Forever Red Exclusively at Bath & Body Works Review
Perfume, Reviews - Comments (1) - December 21st, 2012
Bath & Body Works really hyped up the launch of their Eau de Parfum Forever Red. In the past, they’ve done a lot of body mists, etc., but apparently this is their first “luxury” perfume. Influenster included a 0.25 fl. oz mini bottle in the Cosmo Vox Box, so I get to check it out!
The perfume is sweet. Really, really, sweet. It’s got notes of pomegranate, peach, apple, red peony, night marigold, red osmanthus, vanilla rum, marshmallow, and oak wood. It’s also quite fruity in the opening, and a bit boozy in the drydown. I like it, but it’s certainly not unique or special. It reminds me of a host of other perfumes in the genre, like Britney Spears Fantasy or Taylor Swift Wonderstruck. Honestly, both of those perfumes do the fruity-sweet thing better than Forever Red, in my opinion, and I’ll stick with them. I’m having a hard time really differentiating this scent from some of Bath & Body Works’ others, like Be Enchanted (which I actually like, especially the shower gel) and Paris Amour (and their bottles are WAAAY CUTER). They just smell really similar to me, so I have a hard time fingering Forever Red as the “luxury” scent. At the ripe old age of 33, however, I am probably not the target market for this perfume, and I’m guessing there are plenty of teen to twenty-something gals who will really love it.
The price point ($44.50 for a 2.5 fl. oz. bottle) is in line with department store perfume prices. (That’s cheaper than Wonderstruck, for example.) There are matching body products, if layering is your thing. For comparison purposes, I did spray one of Bath & Body Works’ eau de toilette’s on one wrist and Forever Red (an eau de parfum) on the other, and Forever Red did last longer – as it should, since it’s an EDP.
So. Would I splurge on a full-size Forever Red? Nope, it’s not for me. But reviewing this scent did get me in a Bath & Body Works store, where I was reasonably impressed to see that they are offering EDT versions of their scents – and I would consider picking up one of those, they’re a good value.
Ineke Floral Curiousities Sweet William Perfume (WANT.)
Perfume, Reviews - Be the first to comment! - November 12th, 2012
I don’t usually review things which I’ve only smelled in a shop, and haven’t actually purchased. There’s always a first time though. I was recently in Anthropologie, and happened to sniff these perfumes from Ineke, a themed collection called Floral Curiousities. There were four fragrances, and the only one which grabbed me was the one called Sweet William. Because the travel spray is a relatively good value, and the packaging is so cute, I decided to share it with you. (I may yet go back and buy it!)
Ineke is a niche perfume company from California. I’ve been curious about their perfumes for a while, since I see them mentioned frequently as an interesting niche company. The Floral Curiousities series was a collaboration with Anthropologie, to create four fragrances based on flowers. Besides Sweet William, there is a jasmine one, a larkspur one, and angel’s trumpet. The others didn’t do much for me – in general I find floral fragrances too synthetic for my taste, with the exception of the occasional tuberose or gardenia or lily scent.
Sweet William, however, caught my nose and was worthy of a spray on skin. It’s a clove-y scent, not unlike carnation, with notes of patchouli, cedarwood and sandalwood, brightened with peach notes and bourbon vanilla. LOVE. It’s classified as a woodsy scent, which is accurate enough. The patchouli is NOT strong, and in fact I couldn’t pick it out of the blend. Mostly, it’s a clove-y peachy kind of thing with a nice woodsy base. I really, really like it.
The packaging for the travel sizes is super-cute. They come in these boxes shaped like books, it’s really clever. The price is 0.5 oz for $28, which is pretty reasonable for a quality perfume. You can only find them at Anthropologie stores or at Anthropologie.com. I wannit.
Etat Libre D’Orange Rien Perfume Not A Review
Best Of, Perfume, Reviews - Comments (1) - October 21st, 2012
Back in August, I impulse bought this perfume, Etat Libre D’Orange’s Rien. Etat Libre D’Orange is small French perfume house. I’ve been aware of the brand for several years, but hadn’t had an opportunity to smell any of the fragrances due to their relative obscurity. On a visit to Blush Beauty Bar, a local boutique, I discovered that they are carrying a small selection of the Etat fragrances. SO EXCITING.
So, a perfume called Rien. In case you are not up on your French, rien means nothing. And boy, did I get the joke when I sprayed this the first time. Here I am, picking up the bottle, and expecting a light, soft, airy type of fragrance. HA! It’s almost like buzzers went off and a man in a suit with a microphone leaped out to point and laugh at my gullibility. I knew already that Etat Libre D’Orange has a reputation for eccentricity and irony with their perfumes. I obviously should have known better then to think that Rien would be anything but big, bold, and voluptuous.
Rien has notes of aldehydes, rose, cumin, black pepper, patchouli, iris, leather, oakmoss, amber, labdanum, incense, and styrax. Other reviewers will tell you that it is a throwback to a different era, when perfumes were big, and bold, and voluptuous. You can also read an interesting interview from the perfumer who created it. It’s interesting, because after reading this interview, I definitely get what he’s saying. Previously, I wasn’t able to pick up on the aldehydes of Chanel No. 5 (another perfume I own) until I smelled this and had my a ha! moment when I could smell that lift that rises up when you first spray both of these perfumes. Now I can also pick up aldehydes in other scents I own.
I smelled all of the Etat Libre D’Orange Perfumes that Blush Beauty Bar had, and first decided to buy samples of three of them – Rien, Like This, and Charogne. I sniffed Rien again, and again, and sprayed a little on my hand, and walked off down the street to get a cup of coffee and a scone. And by the time I had finished my coffee and scone, I knew I had to go back and get the bottle of Rien. Such an impulse buy, but I kept feeling that shock, that blast of OH HEY I’M A BIG, BOLD PERFUME, which was by this time drying down to something warm, and extremely sexy on my skin. I had to have it, because it was so unique and unlike anything else I own.
If Balenciaga Paris is a lady in a sweater set and pearls, Rien is what happens when she takes a lover. It’s pretty much sex in a bottle, in my opinion, but in a super-classy, elegant way. I adore the dry down, which takes on a scent like warm skin, but magnified. It’s got a cozy, cashmere blanket kind of feel to it. This stuff has crazy sillage when sprayed from the bottle. This bottle is going to last me A LONG TIME.
If Rien is Nothing, this is Not a Review. *wink*
More OHWTO Halloween Scents!
Perfume, Reviews - Comments (9) - October 10th, 2012
After last month’s epic One Hand Washes The Other Halloween smell-o-thon, I placed an order for a few more of the new scents. Let me tell you all about them!
Seance is described as having nutty bold-roast coffee, heavy oak furniture, carved sandalwood totems, dried herbs, neroli, vanilla’d figs, and a wreath of clary sage to ward off bad spirits. Lest you think this is a coffee smell, it’s not. On my skin, it becomes a warm floral scent, but rich and deep. When I think of this scent, the image that pops into my head is Miss Havisham and her mansion, a tragic yet romantic image. So, in my head I call this Miss Havisham. *grin*
Pumpkin Bread Pudding is OM NOM NOM, but don’t eat it! It’s got notes of bruleed pumpkin puree, buttermilk, cream, bourbon, bread, vanilla, honey, & pumpkin spice. It makes me crave pumpkin cream cheese muffins from Starbucks. The ultimate early fall gourmand smell!
Down a Dark Path is complex and interesting. It’s got notes of fresh figs, dried leaves, carnations, oakmoss, amber, sage, black pepper, pumpkin, vanilla, pomegranate, beeswax, rhubarb, lavender, and the scent of an unidentifiable animal stalking you in the shadows between the trees. It’s oh-so-spicy and herbal but also just a little bit gourmand. A dude could totally rock this smell.
County Fair is one of those, like Solanum, that I didn’t think I’d care for, but oh how wrong I was. It’s got notes of ripe peaches, Macintosh apples, pumpkin pie, mandarins, black currants, raw honey, plums, Bartlett pears, just-baled hay, orange blossom, and white amber. I thought “Fruit. Meh.” and didn’t order it, but Becca included a sample. OH DAMN. It’s like Autumn in a smell. I must have more.
Sticky Fingers is sweet. It might actually me too sweet for me (a rare thing indeed). It’s all creamy white chocolate, gooey marshmallow, a plump dollop of cream cheese frosting, tonka bean absolute, and warmed coconut milk. I think I want it in a soy wax tart for a house smell, rather than a put it on my skin smell. I love it, but it gets really really sweet on my skin.
And thus concludes my most recent Halloween smell haul from One Hand Washes The Other.
Darling Clandestine Bitsy Vials Are Awesome
Etsy, Perfume, Reviews - Comments (5) - August 25th, 2012
I recently placed an order for five “bitsy” vials from Darling Clandestine, and of course, they are all so fabulous. It was quite hard to choose only five new fragrances to try, but in the end I picked the ones I was most curious about. They are all quite amazing!
First, Summer’s Cauldron.
Drowning here in Summer’s Cauldron
Under mats of flower lava
Please don’t pull me out this is how I would want to go
Summer’s Cauldron includes notes of incense, opium, bourbon and roses, orange and spice. It’s intense! I like this one a lot because the notes rise up and sing individually, while still combining to form a complex perfume. I’ll get a waft of orange, and then a waft of rose, but also the base notes will swirl around with the spice notes. It’s dark and mysterious and fun.
In the 1860s the showman P. T. Barnum exhibited women whom he claimed were Circassian beauties. They wore a distinctive Afro-like hair style, which had no precedent in earlier portrayals of Circassians, but which was soon copied by other female performers, who became known as “moss haired girls.” These were typically presented as victims of sexual enslavement among the Turks, who had escaped from the harem to achieve freedom in America.
A friend of mine described Circassian as “coffee sex.” YES. YES IT IS. Circassian is a warm chocolaty fragrance with intriguing notes of black coffee and amber and blossoms. It is the perfect mocha smell. I want to bathe in it. I LOVE coffee and chocolate. MMMMMMM.
I also chose Vardogr.
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
— Ezra Pound
Vardogr is a dark, damp, herbal fragrance. It’s made with pure essential German chamomile, bitter black coffee, hazy Indian musks, sharp herbs and a whip of leather. It’s kind of like …drinking coffee while sitting in a old-growth forest, during a rainstorm. Is it complex and interesting? Yes! The coffee note is amplified on my skin, but the damp, forest-y bits swirl around underneath and keep it fresh. I am exceptionally pleased by Vardogr, and if you like coffee scents with a twist, you should try it too.
Tapadero was the fourth pick.
A cattle trail drunk and a hard road to travel,
That old Jack O’ Diamonds is a hard card to play.
Tapadero is, at its heart, about roses and sage. I happen to love roses, and I happen to love sage. The leathery bits and the earthy finish combine to make Tapadero a delightfully wonderful smell. If you like rose scents (that have more going on then just rose) you’ll want to try Tapadero. It’s a very romantic scent.
Last of all, Cloudswing.
They will see us waving from such great heights
‘come down now,’ they’ll say
But everything looks perfect from far away,
‘come down now,’ but we’ll stay…
Cloudswing is warm hay and vanilla and mowed clover and marigolds and intense lemongrass. This was the scent I was least sure about, because often marigold and lemongrass don’t float my boat. However, combine some vanilla with lemongrass and all of a sudden I’m in a swoon, so duh. Of course I love it.
I think Circassian will be my favorite going into fall, because of coffee and chocolate speak to me on cooler days. But really, I love all five of these scents. If you haven’t tried Darling Clandestine yet, you better get on that! It’s all soooo good.
Paul & Joe Bleu Perfume Review
Best Of, Perfume, Reviews - Be the first to comment! - August 24th, 2012
I’ve been in love with the Paul & Joe brand for several years now. Their makeup is the epitome of luxe, in my opinion, with beautiful textures and colors. I sniffed both of the fragrances offered by Paul & Joe a few years ago, and decided that Bleu was my preferred of the two (there is also Blanc). I suspect it’s being discontinued, because I saw it selling for quite a low price from Amazon.com, so I snatched one up. I’m really happy I did, because it’s as good as I remember it.
If you read the reviews on Basenotes, most reviewers mention the similarity to Guerlain’s Shalimar. I’m a very bad perfumista, and can’t actually remember what Shalimar smells like (although I have smelled it before). Clearly, I’ll try to remedy this soon.
The note that catches my attention the most in Bleu is the cumin. My skin magnifies cumin notes LIKE CRAZY, so it’s a really good thing I LOVE the scent. Some people liken cumin to a sweat smell – perhaps this is so. But I still really like it, and it’s somewhat unusual to encounter it in mainstream perfumery. Bleu also has notes of bergamot, coriander, caraway, cardamom, ylang-ylang, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, oud, myrrh, vanilla, and musk. It’s a very smooth scent, but also very rich and very spicy. It has excellent sillage, and wears for hours. I love the pretty blue glass bottle, with its vintage look.
If you love a slightly unusual, warm oriental type of perfume, try to snag this one at the very discounted price. It’s totally worth it.
One Hand Washes The Other Halloween 2012
Perfume, Reviews - Comments (4) - August 16th, 2012
Good news, Lovelies! I have samples of five of One Hand Washes The Other’s 2012 Halloween scents, and they are FABULOUS!! I also have either full size or samples of a couple of returning fragrances, so I’ll talk about them too. OHWTO’s Halloween scents are some of my favorites, and the new scents do not disappoint.
These are some of the most complex and interesting fragrances I’ve tried from One Hand Washes The Other. They are not simply a mish-mash of individual notes, but instead are finely blended scent “stories.” I continue to be impressed with OHWTO’s growth in perfumery.
First up, is Jack. In Black. Z.O.M.G. I am SO IN LOVE with this scent. It’s got notes of charred, sooty, dirty pumpkin flesh, Arabian musk, pomegranate, tea, and a handful of penny candy snatched from an unsuspecting trick-or-treater’s pillowcase. On first sniff, I get a lovely tea note, and then it develops into a deep, musky smell tempered by the freshness of the pomegranate. This one leans on the masculine side, but works just as well on the ladies. It’s just amazingly good, and I will definitely need this in a full size!
Dullahan is a tribute to the original headless horseman! There is no way to bar the road against a dullahan—all locks and gates open on their own when it approaches… Spooky! This one has notes of harvest spices, black leather, black tea, clary sage, buttery caramel, and civet. On skin, the buttery caramel is the first note I notice, and it’s yummy. The fragrance settles into a sweet gourmand, but the leather, sage, and tea keep it from being too food-y. I think this one will be popular!
Dudleyville, based on a particularly frightening ghost town, is my next favorite after Jack. In Black. When I first put it on, my thought was mmmm… dirt and fennel. Sexy. The notes are dried leaves, wood smoke, patchouli, fennel, dirt, palo santo, petitgrain, spectral musk, amyris, catnip, ginger, and cardamom. It’s got a definite masculine feel, so this one could be good for the guys. I don’t think it’s so masculine that a chick wouldn’t want to wear it, especially if you like herbaceous scents. This is the dirt smell I’ve always wanted. It settles into a warm scent that reminds me of fall, with the dried leaves and wood smoke. I really, really like this one.
Ravensblood is …ooh. On skin, my first thought is berries and incense. The notes are blackberries, dark musk, licorice spiked with clove, guiacwood, labdanum, sandalwood, patchouli, and a bright twist of lemon. It’s surprisingly light (in character, not in lasting power, which is excellent) after a while, which I credit to the lemon and clove. It’s not a berry pie smell. I really like how the blackerry note sticks around for a long time though, like it gets juicier on your skin. This is a lovely scent!
Equinox is like visiting a harvest dessert festival and sitting by a bonfire. The notes are fresh apple butter, spiced breads and iced pastries, just-pressed cider warmed with ginger and mulling spice, roasted figs, berries, pomegranates, bonfire smoke, amber, and patchouli. It’s gourmand for sure, but not in a “you smell like food” way. The base notes keep it in the perfume realm, by providing a wonderful richness in the drydown. This is definitely a must if you like spicy scents!
Those are the five I’ve tried so far. Seance, Pumpkin Bread Pudding, and Down A Dark Path are also on my list for sure, based on the descriptions!
I also have a few returning fragrances to mention. Sugar Skulls is a long-time favorite of mine, with its notes of sweet baked goods, vanilla cookies, anise, and roses. It’s such a comfort smell. I highly recommend it.
Pumpkin Eater is what a non-foodlike pumpkin smell should be, with its mangled pumpkin, spiced cider, tilled earth, and patchouli.
Burning Times is really complex and spicy, very, very spicy, with notes of vanilla, clove, patchouli, pink peppercorn, suede, musk, sandalwood, cinnamon, cedarwood, and the smoldering Embers of a thousand years. This one is such a great smell for cooler weather!
Solanum is quite nommy, with the almond announcing itself first to me (I LOVE almond), and then the fruits and spices come forth. I didn’t order this one last year because I thought it would be primarily an apple scent – it’s not. It’s definitely more gourmand than fruity, and the apple and raspberry play a supporting, rather than starring, role. I love it!
Mirror Witch smells bright and clean to me, with notes of pomegranates, dried figs, white sage, candied ginger, and a vision of white musk. If rich and heavy isn’t your thing, but you still like a traditional autumn scent, Mirror Witch fits the bill perfectly! I just love the ginger in this one.
Are you excited for the Halloween collection from One Hand Washes The Other this year? Which scents are on your must-have list?
OHWTO Queen Bea & Violette Solid Scent Review
Perfume, Reviews - Comments (3) - August 11th, 2012
I’ve almost got all the One Hand Washes The Other summer scents now, either in full size or sample form. I just need Eva, Tea Rose Mimosa, and Berry Amber to make my life complete, lol. ANYWAY. My last OHWTO order included Queen Bea and Violette Solid Scents, so I wanted to do a quick little review since summer is going by quickly and they’ll soon be gone.
Violette smells like my childhood. I still can’t put my finger on WHAT, exactly, but for some reason violet smells trigger a very strong scent memory from my childhood. I think it might have been a soap or bubble bath or something like that. Violette’s notes are wood violets, leather, and honeycomb. It’s not strictly a violet scent though – it’s not very powdery at all, like you might expect with violets. It reminds me of a shampoo I’ve used, actually, which is not a bad thing. It’s very fresh, and a bit sweet, and just really NICE. If Violette were a person, she’d be Miss Congeniality.
Queen Bea is sexy. It’s got apricots, lots and lots of apricots, and honey, plum wine, peonies, freesia, a whiff of violet, cardamom, and white patchouli. I get a big dose of apricot first (I LOVE apricot smells), and then the honey and spices start to warm things up, and then the flowers bloom. It’s soo good, especially if you’re a sucker for apricot, like I am. I lurve it.
I have samples of One Hand Washes The Other’s upcoming Halloween scents. You jealous?