Mascara -Yves Saint Laurent - Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils
whitecountess 8/10/2010 12:57:00 PM
This is my favorite mascara on the market currently. It extends your lashes forever and ever and the consistency really gives you the "false lash" effect. If you use individual lashes AND this mascara, people won't know what hit them! They have a new 'ink black' but I prefer the consistency of the original. The colors (especially blue and plum) are really fun and just subtle enough to use during the day and fabulous for a night out. It doesn't last as long as some other mascaras and it has a slight scent (to me it's delicious) but it looks SO GOOD that I am a slave (for now) to Volume Effet Faux Cils.
This is the one! After trying all of the bronzers on the market, LAGUNA is the absolute best. Glowing and bronze, not artificial or fake. Best of all, it works when I am pale in winter and then tan in the summer months. It's got a tiny bit of shimmer, not at all overdone. If you prefer non-glimmer, MAC's facial powder in medium is great too. Laguna also goes wonderfully with a blush product called Orgasm, it's been 'discontinued' as a twosome, but many stores still carry it. Orgasm (as you might suspect after you've recovered from asking for it by name at the Nars counter!) gives you a flushed pink cheek to go with your glow.
Fragrances -L'Artisan Fragrances - Premier Figuier
whitecountess 8/7/2010 3:33:00 PM
Just as some people are fans of The Rolling Stones and others prefer The Beatles, there is a long-standing feud between Premier Figuier and Diptyque's Philosykos. I come out on the side of Premier Figuier although I also own Philosykos. I wore Premier Figuier for a few years in my early twenties as my signature scent. While there are other scents that I loved at one time that now smell somehow lesser, Figure stands the test of time and for me is the Ultimate Fig Scent. L'Artisan is wonderful perfume house, and this is some of their best work. It is gloriously sensual, and strangely intelligent and worldly. A man I was in love with at the time sat across a table from me and said his voice husky with anticipation, "I can smell you from here." Good enough for me!
Jean-Claude Ellena is one of our perfume greats. He is responsible for First (Van Clef and Arpels) Declaration (Cartier) In Love Again (Yves Saint Laurent) The Vert (Bulgari) among many others. Un Jardin en Mediterranee is one of my favorites from the Series Ellena did for Hermes. The first spritz is intensely cedar and almost harsh, but the rewards are huge and they are almost instantaneous. Mediterranee soon dries down to a woody, fig-like note, and it is absolutely exquisite. You do feel the crackle and scent of the earth, but also something beautiful and divine. It smells like the beam of light that shines through the trees as you are walking alone in the forest.
When my father first came to American from Italy as a six year old boy, he saw a lemon on the kitchen table, and remembering the huge sweet lemons from home, took a huge bite. Our American lemons here are picked smaller and earlier for their biting sour taste, so he got quite a shock! Ninfeo Mio is named for Giardino di Ninfa, a citrus garden near Rome. And it definitely gives you that Lemon feel, but Italian-style, big and sweet. This scent was created by Isabelle Doyen, one of our most famed perfumers. Her scents are always complex. I recently sampled 'The Unicorn Spell' and it was a perfect show of her many-note talents. Ninfeo Mio reminds me slightly of Hermès Un Jardin en Méditerranée, a fragrance which truly makes you feel as though you're wafting through a garden, in a most beautiful sense. Ninfeo is GREEN. If you love green, this is a wonderful new twist on that. You then get the citrusy lemon, and then it turns to something much sweeter, almost like someone has given you a spritz of lemonade in your champagne.
GORGEOUS! Guerlain is one of the masters, but I wasn't sure if the new fragrances would be up to par with the older classics. I needn't have worried. This scent was another stand-out for me in London, not just because the young man selling it was stunningly beautiful and wearing it himself. They were literally selling themselves out of this fragrance as I stood there. Cuir Beluga is hard to come by, but it's worth it. Unlike other fragrances that I've given 5 lipsticks to, because of their originality, I'm giving Cuir Beluga 5 for its wearability. It smells incredible when you spray it on, and turns into something exquisite and sensual on the drydown. I love Cuir de Russie from Chanel, but I find it hard to wear it day after day, hour after hour. This is a scent that you will love to smell on yourself, as others are enjoying it on you. People may fall in love with you with this on, be careful!
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Boadicea the Victorious Complex
whitecountess 8/4/2010 6:59:00 PM
On a recent trip to London, I stopped in Harrods to see (and smell) some new fragrances that might not be available in the States. Enter the Boadicea the Victorious Line. Some of you may remember that Gerry's (Dawn French) real name on Vicar of Dibley was Boadicea! I tried a number of them, but the real standout for me was "Invigorating". Oddly, it is not in the least invigorating. It is seductive and rich, naming liquorice and chocolate as its main ingredients. Echoing the name that doesn't fit, it smells like neither. Instead it has jasmine, a deep woodiness flavor and then a gorgeous rose note. It smells like a beautiful woman who has arrived a few minutes late to the party, but is so mysterious and seductive, no one minds. The price frightened me away before I had more time to spend with it. But although Harrods swore it was available nowhere else, you can find samples online.
I once took a tour of Buddhist temples throughout China. This scent is very reminiscent of those places but is even better in the face of so many incense-like scents that are too strong and, well, "incensey" to be worn as a beautiful perfume. At one of the temples on top of a mountain, they served us a beautiful black tea. This scent smells like that too. A dry tea served in a tiny cup, without honey. But it is in the dry-down that Dzongkha becomes truly exquisite. For some, it will smell more like a place than a gorgeous scent and for others it will be all they need to transport themselves out of their daily cubicle. No matter where I am, it always takes me somewhere new.
WOW. At first, it's a TIRE. But moment by moment, the hard masculine scent lifts and suddenly it's you and your friends at camp. You've told your last spooky story and the embers in the fire are dying down. THIS is what it smells like in the dry-down: That smokey and sweet smell as you fall asleep. For me, it's missing a note. Another perfumista recommended combining it with Le Labo Vanille 44. I just tried it now.Incredible! Now it's a complex and heady feminine scent.
I gave Montale's Black Oud Five stars, and it is a masterpiece. This is a flimsy copy of the other. Slightly mimicking what is great about 'Black' without any of its bravery or genius. Save your money and try Black Oud which is really an experience.
Fragrances -Etat Libre D'Orange - Secretions Magnifiques
whitecountess 7/26/2010 10:34:00 PM
Five stars for being utterly Fascinating. Nothing the other reviewers have said is incorrect, the fragrance does have a kind of human protein plus metallic smell at the first spray. Most perfumes try for something fantastic and end up being merely mediocre. Secretions Magnifiques knows EXACTLY what it's doing! In the dry-down, the 'secretion' aspect fades and the scent becomes gently floral. It starts to smell better and better and better. I don't know if I would have the courage to wear this outdoors, but I do have the strange feeling that it would make you incredibly attractive to others. I will report back!
This fragrance smells as if we have broken into King Tut's Tomb! It is very exotic and beautiful. Spices mixed with parchment paper. The first whiff is the scent you would find upon opening a long-lost scroll. Although this scent is unique, I would find it difficult to wear. I want to smell like a beautiful woman, not a Mummy!
The Truth? Wearing Montale Black Aoud is like having an impossibly gorgeous woman cross the room, softly kiss you, and then throw a drink in your face. It is hot and it is BOLD. You will LOVE it, or HATE it, but if you are a true perfume enthusiast, you've gotta try it! It has the rose note from Diptyque's 'L'Ombre dans L'Eau' and the leather note from Chanel's 'Cuir de Russie'. Then add wood and masses of sex appeal! After you (sparingly!) spritz it, you will not even know what has happened to you for close to fifty minutes. It is just so strong. But then, the journey begins.......
In England, the response to this perfume was so strong that University Students actually composed a piece of Music in tribute to it! Long Live the Queen.... X marks the return of those lush gorgeous fragrances. Perfumes that aren't afraid to be noticed. Rich, evocative, musky, and sweet but not too sweet, Christian Clive X smells like sex and money. Who doesn't love these two things?! At $350 a bottle and up, this may be out of the price range of most. There are perfume sites that offer samples and smaller amounts for much much less. Many swear by Christian's #1, but this was the scent that made me echo the words of my English mother-in-law after smelling her favorite perfume on her own wrist, "I think I'm falling in love with m'self!"
This is a "Perfume for people who don't like perfume." For those who don't like floral, cloying, musky fragrances, this is going to be "IT". Perfume houses have been making scents somewhat like this for men for years, but Lutens has done it better. This scent has no rough edges and is perfectly rounded. I happen to like my perfume a little more dangerous and exciting. Perfectly Unisex, clean, fresh, you can wear it anywhere. People will like how you smell, but not know why.