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?



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YSL Kouros review dalybeauty

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

Chanel Antaeus review dalybeauty

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

Bvlgari Black review dalybeauty

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

Some niche:

Zoologist Rhinoceros review dalybeauty

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

Zoologist Beaver review dalybeauty

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

Tom Ford Tuscan Leather review

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

Atelier Gold Leather review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

roads cloud 9 perfume review

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

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

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

roads white noise perfume review

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

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

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

roads supernova perfume review

Roads Supernova is another favourite. What Roads says:

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

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

roads neon perfume review

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Top notes: peach blossoms and bergamot

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

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

Bond No9 Chinatown perfume review dalybeauty

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Wear Perfume: Tips From The Perfume Whisperer

How To Wear Perfume: Tips From The Perfume Whisperer


How to you put on perfume? Do you spray your wrists and pulse points? Do you rub your wrists together to activate the perfume? Or, have you been told not to do that because you will damage the scent molecules, thereby “changing” the fragrance? Do you dab demurely behind each ear, and maybe in your décolletage? Or, do you spray a cloud into the air and walk though it?

Spraying or dabbing on wrists and pulse points used to be recommended, as the thought was that the “heat” radiating from these areas on our bodies will help us emanate our scent more effectively. The reality is, the heat has nothing to do with it. We also tend to wear watches and jewelry on our wrists, and the metal and leather can alter the fragrances. Leather holds fragrance as well, and eau de watchband tends to be many perfumes mixed together. We can transfer it to our laptops, to our computer mouse etc. Better to spray the tops of our forearms, above the wrists. There is body hair on our arms that gives the scent another place to cling to, making the scent last longer. The worst thing that will happen if you rub your wrists together after applying will be that you might rush through the top notes – maybe. It’s not a bad thing, and won’t “change” your perfume.

how to wear perfume dalybeauty

 Dabbing behind the ears? There are conflicting views on whether or not there may be glands behind our ears that can make perfume smell “funky”. I’m not sure, but I feel like perfume behind my ears is wasted and prefer to spritz or dab on the nape of my neck. Again, the hair there holds on to scent and makes it last longer. But, I like it when I get a bit warm and can reawaken the scent later on in the day. If you have long hair, when you lift your hair up, you can seductively waft your scent and sillage wherever you wish. If you want your perfume to play softer and quieter, dab or spray lower on the body. Behind your knees or on your ankles means your fragrance slowly rises and will be diffused by the time it reaches nose-level.

Spraying a cloud and walking through it? No. Do not do this unless you want to waste your perfume. More settles in the air than on you, and even then where it lands is random. If you want just a little bit of scent, consider lightly misting your clothes (maybe not silk). This is also a good option if you have sensitive skin and would prefer not apply any perfume but still want to smell good. A scented scarf, or the collar of your jacket or sweater, can help extend the life of your scent without being bombastic.

Spray a little, or spray a lot. If you spray a lot, wait a little while before leaving the house….


Tom Ford Private Collection Venetian Bergamot is Actually A Gardenia Perfume

Tom Ford Private Collection Venetian Bergamot is Actually A Gardenia Perfume

Well, not exactly, or not exclusively, or at least, not what I expected. When trying a new Tom Ford Private Collection release, my expectations could be called cautiously optimistic. I like a few, love three, (Velvet Gardenia, Moss Breches & Black Violet, all discontinued) and am indifferent to the rest – for me. For men, Tuscan Leather is incredible, and whatever Tom Ford releases, I know it will be well constructed and well executed. It’s Estee Lauder, after all, and in my humble opinion, Lauder does great perfumes.Many differ with me on that, but it’s just an opinion.  I don’t love the price point of the Private Blends, but a perfume is worth what someone will pay, so who am I to say? At any rate, I was expecting that the latest Tom Ford Private Blend to be “good” but it’s definitely more of a WOW. Because it’s lovely, but it’s also kind of unexpected.

Tom Ford Private Collection Venetian Bergamot

My first thoughts when I tried Tom Ford Venetian Bergamot was of a classic eau de cologne, with a nice tart lime opening and a lovely clean, almost aquatic, air about it. I put it aside and tried a few more times, liking it more with each wearing, and trying to figure out what it reminded me of. This happens a lot with me and perfume as my scent memory is like a trap, even if I still don’t know where I put my keys. I got lovely fresh lime, which is common with any scent that says “bergamot” – I feel any tart citrus/floral notes could be called bergamot. Then something that was more like a watery floral, not quite water lily but something similar…and then the ubiquitous but lovely tingly white pepper and cedary woodsy dry down.

queering:Anonymous - Nude Wrapped in Veil Leaning on A Balustrade, 1850

Venetian Bergamot has a feminine and airy almost magical feel, then becomes quiet and dark. Like a forest at night.

As soon as I looked up the notes for Tom Ford Venetian Bergamot ( I only do this AFTER my first impressions) I saw gardenia listed and I said YES! Then, it was all I could smell – that lovely fresh yet not fresh lovely and elusive flower, gardenia, along with the fresh mouth watering lime-y-ness. And that watery accord, well, it all added up to Marc Jacobs original Marc Jacobs, the ethereal and beautiful vision of gardenias floating on water. The two perfumes share many notes, with the Marc Jacobs also featuring lime and gardenia as the dominant notes.

Marc Jacobs Marc Jacobs perfume gardenia

Venetian Bergamot is not “the same” as Marc Jacobs MJ at all, but at some point in the fragrance’s development on the skin, they are very similar. Venetian Bergamot dries down woodsier and drier, with some amber and tonka bean to sweeten and give it a spicy twist. I think it is one of the more unisex Private Blends, unisex meaning to me perhaps slightly more feminine than masculine, as I tend to like my scents on the traditionally (in the world of perfumes) “feminine” side. Guys, don’t be discouraged by the comparison the Marc Jacobs original – Venetian Bergamot would most definitely be perfect on a man. The woodsy lime character would be countered with the gardenia, and that would be unexpected and probably pretty sexy. All I know is Marc Jacobs original has consistently got the most compliments from men, more than any other perfume I’ve worn. And the MJ is more floral than Venetian Bergamot. Mostly…

Verdict – I love it. You could get it to share with your partner, and that might help with the cost. A 50ml bottle of Tom Ford Private Blend Venetian Bergamot is $308 CAD and the 100ml is a much better deal at $420. I love it, but before you buy it, go to Sephora and try Marc Jacobs Marc Jacobs at $108 CAD for the 100ml. You might be just as happy with that one.

Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger Violette Sucree – Perfume From An Enchanted Forest

Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger Violette Sucree – Perfume From An Enchanted Forest

There is one perfume I am regularly reaching for, which is unusual for me. Specific perfumes that I enjoy “regularly” are few and far between, as my nose is fickle and sensitive. I either love something one day, then wonder what I was thinking the next. Or love something upon first spray, then have to remove every last trace of it when my nose goes into overload. Don’t get me wrong, I like to wear intense perfumes too, but they have to be masterfully blended. But this one perfume has me mesmerized. 


One of my favourite things is to wear perfumes that are rare and unique. Oh don’t get me wrong. I love mainstream perfumes as much as the next person, but there is something so satisfying about wearing something fresh and out of the ordinary. The ones that are less likely to pervade the air in public places. I went to a movie and the entire theatre smelled like D&G Light Blue – ok I get that it is popular, and for good reason. It smells good. But come on people – use your imagination. You don’t have to smell like everyone else, and that’s one of the reasons I avoid the latest greatest department store and Sephora launch offerings.

It was with great joy that I tried the Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger line. I had some samples last year and fell HARD for their Collection des Inédits (translates to Collection Never Before Released more or less) which are based on the classics of perfumery, like lavender, rose, violet, iris, tuberose and the like. However they have a beautiful and subtle twist which makes them deliciously modern. The bottles are works of art on their own. Heavy, substantial white opaque glass with solid ash caps.

dalybeauty_Au Pays de la Fleur d'Oranger_Violette Sacree

Being a lover of violet perfumes (my violet perfume obsession is chronicled here and here) I knew I would love Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger Violette Sacrée even before I sniffed it. I just didn’t know how much until I wore it. It smells so beautiful and sensual, as the name “Sacred Violet” would imply. From Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger:

The opening of bright bergamot is instantly captivating as we move to a blend of lily of the valley, roses and white flower. Deep in the woods, wild violets bloom under a verdant canopy of violet leaves as the sun sets. The scent of vetiver and sandalwood appear and the soul of this fragrance is revealed, rich and confident.

Top: Bergamot, violet, violet leaves.
Heart: Rose, Jasmine, Orange Blossom,
Lily of the Valley.
Base: Cedar, Vetiver, Musk, Wood Accord.

The violet leaf ads a rich almost soapy aspect that I adore. It has a green almost grassy and clean note that makes me think of rainforest waterfalls. This takes the violet out of the too-sweet candy category, but it’s still sweet enough to smell delicious. What elevates Violette Sacrée and makes it irresistible is the divine base. All of the flowers in the top and middle notes are beautiful and gentle. They play up the violet top notes and play soft supporting roles – they’re there, but stay close to the skin and just glow. But the rich woods, smoky vetiver and warm skin musks are what sets this apart. It’s soft and sexy, dries down to an enticing and gorgeous skin scent that is irresistible.

Film Title: Snow White and the Huntsman

If I had to give it a colour, it would be a smoky purple grey. If I had to give it a texture, it would be a silk tapestry, with many shades of purple and grey. Ethereal and soft, but never lacking in substance. This ghost is earthbound.

Verdict – LOVE.

You can buy Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger at Twisted Lily and at Beautyhabit, and in Canada at White Oaks Spa in Niagara on The Lake, at around $125 for a 100ml bottle.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Noir Exquis Eau de Parfum: Perfume Review

L’Artisan Parfumeur Noir Exquis Eau de Parfum: Perfume Review

The September 2015 release from L’Artisan Parfumeur, Noir Exquis, should have perfume lovers excited. Especially if they  love sultry, dark and subtly sexy scents. Noir Exquis is a collaboration with master perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. He has created some of my favourite perfumes, including L’Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu, the beautiful Neela Vermeire creations, Bombay Bling and Trayee (reviews coming!) and the magical Penhaligon’s Amaranthine (I need to own this).

L'Artisan Parfumeur Noir Exquis review dalybeauty

Back to dark and sexy. Noir Exquis was inspired by an unexpected rendez vous in a French patisserie. In the delicious atmosphere of patisserie and coffee, hushed looks are exchanged. Noir Exquis is a work of contrast – the unexpected. It features a positively addictive coffee note, accented with the warm and cozy notes of maple syrup and chestnuts. It melts into the skin into a confident and delicious embrace. It’s rich and enticing with an irresistible and seductive aura. The dry down is oak wood, and it is warm and subtle as it evolves on the skin. Coffee is a surprisingly compelling note in perfume. It isn’t common, but is in the sexy YSL Black Opium, the delicious Bond No9 New Haarlem, and of course, Tom Ford Cafe Rose.

I smell almonds, almost marzipan, but the woods and coffee note keep it from veering off into sugary sweetness. As it dries on my skin, I find it addictive. The maple note peeks it’s head out just to keep it from being overly woodsy or bitter. There is almost a smoky note that comes and goes, and it just adds to the addictive quality. A touch of orange blossom adds a sexy twist – but just a touch.

Parisan lovers Avedon



L’Artisan Parfumeur Noir Exquis is a beautiful fragrance for cooler weather and evening, as it feels like a soft cashmere shawl. The balance of sweet and bitter, of dark and cozy, make Noir Exquis a must try. I can imagine this will be a huge success for L’ Artisan. If you love dark sultry scents, or woodsy notes, you will adore Noir Exquis.

L’Artisan Parfumeur perfumes cost between $100 and $145 USD. You can purchase their perfumes on their website and at select perfume counters. Find a store here.

Soft And Clean Perfumes Because Sometimes Perfume Is Too Much

Soft And Clean Perfumes Because Sometimes Perfume Is Too Much

Sometimes we just want to smell like ourselves. Sometimes we want to as good as we feel when we get out of the shower or bath. When our skin is warm and soft, and we are wrapped in a big fluffy towel, that’s the feeling I want. Sometimes my nose is overloaded, due to allergies, migraines or even hormones, and the last thing I want is a strong scent. Sometimes it’s just my mood. Often my bedtime perfumes are like this – soft and gentle and soothing for sleep.

Gendarme and Gendarme Carriere dalybeauty

Gendarme & Gendarme Carrière: These are men’s and women’s scents, respectively. They are very similar, with the women’s version being slightly more floral than the mens, but just as fresh. I love them both, and both my husband and I wear the line. It is pure soft soap, without any of the sharp edges in some “soapy” scents on the market. Launched in 1991, Gendarme is the original clean and fresh fragrance line, and has been copied by many others. It is still my personal favourite, and on hot summer days it’s a shower in a bottle. Either one is a great choice, and it is always in my perfume cupboard.


Demeter Clean Skin: This one is completely unisex and lovely! As soft as they come, Demeter Clean Skin smells like warm skin after a bubble bath. Completely soft and unobtrusive, with some gentle citrus and floral notes, Clean Skin is transparent and lets your chemistry take over and make it your very own.

Le Labo Ambrette dalybeauty

Le Labo Ambrette: This is a perfume created for babies, and is literally the softest perfume I have ever tried. The precious Ambrette seed has soft and gentle musk scent, and with some soft fruity notes (almost undetectable) the alcohol-free version of this perfume is the perfect perfume for people who don’t like perfume. Another perfect bedtime scent for sure, I have never tried anything like Le Labo Ambrette. It is definitely worth a try for those seeking a luxury perfume for sensitive noses and skin.

Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien dalybeauty

Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien: This is a beautiful and simple citrus perfume, and smells to me like lemony orange soap. This is a perfect “perfume for people who don’t like perfume” scent. It is never “perfumey” (not that there is anything wrong with that!) and perfect for anyone who just wants to smell fresh. It does have a hint of the classic eau de colognes, and I always associate that scent with cleanliness. Beautifully unisex.


Jovan Musk for Women: Guys – this one is amazing. Don’t let it’s sexy 70s vibe turn you away, Jovan Musk For Women smells like Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo! It is super soft, and another one that works with your chemistry rather than overwhelming it. Jovan Musk is really a comfort scent, as it has a warm aspect that always makes me think of that  “fresh out of the bath” feeling. Love!

Musti Eau de Soin

Musti Eau de Soin: Another alcohol-free, gentle as water scent. This has passed my migraine test, which is pretty tough for any scent to do. It smells like the air in the bathroom when you have a bubble bath, which is pretty soft! It has added ingredients that soften skin, which is pretty much the opposite of alcohol, and is the softest perfume in my collection.

Do you like soft perfumes? What are your favourite “no perfume perfume”?