Sunday, December 25, 2016

Episode 61: Moschino & Bvlgari (or, The Quickie redux)


No preamble let's begin. Two quick reviews today - one good, one bad - so let's get the bad out of the way first, shall we?

Moschino Fresh Couture

Some people hate the bottle, I find it endearing. If only the scent were as cute. Moschino describes Fresh Couture as "a surprising and ironic perfume, (Fresh Couture) plays with fresh and joyful accents and a tempting femininity." via Sephora.com
The whimsical flacon via boots.com

I wish that I could say Fresh Couture smelled like any of the described things on me. With top notes of mandarin, bergamot and ylang-ylang; mid notes of raspberry, white peony and osmanthus, and the base sets down accords of clear woods, white patchouli and ambrox.
There is  simply too much going on in this scent, and it shows with wear. I applaud Moschino for the creativity, and the way they managed to make the new scent mesh well with the brand aesthetic. Too bad it doesn't mesh on the skin.

Moschino Fresh Couture - ♦♦ - Would be a good scent for someone who may prefer a sportier fragrance, and who doesn't want their perfume to enter a room before they do. (In other words... not me.)

BVLGARI Man in Black

Whoa. Whoa, whoa, whoa. We need to stop a moment, and talk about this scent. Man in Black is literally what I think of when I think of how a man should smell. I don't know where this came from, it showed up out of nowhere and blindsided me with sex appeal.
via bvlgari.com

It is now past Christmas, I am not trying to sell you something, but ladies. If you love a spicy, sexy, slightly sweet scent on your man - well, Valentine's Day is just around to corner. Sephora says Man in Black "expresses virile strength and irresistible seduction in equal measure." and honey you better believe it.
Top notes are my favorite tobacco and rum for sensuality; the mid notes are tuberose, iris absolute and leather accord for added sweetness that stays smooth. On the dry down, you'll find the refined scent of tonka bean, guaiac wood, and benzoin for a sticky, sexy scent appeal that you can't get away from. Peep that gorgeous bottle, would you? It's just icing on the cake, baby.

BVLGARI Man in Black♦♦♦♦ - An excellent scent for most of the men in your life (or you). Masculine, but not too heavy, Bvlgari fragrances also have the good/bad feature of mild sillage and short longevity. Some people prefer this, and I have found those people are predominantly male.

Thanks for coming back, you all, after such a long time. I have several perfumes to review in the coming weeks (some new, some new to me), so I hope I can get that done as soon as possible! Also, please forgive me if you see more ad posts on the blog. As always, I will never post affiliate promotions without letting you know!

Until next time, pleasant journeys~


 
 

 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Episode 60: MUGLER Angel MUSE (or, Heaven, Something Like Heaven)

I think I have mentioned it before that Thierry Mugler (now apparently house MUGLER) is one of my favorite perfumers. Angel is my all time favorite perfume (partially for scent, partially for nostalgia) and I quite enjoy the original Alien as well.

One thing I like most about MUGLER are the constant variations of the original Angel that are released. My favorites so far have been Angel le Lys and Angel Innocent (the pink bottle... that was... Secret). The newest version, however, may be my favorite of them all. Let's talk about Angel Muse, shall we? It has been a long time coming.

Angel Muse has become My Muse

Thierry Mugler or house Mugler as I will now refer to it, released Muse in 2016, a "futuristic gourmand". Well, the future is here. I will tell you straight off the jump that if you like the original Angel, you will likely enjoy Muse as well.
Image property olfactory-exploits

First - the flacon is beauty, reminiscent of Angel's star but with a much more modern twist. It truly does seems like a spaceship, or some other futuristic device. The packaging is silver, and the glass is a light pinkish-amber, which matches well the description of the flacon being a "cosmic pebble"
But what about scent? Oh my, you are in for a treat. If you enjoy gourmand, but find them too sweet, please, please sample Muse. The top notes are grapefruit and pink pepper, but they dry down quickly and the mid notes of hazelnut cream and rose begin to shine through. They last a good time and the sillage is impeccable - not to strong, but not so light that you can't catch a whiff every now and then. The base notes are vetiver and patchouli. The vetiver adds a modern twist - often reserved for men's colognes, here it deepens the sweetness and make it quite wearable. Patchouli hearkens back to the original Angel, and helps supports the gourmand notes.
Image property olfactory-exploits

There is an unearth beauty to this scent, at once both distinctive and foreign. Angel fans will enjoy this new version, and those who find gourmands too sweet may enjoy the grounded vetiver that keeps this version fresh and forward-thinking. Even as one who thinks MUGLER can do no wrong, Angel Muse is my favorite to come from the house in a long time.

Angel MUSE by MUGLER: ♦♦♦♦ - A wonderful option for those who love sweet, gourmand scents, but may be affected if they feel the scent is too much. The vetiver is a lovely addition to help ground this scent and make it wearable. The sillage is light to medium (no offending your co-workers!) but the longevity is very nice. I wore this scent without touch ups for about eight hours. Highly recommended to MUGLER fans as well as those who want a very light, enjoyable gourmand.

Hope that helps - man it was a long time in coming. Sorry for any typos I've missed, I'm quite tired and my fingers keep slipping. Please leave any other scents you would like reviewed in the comments - I would love to try them for you! Until then, pleasant journeys~

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Episode 59: Cocoa Pink NEW Fall (or, I put this up in a hurry)

I was able to get me hands on several of the *new* fall/winter scents from Cocoa Pink, whom, as you know, I have a love/hate relationship with you. The following was previously posted over at All The Sparkles, so head on over there for more goodies!

Cocoa Pink Fall/Winter Scent First Opinions

A disclaimer: This is a very brief discussion of these products based entirely on first opinion. Not something I would normally post, but I thought the insight might be helpful.
Since they've closed shop to get ready for Black Friday (wtf why is that a thing coming so soon) I thought I'd give my impression on some of the (new to me) scents I ordered, and hopefully help with someone's shopping list for the upcoming sale. I'll list form + scent because some of CP's products just don't work for me.

First of all I got a whole $hitload of stuff in Black Blood, but that is my absolute favorite CP scent of all time, and I have recommended it many, many times over.

Telekinetic - I received a sample of this in the Voluptuous Body Butter. The scent is light, but I like it quite a bit. It's feminine and floral, but still feels very fall-ish, warm and spicy.

November - I received this as a perfume OIL sample. I DO NOT care for CP's perfume oils, as you will see from the rest of my order. However, I have found that with some aging they actually develop quite well. I found November to be spicy and slightly foody - I can definitely smell the apples and the woods. I like it now, and I think after some time I will love it even more.

Witchcraft - Alcohol-based perfume. My favorite of all the new scents I ordered, this one I plan on buying more of. The description is very unhelpful, but the perfume really does smell of crackling, burning leaves in the air, a hint of woodsmoke and maybe just the smallest bit of cinnamon and cloves. VERY appropriate for the fall, and I highly recommend this if you like woody, spicy scents.

Netherworld - Alcohol-based Perfume. Holy balls, this perfume is so apropos to its name, it is insane. This smells like dank, dark, moldy earth, wet leaves and something a little bit rotten. It is NOT spicy at all, but this is definitely not for the faint of heart. I think it captures the idea of the netherworld perfectly.

Autumn in Vermont - Alcohol-based perfume. The last of the new scents I tried, and probably my second favorite. It, like the others, is just perfect for its name. Light, warm, sweet, fruity and just a bit spicy, I can totally imagine maple trees turning red and the town getting ready to celebrate the fall holidays (so cheesy).

They were all very, very good, imo. CP was super kind to send me samples of both Telekinetic AND November, even though I only asked for one or the other. I haven't been wowed by their scents in the past, but I think these new fall/winder scents are all really, really good.

Cocoa Pink's new fall/winter lineup of scents are the best I have tried from the brand. I will update this post with pictures as soon as possible, but based on first sniif, here are my star ratings:
 Netherworld: ♦♦♦♦♦ - An absolutely stunning creation of all that dark and decayed, but very strong and not for the casual wearing. This scent would probably blow my mind in perfume oil form.
Witchcraft: ♦♦♦♦ - If you are a fan of woodsy. smoky scents, this is not to be missed. I can truly see this scent as being very universal for both the wearer and the season.
Autumn in Vermont: ♦♦♦♦ - An amazing choice for someone who wants a "fall" scent, but prefers to stick to the more traditional fruity or gourmand scents. Literally smells like an apple pie, cooling on the windowsill while maples turn red in the yard.
Telekinetic: ♦♦♦ - A very nice, feminine scent, with no notes that stand out as being particularly strange or troublesome. Probably one of the best on this list for someone looking to try Cocoa Pink's scents for the first time.
November: ♦♦ - The problems I have with scent, have much to do with the format I tried it in. As I have mentioned before,  CP's oil base does not work well with my chemistry, so I always try to choose the alcohol base instead. It seems to be a very nice spicy gourmand, similar to Autumn in Vermont but with richer spice notes, and a woody base.
All right everyone, you've been given the info that I have, and I am setting you free in the world! Go for and smell amazing, my children! (Remember, if you're a bit fuzzy on the review system, all of the info can be found here.) I'll add pictures as soon as I can, so until then, pleasant journeys~


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Episode 58: Tom Ford NOIR (or, This was for Men?)

Howdy howdy howdy. I'm back with my first review from the Sephora Favorites Cologne Sampler. This is the scent I chose to redeem my Scent Certificate for, in fact, this scent was the entire reason I purchased the set. Tom Ford Noir is a scent that I was originally introduced to at a Tom Ford counter in Saks Fifth Avenue. The associate had me try Tom Ford Noir pour Femme, and while I liked it, I wasn't thrilled about how many different notes were vying for my attention. She then offered to show me the Tom For Noir - she did not mention it was marked for men. I fell in love, thinking it was a woman's scent! It smelled musky and woody while staying just slightly fresh - just the way I love my scents. I put it right on my "to buy" list. So when I saw it in the sampler set, I was both surprised (that it was considered a men's scent) and excited (Sephora Samplers are a wonderful way to get a bargain on some pricey perfumes). So without further ado, here it is.

Tom Ford Noir eau de Parfum

The scent was launched in 2012 as an answer to some of his more popular mass market women's scents. It was designed to capture the essence of the Tom Ford man, the "refined, urbane sophisticate who the world gets to see, and the intriguingly sensuous, private man they don’t." (Sephora.com) It comes in a sleek black flacon, in consistency with Tom Ford's elegant, minimalist design aesthetic.

The top notes of Noir are Italian bergamot, verbena, caraway, baie rose (pink pepper), violet flower. The mid notes are black pepper, nutmeg, Tuscan Iris resin, Egyptian Geranium, Bulgarian Rose, Clary Sage, and the base notes are opoponax, amber, Indonesian patchouli, vetiver, civet, vanilla. If you are curious about opoponax, I talk about it some here. There are a lot of notes that jump out as being quite in keeping with my fragrance style - bergamot, pink pepper, amber, vanilla. There are also some notes that would make one concerned about the strength and sillage of this fragrance. Black pepper, patchouli and civet can be tricky to wear. 

Image via Sephora.com
On my skin, the first few minutes of Tom Ford Noir are probably the most difficult to get through, and that is saying something, considering how much I liked it on first sniff! Violet is incredibly tricky with my chemistry, and in Noir it has a slightly musty scent that actually ends up working well with the rich, tangy verbena. As the mid notes come out, they play for a good time - much longer than mids usually last on my skin, a virtue I attribute to the spicy black pepper and the Iris resin, which supports the other florals in a rich, warm lustre. As it dries down, usually around the 45 minute mark, the opoponax, amber and vanilla are strongest on my skin, becoming a sweet, lovely musk just the way I like. Very rare for male colognes, Noir comes in eau de Parfum (a separate eau de Toilette was made available, but I cannot say if this is still on the market) and as a mass market scent, it's price point is very much on point for a scent of this calibre.

Rating: ♦♦♦♦ - Noir is not a scent that is going to be for ever man, or every woman, but that is the nature of Tom Ford fragrances. a 50mL EDP is $95 USD and a 100mL EDP is $135 USD, making them very competitive in the luxury, mass market fragrance world. Although marketed towards men, the scent is delightfully unisex, one of the few fragrances I have tried that truly does not make me lean one way or another. I highly recommend Tom Ford Noir for a man who prefers a lighter touch - something strong yet understated. I would also say it is just right for a woman who wants something boldly musky but without giving up any softness. Buy it here.

So, as I mentioned in my Sampler post, the Cologne Sampler was only $65 USD - and this would have retailed for $95! An awesome savings of $35 buckeroos. If you buy from Sephora (not sponsored), Beauty Insiders will earn 3x points on any fragrance purchase until May 8th, 2016. That was enough to sell me! Now, go back to that Sampler Post I linked above and vote on what you want me to review next! Otherwise, it will be my choice, and I am leaning towards Prada and Bvlgari. So let your voice be heard, and pleasant journeys~


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Episode 57: Sephora Favorites Cologne Sampler (or, What-chu, What-chu Want?)



Hi again my lovlies - I am back to bring you a quick info post, as well as a poll! It's fragrance season at Sephora and they have 3x the points on all fragrance purchases (4/22 - 5/3 2016) so of course I picked up a set. This time it was the Cologne Sampler, because there was a particular cologne included that I already knew I wanted.

I will be doing a detailed review of the scent I chose, but I also thought I'd see if there were any other cologne scents that folks might want a review on! So, here are the choices:


  • Atelier Cologne Cedre Atlas (already reviewed here)
  • Burberry Brit Rhythm for Men
  • Bvlgari Man in Black
  • Dolce&Gabbana Light Blue for Men
  • Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio
  • Gucci Guilty for Men
  • Hugo Boss The Scent
  • John Varvatos Classic
  • Paco Rabanne Invictus
  • Prada Luna Rossa Sport (see a review of the original Luna Rossa here)
  • Tom Ford Noir
  • Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme
Soo... if anyone has any specific colognes they would like a review on, please vote below! Sadly, these are likely to be reviewed on my own skin as I don't currently have a man handy, but I will try to get the males take on any and all scents, as well. I won't be doing a full review of the collection (see previous Sephora Favorites review here) and I plan to only review two or three scents from this collection, so let your voice be heard!

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I will try to begin reviews within the week, so that if anyone is thinking of picking up a cologne during the Sephora points event, you will still have some time. Until then, pleasant journeys~


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Episode 56: Five Favorite Indie Perfumes (or, The Resurgance)

Whoa, wow, hey hello. It's been a long time. A year? Maybe, close. Anyways, so I'm doing all these things, and I've got you know - somethin' somethin' going on, but I was sorting out my perfume collection after a move, and I realized I really wanted to write about some of my favorite indie scents. An updated indie favorites, if you will.

Since the last time I wrote about any favorites, I've had the opportunity to try some new, to me, brands - both indie and more mainstream. The latter I'll save for a different post, but let me chit-chat about some of the indie scents.

Five (Current) Indie Favorites

  1. Black Blood by CocoaPink - Okay, nothing new here. We're easing into this, people. However the scent is currently available, which means we should all place an order ASAP. The CP website calls Black Blood a "blend of blood orange EO, Mysore sandalwood, and amber resin" but all I know is that this just smells like the most delicious, sweet, juicy blood orange candy you'll ever taste. It's never toothache-sweet, but always delectable and divine, like angels singing from heaven. Also I wanted to mention - I did a review on CocoaPink where I mentioned being dissatisfied by some of the scents, but recently when I was pulling the vials out of storage, I tried quite a few again, and many had improved over time. If you get a scent from this brand and you're not thrilled, I definitely recommend letting it mature a while. You can buy it here.
  2. The Horseman by Haus of Gloi - Also not new, this has been a favorite for over a year. I got the hair oil this time around, and I can say with confidence that the scent in different forms has the same uh, properties, as the perfume oil. If you're not sure what I mean, let me know in the comments and I will elaborate. This is, sadly, a seasonal fragrance and is currently not available, but the hair oil will last me well until next fall!
  3. Bawd by Arcana - One half of the reason I decided to make this post. Released with the Valentine's 2016 Prynne Collection, Bawd is "Bright red cherry, brassy tobacco, Anjou pear, and white amber" according to the perfumer. It is a beautiful, sweet, sticky, warm scent that is seriously lavish and just what one might imagine a sexy courtesan, nibbling on candied fruits with a long-stemmed cigarette holder might smell like. It is available at the time of this writing right here.
  4. Train Delay by Ten Three Labs - The second half of the reason I decided to make this post. It's funny how you can buy a scent, and like it, but if you have as many perfumes as I do, sometimes they get lost in the shuffle. I rediscovered Train Delay when I was unpacking, and re-fell in love. Part of the Phantasmagoria Projection One, Train Delay is described as "A hot cup of Arabic coffee, a nice pipe, some mechanical notes, train smoke, and maybe a bit of blood on the tracks." It is a delicious mix of hit coffee, slight pipe smoke and a metallic tang. Very much and unusual, but still highly wearable, scent. I believe this scent was limited, and Ten Three Labs is currently closed, my bad y'all.
    Bright red cherry, brassy tobacco, Anjou pear, and white amber. - See more at: http://www.therhinestonehousewife.com/products/product-detail.php?iid=833#sthash.kNWR8ZS7.dpuf
    Bright red cherry, brassy tobacco, Anjou pear, and white amber. - See more at: http://www.therhinestonehousewife.com/products/product-detail.php?iid=833#sthash.kNWR8ZS7.dpuf
    Bright red cherry, brassy tobacco, Anjou pear, and white amber. - See more at: http://www.therhinestonehousewife.com/products/product-detail.php?iid=833#sthash.kNWR8ZS7.dpuf
    Bright red cherry, brassy tobacco, Anjou pear, and white amber. - See more at: http://www.therhinestonehousewife.com/products/product-detail.php?iid=833#sthash.kNWR8ZS7.dpuf
  5. Old Havana by Solstice Scents - Solstice has become one of my favorite indie perfumers, and Old Havana is one of my favorites from the catalog (the other being Blossom Jam Tea Cakes but we'll talk about that later). Old Havana is a Solstice Scents Premium Fragrance and has "Tobacco, Woods, Spices, Sea Mist, Lime" according to their website. It is an absolutely gorgeous scent, probably the best tobacco I've ever come across. You literally smell like you are sitting in a tiny beach bar in Cuba, sipping a mojito.
So there you have it! The indie scents I am currently loving, and where you can buy them, if available. Now for the bad news - I do not plan to go back to regular blogging. I will be posting as the mood strikes, if I have something I want to talk about, or something motivates me. But as for now, there will be no regular posting schedule.

I'm so sorry, but I hope you're able to enjoy these posts as they come. If you do, why not help a friend out and makee your next purchase through one of my affiliate shopping partners? Enter VDAY22 coupon code for 25% Off ALL FragranceNet.com Orders! and 10% Off at Perfume.com with Coupon Code L10.

Hope to see you again next time, and as always - pleasant journeys~