Nina Ricci Les Monstres Nina & Luna perfumes, 2018 limited edition

Perfume Notes: Mother’s Day Edition (April 2018)

Hey, I’m squeezing in my April perfume notes just in time for Mother’s Day (May 13, 2018)!

Spring is in the air, and while my list contains a fair few carryovers from the winter, there are also many romantic, warm weather-friendly scents, as well. If you haven’t bought your mom (or yourself!) a gift, yet, I hope these mini reviews will give you some ideas.

  • Alaïa Alaïa
  • Alaïa Alaïa Blanche
  • Annick Goutal Un Matin d’Orage
  • Annick Goutal Rose Absolue
  • Annick Goutal Rose Pompon
  • Annick Goutal Songes EDT & EDP
  • Annick Goutal Vanille Exquise
  • Atelier Flou Sloane Rose
  • Calvin Klein Eternity Air
  • Chanel Les Exclusifs: Coromandel EDP
  • Dior J’Adore
  • Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Fig
  • Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Nectar de Parfum
  • Jennifer Aniston Near Dusk
  • Maison Margiela Replica: Lipstick On
  • Narciso Rodriguez Narciso EDT
  • Nina Ricci Les Monstres: Luna & Nina
  • Ormonde Jayne Ta’if
  • Paco Rabanne Olympéa Aqua EDP Légère
  • Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger
  • Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille
  • Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire: Orchidée Vanille
  • Vera Wang Embrace: Marigold & Gardenia (yellow florals, melon)
  • Vera Wang Embrace: Rose Buds & Vanilla
  • Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris EDT

I also tested all of the scents in the Berdoues sampler I got from Sephora, but I’ll write a separate blog post for those!


ALAÏA
Alaïa

Alaïa EDP 100 mL2015 | Marie Salamagne
Top Notes: airy notes, pink pepper
Heart Notes: freesia, peony
Base Notes: animalic notes, musk

I wanted very much to love the eponymous first fragrance from designer Alaïa, especially since the bottle is so beautiful, but it didn’t move me. It is deep and a bit dark, but also a little too cloying. I wouldn’t mind trying it again for a better grasp of it, but my initial impression is not very favorable. I don’t love any of the notes in it, so I suppose it is not a surprise that I didn’t fall for it.

The stunning bottle design echoes Alaïa’s gorgeous, laser cut handbags:

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Roberto Cavalli Paradiso eau de parfum

Happy National Fragrance Day! (2018)

Today is National Fragrance Day! I don’t know which nation this is from (probably not Canada), but I’ll celebrate it, anyway!

In honor of the day, I will round up all my Canadian drugstore perfume deals. For those who do not know, many locations of Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall drugstores have clearance perfume shelves, where they rotate perfumes priced at CA$19.99. Occasionally, Shoppers even has weekend deals for $17.77!

These perfumes are often the cheaper drugstore lines (drugstore staples and celeb scents), but occasionally one will also find discontinued smaller sizes of designer fragrances that usually go for a lot more! It’s well worth it to swing by the clearance shelf once a week.

Here are the ones I’ve picked up over the years:

Isabella Rossellini Manifesto EDT (50 mL)
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI
Manifesto EDT (50 mL)

basil, pepper, bergamot, lily, orange blossom, musk

This is a super old one in my collection! To be honest, I haven’t used it in forever; hope it hasn’t turned. But it is quite a lovely herbal green scent.


Oscar de la Renta So de la Renta EDP (30 mL)
OSCAR DE LA RENTA
So de la Renta EDP (30 mL)

kiwi, mango, watermelon, white florals, lotus, peony, musk

This remains one of my very favorite florals. It’s light and bright, youthful yet completely classy, and supremely easy to wear. My bottle is very old, so I don’t know if the certainly reformulated version out today compares. But I do love the original.

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Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Essence de Parfum advertisement

Perfume Notes (January 2018)

Hello all!

I know I have been AWOL for a while, now—among other things, I have been hard at work on the nail polish database—a brand spanking new version is coming, with the ability to track your own collection. (‘Cause I personally really, really need to do that!)

For now, I can only offer up this rather long list of perfume notes that I have compiled over the month of January. As you can see, I’ve been doing a lot of huffing. This comes just in time for Valentine’s Day, which is tomorrow, in case you need some gift ideas for a lovely lady in your life!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all! 💝

The full list for January:

  1. adidas Born Original for Her
  2. Ariana Grande Ari
  3. Bvlgari Splendida Iris d’Or
  4. Calvin Klein Obsessed for Women
  5. Calvin Klein Reveal
  6. Chanel Allure (EDT)
  7. Chanel Allure (EDP)
  8. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle (EDP)
  9. Dior Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming
  10. Dior Hypnotic Poison
  11. Dior Pure Poison
  12. Escada Sorbetto Rosso
  13. Estée Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge
  14. Etat Libre d’Orange Jasmin et Cigarette
  15. Etat Libre d’Orange Putain de Palaces
  16. Giorgio Armani Sí
  17. Givenchy Ange ou Démon
  18. Guerlain Mon Guerlain
  19. Jason Wu Jason Wu
  20. Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Essence de Parfum
  21. Lacoste Eau de Lacoste
  22. Lancôme La Nuit Trésor EDP
  23. Prada La Femme Intense
  24. Paco Rabanne Lady Million
  25. Paco Rabanne Olympéa
  26. Rihanna Rogue
  27. Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Misteriosa
  28. Sofía Vergara Love (Fragrance Mist)
  29. Sofía Vergara Sofía (Fragrance Mist)
  30. Mugler Angel (EDP)
  31. Mugler Womanity
  32. Vera Wang Princess of Hearts
  33. Vera Wang Princess Noir
  34. Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium
  35. Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Floral Shock
  36. Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Nuit Blanche

I also got minor sniffs of these on cards, so I won’t talk about them today. Several are scents I had tried once and forgotten—I’ll have to revisit some of them on skin!

  1. Chanel Beige
  2. Chanel Chance
  3. Chanel Cristalle (EDT?)
  4. Chanel Gabrielle
  5. Dior J’Adore Eau Lumière (EDT)
  6. Mugler Aura

[Quick edit note: I had to fix quite a lot of things in this post; WordPress appeared to have not saved some of the bits I wrote, so certain entries were just incorrect. I think I’ve fixed everything, now! (Feb 13, 2018 at 11:55 PM)]

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fivezero's beautyBOUTIQUE Haulage (March 2017)

Haulage! beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart (March–April 2017)

I never did get around to posting my beautyBOUTIQUE hauls (gotta love those Shoppers Drug Mart coupons and Optimum Points events!), so I’m combining five of them into one post.

Perhaps these will provide some inspiration for Mother’s Day gifts? Speaking of which, today was a special day for me because I received my first ever Mother’s Day gift from our little peanut!

Behold (the peanut clip art is covering his name):

fivezero's 2017 Mother's Day Gift from peanut

I am totally wearing that necklace on Sunday.

Anyway, here’s my fairly reasonable damage! All prices are in CA$.

Orders 1–2

First up, I received two $10 off coupons for beautyBOUTIQUE.ca when I was buying stuff at Shoppers Drug Mart. Cool. Of course, I had to use them on two orders:

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Shoppers Drug Mart Spend Your Points Event (April 29-30, 2017)

Sale Alert: Shoppers Drug Mart’s Spend Your Points Event (April 29–30, 2017)

This weekend (April 29–30, 2017), Canada’s Shoppers Drug Mart is offering a Spend Your Points Event!

Spend the following Optimum Points and receive:

  • 50,000 points for $100 off (extra $15)
  • 95,000 points for $200 off (extra $30)

This offer is also available online at SDM’s beautyBOUTIQUE. Don’t forget ebates.ca (referral link)!

Search for your closest Shoppers Drug Mart beautyBOUTIQUE by brand here.

Here are links to some of my past Optimum Points hauls:

I have a lot of points accumulated, and decided I don’t want to hang on to too many at once (should Loblaw decide to change the Optimum Points system). I redeemed twice for $200! Whee! Optimum Points get racked up a lot faster if you load the personalized coupons every week.

Here’s my haul. I was good and didn’t get any lipstick! But I did get nail polish (of course), eyeshadow, lipgloss (doesn’t count!), and foundation. I only had to pay the excess beyond $200 ($1 on the first order, $2 on the second!) and 13% HST (sales tax) on the full amounts—and of course I redeemed 2 x 95k Optimum Points. I also received a bonus 10k points for spending $100 on Clinique skincare. I think it’s nice that they let you get the bonuses even when you’re just redeeming points and not “really” spending money.

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Perfume Notes on Labour Day

I got bitten by the perfume bug again and wanted to hit up Shoppers Drug Mart for some sniffing. For those who don’t know, Shoppers is a Canadian drugstore chain with a fantastic selection of higher-end beauty products sold at locations with a BeautyBoutique. Unfortunately, I went on Labour Day yesterday, and I was greeted by a cordoned-off prestige fragrance section!

Shoppers Drug Mart, Ontario Retail Business Holidays Act, Labour Day

I asked a sales associate about it, and it turns out that Ontario has a Retail Business Holidays Act which states that only pharmacies under a certain square footage may open on holidays like Labour Day. So, this Shoppers Drug Mart location, being over the allotted size, cordoned off certain areas to circumvent the by-law. I noticed that other sections blocked off were the prestige skincare section (Vichy, Nuxe, La Roche-Posay, etc.) and, bizarrely, the shampoo aisle. The SA said she’d be happy to help me out if I wanted to try any of the fragrance testers, but I didn’t want to bother her since my plan was to try out quite a lot of perfumes.

The fragrances on my shortlist were:

  1. Balenciaga – Florabotanica & Rosabotanica (re-test)
  2. Burberry – Body
  3. Burberry – My Burberry Black
  4. Givenchy – Hot Couture (EDP & EDT, re-test)
  5. Gucci – Rush (for some reason, I’ve never tested this)
  6. Jean-Paul Gaultier – Classique & Classique X (re-test)
  7. Jean-Paul Gaultier – Ma Dame
  8. Lolita Lempicka – Elle L’aime (re-test)
  9. Lolita Lempicka – Sweet
  10. Marc Jacobs – Divine Decadence
  11. Miu Miu
  12. Oscar de la Renta – Live in Love
  13. Paco Rabanne – Olympéa
  14. Rihanna – Nude & Rogue (re-test)
  15. Salvatore Ferragamo – Signorina (EDP & EDT)

I wasn’t sure whether all of these were available at one location—but now, with most of the “prestige fragrances” blocked off, I’d probably only get to try some of the less expensive items on my list.

In the end, here’s what I got to test:Read More »

Montage of cheap thrills perfumes

Top 20 Cheap Thrills in Perfume

I am going to say right off the bat that I am in no way a perfumista. My nose isn’t quite so refined, and I still have trouble identifying many elements of fragrances. I simply enjoy trying out all kinds of different fragrances, and I love finding a cheap thrill that I can add to my collection. (I have that obsessive collector’s bug in me!)

With nail polish, I can appreciate most, if not all, colors. Similarly, I like many different types of fragrances, so my lists may seem a bit haphazard. However, I definitely gravitate to rose, violet, and lemon notes, as well as warm skin scents.

And so, with those disclaimers out of the way, I present my Top 20 Cheap Thrills in Perfume. I have divided the 20 into two separate lists: In Production and Discontinued (as far as I know!).

Prices given are in USD and are approximates that I found from popular online discounters like FragranceNet, FragranceX, Perfumania, and StrawberryNet. And, don’t forget TJ Maxx and Marshalls, and Winners in Canada! My personal favorite, as someone who requires shipping to Canada, is FragranceX, and I have made many purchases there.

For items that are currently unavailable online, I note the price that I paid, instead.

The lists are in alphabetical order, not order of preference.

If you’ve tried any of these, I would love to know what you think! Fragrance is impossibly subjective, and I think it’s always fun to see what others love and hate. No offense will be taken, and I always welcome recommendations!

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