Based on the reviews below, I never would've tried this scent on my own, but thankfully, Serena included a sample of the oil with the gift of Angel Face I received for Christmas. I seriously cannot get over how great this smells on my skin. From the bottle and upon initial application, it's a blast of clean, bright musk with green notes--not my favorite type of smell, but completely benign. After about a minute or so, though, it seemingly melts into my skin and blossoms into a lush, creamy (emphasis on creamy), sweet & soapy, floral musk with a bit of soft incense. Florals aren't typically my thing (usually go for gourmands and the occasional woody oriental) but I do love a great musk and that's exactly what this is. It's so... yummy? pretty? luscious? ...I absolutely cannot stop sniffing this scent which is good because it lasts pretty much forever. (18 hours; same as a reviewer below me.) Sillage is pretty decent for an oil so I can't decide whether to order the eau de parfum or stick with the oil, but bottom line: I'll definitely be buying before the sample vial runs out b/c I don't ever want to be without this little gem. Man's perspective (courtesy of my H): "Oh, yeah l like that. It's very... creamy." And there you go.
Ah, this scent makes me so happy! And hungry. The simplest way to describe this scent for any of you who might've tried Ava Luxe already is to say that if, while wearing Love's True Bluish Light, you opened a Christmas panettone that had been soaked in Amaretto you'd know what Amande smells like fresh out of the atomizer. It's sweet, sweet, sweet! I have to admit that even though I'm a gourmand lover through and through, I at first was taken aback by that initial blast of Amaretto. As you can tell, it grew on me. (This scent aims to please.) But while some of the sweetness mellows a bit, it remains unapologetically sweet the whole time. The only thing taming the sugar is that familiar soft musk that's present in a lot of Serena's scents. The almond note is more like marzipan and/or Amaretto and if there's hazelnut to be found it's soaked in the Amaretto. I don't pick up on the sandalwood that's listed as a note and the website has two different descriptions of Amande--one listing apricot as a note and the other listing bitter orange. I can't say with certainty that I smell either, but there is a note that reminds me of dried fruit soaked in liquor. All this booziness works because it's grounded in the musk and bread (that's not listed as a note, but by golly, I can smell it!) For me, Amande is Christmas in a bottle as I tend to associate the smell of marzipan, fruit cake, panettone, Swedish cookies, etc. as Christmas smells moreso than clove, cinnamon and pine. The only drawback to this scent is there is a note that turns a bit papery during one phase of Amande's development. I'm pretty sure it's the vanilla as vanillas tend to do that on my skin. When I spray it on my abdomen or back, I don't get that paper vibe and because the sillage and lasting power are great, I can still enjoy the fragrance totally. Before I end this all-over-the-place review, I do want to add that I find Amande to share some similarities with L'artisan's Traversee du Bosphore and Serge Luten's Jeux de Peaux. I'd take Amande and all it's sticky sweet joy over those two any day. You may have guessed that I got this in EDP form and chose to attach the atomizer that was sent alongside the bottle. If you prefer to splash your scents, you'll like that Serena's packaging gives you that option.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Farmacia SS. Annunziata dal 1561 - Cara
oiseaubleu 10/7/2011 11:31:00 PM
I have no problem with the fact that Cara smells of Play-doh and sugar wafers because the combination is comforting and mildly amusing, but I do have a problem with it's lack of sillage and longevity. It's way too fleeting and unoriginal to warrant such a high price. I would recommend passing on this and looking into Ava-luxe Heliotrope instead.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Farmacia SS. Annunziata dal 1561 Regina
oiseaubleu 10/7/2011 10:45:00 PM
If you've ever picked up a bottle of baby powder only to realize you forgot to twist the opening shut and been blasted in the face with a cloud of powder, you now know what it was like for me to apply this to my skin. I instinctively jerked my wrist far from my nose. First 60 seconds: baby powder, straight up. After that, I got hairspray and the baby powder turned to powdered makeup (eyeshadow, face powder, blush) mixed with lipstick. None of these are bad smells, but together they're just jarring. I had this friend when I was growing up in the eighties whose mom wore bright eyeshadow up to her eyebrows, lined her cupid's bow to look like spikes and permed and styled her hair into a fluffy cloud on top of her head. Regina smells like her, an overly styled and heavily made up woman of the eighties. There's even a hint of eighties drugstore perfume. The first hour of wear was just too much, but I didn't scrub it off because I was so amused by the vivid picture of my childhood that it painted. A couple hours later, the scent settled into something vaguely floral and powdery, but not something I'd ever want to wear again. For what it's worth, I like powder but I'm beginning to think I prefer it paired with gourmand notes over floral ones. When I saw honey and rice listed among Regina's notes, I must've thought (er, hoped) they'd overtake rose, iris and chamomile. They didn't. Lastly, if you like aldehydes, don't let my review put you off, because you'll probably really enjoy this.
Notes: almond milk, aldehydes, tonka bean, wheat, sandalwood, vanilla, amber Y'all are going to have to bear with me here because the best way I can describe this scent is through nostalgic references and I know that's not always the most helpful way, but I am going to give it a good shot. I am an 80's baby and I can vividly recall the scent of Rose Petal Place dolls when I first apply Tonkamande. Literally, the instant I put it on it was like, "BAM--Rose Petal Place!" and that immediately made me happy because I loved those dolls. Now, please don't think I'm saying I smell a rose note here because I definitely do not. It's powdery and cozy, but different from the heliotrope note that usually summons recollections of playing with dolls. I'm blaming it on the aldehydes b/c I don't know what else to blame it on. After all this happy "wheeee! childhood memories!" phase passes, I get (and I'm going to lose some of you here) BBW Warm Vanilla Sugar. I hate saying it, but I do. That scent has never been kind to me, but somehow I really like it here. So, in a nutshell, Rose Petal Place dolls and Warm Vanilla Sugar. I'm sorry. If you haven't backed away from this review yet, I do want to say that while I was initially puzzled and even a bit disappointed with this fragrance, it continues to call out to me from the little pile of luckyscent samples that have been following me around the house all week. I keep getting this whiff of something soft, creamy, cozy yet somehow effervescent and it's always this. And so I put it on. Now I have to decide if all this nostalgia and comfort warrants a full bottle or just a decant. Adding because I've seen people ask: I do not think this smells one bit like Lea. (Which I love, btw.) They are very different animals. Both are cozy and sweet, but the sandalwood and aldehydes in Tonkamande make it dry, bright, and decidedly woodsy whereas the linear Lea smells simply like a nut cart and musk to me.
White Amber is such a little gem hidden amongst the usual suspects of TJMaxx/Marshalls' fragrance sections. I picked it up one day and decided to put it back (Did I really need another unsniffed purchase under my belt? No.) only to come here that night and read glowing reviews and feel regret. I went back the next day and all four bottles were still there. Phew. The things I most love in a fragrance are -warm, cozy smell -blended to the point the notes are hard to pick out -linear (smells the same 5 hours after putting it on as it did 5 minutes after) -sweet (but not cloying) and creamy--powdery is a bonus. With White Amber I can check all of these boxes. I should point out that Amber has always been hard for me to pick out in a scent, but I think I'm starting to understand that it's powdery, dry and almost soapy. (The cool ambers I've smelled blow my mind b/c it's hard to imagine a fragrance smelling like a temperature.) The dry, wood notes blended seamlessly with the creamy, sweet notes make for the perfect "warm blanket on a cold night" scent. I wish I'd found this at the beginning of Fall rather than the beginning of Spring, but I'll continue to wear it throughout the hot months because it's just so easy to wear. I can't wait to experiment with layering because I think White Amber will play nicely with a lot of different fragrances. It may be worth pointing out that my favorite fragrances are Ava Luxe Loukhoum and Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque while my former favorite Amber can be found in People of the Labyrinths Luctor et Emergo or Pacifica's Spanish Amber (which smells almost identical on me as LeE) Gap's White Amber is my new favorite Amber. A man could wear this just as easily as a woman. It smells lovely on my dad. The bottle design is spare and would look just as nice on a man's dresser as a woman's vanity. (If that sort of thing matters.) I don't think this smells a bit like Om, which I have and love. I never would've made that leap. I also don't think it smells like alcohol more than any other alcohol-based fragrance. The alcohol smell dissipates within a minute. Aside: When I think about it, Gap has produced some great scents throughout the years. Some of my fondest scent associations come from Heaven, Dream, Om and Autumn. I wish they would market their fragrances a little differently. They do them a great disservice by just lining them up on a shelf near the checkout as if they were an afterthought. I think they should put just a few bottles of each fragrance (so it seems more special) out amongst the clothing so it's more obvious they put just as much thought into their fragrance as they do their clothing. Because they definitely do. But I guess it's good for my wallet that they continue to market them the way they do b/c then I can find 3.4 oz bottles of perfectly lovely fragrance for $7.99 at discount stores.
Top Notes: Mandarin, Blood Orange Middle Notes: Frangipani, Jasmine Base Notes: Sandalwood, Amber, Vanilla I can't fully describe what I smell, as I can't confidently single out many of the notes listed above. It smells "cool"--for want of a better word--which I'd assume is the amber and "thick" which could be the jasmine, frangipani and vanilla. I detect fruitiness, but I'd never have guessed citrus. The warmth I get upon drydown must be the sandalwood. "Fever" is sweet and teetering on the edge of cloying, but on me, it--thankfully--doesn't go over. There's a little something in it that hints at "barbershop" which makes me feel giddy as I used to love going while all my brothers got their haircuts in the old-fashioned shop where I grew up. I tend to not like a lot of counter fragrances b/c they smell so generic, but I honestly can't say I've smelled something similar to "Fever" before. The bottle is a sleek, ruby cube with a silver-accented black cap. It came in a burgundy box. I picked up the 1 oz eau de Parfum at Marshall's (Feb. 08) for $9.99, but I'd pay full price when this one runs out. (I can't say that about too many other fragrances.) Edit: I know it's been a while, but I feel I should add that I've since come across a few scents that smell like this and I'm not nearly as smitten as I once was. Unfortunately someone close to me over-saturated himself with Hypnotic Poison once and I haven't been able to tolerate it since. Fever has the misfortune of smelling nearly identical to HP so it's been banished to the back of my perfume closet until I can find it a good home. It's also been downgraded from 5 lipsticks to 3.
I honestly never thought it possible to find my one true HG fragrance--a fragrance that surpassed anything I've ever smelled. Sure I've had HGs for a certain category, but Loukhoum is a true HG for me. I don't think it's likely I'll ever find something that appeals to me more. From here on out, this will be my standard. I've always preferred gourmand scents over any other and this is the epitome of gourmand. It opens with the most delicious blend of pistachio and cream with a hint of musk and a delicate powder(not baby) note. The rose is in the background adding a touch of sophistication and keeping it from being too "foody", but I still have to restrain myself from trying to taste this perfume. Generally, I don't enjoy powder or rose notes, but these are blended with the other notes perfectly--to the point they aren't obvious, but actually very enjoyable. On my skin, the scent remains the same the entire time I wear it--no morphing at all--and I just love that it's so steady. It doesn't last a ridiculously long time, but definitely longer than a lot of perfumes. Thanks to a very sweet MUAer who sent me samples b/c of my love of AL's Loukhoum, I can now compare it with SL's Rahat Loukoum and KM's Loukhoum. I have to say they pale in comparison. KM's is very powdery (though I do like it) and not as delicious as AL's. SL's Rahat has a strong cherry cough drop note that clashes with my chemistry and seriously lasts less than an hour on me. I'm really glad of this because it's much better for my finances. ;) I originally thought this would be more of a cool weather fragrance, but I'm finding that it works for me even in the most suffocating heat & humidity. I'm literally addicted to this sexy, comforting interpretation of the confection. I especially enjoy wearing it bed--I always wake up happy. As corny as it may sound, I just can't imagine my life without Loukhoum on my skin now that I've tried it--and to think, I almost took it out of my cart...
Lip Gloss -Revlon - Revlon Super Lustrous in Nude Peach LE
oiseaubleu 5/25/2006 4:31:00 AM
I have finally found my HG nude lipgloss. This is a major feat for me since most end up washing me out or not covering the pigment of my lips well enough. The name of the color describes it best since it is indeed a nude peach and a couple of swipes replaces the natural rosey color of my lips with a pale peach sheen that complements my NC25 skin perfectly. I was so hesitant to try this color b/c I felt it'd be too sheer, but to my surprise, it covers better than any other nude I've tried. Unfortunately, I waited so long that it's gone from most shelves. I was fortunate to have found it in a clearance basket at Walgreens for $3.40 and to top it off, they were BOGO. I plan to snatch up the other one that was left if I can. I sure hope Revlon decides to make it a permanent addition to their line--it's more worthy than a lot of the colors already in it. Just like all the SL's this one is super glossy with a pleasant, moisturizing feel on the lips.
I'm in love with this scrub! First of all, the package design is cheery and adorable to look at. Housed in this happy-looking tube is a deep vanilla and honey scented wonder. I've been using it for over a week straight and my skin is thanking me from the bottom of every pore! My skin has taken on a new glow. The gentle scrub particles slough off whatever gross substances collect on it throughout the day and leave me with fresh-looking skin. I tend to squirt out a little too much of the scrub (a little goes a LONG way!) so I've been using the excess on my chest and I think I may have actually found something to cure my chest breakouts--yay! I know it will take quite sometime to use up this whole tube, so I've definitely gotten my 6 dollars worth. Mark ahs some wonderful products, but this one is currently topping the list! (As a side note, I should mention that this has been replacing my beloved Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser.)
Shampoo -Bath and Body Works - BIO Clarifying Shampoo
oiseaubleu 6/8/2005 12:43:00 AM
This is the only shampoo that allows me to skip a day of washing! I can use it everytime I wash without it stripping my hair. My hair is pretty oily at the roots and dry at the ends, but this stuff keeps it perfectly balanced. I buy it when it goes on sale at BBW, but if I were to need it between sales, I would definitely pay full price with no guilt--it's not but around $9. Great hair is worth that price especially when it takes such a long time to go through a whole bottle. An absolute HG for my waist-length, thick, wavy hair!
Lotions/ Creams -J. R. Watkins - Lemon Creme Shea Butter
oiseaubleu 6/2/2005 4:49:00 AM
When I stumbled across this incredible creme at Walmart, I instantly fell in love with its soft, comforting scent of Lemon Creme Cookies and decided that at less than $5 for a 4.6 oz jar, it would be worth a try. I am amazed at how nice this stuff feels on my skin. My rough, ashy elbows and dry, cracked feet have been transformed into silk and the effects last all night and day. I put it on before bed and never need to re-moisturize until the *next* night before bed! Because it is made with Shea butter and several other emollients, it's a thick cream that goes on smoothly, and leaves a layer of moisture on top of the skin. It feels great to me, but others who prefer lighter lotions and creams may consider it too heavy. If you like the scent of BBW's Tutti Dolci Lemon Meringue, you will most likely love this. No, this doesn't smell just like it, but it's a foody, creamy, light lemon scent that pairs well with L.M. (It certainly doesn't smell Pledge-y at all.) If you are into sweet scents, and super-rich body creams, I'm sure you will not be disappointed in this!
I've been using this product off and on for the past couple of weeks and am very impressed with the results. I'm an MMM who tans pretty easily, so, naturally, I bought the one created for Medium skintones and actually noticed a difference within the first day. I suppose results will vary for everyone. With this, I get a realistic, brown tan--no orange. There are sublte shimmer particles in the lotion which give the skin a radiant glow that I love. I apply it when I get out of the shower and towel-dry, so my skin is usually a bit damp, but that has not hindered my results. This is a great moisturizer for my super-dry skin, so that's a bonus considering I bought it for sunless tanning. I recommend exfoliating in the shower just as you would with any self-tanner. The scent is not heavy or off-putting and fades soon after application. Some have wondered about using it on the face, so that's my main reason for writing my own review. I've been using it on my face for the past 4 nights with no problems whatsoever. It gives me a nicely browned, soft, even complexion with no breakouts. My skin is pretty normal--slightly dry on cheeks, more oily in the T-zone. I don't have to reapply facial lotion in the morning which is great for me as I'm usually pressed for time. The package only warns not to get into the eyes, so I assume it's safe to use on the face if there are no precautions against it written on the label. I'm about out of my first tube, so I'm definitely going back to Target or Walmart for my 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc bottles. So, I've already told all my friends about this stuff and now I've told you all! It's safe to say I highly recommend!
Bronzers -Rimmel - Sun Shimmer Bronzing Compact Powder (ALL)
oiseaubleu 2/24/2005 8:17:00 PM
i had been eyeing this product since i first noticed it last summer, but it wasn't until last week that i finally bought one in the color, SUN LIGHT, to try. why did i wait so long!? there are a few reasons why i think everyone needs to try it for themselves, so i'll break it down like this: 1. it's only $3! and widely available to the masses. (i got mine at walmart.) 2. the color is very flattering, which would, i'd imagine, make it suitable for even the lightest of skintones. (i, myself, being warm-toned & on the medium side, but a bit lighter by the end of winter) SUN LIGHT has this ability to totally brighten my face and makes me look as if i've spent a little time in the sun, only without the initial redness. i simply apply the bronzer to the areas of my face the sun would hit naturally--cheeks, bridge of nose, forehead, and chin--and i get the perfect glow. 3. it completely brightens up the complexion. it's not overly shimmery or frosty. yes, it's called, SunShimmer, but it sould be called SunGlow, because it looks almost matte in pan, but upon closer inspection, you can see all the ultra-tiny shimmer particles. so subtle and gorgeous! 4. it lasts ALL day and NEVER turns orange! (if you weren't convinced before to try it, this little fact should speak volumes.) 5. the amount of product you get is huge! it will last so long, but i may get a shade darker for the summer months, as, for some reason, my face does not get as tan as the rest of my body and i much prefer to be even-toned! 6. did i mention it's only $3!? this has got to be better than spending close to $30 on NARS's Laguna, right? i really can't see how it could be any better than Rimmel's... so, i think i covered all the bases. if not, i can always edit to add more! oh, and if it matters at all, i test-drove this product for 2 weeks before reviewing, so i could give it a fair review.
Blush -Physicians Formula - Baked Blush--Baked Berry
oiseaubleu 2/6/2005 6:22:00 PM
In pan and on cheeks, this blush is a pinky coral color--not at all what the name 'Baked Berry' implies. (This for me is a great thing.) It comes in a cute, UFO shaped compact with mirror and brush, but the quality of the brush is only okay--meaning if it was all I had on hand to use, it's fine, but I prefer my Sephora bronzer brush. I had high hopes for this blush as I thought it might be PF's answer to MAC's Skinfinish. The first application proved to be disappointing as it only deposited shimmer and not enough color to show on my warm, medium complexion--but that was when used dry. Before banishing it to my swap list, I remembered it is a wet/dry formula, so I decided to try again. What a difference a little water can make! This time, I evenly dampened my cheek by gently tapping a wet finger all over the apple. Next, I used my Sephora bronzer brush to place the color over the damp area. Wow. With the proper application, I now have gorgeous, glowing cheeks with the perfect amount of natural color reminiscent of Jennifer Lopez, who, like her or not, always has the most beautifully accentuated cheeks. I got this at CVS for $10.99, which is a bit steep for a drugstore item, but I'd repurchase this adorable compact again if I ran out or lost it since it's such a great color for me. Now, I just need to wait for a B1G1 sale so i can try the other 2 shades!