Fragrances -Christian Dior - Dior Addict Shine edt
livadia 4/28/2008 3:50:00 AM
This is the fragrance that I have been wearing for the past 1 week, and as my perfume reviews will give some indication, I hardly wear anything continuously for more than a few days. Dior Addict Shine is nothing compared to Dior Addict, and is also more palatable than Dior Addict 2, if one is looking for a youth fragrance. Shine is smoother than Addict 2, which can be very sharp with its grapefruit opening. Shine starts with a very lightly done note of raspberry. Berries, if done badly, can come across as too tart or too cloying, and these effects are thankfully absent from Shine. Compared to the offerings of these couple of scents, this is rather non-descript, being the fruit, floral and woody type of composition. I can, for example, smell some semblance to F for Fascinating by Salvatore Ferragamo. But the smoothness of Shine outshines its competition. The fresh raspberry and citrus progresses effortlessly to a watery Gardenia note, before ending up in a clean woody smell. The notes are well-blended, yet each stands out on its own. I have not come across such a well-balanced and wearable white floral for the longest time. I am taking out one lippie, however, for its lack of staying power. I cannot smell myself at all after 4 hours, unless I re-apply. For something that is pretty pricey, it can be serious inpediment to being a regular product in my fragrance wardrobe.
This is one of the most striking scents I have tried for a long time! That said, I don't think it is different from its time as fruity-florals with clean-ish patchouli are rather fashionable these days. (Think YSL Elle, and Ms Dior Cherie) I usually cannot stand Patchouli but this one is less earthy and caked with dirt. Instead, the patchouli here is somewhat sanitised, giving it the Vicks Vapor Rub smell that someone commented on below. This really isn't dark or sultry like it is marketed to be, and I find it wearable (in smaller quantities) in the daytime as well. I smell berry (more particularly, blackcurrant) notes, as well as a muted black rose, with a vanilla, semi-ambery dry-down. I have read comments that it is masculine, but the rose and tart fruits makes it feminine to me.
This is a toned-down 'Angel' with some berry in it. On me, the obvious berry-ish opening fades after the first 5 minutes and a tamed 'Angel' takes over. If I sniff my wrist closely, I can still detect the berry note underneath it but the overall effect is still quite close to 'Angel' and I can perfectly understand why it is still classified a 'gourmand' fragrance. Despite its similarities to 'Angel', the dry-down of 'Innocent' is completely devoid of patchouli (which I am thankful for) and is actually a soft, powdery finish with a hint of sweetness. It is as outlandish as 'Angel', but less cold and more approachable. Try this if you can't stomach 'Angel' on an everyday basis. Notes: Mandarin, bergamot, helional, dewberry, blackcurrant buds, musk. sugared almond meringue, passionfruit.
After going through much powder foundations in the past year, I have come to the conclusion that it really is more economical to try a liquid. Since my old fall-back is Studio Fix (powder), I sauntered to MAC to ask for a liquid version. It goes on smooth for something with such great coverage, so blending is easy. Though it covers blemishes well, I won't say it is too heavy for the rest of the face. And though it has a matte finish, it still allows some healthy glow to show through. Get this if you want an affordable everyday foundation that looks professional and easy to use. Watch the shades though- if you are used to sheer foundations, you will find that with a foundation like this that offers medium to full coverage, you need to get as close a match as possible. The NWs are, IMHO, too orange-y. I usually use NC25 SF (powder) and NC20 in pressed powder. But though even though my SF Fluid is NC25 too, it looks slightly darker than the powder version.
There are a few things I love about this, not least of all was the fact that I could get this cheap at duty-free at airports or at DFS. This is a mattifying compact foundation that provides realistic, buildable coverage. It is apparently suitable for all skin types, but I find it better for those with combination skins. This offers lighter coverage than MAC studio fix, and slightly more coverage than Origins Silk Screen (which is another one I like). While Studio Fix turns cakey after touch-ups, and Silk Screen shades are hit-or-miss, I can find one that matches my skin tone perfectly. I am a moderately fair Asian with pink undertones and naturally medium brown hair. (For Studio Fix, I use NC25; for Silk Screen, I use Beige Beauty 09) What I hate about this is the packaging; the hinge broke on me when I tried to open it up for the first time; the mirror is on the underside against the powder compartment, facing the compartment for the sponge, which I find really user-unfriendly. Plus, one has to turn the powder upside-down to access the mirror and sponge. I will give this full marks if not for the packaging.
Fragrances -Bulgari - Rose Essentielle EDP - limted edition
livadia 2/19/2008 1:00:00 AM
This is a berry rose (along the likes of Annick Goutal's Quel Amour and TBS Cassis Rose) that, unlike the other two, ends in a signature Bvlgari Pour Femme powderiness. Get this if you like the other two but prefer a more sophisticated finish and a longer-lasting fragrance. It is nothing unique or original, hence only 4 stars.
I just have to step in and defend this product! I love this and this is a new favourite. YSL describes this as a 'vibrantly feminine' fragrance and it is supposed to be built on a pink berries - peony - patchouli combination. I generally like berries and peony/ rose scents (think TBS Cassis Rose, Annick Goutal Quel Amour) but Elle has more presence than the rest due to the spice in it. On me, I smell lychee, a raspberry note and a hint of something that smells like tea (?) in the beginning. The peony is fresh and when mixed with a hint if jasmine, it becomes more feminine. This is probably a fragrance that models itself after the success of Chanel Coco Mlle (hello lychee, jasmine and patchouli) and Miss Dior Cherie, but Elle is the only one that does not make me want to puke despite the patchouli in it as the freshness of fruit and peonies is still there. It is fresh, modern and audacious. Highly versatile as it takes you from the office (go easy there) to a night out. It is noticeable without drowning the people around you in perfume. I have received at least 2 compliments (from one girl and a man) and I only started wearing this 4 days ago. I hate the bottle though - the gold and fuschia combination is just too brash. At least it is user-friendly, unlike Babydoll.
Lotions/ Creams -The Body Shop - Passionfruit Body Butter
livadia 1/11/2008 4:56:00 AM
Passion Fruit was kind of like my favourite TBS scent back when I was 16 or 17. This Body Butter does not disappoint in terms of scent and consistency; it moisturises well and though it takes time to absorb, it is not sticky and oily at all. However, the fragrance (or maybe other ingredients) react horribly with my skin. I usually apply this on knees and elbows, and I realised that this exacerbates the eczema in those areas. So, sensitive skins, try this at the shop before buying!
Fragrances -Giorgio Armani - Emporio Armani Diamonds
livadia 12/28/2007 2:32:00 AM
I don't understand why they have chosen to market this product in the tacky, 'bling' way with a name like 'Diamonds'. It is a really non-descript scent that has joined the ranks of other pleasant but totally un-original fragrances in the market. It is built around the rose, with lychee and raspberry to amp up the girly appeal, finally ending with the unmistakable Vanillic base. The opening is the best - fresh, delicate, girly. But the dry-down is exceedingly disappointing - just synthetic fruits and vanilla. This is the least 'Armani' scent I have ever come across after Acqua di Gio (which is great, don't get me wrong) as it lacks the sophistication of others in its family. For Armani, I will stick to Mania.
Fragrances -Giorgio Armani - Mania (re-release 2004; beige cap, not black)
livadia 12/28/2007 2:21:00 AM
Undoubtedly an Oriental, but a modern one as it is not too cloying or heavy. Composed of fresh laurel, Mandarin, Pink Spice, Lily-of-the-Valley, Peony, Cedar, and the instantly recognisable Armani base of Amber and Musk, I consider this a very versatile fragrance. The top notes are fresh and sweet (though may be a bit sharp for those unaccustomed to perfumes), the middle notes are warm and comfy while the dry-down is a powdery light vanilla. On me, the Amber dry-down that is characteristic of all Armanis is less obvious. It is light enough (if you don't overdo it) for day, not so excessively pretty that you cannot wear to work, and it also has enough presence to be worn for nights out. If it is a piece of apparel, I liken it to my favourite black cashmere sweater, one I can wear for work or slip over my party dress. Fresh, sweet and sensual, it is as sparkling as an Oriental can get.
This is definitely a more subtle scent than the original Stella MacCartney. The pink peony is so delicate, layered with a hint of spicy black pepper. The rest of the fragrance is woody-fresh, with amber, cedarwood and patchouli. I must say that I usually don't go for woody scents, but the woody notes in this are so well-balanced and mild that it is appropriate for even girls who like lighter scents. The dry-down isn't too different from the top notes and the heart notes, making this a less complex scent overall. I imagine a young lady who is innocent yet edgy wearing this; someone who has a quiet optimism and charm. The bottle is pretty yet modern, but is awkward, while the scent does not last very long, hence only 4 stars. But the fact that I chose to buy the big bottle (75 ml) instead of my usual 30 or 50 ml says a lot about the impression the scent left me.
This came out when I was just 16, but I only got the bucks to buy this when I turned 19. Been wearing it on and off since then and therefore, I may be a little biased towards this. This is a 'cool' fragrance that is suitable for the most humid days. Composed of top notes of Bergamot and other citrus notes, mixed with Vodka, with other crisp fruits like pear and pineapple, layered on delicate white petals of water lily and hyacinth. The base is very faint, mostly soft musk and generic woods. This is for strictly for girls who enjoy their effervescent top and heart notes more than the (usually) more voluptuous base notes that you get with other scents and not this. Like most citruses, this one has the potential to turn sour with the wrong chemistry, so beware. Otherwise, it is well-balanced, not too sweet, not too floral. I remember the advert very well when it first came out in 1998 - everything was young, white and ethereal, with an air of quiet optimism - think Claire Danes in Romeo & Juliet. The advert suits the fragrance perfectly, IMHO. Unfortunately they changed the bottle from a flat, frosted packaging to an ordinary-looking, squarish bottle which misses the whole frosted quality that makes this scent so special. But will continue buying, if only for the nostalgia.
A light, optimistic, true rose scent with a hint of spice in the form of clover. It is so pretty that it makes me smile and think happy thoughts everytime I smell it. Compared to the original Miracle (which I feel is too fruity-sweet from the Lychee and thus has a tendency to turn sour on some people), this is lightweight and ethereal. But it is still unique enough to be memorable. Compared to the fruity-floral offerings for the younger generation that are permeating the stores, this makes a statement without irritating the senses.
I am in love with this right now! I do smell the same notes in the original Chance EDT in this, but they have chosen to highlight the citrus in this, and added some fresh vetiver to balance the white musk that is in the orginal. It is citrus and green at the beginning, and dries to a clean, soapy finish. The middle notes are vibrant, feminine. It seems like Cristalle-meets-No. 19, but in an updated, girlish manner. I can see how this reminds some people of D&G's Light Blue, but the Chance Eau Fraiche is still elegant, and has better lasting power. Notes: Citrus, pink pepper, Absolute of iris, jasmine, patchouli, amber, white musk, fresh vetiver. It smells a tad fruity, but not of a fruit that anyone can pin-point, so I guess there isn't any at all. It is expensive, being only slightly cheaper than the regular Chance, but it is as long-lasting as the latter, so it is worth every penny. Recommended for young girls discovering Chanel scents for the first time, and closet admirers of Cristalle and No. 19 who want a fresh fragrance that is definitely modern and wearable.
The first impression I got of this is that it is actually Angel with menthol! I think this was due to the 'glacial-spicy' effect that the composers wanted to achieve - whichever dominates, it is meant to give one the chills down one's spine. This Star is meant to be admired from afar. The dry-down is way more decent, sort of like a watered-down Angel. Definitely wearable. 3 stars simply for being so unique, but I won't buy this as it does not endear me to it. The bottle is gorgeous though. If you thought the original Angel bottle is impractical as it cannot stand on its own, this is one stunning bottle that is still user-friendly.