Sunday, November 30, 2014

Schedule Updates December 1st - 7th

Heyyyyy guys. I was looking back over the schedule for this upcoming week and I noticed that I had a) failed to include a schedule post and b) already talked about my favorite from The Collection of Grimm. So I think I am going to do something a little different next Saturday. So, this is the new schedule for the upcoming week.

  • Tuesday (December 2nd) - Fragrance review of Jo Malone's Wood Sage & Sea Salt
  • Wednesday (December 3rd) - Posting schedule for  December 8th - 13th
  • Thursday (December 4th) - Final installment of fragrance gift guide, gifting home fragrance.
  • Saturday (December 6th) - Saturday Siesta Part 1
What is this siesta? Haaaa? You're going to have to come back on Saturday to find out! Pleasant journeys~

Episode Seven: Dude, Dude, Dude, Dude, Dude (or My Favorite Indie Winter Releases)

*singing* Ohhh, yeahh, indiiieees how I love youuuu!

I'm a terrible singer, I'm sorry. However, what I have for you today is way better than terrible. Top five indie scent releases yo! I'm going to admit to you, before you figure it out for yourself, that due to some circumstances, my selection was limited. I'm not saying people need to figure out their timing, or you know, actually ship things, but it would help. Oh well. Be also forewarned that not all of these items are still available. They are indies, that happens. Onward!

The Freaking Awesome Five 

  1. Hearth Whipped Soap by Haus of Gloi- I was pretty disappointed on whole by the Yule release from Haus of Gloi. I was supposed to review it here, and honestly, I just didn't feel like it. But the star of my order was the lovely whipped soap in the scent Hearth. This was my first time trying the Whipped Soap, and oh god. Oh, oh god. It is divine, like washing yourself with the gold of a leprechaun, or whatever. Amazing stuff. I've ordered 5 more jars. The scent was perfect, too. Hearth exploded in the scent of apples but in a warm way, not a fresh way. It was lovely to breath in, but didn't linger on the skin overlong, which is fine by me. The final restock for the Yule products is Monday, December 1st at noon PST. You can buy it here.
  2. Wassail Perfume Oil by Alchemic Muse - Did you ever go Wassailing as a kid? This scent is my childhood Christmases captured in a bottle. From Alchemic Muse's Facebook page: Wassail is a medieval hot, spiced punch often associated with Yuletide. Juicy apples and orange zest simmering with warm spices of fresh ginger, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg spiked with vintage ale and dark patchouli.This scent smells so good, I could drink it. Unfortunately out of stock for the season, but visit Alchemic Muse's Winter collection to see the other Holiday offerings. There are none that are bad!
  3. Grace by Darling Clandestine - A limited release, Grace is as beautiful as it's name implies. It is an all botanical extract that smells like anise, lemongrass, lavender and so many other good things to my nose. I have not seen DC give mention to any official makeup of this scent, so I am just going by what my nose tells me, which may not mean anything at all. But this is a beautifully clean, complex but never overwhelming fragrance. Its' packaging is to die for, as well, and it really feels like a treasure. It would be higher on this list, if I didn't love the next two so much. Sadly, Grace is out of stock.
  4. Feast Day by Alchimia Apothecary - This is not technically a Holiday release, it was released as part of the Grimm Collection on Halloween. However, I will be wearing this a lot this season, so I had to include it. Feast Day is the scent equivalent of bacon doughnuts, or bacon burgers. It has everything you love in one place, and then tosses in bacon. To show you what I mean, this is from Alchimia's website The notes in this blend are reflected in kind with fresh baked bread, cakes, and clear candied sugar. Trails of burning cedar wrap around the sweetness to meet with the aroma of what can only be described as freshly smoked bacon. Everything you read there is exactly how this perfume smells, and it is glorious. I bought a sample then bought a full size. I'd buy a gallon if I could. Buy it here.
  5. My Lady Ser by Darling Clandestine - Evonne of DC makes the most complex fragrances I've found to date, and My Lady Ser is almost a feat of olfactory physics in a bottle. There is a duality to this scent that I have never, ever in my life experienced. It is the fragrance equivalent to a duochrome pigment - you move one way and it smells like hot, dusty road, hay fields and a hint of hot metal. You turn the next way and it is sunshine, fresh green grass, and a whiff of florals. It is the tired knight returning to his waiting lady. It is complex, but at the same time is easy to wear, not cloying, fresh and yet deep. Very amazing, and I applaud Evonne. This scent is sadly out of stock, but DC has hinted at a potential restock in the new year. I'd keep an eye on her Facebook page and grab this if you can!
And now for a very special treat...

The Two That Made Me Sad

Not everything can be perfect. Here are the two that really disappointed me, and let it be known that I have low standards, so I am rarely disappointed. j/k, j/k.... probably.
  1. Debaucherous Bath - Does a whole company count? Still no product, still no refund, and still ongoing drama. So, so sad because I wanted to try Sankt Nikolaus more than anything else.
  2. Fancy Bread by Haus of Gloi - Smelled like dirty, dirty feet. I gagged. I took one sniff and nearly died gagging. Maybe it is better on the skin, but I will NOT put it on to find out. So, so gross.
That's it! Check out some of these companies, they've got great products. Let me know in the comments what scents, indie or non, that you'll be wearing this Holiday season! Pleasant journeys~




Episode Six: It is Effing Hard to Pick Something When I Don't Know What You're Talking About (or Terminology)

Everything has to be so damn difficult, grrr. I am trying to build a post queue so that I can avoid more posting delays, but it doesn't really work when I am wearing three or more scents in one day. I will keep working on a solution, in the future there may be more home fragrance, or text posts when scheduled posts are MIA.

But I know everyone has been waiting so impatiently (ha ha) so I am going to give you the next installment of my three-part, shopping for fragrance gifts series. This week I want to introduce you to some of the more commonly used terms in fragrance; these terms describe the size, scent and type of fragrance. There is no point in babbling on, so let's dive in.

Sizing

Most perfume and cologne sprays come in 1.7 and 3.4 fluid ounce sizes. You may also see 1.0 fl oz and 1.8 fl oz (usually in men's cologne). In milliliters, the most common sizes are 30 mL (a little more that 1 fl oz), 60mL (about 2 fl oz) or 100 mL (about 3.3 fl oz). In my experience there is no particular distinction that leads distributors to offer different sizes, although perfumes made outside the US are obviously more likely to be measured in mL. Pricing remains fairly consistent regardless of whether or not metric sizing is used. In all cases smaller sizes are less expensive, but larger sizes are usually a better deal. These are not all the sizes sold in every scent, however, so if you aren't sure how much product you are getting it is best to use a conversion chart. What concentration of perfume oil you are purchasing will also play a part in the sizing and pricing of the scent.

Concentration

You can buy several different levels of perfume concentration and the more concentrated the perfume oil, the more expensive it will be. Also keep in mind that concentration affects the scent, and something that may smell wonderful, lightly concentrated, will make you gag at a higher concentration. Commercial perfumes are usually carried by ethanol - this is the vessel that gets the perfume oil to your skin. Independent perfumes often use a carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba. This will make the scent more concentrated, because these oils won't evaporate like alcohol will, but it can also alter the scent. A few independent perfumers will offer the choice of alcohol or oil, but it isn't prevalent.
Some of the concentrations of perfume oil are as follows:
  • Perfume mist, body mist, body spray - essentially the same thing, these scents offer a very low concentration of the perfume oil(s) and have a very light scent that evaporates quickly. Usually inexpensive and easy to find.
  • Cologne - also called Eau de Cologne, or (rarely) abbreviated as EDC, cologne is a low concentration of perfume oil that originated in Cologne, Germany and typically concentrated below 5%. "Cologne" as a generic term is often used to describe fragrances made for men. The only perfumer I can think of who consistently sells Eau de Cologne is Jo Malone. It has little longevity and low to moderate scent sillage.
  • Eau de Toilette - also referred to by it's initials EDT, this is the most common fragrance concentration. Nearly all commercial scents, especially mid-market, are available in EDT. This usually has concentrations of around 10%, can be as much as 15% of the perfume oil(s). Moderate lasting time, and usually a moderately decent sillage.
  • Eau de Parfum - Can be referred to as EDP. The second most likely concentration on the shelves. Many higher end fragrances offer both EDT and EDP. Eau de Parfum usually carries a scent concentration of around 15%, up to about 20%. Usually has a good lasting time and sillage.
  • Parfum Extrait - "Perfume Extract", this is the highest concentration of scent offered by most perfumers. The scent can be as much as 40% of the perfume, although it is typically around 20%. Parfum Extrait is usually only offered by luxury and niche perfume houses, and it enormously expensive. However, most perfume lovers will agree that it is well worth the cost. A better way to buy a perfume extract is to buy from an independent perfumer, whose blends can have a much higher concentration at a much lower cost.
  • Solid perfume - Although less popular and therefore harder to find than scents carried in liquid form, a solid perfume makes a good alternative for gifting. They are usually less expensive than their liquid counterparts, but because they are denser and carried in waxy compounds that hold the notes on the skin longer, solid perfumes last longer than a traditional liquid scent. Solid perfumes have a shorter longevity and less sillage than liquid scents, however, and won't work for someone who would find themselves constantly re-applying.
Please keep in mind that when I say perfume "oil", I don't necessarily mean an actual oil. Just the liquid extraction of the scent compound that is mixed with the carrier and/or other ingredients. I say this because I will in the future refer to perfume oils that are actual perfume compounds mixed with oils, and I don't want there to be any confusion.

Terminology

Many different terms get bandied about when talking about perfumes, so here are some of the most common.
Types of scent (Called "families")
  • Floral - Have dominant floral scents, either single or a bouquet. Otherwise, is just as it sounds.
  • Citrus - Use citrus scents as dominant, sometimes very strong, notes.
  • Fruity - Dominant scents are fruits other than citrus. Har har.
  • Chypre - Fresh, herbal, outdoors-y scents. Can include the scents that fall under the "green" scent type, which are fresher with grass, crushed leaves and vegetable (tomato leaf, cucumber) notes.
  • Woody - Strong woody scents, especially in the base, such as sandalwood and cedar. Patchouli is often considered a "woody" note.
  • Oriental - Many fragrances are some variety of oriental, as these contain many of the popular base notes such as vanilla and tonka bean. They also contain the more incense-type notes and spicy resins.
  • Aquatic - Clean, cool often masculine or non-gender specific scents. Sometimes called "ozone" scents/notes which always confuses me, because when I think of ozone, I think of burning rubber. But these are not.
  • Fougère - A really difficult term for herbal-ly, clean, woody, sexy scents. Fougères are usually men's scents and one of the most popular is the classic Drakkar Noir.
  • Gourmand - Fairly new scent type, these are your delicious food-y, sweet, edible type scents. Often similar to oriental fragrances, but gourmands are more edible as opposed to spicy.
Discussing scents
  • Longevity - How long your perfume lasts on your skin. Everyone has different desires, but I expect a perfume with moderate longevity to last 4-6 hours.
  • Top Notes - Sometimes called "head" notes. The very first thing you smell when you spray the perfume, usually the most fragrant, and expand then disappear quickly.
  • Mid or Middle Notes - The "heart" of the perfume, these notes are also called "the heart" or "heart notes". They are the part of the scent that make up the bulk of its' type.
  • Base or Bottom Notes - The deepest notes used to anchor and add longevity to the scent. These tend to last the longest, but will also hold closest to the skin.
  • Dry Down - The final phase of the perfumes longevity, where the top, and most mid notes have evaporated and the base notes are revealed. Can make or break a fragrance, because it is here where the scent really hangs on.
  • Sillage - How far the scent reaches from your skin, and the scent "trail" that is left behind you. Low sillage holds very tight to the skin and is best for those who work in close confines, or have allergies. High sillage leaves a very distinct trail, and is a marker for those who want a "signature scent".
  • Nose - Another term for the one who creates the fragrance. I prefer the term "perfumer", but they can be used interchangeably.
  • Powder - Not a note in and of itself, but the scent effect when different notes are blended together, such as a woody note with a green note. Can be good, or bad, as some people think the powder scent is musty. I like it.
  • Note - The individual scents that combine to make a fragrance. Designed with the knowledge that they will evaporate over time, each note is chosen for the part that it will play in the final scent.
  • Accord - The notes combine into a fragrance accord. An accord may not be a complete fragrance, but a new scent created out of the notes used. So... note =/= accord, accord =/= perfume, but accord = note AND perfume = accord... weird, right?
I hope this was in some way helpful, and if there is something I didn't cover, or something you feel needs more clarity please let me know in the comments! For now, I am off to add another post to the queue, so happy shopping, and pleasant journeys~











*** I made every effort to create this blog post from my own memory and experience. However, there were a few instances when I needed to refer to Wikipedia for verification. I didn't want to present you any faulty information. You can find the detailed article on perfume here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Posting Schedule December 1st - 7th

Yaaaaaayy, it's (going to be) December! Oh, what shall we do this month? I'll think of something fun. Here's the week.

  • Tuesday (December 2nd) - Fragrance review of Wood Sage & Sea Salt by Jo Malone
  • Thursday (December 4th) - The final installment of my guide to shopping for fragrance gifts.
  • Saturday (December 6th) - Review and recommendations for Alchimia's The Collection of Grimm.
Woooww, that flew by. What a short week! Yeah, so I'll be having fun getting ready for the Christmas holiday, please leave a comment below what you have planned for the season! Pleasant journeys~

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Episode Five: GIRL by Pharrell Williams, with Comme des Garçons (Or, We're Changing It Up)

There are a lot of things I plan to do but apparently sticking to the schedule isn't one of them. Truth be told, I forgot to wear Dahlia Divin this week, so we're doing GIRL which I wore last week and then didn't review. I'll dig Dahlia Divin out sometime.

GIRL by Pharrell Williams

Since this is the first official review I will go step by step. First, the product description.
The fragrance was conceived by Williams, and created by Christian Astuguevieille, creative director of Comme des Garçons Parfums, with Antoine Lie of Takasago. The bottle, logo and packaging have been designed by House + Holme, featuring bold, cartoonish artwork by the artist Kaws. The fragrance will launch at CDG's Dover Street Market, London on 1st September 2014, before rolling out to global DSM stores and Sephora on 5th September.
 -Basenotes.com
 Then, the notes.
 Top Notes
 Neroli, Lavender, White pepper
 Mid Notes
 Iris, Styrax, Violet
 Base Notes
 Vetiver, Patchouli, Cedar, Australian sandalwood (source: sephora.com)
Now, my opinion. GIRL is marketed as a unisex fragrance, but like most unisex scents it does, on my skin, skew in one direction. In this case, GIRL - despite its' moniker - skews to the masculine. It is not overwhelmingly masculine, and would certainly appeal to a female who likes more of a fresh scent.
Immediately upon application, neroli, vetiver and sandalwood are the most noticeable. I do not pick up any lavender or pepper, at any point while wearing this scent. As it dries down, patchouli vies with the vetiver and sandalwood. I also get hints of violet during the process, but they are faint. Smelling this product cold, the neroli, lavender and again the sandalwood are most prominent. In fact, smelled cold it is very clean, but once on the skin, GIRL warms up with its' woody base.
GIRL is a nice scent but it isn't groundbreaking, and is a bit of a let-down, in my opinion, from a collaboration of Pharrell and Comme des Garçons. The bottle is fun and somewhat whimsical, but the scent is entirely grounded. It is completely wearable, and certainly something that will appeal to many people. The biggest flaw in my opinion, is offering a "unisex" scent that smells masculine but has packaging that I feel appeals to the feminine. Despite the fact that I think this would wear excellently on many males, it is hard to imagine a guy walking into a shop and buying it on his own. We'll see. Perhaps I have underestimated men.
Final Verdict: ♦♦♦ - Wearable but bland.
 GIRL promotional image via Sephora.com

All right, all right, no hard feelings about missing out on Givenchy this week? Please forgive me! Also check out the posting schedule I will be adding soon, and let me know in the comments if there is a scent you'd like for me to review! I am looking for new scents to try all of the time, and I'd love to try your fave! Pleasant journeys~



Disclaimer: Fragrance sample was acquired from Sephora.com as a gift with purchase. No materials were furnished for promotional purposes, and O-F.com is not affiliated with any parties mentioned in this post.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Episode Four: Hey, What's Up With That? Debaucherous Bath Review

So, I have good news and bad news. That's a lie, I only have bad news. No reviews for Debaucherous Bath. I placed my order a month ago, and have gotten neither shipping or any type of resolution from the shop owner.

I think we all know that when it comes to sales associates, you're always going to run into one bad apple every now and then. The same is true for independent shop owners. It stinks, but it is true. You're giving them your money, and they do not behave in a professional manner.

I am not going to slander the shop or the owner because I have heard others say they had good experiences with Debaucherous. I don't know the situation the shop owner may be in. However, I am extremely disappointed with the manner my purchase was handled, and am saddened that I couldn't try the product. I am not going to say more, because I am still trying to get a resolution.

I cannot review the Sankt Nikolaus scent. I cannot recommend Debaucherous Bath. I truly apologize for such a depressing post.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

No pictures, hey what's up with that?

Yeah, okay, you got me. There are no pictures on the blog (yet). I don't have a good camera, so I can't take the quality of photographs that I want for posting. So. You'll have to wait for pictures... maybe a few months? Not really sure, tbh.

I may, at times, use promotional images which will always be fully credited to the original source. And by some miracle, we'll have proper pictures one day. Pleasant journeys~


Friday, November 21, 2014

Episode Three: Ew Hadda What? (Plus Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir Home Candle)

Ohhh my goooosh, I am so sorry guys! I came down with an ear infection and I had massive pain and pressure in my sinuses - I couldn't smell. So I couldn't do the reviews and recommendations that I wanted to do.

What a terrible way to start things off, so I am going to try to make it up to you with a mini-review on a home scent. This is a scent available year-round, no seasonal scents here, oh no! It is one of my favorites and one that I burn when I need a pick-me-up or want to set a sexy mood.


Pomegranate Noir - Jo Malone Home Candle

Pomegranate Noir is one of my favorite scents from Jo Malone. I could easily do an entire review and tell you why I love it (let me know if you'd like that in the comments). The scent is nicely fruity but deeply sensual at the same time. Not a fresh scent in the slightest! The candle is true to the cologne and is an excellent choice for creating an inviting, romantic atmosphere.
Cold, the candle is very strong. You can easily fragrance a small room without lighting the candle at all. In fact, unless I want a very strong scent, I usually leave the candle unlit. The cold throw is enough to lightly scent my moderate-sized bedroom.
Lit, the candle has a huge throw. This scent is going to quickly fill any room it can reach, and if you are burning in an enclosed area, you'll find that the room is filled with scent before the full melt pool is created. Burn time on these candles is estimated at 45 hours, and I have yet to finish a full JM candle, so I cannot speak to that. However, I can say that the quality is high, and with Pomegranate Noir there is no need to burn for hours on end to get the scent, so you will get your money's worth.
I highly recommend the Jo Malone candles as a home luxury, and I think Pomegranate Noir is one that you simply can't go wrong with. It is definitely an "evening" scent, although I don't subscribe to those rules, whoops. I cannot, however, imagine myself burning this to scent my home on a hot summer day. I think in that situation it would be too heavy. But give me those hot summer nights, whoo boy. You've found a perfect scent. Buy it here.

Some more stuff...

The lack of updates on schedule will not affect upcoming posts, but life might. The schedule is just a guideline, subject to change at any time. I will forewarn you that next week's review on the indie company Debaucherous Bath might not happen. So, be ready for something different! I hope this mini review suited, and as I get swamped I might have to do this type of post once in a while. So until next time, pleasant journeys~


Monday, November 17, 2014

Posting Schedule November 22nd -30th

Hiiiiiii. Little bit longer than I intended to get this up, but it doesn't change anything so there you have it. Let's look at the schedule first:

  • Saturday (November 22nd) - Brand review of Debaucherous Bath and review + yay or nay on their Sankt Nikolaus scent.***
  • Monday (November 24th) - Fragrance review of Dahlia Divin by Givenchy. Any changes to the schedule and next week's posting schedule.
  • Wednesday (November 26th) - The second installment of my guide to shopping for fragrance gifts.
  • No post on Friday (November 28th)
  • Sunday (November 30th) - My top five favorite indie Black Friday releases.


There is always the possibility of a post on Friday or Saturday, if I find an amazing scent whilst shopping and simply must shout it from the rooftops. Prolly won't happen, but it could. And if you so happen to see this before the cutoff date, let me know in the comments below what good deals you're think about picking up. I will probably have some home fragrance posts for you next week. Pleasant journeys~












*** Once again I have to include all these stupid asterisks because at this point in time I don't know if Debaucherous has even SHIPPED my order, much less when it will come. Spoiler alert: they get a frowny face.

Episode Two: The Attack of the Gift Sets (or How do I pick a Fragrance Gift?)

Howdy, welcome back! This is the first installment to picking a fragrance gift for a friend or family member this Holiday season, now focusing on gift sets. Because there are so many scents that it would be impossible to list them all, I am going to focus on what you might chose for a female friend, boss (male and female), husband/boyfriend, mother or teenaged girl. So let's dive right in!

Female Friend

Obviously the easiest thing to consider when buying a fragrance for anyone is what scents do they already own? However, you may not know what she specifically has, and even if you do, might not be sure what she likes about it. So let's work blind here. When you're together, what comments does she make about scent? In a cafe, does she mention how good her espresso smells or when you see a certain celebrity has she ever mentioned that it seems like he/she would smell good? (Don't laugh! I think this all the time! Lindsey Lohan probably smells like cigarettes, no matter how much perfume she wears.)
You might have to dig. Ask what scents evoke favorite memories, or what perfume her mom wore when she was a girl. Use these hints to make an educated guess. For instance, if her mom wore Chanel your friend might like the fun and sexy Coco Mademoiselle. Or perhaps the opposite - she may have tastes that sway totally different, so you could stay away from scents that may too closely resemble those. You can always come full out and ask her what perfume she likes. I'm more of the nosy type to snoop in a bedroom while she was elsewhere, but the direct approach is always good. As a friend, no matter what, make sure you encourage her to let you know how your choice was, so if you decide to try again in the future, you'll have more information to go on!
Shalott recommends:  I already mentioned it, but in my opinion it is hard to go wrong with Coco Mademoiselle for your friends. It's a sexy, fresh oriental that is beloved by nearly everyone. Included is the luxury of owning a Chanel scent, and displaying it on her vanity. Buy it here.

Husband/Boyfriend

Do not get me wrong, you can use these tips if you are buying for a platonic male friend as well, but some off them are a little more specific to a significant other. Such as - I think the majority of our male better halves are more than willing to smell however their partner prefers. In my experience, men just don't link to smell the way women do, so cologne doesn't hold as much meaning to them. That is not to say NO man EVER had specific tastes, just that, in general, they are easier to buy for than women when it come to scent.
That said, if you need some help figuring out what he likes, here's the quick and dirty. Check his deodorant. He'll probably buy in deodorant what he likes in cologne. And now for the ultimate, even quicker and dirtier, secret: DON'T buy a cologne that smells like deodorant. Got that? Good. Let me help. If he likes "fresh" (names with fresh, snow, alpine, chill, et cetera)? Go with a citrus scent. Likes "sport" (sport, active, extreme)? Go for green or possibly oceanic scents. Likes "classic" (classic)? Go for an oriental. Likes a "powdery" scent (oh, hell, I don't know... No man's deodorant has powder in the name. Look for something like "lightly scented" or that would indicate a woody scent)? Try a wood or musk cologne. This isn't going to be an exact science all the time, every time, to get a scent he loves, but it will get you closer. If your man prefers unscented deodorant, you might verify with him that he can actually wear a scented product.

Actually that reminds me of something which I will add below. Carry on.

Shalott recommends: Prada Luna Rossa. This is an amazingly fresh, yet at the same time sensual fragrance. I think Prada has done a stellar job with this scent, especially since fragrance isn't something I normally associate with the House of Prada. I don't imagine most men (or women) disliking this scent, and the gift set has a nice price tag. Buy it here.

Boss

Listen, outside of coming straight out and asking your boss what type of fragrance he or she wears, there is no easy way to hint around to them the idea of scents. If you are looking to buy your boss a fragrance gift this year (Good for you! Look at you, you little climber! You'll get that promotion in 2015, I'm sure of it.) your best bet is going to be to ask them what they already wear ("Hey, love your cologne, what are you wearing?" "This is my natural scent." "Shit.") then take that information to Fragrantica.com or a similar site, and see what others who like that scent also like.
You can also pull up the notes, or the fragrance accords, and see what other scents are similar in that fashion. If you go this route, I'd try not to be too similar. The point is to try something new, not just give them another of what they already have, although that is an option, as well.
Shalott recommends: For a woman, a Sephora perfume gift set.. For a man, a Sephora cologne gift set. Oh my god it's cheating!!!
... Nah. This is the best of all possible worlds. They get to try a whole bunch of scents, then redeem the included voucher for a full size of their favorite, a no extra cost,and you don't get fired. It's a win/win. Buy his here. Buy hers here. Or here. Or here. But the first "hers" is best.

Your Mother

Moms can be a little tricky. Whether it is mom or step-mom, mom-in-law or surrogate mom, older women we are close to have a tendency to want to be the nurturers, and by giving a gift that can pamper her, we are able to give some of that back. So we want to make sure our choice is really special, and something that is really meaningful to her.
One possibility would be to surprise her with the gift of a fragrance she has worn in the past, or perhaps an updated version of her signature scent. This is even more meaningful if her favorite perfume is a luxury she wouldn't normally purchase herself. I think most moms have a bottle of Christian Dior's Passion, or Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds that were well-meaning gifts from loving children but why not give her a scent she will use, and love, and always think about you when she wears it? Pick a fragrance that reminds you of a favorite vacation with her, or find out where she went on her first date with her significant other and choose a scent that will evoke those memories. The wearing will become special in a two-fold way, and you'll have a gift like no other.
Shalott recommends:  Amarige by Givenchy. Although this scent was created to evoke the bloom of love, I much prefer it's soft beauty as something a woman of any age could wear either for special occasions or as an every day scent. With fruits, florals and a soft woody base, it has an elegant composition I think strikes the right cord with most women. Buy it here.

Teen Girl 

Ha ha, look, you all be crazy if you think I know what teenage girls want. I used to be a teenaged girl, and that doesn't help. So, drawing on that (quite recent, yes) time of my life I am going to propose the following. Your teenager wants to 1. Be an adult and 2. Be well liked. Nothing that can be achieved through fragrance alone, but I do have some suggestions.
The first is easy. If she wants to feel like an adult, stay away from those Hello Kitty themed bottles, no matter how good they smell. There is NOTHING wrong with Hello Kitty for anyone, by the way, and if your giftee likes Sanrio, then go for it. Otherwise, pick something mature, but not too mature. A youthful scent by brand with name recognition will make her feel special. It will also, potentially, help with number two. Everyone is going to show off what they got for the Winter holidays, so being able to name drop that coveted item is going to make your teen feel very special, and will put you in that top dog position.
Shalott recommends: Flowerbomb by Viktor&Rolf. This is a candy-sweet scent, but it won't give you a toothache. Anchored by notes of patchouli and musk this scent is perfect for a young lady transitioning to womanhood. The luxurious price tag and internet popularity of the scent ensure that any young lady will be excited to open this gift. Good pickens, you! Buy it here.

Okay here is the caveat.

I hate to have one, when we're all so excited about the upcoming Holidays, but please remember. Always, always, always make sure your giftee doesn't have any allergies or fragrance sensitivities. A migraine, or heaven forfend, trip to the ER would really ruin the Holiday season, so make sure you get the info BEFORE you get the gift. And if she or he doesn't like it, don't feel bad. Fragrance is a really personal thing, and hard to get right, especially if you don't know someone well.

Next week I will talk about some of the more commonly used terminology that you will hear while fragrance shopping, and what that REALLY means when you put it on your skin. Until then, don't forget to check out Tuesday's episode (tentatively) titled Are We Calling it Yule Now, Or... (A Haus of Gloi RecommendView). Plus, as a bonus I will have the posting schedule for November 22-30 up in a jif. Until then, pleasant journeys~


 


 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Episode One: Alchemic Muse Winter (or Hurry, They're Almost Gone!)

Howdy! Welcome to the inaugural review here at OE. I thought hard about what I wanted to review and decided that I needed to talk about one of my favorite Etsy sellers, Alchemic Muse. Karen runs a lovely shop with wonderful products -- I could recommend any number of them. Today, however, I want to discuss specifically the Winter line, as these are Limited Edition, and going fast..

I don't own, nor have I tried, every item in the line, so I have chosen a selection to discuss. I want to review two very different perfume oils, a body whip and a bar soap. I wanted to mention one of the Hair Mists, as well, but as of this writing it is not available in the shop. So let's get down to brass tacks.  ;D

Perfume Oils

The first scent in the Winter collection I want to review is Northwoods. From Alchemic Muse's Etsy Shop: Stimulating, yet calming. Reminiscent of a refreshing walk through a forest of frosted evergreen trees on a snowy winter day. Crisp silver cedar and blue spruce amid lifting notes of citrus, soft herbs and wild mint grounded with smoky musk and vetiver. 
Northwoods smells, to me, like the cleanest, freshest air in a woods blanketed with snow.. This is a wonderfully unisex scent, the most pleasing so of all the Winter offerings. On me, and vetiver were the dominant notes, but with wear the musk also showed through. Biting and clear, I highly recommend this scent as not only a perfume oil, but also a Cream Soap, Bar Soap or Foaming Body Scrub. It is a delightfully clean scent. Buy it here.

The second perfume oil is the delightful Krumkake. Alchemic Muse says: Norwegian Krumkake is a delicious filled waffle cone cookie traditionally made during the Yuletide season. Freshly baked gingerbread, brown sugar, creamy butter, and dark molasses dusted with saffron, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon and filled with caramelized chestnuts in thick vanilla cream.
Krumkake is deliciously gourmand, smelling of everything cinnamon, nutmeg and a dark, spicy scent that reminds me of raisins, but I imagine is the molasses and chestnuts. On me, the nutmeg and "raisin" scents were most prominent at application, but with the dry down the vanilla and ginger came through strongly, as they usually do on my skin. This is a nearly edible scent for you gourmand lovers, and I also recommend the Body Whip and Bar Soap. Buy it here.

Body Whip 

I wouldn't normally speak about a different form of a scent I've already reviewed, but when it comes to the lovely moisturizing products of different independent bath and body shops, I think that there is something very lovely about the way they are able to capture the flavors (not literally of course) in the ingredients, to the point where wearing one could make you want to just give yourself a nibble. ;)
This is also the case for Alchemic Muse's Krumkake. Where the perfume oil is loaded with that "I'm baking now" spice, the Body Whip is the finished product. Mouthwatering and tantalizing, Krumkake Body Whip is the delicious brown sugar and vanilla cream that could melt in your mouth, if only it were the real thing. Paired with it's perfume oil counterpart and you get a gourmand experience worthy of the season. Buy it here.

Bar Soap 

How much can be said about a bar of soap? Well, a lot, if you've never bought from an independent bathory before.  The handmade, cold process soaps are a dream to use, with lather that feels velvety on the skin, and is never harsh nor drying. A little goes much further than with traditional soap, so you will find that you get your money's worth and more!
One of my favorites from Alchemic Muse's Winter catalog is Pipe Smoke. Full disclosure: I usually prefer traditionally "clean" scents for soap and cleansing products, but I am obsessed with tobacco scents, and pipes usually product a wonderful, aromatic smoke. The description says: Sweet pipe tobacco, vintage cherry wood, and the warm, subtle scent of fireplace smoke.
I'm not going to lie, I was a bit worried. I shouldn't have been! The actual smoke scent is faint, just enough to let you know that yes, this bar has that warm, smoky undertone you expected. The cherry wood is much stronger, and I have always perceived it as a more earthy aroma, almost difficult to detect, but here it mingles nicely with the wood smoke. The scent as a whole is light, much different than some of the other soaps I tried, and in all was a pleasure to use, for someone who enjoys a smoky aroma. Buy it here.


In all, I don't think you can go wrong with the products at Alchemic Muse. Her Winter collection is strong, with something for just about everyone. Her shipping is lightening fast, and although her blog hasn't been updated in a while, she responds readily to Etsy Convos, and is also on Facebook. I will certainly be reviewing more of her products in the future, so let me know in the comments if there is something in particular you'd like to see mentioned!

I hope you enjoyed this update, and that I see you for Episode Two: The Attack of the Gift Sets (or How do I pick a Fragrance Gift?) Pleasant journeys ~


 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hey, hi, how are ya? Let's talk about fragrance.

Hi  y'all! Welcome to Olfactory Exploits, a blog dedicated to the smellier things in life. I am super excited to get started posting for y'all, and I have a lot of good things coming up! I am going to be reviewing Winter/Holiday scents from several popular independent perfumers/bathories, as well as spend the five weeks until Christmas with a potential fragrance gift recommendation for both ladies and gentlemen. Should you not celebrate Christmas, I apologize I have no other holiday-specific posts, but the information can be applied universally!

I will be attempting to post (almost) every other day, and with my finger crossed on how fast USPS can be, this is my tentative outline for the next seven days:

  • Friday (November 14) - Review and recommendations for the Winter line by Alchemic Muse.
  • Sunday (November 16) - My first holiday fragrance gift picks. Also, will announce any changes to the schedule as well as the next week's posting schedule.
  • Tuesday (November 18) - Review and recommendations for the Yule Collection by Haus of Gloi.***
  • Thursday (November 20) - Fragrance review on Pharrell Williams' GIRL.
No posts on Friday or Saturday unless other wise stated. If anything changes this post will be edited, and clearly marked as such. I hope you see something upcoming that interested you, and that you come back to check it out! Pleasant journeys~













*** I am not 100% sure I will have these products by this date, but never fear I have a substitute should the worst happen!