fl. oz/100 ml) or Travel Sized Roll-On ($48 each for 0.68 fl. oz/20 ml). I have the roller fragrances to share with you today.

These are the first roller ball fragrances I've tried from Diptyque although I own a sample size version of 34 Eau de Toilette and Solid Perfumes for L'Ombre dans l'Eau and Eau Duelle. I find the fragrance from the roller balls to have better lasting power than the solids and equal lasting power to the spray versions. I like the simple compact design and the fragrance ball dispenser is super easy to use. The intricate floral designs on the roll on bottles as well as the boxes is absolutely stunning.





Geranium Odorata is sweet woody floral that smells like spring. The notes included are: bergamot, geranium bourbon, rose geranium, pink peppercorn, tonka bean, Haitian vetiver, cedar. For Geranium Odorata, there is a blend of geranium from two different geographical origins: the African Geranium from Egypt and the Bourbon Geranium from Réunion Island. According to Diptyque:

"The first reveals lively, floral aspects, the second highlights its woody notes. One, in the top and core notes, is bright and delicious with a slight hint of citrus, while the other is denser and more subtle. Bergamot, green cardamom, cedar, Tonka bean and pink pepper- corns, together with Haitian vetiver, add a few touches here and there to complete this faith- ful picture, a beautiful harmony between flower and wood."

This blend gives Geranium Odorata a well rounded floral feel with a warm undertone. I really like this one for a soft feminine spring-like scent. It's a good one that will transition well into summer.



Eau de Lavande is a unique spicy, earthy floral scent with a complex nature. It has strong lavender notes with a warm undertone. Notes include: absolute lavender, coriander seed, cinnamon leaf, nutmeg, essential oils. It's a unisex scent but I find it leans more masculine. According to Diptyque:

"Although it is a flower, when it is dried by the sun, it has a distinctive aroma which is more sombre and woody. We have therefore blended three different French lavenders. Provencal lavender essence, rarely used as it is so precious, forms the base note, sustained by a few drops of incense and sandalwood, followed by a more floral essence from the Vaucluse, and a more aromatic hybrid lavender from Valansole. Coriander seeds, nutmeg and cinnamon add spice to the composition, a vibrant incarnation of sublime nature. The fragrance is warm and subtle, alive and delicate."

For me there are some fragrances that I prefer as home fragrances rather than as a perfume and Lavender is one of them. I didn't like this one on me as I found it a bit too herbal-feeling although I do love lavender scented candles or shower gels. If you like Lavender fragrances you will like this one, it has a complex blend of notes to make it unique and the effect is very therapeutic and soothing.



For me Geranium Odorata was a pleasant new discovery. The bottles (true to Diptyque's creative style) are absolutely gorgeous with the intricate floral designs that have a pop of color in each. I like that they come with a small black sleeve for storage which makes it easy to carry for travel or in your purse without worrying about it getting scratched or breakage (as long as you are on the careful side with your purses). I was really excited to try Eau de Lavande - trying new fragrances outside of my usual comfort zone is something I've been working on, however I found my preference to be with something more feminine and spring-like.


Both Diptyque Geranium Odorata and Eau de Lavande Roll-On Fragrances retail for $48 each. You can find them at all Diptyque counters and boutiques now. Online at Diptyqueparis.com (promo of a complimentary Deluxe Tam Dao 12mL EDP and free shipping with any $75 order, using code FATHER14, valid until 9 June 2014 while supplies last), Nordstrom, Space NK, Saks, Neiman Marcus.

Have you tried Diptyque fragrances? What are your favorites? Have you sampled the new Geranium Odorata and Eau de Lavande yet? I know there were various online promotions for samples earlier in the month when they first launched, were you able to try anything?

Roll ons were sent to The Beauty Look Book courtesy of Diptyque for review, all opinions my own, for more information refer to my Disclosures.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Dolce by Dolce & Gabbana


Dolce Eau de Parfum is the latest fragrance release by Dolce & Gabbana this spring (ranges from $29 for 0.25 fl oz up to $112 for 2.5 fl oz, at Sephora). It has a sophisticated delicate feminine mix of White Daffodil flowers, Neroli leaves and White Amaryllis. The combination gives Dolce a fresh and light airy feel with a very distinct sweet floral twist. The Dolce bottles have the an elegant design with a beautiful white floral cap with intricate details and finished with a tiny black bow. Depending on your size preference, there are four size options ranging from a 0.25 fl oz roller ball to a 2.5 fl oz bottle. (The roller ball size perfume is exclusive to Sephora.) Dolce & Gabbana kindly sent the largest size for me to try.

Notes:
Neroli Leaves, Papaya Flower, White Amaryllis,
White Daffodil, White Water Lily, Cashmeran, Musky Notes, Sandalwood.

Style:
Delicate. Joyous. Avant-garde.





I've been testing Dolce extensively for the past week and put it to the test with close loved ones. All of them love it on me. It's a sweeter and more floral compared to what I typically gravitate towards, but it has a refreshing uplifting feel that I really like. It has a good mix of soft florals and crisp sweetness. The strength and throw is quite good, I liked that it only needed a single spritz for application. The lasting power is quite good lasting all day without fading, but it's still soft enough to wear for everyday. Those who love white florals will find this a pleasant addition to their spring fragrance collection right now as it has a nice day-time spring vibe.




I'm in love with the intricate design of the Dolce perfume. It's truly exquisite.




Dolce Eau de Parfum is available now across all Dolce & Gabbana retail locations in stores and online. Sephora has the most size options for you to choose from and Beauty Insiders are offered triple points on all fragrance purchases from Sephora through May 11th. Bottom line: Dolce is an uplifting polished white floral perfect for to brighten one's mood for spring.

For more on Dolce & Gabbana and to stay up to date with their latest be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter @DolceGabbana, Instagram @DolceGabbana and search for #DGDolce and #DGBeauty.

This post was sponsored by Dolce & Gabbana. All thoughts and opinions are my own. All photographs taken by The Beauty Look Book. For more information refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

An Introduction to Lumira | Soy Luxury Candles in Persian Rose and Tahitian Coconut

image via Lumira

I'm very excited to introduce Lumira today. My readers know I am an avid fan of luxury home candles. A well designed and crafted candle can add that perfect little accent to your home or office decor as well as make your entire room smell amazing. I've been following several Australian candle designers on Instagram loving the beautiful decorative imagery and inspiration from their Australian followers. I was ecstatic when Lumira reached out to provide an introduction.

For those new to this line, Lumira is a luxury lifestyle brand based in Sydney, Australia that specializes in hand-made soy candles. The line made it's debut this year by founder Almira Armstrong. The first products in the line include a range of eight scents including Oriental Jasmine, Tuscan Fig, Persian Rose, Tropical Gardenia, Tahitian Coconut, Sicilian Citrus, Cuban Tobacco and Balinese Ylang Ylang.

The Signature Candles currently come in two sizes:
  • A large elegant, ebony hand-filled glass with beautifully scented creamy soy wax, $55 AUD for 450g/15.8oz, approximately60 hour burn time
  • A compact travel tin with a twist-off lid, perfect for travel, on your desk or on-the-go, $19.95 AUD for 100g/3.5oz, approximately 15 hour burn time

image via Lumira

The line is currently available in Australia and select international locations. You can purchase items online at Atelier Lumira (they ship internationally). According to Lumira they plan to expand their line into the US at more locations later this fall (stockists listed here).

Lumira kindly sent the Persian Rose Signature Candle and Tahitian Coconut Travel Candle for review. Readers know I am extremely particular and very selective with scents (my husband calls it "super picky"). I am pleased to report Lumira Candles are extremely well made. Both scents are high quality with an amazing blend of luxurious oils. I've been burning these for over a week now and everything is quite exquisite.


Persian Rose comes in a heavy black glass container. It's the largest candle I own at 450g/15.8g. Persian Rose has a mix of rose absolute, blended with subtle notes of Jasmine, Soft Musk and Bois de Rose. This one is designed for turning any home into a relaxing sanctuary. It's a relaxing soothing rose that isn't too floral and far exceeds my other rose candles in composition and blend. Yes, this is my new favorite rose. It has a really clean burn that fills up the entire room.

Notes:
Top: Sparkling Mandarin, Bergamot Zest & Sweet Orange
Mid: Budding Persian Rose & Geranium Essence
Base: Soft Musk, Patchouli & Dark Amber




Tahitian Coconut was sent in a travel size. I've been smitten with the Henri Bendel Travel Candles for their convenience, compact size and portability. Often times these candles are strong enough that you don't have to burn them to enjoy the scent (I often just leave one opened). I like the concept of the travel candles with lids by Lumira. Tahitian Coconut is similar in concept to Henri Bendel's Beach in the sense that it takes you away to a tropical getaway vacation. Tahitian Coconut is a blend of Coconut, Frangipani and Mandarin. It's described as a scent that gives the feel of a mini-escape to be enjoyed all year round. It truly does. I find Lumira Tahitian Coconut to have a more rounded creamy feel, while Henri Bendel Beach is a bit sweeter and sharper.

Notes:
Top: Mandarin
Middle: Magnolia, Jasmine, Coconut, Orange Flower
Base: White Musk, Vanilla




The Lumira collection is available online at Atelier Lumira and within a handpicked selection of retailers across Australia and Internationally. Lumira candles can be enjoyed as a full-size Ebony Glass Jar candle or in a convenient Travel Tin perfect for the office, when traveling, or in smaller spaces.

Have you tried Lumira? A shout out to my Australian readers! I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences :) I can't wait for the line to be available at more US locations. I'm already panicking about what I will do once they are finished burning.

You can find out more about Lumira on their website. Also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (to see beautiful home decor ideas) for the latest news and to find out where they are launching.

Samples were provided by Lumira for review. All opinions are my own. Photos of Persian Rose and Tahitian Coconut all taken by me.

 

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