Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Latest and greatest from Bath & Body Works - Amber Blush

Stop press - I've got it - the best Christmas present ever for a girl aged 10-15! It's the latest launch from Bath & Body Works (BBW), Amber Blush. But wait, there's more! Along with this, and the many other launches for the holiday season, BBW is promoting their ‘All New Daily Trio’.

If you haven't had a chance to check out the Daily Trio, never fear! It is a simple concept which, at the core, is your basic fragrance layering story meant to extend the longevity of the scent. Start with the shower gel, then the body lotion, finish with the spritz – et voila - longer lasting fragrance! This means Amber Blush was launched in each of these formats (see, perfect present, right?!), but does each format live up to its ‘crystallized amber kissed with bubbly raspberry champagne’ description? Let’s see how each performed…

As with any fragrance layering experience it’s necessary to commence with the shower gel. Its scent is sweet and intense! It is a cavity-causing cotton candy-berry-sugar with creamy vanilla and an ever so slight hint of coconut hiding in the mix. There aren't any amber notes, but rather the BBW vanilla-musk base that seems to be appearing in more and more of their fragrances.

Next up is the body lotion. I expected to have the same delightful experience - sweet and creamy. Sadly, this just wasn't the case, which must have to do with their new body lotion formula. BBW claims to have increased the shea by three times the amount in the old formula, which completely explains why the dominant note is shea butter… and base, with the tiniest bit of sweetness sneaking its surgary notes between the shea and base. To tell the truth, I'm not quite sure how this product made it to the shelves of BBW, but perhaps this is why they now encourage layering their products – they can’t get the fragrance strong enough in the formula now that it's got so much shea moisturizing power!

The final step in the scent layering experience is the spritz, or fragrance mist as BBW calls it. The mist does what the body lotion doesn’t: it’s all sugar-sweetness, like being drenched not just in cotton candy, but a blue raspberry icee that has the slightest dash of sweet-creamy-vanilla.

So, if you’re looking for that perfect gift the shower gel is the clear winner. But, should you want to give all three for the ultimate layering experience, this trio will leave your daughter, niece, babysitter, or whomever you gift it to, walking around in a bubble of sweet-vanilla-cream-blue raspberry icee. Though it’s not quite the ‘crystallized amber kissed with bubbly raspberry champagne’ BBW purports it to be, they will surely love it all the same!

Have you tried this scent? Do you love it, do you hate it? Make sure to leave a comment below!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

#thisisbrit: (another) British Invasion

British fashion label Burberry has taken a fresh marketing approach for their latest Burberry Brit flanker, Brit Rhythm. To attract their trendy-hipster demographic throughout the world, Burberry took the now popular '360 degree approach', which means attacking the consumer from all angles - print, digital, physical, you name it!

One of the main aspects of their 360 approach was to align the fragrance with music. In fact, the fragrance's tag line is 'inspired by the energy of live music'. Next, to draw in this young, trend-setting group, Burberry promoted Rhythm's launch with concerts by British indie-rock bands this past October with White Lies playing gigs in London and Singapore while Peace played in NYC. Burberry also supported Rhythm's launch with #thisisbrit on social media.

The bands are edgy and the marketing is stylish and very 21st century, but aren't we missing the most important part? What about the juice?! With a quick look at Burberry's website, I found the fragrance description:

ELECTRIC TOP NOTES: Basil verveina with cardamom and a shot of juniper berries

ADRENALISED HEART NOTES: Black leather, heady patchouli and styrax resin

SENSUAL BASE NOTES: Cedarwood vibrates with incense and sweet tonka bean

The adjectives used to describe Brit Rhythm definitely entice and get the blood flowing with excitement, but boil down to the notes - basil verveina, cardamom, juniper berries, leather, patchouli, resin, cedarwood, incense, tonka bean- and you're left with a soft spicy-woody scent. Once the marketing is erased, this fragrance doesn't sound so enigmatically energetic, but rather more typical of a men's cologne. What's more, does it even smell of spices and woods? Let's find out.

It opens with fresh, light and bright tones of mint. Yes, mint. I think Burberry must still be riding the 1 Million wave here with this top note. Aspects of citrus and aromatics are also distinguishable in the cool and refreshing top, which then moves into a heart of soapy-clean freshness with a bit of wet marine thrown in for good measure (hmm, not very leather-patchouli-resin like). Finally, its true nature (or rather, the fragrance description that Burberry gives it) comes through in the base: it is soft with aspects of spice and woods resting calmly alongside tonka bean that makes it just the tiniest bit sweet and musky.

By all marketing accounts, this should be a vibrant spicy-woody fragrance, and indeed, with its fresh top and middle, then soft and warm dry down, …it is.

It's not the most unique of fragrances, but at least it does what it says on the tin!

Have you tried this scent? Do you love it, do you hate it? Make sure to leave a comment below!