Vanilla: 41 posts

Aquolina Pink Sugar : Perfume Review

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Women’s magazines often have features titled “What’s Your Type?” You’re supposed to figure out in under 60 seconds how to fit your personality into various boxes : romantic, edgy, rock-n-roll, etc. Heaven forbid that someone who likes rose printed dresses would want to listen to Massive Attack, or that a bookish, academic type might have a passion for red lipstick and frilly lingerie. In the ideal glossy world, someone who likes Chanel No. 5 would steer clear of Aquolina Pink Sugar and would never let the twain meet upon the vanity table.

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My idea of fun is to mix things up, and for this I need Pink Sugar. The gourmand fragrance style isn’t meant to be serious; it’s all about delighting the senses and teasing us with a suggestion of something mouthwatering. I’m not eating a piece of chocolate cake to get my daily intake of calcium. I’m eating it because I love chocolate. It’s the same with gourmand perfumes. I wear them when I want to smell like a piece of candy. Sometimes that’s exactly what you need to make a cold, rainy city feel warmer or to make a stressful day less so.

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Nuxe Prodigieux Le Parfum : Perfume Review

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Whenever I see a product described as a cult favorite, I’m instantly skeptical. The pink and green Maybelline mascara is the worst thing I’ve put on my lashes. Rosebud salve in its pretty retro tin dries out my lips. Nars Orgasm blush is just OK. The exception for me is Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil from French skincare & cosmetics firm Nuxe, and it fully lives up to its “cult favorite” label. It’s a seaside vacation in a bottle. The oil leaves skin soft and shimmering, not at all greasy, and applying the golden liquid feels like a luxury spa treatment.

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Besides the nourishing and moisturizing benefits, fans of Nuxe oil adore its frangipani and coconut perfume. It’s sophisticated and rich, a tangle of white petals and coconut flakes. I’ve always thought that it’s good enough to be in a perfume bottle, and a couple of years ago Nuxe decided to do just that. The company turned to the same perfumer who created the beloved Nuxe oil scent, Serge Majoullier, and asked him to blend Prodigieux, Le Parfum*.

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Chopard Casmir : Perfume Review

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If you feel that minimalism is overrated or you’ve  had enough of well-mannered, chic to the point of annoyance perfumes, I have one answer for you: Chopard Casmir. You have it all in this amber tinted liquid–the richness of vanilla, the earthy heft of patchouli, and the creamy sweetness of sandalwood. Also, let me not forget the piña colada like fruit and jammy jasmine. It may sound scary, but Casmir works surprisingly well as a blend of woods with a bold gourmand note. It’s a Bollywood film in a perfume bottle.

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Chopard is famous for its jewel encrusted finery and watches, but its fragrance collection is comprised of such over the top scents that even diamonds pale in comparison. Most of the perfumes were flops–Mira Bai, Madness, Infiniment, and Casmir didn’t exactly rake in the profits with its drama queen personality. Created in 1991 by perfumer Michel Almairac, Casmir looks to the 1980s with its glitzy composition.

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Tom Ford Atelier d’Orient Shanghai Lily : Perfume Review

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I’ve been slowly testing the new Atelier d’Orient quarter, which was launched earlier this season in Tom Ford’s Private Blend collection. While I was enjoying Plum Japonais, Fleur de Chine and Rive d’Ambre well enough, Shanghai Lily stood out the most. I fell for it so hard that on any given day if I don’t have other perfume wearing plans it ends up on my skin. There are a few fragrances from Tom Ford’s Private Blend collection that hit the spot–Champaca Absolute, Velvet Gardenia, Cafe Rose, but Shanghai Lily is quickly becoming my favorite.

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I like my flowers with a twist, and Shanghai Lily is a white floral with a dark mood. The jasmine and tuberose are warmed up and cossetted with plenty of spices and dark resins, which is already interesting. But the best part is that nothing about Shanghai Lily is heavy or oppressive. Instead, it sparkles from its gingery top notes to the incense accented drydown.

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Dries Van Noten par Frederic Malle : Fragrance Review

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Diamond  heists and Gérard Depardieu’s tax evasion tactics aside, Belgium doesn’t make the front page news often, but the Antwerp fashion scene never fails to be noteworthy. Dries Van Noten is one of the top Belgian designers, and his colorful clothes emphasizing textures and  prints are unusual and eclectic. After walking around his store in Antwerp this summer, I felt as if I had just visited an art exhibit. I then spotted a neat row of Frédéric Malle bottles on one of the shelves and learned that Van Noten is a big fan of Editions de Parfums.

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So here we have Dries Van Noten par Frédéric Malle, part of a new initiative to create a series of olfactory portraits of artists and other creative personalities. Such projects are only as  interesting as the people who inspire them, and in this case, we have an exciting collaboration. The perfumer interpreting Van Noten’s portrait is Bruno Jovanovic, and the main theme of the composition is warmth.

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