This review is for the vintage formula. Vintage Femme is a classic fruity chypre that succeeds to lend an air of carefree sophistication. This legendary composition features fetching notes of peach and plum, which transfer that unserious, well-humored quality inherent to plump, delectable fruits. But, there is no denying the elegant roundedness here, accomplished by skillful incorporation of musk and amber. The end result is a tasteful blend of fruity musk. The people at MPG could learn a thing or two from this classic; their use of musk is always heavy-handed to my nose. Mr. Roudnitska fused the light fun of fruit with the mellow polish of musk with expert flair.
Lipstick -Chanel - Aqualumiere Lipstick #31 Waikiki
Liv24 8/19/2004 6:52:00 PM
I am among the underwhelmed. But that may be because it is difficult for me to find colors that will successfully overcome my pigmented, rosy lips. That said, I am a cool-neutral PPP so most lip colors leave some impression on my face, even if the change is highly subtle on my lips. But in the case of Waikiki, it is just not worth the bother. What I get is a really muted pink with a hint of peach. Very boring on me. For the natural look, I have countless other options, all of which look better to my eye. Still, the formula is great, so it is definitely worth a try.
I cannot believe how much of an aberration my experience is. Alas, on my skin, Champaca throbs as a bamboo focused floral with a premature surfacing of musky tea. The end result on my skin is essentially Calvin Klein Truth, a Southeast Asian inspired floral scent that I find a nuisance to endure. And oh, what a letdown regarding the basmati note. I absolutely love the smell of cooking basmati rice, so I was eager and curious to see how it translated in perfume. Regrettably, it remained forever absent on my skin. As for lasting power, it was profoundly tenacious. It lasted all day and before I fell asleep, it murmured sweet nothings into my ear. That's Murphy's Law for you -- I no like, it clingingly loves me.
Fragrances -Yves Saint Laurent - Paris-Roses des Bois
Liv24 3/18/2004 10:50:00 PM
This starts off quite charming and demure but not without playfulness -- soft carnation pink roses tossed with some berries. I really wanted to love this, since it sounded so pretty. And it is in a softly stylized way. But, the blackberry note grows rather loud, persisting and clinging in a fashion that is certainly becoming all too familiar. It is truly my misfortune that my skin amplifies sweet notes, since I love berries and thus strive to make them work in fragrance. An aside, JAR Bolt of Lightning is becoming dearer to me with every failed attempt, since it strides that perfect line of being scrumptious without getting too fruity. Sanity giving me the boot: no liquid of this world is worth 530 euros!
I approached In Love Again tentatively seeing that I'm not a fan of the overtly fruity. My first impression was sparkly pink grapefruit, juicy blueberries and blackberries giving way to a floral musk accord that provides a sophisticated touch to balance out the fun citrusy sweet top. I was so pleasantly surprised at the counter I bought a bottle on the spot. Flash forward a few sprays later, at home with full bottle: Too fruity sweet, a bit masculine musky, what to do? I ended up exchanging it for Stella.
After a day with Fleurs d'Oranger, I always wonder to myself, "why don't I wear this more?" The truth is I wear it often, but often doesn't seem enough sometimes. For some inexplicably wonderful reason, with each wearing, this fragrance happens to me all over again. Every single time it strikes me as an elegantly conceived trailblazer as blossoms uplift and spices stay close to the skin. Quintessentially Lutens, it's harmonic, expressively sensuous, and alive. It also showcases the craft of Lutens the perfumer as the wearer finds himself/herself wearing orange-colored glasses: the resplendent cheer of orange blossoms seems everywhere. Yet when I zero in on the composition, I find orange blossom assuming more of a supporting role as it weaves in and out of spiraling threads of jasmine intertwining with an emergent tuberose. The end result is a shining and sumptuous menage a trois, injecting into even the most overcast days that rare enlivening light that one can only experience at sunrise.
Cleansers -Ellen Lange - Daily Maintenance Cleanser
Liv24 3/9/2004 11:31:00 PM
This is a great basic cleanser, one that I used to view as the best non-foaming cleanser around. After finding a creamy cleanser manufactured by Kanebo, I amended my assessment, but this still runs as my second favorite, as it should in light of how many tubes I've gone through. It has a slightly gel-cream texture, one that is cool to the touch and spreads with ease on the face. After using several tubes of Kanebo's cleanser, which remarkably has exactly the same texture, I am going to hazard the guess that it is this ph-balanced gel-cream formula that helps provide for a reliable cleanser, one that always rinses perfectly off while leaving the skin perfectly as it was -- undisturbed, balanced, and simply clean.
Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - Topix Pharmaceuticals Resurfix Ultra Gentle Cleanser
Liv24 3/9/2004 11:29:00 PM
A nice foaming gel cleanser, this should especially appeal to those with sensitive or reactive skin. You get some bubbles, but the level is moderate, indicative of its gentleness. After rinsing, skin is comfortable, not taut. The list of ingredients is simple and the ph of 5.5 is perfect for temperamental skin or skin that is being treated by acids or tretinoin. After finishing two 8 ounce bottles, I will say that while I like it fine, I have other cleansers that are not only just as competent, but that I prefer.
Ingredients: Purified Water, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, Lauroamphodiacetate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Laureth-13 Carboxylate, Papain, Green Tea Extract, dl-Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Polysorbate-20, Quaternium-15, Benzyl Alcohol, Citric Acid
Fragrances -Gabriele Strehle - Gabriele Strehle Strenesse EDT
Liv24 3/6/2004 10:57:00 PM
I can see a lot of people appreciating this cleanly gourmand, not too sweet, always discreet scent. Featuring an almond milk accord that deepens, jasmine and heliotrope delicately intertwine, soon joined by the feminine cleanness of lily of the valley. Clean musk in the base provides a counterpoint to the faintly powdery softness of sandalwood, iris, and amber. In addition, there are notes of peach blossom that first make their appearance upon application. They run through the composition like a thread, undulating and swelling before merging into the understated elegance of the base.
Unfortunately, yet very predictably, the musk and subtle fruitiness sneak up on me as I go about my day and I can't help but grimace. However, this may not be a problem for most; my skin amplifies musk and sweetness in a manner that my nose will probably never learn to appreciate. Therefore, personal experience aside, I will not hesitate in recommending this to others. It's certainly worthy of more print.
Fragrances -Stella McCartney - Stella- Eau de Parfum
Liv24 2/26/2004 7:26:00 PM
A charming daytime companion, Stella is an embraceable tea rose that captures the tradition inherent to rose while keeping it freshly modern. Further, I hope the relative accessibility of Stella helps rid of outmoded and misguided associations of rose with "matronly," "old-fashioned," "stuffy." Indeed, a wonderful rose is nothing short of "elegant," "classic," "glorious." And this composition is laudable with its bright mandarin, lemon, and bergamot accents dispelling the richness of rose, providing a sunny swirl of delicious fresh air, before it yields to the mellower dry down stemming from dusky amber and faintest musk. Refreshing in its own right and for its well-executed simplicity, its lasting power could be better, but it affords many happy moments to relive those top notes of clear, vibrant rose.
And as one who loves the color purple, I must sing praises for the color of the bottle -- gorgeous black violet. In fact, I went so far as to borrow the tester bottle in order to provide a visual to a MA at another counter, who was helping me find the perfect blackened purple eye shadow.
A mere spray of Chergui brings to mind a fire. I focus not on the dry smoke emanating from it, but the sight of those red sparks flying in the dark and the sound of that crackle as logs succumb to the intense hot. Both Lutens' Chergui and Ambre Sultan give me an appreciation for amber overlaid with spices. The key difference being the absence of vanilla here and Chergui doesn't stay close to the skin; rather, it looms large, uniting one to the greater environment it summons.
The initial intensity and deliciousness whittle away as incense and tobacco notes merge into a honeyed base of amber, cinnamon, cumin, and slightly animalic musk. This is a spicy oriental that I can only wear on the coldest Arctic days, for fear that my skin will bring out the growl of the animalic musk (have had a few close calls!). Still, I can see that Chergui possesses a cavernous depth and a smoldering temperament that is quite something to behold.
This Lutens creation is surprisingly very straightforward and without any secrets: a red rose haloed by green leaves and drizzled with dew. The first few moments are especially fresh and blossomy, but as if the sun has evaporated the dew off the petals, the composition acquires some warmth, which in turn, allows the inherent richness of rose to creep to the fore. As nice as this rose soliflore is, I prefer the dancing interpretations by Ms. Rogeon, the remarkable nose behind Parfums de Rosine.
Ecume de Rose should charm any rose lover with its simple, fresh kiss of berried rose. The marriage of black currant leaves to velvety rose petals is lovely, percolating the composition with an enduring touch of nature-found sweetness. The base notes of vetiver, white musk, and amber contribute to good lingering power and provide a subtly clean sensation.
To compare to other rose scents, the incorporation of berries and glimpse of foliage recalls the development of Parfums de Rosine Roseberry. And the slightly warmer base notes hint at a dusky quality that reminds me of Stella. Yet, unlike these two, it conjures not intact roses, but gently dismantled ones, as if a cabal of wide-eyed cherubs went to work, attempting to unleash the delicately sweet essence to perfume their hair.
Barbarella is a sheer pale apricot with a hint of pink. The formula is such that it allows for a creamy but still natural finish or the sheerest application that makes for a really natural and innocent look. Think Asian pop. It's a very cute color that goes well with my high contrast coloring -- very pale skin, dark hair, brown eyes, black eyebrows.
The latest highlighting powder from Chanel has taken me for a brief ride. After dusting at NM, I did a double-take in the store mirrors: My skin looked kind of amazing. I didn't buy it on the spot because I already have similar products, but eventually succumbed. Today I am soberly reporting that although nice, this is not that much better than your average face highlighter. While I love how subtly this pale mauve pink enhances my skin tone and the color makes for a great alabaster pink blush for fellow PPPs, I find the texture subpar. It goes on a bit chalky. For $50 this will not do.
Instead I recommend Guerlain Les Meteorites, the creme de la creme of face highlighters. On another note, if Chanel ever succeeds in making this whole powder as beautifully opalescent as Satin de Chanel's veneer with its embroidered detail, I will give it another whirl.