This is another in that lovely 'veil of scent' category like Balenciaga Paris and Eau Clair des Merveilles etc. I can't compare it to Love, Chloe as I haven't tried that one, but that, too, seems to fall into the same category. Cartier Baiser Vole is wonderfully clean and sweet, like a fine face powder or soap, and that's meant in the best way. There is lily, but the green opening and sexy yet sophisticated drydown blend with it and keep it far from a soliflore. It is perfectly blended and just smells really good, especially on clothing the next day. Sillage was strong at first, but it settles into a lovely little aura of powdery sweet goodness and lasted from early afternoon to late evening on my skin. I'm working from a sample vial so can't say how the packaging looks in person, but love the idea of it. I will certainly buy when my vials run out, and am hoping it comes out in a set with the lotion and shower gel as I think layering would increase the sillage and lasting power just enough to get me through the whole day. Very pretty, sexy in a confident way and an impressive first for me from the house of Cartier.
Were it not for the fleeting and light nature of Candy, I'd give it a five. In fact, my first thoughts upon spraying some on was,"Oh, I do hope there are plans for a 'Candy Intense' in this collection!" It isn't nearly as cloying or tooth-achingly sweet as the notes would suggest, but rather a sweet, velvety fragrance soft and subtle the way fine suede is against the skin. I have worn it next to UBV and feel they have nothing really in common save for the vanilla and gourmand nature of both. There is no wood in Candy to my nose, only the musks, resin and vanilla, and behind that a hint of the original Prada like a signature much the way Chanel, Guerlain or Caron frags share something defining of their respective houses in the notes. But I love musk, vanilla, amber and caramel so there is just enough of these in Candy to keep me wanting to own it. It would be entirely appropriate for office, summer and winter wear, and I can't imagine it offending anyone since it wears so softly and close to the skin. It actually reminds me a great deal of Bourbon French Mon Amour, though not as heavy on the musk, and I was surprised wearing them side by side how close they are though BF obviously lacks that Prada signature. The packaging is adorable, and I would love to buy a larger bottle (I've a mini right now and am rapidly going through it lol) as well as try the ancillory products. Perhaps they help with the staying power... This is Pink Sugar's older sister, graceful and refined after traveling abroad for university and relying on her beauty and quiet confidence to make herself known rather than jumping into everyone's arms for a big sugary kiss. I like it very much and only wish it lasted more than three or four hours on my skin. Please, perfume deities, let there be a long-lasting Candy Intense in the works that's just as sultry and delicious. I'd buy it in a heartbeat!
Given that I am prone to terrible razor burn no matter the shave products I used, my search for a hair removal product that works well and isn't too tedious to use has taken months. Until I started exploring waxing at home, I'd been using Veet with great success though I really didn't care for the smell or the briefness of the results. I first tried Gigi's Dark Honee wax as my hair can be rather coarse. It left me bruised and sore for a week despite my following the directions. I figured since I had invested in a warmer, I'd try more waxes. I tried the original Honee, a wax with argan oil, a cream wax and even a hard wax you're supposed to peel off. I mastered the technique rather well, but the stickiness and mess (not to mention impossible clean-up requiring tons of baby oil) was just as irritating as the other methods I'd tried. After trying and loving an inexpensive sugar waxing kit from Nair with wonderful results, I started researching how to make my own sugaring wax. There were a few recipes I'd discovered, but this one--credit to Vanita on Squidoo--was amazing. Not only did it turn out perfect on my first attempt, which almost never happens when I'm learning a new candy or confectionary recipe, but after it cooled enough for me to try, it worked just as well as the Nair for much less money, and was so much easier than the resin waxes I'd tried. Here's how you do it... __________ Ingredients: 4 cups of sugar ½ cup of Lemon juice ½ cup of water Preparation: 1. Mix the sugar, water and lemon juice in a skillet or a sauce pan (From my experience it is always good to mix the ingredients before keeping it on flame) 2. Keep the container on a low flame after mixing. 3. Keep stirring the mixture until the sugar solution melts and you have a thick brown liquid. Normally it takes 10 to 15 minutes on low flame. 4. If you have a candy thermometer, The temperature we need to stop cooking the sugar solution is 235-245* F, They call this Soft ball consistency. If you drop a small amount of syrup into chilled water, It forms a soft, flexible ball, but flattens like a pancake after a few moments in your hand. 5. Let it cool . Hot sugar wax can burn your skin so don't rush to use it after it is prepared and it is still hot. When the temp reached 240, I took it off the heat and stirred it for a bit more before pouring it into a microwave-safe resealable plastic container designed for hot foods/liquids that can go in the dish washer, freezer or fridge with no problems. Here, they're made by a company called Glad and go under the name Gladware. I nested one inside another due to the heat of the wax, then left it to cool. The wax took a long while to cool, but when I checked it with a stick later, the texture appeared to be just right. I wasn't planning on using the wax that particular day, so waited until it was thoroughly cooled and tried it the next day. ________ To use: All you need to do is warm the wax in short bursts in the microwave, stirring between each. It melts smoothly and evenly, but you don't want to overheat it. I set out my disposable cloth wax strips, a large bowl and flannel with hot soapy water (I use a couple pumps of L'Occitane Almond soap since it makes skin so soft), a towel, trash and a couple more sticks just in case. I get comfy on a towel I've spread out, maybe start up an audio book or music to help pass the time and get to work. When spreading the wax, apply in a thin layer following the direction of hair growth with the stick applicator. Then, apply the linen strip downward in the same direction over the wax, smoothing it with your palm a couple times, then anchor the skin with your free hand and pull the strip off quickly against the hair growth. The pain is practically not there since the sugaring wax just sticks to the hair, cleanup is easy with a damp soapy cloth if you get wax anywhere you don't want it and the process gets to be very easy and effective with a little practice. __________ Things to know: This method doesn't always get every hair on the first pass and sometimes you have to go back over an area or use tweezers. I've gone over areas a couple times with no pain or bruising. It also works on underarms, though mine are very sensitive so there was a little more pain involved. I haven't tried this as a bikini wax, but it does have a very high sugar content so I'd be careful when working in that area. As for storage, I don't know if it can be left at room temp so I keep it in the fridge. Overall, I really love this method of hair removal. It washes out of clothing very easily, cleans up off everything else like a dream, might be a bit sticky when first getting the hang of it but no more so than commercial resin waxes I've tried though sugar wax is so much easier to remove. And the cost is unbeatable, too. And as I mentioned above, it usually takes me a couple attempts for any recipe involving a candy thermometer, but this was perfect on the first try. The description and directions were easy and accurate and best of all, I discovered a natural home-made beauty product that did what it's supposed to do. I love the results (at least two weeks of hair-free skin), love the ease of use and clean up, love that I know exactly what's in it and that my first attempts with sugaring worked so well despite the daunting nature of wax preparation. Best of luck and I hope you love this new method of hair removal as much as I do! :)
Lip Treatments -Smith's Rosebud Salve - Brambleberry Rose lip balm
AbsoluteScentualist 8/18/2011 4:15:00 AM
This smells so wonderful! It smells like wine, berries and roses and glides perfectly over my lips with no heaviness or grittiness. My only complaint is the container as I hate using my fingers, but that isn't enough to keep me from buying Smith's Rosebud products. I now own four varieties and can't decide which I like best, and all seem to work great though the original Rose feels a little thicker and heavier than the Brambleberry, Mocha and Strawberry so it is my go-to balm for winter or if I've been slacking on drinking enough water. But the performance of this is fantastic. I smooth some on before bed (there isn't any flavor or sugar so I don't worry it will do damage to my teeth or anything) and wake up with the softest lips. I also put it over some of my lipsticks--yeah, I'm lookin' at you MAC--and it helps keep the color intense and keeps the flakes and feathering to a minimum. The price is a little high, but considering how long each tin lasts, I figure I won't be buying anything else for quite a while so it all works out. And I have to say the original Rose does work well as an intense hand treatment when my hands get dry and a bit rough. Overall love this stuff in all the fragrances I've tried and it will be a staple in my makeup/health and beauty collection as long as I'm able to find it.
Lip Treatments -Smith's Rosebud Salve - Mocha Rose Lip Balm
AbsoluteScentualist 8/18/2011 4:12:00 AM
This smells so wonderful! It smells like mocha and marshmallows and glides perfectly over my lips with no heaviness or grittiness. My only complaint is the container as I hate using my fingers, but that isn't enough to keep me from buying Smith's Rosebud products. I now own four varieties and can't decide which I like best, and all seem to work great though the original Rose feels a little thicker and heavier than the Brambleberry, Mocha and Strawberry so it is my go-to balm for winter or if I've been slacking on drinking enough water. But the performance of this is fantastic. I smooth some on before bed (there isn't any flavor or sugar so I don't worry it will do damage to my teeth or anything) and wake up with the softest lips. I also put it over some of my lipsticks--yeah, I'm lookin' at you MAC--and it helps keep the color intense and keeps the flakes and feathering to a minimum. The price is a little high, but considering how long each tin lasts, I figure I won't be buying anything else for quite a while so it all works out. And I have to say the original Rose does work well as an intense hand treatment when my hands get dry and a bit rough. Overall love this stuff in all the fragrances I've tried and it will be a staple in my makeup/health and beauty collection as long as I'm able to find it.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Bourbon French - Mon Amour
AbsoluteScentualist 8/18/2011 4:01:00 AM
This is the newest creation from BF and is in the Collection No. 1. I love Bourbon French and their sister perfumery Lagniappe Oaks and have been delighted with almost everything I've bought. That's especially impressive considering most have been untested purchases. Their old-fashioned feel, lovely packaging and amazing prices make it easy to try many items and the customer service is fantastic. But enough about the company and on to the perfume! Mon Amour is a sensual blend of vanilla, amber, black cherry and musk. The notes alone caught my attention since I love all of them alone or together (though usually I get my cherry fix from almond and don't see black cherry as a note very often in general). As soon as I opened the small bottle of parfum extrait and dabbed a bit on the back of my hand, it was my new love indeed! Out of the bottle the amber takes the lead with a subtle hint of cherry--you really have to inhale hard to catch it--and then a sweet muskiness floats in soft as a cloud, wrapping itself around the amber seconds after blooming on the skin. The Vanilla and musk (not a soapy musk but not dirty either) gets more intense as the amber softens a bit and the overall impression brought to mind something with a strong 80's feel. Not in the way many 80's perfumes threaten to wear the wearer, but much more personal for me. Specifically how my older sister would smell when leaving for a school dance while I watched her lengthy ablutions in little sis wonder. She smelled of an ambery musk perfume and vanilla flavored lipstick, maybe enjoying a cherry candy while she waited for her friends to pick her up. I thought she was so grown up and remember how lovely she smelled when she walked by on her way out the door. It was a fun memory and I love that about Bourbon French. Their fragrances are like beautiful moments from times past, even if the creation is brand new to me and the personal fragrance memories have yet to be made. They feel classy without seeming as if trying too hard, settle on me like a second skin and are always a special pleasure to behold in my collection or take out and apply. I ordered Mon Amour in the parfum and the lasting power wasn't extreme. Maybe three or four hours, but again this was dabbed and my skin devours perfumes. When I decant their parfums into spray bottles, the staying power improves quite a bit and they linger beautifully on clothing. I will come back and edit my review if the staying power changes with Mon Amour after it's been decanted into a different bottle, and have read that other reviewers have found different concentrations to have surprising staying power and sillage beyond the parfum concentration of that particular fragrance so ymmv. :) Again, this is a sweet musk that would melt into the most delicious skin scent and feels out of time in a refreshing and wonderful fashion. Those who don't like fruit wouldn't necessarily need to avoid Mon Amour as the black cherry note's appearance is brief and subtle. If vanilla or amber is a favorite note, this is a sexy interpretation in a snuggly 'come closer' sort of way. But it is sweet to be sure and sillage is pretty good though it won't fill a room. All in all, this is gorgeous, a bit playful and very enticing. Mr. Ab. Scent is so used to my dabbing myself from this vile and that bottle that he, too, has gotten rather particular and it takes something special to interest him. But this not only got an "Mmmm..." but he actually caught my wrist for a second sniff. Perhaps this is a bedtime perfume as well. ;) Love and I'll definitely be buying more products in the line... Perhaps even the generous fragrance wardrobe so I can wear this glorious creation from head to toe.
Purchasing this product had been a decision I've gone back and forth about for ages. It looked intriguing but the price was always a sticking point. However, I found an awesome website specializing in a broad range of spa products and they had a good coupon offer so I took the plunge. I have combination skin thanks to using Retin-A. From dryness around my eyes, forehead and chin to oiliness on my cheeks and t-zone to flakes caused by the rapid cell turnover from the same medication, I had a very hard time finding a mask that wasn't too harsh or didn't break me out. Since I'd say overall that oily skin is my biggest issue, I was prepared to try this and likely have to pass it on to a friend given how rich and moisturizing it is. However, I have now been using it since February on at least a bi-weekly basis and my skin looks amazing. The smell is one I've smelled in other "tropical" items, but isn't overwhelming or unpleasant. The packaging is fantastic with clean lines and a spatula to remove product from the jar for those of us who hate sticking fingers into tubs and jars. And the texture? It spreads like home made frosting. Very smooth, glides over skin and a little bit goes a long way with perfect coverage. After a few moments, it seems to thin out but I imagine that's because of the warmth of my skin and the absorbtion process, so I have to be still or it can run a bit. I leave it on for several minutes only because I know my skin can handle it, but of course advise following the instructions. When I rinse my face, my skin is incredibly soft, smooth and silken to the touch. This, along with Philosophy Purity Made Simple and Shiseido Eudermine have performed miracles on my face. It is always wonderful to find that a product does just what it advertises, and this mask is just one such product for me. I've experienced no blemishes, redness, tenderness or other negative results specifically after using it, and my skin has become much more sensitive since the Retin-A to the point where I've had to switch makeup. But I've had no trouble save for hormonal acne now and then which, I don't think, can be prevented. But when that happens, the blemishes are much smaller and disappear much faster than they did, so apparently this mask and the other items I'm using are the right combination of products for my skin. I love this mask and will always have it as part of my skin care routine. In fact, I'm now very tempted to try the June Jacobs Cranberry Pomegranate Moisture Mask and Raspberry Serum as well. Definitely worth the cost, considering you can get deals on this if you shop around and that I'm barely halfway through my first jar. I'm extremely impressed and happy with this product and think it's a great way to pamper my skin.
Like the review below me, I have to say this is the perfect summer in a bottle for casual wear if you're into fruity perfumes. It reminds me of an Escada limited edition much like the original Heat, but where that one was all peaches, syrup and ambery woods, this one is definitely brighter and tropical. The opening is lovely with a burst of orange, cherry and a hint of the passion fruit, and is quickly followed by a rich and surprisingly dense mango and wisp of the tropical florals--orchid and hibiscus--before the whole composition is grounded by an easily detected base dominated by the teak wood and finishing on just a touch of creamy amber and musk. Sillage is strong when first applied and the wear was surprisingly good for a fragrance so heavily dominated by, at least in most fragrances I've tried, usually rather fleeting fruit notes. Packaging is meh but not too terrible, and the price is standard issue for a relatively new celeb department store frag. It isn't an instant classic and is a nice change when I want something light and fun to wear on those steamy afternoons when powder, intense florals and woods seem too heavy. It isn't unusual, but it is very good at what it does.
On my skin, this is more Heliotrope and Lilacs, and the unusual but well-suited blend of the almond/powdery heliotrope playing the lead to the lilac and sweet, candied violet make this a wonderfully musky and gentle comfort scent. It isn't hard to like at all, and is like the fragrance equivalent of nuzzling your nose into the freshly washed hair of a baby or inhaling the sweet perfume from a big bouquet of violets and lilacs after eating a madeline. It is a perfect scent to wear when you just want to smell good without too much going on and competing for attention. Sillage is mild and staying power is about 3-5 hours or so, though I can detect some lingering sweet florals faintly still later upon a close sniff. I love it and am really impressed with Liz Zorn's studio and creations. even the fragrances I can't see myself wearing are obviously well blended and of good quality ingredients. If you've been curious about the line, do give it a try. Their samples are fairly priced and customer service is excellent.
I ordered Nightjar Absolute along with a few other samples from Liz Zorn back in autumn 2010 and have been testing them throughout the subsequent months. Given my love for tropical florals (Chantecaille's Frangipane and Tiare, Montale Intense Tiare, Nasomattto Narcotic Venus etc.) and my exploration of osmanthus in perfumes, I knew that I would have to buy a bottle as soon as my package arrived and I gave it a dab as such a stunning sample wouldn't last long. This is dreamy sweet tropical heaven with a nice bite thanks to the hint of earthy figleaf, moss and woods in the base notes. I want to wrap myself in this from head to toe and just bask in the languorousness of it all. It is sweet without being cloying, has enough of a presence though never overwhelms, and is definitely black tie/formal event appropriate. It won't leave everyone in your wake lingering in a heady tuberose cloud like my beloved Fracas and isn't a candied tropical like Aloha Tiare. It smells pure, natural and true to what I imagine the actual blossoms must smell like in person, and I will treasure my bottle for as long as it lasts. If it were added to the studio collection on a permanent basis, I'd be ecstatic, and I will definitely miss it when it is gone.
This is a beautiful green floral that reminds me a bit of Divine's l'Infant. Though much less sweet and more green, it has that same delicate spring in a bottle feel. The mint is soft and subtle, enhancing the green aspects of the lotv and letting the lilac just bloom on the skin. The hay adds a bit of sweetness under the flowers and the whole effect is underscored and grounded by a gentle bed of moss. This smells like springtime here in the Midwest with new hay, lilac and lush greenery drifting on warm winds. I think of childhood afternoons laying in grassy fields with the verdant warmth and life of nearby woods adding strength and depth to the olfactory bouquet of grass and flowers in the air. I am so very glad this was included as an extra in my order because I may not have ordered it and as a result, would be missing out on a gorgeous and wonderfully green fragrance. Sillage is soft and lasting power is average (3-5 hours), and I would certainly buy it though I'd likely only wear it in spring and early summer. Love it.
What a sensuous and hypnotic musk. I fell so hard for this after swapping for some I ran out and bought a larger bottle. It isn't squeaky clean like some of the more soapy white musks out there, doesn't exactly have MKK's carnal, "been up to naughty things" personality, but rather smells more spiritual and earthy while still managing to be an extremely seductive musk that just is without even trying. It isn't TBS's White Musk or even Body Time's Egyptian Musk. Far from those, so if that's the sort of musk you prefer, definitely try before buying. But as a lover of many musks that vary from soapy sweet to earthy, this is absolutely perfect and I hope it never gets discontinued.
Sweet, vanillic, slightly smoked and as comforting as a favorite blanket, Myrrhe Ardente is soft on the myrrh but offers just enough to be mysterious without wandering into unapproachable territory. Sillage is soft and lasting power isn't more than a few hours on my skin, but even after that I still catch soft hints here and there. I wish it were more intense, but still feel it to be another gem from the Les Orientalists line and see myself using up my mini for sure and wouldn't mind owning a larger bottle.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Brent Leonesio Untitled No. 8
AbsoluteScentualist 2/24/2011 1:15:00 AM
If you can survive the top notes long enough (which present on my skin as an approximation of extremely fecal/horrible breath/oral decay/intense body odor) without running to the sink with all the soap and alcohol you can find, the musk lurking under and around these is nice enough. But the effort required to get there is something I'd rather not endure again. Even smelling this wafting off someone in close quarters might prove difficult to my stomach, and as always seems to be the case with frags that don't work on me, the staying power is superb. Props for the creativity and obvious adventurous spirit behind the scent, but for me it is like Secretions Magnifique in that it would be an interesting scent accompanyment perhaps to art or something similar, but definitely not something I'd want on my skin ever again after one test dab. Back to MKK, Kingdom, Kiehl's, Ajmal frags, Musc Ravageur and Narcisse Noir for my anamalic/skank fix. ELdO's SM has been the only perfume thus far to evoke such an instantly negative viceral response from me, and I would definitely and strongly urge anyone intrigued to sample before buying as this level of animalistic musk is challenging to say the least and makes MKK look like a lil pussycat in pink footie pajamas and Kingdom an ethereal spring bouquet with subtle hints of spice.
Bath Treatments -Unlisted Brand - China Rain Bath Fizzer
AbsoluteScentualist 2/20/2011 10:01:00 PM
This review is for the Body Time China Rain Bath Fizzer. This was my first bath bomb experience and it was fantastic, even though it was actually a gift for my daughter to use in her bath. The bomb is huge to begin with (approximately the size of a baseball or softball), there is a slight scoring around the spherical bomb so slicing it in half is easier, and when you put only half of the fizzer in the tub, the results are immediate and amazing. Even here where we have hard water that often causes all sorts of problems with other bath products, one half of this fizzer dissolved with lots of fun fizz and bubbles, the beautiful China Rain fragrance I've been in love with for months since first purchasing it unsniffed from Body Time filled the bathroom and drifted out into the hall without being cloying or overwhelming and the end result is soft, sweetly scented skin. My daughter often has problems with dry skin, particularly during winter, but she came out of the tub moisturized and smelling wonderful even after towling off. I love this product and plan on picking up a few more. They are a little pricy at around $7 US, but you can get at least two uses out of one and possibly more if you crumbled it, the packaging is totally eco friendly and again, they smell so wonderful if you're infatuated with the original (and best, in my opinion) China Rain fragrance from Body Time like my daughter and I. Even the DH likes it, and he's so used to our cycling through various bath and body products that he rarely comments on something unless it's a particular fave. If you've been on the fence about this product or the China Rain range through Body Time, check it out. The other China Rain products from Body Time are also really well made, not just alternative agents for the perfume, and layer beautifully with one another. I love this bath bomb!