Category Archives: Fragrance

Jo Malone London Blooms: An Official/Unofficial Note Breakdown

Jo Malone’s ‘London Blooms’ collection, officially launching in  March, is just as pretty in person as it is in these campaign images. Maybe even more so. Over the weekend, I stopped into Saks and London Blooms was out early for Beauty Week. I had so much fun getting to know each of these scents a little more. A fragrance expert, I am not, but I’m starting to get a better understanding of how certain notes react on my skin. And what I think I like might not always be what works with my body’s chemistry. So with that, the official description and what my nose detects (in a very unofficial way).

Wild Lilac & Rhubarb. A daring juxtaposition, this cologne’s tart, vibrant rhubarb cuts through the soft lilac, rose and sun-loving heliotrope.
Laurie’s unofficial take: This opens up sweet, and I detect the rose. Love it. Also, what does heliotrope smell like?

Peony & Moss. A cologne contrasting the dainty and the dirty. Its gossamer lightness of delicate peonies is grounded in earthy green.
Laurie’s unofficial take: Oh my gosh, I love peonies. But wow, this is pretty powdery. Lasted on my right wrist all day.

Iris & Lady Moore. A mingling between spicy-fresh, common or garden geraniums and noble iris, this cologne is powdery and poised. Brought together on a dry-grass base of vetiver.
Laurie’s unofficial take: I don’t detect much powder, but it does have a musky smell. The spice is kind of strong.

As a whole, I love the earthy grit in this collection. I really thought that I would be a Peony & Moss girl, but it was Wild Lilac & Rhubarb that smelled heavenly on my skin. Now that I discovered the London Bloom for me, I will be investing in one of those gorgeous bottles.

What's New in Beauty: NARS 413 BLKR, Pantone's Color of the Year and the Kate Spade bag I Must Have

Only one more week to go until Christmas! I am officially done with all of my holiday shopping as of about 4 p.m. today. I only had a few more things on my list to get, and it feels great to be done. What about all of you? Is it a wrap? Or are you procrastinating for a few more days? If so, here are a few more distractions from us to you! 

NARS 413 Bleecker Larger than Life Lip Gloss is one hawt red. Available online or at the flagship boutique at 413 Bleecker in New York. Feels very festive, no?  [NARSCosmetics]

Orange you excited for Pantone’s 2012 Color of the Year, Tangerine Tango? It looks like it will be everywhere come spring, in fashion and beauty. To get in on the trend now, try BUTTER London Jaffa. [The Wall Street Journal]

Katy Perry launched her second fragrance, Meow! by Katy Perry, at The Grove in Los Angeles earlier this week. Available exclusively at Nordstrom.

10 White Elephant Gifts to keep! [Refinery29]

Is it too late to add this Kate Spade Rosa Satchel to my Christmas wish list?  That patent bow is calling to me!  [Nordstrom]

Still looking for a stocking stuffer or two? We love this little set from Fresh! And…only $10. [Sephora]

Narciso Rodriguez For Her In Color

In a word, Narciso Rodriguez For Her In Color can be summed up as sensual. If you wanted another word to describe this fragrance, I’d say alluring. This fragrance is sexy from the ground up and decidedly different from its Essence in Color counterpart that was released at the same time. Where Essence in Color is clean, soapy and feminine, For Her In Color is warm and seductive in contrast.

Even though patchouli is commonly used as a base note,  this fragrance opens with a commanding hit of patchouli that quickly softens and becomes bewitching without being aggressive. After the hit of patchouli dissipates, notes of peach and rose begin to emerge in a light veil of vanilla. Like all of the Narciso Rodriguez fragrances I’ve tried, the wear is beautiful; it grabs the skin and doesn’t let go. This is a fragrance you’d wear when you want to attract the right kind of attention, just like the bottle does. The design is sexy and sleek with worthy of being displayed.

You can find Narciso Rodriguez For Her in Color at Nordstrom, a 3.3oz Eau de Parfum retails for $108.00. If you like your fragrances on the warm side, this is a fragrance you should get to know.

Narciso Rodriguez Essence in Color

I get the feeling Narciso Rodriguez must personally know me because he keeps clearly designing fragrances for me. I first fell in love Narciso’s namesake fragrance, he wrapped me up in its beautiful warm cashmere blanket of a scent and kept me cozy and warm and now he just keeps making fragrances that feel like little personal gifts from him to me. I feel like Narciso is extremely intelligent with his design as he seems to know who loves his fragrances and keeps building on that initial attraction. I am now truly in love with Essence in Color. Like his namesake, it is a beautiful skin but better scent.

Essence in Color is feminine but not girly, it has a hint of timeless classic yet there’s a refreshing clean feel that is overly soapy. As Essence in Color is going to play differently on everyone’s skin on mine it opens with a lovely and delicate top note of rose petals, the powdery and clean iris note carries through from the middle to the dry down with a very quiet hint of amber that adds to it being warm but doesn’t take away from it being clean smelling. Essence in Color has great staying power and lifts off the skin just enough for someone close to enjoy it.

You can find Essence in Color at Macy’s and Sephora online starting at $84 for a 1.6oz bottle. I can only hope someone decides to make other products with this scent. I would gladly submerge myself in a barrel of this scent. Stay tuned for more on Narciso Rodriguez For Her in Color. Have experienced any of his fragrances?

Lovin' It: Jo Malone Wild Bluebell

I’ve gotten myself into a total fragrance routine. Some may call it a rut, but I don’t like the negative connotation that comes along with that word, simply because my routine of wearing Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia nearly every day is a pleasant one!  But that routine has all but disappeared as of late because I’m totally hooked on Jo Malone’s newest frag, Wild Bluebell.

Wild Bluebell is nothing like I thought it would be. When I heard floral notes, I assumed it would be too field-o-flowers for me. Not the case. It’s the perfect balance of floral and fruit, and like all Jo Malone fragrances, has a few surprises. I don’t claim to have the sophisticated frago note-detectors, but I notice how dynamic Wild Bluebell is from when I first spray to how it settles on the skin. It’s just lovely – so fresh and dewy. I’d say it’s a more delicate scent, but the lasting power is decent.  For a more detailed breakdown of the notes, visit the London MakeUp Girl – her review is great!

I picked this up at Nordstrom, but Saks Beauty Week is coming soon. So if you are interested in trying this, do it then and get some goodies!

Beauty VIP of the Week: Maison Francis Kurkdjian's Washing Liquids

You may think it is odd that I am essentially saying laundry detergent is my beauty VIP of the week but Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Washing Liquids is laundry detergent beautified. It is all about the fragrance it leaves behind. You can use it on your delicates as well as linens.

I have been interested in this line since I first spied their Les Bulles d’Agathe, perfume scented bubbles. I got a chance to play with them in New York at Bergdorf’s a few weeks ago and loved them, so much fun. You only smell the notes when the bubble is burst. I didn’t cave on the bubbles at the time but while I was at the counter, I discovered Aqua Universalis. It is a beautiful cologne that is as refreshing and light on women as it is on men. I became immediately obsessed with that scent at that very moment and am handling my sample vial with care.

Aqua Universalis has notes of bergamot, lemon, lily and musk. The scent is great on skin but I’m totally loving it on my sheets and blankets. The scent has lasted longer than I expected it to, I used this detergent 5 days ago and I can still smell the fragrance when I get into bed at night or snuggle with my chenille blanket on the couch. There really is nothing more comforting than a snuggling up with a soft blanket scented with a fragrance like this.

These washing liquids retails for 45 for 35oz bottles, which give you about 20 washes. It is available for dark colors and as a fabric softener as well. It is expensive for detergent but I’ve been using this very sparingly to make it last. It definitely makes a boring chore like doing laundry a little more pleasant. When you use this on your delicates and wear the perfume, it takes layering to the next level!

Noteworthy Obsession: Jasmine Beauty Products

Jasmine is a spiritual scent, known to relieve melancholy and have a soothing effect on the inner self. It can be intensely floral, and is so feminine. As the winter to spring transition takes place, I find myself clinging to the scent of jasmine. It’s powerful yet light and I think it is soothing my inner self. That, and the hot yoga I’ve been doing!

Here are some jasmine beauty products worth taking note of:

Pacifica California Jasmine Perfume Roll-on – This scent is everything you’d think with “California” in the name – it’s laidback and has a “I walk along the beach” vibe. The jasmine is more subdued here, woven in with driftwood and a pop of orange. I love the ease of the rollerball, and find that while it starts out strong it dries down to the softest scent almost immediately.  And I usually throw the solid version in my purse for touch-ups throughout the day.

NP Set Jasmine Body Lotion As if you needed another reason to love Target…well, here’s one. A giant tub (16.9 oz) of body lotion infused with jasmine essential oils, available for $14.99. This lotion has a lovely thick consistency but feels light as a feather on the skin. The jasmine scent is a little deeper and long-lasting on the skin. Days I use this, it doubles as my perfume.

Korres Jasmine Lip Butter – Korres Lip Butters are a constant staple in my beauty regimen. They soften my lips, and the Jasmine Lip Butter is the most perfect milky pink lip color. Plus, the scent, a vanilla jasmine, is to die. I can never get enough of this.

Oscar Blandi Olio Di Jasmine Shine Spray Oscar Blandi’s Jasmine collection is easily the best-smelling line of hair care on the market! It’s addictive, really. I use the Olio Di Jasmine Shine Spray to give my hair some shine (used sparingly, and not on the roots!), and  spritz it on just before a swipe of the flat iron. It keeps my hair healthy-looking and feeling, thanks to the Italian Olive Oil housed in the bottle. Did I mention how GOOD it smells?!

I think it’s fair to say I’ve developed a penchant for jasmine this spring. What’s your go-to signature for this time year? Any scents you’re loving?

Kate Walsh's The Boyfriend Kit

Kate Walsh from Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice fame is behind this fragrance and she tried to recreate a man’s scent on a woman. Kate had broken up with her boyfriend and realized she missed his smell so that inspired her to create this fragrance. I love that she has a pretty unique concept for a celebrity fragrance. We’re all guilty of reveling in his scent after he has left, right? Years ago in high school in Portugal, every time I smelled Drakar Noir, I’d stop what I was doing and turn around in the hopes that he was walking in the room but the joke was on me! Every guy and his dad wore Drakar Noir back then.

Fast forward 15 years later and I completely understand the motivation behind this fragrance and this Boyfriend Kit is the most adorable set ever. Is it not? This Boyfriend Kit retails for $95 and includes a 0.50oz Eau de Parfum, a 0.16oz Pulse Point Oil mini, a 1.0oz Dry Oil mini, a 1.6oz Body Creme mini and a votive in mini traincase. It has everything you need to layer the fragrance on the skin and surround yourself with it in your home. Almost everything in this set is sold individually except the candle, which I wish was available individually because I wouldn’t mind picking up a larger version of it.

So how does it smell? I think it’s a beautifully warm, woody oriental fragrance. It is definitely the kind of fragrance I love wearing during these cold, chilly winter days. It has notes of plum, myrrh, jasmin, benzoin, musk, amber and vanilla. It opens with a little sweetness but that fades away pretty quickly and the woody notes come into focus and take over for the duration of the fragrance’s wear. You don’t need much with this fragrance, a spritz or two is literally all you need because it is heady and full. It has good silage and is long wearing. You won’t need to layer this fragrance, but you can.

If you like sweet floral or fruity fragrances, this is not for you. This is a “must love woodsy notes” type of fragrance. If you’re familiar with Marc Jacobs Bang, I find it brings this fragrance to mind. If you’re open to this type of fragrance, give it a try, it might just become your new Boyfriend.

What's New in Beauty: February 6, 2011

Jennifer Aniston launched a perfume, self-titled, currently available online at Sephora (in-stores in March). Eau de Jenn is described as a sensual, floral and clean scent.

NARS first boutique is set to open February 10 in Manhattan’s West Village at 413 Bleeker Street. We can’t wait to visit! More info to come on the brand’s Facebook tab – 413 BLKR.

More celeb fragrance news: Kate Walsh of Private Practice launched her first scent, Boyfried, at Sephora as well. Boyfriend is her take on a feminine version of a man’s cologne. [StyleBistro]

Kate Moss is the new face of Dior Beauty. To start, she’ll be featured in new ads for Dior Addict lipstick. [Stylelist]

Do you love Laura Mercier’s Translucent Powder? If so, you might be interested in checking out her new Invisible Loose Setting Powder.

Best of 2010: Our Favorite Bath, Body and Perfume Products

To wrap up our favorites of the past year, we’re going to take a look at a few of our favorite perfumes and bath and body products.

Korres Melon Shower Gel – This was a summer favorite of ours for its enchanting scent but stuck around as a favorite because of the formula. It’s packed with the good stuff, like aloe and vitamins A and E, and feels great on skin.

EOS Ultra Moisturizing Shave Cream – We’d all but abandoned shave cream until this wonder product from EOS came along. Admittedly, the packaging piqued our interest, but what’s inside is even better. It’s more like a shaving lotion and can be used wet or dry, irritation-free. Love this stuff!

Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia – Inspired by a walk in the orchard, this fragrance is so natural and inviting. It doesn’t reek of fruit either, it really strikes the perfect balance with every note. Laurie really has a true “product man” in her life — this fragrance was an anniversary gift from her husband in September.

Donna Karan IrisThis perfume was my summertime friend. It is fresh and vibrant and just all around a beautiful floral fragrance. Can I just say this? When it comes to fragrance, Donna Karan rarely gets it wrong.

Chloe Intense – Chloe released a few different perfumes last year but my favorite was an ramped version of their original Chloe perfume. I wrote about it back in April, I loved it then and I love it now even more in the winter. This rose note fragrance is so alluring and makes this gal feel a little more refined when she wears it.

Philosophy Eternal Grace – It was bound to happen… another “grace” scent from Philosophy. Eternal Grace goes in a different direction that the other fragrances in the series, this one has some citrus notes to it making it fresh and lighter than the others but still has some of that “grace” core that we have come to know and love… it is new but still familiar like an old friend.

What were your favorites perfumes and bath and body products from last year?