Although I like SuL's Vanilla Coconut, her Coconut perfume is a bit of a different story. It smelled nice in the bottle, but upon my skin it started with a very strong synthetic coconut smell, as in artificial flavorings used for snowcones or shaved ice. It also had a "spicy plastic" accord that just did not smell right. I don't know what she did to the Vanilla Coconut to make it smell so much better than this. The Coconut smells great after an hour or so, and at its best, two hours in, it has a very nice drydown of warm coconut vanilla. Still, not the nicest coconut scent or a distinguishes one at that. I don't like something about it enough, maybe that is smells almost like bitter coconut. It lasts very well on me. All this may just be me and my skin, so do try it if you like coconut fragrances. If SuL would have added some sweet coconut milk to it, it might have been a better scent. As it is, it's not a real stunner form the Summer Dreams set. Note: Coconut.
Whoa, has anyone else noticed that this is the very exact same perfume as Molinard Tendre Friandise? It IS the same scent, I have no doubt. I don't get the Tresor thing at all (huh?). I have and love Tendre Friandise, and yesterday I got a sample of the Iles D'Or from the manufacturer, and I was so surprised to immediately recognisze the beloved scent. I had to look to make sure it wasn't Tendre Friandise I was sampling. They are the same scent, I guarantee it. They even have the same notes, almost exactly! It's a gorgeous perfume of sweet candies- nougat, vanilla, praline, jasmine, etc. Beautiful and feminine. The names and bottles might be different, but the brand and the scent are the same. Gorgeus fragrance that is wearable all year long, day and night. Sweet, but not too much. Lasts pretty well on my skin. A delicious gourmand perfume. Tip: save some money and get the cheaper Tendre Friandise for the same scent. Notes for Iles d'Or: Top notes of citron vert, mirabelle, and freesia. Middle notes of jasmin, amber, cedarwood, and sandalwood. Bottom notes of vanilla, musk, and nougat. Notes for Tendre Friandise: Top notes are: freesia, pear, lime, and mirabelle plum. The middle notes are: jasmine, sandalwood, amber, and cedar wood. The bottom notes are: nougat, pralines, white musk, and vanilla.
NOTE: This has been renamed Little Love on Ava-Luxe's Web site. REVIEW: Petite Amour means "little love" in French. For me, Petite Amour is big love. I love this perfume, and I almost overlooked it on Ava-Luxe's site, thinking it was an Annick Goutal Petite Cherie dupe. As soon as I read the description and notes, I thought I really should try it. And try it I did. I couldn't believe how delicious the sample made my skin smell. Not since the original Comptoir Sud Pacifique Amour de Cacao and Karl Lagerfeld Liquid Karl have I liked a chocolate perfume this much. I immediately went online and ordered a bottle of the EDP. I hope it smells just as good as the oil sample I tested initially. You never know how it may differ in formulations.
Petite Amour is a delightful combination of gourmand notes that makes me smell just as delightful. This is primarily a dark chocolate scent, but not bitter dark chocolate, more like semi-sweet dark chocolate. I also smell the most stunning note of honeyed almonds imaginable. ::drool:: In the end, it dries down to very creamy and slightly powdery/dry woods. Also found in the drydown are tinges of chocolate/cocoa, honey, and almonds, with a light touch of sweet musk (barely noticeable, really). Just exquisite! It's simple in its sweet gourmand manner. Simple and gorgeous. If you like chocolate perfumes, you must get a sample of Petite Amour. This delectable fragrance lasts really well on my skin (at least in the oil form). It is one of my favorite Ava-Luxe scents, and one that is very well done.
Notes: Dark Chocolate, Almonds, Skin Musk, Blonde Woods.
Fragrances -Sephora - Sephora Girls Sweet Almond Eau de Toilette
lilacterp 6/28/2006 1:15:00 PM
Sephora Girls Sweet Almond is truly one of the most boring fragrances I've had the displeasure of wearing. I am an almond addict, having tried or owned almost every scent made with almond, almond mik, almond blossom, or heliotrope. This "almond" perfume starts out somewhat nice and promising, with a sweet almond fruityness that's rather pleasant to smell. But then, after about five minutes, it loses whatever almond was there to begin with and transforms into a fruity musky scent with a very slight hint of almond. It doesn't last well at all on the skin, but I wasn't really expecting a $7 perfume to be that high of a quality anyway. And the smell is disappointing. There are much better almond fragrances available, and I think pretty much any of them may be more interesting than Sweet Almond. I think this has been discontinued, which is not a bad thing, really. The packaging is okay, a slim glass tube atomizer with a purple color scheme with one of the Sephora Girls cartoon drawn on it. Cheap, and it smells and looks it too.
Note: Sweet Almond.
Fragrances -Comptoir Sud Pacifique - Exotic Vanilla Trio
lilacterp 6/27/2006 4:40:00 PM
Vanilla is one of the best things on Earth! And CSP is known (or used to be known) for some incredible combinations of vanilla and other luscious notes in their perfumes. I am so happy I was able to get one of these limited edition sets! One of the scents in the Limited Edition Exotic Vanilla Trio set, Vanille Banane, has become a permanent (or at least for now) member of the current CSP fragrance lineup. That one is also my least favorite of the three vanillas in the set. The Vanille Orange was once sold individually exclusively at Sephora for $39, I'm pretty sure. I remember buying it by itself, and the aluminum bottle was wrapped in an orange organza-type of drawstring bag. The trio is housed in a beautiful turquoise box.
The three scents are Vanille Freesia, Vanille Orange, and Vanille Banane. Each is a vanilla-based fragrance, in the traditin of CSP, with the addition of fruit and flowers and other notes. My most favorite of the trio, and the one I thought I'd like the least, is Vanille Freesia. This was also once sold separately at Sephora for $39, if I remember correctly. The floral vanilla scent of Vanille Freesia is amazing. The notes of pear with dragon fruit, freesia, and vanilla come together to create a sensual sweet tropical floral vanilla that is scrumptious. Not too foody at all. It smells incredible, especially in the drydown. I've never smelled anything quite like it. Unfortunately, it's been discontinued. The second scent, Vanille Orange, is my second favorite in the set. It combines orange with star fruit and vanilla. It has a creamsicle smell, or of a tropical smoothie made with the freshest fruits and cream. Delightful scent, especially for summer. Vanille Orange has also been discontinued. My least favorite, and one I still like to wear, is the Vanille Banane. I guess I'm not that keen on banana as a perfume. It certainly smells mostly of banana, and then some of the other notes emerge, such as the rum and clove. This is the most complex of the three perfumes. There is a little spice and greenery (clove and banana leaf) in Vanille Banane, along with the banana cream, the vanilla, and the white rum. It smells quite a lot like Bananas Foster. The vanilla is not as prominent in the Vanille Banane as it is in the other two in the trio. Vanille Banane is still available to purchase at many stores for now.
All three are delectable vanilla perfumes, ones I love wearing all year long. It's like taking mini vacations when I sniff these fragrances. Beautiful tropical scents. They don't last very well one me, which is to be expected from CSP scents. The bottles in this set are 1.6 oz aluminum with blue writing/labels. This set retailed for $120. Not cheap, but totally worth it to me.
Notes: Vanille Freesia- Pitahaya, Dragon Fruit, Freesia, Vanilla; Vanille Orange- Orange, Star Fruit, Vanilla; Vanille Banane- Vanilla, Orange, Banana Cream, Banana Leaf, Clove, Vanilla Pod, White Rum.
Yummy and more yummy. Ava-Luxe Loukhoum hits the scent spot when I look for something nutty and sweet. I love pistachio in my perfumes as a note, so I was beyond thrilled to see that this confection had hazelnuts and pistachios and almonds and cream- all some of my favorite notes. This by far surpasses Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum in scent and wearability. KM's is unwearable to me, like a cloud of toxic powder. Ava-Luxe's is much more realistic to the actual dessert- nutty, sweet, creamy, slightly spicy, with a drop of edible rose water or rose petals and some creamyness. It's gorgeous! I'm very happy that the pistachio note comes through in this one. So many times, the pistachio gets lost in the myriad notes. I also love the cream note. It really rounds out all the rich nut notes and makes the whole scent softer and cozy and comfy. It truly is a delicious fragrance, one of the best loukhoum scents out there. This one is different because there is no heliotrope/cherry in it to make it just another loukhoum perfume. Perfect for fall and winter days and nights, but it is a little too much for warm weather. It lasts well on my normal skin (not too oily or too dry). I have this in the perfume oil, so this review is for that.
Notes: honeyed almonds, rose absolute, pistachio, hazelnut, and cream.
Ahhh, the scent of crème brûlée- it takes you right into a Paris patisserie, non? It does that for me. If you like crème brûlée scents, you must be familiar with Laura Mercier's famous Crème Brûlée Souffle and other bath and body products. I love that stuff, and so many times I prayed to the fragrance fairies to bring into my life a crème brûlée perfume that smells like Laura Mercier's crème brûlée, so that I can layer the bath and body products with a fragrance too. Well, my wishes have been answered, because Ava-Luxe Crème Brûlée has been created. (Serena must be a fragrance fairy, lol!) A-L Crème Brûlée smells authentic, sweet, and scrumptious. What I especially like about it is that it's not overly caramel, with that thick gooey cloying caramel and antique shops smell that many e-tailer scents have. Those smell of heavy thick honey and caramel, and I just can't take the suffocation of those. This scent is well blended with a caramel that doesn't drown me in caramel sauce. It's balanced with the cream and vanilla to make it more like a hot milk drink with lots of caramel syrup and a few drops of vanilla extract. Yummy, indeed! It's for sure a milky caramel perfume, with a sweetness that isn't overbearing. I also get the burnt sugar/caramel notes, and they are delightful. This has become one of my favorite caramel/crème brûlée fragrances. My other favorites are: Autrepart Salted Butter Caramel (which is sweet and a bit salty); Agatha Paris Caramel (sweet and smokey, smells like a super light creme caramel or crème brûlée); and Tutti Dolci Crème Brûlée (which is probably the closest in scent to Ava-Luxe's/a sweet burnt sugar and cream scent). The Ava-Luxe is in no way inferior to the others in the list. It's a perfect crème brûlée perfume. It lasts a good amount of time on my average skin (not too oily or too dry). I've only had this in the perfume oil, so that is what I am reviewing. This is gourmand heaven. Ava-Luxe is a wonderfully talented perfumer, and her customer service is perfection.
Notes: vanilla, caramel, and sweet creamy milk.
My favorite tea fragrance is L'Artisan Tea for Two, with its smokey sweet deep goodness. But that one is for fall and winter, in my eyes, so I wanted a summer/warmer weather tea scent to wear. That's when Elizabeth W. Sweet Tea came into the picture. I still prefer my tea a la Tea for Two, but Sweet Tea is almost a perfect tea perfume. I spray it on and I get black tea with a couple of teaspoons of sugar and about 8 squeezes of a lemon. It begins very lemony and then that subsides into sugared tea sweetness. The sweetness is from sugar and not honey in my mind. I so wish the almond honey was a prominent note. That would make this perfume beyond divine. I don't get any almond or honey- just sugar, tea, and lemons. I know my almonds, and if they're in there, it's the most miniscule amount imaginable. It smells good without it, but I would have loved a little more complexity to it. It's a simple scent, really, and one that is good for hot weather and the office place. One thing I don't like about it is the staying power. For an eau de parfum, it lasts less than many eau de toilettes. But for the price of $32, I can afford to keep spraying it over and over to smell it. The packaging is pretty and ladylike. The bottle is simple and classy, with a pleasing color scheme. Overall, a really good tea perfume, but it doesn't make me go "ooohhh."
Notes: oriental Black Teas, juicy fresh Amalfi Lemons, and the Sweetness of Almond Honey.
Fragrances -LUSH - Honey I Washed the Kids Solid Perfume
lilacterp 6/19/2006 11:41:00 AM
Ah, the infamous LUSH Honey I Washed the Kids scent. Whether it's in the soap or in the perfume, people love it. I have to say that they were right on the money with duplicating the scent of the soap into a perfume. It's pretty much the same scent. I am a little puzzled by honey being in the name of this product and as a description of its scent. Honestly, the Honey I Washed the Kids forum perfume does not smell to me like honey the most. It smells like a citrusy toffee with a slight fruity edge and a tiny hint of spice mixed in with a drizzle of caramel. Honey really is not the star player in this perfume, to my nose. I've smelled many honey fragrances, from blended with other notes to straight-up from-the-beehive-like honey. HIWTK is just not that honey-ish. I mean, you do have your different varieties of honey: wildflower, clover, orange blossom, etc. So maybe this perfume is meant to be one of those honeys and not a pure honey scent. Which is fine, really, because HIWTK smells delicious. There is a honeyed feel to the scent overall, I'll give them that. This perfume is sweet, but not heavily so on me. It doesn't really last that long, and for the prices it's going for on eBay right now, I really wish it would last much longer. I have to reapply a few times a day to smell it on my skin. Too bad this is not a constant part of LUSH's lineup. It would sell incredily well, I'm sure. If you like sweet candy-like scents with some caramel, toffee, and honey, make sure you get some. A very enjoyable perfume.
Davies Gate Cloudcake has become a thorough obsession for me recently. Unfortunate, because I discovered this scent and products about three or four years after it has been discontinued. WHAT A CRAZY THING TO DO! Seriously! I have and adore the Cloudcake eau de toilette, and I also have the Cloudcake Shower Gel. Both are divine! I would so love to have the Cloudcake lotion as well. The Shower Gel smells just like the perfume--- a luscious and delicious melange of cream, figs, plums, and vanilla. Whether just smelling it out of the bottle (I like to do that sometimes since I love the smell so much) or smelling it in the shower, Cloudcake is truly beautiful. It's a warm creamy milky and sweet fruity scent that is great to use any time of year. It's not too foody or sickeningly sweet- it's just perfection. The gel itself is infused with many good-for-your-skin ingredients, and it lathers really well with only a small amount of the product. It also cleans well, without overdrying the skin. My skin feels nice when I leave the shower, and I don't even need lotion after I use it. It's good stuff! The packaging is okay; I would prefer a flip-top cap and a softer bottle so that I could squeeze with ease. :) But I'll take it any way I can get it, being extinct and all. Again, shame on Davies Gate for creating a scent we love and then ripping it out of our lives!! I won't buy their products anymore because I wrote to them asking to bring Cloudcake back and they won't. They're very stubborn, and I love Cloudcake, so they won't get my business until it's back, lol. Grrr Davies Gate, grrr. I have to emphasize that my favorite thing about this product is the fragrance- scrumptiously and uniquely amazing. So glad I still have some of this, which I'll be using sparingly... until the sad day when it will be gone forever. ***sniffle***
Fragrances -Dawn Spencer Hurwitz - Fleurs du Chocolat
lilacterp 6/15/2006 2:43:00 PM
Description from DSH Essential Oils Web site: "A very unusual delicacy. Subtle aromatic floral notes blended with a deeply sensuous chocolate base note. It is ravishing!" I just didn't like this. It's okay, but not that great smelling on me. I smelled the chocolate and some mishmash of white flowers with a pungent honey note--- it just doesn't work that well together. I thought chocolate and flowers would be wonderful together, and I'm sure they could be, but not in Dawn's Fleurs du Chocolat. Sweetness is there, as well as florals. Lasts okay on me. I wouldn't want to wear this again, so that's the definitive answer for me on it. There are many other better compositions by DSH that stand out more than this concoction of chocolate and flowers. Nice idea, but it doesn't come to fruition nicely with my skin's chemistry. I love DSH Marzipan and Piment et Chocolat the best.
Notes: Top note: Orange Blossom; Middle notes: Bulgarian Rose Absolute, Jasmine; Base notes: Dark Chocolate, Tahitian Vanilla.
Vetiver Oriental is not the type of scent I go for too often. It's got some deep, dark, masculinity almost that usually makes me stay away when I read the notes and descriptions of perfumes like Vetiver Oriental. However, Serge Lutens has a spectacular lineup that must at least be tried, so I tried Vetiver Oriental, convinced I would never wear it again. I was wrong. It begins with tenacity as a dark and strong cologne scent, but by and by, it becomes gorgeous soft chocolate woods. That's right, almost a gourmand perfume. I adore gourmands, and can wear and like almost any of them. I'm really happy I bought a bottle of it, since it's a limited edition export from the Palais Shiseido, and now is no longer to be found outside of Paris, in the cute 1.69 oz spray bottle at least. I prefer the spray bottles to the bell jars for convenience and smaller size. Vetiver Oriental was a surprise, but a fabulous one. It is one of those scents that truly is unisex-- it is exactly evenly distributed among feminine and masculine. It smells great on me. I will very likely wear this one a lot come cold weather, as it's certainly not a perfume for summer heat. I look forward to wearing it then. Notes: Peruvian Blasam, Siamese Benzoin, Gaiac Woods, Tuscan Iris, Musk, Myrrh, Patchouli, Licorice, Sandalwood, (a chocolate feel/vibe), and Vetiver.
Translated from French description form Serge's Web site:
"Etrange dance masked where to guess means to conquer. To leave to induce itself on the special enticements of the unique vétiver. Invite the root to liberate the secrets of his heart on an air of Java, accompanying itself of a wooded, chocolate-flavored agreement. Taking bodies by the réglisse, itself relaxing in company of the iris of Tuscan one, then at last sighing under the sail of a magnificent one and onctueux santal.
Scent, thus revealed by the natural compliments of its fragrant sycophants, withdraws itself. Outside reason, she adorns herself more beautiful finery existing to the world: a fabulous necklace of musc, a hair night where the myrrhe plots under a sky étoilé, rejoined in myriad by the benjoin of the Siam, the wood of Gaïac, the balm of Pérou, some leaves of patchouli and other secret treasures.
To the final one, unmasking itself, she reveals in triumph his insult beauty.
Eastern Vétiver… rare. Composition: Balm of Pérou, Benjoin of the Siam, Drinks Gaïac, Iris of Tuscan one, Musc, Myrrhe, Patchouli, Réglisse, Santal, Vetiver."
I am crazy about strawberry fragrances, and believe it or not, it's pretty tough to find a simple sweet authentic-smelling strawberry perfume. My favorite is the discontinued Molinard Fraise, but DSH's Strawberry comes kind of close--closer than many I've tried. I've only tried this in the pefume oil, so I will review that. I generally prefer DSH's eau de parfums, however. Strawberry is a straight-up sweet strawberry still on the vine, ripened by the warm rays of the June sun. There is a hint of green leaves among the succulent strawberries as well. The reason this is not a perfect scent for me is that there is a little "wet" notes in the beginning that smells somewhat weird on my skin. It's almost like an overipened strawberry that has molded a little bit. Yes, not a pleasant sensory image, but I had to mention it. After a few minutes on my skin, that unsavory note dissipates and disapears altogether. That leaves a sweet real strawberry fragrance. I love layering Strawberry with CSP Matin Calin, Ava-Luxe Milk, or DSH Au Lait for a strawberry milk perfume that smells absolutely delicious. It also smells perfect layered with CSP Vanille. Yummy! I will definitely buy the eau de parfum soon, as it's the perfect scent for summer days, and it's so wonderful to layer with vanilla and milk fragrances. But it's also fabulous on it's own, once the wet note leaves. I just love strawberry perfumes, and this is one of the best. Retails for $42 for a one-ounce EDP at dshperfumes.com.
Smitten is a heavy and greasy lotion, which is fine by me because I use it on my hands and feet, where I need something super moisturizing and thick to penetrate the dry areas. It does smell good, like bitter almonds. People may expect some really sweet almonds from Smitten, but this cream smells very much like bitter almonds not sugared almonds or desserts. To me it smells like Caron Farnesiana perfume a bit, which smells like bitter almonds and powder. Smitten contains many good ingredients, like chamomile, almond oil, marigold, flaxseed oil, cocoa butter, avocado oil, coconut butter, beeswax, and cassie (which coincidentally, or not, is called acacia farnesiana (see above) ). I love the texture and the smell of this hand cream. And the results aren't bad either -- my hands and feet are left nicely moisturized and not greasy after I work the cream in very well. The price is a little high for the small 3.5 oz tub I bought, but it lasts a long time. Worth the money, to me. I have the LUSH Forum Snowcake perfume too, so I layer Smitten with Snowcake for almond deliciousness. This is one of LUSH's best products, I think.
Fragrances -Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab - Dana O'Shee
lilacterp 6/11/2006 12:40:00 AM
The notes of Dana O'Shee sounded like a dream come true on BPAL's Web site. Creamy lusciousness of milk, grains, honey, is just what I love to smell like. Although this is a fantastic warm gourmand sweet perfume oil, it's not quite perfect. I wanted more creamyness, more grains, but I mostly got vanilla, almond, and cherry. No doughyness, no milkyness, not any honey really. I get a lot more cherry and almond than milk, honey, and grains. It smells a bit different than the BPAL description implied. Too bad, since then it would have been a five-lippie rating. As it is, I really give Dana 3.5 lippies. It lasts an adequate amount of time on my skin, but not as much as I wanted and expected from an oil. Overall, this is a really comforting and lovely scent. It starts out very almond and cherry on me, drying down to a sweet vanilla with a hint of cherry. Dana O'Shee comes in a dark blue glass bottle with a screw top. I wish there was a rollerball or spray or something to make it easier to apply. The packaging kind of sucks. Great fragrance, especially if you like sweet almond scents like Serge Lutens Rahat Loukoum. I prefer the Serge Lutens, however. But this is a nice much cheaper and easier-to-find alternative. Notes: milk, honey, and grains. (But I get almond, cherry, and vanilla, really).