Scenting the Strong & Beautiful Women of Mad Max Fury Road: Lucy B Apothecary Perfumes

Scenting the Strong & Beautiful Women of Mad Max Fury Road: Lucy B Apothecary Perfumes

Recently, I’ve been sampling some fragrances sent to me by the UK celebrity makeup artist turned perfumer, Lucy Baldock-Sacchi. Lucy spent 12 years living in Australia, where she fell in love with the natural resources, healing atmosphere, the people and unpolluted lands. She discovered for herself the emotional, spiritual and physical benefits of the Australian Bush Flowers. Lucy B. is the only perfume company in the world to have infused the natural Australian Flower Essences within their products, sharing with everyone the unique Australian energy & lifestyle.

At the time, there was a gap in the market for the perfect combination of natural, organic ingredients & colour cosmetics. Lucy consulted with the Australian Bush Flower expert, Ian White, and developed specific essences that lift the spirit and enhance confidence. I have always been a fan of the original cult favourite, Pink Frangipani, and keep a roller bottle of the oil in my purse. All of the Lucy B perfumes are soft and gentle, and easy to wear. They are well priced, with all products in the line being under $50. My new favourite is Royal Water Lotus & Vanilla Musk, a gentle airy and watery floral that smells like clean skin and paradise. Really. Tropical Gardenia is another favourite, and Royal Green Fig & Vanilla Woods is too…it’s actually hard to choose as they are all gorgeous.

From her site:

Lucy B. Cosmetics & Fragrances is unlike any other beauty range. We believe that it takes a holistic lifestyle on every level to ultimately transform each person. By including Australian Bush Flower Essences and pure aroma-therapeutic extracts in every product, we have harnessed the power and magic of the Australian botanical apothecary to bring you benefits that go way beyond beauty. The result is a range that helps transform the body, mind and soul.

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Of course, after seeing Mad Max: Fury Road, my mind has been obsessing over all things Australian. I won’t spoil it for you, but unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard that the female characters are strong, inspirational, and badass. When I left the film I was all fired up, partially because my adrenalin levels were off the charts, but also because I was in love with the women I met on Fury Road. I’ve been wearing Lucy B’s perfumes and test driving them, and appreciating her positive messages of strength, health and confidence that the line wants to share while inspiring the wearer. Then I thought – who better to wear these magical feminine Australian scents than the women of Fury Road?  I fell in love with them all – in particular, The Five Wives. When we first meet them, they seem so precious and delicate,  one wonders how on earth they will survive when taken out of their prison. It becomes immediately clear that these women are not delicate flowers, and that like many prisoners, they were not broken, but emboldened and fortified by their oppression.

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Perhaps one day, they help cultivate the scorched world around them, and with the wisdom of The Many Mothers and that bag of The Seed Carrier, grow and share beautiful flowers with healing essences with everyone around them. At first one might think that soft beautiful floral scents are counter-intuitive perfumes for seriously badass women to wear. But I say, these women don’t need a perfume to project their strength. They do that quite well on their own.

From left: The Dag, Toast The Knowing, Cheedo The Fragile, The Splendid Angharad, and Capable

From left: The Dag, Toast The Knowing, Cheedo The Fragile, The Splendid Angharad, and Capable

 

Abbey Lee – The Dag: At first the angelic blonde Dag appears flighty and fragile, but the reality is that she has a heightened sense of awareness as to what is going on around her. She slings around insults fearlessly, while also praying to “anyone who will listen”. She is strong while appearing ethereal. I would scent her in Royal Water Lotus & Vanilla Musk.

Top notes of lotus and watery musk a heart of rose petals within a base of warm amber & precious woods.

Top notes of lotus and watery musk a heart of rose petals within a base of warm amber & precious woods.

Zoë Kravitz – Toast The Knowing: Toast is a bit different from the other wives. Physically, she is shorter and her hair has been hacked into a shag that somehow manages to look pretty amazing. Toast loads the guns and counts the ammo, and would appear to aspire to being a warrior like Furiosa. I see her as someone who grows and thrives, despite the harshness of her world.  I would put her in Lucy B Australian Wild Jasmine.

Top notes of Pineapple & White Ginger middle notes of Wild Australian Jasmine, and bottom notes of Water Lily & Magnolia. Australian Wild Jasmine scents the skin creating a wildly sensual yet fresh Australian scent while boosting the mood through the flower essences. Simply put, it's Australia in a bottle.

Top notes of Pineapple & White Ginger middle notes of Wild Australian Jasmine, and bottom notes of Water Lily & Magnolia. Australian Wild Jasmine scents the skin creating a wildly sensual yet fresh Australian scent while boosting the mood through the flower essences. Simply put, it’s Australia in a bottle.

 

Courtney Eaton – Cheedo the Fragile: The youngest of the wives (the actress was 16 during the making of the film!), Cheedo was comfortable in the enclosed world of her prison in The Citadel, and is fearful of the outside world. She endures, however, and emerges from the battle a stronger woman. I would scent her in Lucy B Royal Egyptian Amber & Honeysuckle, with delicate top notes, but warm and enduring base notes.

Top notes of honeysuckle and peach a heart of jasmine flowers with a touch of patchouli within a warm base of amber and cashmere.

Rosie Hungtington-Whiteley – The Splendid Angharad: Splendid is visibly pregnant and is completely unafraid. She is conflicted about the child she is carrying, and is courageous, but can also be reckless.  She uses herself as a human shield without hesitation, and is determined to live a free life. She makes me think of the feminine and strong rose, so I would scent her with Lucy B Royal Peony Rose & Mandarin Musk.

Top notes of mandarin & tangerine a heart of pink peony and base of delicate camellia flowers. Royal Peony Rose is blended with confidence enhancing Australian flower essences.

Top notes of mandarin & tangerine a heart of pink peony and base of delicate camellia flowers.

Riley Keough – Capable: Early on we learn that Capable is tender and compassionate. She cares for a sick and dying character who was trying to capture her, and is aware that her lunatic captor and the leader of The Citadel world is not immortal. She is empathetic and caring. I see Capable as nurturing, and somehow the green freshness of Lucy B Royal Green Fig & Vanilla Woods would be perfect for her.

Top notes of fresh green fig & pepper with a heart & base notes of green leaf, creamy coconut & sensual vanilla.

Top notes of fresh green fig & pepper with a heart & base notes of green leaf, creamy coconut & sensual vanilla.

 

Finally, I want to scent Furiosa. I am almost overwhelmed emotionally when I think of her. She was kidnapped as a child, and suffered unspeakable atrocities at the hands of the insane leader of The Citadel. Her one dream and defining goal is to get back to The Green Place of The Many Mothers.

Furiosa Mad Max Fury Road

Her pain and vulnerability are buried deep below her badass-ness and the anger and fury that propels her. I want to scent her dream and memory of a green, lush and caring paradise, with the queen of all fragrances, gardenia. Lucy B Tropical Gardenia perhaps embodies The Green Place, and I wish that for Furiosa.

Top notes of gardenia, middle notes of orchid flowers and dewy green with bottom notes of cashmere musk.

Top notes of gardenia, middle notes of orchid flowers and dewy green with bottom notes of cashmere musk.

Lucy B perfumes are available on her site,  in many other online boutiques, and in many retail locations in Canada, the US and around the world. Check the Lucy B store locator to find the right one for you! 

Little Luxuries & Pampering In The Beauty Department

Little Luxuries & Pampering In The Beauty Department

Sometimes all it takes is a little beauty treat to lift our spirits and make us feel pampered. And lifted spirits and pampering are good things. Taking time to treat ourselves, or someone we love, or even better, treating ourselves and someone we love together, is an important part of feeding our souls. It can be grand and luxurious, or it can be taking a moment in the day to look after yourself or someone you care about. Spa days, the right lipstick, a mani pedi, or a hot bath and glass of tea wine after a long day – just taking a moment so you don’t kill anyone to restore sanity to our crazy lives.

One thing that is free and wonderful is a department store beauty floor makeover. You know this already right? It feels lovely and healing to have someone gently touching your face. Closing your eyes and feeling the soft feathery makeup brushes tickling your skin is a wonderful sensation. Just sit back and let it go, and even go outside your comfort zone. Let the make up artist go crazy. They call them “artists” for a reason! When my eldest daughter Emilie was little, she would ask me to “tickle” her face with my makeup brushes while she was falling asleep. Who doesn’t love that?

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It doesn’t have to be for a wedding, or some fancy occasion. How about because it’s Friday afternoon and you survived the week! Mother’s Day, a birthday, someone stopped biting their nails – whatever! Go with your friend, your daughter or your mom and use the opportunity to have a brilliant photo shoot after your makeovers! Seriously – you will take your best selfies ever. My daughter’s friends have been known to take photos with them (Kim K makeup goals, obvies) and ask to have the look recreated. Now, we are talking about teenage girls without deep pockets, and no plans to purchase any makeup at that time.

A good makeup artist and retailer will not force product on you while this is happening. What should happen is you form a relationship with someone you trust, and they treat you like royalty while you are in their chair. A good retailer knows that if you leave happy, even if you don’t buy at that moment, when you do want something, you will come back. For example, my daughter’s friend who wanted Kim K’s cheekbones went to Nordstrom, a US retailer that is blessedly now in Canada. She didn’t buy anything after her makeover, but when she decides she wants that killer highlighter or mascara or lip liner or whatever they used, there is a very good chance she will go to counter where she felt welcome to make her purchase. A good retailer understands brand loyalty and what it means to make a customer feel wanted. Nordstrom’s beauty floor is welcoming and luxurious, and basically my second home.

With the lovely Melody Ly, after my Amore Pacific facial, Biddy getting her La Prairie facial, & with Cara Wood, the Dior makeup genius who created Those Eyes.

With the lovely Melody Ly, after my Amore Pacific facial, Biddy getting her La Praire facial, & me with Cara Wood, the Dior makeup genius who created Those Eyes.

My younger daughter and I had a free Thursday night and decided to hit up the beauty department of our city’s brand new Nordstroms. We had SO MUCH FUN! We had facials and makeup applications, and the sales professionals and makeup artists treated us like old friends. We had a super photo session and felt gorgeous. No, not because we were coated in makeup. Not because we were coerced into buying makeup. Because we chatted, laughed, and said “OK…” to the teal liner on my waterline….or the shimmery vanilla highlighter powder and orange lipstick. Like I said – outside your comfort zone! Switch it up, baby, and live a little!

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I have NEVER worn eye makeup like this! Meow!

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I’m in Dior & Burberry, and Biddy is in Bobbi Brown and MAC. Glamour girls!

A good makeup artist doesn’t do that. A good makeup artist says “Did you know your eyes are incredible? I’d love to try something new…”. And then they hand you a mirror and you think WOW! I had no idea I looked like that! It’s so fun, and like ultimate adult dress up party. It’s a fun bonding thing, and you quickly feel like you are surrounded by friends. These people love what they do. They learn about new trends and techniques as part of their profession, and they want to share them! I always say – ask for samples. If you are trying something new, chances are you aren’t sure you want to go home with it. If it’s new, they likely have samples. Hey – if you don’t ask, you’ll never know, right? That is just an added bonus to what would have already been a great time, in my opinion.

What are some little ways you like to pamper yourself and someone you care about?

Knights in White Roses – Puredistance WHITE Perfume Is Pure Luxury

Knights in White Roses – Puredistance WHITE Perfume Is Pure Luxury

Puredistance is a luxury perfume house based in Holland, and they use perfumers/noses from all over the world. They are uber exclusive, and, being only parfum or extrait concentration, the entire experience with Puredistance is about luxury. I wrote about their very first release, Puredistance 1, when it was released in 2011, and I must say, I am somewhat reminded of that opulent green floral when I smell their latest release, WHITE. Not that they smell the same, but they have the same dense, unrelentingly luxe vibe. There is simply nothing about WHITE that doesn’t say luxury. I sampled BLACK when it came out, and it was also gorgeous, but in a darker, woodsy and leathery way. Gorgeous, but not for me, and somewhat masculine to my nose, which is just my take. It would smell equally incredible on a woman or a man, but I use terms like masculine to refer to what I perceive as a masculine scent. That does not mean a woman should not wear it! On the contrary, most women I know actually rock deep dark fragrances beautifully. I feel like an odd old fashioned duck sometimes, only loving the traditionally “pretty” and “feminine” perfumes….but I digress. Back to WHITE.

Puredistance WHITE perfume review Daly Beauty

Back to white. This is a curious one as it develops. At first it is so white and luxurious, it’s like a princess, getting married, in a castle, maybe in heaven, surrounded by heavenly flowers bursting forth into bloom. And all of those flowers are white roses. Then, a soft cloud of the fluffiest white musk and cleanest white woods I’ve ever smelled rises off the skin. It’s quite incredible how the image of pure whiteness is conveyed in this fragrance.

pure white rose

The best part is the dry down, in my humble opinion. There is a perfect and powdery, yummy, soft sweetness that rises from the tonka bean and it is so seamlessly blended with the woodsy white roses and musk that one cannot really pick out this note or that. Smooth is the word that comes to mind. The vetiver, sandalwood and patchouli are so beautifully velvety, and there is not a single rough spot to be found. Like white velvet, or polished crystal with the sun shining through it. Wow.

I spritzed a tiny bit of silk and left it on my desk. Hours later as I would walk back into my office I kept encountering a scent that can only be described as delicious. Not in a dessert way – it’s too sophisticated and airy to be described as foody. It defies description. You just have to trust me when I tell you if these notes appeal to you, this may be your ultimate perfume. It is powerful stuff, and a tiny drop will do just fine. Puredistance makes it’s scents in pure parfum concentrations only, so no eau de toilettes here.

From their site:

PUREDISTANCE is the one Perfume House in the world that offers only Pure Perfume Extrait: the most precious version of fragrances with the highest concentration of perfume oil. We put all our passion and energy into the making of one truly beautiful Perfume at a time. Not just another perfume, but a Perfume with a soul and a signature. At Puredistance we don’t follow trends, but focus on creating timelessly beautiful Perfumes and packaging. If you fall in love with one of our Perfumes it could be for life! Another essential component of our brand is true exclusivity. The Puredistance Master Perfume Collection is sold only in a very limited number of specialised perfumeries in more than 30 countries. All Puredistance products are assembled by hand with great care and a strong eye for detail. The finishing work of all products and all design is still done in-house.

Puredistance WHITE perfume review Daly Beauty

WHITE was created by the same perfumer that created BLACK, Antoine Lie. He has an impressive resumé of fragrances, from Elizabeth Arden to Etat Libre d’Orange to Comme de Garcons to Kenzo. One can only imagine that he was given carte blanche (pardon the pun) to use the finest of whatever he wanted to create his Puredistance perfumes. What a joy that must be! For some reason, and not just the name, although it does sum things up perfectly here, I see Puredistance WHITE as an ideal wedding fragrance. Or any grand occasion that demands a memorable, gorgeous and beautiful perfume, when mainstream (not that there is anything wrong with mainstream!) just won’t do.

 

 

 

A 17.5ml bottle of 38% concentrate Puredistance WHITE perfume is $170 USD, and 32% is $160USD.  They are only sold on their site, Luckyscent in the US and a few boutiques around the world.   You can purchase a Puredistance sample set of their six scents, remember these are pure perfumes, not eau de anything, for around $69 USD.

My Favourite  Violet Perfumes: Flowers of Magic and Kindness

My Favourite Violet Perfumes: Flowers of Magic and Kindness

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

Mark Twain

Oh the sweet little violet. I’ve always loved violets, and my favourite colour has always been purple, but I’m not sure which came first. Violet perfumes, at least the ones I love, are simple affairs, with very little embellishment from other notes. There are the old fashioned original violet eau de toilettes like Violetta di Parma and Violettes de Toulouse, which I’ve had and love. I love them as much as the ones I’m writing about today, but I haven’t owned them in ages. They are sold on discount sites here and quite reasonable in cost – worth buying if you love violets and want to add to your collection. Violetta di Parma hails from around the 1800s and Napoleon’s second wife, Marie Louise of Austria, put Parma Violets on the map. She was a botanist, and loved purple – seriously. It has a green, somewhat green/vegetal vibe that makes it super fresh. Violettes de Toulouse came from France the early 20th century, and is sweeter, like the violet you think of when you think of soap and the violet flavoured sugar crystals they loved there. I LOVE it. I also love violet candies, always have, the plain ones, and the ones with the little aniseed in the middle, which is a perfect foil for the violet.

Choward's violet candies

violet candies flavigny

Violets have a magical quality as well. As innocent as it is, it can be a flirty little flower – it appears and disappears magically on the skin. Science break- the violet flower contains ionone, a tricky little molecule which fiddles with our sense of smell, as in it renders us unable to smell it for awhile. Then we can again, so the fragrance comes and goes. Often people think their violet perfume has worn off because they can’t smell it. Well, that’s the magic. Onto my favourites:

I Profumi di Firenze Violetta di Bosco

I Profumi di Firenze Violetta di Bosco

The notes are different depending on where you look, but the I Profumi di Firenze website says: anise, peach, violet, iris, lily of the valley, vetiver, benzoin and heliotrope. I don’t know about any of the notes other than violet and iris, perhaps benzoin. This is pure sweet violet candies, with a slightly snuggly woodsy base. The iris elevates the powder levels – but like candy powder vs talcum powder. Pure heaven. And be aware – Violetta di Bosco has power. Perhaps it is a true eau de parfum, as it is one of the strongest violet perfumes I’ve tried. I use the tiniest of spritzes and it lasts all day. But if you like your violets fresh and green, this is not the one for you. Get the Violetta di Parma.

Calypso Violette

Christiane Calle Calypso Violette

Ok, this one is discontinued. You can find it online – I recently got a backup bottle on ebay – at a super reasonable price. Perhaps there are warehouses full of this. The original company became just “Calypso” and now has it’s own line of perfumes that do not include a violet one. Why I don’t know, as I think it was probably the best of all them. I read somewhere that Calypso Violette was one of Rashida Jones’s favourite perfumes, and I love her and want to be her… Anyways, I tracked some down several years ago and still love it to this day. It’s less powdery and stringent than Violetta di Bosco, and smells like pretty soapy candies. The notes: bergamot, violet, lemon, rose, heliotrope, sandalwood, white musk, tonka bean and honey. Violet, musk, and honey must be what make it so sweet and “pretty” with heliotrope and lemon adding a yummy factor. This is soft and easy to wear, and one that I love putting on after a bath or shower, when I’m getting ready for bed. It’s a cuddly violet.

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Annick Goutal La Violette

This is one of the softest and gentlest perfumes I own. It’s cross between the classic French Violettes de Toulouse – soapy candy, with a touch of powder and freshness. The notes are listed as simply violet leaf, violet and rose. The rose gives it a powdery slightly makeup feeling, and violet leaf, which is often used in men’s fragrances, adds a touch of fresh green. It is as soft and delicate as the flower, and is oh so French, and very beautiful. It is part of Annick Goutal’s Les Soliflores, their simple line of single note perfumes. I will never be without it. You can find Annick Goutal shopping info here.

Mona di Orio Violette Fumée

Mona Di Orio Violette Fumée

Kitten with a whip, this one. This is a slightly subversive violet, at least for me! When I read the notes I thought it sounded like Habanita with violets, all tobacco and smoky and so not me. I got a decant from a very generous friend, and it wowed me. Violette Fumée is very precious, smells expensive, and, at $245 US for 75ml, it is. Unlike the descriptions that scared me, it is not all ashtray on me, as fragrances with smoky or tobacco notes are wont to be. It is a dark violet, to be sure, and one that would be perfect in cool weather, and at night. Yes, yes, I know you can where whatever you want whenever you want and that there are no rules, but some perfumes say certain things to me. Mona di Orio’s Violette Fumée says “it’s dark out, it’s night-time”. I have worn a few precious drops to bed, and felt all wrapped up in coziness. I’ve worn it out for dinner, and it smells divine and sexy without interrupting the meal. The notes: lavender, bergamot, oakmoss, violets, violet leaves, rose, vetiver, clary sage, opoponax, myrrh, and cashmeran. Those last three notes ensure a dark, seductive finish on the skin that is cozy and sexy at the same time. This is one va-va-voom-violet, and perhaps one day I will spring for a bottle. The link above is to Mona di Orio’s site, but you can get in continentally at Luckyscent.

Guerlain Apres L'Ondee eau de toilette

Guerlain Après L’Ondée

Last but not least, my favourite violet perfume is also my favourite perfume. Here is what Guerlain says about this classic, created in 1906:

Après L’Ondée is a celebration of the fine weather that follows the rain. Composed in nuances and half-shades, Après l’Ondée opens on aniseed notes and continues with a powdery-spicy floral bouquet whose scent evokes a stroll through the dewy underbrush.

What the description fails to mention is how Guerlain managed to evoke FEELINGS with this scent. Now, I know not everyone is the type to be moved emotionally by fragrance, but given the whole memory and scent connection, it’s not unheard of. Après l’Ondée has been called melancholy, but in a good way. I’ve written about Après L’Ondée here.

Honourable mentions:

There are so many violets, I could go on and on. Santa Maria Novella Violetta is a gorgeous Perfume That I Haven’t Bought Yet (that’s a big category for me). Jessica at Beauty Guru NYC bought a bottle on our recent SMN shopping trip in Miami. I got Rosa but desperately want the Violetta. It is perfection! Aroma M Geisha Violet is lovely soft violet veil, and even though I tried it ages ago, I am thinking I might need some. The simple yet pretty Demeter Violet is perfect for the perfume minimalist as it smells super soft, and just like a violet, nothing more, nothing less. Sage Machado Amethyst adds a little lilac to the violet, which just makes it prettier. There is beautiful green and goregous L’Artisan Parfumer Verte Violette, but this is discontinued. My daughter was in NYC a few years ago and stumbled into a boutique that had a bottle and snagged it for me.

What are your favouite violets?

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?

Escentric Molecules – Molecule 01- Proof That Science Makes Perfume Sexy

Escentric Molecules – Molecule 01- Proof That Science Makes Perfume Sexy

Normally when I review a perfume, I have to edit myself, as I could literally go on and on, and on, and on, etc. I am going to reign myself in right now, and keep it simple. Molecule 01 demands it.

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Escentric Molecules is a simple perfume line, but not simple in a boring way. You can read more about the concept of the creator and artist behind Escentric Molecules, Geza Schoen, here. But, in the spirit of this simple line, I will share Mr Schoen’s perfect analogy: Molecule is to perfume as Bauhaus is to Baroque. In the perfume I am reviewing today, Molecule 01, Geza Schoen used one single ingredient – Iso E Super, which is a trademarked aromachemical owned by IFF (International Fragrance & Flavours) known as  7-acetyl, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8-octahydro-1,1,6,7-tetramethyl naphthalene. IFF describes it as:

Smooth, woody, amber with unique aspects giving a ”velvet” like sensation. Used to impart fullness and subtle strength to fragrances. Superb floralizer found in the majority of newer fine fragrances and also useful in soaps. Richer in the desirable gamma isomer than isocyclemone e.

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It is very hard to describe a scent molecule in words. It’s deceptive, because you think – oh it is an ingredient, aka a note. It’s not really a note, per se, but more of an evolving scent-sensual sensation, if that makes sense. Molecule 01 has taken Iso E Super and made it magical. It is often used to boost other notes in a perfume, or to ground them. It diffuses and adds longevity to woodsy, warm and floral perfumes. Many perfumistas, in fact, claim that if given some actual Iso E Super (available from perfume suppliers online) they could create their own Molecule 01. This is where my respect for the artist comes in. I have tried two homemade versions and sorry – no thanks. Geza Schoen isn’t recreating The Emperor’s New Clothes with his Escentric Molecules, or just tossing together some crap in bottles hoping suckers will come along and throw money at him. He is an exacting artist, and that is why Molecule 01 is still one of the best selling fragrances at LA’s Lucky Scent, perfume ground zero for the USA’s west coast.

What’s funny is that I don’t like the perfumes that use Iso E Super in copious amounts. Even though it adds a velvety smooth accord, when it’s used with too many other notes, it makes me feel nauseated and suffocated. Ormonde Jayne is one of them, and after 15 minutes in one of her perfumes, I have to hose myself off. Or, use my special method of unsavoury scent neutralization. Don’t get me wrong – Ormonde Jayne perfumes are lovely, beautifully composed and elegant. Jean Claude Ellena loves Iso E Super and uses it in some of his gorgeous and elegant compositions for Hermes, which to my nose are like nails on a blackboard. I said gorgeous and elegant, and I recognize gorgeous perfumes when they happen, even if I can’t stand them on my own skin. Seriously people, with perfume, as well as any art, there is no accounting for taste.

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So. Molecule 01 – what does it smell like? Sexy, warm skin that is clean, but not in a sterile way. Clean in a way that perhaps there were two of you (or more) in that shower. Woodsy is a word that comes to mind, but also musk – musk in the 1970s model of musks. Sexy yet clean. It wafts in and out all day long, and some have said that Molecule 01 has pheromonic-like effect. Do pheromones in perfume really work, or actually make one sexually or sensually more attractive? All I know is that I find it addictive in that “I can’t stop smelling this” kind of way, and if I smell it on someone else, I want to get closer to them.

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I’d say it is probably the most masculine of my perfumes, which is odd for me, as pretty pretty florals are my signature. Yet I love it. And,  I think it is perfect for the man who simply wants to smell wonderful, but not perfumed. One of Molecule 01’s biggest tricks is how it disappears for hours and seamlessly blends with one’s own chemistry, only to reappear hours later, like a phantom. Hands down, Molecule 01 is the single biggest compliment getter in my collection. You have to wear it to get it. I have friends who wouldn’t believe the hype, then I’ve sprayed them. The next day, they are trying to find out where they can buy it. Molecule 01 is a perfume I wear when I can’t decide what perfume to wear.

I don't know what this smells like, but I kinda want to.

I don’t know what this smells like, but I kinda want to.

I got my Molecule 01 at Etiket Boutique in Montreal. I’m sure it’s sold somewhere in Toronto, but I don’t know where. It’s sold at Barneys, as well as Lucky Scent – of course! The value of the CAN dollar has probably caused an increase in CAN pricing. I don’t recall paying $170 for my bottle, but perhaps I blocked that part out.

Once Upon A Time, MiN New York Created Scent Stories Perfumes….

Once Upon A Time, MiN New York Created Scent Stories Perfumes….

If you are what we like to call a “perfumista”, and/or live in New York you have likely heard of MiN New York. Known for it’s incredible curated selection of fragrances, apothecary, a “men’s den“, etc, MiN New York is one of the several centres in the perfume universe. They celebrate beautiful things, and share their finds with their clients, often hosting exclusive parties for creators and “noses” and serving cocktails, with live music and magic. What else would you expect from a business that has an “Art of Living” tab on their website? With everything from the classical eau de toilettes used for decades in European barber shops, to the most exclusive modern perfumes, MiN has it all.

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So it was no surprise and happy news to all when they announced the launch of their perfume project, MiN New York Scent Stories. I say project as this so much more than just smelly liquid in bottles.

MiN NEW YORK SCENT STORIES, VOLUME ONE:

An exclusive olfactory art project by Chad Murawczyk and Mindy Yang featuring eleven fragrant chapters, this collection aims to transcend space and time. Each potion is designed to create emotions, bring back memories, and inspire people to think differently about perfumes. As luxury collectibles that celebrate the Art of Living, they are limited editions with only 1,000 bottles coming from a single batch each year. Each edition is hand signed and numbered.

I don’t know about you, but the idea of wearing a perfume that is rare speaks to me. I’m so tired of common and boring – the same old perfume, rebottled and renamed. I love a perfume that has beauty and has heart. My first impression upon diving into MiN New York Scent Stories was that someone put their heart into these creations, that someone sat down and looked deep within themselves and put poetry in bottles. Scent Stories manage to feel like a throwback to the perfumes of the fifties, sixties and seventies, when so many of my favourite perfumes were created, not copied. Chad and Mindy have somehow managed to do this, while keeping these perfumes modern and fresh.

The perfumes evolve on the skin like living things. I made the “mistake” of trying several of the Scent Stories on different parts of my arm at once, and was haunted for hours, trying to figure out which beautiful note I was experiencing at any given time. Each perfume so clearly morphs from top, to heart to it’s base that in the end, you’d swear you are wearing a different perfume from the one you think you spritzed on. I can honestly say I have never smelled anything like any of the Scent Stories I’ve worn. With names like Moon Dust (smells like space – really), Long Board (best sexy surf fragrance ever), Barrel (dark spirits and wine), Dune Road (woodsy, grassy, sandy and breezy) these are not your run of the mill department store, or even high end luxury boutique, perfumes. These are something different….

There are so many different types of scents in Scent Stories that there is something for everyone. I have my favourites:

MIN New York Scent Stories Shaman

Scent Stories Chapter Four, Shaman is indeed, otherworldly. It does smell like it’s description, but you really need to experience it on your skin to understand how every descriptor that MiN New York uses is true. The first smoky notes threw me, as smoke is not my favourite note at all. But they pass and turn into the warm, sweet smoke of tranquil incense with the cool magical forest fragrance of violet leaves. The patchouli is sophisticated and warm, and all of the notes just circle around each other like tendrils of incense smoke. Soft, gentle and calming, Shaman is a perfume that must be worn to be believed. If you are seeking a calming meditative scent, you must try this. On first sniff I’d call this a masculine, but that’s just because I favour sweet girly florals. Shaman is for everyone.

MIN New York Scent Stories Magic Circus

Scent Stories Chapter Seven, Magic Circus smells even better than the description. Don’t be fooled by the candied notes – this is no Pink Sugar (not that there is anything wrong with Pink Sugar….) or some Victoria’s Secret confection (again, if that’s your thang….). This is an enchanted circus, the kind that travels at dusk, the blue hour, and it smells as magical as it sounds. All those warm and woodsy resinous notes ground the sweetness. Don’t get me wrong, there is a yummy aspect to this one, and I did get an urge to lick my wrist. But it never overpowers, and just feels like a velvet cape of warm sweetness.

MIN New York Scent Stories The Botanist

Scent Stories Chapter Three, The Botanist will change everything you have come to believe about fruity perfumes. An apple perfume that doesn’t smell like Jolly Ranchers (if you like that kind of thing, that’s ok….).  It smells like a warm day in an orchard – close your eyes and smell apple blossoms, green leaves and soft grasses and woods warmed by the sun. The breezes are picking up the scents of the wild roses, peonies and earthy scents from the forest floor and they mingle with the sweet fruits and magic happens.

MIN New York Scent Stories Momento

Scent Stories Chapter Five, Momento is my absolute favourite of all the Scent Stories. It took me several times to figure this out because I kept wearing more than one to figure out which one was making me drool. “This is the scent of love and happiness” – that is true. It must be the aldehydes that add the sparkling and slightly powdery aspect to Momento. Absinth and lavender in perfume are a magical combination, simultaneously intoxicating and comforting. The floral, woodsy and resinous notes are beautifully blended to take you on a “scentimental” journey from first spritz until the deep drydown. Momento is addictive and beautiful.

MIN New York Scent Stories

MiN New York Scent Stories are available in limited quantities on their website. A 75ml bottle costs $240 USD, with free shipping in the USA.

Estee Lauder Private Collection, Perfume For The Bohemian Bourgeoisie

Estee Lauder Private Collection, Perfume For The Bohemian Bourgeoisie

Ahhh, oh how I love a gorgeous green perfume. Not the traditionally “pretty” perfumes of today that might have a touch of leaves or grassy greenery. Not a gentle herbal cologne, either. I mean a mossy, rich Green Chypre. The kind of green that mixes the gorgeous elegant grown up lady perfumes of the late sixties and early seventies, and then tosses in something naughty, something that smells almost dirty. It’s funny – a couple weeks ago I was chatting with my daughter about my parents, and their awesome generation, and how they belonged to a social group that has been called the Bohemian Bourgeois. The caftans, the parties, the European cars, the holidays, and the luxury, but still somehow anti-establishment. I love it.

talitha getty dalybeauty

Talitha Getty – the ultimate Bohemian Bourgeoisie

Right now, I’m getting my fix from Estée Lauder Private Collection – the original one released in 1973. I decided I had to have it after reading this awesome post on XOVAIN (did you know Private Collection was Tammy Wynette’s signature scent?). The best part of that post? Showing it to shocked sales associates at the Estée Lauder counter who were clearly surprised to see anyone under sixty five asking for Private Collection. No really, I said. It’s written up on a cool beauty blog – by a YOUNG PERSON. Some of them didn’t believe me until I pulled up the review on my phone. Their reactions were beautiful.

Estee Lauder Private Collection perfume dalybeauty

I get a similar vibe from my beloved Ivoire de Balmain (vintage), that sexy skin vibe that the perfumes of the seventies do so well. Maybe Estée Lauder Private Collection is closer to the original Vent Vert, but it is warmer and more casual than sharp edged VV. There is an effortless elegance to this kind of perfume. It’s the kind of perfume that takes you from dressed to dressed up without changing your clothes. Actually I’d say casually dressed is the best way to wear Private Collection, otherwise it might be a bit overdone. And overdone is not cool.

veruschka dalybeauty

Veruschka – who else?

Despite the WASPy leanings of the Estée Lauder line, and perhaps even Mme Lauder herself, this perfume is part of era that had the vibe of revolution. Women wearing men’s suits, modern design in fashion, homes and furniture, menthol cigarettes, European cars and Studio 54. I feel strong, feminine and sexy in this scent.

The origins of the perfume are kind of cool:

“Private Collection belongs in the private collection of every woman who believes she deserves the very best life has to offer.”—Estée Lauder, Founder

In her private office, Mrs. Lauder kept a collection of rare fragrance essences. She created a perfume from these precious ingredients that was deeply personal and for herself alone.

Women who admired this mysterious scent were told it was from her “private collection.” Not to be denied, they began calling department stores to request Estée Lauder’s “Private Collection.” In 1973, Mrs. Lauder bowed to popular demand and introduced her signature perfume to the world.

The notes in Private Collection, from the Estée Lauder website:

Top Notes:
Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Citrus

Middle Notes:
Orange Flower, Ylang-Ylang, Coriander

Base Notes:
Sandalwood, Patchouli

What a lovely floral mix – soapy for sure, and elegant, elegant, elegant. But, what is that I see lurking in the base notes – patchouli! It’s subtle, don’t get me wrong. This is no hippy head shop patchouli. But, it adds an unexpected bit of modernity, and even a slightly masculine note.

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It reminds me of Bianca Jagger in her white suit – gorgeous, sexy and feminine and wearing what she wants because she can. And Rihanna in that amazing suit at the Grammys. Gorgeous, sexy and feminine – and strong. Notwithstanding Rihanna’s drugstore sugar drenched perfume offerings, I like to think she actually wears something as womanly as Estée Lauder Private Collection. Because she would rock it.

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Estee Lauder Private Collection is available online and at most Estée Lauder counters for $64 USD for a 50ml bottle. Smart money goes to Canada where, with today’s exchange, it costs the equivalent of around $52 USD. I have tried the vintage and the current, and I frankly love the current version just as much, if not more. I try to make it a point to not fall in love with impossible to find perfumes….I try….

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!