Tag Archives: review

Frond body wrap by Burren Perfumery

Yes, yes, I’ve been remiss in writing anything but here I am with something I’d like to share with you. I’ve been a huge fan of Burren perfumery ever since starting my perfumista journey. I like their perfumes but it’s actually their body products that I adore.

The last one on that list being Frond body wrap (Frond comes as edp as well but that’s less important now).lotion-frond

The important thing is how I smell after I shower and put on the Frond body lotion. It’s one of the more amazing body products I’ve tried in quite some time. In this case both because of the texture and smell.

First time I tried it I thought the smell was a bit too much. I have no idea what I was thinking then. 😉 OK, the smell is actually very strong but in my case I like it as I shower before going to bed so this comes as  my night perfume.

Here is what the Burren site says about it:

“A sophisticated, feminine perfume possessing warmth, sensuality and an underlying complexity. The freshness of cut grasses sharpens the rich scents of Wild Rose, Violet and Ylang Ylang with the soft Sandalwood base notes bringing depth and finish.”

In all honesty, that’s not exactly what I smell, or more precisely what you imagine when you read this is not what you smell for one simple reason – it smells like an old French perfume with one difference, it somehow smells clean at the same time. I’d swear there is some lavender hidden in there as well but you smell a slightly bitter floral bouquet which I find perfect for these hot summer nights we are having at the moment. Just the smell of this body wrap makes me feel cooler.

And now just to make you want it more, it is actually a wonderful body wrap, it makes your skin soft and it gives it a lasting moisturizing feeling. You actually get the best of both worlds, the perfume and a great body lotion.

No wonder I am in love with that lovely perfumery. So, if you’re interested, go check their site and you can follow them on Facebook.

My Kindle experience

Well, it’s been 3 months I have it and keep trying to use it more, but I just happen to have a pile of previously acquired physical books that I want to read too, so I keep switching from them to Kindle.

But my thoughts on Kindle 3 are not going to change so now I can write down what I love about it:

– it is so light (much lighter than I originally thought), you only need one hand to hold it, and if you like reading curled up on a couch, you don’t even need hands, you can just leave it on your legs (I usually need both hands for reading books, as paperbacks can’t be widened enough, if you’re holding them one-handedly, and  hardcovers are just not meant to be held in one hand)

– it comes equipped with a user-guide (of course) but also British and American dictionaries – that made me very happy, especially when I realized you don’t have to leave the book you’re reading in order to look for a word, but you only need to position the cursor at it and the meaning is displayed either on top of the page or down

– if you never before saw how electronic ink looks like, you’ll be surprised how different it is from our usual screen experience

– I find that Kindle’s features are very user-friendly and user guide will not be a frequently read item

– whispernet works perfect and even now, I’ve bought books from Amazon and they were downloaded to my Kindle for free, I still come across people who are trying to convince me you pay for the download – no, you don’t, if you ordered the Kindle with free 3G network (and it does enable surfing the net but the whole experience is not very good-looking as e-ink is not really appropriate for sites)

– the battery lasts the month they promised it would, only if you’re wireless it turned off, otherwise, I’d say around a week or 10 days

– as international customers only get Kindles with USB cable, and not a charger you can plug into a socket, my Sony Xperia charger is what I use, so any charger with a USB port will work (no need to buy additional one)

– I haven’t yet tried the text-to-speech feature because I read much faster than what it would take for someone else to pronounce the words, but I’ve heard it’s good and you get to choose a male or female voice

– the device functions fast and I really have no objections whatsoever regarding that (consider the fact I test my company’s software)

– I should probably arrange my books better, as at the moment they are listed haphazardly (I’m guessing as you can connect it to a computer and just copy onto it any PDF or other format that is supported, there is a way to sort them in folders as well, which is what I should do)

– I don’t know how many people know this, but everything published before 1920 has no copyright, so all those books can be downloaded for free from various sites

– consider the fact that it imitates real paper, so you cannot read this in the dark (you need to have a light on)

– the only thing that seriously irks me, is that only UK residents and US residents can download some titles for free (from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com respectively), the rest of the world has to pay 2$ for those same titles they are getting for free (ok, so 2$ isn’t a lot but I still don’t think it’s fair, I won’t say what my thoughts are on that because they aren’t really nice)

– the same goes for the publishers who don’t allow for some books to be available world-wide but have a limited availability, so I still need to order them in physical format (and wait for them)

The last two points are not really relevant to what I think of my Kindle but they frustrate me a lot.
Basically, I love my Kindle and I’m wondering if I’ll ever be able to fill it with books (Amazon boasts 3500 books can be put on it) or will I eventually buy an improved version, long before I reach the limit of this one.

If I missed something you want to know, I’d be happy to answer any questions. 🙂

Pic by: http://www.amazon.com/

L’Artisan Parfumeur: Vanilia

I think the time has come to give this a proper review. After all, I do have a bottle now and I’ve been wearing it for some time. And it never ceases to amaze me.
I tend to skip it when I’m deciding what to wear in the morning, it’s just that I always think of it as a warm, comforting scent that kind of makes you blend in. Like wearing something that makes you look like just one more face in the crowd.
Today I concluded that I’m both right and wrong. It does smell warm and comfortable but I don’t see (smell) many people around me who actually smell this addictive. 🙂 And that is what it smells like to me – addictive.
When I first spray it on, I get a large dose of wet and lush tropical-smelling vanilla. And I realized that I would definitely term this as a gourmand smell but without any foody connotations. It never reminds me of anything edible. Anyway, I was thinking how there must be a lush smelling (probably tropical) plant in this together with vanilla and while enjoying the ride, I started getting hints of warm spices. As I was considering the fact that I seem to smell clove everywhere these days and that I shouldn’t jump to clove as soon as I smell spice, I went in search for notes.
I don’t know how many of you were looking for Vanilia notes, but they tend to differ. 🙂
So first I got: ylang-ylang, vanilla bean, amber and sandalwood. Aha! There WAS some tropical lushness in this.
So I looked some more thinking how come there is no spice listed and I found another list: ylang-ylang, vanilla and vanilla flower, nutmeg, clove and sandalwood. No amber in this. And then one more list without ylang-ylang in it and listing only spices.
I’m not sure about the amber but everything else seems to be there. Of course, I don’t really know what vanilla flower smells like but my guess is really harmoniously with ylang-ylang. After I read nutmeg, I got that as well.
I was reading some of my older notes on Vanilia and saw that I wrote about a salty undertone. I would have missed it this time, I was preoccupied with lush-tropical vanilla but it’s there. It is the exact thing to make this adhere to non-foody road of development. Where does it come from – I’m not sure but my guess is that ylang-ylang brings it out from vanilla.

Now, that I’ve re-read my post I’m not sure you got the idea of what it smells like. 🙂 I realize I sometime have a problem with expressing coherently my thoughts on things. 😉
Picture by: expat21.wordpress.com

It really does smell that nice

I have no better title for today’s post than this. Before I get on to what I want to say, I have to admit I have a serious credit card problem. It seems I order with abandon because yesterday I got a little package from Juliet Stewart which I completely forgot I ordered. 🙂

And this is where the title of this post comes into play. I’ve been reading around how wonderful her scent Juliet is. Hence, the title. It really is that nice. I don’t even know how to describe it.

Here are the notes: Amalfi lemons, basil, bergamot, Sicilian orange, mediterranean herbs, Italian jasmine, vanilla, amber, precious woods.

I wish I could do it justice. It starts sweetly floral with hints of fruit and green freshness and you can barely trace hints of something herbal but it is not really a citrusy smell (all those citrusy notes made me think in that direction). And then, you get the jasmine but not like any I’ve tried yet (ok, my experience is not actually extensive, but still). A sweetish, fresh, lightly citrusy jasmine. Absolutely wonderful. The combination is at the same time fresh and floral, utterly feminine and energetic. My idea of it is a vanilla jasmine rendered light by the citruses. And at the end, the smell I was left with in my mind was the picture of amber.

Btw, I think my co-workers think I’m strange. I sniff my wrists all day long. 🙂 Ok, maybe not since we’re really a good bunch so we respect each others idiosyncrasies.

What I had on my other wrist was 5 o’clock au gingembre by Serge Lutens.
Notes: bergamot, candied ginger, honey, pepper, dark cocoa, soft cookies?!, gingerbread, patchouli, vetiver.

I believe I saw somewhere that this is a masculine scent? Anyway, I’d never have said that from the start of this but in the end I could understand why would one make it lean toward that category.

I smelled it before I had the notes. Honestly, if I read the notes before, I’d have thought it was some kind of a tooth-aching sweet cookie monster. 🙂 It’s not that. It’s wonderful but, is it possible that the SL/Sheldrake combo has such a strong signature? I mean, it is recognizable as theirs if you smelled more than one of their scents. But never mind that – I like almost all of them. 🙂

For me the start is sweet and woody. I didn’t get any of the notes listed at the beginning but thought it was a blend of Feminite du bois and Santal blanc or some of those boozy woody fragrances. I loved it! 🙂

Once it got into drydown I found lovely patchouli-vetiver mixed with a citrusy note (that could only be bergamot) that I could understand would be termed more masculine. But I liked it. I know I have a tendency toward “masculine” scents.

P.S. I was wearing Love By Kilian today. No review, but I only wish Love was so sweet…

How to wear Bulgari scents?

I’m totally baffled when it comes to Bulgari. I try them and I like the way they are done and the way they smell, but they are not me. I haven’t found a single one I can fall in love with, or at least develop a friendship so we can hang together. And it’s not that they incompatible with my skin chemistry, I think they develop just nicely.

I was shopping the other day in one of my used to be favorite perfumery in Zagreb, Martimex and I left (after spending a nice amount) with 3 perfume samples (I’m not counting 3 perfume cards). The SA sort of apologetically whispered that that was all they had. The same happened some 2 moths ago as well. So, I hope they fix it, otherwise I don’t see they have a future among Sephora, Limoni and Douglas.
Today I wanted to talk about the sample I got, Bulgari Blv, edp II.

Notes: violet, star anise, liquorice, frosted mandarine, jasmine petals, iris, fresh lily of the water, patchouli, vetiver, ambergris, benzoin, labdanum, tonka, musk.

They went completely for the blue in every sense – all the flowers, gemstones, makeup on Laetitia Casta – everything is ranging from light/frosted blue to darker blue but not really dark blue. Then it hit me, I think one of the reasons I just don’t own and wear Bulgari scents is that all of those I’ve tried, they all smelled cold and distanced. And those are not qualities I look for in anything (or anyone). But Bulgari makes it smell good. 🙂

Anyway, on to the smell itself. I had serious problems trying to discern any notes from it. It goes on fresh, cool and somewhat reminds me of aquatic (maybe beacuse of all the blue). But since I pretty much hate aquatic notes and I don’t hate this, I guess it’s just my imagination. What I got from the initial blast was that there is some flower in it (I didn’t have the notes yet) and that there was also a hint of some fruit but I didn’t think it was anything citrusy. Maybe frosted mandarin can count as something less citrusy than, you know, lemon. 🙂
In my standard fashion, I realized the opening reminded me terribly of something else I smelled, but of course I couldn’t remember. But this time, after some 30 minutes I think I know what it reminded me of – L’eau d’Issey. But it’s been quite a while since I smelled it last and I could be wrong.

So, it goes down this well blended road where I keep wondering how is it possible that they created it so seamlessly that I cannot decipher where are the individual notes? I felt totally stupid but I’ll try again soon. 🙂 I did get the opening well enough, but after that, it was – where’s jasmine, iris? I don’t smell iris. It says there’s patchouli in this, hmmm.

Even the drydown which is supposed to have all those nice, warmish notes is a mistery to me. It keeps the cool, distant aspect through it all although you can feel the underlying well maybe not exactly warmt but, warmish breeze. If the whole scent was more like the drydown, I would probably go through my samples faster. 🙂

This way, I keep wondering what is it with me and Bulgari? I had such high hopes with Omnia Green Jade after realizing the drydown is great, but it takes long to get there and I just am not a patient person.

In the end, I think they are completely correct in the manner they advertise it, it is really this nice crystal, frosted, blue fragrance.

Wearing Timbuktu

I was finally wearing Timbuktu today, after sort of going around it for months. Now, one would wonder why would someone buy a bottle of a scent and do one’s best to avoid it as long as possible? Well… What I had in my mind of Timbuktu was both true and imagined. I remembered it as a dry incense thingy that just, you know, is, well, only ok. How wrong I was! It is incensey and dryish but there’s so much more to this scent!

My untrained nose gets this smokey incense that slightly burns my nose, a bit later mixed with dry fruit (that’s how I feel it) and some patchouli. This is an EdT but it lasts all day on me and is just wonderfully strange. 🙂 I lack better words to describe it.

Notes by Luckyscent: green mango, pink pepper berries, karo-karounde flower, cardamom, smokey incense, myrrh, vetiver and patchouli.

What I actually found fascinating today is that this is a scent you have to be able to wear. It is without a doubt a masterpiece but not exactly in the perfume terms per se.

I’ve been really stressed out lately and frustrated and felt like my back was slowly lowering toward the ground under all the accumulated hardship. On top of it all, I have a cold. And this morning, I decided it was time to take Timbuktu out again. As soon as I sprayed it on, I felt I was breathing easier. Which is really strange because having a cold sort of limits the enjoyment of a perfume – usually the first spray makes me sneeze. What I mean is it didn’t clear my nose, but it cleared my head. I felt like someone took the burden off my back and I was finally breathing easier after quite a while. And the result was that I knew what my path from now on should be. That is some good work for an edt if you ask me. 🙂

I believe there will always be a bottle of Timbuktu in my perfume closet/drawer/room (ok, hopefully it won’t be that bad that I’ll need a room). We all sometimes need someone or something to reconnects us with our unconscious self which might know the way forward but is unable to communicate it to our conscious self and now, I have a solution. For myself of course. But I suggest you give it a try. You never know what your unconsciousness might tell you…

And beware, it might not be easy or expected or something you like. But it still might be necessary.

Saying goodbye to summer

I can’t help it, it makes me feel sad (even though I do not prosper in the heat) that the summer has ended. The fact that I’ll have to wait for almost a year to enjoy drinking morning coffee at a table looking at the sea and drinking in the sun and the heat and the smell of sea just makes me sad.

So, to mark the end of summer and the beginning of autumn (and the period of those lovely warm scents that are just waiting to be picked up), I’ll talk about a summer discovery that I am somewhat ambivalent about.

I am talking about Avon’s Brazil Beat. 🙂 Don’t ask how I came to own that, sometimes I wonder myself at the things I manage to acquire. I’ve learned that I am not a huge Avon fragrance fan, and can for the time wear only their CL Absynthe.

You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to get notes for this. As a matter of fact, it is so difficult that all I got is: fruity notes and floral notes (and some places note a wood drydown – although that part is well hidden in the fragrance).

What you get is exactly what it says. A whole lot of juicy fruit, not so much floral for me (although you won’t mistake it’s not there) and just a lovely, exuberant juicy fragrance. OK, so maybe that does not sound very promising but I can’t really say I don’t like or that it’s bad. In small quantities, not to make it too exuberant, it’s a happy, summer, girl thing. It smells like a bouquet of juicy orange/red fruits. I like smelling it although I don’t quite think I’ll be wearing it. It’s just too exuberant for me with all that youth connotations and fizzy sweet summer cocktails it brings to mind. But it makes me wonder how would the air around dancers to brasil beats smell like? Who knows, maybe I’ll find out one day and it turns out it smells fruity?

Ava Luxe: Madame X

After discovering the smell of labdanum and falling in love with it, Elena/Helg of the Perfume Shrine was very generous and she sent a sample of Ava Luxe’s Madame X. I cannot say thank you enough. 🙂 I’m not one to fall instantly in love and it does not happen often (last time I felt instant love was with Frapin’s Caravelle epicee) but here it happened again.

This is what I need when I feel strong and sexy, or when I want to feel like that. I mean, this one is a perfume with a strong feel, this woman knows what she wants and knows how to use her wiles to get all that she wants. She’s erotic and smart. And everyone seems to be fascinated by her smell. 🙂 I tested it on several people of different sex and age, and everyone was intrigued. They ought to be.
Notes by punmiris.com : coriander, acacia, labdanum, jasmine, rose, frankincense, leather, patchouli, oakmoss, civet, coconut, sandalwood, musk and vanilla.

I love the fact that I get a lot of labdanum with rose and leather, and then it just turns into, I cannot call it loveliness because this is not the word that should be used when describing this perfume, but into an intoxicating smell that you need to smell and not let go. I guess you can tell by now I really love it. Even the rose and I am not a fan of rose to say the least. 🙂
Picture taken from Madame X description on: http://www.etsy.com/

The smell of Warm sand

It was my bad decision this morning not to go again with Organza 2008 Harvest which got listed in Sniffa article as one of Elena’s Scents for a sultry summer and chose to put on something that might deceive one into thinking it’s going to be warm, sunny and if you’re lucky, slightly oriental. Hence my choice of Matthew Williamson’s Warm sand. It’s actually funny, I didn’t know what are the listed notes but for some reason thought it was going to be similar to Bronze goddess which, OK does not bring to mind sands of Morocco, but it does bring to mind warm beach sand and accompanying ideas.

I’ve read that Warm sand was supposed to evoke Morocco and if you take the name into accound, maybe then the sands of Morocco. It is also listed as oriental.

Here are the notes (what I was able to find): ginger, lilly, saffron, rust, musk, sandalwood.

I’ve been wondering all day how exactly would this fall into the oriental category since most of what I smell is lilly with a metallic hint. I actually did get some saffron 2 hours into wearing but it went away quickly and now it’s still metallic lilly (with slight aquatic whisper?). It comes nowhere near to being an oriental on me, just floral.

I haven’t been to Morocco but I can’t imagine it would smell like lilly – or floral as in continental Europe floral. To be honest, there is some hint of saltiness in the end (I keep wondering now is it me, or is there something in different perfumes that hints at saltiness?).

I got a 5ml decant of this and I don’t plan on wearing it again (there are so many nicer things waiting at home for me). 🙂

So, if anyone is interested in trying the rest of my decant, please let me know by Friday and it will be on your way (in case there is more than one interested sniffer, I will randomly pick one on Friday).
Photo by: /www.af.kejsa.com/

Jo Malone Ginger & Nutmeg

Sometimes I wonder where did I misplace my brain. I keep telling myself it’s just stress and that I need a vacation when some of the more obvious things hit me in the face after a lot of time has passed since the point in time when it was actually obvious.

Like the fact that I needed something light and fresh for the summer heat and kept going through my collection finding nothing that warms my heart and cools my head. Most of the summer fragrances I have do one of those things, but I wanted something that would do both. So, I looked at other blogs, read through reviews, ordered some things, swapped for some things, tried some at my local stores and sniffed some great things and found some new loves, but nothing that would fit both categories I wanted at the same time. That is, until I started putting my wardrobe into some semblance of order and found a full bottle of Jo Malone Nutmeg and ginger (that’s the original name, in my mind it’s always ginger and nutmeg). After buying it last autumn in Paris of all places, people kept telling me they are not terribly happy with Jo Malone because it doesn’t last. That is a problem when you have eau de cologne though. 🙂 I for one was thrilled to discover it (after I stopped being angry with myself for forgetting I have it). I don’t mind reapplying in the middle of the day although it’s not that it completely disappears, it just dries down to cedarwood and sandalwood and stays close to skin.

This seems to hit all my spots. 🙂 It’s a spicy eau de cologne. I love the citrusy openings and find spices highly addictive.

Notes: neroli, lemon; nutmeg, ginger, lilly of the valley; cedarwood and sandalwood.

There’s no depth or wealth of notes and discoveries, it just goes through the stages and smells great and light. I don’t get the lilly of the valley though and get more cedar than sandal, but I don’t mind, I enjoy it completely. 🙂
On the other hand, I finally got a sample of Delrae Amoureuse. All I can say, wow! There you have all the depth and discovery missing in my edc.

Notes of tangerine, cardamom, tuberose, jasmine, cedar moss and honey by Perfumed court.

I read awhile ago a great review by Grain de musc and I knew I had to try it. I love it! It’s wonderful and new while smelling oldish at the same time (like a modern version of an old perfume). I was having problems figuring out what is that first note that hits the nose, what I came up with was that it smelled like parsley. 🙂 I guess I’m a bit off since the opening is cardamom -tangerine, but hey, I tried. I did get the aldehydes (finally!). Those aldehydes have been bugging me for a time (couldn’t smell a trace of it – couldn’t distinguish it). Now I know where to practice. Anyway, I did get the citrusy thing, thinking that it was perhaps bergamot (but no, tangerine). I got the whole floral middle, thinking it was mixed with civet, but no, that was honey. 🙂 Now in the drydown, I can smell the honey quite clearly and I like it. It balances nicely without getting into the “territory”. I totally fell in love with the pricklishness of the structure. This feels like something a slightly brazen girl would wear, and though I don’t think of myself as such (though sometimes I wish I was), I am definitely getting myself a bottle.
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