Monday, August 29, 2011

New August Launches: Candy and Black Dahlias from Prada and Givenchy

Since I have a ravenous sweet tooth we'll begin with the sweets - Prada Candy.  I was very excited about this fragrance when I first came across the ad.  It was sassy, vibrant and fun, and with descriptors like 'Feeling gay, reckless, too.  Care free mind, all the time', who wouldn't want to enliven their life with a little bit of Prada Candy?
It is sold exclusively at Neiman Marcus, so as soon as I could I hustled to the nearest one and tried it out myself.  And the assessment?  It didn't make me feel overly gay or reckless, I'm sorry to say, and this was because the perfume was nothing more than ordinary.  It opens with sweet top notes (caramel the marketing claims, but that really just means ethyl maltol) and then moves into deep musks with a base of the powdery vanillic facets of benzoin.  The dry down is very beautifully rich due to the fabulous mixture of musk and benzoin.  While not as dynamic as the ad implies, if you like a sweet fragrance with a rich, gourmand oriental bottom, you may think about picking this one up.

While I was at Neiman Marcus I thought I would take the chance to sample another fragrance that launched there exclusively: Dahlia Noir by Givenchy.  Words that characterize this fragrance are dark, imaginative, mysterious, seductive:
Does the fragrance live up to its marketing?  It is definitely a deep fragrance that is not to be worn lightly.  You can immediately smell the top notes of rose, which are entwined with the heavy, multifaceted middle and bottom notes of iris, powder, patchouli, sandalwood and tonka bean.

Givenchy claims to have created a 'Flower Fatale' in their chypre floral fragrance, but mostly I just think they've create a 'Flower Soixante Plus' - a fragrance for the over 60s.

Both Prada Candy and Dahlia Noir by Givenchy have interesting aspects, but overall neither provides anything new nor exciting to the fragrance world.  I guess I'll have to keep waiting for my new fall fragrance ... remind me again, when does the Tom Ford Violet Blonde come out?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How very exciting - pressies from Passion Savon!

Last week I had the treat of receiving an airmail package from France.  When I opened the mailbox a gorgeous scent wacked me in the face – it was a pleasurable mixture of earthy, resinous aromas mixed with a strong hit of black pepper.  I couldn’t wait to get inside and open my package of natural handmade soaps from Passion Savon.

OK.  So, what is this place, this Passion Savon?  With their shop located in the southwest of France and an online presence as well, Passion Savon is an artisan business that creates handmade soaps and cosmetics using natural, high quality raw materials.  It is the baby of a certified aromatherapist who has used her 25 years of experience to create wonderfully fascinating soaps.  

How about Cranberry & Rhubarb?
Or maybe Orange Cocoa & Cinnamon
Possibly you're more of a Olive and Lemon Scrub kind of person?  They all sound very intriguing, and luckily I got to experience 7 different variants from their multitude of ranges.

They were:
Dead Sea Mud
an enjoyable herbaceous scent mixed with undertones of rich clay aromas

Zingiber & Apple 
a pleasant earthy-amber scent mixed with top notes of tingling eucalyptus

 Oatmeal & Banana Creme
 A very subtle, earthy scent that is made dynamic with hints of green fields of grass


      A lovely nutty scent wrapped in slight creamy hints

      A vibrant citrus scent of bergamot that intermingles with light notes of fresh clean soap

 Arabica Beans & Pistachio
 A tasty scent characterized by notes of rich coffee beans - you can almost smell the coffee brewing!

 And last, but not least...

Watermelon & Blackpepper
An exquisite scent of black pepper entwined with subtle sweet, clean tones

All of these soaps have unique appearances, fabulous scents, a wonderful lather and they left my skin feeling soft.

What more could a girl ask for?

You can check these soaps (and more!) out at

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wrap your body in ribbons. Gold Bond's Sheer Ribbons, that is.

From first glance you can see that Sheer Ribbons body lotion strives to stand out.  With a closer look, you may even ask, are you sure that isn’t a hair care product?  But no, it’s not - the packaging is odd for a body lotion, but necessary for this product.
See this button?  It’s from here that 'ribbons' are created.  Gimmicky?  Of course.  Was I impressed?  Definitely. 

 There is no doubt that Gold Bond’s main goal was to create a luxurious product that differentiates itself from its competitors.  They have realized this goal with the packaging, labelling and product name, but what about the fragrance?

Sheer Ribbons comes in two variants, Pearl Radiance and Silk Softness.  I evaluated Sheer Ribbons: Silk Softness.  The marketing asserts that it’s ‘a blend of delicate mimosa petals, seductive Tuscan cyprus and apricot reduction’, which should make it a warm floral fragrance lifted by fruity hints.  In practice, it's a subtle, warm fragrance, but the floral/amber notes are overwhelmed by powdery ones, and no fruity hints can be detected at all (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).  In conclusion, it is an inoffensive, subtle fragrance that sits nicely on the skin.

From packaging to fragrance Gold Bond has created a luxurious new offering for the lotion shelf, but buyers beware!  It carries a luxurious price tag as well:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

News Alert! New Fall Launch from Nest Fragrances

For her new fragrance Laura Slatkin, founder and CEO of Nest Fragrances, combines the enticing Tahitian vanilla bean with the gourmand scents of white chocolate, cinnamon, caramel and ... white rum.

Tahiti Vanille: A tasty cocktail or a luxurious home fragrance?  You be the judge - the 8.1oz, $32 candle will be available later this month at specialty stores nationwide.  For specific locations, visit Nest Fragrances.

Want to know more?  Read the full press release here.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Which Blonde Are You?

Ahh, yes.  The summer flankers have arrived and models with long blonde hair grace the advertisements of all three fragrances now out in your nearest department store.

First:  the ever so seductive DKNY Be Delicious flanker - Golden Delicious.

The fragrance opens with a light floral scent of rose and lily, but underneath the innocent top notes lurk deep woody tones mixed with layers of musk.  The bottom notes give a sensual dimension to the fragrance that keeps it from being a simple, straight floral.

The bottom notes make this a heavier fragrance that would be good for wearing in Fall, at night or (as the poster suggests) when being seductive.

Second: the wistfully sweet and innocent Marc Jacobs Lola flanker - Oh, Lola!

The top is light, sweet and citrus-y with elements of green notes, which lift the fragrance.  It dries into a gentle and inoffensive white floral with small traces of musk.

This is a safe fragrance choice that is perfect for daytime wear.

Third:  the classy, 'au naturel' Pure DKNY flanker - Pure DKNY Verbena.

Top note is verbena, no doubt about that, but the citrus note is quickly balanced out with a Ponds cold cream-esque note of musk and rose.

It is an instantly fresh and comforting fragrance (but maybe that's because the dry down reminds me of my grandmother!)

This is a good all-round scent for anytime wear.

So, what will you choose?  The seductive Golden Delicious, the sweet, innocent Oh, Lola! or the classy, au naturel Pure DKNY Verbena?

As for me, (sorry flankers!) I've got my eye on the new Fall fragrance from Tom Ford - Violet Blonde launching this September.  Stay tuned ...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Paris ... with sugar on top

Ten years ago I experienced a truly 'romantic stroll through the streets of Paris' with a Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome.  Talk about Paris Amour!

Although, I don't remember the Eiffel Tower being pink and I don't think our romantic strolls along the Seine smelled quite like Bath & Body Works (BBW) newest edition to their Signature Collection - Paris Amour.

Paris Amour is currently available in travel size for $1, but will officially launch on Saturday, Aug 13 and be available in a multitude of formats.

BBW describes this fragrance as 'a dreamy blend of French tulips, apple blossoms and sparkling pink champagne, inspired by a romantic stroll through the streets of Paris'.

Marketing aside, here's what it smells like:

First introduction:  There is a definite sweetness that pervades through everything, but the richness of the creamy shea butter notes balance out the sweet notes.  Unfortunately both top and bottom notes cancel out any floral aspect of the fragrance.

In use:  The shea butter notes all but disappear.  They are replaced with subtle top notes of a soft, light floral scent and a huge slug of sickly, overpowering sweetness.

Even after ten minutes the cotton candy/smarties scent is all but drowning out the light floral notes that are struggling to break through.

After twenty minutes the creamy shea butter notes make an appearance once more, but they are still overwhelmed by the gourmand bottom sugary notes that dominate this fragrance.

In honor of my real Paris Amour I'll have to pass on this BBW one...

But if you're between the ages of 13 and 18, this fragrance is right up your rue!!  Grab a bottle - perhaps it'll even bring you some back-to-school amour!