This was an unsniffed purchase after reading the Scented Salamander's beautiful review, and it is in every way BETTER than I had hoped for. I am a huge fan of amber scents - which was the initial draw - but on my skin chemistry, Ambre Gris sings the myrrh note most strongly. However, its a soft myrrh wrapped in flowers with a little amber in the background. It also has good sillage and lasts all day (and is available very reasonably online!).
Fragrances -Thierry Mugler - Angel Garden of Stars Peony Eau de Parfum
Moyra 4/29/2009 2:03:00 AM
Ah...Angel and its flowery sisters, one of the most polarizing scents on Earth. So many lovers, and oh so many haters. I think its not only a body chemistry thing, its also a "nose" thing. I love Angel Peony. In summer, its one of my favorite scents, the original Angel being more of a winter scent in my "nose". It has a blossomy softness while still retaining the fabulous Angel sillage. I dont know re the lack of patchouli, I definitely still detect it, so if your chemistry and nose hate patchouli, this Angel isn't for you, either. I have smelled this on a friend on whom it really did smell metallic,so I honor that on some skin chemistries, Angel Peony turns from glorious to nasty, but IF you have the right "nose" and the right chemistry, as well as a high tolerance for "sillage", its a glorious scent. Not only is it full bottle worthy, but I am on my third huge tester bottle, and plan to repurchase again and again.
Once again, I wonder if all the reviews are referring to the selfsame, apparently reformulated, gruesomely bitter Jolie Madame I recently purchased unsniffed in its current incarnation. I remember this perfume wafting deliciously around me at adult gatherings when I was a child. It was a beautiful, feminine and sophisticated floral, and I used to beg for a little spray of it from my mother's perfume collection, and felt terribly grown up and special when I wore it. Fast forward to my recently Internet perfume buying spree...I tore open the package and liberally anointed myself with Jolie Madame, only to be assaulted by a strange, bitter smell vaguely enveloped in flowers. I know skin chemistry changes with time, however, I do not "turn" perfumes, they smell pretty much true on me. Could it be that I "turned" the Jolie Madame of my childhood and of all the glowing reviews here into a bitter shrew? Could it be that Jolie Madame underwent a gruesome reformulation recently? In any case, it was not a pleasant olfactory experience, and Jolie Madame is definitely not a "repurchase".
Beautiful summery fragrance, somwhat similar, in my olfactory senses, to Betsey Johnson - but far more elegant. Its decadently yet also delicately feminine without being in any way cloying, and has nice (although too discreet for my not-discreet tastes)) sillage and decent (6 hours on me) staying power. I hunted the notes in both fragrances to understand the similarity and the difference. Absolu has mandarin-orange essence,fig leaf, lily and orange blossom, black pepper, labdanum ciste, tolu balsam and benzoin. Betsey Johnson is said to have Pear, Tangerine, Grapefruit, Blackcurrant, Freesia, Lily of the valley, Red apple,Praline, Amber and Musk. Go figure. They do not have similar notes but are, in reality, somewhat similar, although Absolu is undoubtedly the better dressed, more discrete version. Betsey Johnson has been a favorite summer perfume of mine for a few years, despite the uber tacky bottle, but Absolu wins the elegant lady vote, hands down - perhaps the pepper note? The labdanum? Its quite intoxicating and very lovely - pity it has been discontinued, but thank goodness its available online at very, very reasonable prices.
I bought this based on the reviews here and on several perfume blogs/sites, since the whole accord sounded so mysterious and dark. I have fairly broad taste in perfumes, liking many disparate types - and having a very high tolerance for intense fragrances, I figured it was worth the gamble (and it was cheap). Alas, I got the reformulated version which, unless someone happens to feel that straight-up jasmine soap smells mysterious and dark, is really some awful eau de parfum. Really, truly awful. Think of one of those super cheap, ultra stanky jasmine soaps that cling to you and overpower anything else you may wear, multiply that times a hundred, and you have a pretty good idea of how vile and inelegant the reformulated Narcisse Noir is.
I have chemical sunscreen allergies, so this seemed like a really good product idea. Alas, in execution, its odd stuff. Its incredibly greasy, has a large amount of gritty little balls of who-the-heck-knows-what - zinc? - and you have to rub it in for ages before you can appear in public without looking like you're wearing white grease paint with little white grains all over it. After trying it on my face a few times, I went back to using DeVita SPF 30 on my face, but I do like Badger SPF 30 on my hands/arms. I even like the lavendery smell, which is strong but still pleasant and a good alternative to smelling like stale oils, like the highly touted Soleo Organics SPF 30. I would repurchase as a winter/hands sunscreen, since I live in a very sunny climate, am very pale and have dry skin. But its definitely a fair bit of work to use, and it would be nice if the company figured out how to blend their ingredients properly so the gritty white balls dissappeared.
Sometimes I feel a distinct sense of dissassociation when I read perfume reviews....I wore the "vintage" Cabochard when it wasn't vintage, and I just bought another bottle, after many years of not trying it. Its still a beautiful, sophisticated chypre, as it was then, but nowhere do I detect leather or tobacco...nowhere. I have had several people sniff my wrist, and not one of them could. So I wonder, am I crazy? I had similar feelings about the famed coffee notes in L'Or de Torrente - never smelled them, but love the scent. Cabochard is brilliant, elegant-lady-in-a-bottle magic, and a very lovely and potent chypre. Not for the shy, but definitely suits some of my more well-behaved but still confidently extroverted moods. EDIT: When I repurchased Cabochard - after many decades of not wearing it, I also purchased the Body Cream. I now stand corrected about the leather/tobacco notes. Ewww. The body cream DOES smell like someone used a piece of leather to wipe out an ashtray. The perfume does not at ALL. Go figure.
Not so very sure about the cremesheens being any kind of replacement for Mac's amplified formula, and I was glad to learn that amplifieds won't be retired, but this particular color, Speak Louder, is wonderful. Its fuchsia pink, but its not electrically bright or annoyingly glaring - even on ultra pale, lighter than NC15 winter me - just a nice, face brightening wash of vibrant pink. Its a softer, more polite version of fuchsia, a happy, face brightening color that is actually very, very wearable, and is quickly turning into one of my most go-to pinks.
Skincare - Face -June Jacobs - Micronized Sheer SPF 30
Moyra 6/8/2008 6:14:00 PM
Me: very pale, hyper sensitive skin, NC 15 or lighter in winter, but living in a very sunny and hot climate. Although this is mostly a physical sunblock cream, it also has a chemical sunblock agent, methoxycinnamate. I break out into severe eczematic rashes from chemical sunscreens, however, this one surprised me. NO reaction at all! Additionally, the white cast from the zinc and titanium goes away quickly if applied over previously moisturized skin, it seems to be relatively moisturizing itself and - hallelujah! - it doesn't ball up under makeup. I can't detect even a tiny bit of color change in my skin from winter to summer thanks to this stuff, so its become my HG sunscreen -I'm on my 6th tube!
After 5 years of intense flirting with all sorts of other brands and formulas, from Armani to Senna to MAC and everything in between, to a gazillion brands of mineral makeup, I have come full circle back to SuperBalanced in Breeze. I can't believe I ever left - this really IS the best foundation in the world, just enough coverage, perfect color, perfect moisture level. Its the "my skin but better" thing everyone talks about that eluded me for 5 years since I gave my last bottle away. I am thrilled to have rediscovered this amazing stuff, even though the packaging sucks (what up with that teeny opening and the difficulty in dispensing, huh?). My super sensitive skin never has flakies, allergic eczema outbreaks or any other disaster when I use Superbalanced, its never too dry or too oily, its just right. So I ask myself, why did I ever stray? And what to do with all the other foundations I bought in the last 5 years, hmmm?
How on earth did I miss this when it got released? Wonderful peachy-beigeness, neutral enough and light enough but doesn't wash out super pale people like myself. Absolutely love the color, the staying power. The formula ? Eh, not so much. Definitely needs something moister over top (I wear Poise with Missy Slimshine over it), but the lasting power, even with food and drink, is good. This is emphatically a warmer toned neutral, and would probably look best on warm toned people. It is also definitely not ultra pale or ultra bright, just a perfect light to middle toned neutral. And its definitely a keeper - can't imagine running out (have too many lipsticks in rotation), but it is a great go-to everyday color.
Hollywood Nights is the very best thing in the entire Heatherette collection, an incredibly face brightening fuchsia, flattering even to warmer toned people. I am super fair (nc15 or paler, in winter) and this color makes me look alive, isn't too too over the top with neutral eye makeup and generally just makes me happy. Hollywood Nights stays on amazingly well, even after a meal, and a little Pleasing slimshine or lipgloss over it takes care of the Satin formula dryness.
Mac lip products have two huge winners in my book, the amplified Cremes and the Slimshines. I was really excited to see the Slimshines were back, that some were permanent, and that there were new colours. I would normally have never even given Grenadine a second look, because its not in the warm reds I prefer, but my favorite MAC artist recommended it, and, you know what? She was RIGHT! Grenadine looks scary blue/red, but is actually a beautiful, face brightening, sheer wash of red, super flattering and very wearable, even on the ultra pale.
Mac lip products have two huge winners in my book, the amplified Cremes and the Slimshines. I was really excited to see the Slimshines were back, that some were permanent, and that there were new colours. Missy is a gorgeous, pale peachy/orangey color, really more on the peach side, as stated in the previous review. It looks amazing by itself, soft but not washed out, requiring no lipliner or anything else to make its presence known. For the warm toned, even the ultra ghostly pale warm toned like me, Missy may be the ultimate light color. Bonus : If you happen to have Razzlerdazzler amplified creme from the Rachel Welch Collection, Missy is amazing over it!
Hair Color -L'Oreal - Couleur Experte -hair dye / highlight
Moyra 1/28/2008 3:36:00 PM
Somehow, the bad reviews for Couleur Experte stump me - I have been using it for a year now and have had nothing but great results and ton of compliments. I use color 6.6, a fabulous deep red with strawberry blonde-ish highlights. It does take a few hours to apply the first color, rinse and then paint on the second color, but even my hairdresser (and the many assistants abounding in the hair salon) has complimented the color, and complete strangers walk up and compliment it. Its really multidimensional and fabulous, my extremely delicate/dry hair has never suffered from it, and its very easy to do, even without getting overly nitpicky about coating the strands perfectly, etc. The results are definitely worthwhile, and I will repurchase this over and over!