Guerlain Mahora: A Tuberose Sandalwood Coconut Ylang Slap In The Face (Vintage)

Guerlain Mahora: A Tuberose Sandalwood Coconut Ylang Slap In The Face (Vintage)

Guerlain Mahora is a reviled Guerlain offering from 1999, partially I think because it should have been release in 1985. Or maybe even 1965. It’s lush, animalic, unapologetically rich and, to me, absolutely gorgeous. Mahora is Jacques Guerlain’s last creation for the house, released after Guerlain’s other weird and divisive Samsara. I happen to love Samsara, but as I’ve said, I prefer the vintage, and only in tiny doses.

Guerlain Mahora vintage ad dalybeauty

This ad is perfect – Mahora is all H E A T

Mahora is named after the island near Madagascar where Guerlain owns an ylang ylang plantation, with the intended effect being to mirror that feeling when you step off a plane in a lush tropical paradise and the ripe fragrant flora of the island hits you smack in the nose. Seriously? Give me more, I say! The predominant notes of Mahora, to my nose, are tuberose, frangipani, ylang ylang and sandalwood. There’s a green stemmy accord, along with vetiver, and seriously it transports me to a rainforest. The green notes add another level of weirdness but in the best way. It’s ripe and every note is dialed right up to maximum levels. There is no coconut but this particular combination of tropical flowers always smells sweet and milky, with a coconut-tanning oil vibe, along with a banana-like note. If I haven’t lost you yet, you need to track some of this stuff down. It has been released again under a new name by Guerlain, Mayotte, in a bee bottle for around $280 USD, but reasonably priced Mahora is still floating around at discounters. I’ve tried the new version and it’s not EXACTLY the same. Close, but not as bombastic. Still, I want it.

I love to wear Mahora in cool weather, as it is sometimes almost too much and “close” in high heat. Although, Mahora was pretty much made for hot sexy summer nights. But on a cool November grey day, wearing Mahora is like wearing liquid sunshine.

Do you have any perfumes that are traditionally “summer” scents but that you love to wear in cool weather?



Show Some Skin: Bioderma, Hampton Sun, Charlotte Tilbury & Nuxe

Show Some Skin: Bioderma, Hampton Sun, Charlotte Tilbury & Nuxe

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, I love having soft touchable skin that looks as good as it feels. When it comes to peel off those jeans and don sundresses and shorts, I like to feel glam despite being in a dark nightmarish winter cave with no sunshine for months. No need to worry because tanned and toned skin is a bottle (or two) away.

Bioderma Photoderm Self Tanner

 I will always love St Tropez self tanning mousse, but I have a new self tanner that I adore. Bioderma Photoderm Self Tanner is easy to use and gradual, which means it is almost foolproof. It has built in moisturizers that condition and protect the skin, while giving it the perfect glow, with no orange and no bad smells. It actually smells soft and nice. I make sure to exfoliate, head to toe, in the shower. Then, I moisturize with one of my favourite moisturizers, and let my skin absorb it, making sure to add extra lotion on my knees, elbows, hands and feet. Then, I mist myself, head to toe, and ask my daughter to do my back and the backs of my legs. I do a little bit of blending, then let it dry while I do my hair and makeup. I will do this two or three times to get a nice glow on, then maintain with a once weekly misting.

Now that you have your tan on, lets add some glow! I have a couple products that never fail to make my skin glow.

Hampton Sun Bronze Shimmer Cooling Spray

Hampton Sun Bronze Shimmer Cooling Spray ($32 US) may be my favourite body product to date. It mists on like a dream, in a soft even mist, leaving only the softest shimmer behind. It’s full of skin-nourishing goodness as well, with aloe, chamomile, grape seed extract and vitamins A through E. And, with that heavenly Hampton Sun Privet Bloom fragrance, I feel like I’m on a east coast beach holiday with sunkissed skin, ready to break out some crisp white linen, or my favourite sundress. Seriously, this product is a must – have for all you sun goddesses (and gods!) out there.

Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Body

Charlotte Tilbury is the queen of glowing skin! Seriously, this beauty line has everyone you need to get your glow on. The Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Body ($78) is utter genius. It is gorgeous bronze shimmery “precious metal” cream that is basically a golden highlighter for your body. How does that work? Well, you highlight what you want to emphasize. A popular beauty trick is to add a soft line of highlighter down the bridge of the nose – this draws the eye and gives the appearance of a smaller, slimmer nose. Using shimmery body makeup the same way has been a trick photographers have used for years, and now we can do the same! Trust me – it is more subtle than it sounds, and just adds a sexy contour to your legs and/or arms. Supermodel Body has a metal applicator that rolls and cools the skin while applying a perfect amount of product on the legs. A little goes a long way, and this tube will last me ages. I blend it out a little bit and boom – I’m ready for the cat walk.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse

You don’t think I’d make this list and leave out Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, did you? Come on! I like the big bottle, with the spray. I think all body oil products should have sprays. It just makes application that much easier. I have been raving about the delicately scented and beautifully moisturizing Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse for years. You can read about it here.

How do you like to glow?



Bioderma and Nuxe are sold at drugstores in Canada, Charlotte Tilbury is sold online and at select stores in the USA and at Holt Renfrew Toronto & Vancouver in Canada as of July 2015. Hampton Sun is available at select stores and online.

Perfumes That Smell Like Warm Sunny Days

Perfumes That Smell Like Warm Sunny Days

Lately I have been thinking about my perfumes in groups. Like, these are my favourite roses, these are the violets, these are the skin scents, these are the rainy day perfumes, these are the divas etc etc. As I lit my Sage Lifestyle candle last night, I started thinking about perfumes that make me think of warm sunny days. Perfume is a multisensory experience for me, and associating tastes, colours, sensations of touch and sound are all part of journey. Sometimes all it takes is a quick sniff of a perfume to send me off on a fantastic journey.

Coming around to the end of a long, cold winter has me craving sunshine. I took a good sniff around my collection, looking for sunny days. This is what I found:

Cali Blue Perfume dalybeauty

Cali Blue

This is a favourite of mine! I have the oil version of Cali Blue and it’s the perfect pick me up and I feel happier the instant I put it on! It’s like an ocean breeze and warm skin. Interesting back story about the creator of Cali Blue. Kimberly Brown Lemler, was diagnosed with EBV (Epstein-Barr Virus) and MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity). She could not wear any kind of fragrance or be around household cleaners, detergents, etc. She spent many years in this condition, dreaming of the day when she could again wear fragrances again. Cali Blue is what she created for herself, and she wanted to share it with everyone. If you love fresh, clean and gentle scents that are simple, pretty and easy to wear, you need Cali Blue. This cool, cult perfume is a must-have in the world of boring perfumes. The west coast in a bottle! From the site: Cali Blue has a citrus medley of natural lemon, orange, mandarin and bergamot in the top-note, a floral bouquet of lily, lavender, rose and a whisper of night blooming jasmine in the middle, and an ambery, vanilla, musky sage-like base-note. The combination is a clean, beachy fragrance, reminiscent of spending vacations at the shore… Wearing Cali Blu feels like you’ve been walking on the beach, in the sunshine, with wildflowers blowing in the wind nearby, and the ocean spray kissing your face.

sage machado turquoise perfume dalybeauty

Sage Turquoise

I am obsessed with Sage Machado perfumes- have you tried them? Sage puts her heart and soul into her perfumes, and each one is like a little poem ode to something she truly loves. You can tell as soon as you put it on your skin. In 1998 Sage Machado opened her gorgeous jewellery store in Los Angeles. Soon afterwards she decided to put her creativity and talent to work with perfumes as well as jewellery, and she based the perfumes on the gemstones she uses in her creations. From their site: Named after that vivid blue-green stone favored as an ornament across continents throughout the ages, Turquoise is an effervescent scent that stirs the spirit with oceanic beauty. Its youthful, enlivening top note accord of blue chamomile, grapefruit, cassis and ozone elements glistens like fragrant, sun-kissed sea spray. Turquoise’s base note accord of watery, flower-infused musk melds with Mysore sandalwood for a dry down of freshly subtle depth. Certain Native American tribes revere Turquoise for its healing properties, which arguably are shared by the timeless, deep blue seas of the world that also inspired this fragrance fit for a mermaid. It is so refreshing and uplifting, and the grapefruit-cassis combination is so bright and sunny. It just makes you feel…happy.

the 7 virtues afghanistan orange blossom dalybeauty

7 Virtues Orange Blossom

Another gorgeous favourite, this pretty pretty orange blossom perfume is lovely and uncomplicated – when you want to smell wonderful, and feel good, too, you need this beauty. Soapy, clean and sparkling, like sunshine through the leaves of a tree. From their site: A joyous fragrance, Afghanistan Orange Blossom is layered with notes of freesia and jasmine. This precious organic oil is made from delicate orange blossoms harvested by Afghan farmers who bravely choose to tend these ancient groves instead of the poppy crop. Read my review of The 7 Virtues Orange Blossom here.

estee lauder bronze goddess eau fraiche dalybeauty

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche Skinscent

Seriously, if you love beachy perfumes, you need this in your collection! It is an eau fraiche, which is a light and soft eau de toilette – perfect for daytime and office wear. From their site: The fragrance that worships every inch of you. The original, alluring Eau Fraîche you know and love—back for another Spring/Summer season. A sensuous, sun-drenched blend of Bergamot, warm Amber, Tiare Flower and Vanilla combined with delicious creamy Coconut. All heat. All desire. All woman. Tom Ford had collaborated with Estée Lauder in 2007 with the beachy Azuree Soleil Eau Fraiche, an immediate sell out everywhere! Having had both, I cannot tell the difference. The flowers are sweet and feminine, and the amber-vanilla-coconut combo is like sunkissed skin. It is a perfect beachy “skinscent”.

Guerlain Terracotta La Parfum

Guerlain TerracottaLe Parfum

Guerlain Terracotta powders are legendary, and pretty much guarantee a softly bronzed look, like you just got back from from the south of France. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Terracotta, Guerlain’s in-house perfumer, the brilliant Thierry Wasser, created Terracotta Le Parfum. So now, you can also smell like you just back from the south of France, or more suitably, la plage. From their site: The fragrance’s intricate harmony opens on captivatingly fresh notes of bergamot, before developing into a heart of tiaré flower and ylang ylang. One of Guerlain’s emblematic ingredients, ylang ylang infuses scents with its warmth. Its sweet, sensual signature finally reveals a delicious vanilla-tinged dry-down. It is a softly sweet floral scent that manages to be beachy without being like a pina colada. If I had to compare it to anything, I’d say it smells like a soft and sophisticated Monoi fragrance. The white flowers really play centre stage in Terracotta, and the vanilla is subtle and gorgeous.

L'artisan_l'ete en douce

L’ Artisan Parfumeur L’Ete en Douce

This is yet another favourite of mine – choosing just one favourite perfume would be like choosing a favourite child. I love them all!!! L’Artisan Parfumeur excels at beautiful and elegant scents that are gentle, easy to wear and elegant. Never cloying, and never loud. L’Été en Douce is like a warm summer breeze in a bottle. This is summer in a meadow, not the beach, and is based around linden and hay notes. I grew up on a street lined with linden trees, and this scent reminds me of hot summer evenings, after a bath, sitting on the front porch in my pjs with my brother, eating orange popsicles. It has a clean linen feel as well, which is always a winner for me. From the site: L’Eté en Douce is all about purity and light. It is quiet and soft, the scent of clean white sheets drying in garden rich with orange blossom and shimmering dewy grass. The gentle blend of linden and white musks has hints of freshly cut hay and willow. Wandering through a golden landscape , this is L’Eté en Douce, the softest of summers. It is fresh and green, and I get the clean laundry note as well – like cotton dried in hot sunshine and breeze. I also smell something that makes me think of almond scented soap, and I adore it.

CB I Hate Perfume At The Beach 1966

CB I Hate Perfume At The Beach 1966

Christopher Brosius is a memory maker, and is more about “smells” than perfume. He hates perfumes, and sometimes I have to say I agree with him. Yes, I said it. But stick me in an elevator with someone wearing too much perfume, and I simply hate it. Anyways, CB I Hate Perfume At The Beach 1966 appeals to me for two reasons – firstly, the year of my birth, and secondly, the construction of the scent. Here is what he says about it: The prime note in this scent is Coppertone 1967 blended with a new accord I created especially for this perfume – North Atlantic. The base of the scent contains a bit of Wet Sand, Seashell, Driftwood and just a hint of Boardwalk. The effect when you wear At The Beach 1966 is as if you’ve been swimming all day in the ocean. And you know what? It is exactly that. Which is why I love it. A sweet summer memory in a bottle, that also happens to smell yummy on the skin. The salty ocean scent mingles with the Coppertone, and gives it a softly floral feel, although it is decidedly unisex (spoiler alert – all perfumes are unisex).

Creed Virgin Island Water

Creed Virgin Island Water

This scent is for true beach lovers. It features a delicious coconut note that is never too sweet, as the lime balances it out perfectly. It is light and soft, and perfect on a man or woman. It is an elegant beachy scent, to be worn on a beach somewhere “near Ginger Island, an uninhabited Xanadu in the Virgin Islands ruled by the British crown“. And it “captures the tropical splendor of scents carried in the trade winds of Sir Francis Drake Channel in the Caribbean“. Um, where do I sign up? How about these delicious notes: coconut, lime, white bergamot and mandarin orange, ginger, ylang-ylang and Indian jasmine, sugar cane, white rum, and musk from Tonkin. The ginger, sugar can and musk become creamy and velvety, almost mouth watering. Try it!

There are others that I should mention: Bobbi Brown Beach, Jennifer Anniston’s perfume (yes really), Kai, and the odd, discontinued but still can be found ones: Jil Sander Sun, which is lovely, and Salvador Dali Laguna – which I haven’t smelled in  years, but remember loving. What are your favourite summer scents?

How Perfume Boredom Led To i smell great™

How Perfume Boredom Led To i smell great™

Regular readers of my blog know that I can count the number of times I’ve written a rave review about a newly released perfume on one hand. I love perfume, and I love writing about perfume, but the only perfumes that have interested me enough to write about have either been niche, which often means expensive and/or hard to find, or vintage and vanished from the market. I hoard my vintage perfumes that will never be made again, and I resent having to pay a fortune for some niche brand that uses the same ingredients as everyone else.

By now everyone knows about i smell great™, the perfume brand created by Randi Shinder and myself. Randi created and launched three beauty brands that were so groundbreaking they formed new categories in fragrance and skin care. And, we are both perfume junkies, in the truest sense of the word. We eat, sleep and breathe perfume. We obsess about scents and flavours all. The. Time. Stimulate our sense of smell or taste, and we are already dreaming about how this or that would work in perfume. Both of us have been obsessive “noses” since we can remember. Scents haunt us, and they haunted us until we captured them and bottled them, like perfume ghosts.

Randi and I would often get so excited about a scent we would hear about. Then, we’d try it and find it was pretty much exactly the same as many many perfumes before it. Cue the sad trombones. Newsflash: the industry is full of imitation. If one perfume has commercial success, wait for every other designer to release a perfume that smells “similar”. They copy the successful one, maybe tweak it a tiny bit (and maybe not) and then call it something else. Just wander around any perfume department and smell all the top sellers. A well developed nose will be able to find the sameness in everything.

The names are often ridiculous and have nothing to do with what the perfume smells like. Reveal, Downtown, Encounter and how about 18 different editions of Eternity for women and another 14 Eternity versions for men? Oy. Sorry, Calvin, but you aren’t even trying anymore. Talk about phoning it in.

Then there is this business of “notes” in perfume. It used to mean a lot more, and still does with some niche and artisanal perfumers. But for most mainstream perfumes, that cacophony of  top, middle and base notes aren’t really telling us what the perfume smells like. It’s ad copy. It’s a romantic idea of the scent. Yes, yes, some of those synthetic molecules are meant to smell like certain things, but that doesn’t mean assembling them together as if you are Jacques Guerlain (SPOILER ALERT: YOU ARE NOT) is going to create another Shalimar. It’s like a habit that the consumer thinks they need to know. Do you? I know I don’t care. I want to know if it smells good, and those vague and random recipes and notes rarely tell me anything about the scent.

So. Why not make perfumes for the masses, why not make perfumes for those who really just want to wear an uncomplicated scent that just smells great? Why not make perfumes that don’t cause headaches, perfumes that don’t choke everyone around you with chemical scent enhancers that elevate perfume projection to nuclear levels? Yes, lady who bathes in Angel before getting on that elevator, I’m looking at YOU. Stop. Now.

I can’t wait to share how Randi and I came to create our perfumes. How the things we loved became perfumes. How the scented products that accompany the perfumes have bases that were just as important as the perfumes. I challenge you to spray your hands with i smell great™ Wellness Water Fragrance Mist. The luxurious base of purified water and skin-healthy ingredients means you can rub it in and it will feel great as well as smell great. Go ahead and try that with a mainstream body mist. Be careful though, it will probably dissolve your nail polish.

Stay tuned for more of our story!

Guerlain Samsara, Heaven In A Bottle (Vintage)

Guerlain Samsara, Heaven In A Bottle (Vintage)

Guerlain Samsara is definitely a bombastic perfume. There are two stories about the origin of this perfume which was released in 1989. The romantic story of the scent itself tells us that Jean-Paul Guerlain sought inspiration in China and Tibet to create Samsara,  The Sanskrit word, translated, means “continuous flow”.

Dhyana Mudra, the perfect balance of thought, rest of the senses, and tranquillity.

Dhyana Mudra, the perfect balance of thought, rest of the senses, and tranquillity.

“Samsara is a Sanskrit word that has its roots in Hinduism. It signifies the cycle of birth and rebirth, the perpetual voyage from one existence to the next, the wheel of life that keeps on turning. Samsara is an invitation to serenity and harmony, with oneself and with the world. It is an homage to the woman who is ever in search of serenity.”

samsara parfum

Guerlain Samsara vintage parfum/extrait

samsara edt

How fitting that sandalwood would figure in this scent- again images of temples, incense, prayer and meditation come to mind when one gets a whiff of sandalwood. The marketing story reminds us that it was 1985, an era of power scents and Samsara was created to get in on this action. Opium, Obsession and Chanel Coco were hot selling heavy orientals in a big 80s way, and Guerlain did a perfect job creating a contender with Samsara.


Back to bombastic. The notes from Guerlain speak of “a spellbinding predominance of jasmine. Rose, narcissus and ylang-ylang embellish the fragrance, the better to unite it with the radiant and generous warmth of sandalwood. Lastly, iris, Tonka bean and vanilla render this remarkable fragrance sublime”. I totally agree. There is the classic Guerlain base, commonly known as “Guerlinade” that most (not all) of the classic Guerlains have in common. This is a composition of several perfume notes but notably jasmine, iris, tonka and vanilla. I could drink this it is so divine- it makes you want to lean in and devour the wearer. So, take the Guerlinade, amp up the jasmine to almost obscene levels (in the best way!), then add a combination of pure and synthetic sandalwood at top volume and somehow the sandalwood grounds the jasmine and the jasmine lightens the sandalwood. A perfect and magical combination.

As with many perfumes today, there are different vintages of Samsara, the earlier ones containing more pure sandalwood. There is parfum (purest concentration of perfume), eau de parfum (more alchohol and not as concentrated than parfum) and eau de toilette (most common and less concentrated than eau de parfum and parfum) available in the Samsara line. I have the “vintage” (pre 1990) parfum and eau de toilette as I find the eau de parfum to be the 80s killer BIG PERFUME, but your mileage may vary. They are all powerful in that 80s sense but it’s all in the application. I lightly mist the eau de toilette with divine results. A few dabs of the parfum are intoxicating, the jasmine mingling with the sandalwood in a magical dance that teases forth from the skin. I often dab some on at bedtime (I never get into bed without perfume) and in the morning I can still smell it on my wrists. Samsara’s density makes it wear beautifully in cooler temperatures.

Samsara is one of those perfumes that smell wonderful wafting up from a pashmina or sweater. What are your favourite cozy scarf and sweater perfumes?

Radiant Skin – Aftelier And Rodin, Facial Oils That Are Making Me Glow Right Now

Radiant Skin – Aftelier And Rodin, Facial Oils That Are Making Me Glow Right Now

I am a huge proponent of oils for moisturizing. For the body, the face, cuticles, nails and hair. Aroma M, Kiehl’s, Aftelier, Osmia Organics and Providence Perfumes, just to name a few of my favourites. Oil is a quick and efficient way to add much needed moisture and nutrition to our skin, as the molecules are smell enough to penetrate skin on contact. The oils I use and love also have the added benefit of smelling delicious, like a perfume that does wonderful things for your skin.

Lately even my oily skin has been in need of some extra moisturizing TLC. I’ve been alternating applying a few drops of oil on my face at bedtime and morning, to just adding a few drops to my regular moisturizer. Both methods work beautifully. If I’m using a serum at bedtime, I just wait for it to “sink in”, then apply my oil to my skin. One really only does have to use a few drops of these oils as they are super-concentrated. I adore both of these, but Aftelier oils are among my favourites in the world. Really. If you haven’t tried them.

aftelier organic ylang face elixir

Aftelier Organic Ylang Face Elixir ( $65, 15ml) I am a huge Aftelier fan, and the Organic Ylang Exlixir is no exception. It is a lush and luxurious oil that feels rich and moisturizing immediately upon application. I have been using it morning and night on my neck and definitely see results. It’s moisturizing benefits linger all day, and I love the way it feels on my skin. It does have a rather intense floral scent, so you should sample before buying.

From the website: 

Featuring organic ylang ylang, a creamy floral blended with bright pink grapefruit and blood orange both known for their toning and softening properties. The soothing aroma is both fresh and floral. Our face elixir is in a base of the following organic oils: rice bran, sweet almond, apricot kernel, camellia, grapeseed, squalene, and rose hip seed. These oils are chosen for their ability to promote cell regeneration. 

rodin olio lusso face oil

Rodin Olio Lusso Face Oil ($150, 29ml) This is a gorgeous and luxurious “cult” beauty item. It is rich, and this beautiful golden elixir applied at bedtime ensures a dewy glow when you wake up. Even in this climate! One word of warning – if you are sensitive to scented products, be sure to test this before buying. It smells quite intensely of jasmine, which I frankly love! They have a travel set which is a perfect way to try ALL the Rodin oils. I still have to try the Lip Balm, so stay tuned for my impressions!

From the website:

Olio lusso is made from a blend of 11 essential oils derived from flowers and botanicals. Creator, Linda Rodin, spent over a year making the elixir to satisfy her own beauty needs; the outcome is nothing short of wonderful! Applied morning and night, olio lusso is perfect for anyone seeking hydrated skin, and a luminous complexion. Apply a few drops of RODIN olio lusso on a clean, moist face morning and night.

If you have dry skin, and want to be moisturized, you really should consider adding skin oils to your routine. If you are a user of Clarins or Decleor face oils, then you already know what I’m talking about, and need to try these exclusive niche products. You won’t regret it. And if you do use oils, do yourself a favour and get glowing with Aftelier and Rodin.



Le Labo Jasmin 17, Guerlain Eau de Lit & Perfume Layering

Le Labo Jasmin 17, Guerlain Eau de Lit & Perfume Layering

Brigitte Bardot's smoking in bed (3)

Le Labo is a nifty perfume house out of NYC that has a cool aesthetic to their brand. Their counter/boutiques have an old school apothecary lab vibe and they dispense their perfumes while you wait, and print out a custom label with your name on it for your perfume. Gives it a perfume prescription feel, like it was made just for you. I’m on the fence on this concept, as I feel it could make for inaccuracies when doling out perfume into bottles, but that’s just me. So far I have yet to be disappointed in one of their scents, and find them all pretty gorgeous. My favourites are Ambrette 9 and Jasmin 17, and I adore layering them. The idea behind their fragrance names is the first word, ie Jasmin (french for jasmine) is the main ingredient, and the number afterwards denotes the number of supporting “notes”. I suppose that could work, although for the most part you know how I feel about “notes”. At any rate, who cares, because the perfumes are lovely. Feminine, masculine, sexy and soft – Le Labo has something for everyone. They even have candles and laundry detergent (brilliant!) in matching scents.

le labo ambrette 9

I have Ambrette 9 in an eau de toilette. It is marketed as a baby scent, so trust me when I say it is the softest perfume I have ever ever worn. It smells like the air in the bathroom after shampooing baby hair with J&J No More Tears shampoo. Ambrette is a natural seed that mimics musks and can smell sweet, lovely and skin-like, or like pickles. Le Labo managed to encourage the former out of the note and I love it. This is one you can keep in your fridge and spritz on cool when the weather is all melty, and of course, I like to wear it to bed.

le labo jasmine 17 perfume balm

Le Labo perfumes also come in a balm format – a silicone based gel substance that is a wonderful carrier for perfume. It doesn’t spill and is easy to apply – just rub a few drops in and you’re done. It is a terrific way to keep your perfume gentle and close to the skin, and that is how I like my Jasmin 17. I think Le Labo Jasmin 17 should be called Orange Blossom because that is the note that stands out to me. There is a wee bit of jasmine but it is overwhelmingly orange blossom to my nose. Funny, because they have a Fleur d’Oranger 27 that is even more orange blossomy. I suppose I get a wee bit of jasmine in the top and in the deep dry down, but it matters not, as it is a beautiful white floral perfume and that is what I love. The singular aspect of the two Le Labos I own make them ideal for layering, and layering I do! If you read my blog you know layering perfumes is pretty much What I Do. I recently acquired a Guerlain scent I’d been lusting over and finally found – Guerlain Eau de Lit. Eau de Lit is about as soft as they come and smells like the perfect fruity floral – soft bergamot, neroli warmed up with vanilla, musk, sage and star anise make this so delicious I want to lick my arms. It was created for spraying on your sheets – Eau de Lit translates loosely to “bed water”, which is interesting… – but in my opinion it’s too pretty to just use in bed. My friend Dane says it smells like “pretty water” and he was shocked I didn’t already own a bottle. Now I do!

guerlain eau de lit

So – Eau de Lit with some Le Labo Jasmin 17 balm on my pulse points, on the nape of my neck, decolletage etc. and I am smelling purty…Do you layer your perfumes? What are some of your favourite combinations?

I get my Le Labo perfumes at Gee Beauty in Toronto. FYI-  they ship.

Suresh Royal Jasmine Lip Balm – Kisses Like Flowers

Suresh Royal Jasmine Lip Balm – Kisses Like Flowers

jasmine lip balm

My name is Jane and I am a lip balm junkie. Yes, I admit it! My favourite lip balms are the smooth silky ones that leave a satiny finish on the lips, like La Mer Lip Balm and Chanel Hydramax Lip Care. You may also know that I am a jasmine lover. The scent of jasmine, the queen of flowers, is one of my most favourite perfume notes. So, bundle the two up into one gorgeous product and you have a winner.

From Suresh Beauty website: A decadent balm that intensely nourishes lips. Non-greasy formula infused with Royal Jasmine oil soothes, heals, and protects dry, damaged, chapped lips. Delivers long-term comfort by maintaining optimum hydration levels. Handcrafted with a potent multivitamin complex and moisture-rich ingredients including olive fruit oil, soybean oil, beeswax, and carnauba wax. Accents of Tahitian Vanilla oil calm the senses. Emollient, lip conditioning, and lip brightening.

cleopatra kiss

It feels smooth and gentle on the lips and just glides beautifully on. It feels healing going on and my poor dry lips feel immediately hydrated. But the scent is what takes me over the edge. It smells like beautiful tropical jasmine, like the most delicate perfume. I was rhapsodizing over Suresh Royal Jasmine Lip Balm the other day, calling it “perfume for my lips” when the brilliant Phillip Picardi (Beauty Editor at Lifestyle Mirror) reminded me of something. Legend has it Cleopatra used to dab perfume on her upper lip, so that when a lover kissed her, he would have something to remember her by – I remember reading this in a Vogue piece about a perfume party Shiva Rose hosted with Mandy Aftel. It stuck with me. Did you know legend has it that Cleopatra also scented the sails of her barge?

cleopatra barge

Lips that smell like jasmine? How…romantic.

You can buy Suresh Beauty Royal Jasmine Lip Balm, $21, from the Suresh website or for international shipping, New London Pharmacy in NYC.

Smell Like The Future: Robert Piguet Futur Perfume

Smell Like The Future: Robert Piguet Futur Perfume

Robert Piguet Futur is one of their original fragrances, originally released in the 60s.  At some point it was discontinued, likely due in part to the 60+ ingredients in the original version. Yesterday’s Perfumes has an enchanting review of the vintage formula. It’s been re-released and reworked with published notes of  bergamot, neroli, violet, jasmine, ylang, vetiver, cedar, patchouli. This perfume makes me think of the sounds of brilliantly discordant jazz. It seems haphazard but somehow it works and is strangely beautiful.

Futur is a “green” scent, and true to a good green perfume, I smell a ton of forest and resinous galbanum. It’s not listed as an ingredient but that may just be because by today’s perfume note listing standards, it’s more about advertising than actually listing the “notes”. My first impression of Futur is neon Irish Spring soap in a field of wildflowers. The floral notes just sing, in a gorgeous classical perfume way. I get an impression of floral/green classics like Joy, Ma Griffe, a hint of Miss Dior (original) and even a bit of Guerlain Chamade. The fresh florals give way to sexy jasmine and ylang and then become smoky vetiver. It’s like a ghost of classic perfumes with a crisp clean modern perfume built around it. It is clean and sexy at the same time – the sexy has something to with the woodsy patchouli base. It’s almost like an incense with that intoxicating smoky resinous goodness. I feel engergized when I wear Futur, and like I can do anything. Futur can go from jeans to the boardroom to a night out on the town. I love it, and wish I could try the parfum/extrait version – it must be so dense and gorgeous. The chewy mouth watering green-ness of Futur is addictive. I huff my wrists when I wear it.

Verdict is love, but I would caution buying this without sniffing. It’s not for the faint of heart, even though in the end it dries down to a sexy skin scent that smells like heaven to me. It’s not easy to love, and it doesn’t have the mass appeal of, say, Pink Sugar. If you are willing to step outside of the average perfume box and smell special, you should sniff it out. Also – if you like Irish Spring. Manly, yes, but I like it too….


Robert Piguet perfumes are available at specialty department stores, listed here on their website. And at The Perfume Shoppe in Canada. I don’t see Futur on their site but perhaps they can order it in. Ogilvy in Montreal carries the line as well.

Super Sexy Robert Piguet Douglas Hannant. Also, Perfect Party Perfume

Super Sexy Robert Piguet Douglas Hannant. Also, Perfect Party Perfume

Robert Piguet is a fashion house that launched in the early 30s, and is most famously known for it’s bomabstic, gorgeous and take-no-prisoners scents of the 40s. There is Bandit, a naughty and butch leather fragrance, not for the meek, and  also Fracas, a reference tuberose, nay, the Queen of all tuberose perfumes. They were both made by the ahead of her time Germaine Cellier – whose knowledge of fragrance and chemistry led her to create perfumes that not even the most creative types could imagine. Fragrantica has a terrific profile of Cellier here. She used traditional ingredients but at nuclear levels, creating something above and beyond a simple scent. So. Piguet’s Fracas is loved and worn by many people, and though it was discontinued at some point, there was enough of a demand for Piguet to bring it back. It was slightly reformulated by a modern perfumer, mostly due to the legality and availability of the raw materials. It is still a massive tuberose diva, and can only be tamed by some skins. Mine is not one of them. I want to love Fracas! I want to wear Fracas! But sadly, she wore me. She moves in with all her luggage,  turns the music up as loud as it can be, and frightens all the neighbourhood dogs.

Happily for me, Robert Piguet has done some playing with their much beloved/revered/feared Fracas and has come up with some lovely variations on a sexy, gorgeous floral theme. The one I am wearing right now, that is making me swoon, is Douglas Hannant.  Douglas Hannant is a chic and exclusive designer to the upper echelons of society. He’s not common or well known to those outside the circle (that would include yours truly)  and it’s fitting that Robert Piguet would choose a mysterious name to don the house’s signature black opaque glass bottle of this incredible floral beauty. Piguet calls it a “fresher, younger Fracas, with pear on the top with the traditional floral base”. Well, there must be a lot of pear, because it definitely does cut the sweetness and and indolic tendencies of Fracas. I also find the gardenia in the heart is able to shine more in Douglas Hannant, and the pear notes just melt beautifully into the florals. It lasts ages on the skin, and the creamy sandalwood and musk along with a soft and sweet jasmine linger delicately on the skin. Remember, the Victorians would not let young girls smell tuberose, as they were afraid of the carnal and aphrodisiac effect it might have on them. Dangerous perfume? Sign me up.

Don’t get me wrong. This is no shrinking violet of a perfume, nor does it whisper. It still has a strong presence but it’s not a perfume bomb. It is devastatingly feminine, and makes me feel like painting my nails red, putting my hair up, and busting out the highest heels I can find. If you love Fracas, this is worth a sniff. You may find you need both….That said, a small spray of this would be perfect with a soft cashmere sweater and jeans on a cool day, or a silky flowy maxidress on the beach in the warm sunshine. Verdict? Delicate, tasteful and feminine- I love it.  I’ve been wearing this all day and my nose has been glued to my wrist. For me, this says a lot….

Robert Piguet has revamped and re-released all of their scents, along with new and beautiful creations. I have samples of some and will be sharing reviews for those soon. If you get the chance to try them, you must! The line is elegant and gorgeous, and worthy of lots of praise.


Robert Piguet Douglas Hannant is available at perfume counters where Piguet is sold, and online from their site. On their homepage they list the department stores that carry their line. Go sniff if you can.