I’m awfully late now, but Happy New Year!
It’s the first Tuesday of 2016, and I finally have a moment to get back to blogging. It feels like an eternity to me, but it’s amazingly only five days into January.
I don’t know about you, but it’s been a hectic holiday season for me, and I miscalculated how much it would take out of me! I’m still catching up on sleep, but am being foiled by also attempting to do all kinds of errands, chores, and spring cleaning. I apologize for letting the swatches suffer, but to be fair, my nails have taken quite the beating amidst all the cooking—and eating! Ha! So, you wouldn’t have wanted to see my raggedy-ass cuticles sporting new polishes, anyway.
I’m honestly too exhausted at the moment to haul out the lightbox setup and take photos of my latest hauls (what did you guys all get for the holidays, huh?!), so I’m doing a roundup of the fragrances I picked up over 2015.
I rarely post about perfume, but I am a little bit of a perfume junkie. The worst thing is that I’ve currently been avoiding wearing any fragrance at all (this will be explained in the near future in another post) but it doesn’t stop me from sampling every time I’m at the mall, department store, or drugstore!
Last year, I was left unimpressed by Nina Ricci’s L’Extase (my links will be from Fragrantica, where I try to keep my profile up-to-date), Oscar de la Renta’s Extraordinary, Givenchy’s Rêve d’Escapade, YSL’s Black Opium, and, sadly enough since I adore the handbag-shaped bottle, Marc Jacobs’ Decadence.
What did I like? There weren’t many, but I also didn’t try as many as I usually do. I enjoyed Thierry Mugler Les Exceptions Oriental Express, but probably not enough to purchase it. I liked Eau de Gaga from Lady Gaga, but don’t think I’d buy it, either, unless it was super cheap. My Burberry was nice, but didn’t feel like anything particularly special, especially for the price.
What did I actually acquire last year? A total of 15.5 bottles, some of which were free/gifts. Here’s the rundown:
Barbara Bui — Le Parfum. A really warm and cozy amber that I sampled years ago, but it’s been discontinued. Someone on MUA tipped me off that it was available and quite cheap from some seller on Amazon, so I pounced!
Burberry — Brit Rhythm. Bois de Jasmin made this sound irresistible, so I tested it in-store, kind of loved it, then ordered it from FragranceX. It’s an icy lavender that’s perfect for crisp winter and spring days.
Bvlgari — Black. This was getting pretty hard to find (I think it’s discontinued) and it had been on my wishlist forever, so I finally ordered it from FragranceX this year. It really does smell like car tires.
Bvlgari — Mon Jasmin Noir. Found the 25 mL purse spray on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart and couldn’t resist. Some jasmines read kind of poopy to me; luckily this one doesn’t. It also doesn’t feel very noir, either, especially in that adorable travel-sized bottle.
Chanel — Coco Noir. I’m not the biggest Chanel fragrance fan, but Coco Noir won me over. The stunning bottle didn’t hurt, either! It’s probably the only feminine Chanel fragrance I enjoy, apart from the Eau Première version of N°5 and some Les Exclusifs (Beige and Cuir de Russie are wonderful). For the men—actually, I wear it myself—I love Egoïste. I picked up Coco Noir for “free” with my Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Points, which I love to save for fragrances by houses like Chanel, Dior, Givenchy and Guerlain, which don’t really get discounted much.
Elie Saab — Le Parfum. Another freebie with Shoppers Optimum Points. A gorgeous, lush white floral that doesn’t feel too big for me. The bottle is one of my favorites, too.
Ellen Tracy — Bronze. Rave reviews and a low price at Winners prompted me to buy this one “blind” (unsniffed). Still unopened. D’oh! Well, it’s more of a summer frag, anyway. I keep seeing a flanker, Exotic Bronze, really cheap at Winners, too, but I refuse to buy it until I give the original a whirl.
Ellen Tracy — Tracy. Backup for one of my favorite scents, found at Winners. It’s cozy, warm and milky, and wears close to the skin.
Grès — Lumière Rose. Another blind buy spurred by rave reviews and a tempting price at FragranceX. As a rose fanatic, I’m delighted by this one. It’s not ground-breaking, but it’s very easy to wear: a soft, girly rose with touches of candied licorice spice. Pretty bottle, too. There are two other Lumières in Noire and Blanche; supposedly Noire smells like Coco Mademoiselle, which I dislike.
Jennifer Aniston — Lolavie. I’m not snobby about celebuscents at all (there are two more on this list), though I do refuse to try anything from the Kardashians and Justin Bieber—just in case I wind up liking them. Gotta draw the line somewhere. I think this perfume is just called Jennifer Aniston in North America, or something like that. But the original name is Lolavie. I’m not a fan of superclean fragrances, but this is clean with a light salty, beachy smell that I like quite a lot. Got it for a song at Winners.
Jessica Simpson — Vintage Bloom. I got this as a Christmas gift, since I’m a fan of some of Jessica Simpson’s other fragrances. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s supposed to be a pretty light floral with a citrus topnote. Fragrantica reviewers say it works great as a fabric scent. I think the retro-styled bottle is kind of adorable! The set contains: Vintage Bloom Gift Set: Eau de Toilette (100 mL), Bath & Shower Gel (90 mL), Body Lotion (90 mL).
Jor’el Parker — Classico. This came in a subscription box, and it’s a travel size 8 mL, so it’s not quite a full-sized product, but I thought I’d slide it in here, anyway. It’s the 0.5 bottle I noted at the start of this list! I think I gave it a sniff when I first got it, but frankly, I don’t remember what it smelled like. I didn’t love or hate it, either way.
Queen Latifah — Queen. Another unsniffed buy, bought off the back of great online reviews and an excellent price on a 100 mL tester bottle (2nd photo). I’m still wondering what made me choose the uncapped tester bottle over the 50 mL boxed version: the bottle is actually kind of cool, I don’t even know if I’ll like it, and how the heck am I going to use 100 mL of this, anyway? Oh well. Luckily for me, hot damn this stuff is good. The opening is sweet and boozy vanilla! Definitely smells more expensive than the CA$16 I paid for it. Queen Latifah’s second perfume, Queen of Hearts, is going on the wishlist, stat! And next time, I won’t cheap out by getting the tester.
Stella MacCartney — Stella Summer (2013). I’m a huge fan of the original Stella, so it was a no-brainer to snag this when I saw it at Winners. Stella McCartney puts out special summer editions of Stella every year, but I never get around to trying them out. I haven’t had a chance to open this yet, but it’s supposed to smell like frozen lemons and green apple, along with the usual Stella rose.
Stila — Crème Bouquet. I haven’t opened this yet, either. It was an unsniffed impulse buy from Winners. Floral, powdery vanilla, apparently.
Yves Rocher — Quelques Notes d’Amour. I got the full size free with an Yves Rocher order. Nice, huh? It’s a perfectly good scent: roses and some warm woods. Nothing special but I wouldn’t throw it out!
That rounds out the 15.5 bottles I got last year. I still have a bunch of samples I received that I haven’t tried, but those will have to wait until later this year.
Did you try out any new fragrances last year that are worth seeking out? Do you have a signature fragrance? (I clearly don’t! Haha! Well, if I had to pick one, it’d be Givenchy Eaudemoiselle, based on how much I’ve worn it over the last couple of years.)