Thursday, January 26, 2012

BBW gets dressed up in Pink Chiffon

I took a trip today to Bath & Body Works to 'escape to the tropics' with their new tropical candles.  Don't worry, I did do this (I spent all too long in there, actually, trying to pick the most unique scents of the bunch to review here), but towards the end I have to admit that I got a little distracted.

See, when I got to the register they had the latest launch in their Signature Collection available in a 2oz size for $1.  How could I resist?  (You're right - I couldn't!)

So, while my new candles burn in their evaluation rooms, I have taken the liberty of checking out BBW's latest body lotion scent:
It is described as 'a light-as-air-pairing of soft pink petals and vanilla chiffon icing'.  So, we should expect a gourmand floral.  Is that what we get?

Well, first whiff out of the bottle we definitely can smell the light-as-air part - there is not very much fragrance there at all, which is very uncharacteristic for BBW!  Usually they are so strong that they knock me out with their overwhelming and sweeter-than-life scents!  Don't get me wrong, it is still sweet, but I somehow don't mind it as much because it isn't too busy offending my nose.

In use, it smells of a sweet, sugary cherry candy (so no, it isn't a gourmand floral), but it is still light with some hints of vanilla and musk minutely warming it up.  Saying that, this fragrance remains very light - so light in fact that I'm almost having to shove my hands up my nose to get the full dynamics of this new scent.

But that isn't a bad thing, I've decided.  I quite like that I haven't filled the room with an obnoxiously sweet scent while moisturizing my hands.  I bet the people around me appreciate it, too!

Thumbs up on this one, BBW!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Starting 2012 off fragrant with Michael Kors, Vera Wang & Escada

Needing some fragrance I took myself over to Ulta to see what was shaking in the way of new launches.  Woohoo, I hit the jackpot!  Which means I've got three newly launched fine fragrances reviewed for you here.

Let's begin with Island Michael Kors Very Bali (because it's winter and we'd all rather be on vacation somewhere like Bali.  Admit it.)  The packaging is enticing with a purple toned sunset, calm water, flowers and a palm tree.  The fragrance is as agreeable as the packaging, and just as conventional.  The top notes are sweet and floral with a tiny bit of citrus, which lifts the fragrance and keeps it quite light.  The muskiness of the dry down warms the fragrance, but not too much.  The musk mixes delicately with the bright florals to make a very nice, if not very unique, spring/summer fragrance.

Now, Valentine's Day is less than a month away so, while it's not really a new launch, it is only fair that we turn our attention to a romantic 2011 launch from Vera Wang: Lovestruck.  This fragrance fell down at the first hurdle; I wasn't able to pull out any discernible top notes after first spraying the fragrance!  I stared at my scent strip questioningly, and re-smelled it numerous times, but it was as if I hadn't sprayed anything on it!  So, needless to say, the top notes are very light.  But, the fragrance did pick itself up and the dry down notes are discernible.  There is an underlying musk to the fragrance which mixes with vanilla bean and a bit of fruity-floral sweetness.  It is a pleasant enough fragrance, but nothing to write home about.

Finally we have some Escada limited editions.  There are three: Island Kiss, Rockin' Rio and Sexy Graffiti.  Regrettably, I was only able to sample Island Kiss and Sexy Graffiti.  Sorry Rockin' Rio, maybe next time!

Island Kiss took me by surprise because it only had a little of the signature sweetness that characterizes Escada fragrances.  The rest of the top notes were extraordinarily clean with a nice soap-y, light citral scent.  It's dry down was just as light and clean as the top notes, but the sweet Escada character was more evident once dry.  I am very impressed by this fragrance - thumbs up, Escada!

Lastly I evaluated Sexy Graffiti and it was everything I expected from an Escada fragrance. It was loud, overly sweet:  almost the personification of pink (in the form of scent, of course!).  The top notes were a mixture of sweet berries and citrus, while the dry down was heavily citrus-y, which was made slightly dynamic by a hint of musk.  Although, saying that, the dry down was sorely unimpressive as the fragrance had mostly disappeared.  This is not surprising since citrus burns off quickly, which is why it is used so frequently as a top note.  In the end, Sexy Graffiti is everything one would expect from an Escada fragrance.

Thus concludes my first successful trip to Ulta of the year and hopefully there will be many more to come.  Bring on the 2012 launches, I say!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Starting off 2012 not too impressed: Pacifica Body Butters

I searched high and low for an exciting and thought-provoking interesting new launch to begin 2012 with, but unfortunately there isn't too much out there in the way of new products yet.  So, today we will evaluate a product that caught my eye in Sephora, and one that my wallet appreciated, too, after the expensive holiday season.

Check out this packaging and the variant names:

They seem to instantly transport you out of the dreary winter weather and off to far-off golden sunset lands.  Or they did me at least.  (Sigh).  So, I thought to myself, if the packaging is making me dream of far away places, I wonder how well the scent will transport me there?  When I got home after my purchase I set myself up and began smelling.

I decided to be swept away to India first with Indian Coconut Nectar Body Butter and unfortunately I really regret it.  Talk about a disappointment!  The first whiff out of my evaluation beaker brought me a mix of a lot of shea butter, a tiny bit of coconut and a good amount of base.  And it got worse in use.  It smells of base and cheap shea butter - it's a deep, nutty-plastic-y smell.  It caused me to comment, "God, that smells horrible."  I would suggest that they go back and reformulate.

So, it was with much trepidation that I tested the Tahitian Gardenia Body Butter.  This was a much more pleasant experience, the scent being a soft white floral.  The in-use experience continued to be inoffensive, although the soft floral scent does seem to slightly struggle to cover the unpleasant notes of the base.  But unlike the Coconut, a passer-by would not notice the base scent, nor would you unless you're holding your hands under your nose as I am currently doing.

You know, for the first time I am really disappointed in the products that I have picked up to review here, but maybe that is because I had such high hopes for them.  I loved the packaging, I loved the price point ($5 each for 2.5fl oz/73ml) and the woman at the register did nothing but big up these products.  After checking out the Pacifica website I was even falling in love with the brand itself.

But all that is gone now!  What a depressing disappointment the Indian Coconut Nectar turned out to be (I'm throwing it in the trash, FYI) ... but at least the Tahitian Gardenia Body Butter was decent enough and will probably get thrown in my hand bag for future use, instead of the trash can for never use.