Friday, March 30, 2012

The new addition to the BVLGARI Omnia family: Coral

omnis omnes omne omnia: each, every, every one (of a number); all (pl); all/the whole of.  (just in case you don't have a Latin background and were wondering the meaning of omnia, a range of BVLGARI perfumes, like I was.)

BVLGARI launched the first fragrance in the Omnia family in 2003.  It was self titled and was a  spicy-gourmand-woody fragrance.  I haven't experienced it for myself and I don't think that I'll be able to because it appears the fragrance is no longer in production.  (Leave a comment below if you know otherwise!)

In 2005 Omnia Crystalline was launched, a fresh-fruity-woody fragrance.  Next in line was Omnia Amethyste in 2007, which was followed by Omnia Green Jade in 2008.  Sadly, I haven't had the chance to smell any of these yet!  But don't worry because...

...this brings us to Spring 2012 and to the latest launch in the Omnia range:
(which I've just smelled!)

BVLGARI Omnia Coral is a bright citrus-floral fragrance that immediately catches your attention.  The citrus notes are very fresh and give the sense that you are surrounded by gorgeous bergamots, with maybe a few perfectly ripe mandarin oranges thrown in.  The lily floral notes keep the fragrance light and fresh as the citrus ones wear off, and as it warms there are comforting hints of light musky-soapiness in the background which adds depth (and a sense of fresh-out-of-the-shower cleanliness) to the fragrance.

With spring now in full effect and summer just around the corner, this fragrance makes a great accessory for sunny weather and happy days.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

(untitled) Maison Martin Margiela

The Maison Martin Margiela website has to be the most bizarre website I've visited to this date.  It's not bizarre in a 'woah, that's crazy!' kind of way, but in a 'wwwhhhhaaatt?  I'm utterly confused' kind of way.  It is the most simplistic website that I've come across since the '90s!  I assume its design is in keeping with the fashion house's vision, as opposed to a cost cutting exercise.

But I digress.

Fran├žois Guillot /
Agence France-Presse
— Getty Images
For all those non-fashionistas out there, Who is Martin Margiela?  Why, a designer, of course, but supposedly one of the most elusive around*.  He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Belgium until 1979, and from 1984 until 1987 he was a design assistant at Jean Paul Gaultier in Paris.  In 1988 he founded Maison Martin Margiela and the rest of the story is history, as they say!

Well, but not really, because there's one point in history I want to focus on - January 2010 when Maison Martin Margiela launched their fragrance line.

(untitled) is said to open with 'green freshness' and dry into incense and musk notes.  Well, let me tell you, any green tones that exist are hiding behind huge, magnificent cedarwood notes.  It's like your being drowned in No.2 pencils.

The thick scent of cedar makes this fragrance quite a dry scent, but it also keeps it from sitting too heavily on the skin.  As it dries hints of incense and musk make their appearance, but they are in the background, adding depth to the overall scent of cedar, which has remained consistently distinct throughout.

This scent is unique and not for the lovers of sweet, soft, powdery, and romantic floral scents.  But if you're someone who likes a bit of adventure in your fragrance, or tends to lean towards oriental and, of course, woody scents, then this fragrance is for you!

*Want to know more about Martin Margiela?  I highly recommend reading this 2008 article, Fashion's Invisible Man, from the New York Times.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Harrods Exclusive: Oscar de la Renta Live in Love

I was having a casual jaunt around London when I found myself passing by the impressive structure of the Royal Albert Hall.  I quickly admired the architecture and moved on, deciding to seek shelter from the falling rain and the suffocating vehicle pollution.

Luckily for me just down the road was Harrods, claimed to be the world's most famous luxury department store.  I figured that if there was ever a place to seek refuge, this would be the one.

I hurried down the road and found my way through the Harrods' door as quickly as possible.  Surrounded by Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Mulberry and many other fabulous names, I breathed a sigh of relief, glad to be out of the rain and CO2 emissions.

Working my way through the maze that is Harrods I got distracted in one of the passages, funnily enough, by this:

There was a man with a small display, a perfume bottle and a scent ribbon standing amidst the chaos of the escalators doing his best to get passersby to sample this new, exclusive fragrance to Harrods.

Never one to pass up the chance to smell something I grabbed his attention and attempted to take his last scent ribbon.  But he wouldn't give it away.  He said that the fragrance didn't sit well on the ribbon, but he kindly offered to spray my wrist instead.  Despite his disagreement, I took his scent ribbon, and, of course, also let him spray my wrist (I needed a fragrance refresh after all the outdoor walking anyway).

I was immediately surrounded by orange blossoms - as if I was in a grove of blooming orange trees.  It was gorgeous!  The scent slowly warmed into a jasmine influenced white floral, mixing with the orange blossoms, but not completely cancelling them out.  It was a fresh and light fragrance intertwined with muted undertones of woody warmth.  It sat well on the skin and gave me the impression that if I sprayed it at 6am when getting ready for the day, I would still be smelling of it by happy hour in the evening.  I would highly recommend this fragrance, especially if you are a white floral fan.

Granted since it is exclusive to Harrods you might have to arrange a trip to London.  Or, since it is the modern age, you can take the quicker, cheaper, but less adventurous option and buy it online!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Here Comes Spring: Glade® Limited Edition Collection

I was taking my usual turn through the aisles of Target when this caught my eye:

Like a bee to a flower I flew over to the display in hungry scent-passion.  What were these colorful new air fresheners that my eyes were beholding?  They were none other than the recently launched Glade® Limited Edition Spring Collection!

The last time I evaluated a  Glade® candle here I was not too impressed (see The Ultimate Fall Scent Debate), so I have to say that I was quite skeptical about the quality of scent that these candles would emit.  Still, their packaging drew me in and and so I bought one of each, eagerly took them home and one by one set them up to smell.

I began with Magic Meadow and, honestly, if I was buying the candle based on the cold throw I can tell you now that I probably wouldn't have bothered.  The cold throw was light and barely discernible (if at all), but luckily the hot throw was better.  It had a very pleasant green-grass aroma that was intertwined with a floraly-rose-carnation scent.  It could have been a little bit stronger, but in general it does what it says on the box.  It's a pleasant meadow-y scent.

Second in line was Playful Paradise which was the least impressive of the three.  Both the cold and hot throw were very weak and the indistinct floral scent struggled to cover the waxy-base smell.  Don't waste your money on this one!

Finally Glade® redeemed themselves with the third variant, Polka Dot Petals.  The cold throw had a decent strength as well as an inoffensive gourmand, sweet-fruity-berry scent.  The fragrance further impressed in the hot throw keeping its decent level of strength and its flavorful gourmand sweet scent, although the scent became closer to Jolly Rancher Watermelon than berry.  Out of the three, I would recommend this variant due to its superior strength and scent.

The Glade® website shows that one more variant is available - Sherbert Sunrise, but alas, this one was not on the shelves at my Target and so it is left for you to discover on your own.  If you've picked one up, make sure to leave a comment below and let me know what you think of it ... and any of the others, too!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Method & Mrs. Meyer's ... Must be cleaning day!

Yes, it's true.  The house finally got so horriblely dirty that I spent four hours scrubbing the whole thing from top to bottom.  Something peculiar and unexpected happened, though.  I found myself actually enjoying what I was doing ... and it was all because of the scents I was surrounding myself with.

I started with the counters - they were atrocious!  I tackled this task with method all purpose cleaner, pink grapefruit.  I followed the directions to a T: I sprayed.  I wiped.  I admired my lovely clean counters.  But something they forgot to put on the directions was to enjoy the lovely fresh, bright, non-chemically and very pink grapefruit scent of the product.  No worries, though.  Even though this wasn't on the directions I still did it!

Eventually I finished with the counters and decided to tackle the acres of floors that I had to wash and scrub on my knees just like Cinderella (ok, I might be exaggerating just a bit, but you get the picture).  For this task I grabbed Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lemon Verbena All Purpose Cleaner.  For the first five minutes or so of my scrubbing I was seriously wondering the benefits of tile - carpet would be so much easier to care for!  Eventually my attitude changed as I saw the floor getting clean and looking pretty; but mostly I noticed how wonderful the house was smelling.  Like with method, there was no scary, nose destroying chemical smell, but a fragrant, light and fresh citrus scent with warming herbal notes underneath so that it wasn't too lemon-y, Pledge-like or sterile.  It was inviting and glorious and myself and my floors were definitely enjoying it!

Ok.  So now you're thinking that I am a naturals-only cleaning product kind of girl.  Not so.  For my bathrooms I reverted to the cleaner I've used for most of my life:  good ol' Soft Scrub (with Micro Scrubbing Actives, Lemon scent).  Of course in contrast to method and Mrs. Meyers Soft Scrub does have tinges of a chemically scent to it, but overall, I was impressed!  The lemon scent deftly muted the chemicals in the base and, in contrast to the fresh and warm citrus-herbal smell of Mrs. Meyer's, the Soft Scrub Lemon scent was light and cleanly sweet.  It was an energizing experience to smell such a wonderful, non-harsh scent from such a chemical-based cleaner.

I must admit that I never hated cleaning, but I also never knew that it could be such a pleasant-scent-filled experience ... I can't wait to do more!