Valentina’s Home Brewed Pure Body Care Perfume Oil in True Love

Valentina's Home Brewed Pure Body Care Perfume Oil in True Love
Valentina’s Home Brewed Pure Body Care Perfume Oil in True Love

When I want something, I will go anywhere I need to go in order to get it. Patience is not one of my virtues. I wouldn’t admit this to just anyone but since we have bonded over beauty products, I’ll tell you. After going to two other stores, I once drove 49 miles each way for an Armani foundation. I hunted down Valentina’s Home Brewed Pure Body Care Perfume Oil in True Love in much the same way over the course of the last few months.

Every time I would try to buy this perfume, every other fragrance would be in stock but True Love. It eluded me for months, and apparently a lot of other gals. It wasn’t until a random stop at Whole Foods on Christmas Eve for a centerpiece that I finally found it. We’ve been inseparable ever since. Isn’t that how it always goes? You find what you want when you least expect it. What I didn’t expect was how much I’d love the whole Valentina’s Home Brewed Pure Body Care line.

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Introducing philosophy loveswept

philosophy loveswept fragrance

The new philosophy loveswept fragrance has hit store shelves and is ready to sweep you off your feet, so to speak. This newest floral eau de toilette from the brand retails from $16 for a 0.50oz. to $46 for a 20z. bottle.

loveswept opens with a burst of bergamot and citrus that slowly fades out and gives way to notes of jasmine, lotus blossom and passion fruit with a base of amber and musk. philosophy describes the fragrance:

loveswept: A vibrant, feminine, romantic and youthful fragrance. by definition, loveswept is about energy and emotion, following your heart and seeing where that can take you and that is the sentiment that philosophy seeks to achieve.

I could not come up with a better description, philosophy definitely captured the essence of this fragrance with these words but let’s discuss this a little further.

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Beauty VIP of the Week: Bond No. 9 Chinatown Candle

Bond No. 9 Chinatown Candle

Hi, my name is Carla and I hoard expensive candles. I treat my expensive candles a little differently, I save them for weekends, special occasions or just when the mood hits me. I have a little rotation going; my Tom Ford, Dayna Decker, NARS, Nest and Bond No. 9 candles all get a little burn time. The rest of the time I burn some more affordable candles. 🙂

This week I’ve shown my Bond No. 9 Chinatown candle some love. It is has been a long, cold week and I’ve been unwinding at night by burning this candle for an hour or two each night. Let me tell you, it smells amazing. Each Bond No. 9 candle I’ve experienced is exquisitely scented, the Scent of Peace is another favorite of mine. Chinatown has notes of patchouli, peach blossom, peony, gardenia, tuberose, and cardamom. I’m obsessed with how the candle fills the room with fragrance and gives it a seductive vibe. It sounds very floral based on the notes but the patchouli and cardamom give it great depth and spice. Chinatown is great date night material.

The Bond No. 9 candles retail for $95. Expensive? Yes. Simply gorgeous as the candle burns and the jar glows in the dark? Absolutely… and the highlight of my week.

Lady Gaga's New Perfume Fame

Lady Gaga has been teasing her fans with images of her first, upcoming fragrance “Fame”. Now the first image from the ad campaign has been unveiled on The photograph was shot by Steven Klein and features a nude (and masked) Gaga with little men crawling all over her, desperate for a piece of her fame.

This is Lady Gaga’s first fragrance and it’s a collaboration with Haus Laboratories Paris and Coty. The perfume uses a “push-pull” technology, meaning the notes in the fragrance are not part of a composed top, middle or base. The ingredients are mixed to highlight different aspects of each fragrant note at the same time. That said, there are some interesting notes in the fragrance; incense, honey, saffron, apricot, jasmine and tiger orchid.

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Around the World with Kiehl's Aromatic Blends

I am absolutely taken by Kiehl’s Aromatic Blends fragrance. Especially that simple glass bottle. No frills, no flashiness. Just a light, fresh fragrance. Aromatic Blends includes four scents in three products, Skin Softening Lotion, Skin Softening Cleanser and Fragrance, using ingredients from around the world.

“The goal here was to scour the Earth for the best ingredients, and create fragrances that are of the highest quality with simple, clear and unique constructions, where customers can truly experience the purity of the fragrances while being transported to the origin of sourcing. This is the Kiehl’s way.”
– David Suffit, Assistant Vice President, Fragrance Development

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New to Crescent Row: Benefit See & Be Seen Sasha

Benefit will launch a new fragrance this July, See & Be Seen Sasha. Like all of the Benefit fragrances that make up their “Crescent Row” collection, Sasha has the best packaging. Really, it doesn’t get any cuter than these Benefit boxed fragrances. Do you remember the Benefit minis that were released last holiday? Regardless of whether I like the scent, I find myself wanting to have a Crescent Row community in my own house. It turns out, though, that Sasha smells pretty phenom. It’s a very girly scent — Benefit describes it as a daring and captivating floral.

Top notes: orange flower absolute, apricot, pink freesia
Middle notes: ylang ylang, tiare flower, white peony, jasmine sambac
Bottom notes: crystal amber, liquid musk, vanilla

It is a burst of floral right away, and then I immediately notice the jasmine. It works well with my skin, and I like these notes. Surprisingly, I don’t pick up much of the amber or vanilla. I thought I knew how would this smell reading the notes, but it’s actually more floral than I expected. Daring and girly, gotta love it!

Also, just spotted this ADORABLE Crescent Row Stationery Tin on, which is available for purchase, or free right now with a $40 purchase (enter code WRITEME at checkout). SO CUTE overload!

Summer Love: Bobbi Brown Shimmering Fragrance Oil

Topping off one of the things I love about summer is the beach. Sure, we may not have an ocean in Chicago, but we have Lake Michigan and beaches with the city’s skyline as a backdrop. Take that, coasties! However, the actual beach does not smell nearly as good as Bobbi Brown’s Beach Fragrance. Truly summer in a bottle. It’s not so literal in its interpretation of “beach,” instead is a light blend of jasmine, sea spray and mandarin. If there was a smell to define the carefree attitude of summer, that’s Bobbi Beach. Basically, we strive to live the life this scent makes us feel we should be living.

As part of Bobbi’s Miami Collection, she released a Beach Shimmering Fragrance Oil. I know, RIGHT?  Just looking at the pretty pink bottle with its sparkles makes me excited! I resist the urge to douse my entire body in this and instead pump a few dabs on my inner arm and then rub my arms together to spread it around. It’s an extra boost of moisture on my arms and I love the subtle sparkles. The intoxicating scent of Beach lasts for about six hours and brings me immense happiness when I’m doing all of the things an adult has to do in the summer (like work!)

Is there a scent that defines summer for you?

Science for Beauty Gals: Aromachology

I’m a common sense scientist (a.k.a. I prefer layman’s terms when it comes to complex matters of chemistry and physics). True story: my worst scholarly moment in college was my “Age of Dinosaurs” class. It’s almost embarrassing. I like to think it was my 1980s Catholic school upbringing — the sciences were just not stressed on me (but I can speed read, so take that!)

But a science that interests me in a way T-Rex never could is the science of scent, a.k.a. Aromachology. There’s a reason that what smells good on my skin might be completely off-putting to you, right? The “aromachologists” behind Aromachology actually study the connection between psychology and scent and the affect it has on behavior.

You may recognize Aromachology, they launched two years ago at Henri Bendel’s in New York with a Custom Perfume Bar.  The line is centered around five base scents: Floral, Fresh, Oriental, Woodsy and Gourmand and comes in fragrances, body lotion, hand wash, room spray, candles that can be for you (truly) and also would make a great gift.

I like the idea of something just for me, so totally appreciate this concept. I tested out the five core scents and had some fun “blind” sniffing them. I also took Aromachology’s scent test to determine what was the best match. It was actually a match in both cases — the Floral Sophisticated & Sensual with notes of white lily, magnolia, tuberose, amber and sandalwood. While it may not be a perfect match with my personality, I also totally love the “totally edible” Gourmand — with notes of Sicilian orange, lemon drop, vanilla, apple, sugar cane and chocolate. It’s delish, truly!

Hop on over to Aromachology and see how your scent story comes together — you may be surprised!

Thymes Garden Alchemy + Giveaway

My excitement level hit a new high this week when I noticed the neighborhood peonies starting to bloom. While I live in the city, I have a neighbor passionate about gardening and she’s turned the surrounding blocks into a beautiful urban oasis. Spring is the best time of year — with the daffodils, tulips and lilacs blooming. And now, peonies! The flower that almost led me to choose a spring wedding date (opted for September in the end!)

Peonies in bloom

Garden scents are exactly what I look for in a fragrance. Very literally — I’ll take the earthy, gritty notes along with the florals (hold the allergies, though) Which is why the new collection from Thymes, Garden Alchemy, strikes a chord, or note, with me. The botany meets perfumery collection is garden at its best. The three scent factions include Rosemary Sage, Wild Angelica, and Lemon Geranium. I’m partial to Wild Angelica, but am finding it difficult to resist the party citrusy, part mossy Lemon Geranium.

Product Girl is over on the Thymes Blog this week musing on spring fragrance. Go check us out there and let us know your thoughts on spring fragrance! We’d love to know what scents inspire you. And, we also want to give away some of our favs from Thymes Garden Alchemy collection! One winner will receive a set of the seven Garden Alchemy products in a variety of scents.

To enter, take a look at the Garden Alchemy collection and let us know what product you most want to try! You can check it out here. We’ll pick one winner Sunday, May 20. Good luck!

Shop for Your Perfume at Parfum Europa

Remember this perfume? Just looking at this bottle brings me back. It reminds me of middle school and getting ready in the morning with this bottle on my dresser. That and maybe Navy, remember that perfume? While some of our old school fragrances are long gone from drugstore and department store shelves, that does not mean that they are gone for good. Some of my all time favorite fragrances are only found through e-tailers like Parfum Europa. My Borghese’s Il Bacio and Cabotine de Gres beloveds are both found there along with other men’s and women’s perfume.

It is not just about those older, harder to find fragrances at Parfum Europa, they also carry fragrances like Flowerbomb and Cashmere Mist (retail best sellers!) at more competitive prices…just price out Cashmere Mist with a competitor to see what I mean. Check out Parfum Europa’s specials and their BOGO promotion for even more savings. They also give free shipping with a $65 purchase! Take a look at their website and order yourself something that smells delicious.