Smell Like A Man: My Favourite Classic, Designer & Niche Manly Fragrances

Smell Like A Man: My Favourite Classic, Designer & Niche Manly Fragrances

I love many types of scents, but I do tend to go on about soft and clean scents. The truth is I love many, including scents with volume and reach. I suppose there are many loud and ugly fragrances out there, and soft clean ones are often hard to find. I may love perfume, and I may own and smell many that I love, but if I’m shopping for scent, I may like one out of ten that I try. These days it;s more likely I will like none out of ten. I also find it very hard to distinguish men’s fragrance from women’s these days. Not that it really matters as we all know fragrance is genderless and I say wear what you love. But my personal preference is a man’s scent that smells like a man*

What notes smell “manly”? Again, personal preference will figure into this, as it does with all things scented, but here are my thoughts and some of my favourite sexy fragrance notes.

Leather: Leather is a note used in both men’s and women’s scents, but often sweetened with flowers and such for the ladies. A good solid leather note is unmistakeable and smells like a worn leather jacket, possibly with some gasoline on it, or the leather interior of a car, and there is often a “tar” note. There can be smoke and wood fire aspects to it as well.  It’s a note used in high measures today as much as it used to be and that is a shame.

I'm pretty sure Ron Swanson smells like leather. And maybe bacon.

I’m pretty sure Ron Swanson smells like leather. And maybe bacon.

Musk: I hear a lot of women tell me they don’t like musk and I always say that’s because you haven’t smelled the right one. There are so many musks it’s ridiculous and the smells range from skanky and dirty to freshly cleaned laundry. Musks were originally based on the substance secreted by the male musk deer. From Fragrantica:

It has been rumored since ancient times that wonderful musk odor works as an excellent aphrodisiac, and modern science has offered an explanation for this. Even though the debate on the existence of sex pheromones continues, there are scientists who believe that the smell of musk closely resembles the smell of testosterone, which may act as a pheromone in humans.

Civet: Originally derived from the anal glands of civet cats – stay with me here- and thankfully is now synthetically reproduced. Used artfully, carefully and in the right doses, the almost fecal scent of civet takes on a soft and sexy fragrance that can best be compared to, um, underwear. It’s usually hidden beneath many other notes and adds a sexiness that is noted almost subconsciously and appeals to the animal part of our brains.

Castoreum: Another delightful ingredient from animal bum, castoreum was originally obtained from beaver testicles and is now blessedly recreated in the lab. Poor little beavers! Castoreum was also used medicinally, for headaches and fever. It’s another note that when used judiciously, becomes warm, sweet and sexy in a dirty way.

So now, my favourite manly perfumes! First, the designer offerings:

YSL Kouros review dalybeauty

YSL Kouros has pretty much set the bar for “skanky” men’s scents. I have a real fondness for this one, so excuse me if I go on….. It’s so dirty that many online reviews use words like gagging, disgusting, etc etc. but I simply adore it and have from the moment I smelled it. I agree with the reviewer I read somewhere who said “Kouros makes me smell like a god”. Yum. Launched in 1981, Kouros definitely belongs to the power scent family, although it is possible to just wear a little, as that is all you need. The dominant notes are civet, honey and leather, and the overall impression is of warm, even hot, manly skin with just the right amount of sweat. If any scent has pheromones, for me it is Kouros. It has been reformulated since it’s launch, so a vintage version will smell likely much more powerful than the current. I haven’t smelled the vintage in years but I still love the current version. Kouros – not for the tame.

Chanel Antaeus review dalybeauty

Chanel Antaeus is a sexy leather beauty with woodsy moss – in other words, all man. Leather and castoreum make this classic animal perfect for the gentleman with the heart of an animal. It’s no coincidence that YSL and Chanel named their sexiest scents after gods.

Bvlgari Black review dalybeauty

Bvlgari Black is probably one of the best modern designer leather fragrances out there, and is also wonderfully unisex. It deliciously pairs stringent leather with vanilla and smoky black lapsang souchong and manages to also incorporate a tarry, rubbery note that brings to mind tires and garages. On me it was all rubber and leather which I didn’t fancy much, but I’ve sniffed it on others and it’s divine.

Some niche:

Zoologist Rhinoceros review dalybeauty

Zoologist Rhinocerous is an incredible unapologetic leather fragrance with the most divine swirling heart and base of woodsy, boozy richness enveloped in smoky oud that is almost shocking at first, then dries down to sexy velvety goodness. Zoologist is an incredible Canadian niche brand with brilliantly blended colognes that compete and even beat niche perfumes priced at three times the price. If you want a cologne that is all man, and don’t want to smell like everyone else, get this. I guarantee you will like it. All of Zoologists fragrances are for men and women, of course. It’s my own personal impressions that make this say “Manly Man” to me!

Zoologist Beaver review dalybeauty

Zoologist Beaver – yes, that’s right. Beaver. Lovers of animalic fragrances rejoice! The brilliance of Zoologist Beaver is how it melds the most animalic of notes, castoreum, with a delicate airy scent like linden blossom, and a soft earthy iris note. It even has notes of ash, as in ashes. Beaver is a burnt offering that shocks at first, then settles down to become one with the wearer. I’d say it is one of the most wearable “dirty” scents, Beaver is proof that castoreum cleans up beautifully.

Tom Ford Tuscan Leather review

Tom Ford Tusan Leather has to be included in this list. It’s one of Tom Ford’s Private Blends (read: expensive) but boy oh boy, is it great. It’s full on leather at first sniff, then becomes lovely with a suede-y woody note. Tuscan Leather is tempered with a touch of raspberry, and it’s interesting how that balances the rough manly notes. It actually adds a bit of a mouth watering aspect, which I simply love in a perfume.

Atelier Gold Leather review

Atelier Gold Leather is another divine leather. I love this whole line and their approach to fragrance. Elegant and stylish and never overdone. Let’s call this one a “boozy leather”. The opening is a bitter citrus and rum concoction. It warms down to a delicious leather, with a little oud thrown in for good measure. The oud in this is gentle but makes sure the rum is never too sweet. This is an understated Manly Man fragrance, but still quite masculine in my opinion.

I know there a TON of manly scents out there. Which ones are your favourites? And, if you’re a woman, would you wear any of these?

 *”Manly Scents” is my own subjective perfume opinion, and of course I understand that women may love these just as much as men and happily wear them. That’s cool too!

These Coconut Oils Changed My Life. No, Really.

These Coconut Oils Changed My Life. No, Really.

I recently had the opportunity to try a line of coconut oils called Skinny & Company Coconut Oil, made from coconuts wild harvested in the jungles in Vietnam. Skinny & Co’s patent-pending Nutralock System™ crafts the ONLY raw & alkaline coconut oil on the market today. And the extraction uses no heat to extract, rather cooling the coconut to release the oil – zero heat. I was intrigued by that information, and curious to try the different formulations of coconut oils that they offer.

I’ve never really jumped on the coconut oil train successfully until recently. A friend gave me a recipe this summer for raw chocolate “turtles” that used coconut oil, and I started by using a fragrance-neutral coconut oil for those. While I would use it, I started rubbing excess coconut oil into my hands, and started getting obsessed with using it on my skin.

Then, the Skinny & Co products arrived. I was smitten the minute I opened each jar. I have to comment on the texture of all the oils. The oil, when in a semi solid form, is almost pearlescent and kind of magical. I’ve never seen such a pretty coconut oil, and I suspect this has to do with the raw property.

Skinny & Company Coconut Oil Peppermint Oil Pulling Facial Oil

clockwise from left: Skinny & Co Peppermint Oil Pulling Oil, Facial Oil and Virgin Coconut Oil

SKINny Facial Oil ($35 USD 4oz) This heavenly concotion has stolen my heart and will always have a place in my routine. Heaven, I tell you. This is what they say:

If you are looking for an essential product in your morning or evening beauty arsenal, this is it. Perfect for all skin types, the Skinny Facial Oil with natural anti-microbial properties from our 100% RAW & pure coconut oil paired with calming lavender and chamomile essential oils has everything you need to cleanse, moisturize, & protect your skin.

Ingredients: (4oz) – Skinny&Co. Coconut Oil, Proprietary Blend of Essential Oils, Lavender and Roman Chamomile Extract

The lavender and chamomile take this coconut oil to a place of luxury and relaxtion that is addictive. I take off my make up with it and a hot face cloth, then cleanser (oh yes the Double Cleanse, more on that in a future post). Then I use my toner, apply my serums, lotions and what have you. Then, I use the SKINny Facial Oil on my oily t-zone and jawline and it has changed my skin. It is loaded with antibacterial properties and appears to heal problem skin. The Facial Oil has reduced breakouts and left soft skin behind. My husband gets mild eczema and all it takes is a gentle application of some of the Facial Oil and it’s gone in almost overnight. It also has helped immensely with our little rescue cat’s skin issues. It heals his skin and makes his fur like silk, and it’s not horrific if he licks it off, which of course he does. His skin has healed and his fur has grown back in! This is a miracle in a jar.

Skinny & Co 100% Virgin Coconut Oil ($17 USD 8oz) Ok, I’m going to say it. I put that sh*t on and in everything. Seriously, I do. I use it on my hands any time of day, on my cuticles after a manicure, in my coffee (yum),and in my hair. I love to do a hair mask with it – apply it generously to my hair, concentrating on the ends. Put a hot towel on it for twenty minutes or so, then shampoo out. You may need an extra shampoo. Skinny & Co Coconut Oil is the perfect all purpose coconut oil. The flavour is subtle and creamy which is perfect for me, as I don’t love an overwhelming coconut flavour. LOVE!

And, drumroll please…. Skinny & Co Peppermint Oil Pulling Coconut Oil ($23 8oz). If you don’t know what oil pulling is you can read more in this link. All I can speak to is my experience, which has been exceptional and delightful. I use the Peppermint Oil several nights a week, before brushing, swishing it around wildly for as long as I can handle. What can I say – it feels incredible in your mouth, tastes amazing and makes my mouth fresh and happy. The transformative effects are almost a immediate, with fresh breath, reduced tooth sensitivity, and healthy gums. Nothing has made my mouth feel so fresh, and it stays fresh. I am sort of addicted to how wonderful it is. I relish the feel of the coconut oil melting in my mouth – it is so silky and velvety. I look forward to it and can’t imagine being without.

If you are even the least bit into coconut oil, do yourself a favour and try Skinny & Company Coconut Oil. Their store locator is here.

vintage woman suntan lotion legs by george marks

My Favourite Facial Skin Oils For Whatever Your Skin Needs Now

My Favourite Facial Skin Oils For Whatever Your Skin Needs Now

It seems every beauty line is selling facial oils. And for good reason! I love them, and I know a lot of people do as well. My first facial oil love, Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate, is still a favourite and is the perfect way to wake up rested and glowing. I’ve been incorporating oils into my skincare for awhile now. Skin treatment oils for acne like Osmia Organics Spot Treatment and Odacité Black Cumin Concentrate are holy grail items for me, that I cannot imagine being without.

Some facial oil rules: less is more. Seriously, you only need a drop or two AT THE MOST to get what your face needs. Apply to warm, freshly washed skin and you will feel your skin drink it up as the oils seal in moisture and get to work healing your skin. And test on a small patch of skin first. I have had some nightmare scenarios with reactions to oils that other people have loved and sworn were perfect. Not everyone’s skin will react the same way.

Here are some more awesome facial oils and why I love them!

from left: Body Shop Revitalizing Oil, pixi beauty Rose Oil Blend, Lipidol Overnight Face Oil, Jacynth Serum, Palmers Skin Therapy

from left: Body Shop Revitalizing Oil, pixi beauty Rose Oil Blend, Lipidol Overnight Face Oil, Le Serum de Jacynth, Palmers Skin Therapy

The Body Shop Revitalizing Oil ($44 CAD 30ml) is part of the new Body Shop Oils Of Life line. I’m in love with the whole line, and this oil is no exception. The key ingredients are black cumin, camellia and rosehip oils, which combine antibacterial, moisturizing and anti-ageing benefits into one lovely oil It is lightweight and absorbs beautifully when massaged into freshly cleansed skin. I like to use a few drops before my serums and lotion. This oil is terrific at moisturizing even oily skin, and can make dry patches disappear over night. I especially love it around my eye area and on my neck. It’s terrific for sensitive skin that needs moisture.

The pixi skintreats Rose Oil Blend is another favourite. I am seriously in love with the pixi line! The gentle rose fragrance of the pixi skintreats just adds to luxe experience of this gorgeous oil. Rosehip helps with ageing skin, and almond oil is a perfect moisturizing elixir! I’ve been adding it to stuff, like my eye cream, my moisturizer and even to tinted moisturizer, for an extra way to get glowing. This is another beauty that has not made me break out, and it simply moisturizes beautifully. This simple and gentle oil is suitable for all ages and skin types, but more so for dry skin!

Lipidol Overnight Face Oil is, as it says, a nighttime oil, and is brought to us by the creators of the amazing and divisive Bio Oil, which I loved for my body and is a favourite of Kim Kardashian. I say divisive, as Bio Oil, and Lipidol contain mineral oil. If you have issues with mineral oil, avoid. However, this facial oil has black pepper oil which does have antibacterial properties and I’ve not had breakout issues with Lipidol. As with the Kiehls, a nighttime oil is usually a bit richer than something you might wear during the day, and contains ingredients to help nourish and revitalize while you sleep. Lipidol Overnight Face Oil actually helps to supplement the skin’s natural oil layer that we strip away by cleansing, toning etc. At under $10 for 50ml, you cannot do better than this price-wise. (ps I’m using the entire Lipidol line right now and am quite impressed!) This is terrific for dry skin types.

Le Serum de Jacynthe is a Canadian brand from Quebec created by a gorgeous woman, Jacynthe, who has been making her own luxury natural skincare for years. They call this a serum but it does have an oil-like texture to me. It is not ideal for acne prone skin, which is why I only use it around my eyes, and on my neck and décolletage. Full of rosehip, rose, buckthorn, sandalwood and natural vitamin E, this lovely and luxurious product improves skin tone and softens lines. I use it right after cleansing, pressing it into the skin. It soaks in beautifully and I would recommend this for mature skin that needs nourishment. My little 15ml bottle is $47 CAD.

Palmers Skin Therapy Oil Face is definitely one of my favourite skincare products right now. It is full of gorgeous and luxurious natural oils like sesame, coconut, sweet almond, mcadamia nut, argan, grapeseed, rosehip and camelina that nourish, soften and plump the skin. But it also has Retinol to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and improve texture, as well as Vitamin C to brighten and improve skin tone. I have been using this every night and where I have seen the biggest difference is with the skin tone around my eyes – brighter! And with years old sun spots on my chest from my pre sunscreen days – they are almost gone. I am in love with this oil and so is my skin. At under $20 CAD, this terrific multi-tasking facial oil is appropriate for just about anyone.

Roads Perfumes: Cloud 9, White Noise, Neon & Lights

Roads Perfumes: Cloud 9, White Noise, Neon & Lights

The world of niche perfumes is a fascinating one, and one that I love exploring. I was so happy to stumble upon Roads perfumes in New York City, then again in Toronto (that was at Holts Bloor and I don’t know if they still carry the line?). I fell in love with one right away, and have been slowly finding my way around some new favourites. The Roads perfumes I love and am sharing with you today are, true to my taste, some of the line’s softer, gentler scents, but that is by no means the extent of the line.

Roads is a lifestyle brand based in Dublin, Ireland. From their website:

The Group consists of three companies: ROADS Fragrances, ROADS Publishing and ROADS Entertainment. Founded by businesswoman and entrepreneur Danielle Ryan, the brand is built around the cornerstones of present-day culture, freethinking, storytelling, original design and intelligence. ROADS acts as a curator, researching and filtering interesting contemporary subject matters or themes. These themes then create the platform for each of our projects, be it a book, film or fragrance. ROADS – as a name – is a metaphor for the many choices and decisions we are faced with each day. These decisions shape us and make the paths for how we live. Every choice we make – what we wear, what we read, where we travel, how we communicate – informs our character. Therefore ROADS celebrates the individual in every sense.

Roads perfumes are what I would call a luxury niche line, at around $155 USD for a 50ml bottle. The bottles are elegant and modern, with a nice heavy magnetic cap that goes on with a satisfying snap. I like how they are masculine or feminine, reiterating the simple, modern and artistic aesthetic of the brand.

roads cloud 9 perfume review

My first Roads love was Cloud 9, which I admit I knew I would love based on the name and description alone. It’s about happiness, peace, contentment, and safety. Their description:

…Hot milk and a sense of floating. This is a clean and comforting scent that is quite delicate and peaceful. 

It does smell comforting and clean, and has a warmth to it that makes me think of a hot bath, and yes, even warm milk with honey. The warmth is conveyed beautifully – I smell amber and musk – and makes Cloud 9 so inviting and sensual. It is soft and never overwhelming, and is one of those interesting perfumes that could work equally well on men or women without smelling conspicuously unisex. What I mean by that is that rather than a neutered scent, Cloud 9 balances the masculine and feminine beautifully. I initially thought it was soft and feminine, but my daughter’s boyfriend wears it and somehow I didn’t even recognize it as the same scent. That’s the mystique of skin chemistry and scent. Its warm, with a sexy woodsy vibe made slightly mysterious by the amber. Love.

roads white noise perfume review

Roads White Noise is a fascinating scent. From the site:

White Noise is the constant hum of computers around the world, the white static on our TVs. This is a fragrance that is both active and calm. With it I have tried to create what has become a modern sense of stillness on standby.

I get it – seriously. The first time I wore it, I kept sniffing my wrist, wondering how on earth I was smelling a “hum”, something alive. I suspect it’s a musk, as there are some beautiful sensual musks that “feel”, or at least smell, like living things. That aside, White Noise is a clear, clean happy fragrance with a Nivea lotion vibe that you know I love! There are citrus notes, which smell pretty and fresh, and add a soapiness that I adore. The rest of the notes are so seamlessly blended that the floral notes and the woodsy base play very nicely with each other and make it very easy to wear. So it may sound trendy and buzzy, but honestly, White Noise is fantastic, modern and very wearable.

roads supernova perfume review

Roads Supernova is another favourite. What Roads says:

It is a giant burst of life that’s hugely colourful. Supernova is a fragrance that is full of possibilities. This is an exciting fragrance. It wakes you up and shakes you off. It stimulates you with a sense of energy. The inspiration for this fragrance was the supernova itself.

Seriously, if you are looking for a perfume to make you happy on first sniff, you need Supernova. It’s fresh fresh fresh. Lemons and limes, and I smell a hint of ginger too, and then clean and fresh woodsy notes. There are some odd spice notes in here which make me think of the heart of the fragrance more than I usually do. Cognac, ginger and and cardamom – wow. They are not strong but they are there. And then the woods. I’ll make this easy for you – if you like perfumes like D&G Light Blue, you will LOVE Supernova.

roads neon perfume review

Roads Neon – wow. This is another cozy sweet delicious one! From the site:

Neon is about youth or at least living youthfully. It’s about being alive, laughing and having fun. I was inspired with this scent by my charismatic younger sister, who embodies the characteristics of the scent. 

I love that there is a connection with family, and who I assume is the founder, Danielle’s sister. Scent is so much about memory, people and places and a personal connection is terrific. Neon is a yummy vanilla heliotrope confection that makes me happy just smelling it. The top notes mention cinnamon and nutmeg, and perhaps I do get a spicy aspect, but the only one my nose picks out is a soft nutmeg. It smells so lovely with the heliotrope. I get a bit of a dry elegant iris, but mostly I get vanilla, a lovely sweet heliotrope and woodsy notes. This is a vanilla for boys and girls, and it manages to be a sweet sexy vanilla that doesn’t smell like a cupcake. Maybe a gorgeous vanilla ice cream….delicious.

If you like to try perfumes that are off the beaten path, yet still artful, elegant and smell wonderful, do give Roads a try.


Roads scents are sold at select boutiques around the world, and at Barney’s and Neiman Marcus in the US. Find a stockist here.

Rejoice! I’ve Found The Best At-Home Keratin Treatment: PHYTO Phytokératine Extrême

Rejoice! I’ve Found The Best At-Home Keratin Treatment: PHYTO Phytokératine Extrême

I’ve always loved Phyto products, and how they have been on the cutting edge of haircare since their beginnings in 1967. The first Phyto product I used I used was ages ago, the original Phytoplage line which had an oil that protected hair from the sun. It was, and still is, an amazing product, and for many years it was the only haircare product that offered UV protection while conditioning your hair. It’s still my favourite, and I know I can keep my hair soft and silky at the beach. And of course, I love the incredible and legendary Phyto 7 Creme de Jour which has been smoothing hair for over 40 years!

PHYTO Phytokerine Extreme Exceptional Shampoo review dalybeauty

I had very high expectations when I tried their newest keratin smoothing treatment trio of products, Phytokératine Extrême. The first of the three products, Exceptional Shampoo ($30 CAD), is incredible on it’s own. Plant based and sulfate free, it has the most gentle fragrance and luxurious texture. It has a “botanical keratin, consisting of 18 amino acids with biomimetic properties to the natural keratin, is injected into the deepest layers of the hair shaft in order to fill in the gaps and rebuild the initial architecture of hair”. It has a soft lather, and as it rinses out it leaves hair soft and tangle free, which I love!

PHYTO Phytokerine Extreme Exceptional Mask review dalybeauty

I then follow up with the Exceptional Mask, ($54 CAD) which is indeed exceptional. It has a thick texture, and for my thick hair which falls just below my shoulders, all I needed was a small amount. Again, the fragrance is gentle and the feeling of the product is luxurious. It has plant-based botanical keratin full of the above mentioned amino acid lineup is also in the Exceptional Mask. As well, it has Sapote butter along with the rare precious Baobab oil guarantee exceptional repair. This is a key ingredient:

Sapote butter is the hidden secret for dry hair. It has twice the concentration of omega 6 than that of Shea butter. This wealth of essential fatty acids helps ensure the impermeability of hair. Infinitely rich, it infuses the hair fiber with its high lipid-replenishing power leaving hair extremely soft. The legendary, sacred baobab tree, yields a rare oil that helps restore the hydrolipidic film and the intercellular cement of the hair fiber.

I leave it in my hair while I go through my many shower rituals of exfoliation, shaving etc etc, then rinse with tepid water. I wrap my hair in a towel and let as much water be soaked up as possible – no rubbing! One should NEVER rub their wet hair with a towel, unless they want poufy hair. It’s rough on the hair cuticle and causes breakage on fragile wet hair, as well as frizz.

PHYTO Phytokerine Extreme Exceptional Cream review dalybeauty

Then I gently apply the Exceptional Cream ($48 CAD) to my hair and comb it through. I leave it air dry or blow it out, and when done, I rub a bit more Exceptional Cream between my hands and lightly pull it through my hair for added softness. Honestly, I think I have found my hair holy grail. I am already panicking about running out and need back ups! The Exceptional Cream can be added to the ends of dry hair at any time to soften and refresh style. Verdict? LOVE!

Phytokeratine Extreme review dalybeauty1

My hair is very happy – thank you Phytokératine Extrême!




PHYTO products, including this incredible line, are available at Sephora, and select Shoppers Drug Mart, Jean Coutu and Pharmaprix stores. Here is a locator.


The Best Balm For Soft Lips & Sweet Kisses: Nuxe Rêve de Miel

The Best Balm For Soft Lips & Sweet Kisses: Nuxe Rêve de Miel

Sometimes it’s the little things that make us happy. And this little pot of Nuxe goodness is one of my favourite happy little things. At $17 CAD, Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm (honey dream!) is one of the more luxurious lip balms at the drugstore, but considering it is from the divine Nuxe line, and imported from France, the price is fairly reasonable*

Nuxe Rêve de Miel dalybeauty

Nuxe Rêve de Miel has a very short list of ingredients, which is appealing to me. I’m not saying I eschew all long ingredient lists of stuff I don’t understand. I still have products in my beauty cabinet chock full of mystery stuff that I don’t fully understand, and I’m ok with that.

The gentle stuff in Rêve de Miel treats my lips softly and gently. I love it’s unusual and thick texture. Rêve de Miel is highly concentrated and it’s tempting to grab a blob and slather it on, as it feels thick. Don’t be fooled, and take your time. A tiny amount is all you need and if you slowly rub it in, you will feel it melt right into your lips, coating them in sweet honey goodness. One of the best things about Rêve de Miel is the satin-matte texture that is never sticky. It makes fast work of dry flaky lips and almost heals them overnight, or maybe two. It also makes a lovely base for any lip colour. I like to lightly outline with a lip liner, then blend it all over my lips with Rêve de Miel. Yummy!

Like Winnie The Pooh's honey pot!

Like Winnie The Pooh’s honey pot!

Ingredients: Contains at least 78% natural ingredients – honey, sunflower, rosa mosqueta (musk rose), almond oil, shea butter and grapefruit essence. Paraben-free.

*this is one of those products that is a better deal in Canada than the US. It sells for $19 USD, which is around $25 CAD with values at the time of this posting. At $17 CAD, it would cost an American $13 USD to buy here.

How To Wash Sensitive & Hormonal Skin aka I’m Using Coconut Oil For Everything

How To Wash Sensitive & Hormonal Skin aka I’m Using Coconut Oil For Everything

I’m eternally a servant to the whims of my hormones. And my skin often pays the price, with breakouts and sensitivity. Sometimes simple is best, and, like many before me, I’ve found that simplifying my skincare routine and reevaluating ingredients has led me down the path to natural and organic solutions. I’ve found not everything has to be that pure, but I’ve made some changes that have surprised me and made me and my skin happy.

Cleansing is a very important part of skincare. Over clean and scrub, and you run the risk of sensitive or delicate skin reacting. Even acne prone skin doesn’t like being scrubbed and stripped, as it may start to overproduce oil to compensate for said stripping. Under clean, and you run the risk of leaving residual makeup and the dirt of the day on your skin to sink into your pores and make them angry.

Cleansers for oily acne prone skin

One of my issues is with my love of waterproof mascara. Regular mascara melts off my face like wax and it’s not pretty so waterproof is my jam. Unless it’s a tubing mascara like my standby Clinique Lash Power which washes off easily with water, most waterproof mascaras require an oil-based remover. Too much mineral oil and you can end up with bleary vision at best and at worst, milia around your eyes (it’s happened to me UGH). Too little oil and remover and you may end up tugging and pulling so much that you could actually yank out some lashes – yikes!

Lately I have been using some heavenly coconut oil products from Skinny & Co (more reviews on those to come – omg the Peppermint Oil Pull!!!) but their simple and basic Skinny Coconut Oil is absolutely perfect for removing makeup. It makes waterproof mascara melt away in a flash, as well as any other makeup I might have on. I use a gentle cotton to remove the residue around my eyes, then wash as usual. If I have time and feel like treating my face, I use a clean wet and warm face cloth and gently remove all my makeup before cleansing. I love the little travel sized jars for obvious reasons! There is something satisfying about cleaning my face with something I can also eat. Seriously.

Yes, even after that, I cleanse again. Gently! Eminence Organics ProBiotic Cleanser is a favourite – it leaves my face feeling clean and is gentle on any acne I may have, and helps fight acne with good bacteria versus anti-bacterial agents like triclosan, which have a danger of killing off bad AND good bacteria, and even making bacteria resistant. All I know is my face feels clean, clear and not stripped. It’s from Eminence Organics, which means you know its certified organic, and comes from a reputable company with a strong track record of effective and luxurious products and treatments. I love to use this in the morning before starting my day and love the gentle way it cleanses my skin.

Another favourite is Aveeno Positively Radiant Cleanser. I’ve had this in my collection and kind of forgot about it until a few weeks ago, when I saw it in my cupboard. I started using in the evening after removing my eye makeup, and even when I wasn’t wearing makeup, and remembered why I loved it! It is gentle, and their patented Active Naturals Total Soy Complex helps with skin tone, which is perfect when one may have acne spots. Aveeno Radiant Cleanser has a soft clean fragrance that I find so soothing at bedtime – one of those products that make me think “Oh if this was a perfume I’d wear it”.

Then, the final and key step is my glycolic toner. My favourite right now is Pixi Glow Tonic (another review here)! Me and everyone else, it seems! Seriously, though, this stuff is the bomb. I love how fresh and clean my skin feels after using it. I love how my blocked pores and blackheads are almost obliterated, and how soft and smooth it makes my skin, preparing it for any skincare and beauty products I apply. Something I’ve noticed lately has made me very happy. I have suffered from milia on my jawline and neck for years. As my skin has been changing over the last few years, it has definitely gotten worse. Well, using Glow Tonic morning and night has been the first product I’ve used that has made me notice a visible reduction in that milia. Yay!

wash your face with coconut oil


So – these are my current cleansing loves and obsessions. If you suffer from any of the same skin issues as I, please try these! And if you have any secret products and tricks, share!

Lauren B Beauty Nail Couture: Clean Luxury For Your Nails

Lauren B Beauty Nail Couture: Clean Luxury For Your Nails

I recently had the opportunity to try the nail polish line from Lauren B Beauty, the California beauty line created by Lauren B (niece of hair guru to the stars, Philip B). A lifelong lover of fashion and beautiful things, especially colour, Lauren decided to pursue a life in the beauty business.

“Philip encouraged her to follow her dream. “She’s another me – as passionate about nails as I am about hair!” he says. This along with the support from her entrepreneurial minded father Paul and wisdom from her mother Cheryl, along with close family and loved ones who all inspired Lauren to make her dream a reality. Lauren then carted her demanding wish list to the world’s top chemists and set about creating the perfect brand. The result, she says, is “the perfect, two-week, do-it-yourself manicure for busy women. The polishes swipe on expertly, easily. They dry fast, stay delightfully glossy and chip-free for at least 14 days, and don’t cost a fortune. Every color is one that I’d wear; every treatment is one that I swear by. I even created a perfect nude for every skin tone – though actually, I wear them all.” They’re all a joy to use, even on the go and they are all inspired by the beauty of L.A. the place Lauren now calls her home turf. Our products are proudly made in the U.S.A. and never tested on animals. Everything we create is vegan-friendly and free of harsh chemicals like formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, formaldehyde resin and camphor.”

Lauren B Beauty nail polish review dalybeauty

Lauren B Cuticle Oil & Nail Polish Remover Pads

Lauren B’s botanical nail care is gorgeous, luxurious and effective. The Cuticle Oil ($20 usd) has been a favourite since the I first used it. It smells beautiful (key for me!) and makes my cuticles and nails happy. A combination of 12 nut and plant oils, I apply this before my manicure and at night when I’m chilling out. I wish I had a giant bottle because I’d love to use it head to toe. Lauren B Nail Polish Remover Pads  ($15 usd) are something else altogether, and kind of blew my mind when I first used them. They’re acetone-free, infused with floral essences, they leave your skin silky and moisturized.

Lauren B nail polish review dalybeauty

from left: Lauren B Nail Perfecter, Espesso on 3rd, Gel-Like Top Coat

I was able to try one of the shades from the Fall 2015 collection, a five-free brown polish with a hint of shimmer called Espresso On 3rd ($18 usd). If you had told me I would wear a frosty brown polish, like, ever, I would have said NO. Then I put this beauty on and it was love at first sight. The Lauren B Nail Perfecter  ($20 usd) is a ridge filler/tinted base coat hybrid that creates a perfect canvas for smooth application. We like to call these polishes “nail undies”.  The Lauren B Gel-Like Top Coat ($28 usd)ensures a glossy, cushiony surface that lasts for days. Feast your eyes:

Lauren B Beauty Espresso on 3rd nail polish

How gorgeous is this shade? Lauren B Espresso On 3rd in nautral sunlight

I’m always happy to discover a new beauty line, and finding one full of heart and passion that is also gentle makes me happy. Verdict? Love.


Lauren B products can be purchased on their website  or find a retailer here.


Spicy Flowers With A Hint of Danger: Bond No9 Chinatown Perfume

Spicy Flowers With A Hint of Danger: Bond No9 Chinatown Perfume

I love floral perfumes, and I love fruity perfumes. I especially love gardenia and peach notes in perfume, which is what is at the heart of Bond No9 Chinatown, a cult favourite from the line, loved by women and men for it’s audacious combination of notes. I say audacious because unlike most perfumes I’m drawn to, this one is a powerhouse, and not only for the Def Con levels of peachy flowers. The base of patchouli and cardamon takes the flowers on a spicy ride, and one would normally imagine they might over power the normally delicate notes of peach and gardenia, but one would be dead wrong. Bond No9’s site does not mention tuberose, but I know it’s there, and if any flower could stand next to patchouli as an equal, it would be the hypnotic tuberose. The notes I read most online are:

Top notes: peach blossoms and bergamot

Middle/heart notes: gardenia, honey, tuberose, peony and orange blossom

Base notes: patchouli, cedar, vanilla, sandalwood, cardamom, and Guiac wood

Bond No9 Chinatown perfume review dalybeauty

My Chinatown nestled into one of my Russian scarves, for a perfect cool weather multicultural perfume experience


Bond No9 Chinatown is characterized as an Oriental Floral. I smell honeyed flowers, and I smell spicy woods, but the reality is that it’s quite hard to pick out individual notes in this beauty. I have to share the review from Luca Turin & Tania Sanchez’s definitive perfume encyclopedia, Perfumes: The Guide, because it’s so wonderful. If you don’t have this book and you are into perfume, get it! Even though I have read it cover to cover, I still love to use it for reference. *Perfume nerd alert* I even have it in e-version on my phone so I can reference it whenever, wherever. The quote:

“Composed by the young Aurelien Guichard (son of the great Jean of Roure, now Givaudan), it is one of those fragrances that smells so immediately, compellingly, irresistibly great that the only sane response is love at first sniff. Chinatown is at once oddly familiar and very surprising, as if the lyrics in a favorite love song had been rearranged to make a new poem, just as affecting but unplanned by the original author. On the one hand, Chinatown harks back to classic, haughty green chypres like Cabochard, Givenchy III, and the first Scherrer. On the other hand, it has an odd, almost medicinal note reminiscent of the mouthwatering dried-fruit smell of Prunol, a base original composed by Edmond Roudnitska for the defunct firm of De Laire. The combination strikes a precarious but totally convincing balance between remoteness and affability that suggests a personality at once full of charm and dangerous to know. Some people find it too sweet. To my nose it smells liked a corner of a small French grocery in summer, in the exact spot where the smell of floor wax meets that of ripe peaches. A treasure in a beautiful bottle.”

I agree with the “oddly familiar and very surprising” assessment. I keep thinking it reminds me of something (Opium? Kenzo L’Elephant?) but I think that’s the cardamon or the patchouli. Because then I sniff my wrist again and think noooo it’s so floral is that Fracas I smell? Well no, because to my nose Fracas is cool and almost metallic and Chinatown is warm and peachy. And peppery. Is there incense in there? Maybe…maybe that is the woodsy notes one might smell in a Buddhist temple. On one hand it’s warm, peppery and spicy, and on the other, it’s calming and almost meditative, like I’m standing under a peach blossom tree, or on a cedar deck after the rain, with peach blossoms falling around me while I have a cup of chai tea.

Bond Skyfall's Severine is probably wearing Bond No9 Chinatown - devastatingly sexy

Bond Skyfall’s Severine is probably wearing Bond No9 Chinatown – devastatingly sexy

My nose picks up stuff that is not mentioned anywhere but is likely a amalgam of notes: gingerbread, smoke, bubblegum, with a creamy coconut note that almost reminds me of the ghost of the 80s monster Giorgio Beverly Hills. But in a good way. This perfume works all year round, but I particularly love it in cool weather. The base notes sing, and make the flowers wrap themselves around me like a warm scarf. It’s unabashedly sexy and the spicy notes make this floral perfectly suitable for boys and girls.

Bond No9 New York perfumes are sold at perfume counters in luxury boutiques and department stores, as well as on their website. Chinatown is $220 USD for a 50ml bottle, and  $310 USD for a 100ml.

Nourish Your Skin & Your Well Being With Decleor Aroma Nutrition

Nourish Your Skin & Your Well Being With Decleor Aroma Nutrition

I’m obsessed with skincare – I admit it. The more oils, lotions, creams and potions I can put on my skin, the happier I am. Combine my love of skincare with my love of perfume and I’m one happy camper. Ok wait, make that one happy hotel guest, because I love not camping.

frankincense incense smoke

Decleor knows skincare AND fragrance and combine the two for luxurious skin treatments that also have aromatherapeutic benefits. What a perfect double whammy. Their newest body line, Aroma Nutrition, reveals new glowing skin while nourishing and softening the skin. The after-shower products are infused with frankincense, which has been used for thousands of years in skincare and aromatherapy. It’s renown for it’s magical regenerating, soothing and repairing properties. Fundamentally, it promotes calmness, serenity and relaxation. These indications will always be present, no matter how frankincense is used, and for what. Frankincense essential oil is great for skin care and nearly everything related to skin; burns, rashes, cuts, scrapes and wounds. It’s also fabulous for mature, prematurely ageing, and environmentally challenged skin. Ahhhh and it smells like heaven. I think I need a silk kaftan.

Decleor Aroma Nutrition cream oil scrub dalybeauty

from left: Satin Softening Dry Oil, Nourishing Rich Body Cream, 1000 Grain Body Exfoliator

1000 Grain Body Exfoliator (200ml – $49) Ahhhhh this is amazing! This body scrub contains argan shell, pearl sugar and orange peel for gentle exfoliation, sweet almond and sunflowers oils to help strengthen the hydrolipid barrier that keeps moisture in our skin, and fragranced gently with graperfruit for a fresh fruity and sparkling fragrance. This delightful honey-coloured gel turns into an oil when massaged into the skin, then into a luxurious milk that rinses away beautifully.

Aroma Nutrition Nourishing Rich Body Cream (200ml – $59) This delicious and rich body cream combines the amazing essential oil of Frankincense, plum kernel oil which is rich in essential fatty acids, and shea butter for a luxe and soft texture. This enveloping and luxuriant cream nourishes and repais the skin while it strengthens it’s barrier function. This cream comforts and softens the driest skin, making it velvety smooth and deliciously divine smelling.

Satin Softening Dry Oil (100ml – $59) Essential oil of Frankincense is blended with the divine camellia, rose and sweet almond oils for nourished, soft and supple skin. The gentle fragrance is sensuous and sublime, and the rich resiny base creates a soft and delicate perfumed veil that calms and soothes the senses. I use it head to toe after the shower, on my body, and then spritz a tiny bit on my hands and brush my fingers through my hair.

I have been using Decleor Aroma Nutrition scrub in every shower and bath, and the cream and oil after every shower and bath. Now all I need is a perfume that smells like this little slice of heaven. Verdict is love, of course.