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

Monday, October 26, 2015

Diptyque Fall 2015: Oud, La Prouveresse and Oiseaux Photophore

When it comes to home fragrance, I'm a Diptyque lover at heart and the new releases for fall are beautiful. I stopped by a Diptyque Boutique a few weeks ago to check out the new fragrances, perfumes and photophores. There are a number of new perfumes that have been released as part of the 34 Collection (three are boutique exclusives in beautiful glass bottles). I picked up the new Oud Candle ($60), La Proveresse in the porcelain marbled jar ($85) and the Oiseaux Photophore ($160, boutique exclusive). These days I'm thrilled to see Diptyque available at more and more retailers, but if you want an exceptional experience I recommend you visit one of the free-standing boutiques. I've been to five different ones in San Francisco, Larchmont, Beverly Hills, South Coast Plaza and Paris - each one has been such a treat to visit. Someday I hope to visit all the stores.

Up first is the Oud Candle ($60 for 6.5 oz/ 190 g). This one falls into the woody category of scents. It's described as, "mysterious, woody, slightly animal composition enhanced by incense, patchouli and sandalwood." It is indeed woody with a smoky feel, to me it smells like a warmer more inviting version of Feu de Bois. I have been burning Oud for a few days off and on with other scents and I'm smitten. It's on the masculine side so I don't think it will be for everyone.

My current favorite is the La Prouveresse Candle ($85 for 7.3 oz/220 g). This one is more expensive than other standard sized candles but it is slightly larger in size for product. It's also available in the Pillar Form as a Diptyque online and boutique exclusive. The La Prouveresse is part of the 34 Collection inspired by the first Diptyque store on 34 Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris. (See snippets of my visit in June in my Paris Beauty Shopping Guide.) This comes in a porcelain container pot crafted entirely by hand using the “terre mêlée” (mixed clay) technique and each piece is entirely unique. Last year Diptyque released Le Redouté (still available for purchase, reviewed here). I am hoping the fact they released another version this year means that they will release a new one each fall. I have the three 34 candles shown side by side:

  • 34 Candle ($80) as launched to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Diptyque, this is cased in a white matte porcelain container with the 34 embossed on the front. Out of the three, this is the most light feeling in terms of mood, it has extremely good throw, it has a fresh green feel. The 34 candle is described as being fresh, green with spicy accords, notes of damp mosses, crumpled blackcurrant leaves, sun-dried fig leaves. It smells very natural and raw.
  • Le Redouté ($85) is the spicy one. It has the most holiday-like feel with cinnamon, clove, orange, roses, cedar and amber. It's quite complex and for me I only feel like I'm in the mood to burn it during the holiday season. I still have about 1/4 of mine left over from last year that I haven't burned off.
  • La Prouveresse ($85) is my favorite of the three. It's the perfect mix of feminine and masculine. If you find Feu de Bois or Oud too masculine, the La Prouveresse is softer with more green notes. This has a mix of fig tree, cypress and cedarwood. It has an earthy feel. It usually takes me forever to burn an entire candle but I've been burning this non-stop and am already 3/4 finished with it.
Last but not least is the Oiseaux Photophore ($160). This is beautiful decorative item to display candles and each Diptyque Photophore is a work of art. These are exclusive to the boutiques but during the holidays there are sometimes sets released at other retailers for the clear glass photophores (see one of them here). There are three new photophores in this year's 34 collection. According to Diptyque:

"This photophore features an openwork metal design created by the French illustration and graphic design duo Anamorphée, who have developed this unique decorative piece whilst remaining true to diptyque's graphic heritage. Inspired by the painted wooden birds found in the window of 34 boulevard Saint Germain during the 1960's, the two creators imagined the feathers and beaks of a colony of mockingbirds, the contours of which can be made out when the candle is lit. It has its own unique wooden base."

Measurements are: height 4.7 inches / 12.5 cm - base diameter 4.3 inches / 11.5 cm, it will fit the Diptyque Pillar Candles, a full sized Diptyque Candle, Byredo, Jo Malone and Henri Bendel (the new Cashmere Candle sounds amazing!!).

Overall I'm really happy with the three new Diptyque additions to my home. I suspect I will be repurchasing La Prouveresse soon, it makes the home smell amazing. A couple other new things that I've seen pop up that might be of interest include the introduction of Vanille in the mini size (review on this one here). Benjoin was an online exclusive last year and they've re-introduced it to all retailers (review on this one here). You can find the fall releases in stores and online at Diptyque retailers now. Certain items like the Photophores and special edition perfumes are exclusive to the Diptyque Boutiques.

Have you checked out the Diptyque fall releases yet? Or have you picked up anything else for home fragrance lately? I'm always happy for recommendations.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Spring Scent Rotation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Diptyque Florabellio Eau de Toilette

Florabellio Eau de Toilette is the latest perfume launch from Diptyque this spring. I've was able to get a sneak preview of this a month ago at the boutique and smelled a sample they had on site. I fell in love immediately with this fresh lightweight mix of sweet and floral. It has the scent of apple blossoms mixed with apricot and fennel. The description also says this has sea salt, coffee and toasted sesame - all of which are mixed in a way that is subtle and barely detectable to my nose but it does seem to prevent this scent from being overly floral or sweet. It adds a complex undertone giving it a very slight musky feel which I really like because I can rarely tolerate anything overly fruity or sweet on my skin. The Eau de Toilette comes in two sizes, 1.7 oz for $90 and 2.4 oz for $125. I have the smaller one featured in this post. The official Florabellio description from Diptyque:

Although I'm a huge fan of Diptyque, this is my first full-sized Eau de Toilette from the line. I have a few of the Solid Perfumes (Eau DuelleEssences Insensées and L'Ombre Dans L'Eau) and Roll-Ons (Geranium and Lavender) which I really like. The perfume bottles are quite stunning but I've accumulated quite a few deluxe-sized samples from various gift with purchase promos which have lasted me a very long time. The bottles are quite stunning with a rounded sturdy glass jar and black cap spritzer. They look quite stunning on the counter top or dresser. Just looking at it makes me happy.

The smaller size for me is ideal even though larger bottles are often the better buy. It takes me forever to use up perfumes and I like the look of smaller bottles because they take up less counter space.

Bottom line a winner, especially for spring to summer. It has a lightweight airy quality with the perfect mix of fruit and floral to brighten the mood. In addition it also has an aquatic feel with the sea salt and fennel. It's something I find unexpected from Diptyque because of the lightness but I really like it. Lasting power is medium on my skin. It's not as strong as Frederic Malle or L'Artisan on my skin, but I would say it lasts about the same on me as Jo Malone or Tom Ford. It stays on for a few hours and fades nicely as the day progresses. I can still smell it on me by late afternoon but I have a very sensitive nose. I love that it's a sweet floral without being too floral or too sweet. It's difficult to describe but very lovely.

You can find Diptyque Florabellio now in stores at Diptyque retailers and online at Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Space NK, Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue and Available in two sizes 1.7 oz for $90 and 2.4 oz for $125.

Here is the current list of Diptyque boutiques in the US:

Atlanta, Buckhead Atlanta, 3035 Peachtree Road NE 
Beverly Hills, 312 North Beverly Drive 
Chicago, 1645 North Damen Avenue 
Costa Mesa, South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol Street 
Los Angeles, 202 North Larchmont Boulevard 
New York, 377 Bleecker Street 
New York, Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle 
New York, 971 Madison Avenue 
New York, Nolita, 242 Mott Street 
San Francisco, 171 Maiden Lane 
Westport, 47 Main Street 

P.S. The Space NK Discover promotion happening now which allows you to save $20 off any $75+ order online, it's going on through April 26th. Details and code here (US Only).

Have you tried Diptyque Florabellio yet? What did you think? Do you have a current spring-time favorite fragrance right now?

Diptyque Florabellio in this post was a press sample sent for review consideration.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Diptyque Room Sprays in Baies and Figuier

Diptyque is my all time favorite for home fragrance. They are quite a splurge but once I tried one, nothing else seemed quite as good. I have quite a few loves from other lines including Henri Bendel, Jo Malone, Byredo and Cire Trudon, but my heart belongs to Diptyque. In addition to the candles, there are a number of other ways to enjoy Diptyque scents. I've been enamored with their room sprays which come in a selection of fragrances. Right now I have the Room Sprays ($65 each for 150 ml / 5.1 fl oz) in Baies and Figuier in rotation.

Both come in a sleek and sturdy glass jar with a black spray top. The scents are almost identical to the candle versions. The room spray version of Figuier is a bit more green compared to the candle and a bit stronger in scent. I find this one perfect year round but especially love it for spring. It lifts the mood and makes the entire room smell like lush sweet figs with just one spray. It's very strong so you only need two spritzes.

The room spray version of Baies is slightly sharper and sweeter compared to the candle but still also very strong (in my experience it's stronger than the candle). This one is more feminine to my nose but is still neutral enough that I can spray this without having to feel like it's too girly. This one is has a more afternoon or evening feel. It's not deep or dark, but it's not quite as light as Figuier. I love this one and am on my third bottle.

The Diptyque Room Sprays are both strong in scent. The fragrance won't last as long as burning a candle but the sprays will fill the entire room with just one spritz for a quick refresher and in my home I find the scent will linger and last for a few hours. Right now being a Diptyque fan, I can't pick between the sprays or the candle, they are both quite beautiful. I do think the scent of a burning candle will last longer but the sprays are quite strong so they do last surprisingly well.

For those new to Diptyque, many have asked what my favorites are. My top picks for Diptyque rotate on an ongoing basis. Figuier remains at the top of my list almost always, but right now I'm also loving the Tomas Maier + Diptyque Palm Beach (review here), Cuir (boutique exclusive, reviewed here) and the classic Baies.

There are a number of different places to buy Diptyque. I purchase mine from several different stores depending on promos, gift with purchases or availability of special edition releases. My top picks to shop Diptyque are Nordstrom (for quick and reliable shipping) and also any of the Diptyque Boutiques because the staff at the stores I've visited are really helpful and know the line well. The customer service at the boutiques is truly phenomenal. They are always patient, very friendly and can answer any questions you have. Features on a few stores I've visited linked for Maiden Lane, South Coast Plaza (my favorite) and Larchmont. Each time I visit a store I always discover new things. I like that they don't pressure you to purchase anything (although I always manage to leave with a purchase) and everyone is always pleasant to chat with.

If you're a Diptyque fan I think you will really like the Room Sprays. I hope that Diptyque will carry more scents eventually, I know they did a long time ago. Right now you can find the room sprays in Baies, Figuier, Amber and 34. Available at Diptyque Boutiques and and Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Space NK.

What's your favorite home fragrance right now?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Les Exclusifs de Chanel in Beige

My latest in fragrance is the Les Exclusifs de Chanel in Beige ($160 for 2.5 fl oz). There's nothing quite like a bottle of Chanel fragrance, I've been rationing a couple deluxe-sized samples I've acquired for quite some time and decided it was time to splurge on a full-sized bottle. I had narrowed down my picks to Beige, Gardenia and No. 22, I decided on Beige. There are three different sizes for most of the Les Exclusifs de Chanel, I purchased the smallest option because it usually takes me forever to go through a perfume, although now that I've been spritzing this for a few days now, I think I should have purchased the larger 6.8 fl oz size as I know for sure that I will run through this one.

Beige is a lightweight natural sweet floral. According to Chanel named "beige" because it's "an elusive colour with infinite variations, beige may seem quite ordinary. And yet, behind this apparent simplicity, it hides a discreet sensuality that builds slowly before revealing itself fully. This sensual outburst is interpreted by Jacques Polge through a bouquet of Hawthorn, Freesia and Frangipani, with shimmering hints of honey. A stunning blend of white petals and yellow gold…in other words, a breath of beige."

I couldn't find a better way to describe it. Beige does seems like it could be very ordinary but I like soft scents that seem to meld with the scent of natural clean skin. Beige is a white floral but the mix of honey makes it sweet and not too cloying so it's not overly floral. The power is quite strong and it's one of those that doesn't fade within an hour, it remains noticeable on me for several hours with just 2 spritzes (I do recommend 3 to 4 though, as I do with most fragrances).

The packaging and bottle design are stunning. There is a classic simplicity in the sharp clean lines of a simple glass bottle that make the Les Exclusifs de Chanel stand out. It looks beautiful on my dresser or bathroom counter and it makes me really happy when I wear this.

On the nails Chanel Desirio

If you're a fan of Frederic Malle Carnal Flower I think you will like Chanel Beige. The two are quite different from each other, but both have this smooth floral dry down that gives these a soft well rounded and mellow feel. Carnal Flower is more complex with strong tuberose while Beige is sweeter and lighter with freesia and honey. I don't typically find myself drawn to florals because I find they pull powdery on my skin. These two are the exception.

Bottom line perfect for right now as we transition into warmer weather. It's a lightweight sweet floral that brightens my mood and something my husband really likes on me (huge plus). You can find the Les Exclusifs de Chanel fragrances at Chanel Boutiques and stores with Chanel Beaute Studios (like Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills or Bloomingdales South Coast Plaza). Also online at

Have you tried any of the Les Exclusifs de Chanel? What are your favorite ones? If not, what's your favorite fragrance for right now?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cire Trudon Odalisque

I purchased my first Cire Trudon candle a few weeks ago at Barneys in Beverly Hills. I have @wendyg_nyc to blame for this splurge (or rather thank) as she has been pleading that I check out Cire Trudon for months. I don't have close access to the brand and although it's been on my list for quite some time, every time I stopped by Barneys all the distractions on the beauty floor prevented me from looking into these candles.

If you've seen Cire Trudon candles in person at Barneys you will see they are all displayed on the counter covered with a glass dome to help retain the scent. These are the strongest candles I've ever smelled or burned and seeing all the options was quite overwhelming. Thanks to Wendy I had a list of three to narrow down my first purchase and I picked out Odalisque ($95 for 270 g / 9.5 oz).

Cire Trudon candles are made of vegetable-based wax. They come in several sizes, the Classic Size is a large brown-tinted class jar. The one I picked out has a mix of orange blossom and cinnamon. It's quite complex and is extremely rich. It smells so rich it almost smells holy, like it belongs in a cathedral.The official description of Odalisque is:

"Enclosed in citrus and wood bark, the orange blossom weaves a painter's dream from which escapes the pale volute of smoke from a narghile. As an orientalist painting, furiously romantic, the vigorous scent of the case, and solar splinter of citrus fruits, come out as a thin blade in the silky shadow of vanilla. Top notes of lemon and orange, heart notes of orange blossom, and base notes are cade and vanilla."

top note : lemon, orange / middle : orange blossom / base : wild juniper, vanilla

The candles have a small label on the back:

Odalisque is a classic orange blossom scent amped up with spice and wood. I find traditional orange blossom candles to be very light and airy, there is a hint of citrus but there is a good mix of florals to prevent it from smelling too fruity. Odalisque is a unique orange blossom because the mix of wood bark and juniper add depth to it that is hard to describe but makes it complex.

This is my first time burning something from Cire Trudon and it's pure love. Odalisque proved to be one of the strongest home scents I've burned, the scent fills the entire room within a few minutes and the scent lingers for a while even after you blow out the flame. It is a luxurious splurge so if you're unsure about ordering sight unseen at all I highly recommend you try to visit a store first (locator by region here).

I bought mine at Barneys New York. Cire Trudon is also available online at Saks Fifth AvenueBeautyhabitNet-A-Porter, Lucky Scent and

Have you tried Cire Trudon yet? What are your favorites? Do I need the fancy scented matches?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Byredo Bal d'Afrique L'Huile Parfum Oil Roll-On and Blanche Hand Cream

I stopped by Fashion Island a few weekends ago with Beauty Professor for lunch and beauty shopping. One counter we stopped at was the Byredo counter at Neiman Marcus where I fell in love with their new Blanche Hand Cream ($35 for 30 ml/1 oz, made in France) and Bal d'Afrique L'Huile Parfum Oil Roll-On ($78 for 7.5 ml).

I've been a huge fan of Byredo candles, but since I don't have easy immediate access to the line, it's a fragrance brand that I tend to overlook because I like to smell things in person before buying. They recently released three hand creams in Blanche, Bal d'Afrique and La Tulipe, all of which have been on my radar for quite some time but I was reluctant to buy because of the packaging. These come in a sleek white squeeze tube similar to the original Stila Lipshines or Aesop Skincare tubes. They don't keep their shape and seem extremely delicate, but after testing them, I had to give one a try. These are some of the fanciest hand creams I've ever seen and the scents are absolutely divine.

On the nails, Louboutin Sweet Charity (review here)

Blanche is a clean lightweight fresh floral with a soft linen feel. The notes include, top notes of White rose, pink pepper, aldehyde, heart notes are Violet, neroli, peony, base notes are Blond woods, sandalwood, musk. The texture is semi thick with an emollient feel and hydrates the hands nicely. The scent is just so luscious and luxurious - I can't think of a better treat for your hands. That being said, I do think there are hand creams that will do a better job at moisturizing (my favorites here) but the Byredo one is still very good. If the packaging were sturdier I think I could give this a glowing rave review. Due to the delicate nature of this one, it's not one I can comfortably carry in my purse or makeup bag even though I tend to be very careful with my purse contents.

Bal d'Afrique L'Huile Parfum Oil Roll-On was love at first smell. I opted for the roll on version because I used to use Gypsy Water spray version but found it induced a migraine if I didn't spray it just right. Bal d'Afrique is a sweet scent that smells slightly fruity with a hint of peach. The notes include top notes of bergamot, lemon, neroli, African marigold, bucchu, heart notes of Violet, Jasmine petals, cyclamen and base notes of Black amber, musk, vetiver, Moroccan cedar wood. My nose doesn't quite smell all those notes, to me it's a mix of lemon, neroli and jasmine but the mix is quite unique. I adore this one which really surprises me because it's on the sweet side and I normally do not like sweet scents on me. This is definitely more of a spring-summer kind of fragrance. I like it right now, but do feel it's more seasonal rather than year-round. Lasting power is quite good on me, it lasts several hours without fading. I like the convenience of the roll on because it's easy to apply precisely and also small enough to fit into a clutch or makeup bag.

I received a small sample at the counter of Mojave Ghost and Black Saffron - both of which smell amazing as well and are on my wishlist now.

Do you have any Byredo favorites? If not, what's your current go-to scent? I'm always looking for recommendations to check out even though I have a super picky nose.

You can find Byredo at select Neiman Marcus stores and online. I've also bought items from the line in store at Barneys New York and online from Net-A-Porter.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Diptyque Rosafolia

This spring Diptyque has released a the new rose-themed collection called Rosafolia. It includes three new items including the Rosafolia Candle, Scented Oval and a new perfume called Eau Plurielle. I ordered the candle which comes in a beautiful limited-edition white jar with a lovely rose and ivy design. This year's special rose scent has a new fresh twist on rose. The best way I can describe it is as a green rose.

Per Diptyque, Rosafolia is "a scented candle whose verdure, enhanced by a touch of galbanum, is gracefully diffused at the heart of Turkish rose absolute, the softness of petals sharpened by the understated vitality from a hint of geranium." There is a green touch to it which rounds out the floral notes. Compared to last year's Rosamundi, Rosafloria is clearly more green and with a fresher and slightly sweeter touch. Last year's Diptyque special rose release was a bit more floral and almost powdery in scent.

Rosafolia is bottom line gorgeous. I highly recommend you check it out. I ordered mine from Diptyque South Coast Plaza. It's also available now online at Nordstrom and Diptyque.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Diptyque Benjoin and Cuir

Beauty Look Book readers know I'm a dedicated fan of Diptyque. So far I've loved every candle from the line that I've bought or received as a gift. There are some scents that are harder to find because they are either boutique or online exclusives. I have one of each to share with you, one hit and one miss.

Benjoin ($60 for 6.5 oz) is an online exclusive described as "somewhere between vanilla and caramel" with notes of patchouli and Indian cypriol. I had high hopes for this one expecting a well rounded sweet vanilla and caramel candle, something along the lines of Henri Bendel Vanilla Bean (my all time favorite vanilla candle).

When I opened the box I was a bit thrown by the smokey and woody notes that had a slight floral and powdery feel. The good thing about this candle is that it has a very good throw and fills up the room with the scent quickly. In the jar it does smell like a mix of caramel and vanilla, but in a synthetic way that has a plastic feel and the woody notes makes it turn a bit. Since this was an online exclusive, I ordered 2 and burned through an entire candle to test it and see if if would grow on me. My friends really like this one but for me this was a miss - mainly because I was expecting something sweeter and more rounded. I just started to burn my second one to see once again if I could grow to love it, for me all I smell is powder and smokey wood with a very slight hint of vanilla. I think it's going to be re-gifted very soon.


Another one I've been testing is Cuir ($60 for 6.5 oz) which is a Diptyque Boutique exclusive. It is occasionally listed online but it always seems to be sold out (I've bought mine in stores). The description from Diptyque is "this candle evokes the scent of tanned leather with birch bark, characteristic note of Cuir de Russie." They say it is "perfect for an office."

For me this one has been pure love since the first time I smelled it in store. It does have a leather and birch bark feel but with a very clean feel. It has a freshness that almost reminds me of soap, although the candle isn't really soapy - it's hard for me to describe, but if you can visit one of the Diptyque stores, I highly recommend smelling it. It's very unique and different from most candles. I bought it for my husband's office, but ended up borrowing it (permanently) from him and have repurchased it twice.

If you haven't been to a Diptyque store, I highly recommend you put it on your list for the new year. They are beautifully designed with exclusives you can't find at other retailers. (They have the full range of large and small photophores which are beautiful, one featured here). See my coverage on South Coast Plaza, Maiden Lane and Larchmont.

Have you tried or bought any of the Diptyque online or store exclusives? What are your favorites? If you bought Benjoin online, what did you think?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black Solid Perfume

The latest addition to the Elizabeth and James Nirvana line is the Solid Perfume Compact ($48 for 3.9 g / 0.14 oz). I'm a huge fan of the Nirvana Black in both the Eau De Parfum Spray and Mini Rollerball version (previous review can be found here). It has a mix of violet, sandalwood, vanilla making it a warm deep scent I like for date nights and going out. The solid perfume comes in a small but very sturdy mirrored compact. It has the signature Elizabeth and James Nirvana packaging in either black or white with the gold edging. The compact itself is quite beautiful. It comes with a soft black protective pouch you can store it in before placing it into a clutch or pouch if you carry it on-the-go.

The scent of the Nirvana Black Solid is identical to the Eau de Parfum versions although it has a slightly softer feel and not quite as strong throw. It's still noticeable and lasts just as long as the liquids (at least in the few days I've tested it). I think it's perfect for touch ups and the subtle nature of the solid makes it where you don't have to worry about your fragrance being overwhelming if you apply in public.

For size reference, in the palm of my hand:

The Solid Compact shown below next to the 1 oz Eau de Parfum Spray and the Nirvana White and Black mini 0.24 oz rollerballs (previously Beauty Insider 100 point exclusives, but you can buy them for a limited time as a Rollerball Set for $20 at Sephora)

I like all three versions, but am slightly partial to the mini rollerballs because they are so cute and easy to carry around with me. Perfume is something I usually forget in the mornings so having something I can have with me in my purse to spray on in the car is really handy for me. The Solid Perfume is cased in a beautiful compact which makes applying perfume a really nice experience. If you're new to the Elizabeth and James Nirvana line I highly recommend looking into the Mini Rollerball Duo as soon as you can - it's a great way to try both fragrances at a fraction of the price for the full sized bottles.

The Elizabeth and James Solid Perfumes in Nirvana Black and Nirvana White retail for $48 each and are both limited-edition. Right now they exclusive for purchase to VIB/VIB Rouge Members on but will be available for everyone to purchase online starting next week and expected to be available in stores starting January 2015.

The Elizabeth and James Solid Perfume was provided as a press sample for review consideration. All other items purchased by me, roller ball minis redeemed by me with my own Sephora Beauty Insider Points.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Diptyque x Tomas Maier Collaboration

Tomas Maier and Diptyque have partnered on an exclusive collaboration. Their collection features three new candles cased in beautiful matte black glass jars and embossed with white palm trees on the front. The three scents are inspired by places that are meaningful to Tomas Maier which include the barrier island of Palm Beach (PB), a coastal north Atlantic island in Maine, West District Road (WDR), and a bluff top lair at the extreme point of Long Island, Old Montauk Highway (OMH). Each candle retails for $65 and are exclusive to Diptyque Boutiques, and Tomas Maier stores.
I ordered these a few weeks ago and have been burning each one to test them thoroughly. I'm in love with each one, but my favorite is Palm Beach. Unfortunately these have been released in extremely limited quantities, they are currently sold out on Diptyque's website and I've been told stores have limited stock. If you've been contemplating these, I suggest you call your local boutique or the Tomas Maier Madison Ave store (212) 988-8686 sooner than later to see if they have any left in stock (or ask to be put on the waiting list for their next shipment). It always pains me a little to write about something after it's sold out, but in case you've been waiting for my review, here it is.

Palm Beach “PB”  is described as: humid, tropical, breezy, floral, evokes a walled, tropical garden on a southern Florida barrier island featuring scents of jasmine and iris, lemon and lime trees, salt from the sea and fresh cut grass

This is my one favorite of the three and I've been burning this one the most. It's a refreshing mix of citrus and floral, the jasmine and iris are noticeable but the lemon/lime addition dominates it very uplifting. The salt helps balance out the fragrance preventing it from being too sweet or floral. The throw is medium on this one, it's not super strong or overpowering, but I've found it to be just right.

West District Road “WDR”  is described as: dry, northern, still, woods, reminiscent of the scents on a saltwater farm of a Northern Atlantic island plush with ferns, fir and birch trees, hay, wild iris and meadow rose, moss and sea mist

There is something raw, green and very much sea-like about this candle. It's not quite a pure woodsy fragrance, but it's has that woodsy feel. It's an earthy green, you can definitely smell the mix of ferns and fir trees inside. The addition of iris and rose soften it up so it's not too earthy. It burns with a very clean feel. Throw on this is very strong.

Old Montauk Highway “OMH” is described as: moist, heather dunes, windswept, on a bluff high above the roaring Atlantic Ocean featuring scents of lady slipper orchids, black pine, bayberry, heather misted by the salty ocean breeze

This one has a smokey vibe. It has an interesting hint of heather and orchid, but smells like firewood that is lighter with a hint of salt and florals and green mixed in. I find this one to be the most masculine out of the three, but it burns clean and is still more of a unisex kind of home fragrance. If you like girly scents for the home, this one might not be the one for you. However, if you like scents along the lines of Feu de Bois but want something lighter and not as woodsy, this one is perfect. Throw on this is medium-strong.

I ordered my candles from Diptyque at South Coast Plaza and a few more online at Diptyque for Black Friday. Stores received a very limited amount and the website is currently sold out of all three. You might want to call your local stores sooner than later. If they have a waiting list I highly recommend it.

Also if you're near a Diptyque store, I'd recommend calling to check out if they are having a holiday event soon. South Coast Plaza has theirs this Thursday December 11th from 6 to 9 PM. Call them at (714) 850-9995 to RSVP, ask for Raven or Noa. (As of yesterday, they were sold out of PB, but still have the others WDR and OMH available.)

Have you checked out the Diptyque + Tomas Maier collection yet? What did you think? Which one is your favorite?


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