Crabtree & Evelyn Holiday 2018

Crabtree & Evelyn Canada Going Out of Business (Plus: Song de Chine and Lavender & Espresso)

One of the very first perfumes I ever bought for myself was actually a blind-buy (which, if you know me at all, is hardly surprising!), Crabtree & Evelyn’s Song de Chine. It is long-discontinued, and to be very honest, I don’t even remember why I bought it! The marketing blurb must have sounded very compelling to me, and I have to say that when it arrived in the mail, I was quite excited to give it a try. As luck would have it, I loved Song de Chine very much—it was a soft floral with tea and vaguely aquatic notes—and the thrill of the blind-buy has not left me since.

From Crabtree & Evelyn’s press release in 1997:

CRABTREE & EVELYN SONG DE CHINE SCENTED BATH AND BODY LINE marks the company’s first major launch since it was purchased by Malaysia-based Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad. The five-SKU range, which Crabtree is promoting as the “essence of tranquillity,” is available now in Crabtree & Evelyn doors in the U.S. Crabtree & Evelyn Song de Chine bowed in the U.K. and Canada in June.

I’m doing some perfume and makeup organizing at the moment and don’t particularly feel like tossing everything up in the air and digging around for my old bottle, but I found this photo online for the same item I had…I feel like I might have thrown out the box, which is sad as it’s kind of pretty, isn’t it?

Image: Sovrana Parfums

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Haulage! Shoppers Drug Mart / beautyBOUTIQUE (September 2018), Joe Fresh clearance

Haulage! Joe Fresh clearance at Shoppers Drug Mart (September 2018)

Over the last few months, Loblaw, a Canadian grocery and pharmacy retailing giant, has been making a lot of changes to their online luxury beauty store, beautyBOUTIQUE.

For one, they changed their website from beautyboutique.ca to keep it under their Shoppers Drug Mart umbrella at beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca. This redirects to beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca/beauty-boutique, which seems a little redundant to me.

Anyway, secondly, they added a regular Beauty section to the Luxury Beauty section! This means that Canadians can now purchase a wide variety (though not a full selection) of drugstore beauty products online via Shoppers. This is great news for me—I’ve been sending messages about this to Shoppers whenever they ask for suggestions—since I hate having to hit up a few different locations just to find the all products I want.

I’ve noticed that there are still some growing pains. For example, not all brands are available online (L’Occitane and quite a few perfume brands in the luxury section). The weekly sales are not always posted at the right time. The database is a bit wonky: Mid- and lower-priced brands (Calgon, J.R. Watkins, Marcelle, Pixi, Cake Beauty, all lower-end fragrances) show up in the Luxury section. There are some other oddities: Vasanti is under Luxury, but similarly-priced Nude by Nature and Consonant Skincare are slotted into regular Beauty; Strivectin is Luxury but Fekkai and Redken are filed under regular Beauty.

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fivezero's Luckyscent fragrance/perfume sample haulage (September 2018)

Mini Haulage! Lucky Scent Fragrance Samples (2018)

Happy Friday, everybody! I have been AWOL from the land of nail polish for many months, and my renewed obsession with perfume has taken over.

I had been on a bit of a perfume hiatus for about three years, from 2014 to late last year, mainly because I was having kids and wasn’t fussed with scented things at all for that period. Now that the kids are both bigger tots, I’ve revived my interest in perfume.

The kids are loving it, as well. They enjoy testing a scent on their shirtsleeves while I’m browsing the testers in-store; Peanut (who’s now 4 and in kindergarten!) always picks an interesting-looking bottle and claims that it smells the way it looks. So something like Versace Dylan Blue “smells like blueberries!” (No, it doesn’t!) But, by default, everything smells like “Strawberries!” or “Potato juice!” I don’t understand that last one, either. Olive, who is now 2, does a little dab to mimic me sniffing my wrists, even though she’s not wearing any scent.

So, I’ve spent the last nine months or so catching up on all the new department store releases I’ve been able to get my hands on.

I found many new loves in both the designer realm (Love by Chloé, Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Essence de Parfum, Lanvin Me), among the drugstore offerings (Elizabeth Arden Untold Absolu, Jessica Simpson Fancy, Britney Spears Private Show), and in that space between (MAC Créme d’Nude and Velvet Teddy, Aramis Calligraphy Rose). I’ve even discovered a few beauties from decades past (Chanel Cristalle EDP, Chloé Narcisse, Elizabeth Taylor Diamonds & Rubies).

Niche-land, however, is where I’ve yet to explore further. I’ve dabbled a bit (Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille, Etat Libre d’Orange Fils de Dieu, Berdoues Assam of India), but there’s a massive world of niche out there that seems exponentially larger now than it was when I last visited it.

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Happy Nail Polish Day! L’Oréal — Bleu Nu (Colour Riche Le Vernis à l’Huile) Swatch & Review

Collection: L’Oréal Spring 2018, Le Vernis à l’Huile Nail Lacquer

Happy Nail Polish Day, everyone!

I am still reeling from the effects of watching the series finale of one of my very favorite shows of the last decade, The Americans. (It aired on Wednesday, but Mr. Fivezero and I didn’t have time to watch it until last night.) It was the best series ending I’ve seen for…I don’t even know how long. It was brilliantly written, brilliantly acted, brilliantly directed. It’s gut-wrenching, haunting, and the show remained true to itself to the very last frame. I cannot recommend this series enough, if you were not lucky enough to have watched it from the beginning.

The Americans on FX Season 6 poster

The Americans Season 6,
with Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell.

Anyway, onto the polish! This is my first nail polish swatch in eons. Pardon my cuticles.

Bleu Nu (442) is a newer release in L’Oréal’s fantastic line of Colour Riche Vernis à l’Huile nail polishes. I spotted it in stores earlier in the spring, but didn’t feel like ponying up $11.99 for a couple of bottles. Luckily for me, I did manage to pick up two from the collection on clearance last month. I got Bleu Nu, Sable Tuileries, and I thought I was getting Rouge Opéra, the red from the collection, but it was just Rouge Amour which I already owned. D’oh! Ah well, can you ever have enough red creams?

This one is a deeper, electric blue shimmer. My favorite thing about this shade is that it should seem flashier, but actually it has an elegance to it. Really quite nice, though probably fairly easily duped elsewhere.

L'Oréal Le Vernis à l'Huile Nail Lacquer in Bleu Nu

L’Oréal Le Vernis à l’Huile Nail Lacquer in Bleu Nu

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Haulage! beautyBOUTIQUE Super Spend Your Points Event & FragranceX (January 2017)

In anticipation of the launch of PC Optimum on February 1, 2018, Shoppers Drug Mart is holding a Super Spend Your Points Event this weekend. If you’ve been saving up your Shoppers Optimum Points, now is definitely the time to redeem them!

I wish I hadn’t placed a redemption order earlier this week, but oh well. I really did not forsee them doing such a good redemption deal! The YSL Black Opium Nuit Blanche I got, which I worried about going out-of-stock, is still available, too.

Anyway, I went all out pricy perfume (and some nail polish, because it’s me), since I have decided I need to focus on finishing up a lot of makeup and skincare before acquiring any new ones. It is a brand new year, after all!

Brands like Chanel and Dior are generally the best fragrance options to redeem for, since their products are not as readily available at online discounters, or are not well-discounted even if they are. However, I found Dior Poison Girl EDT available at a better price online (and in a 30 mL size, which I prefer), so I decided against redeeming for that. Here’s what I got at Shoppers’ beautyBOUTIQUE:

What I Redeemed For

RALPH LAUREN
Woman Gift Set

30 mL EDP & 75 mL Body Lotion / $84, on sale for $67.20
(now sold out online; I did see some in-store at the SDM in Toronto Eaton Centre)
Ralph Lauren Woman Gift Set (EDP 50 mL, Body Lotion 75 mL)

This seemed to sell out immediately after I placed my order, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will indeed get it! [Edit: as I was writing up this post, I received an email saying my order has already shipped just a few hours after I placed it! Woohoo!]

I’m so glad I saw this set because I didn’t really need 50 mL, but that was the smallest individual bottle available online until a couple days ago. (I never get more than 30 mL unless I have to—I rotate through a lot of perfume.) This elegant, white floral scent is so gorgeous! It was love at first sniff.


CHANEL
Allure EDT

50 mL | $95
Chanel Allure EDT 50 mL

I actually wanted the EDP version of Allure, which is all cozy peaches, vanilla, and powdery florals! But the 50 mL EDP was sold out online, so I got the slightly cheaper EDT. My plan is to go in-store and test the EDT. If I like it, I’ll keep it and just get the EDP in another redemption. If I don’t like it, I should be able to exchange the unwrapped box in-store for the 50 mL EDP, and just pay the difference. It has been well over ten years since I last tested Allure EDT and I can’t remember it at all, but it is supposed to be a lighter, more citrus-y and sparkly scent than the EDP.

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Rebecca Minkoff, Je t'aime Medium Crossbody in Opal Iridescent

Holiday Haulage! Christmas & Boxing Day 2017

I still need to browse through other bloggers’ holiday hauls (I love haul posts!), but here’s my beauty-related Christmas and Boxing Day sale haulage for 2017.


CAKE BEAUTY
Deck the Haul Gift Set

  • The ‘Do Gooder Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray (7 fl oz)
  • The Locks Smith Hydrating Dry Conditioner Spray (7 fl oz)
  • The Wave Maker Texturizing Beach Spray (2 fl oz)
  • The Brush Crush Dry Styling Dual Bristle Brush
  • 2 × The Grip Clip Dry Styling Hair Clip

The MSRP was C$73 (really?) but I got it after the holidays at Shoppers Drug Mart for $11!

Cake Beauty Deck the Haul Gift Set


CHANEL
Le Vernis Longwear in Fiction (582)

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear in Fiction

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Etat Libre d'Orange 30 mL perfumes in Jasmin et Cigarette & Putain des Palaces

Store Reviews: Luckyscent & FragranceBuy Canada, Hauling Samples & Etat Libre d’Orange (January 2017)

While I do love to swing by the department store or Shoppers Drug Mart’s beautyBOUTIQUE (Sephora’s a bit crowded for my liking) to try out perfumes, there is something I particularly love about having a sample at home, because then I can try out a perfume multiple times at my leisure, at different times of day, and under different conditions. The main drawbacks are that samples are not always free, especially for rarer and niche scents, and that the samples usually do not come with sprayers. I find that a perfume sprayed often gives a different impression than a perfume dabbed.

However, the benefits outweigh the negatives, so I occasionally round up an order of samples from an online perfume shop like Luckyscent, that offers decanted samples of many (most?) of the niche perfumes they sell. I have in the past used sample-only outfits like The Perfumed CourtSurrender to Chance is another, though I can’t remember whether I’ve actually placed an order with them—but in recent years, their shipping costs to Canada have become too prohibitive. FragranceX is another option for official carded samples, though their selection is very limited and I typically just order full-sized bottles from them. (I am not affiliated with any of the aforementioned sites.)

It’s probably been about four years now since I placed a big sample order—I wasn’t interested in trying perfumes while pregnant, since your sense of smell can apparently change during this time, and then after the kids were born, I was simply too tired to even think about perfume! But now, especially after the holiday season when perfume gift sets are everywhere, I’ve gotten back into the swing of things.

Reviewing: Luckyscent

Here’s my first Luckyscent sample order in a long time. I love this US-based online store with a wonderful selection of niche scents. Their shipping to Canada is very reasonable (a flat $8 for my 16-sample order) and they ship very quickly. I received my order in just five days (three business days)! I also included two samples from a newer Canadian line, Zoologist; if I’d ordered directly from Zoologist’s site, my samples would have cost more, as well.

All fragrances I selected are eau de parfum concentration, and prices are in USD. The 0.7 mL samples (basically your typical 1 mL sample vial, but they’re never actually filled up all the way) each cost $3–$5. The perfume links I added all go to the Luckyscent page (again, I’m not affiliated), where I also got additional details on each fragrance.

The only fragrance I wasn’t able to get a sample for that I’ve been wanting to try for ages is Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin. It was, sadly, out of stock.

fivezero's December 2017 Luckyscent sample order, bottles
Images: Luckyscent

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