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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Diesel Loverdose Tattoo EDP 50 mL

Haulage! Diesel — Loverdose Tattoo, & Perfume Notes (December 2017)

After the disappointment that was Oscar de la Renta Blue Orchid, I felt like I wanted a pick-me-up, and I usually like my birthday/Christmas money to go to perfume.

I was craving a rice pudding scent, and the fragrant folks over at the Fragrantica boards reminded me that Diesel Loverdose Tattoo EDP was a perfect choice for that scent. I had actually tested—and loved!—Loverdose Tattoo when it first came out, and somehow I had forgotten all about it. I think I may have been waiting in vain for it to show up on Shoppers Drug Mart’s clearance shelves. But after snagging both Loverdose and Loverdose Red Kiss 30 mL bottles for $19.99 a pop, I guess my luck has run out.

I had one of those big bonus Optimum Points offers (18,500 points for a $100 spend) loaded onto my Shoppers Optimum card, so I picked up Loverdose Tattoo EDP in the 50 mL bottle and added some grocery items (COFFEE) and small holiday gifts (CANDY) to reach $100. Not a bad deal at all, though I’m sad to report that the cosmetician didn’t give me any free beauty samples! It’s so random. Once I spent less than $5 on nail polish, and a different cosmetician gave me a nice skincare sample. This time I got a $67 perfume and nada. Should I be pushy and ask next time?

If I’d ordered via beautyBOUTIQUE online, I’d have gotten a free deluxe sample Stila All Day Liquid Lipstick and three additional free samples, plus had the opportunity to use Ebates. I’m not sure the Bonus Optimum points would have counted, though—it might have just been an in-store offer.

By the way, if you’re wondering, my favorite online grey market perfume reseller, FragranceX, also had Loverdose Tattoo. The 75 mL was the only size available, and it was priced the same as the 50 mL I got. I’m not fussed about the extra 25 mL, since it takes me forever to use up perfume. 50 mL is plenty for me. The only real advantages would have been no tax and the 10% discount I get with my loyalty points, though I would have had to add another small item to my order to get free shipping. I think the Optimum Points work out better, and, I get instant gratification buying it from the drugstore down the street.

Anyway, here’s the rundown on my latest perfume acquisition, and notes on several other perfumes I’ve tried in-store over the last week.

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National Fragrance Day: 20 Favorite Bottle Designs in My Perfume Collection

It’s National Fragrance Day! To celebrate, I’ve compiled a list of favorite perfume bottles in my collection. I’ve previously done a list of perfumes I want just for the bottles, so I thought this would be a fun one to do, as well.

I’m not wearing any of these scents today, though. Test driving ’90s classic Tommy Girl (which comes in a perfectly serviceable bottle, but it’s certainly not one of my favorites).

ANNICK GOUTAL Heure Exquise EDP
Image: annickgoutal.com

1

ANNICK GOUTAL — Heure Exquise & Les Nuits d’Hadrien

Many of Annick Goutal’s fragrances come in this signature bottle and tagged with a ribbon and a card. The style is old-fashioned and very beautiful. The glass bottle’s ribbing is reminiscent of gathered tulle.


BADGLEY MISCHKA Badgley Mischka EDP (2006)

2

BADGLEY MISCHKA — Badgley Mischka (2006)

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Haulage! beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart (September 2016)

This Haulage! post also serves as Part 2 to Online Store Review: beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart (Part 1).

My order was placed on September 17, it shipped on the 22nd, and it was arrived to me in Toronto on the 23rd (5 business days), so delivery fell well within the advertised 4–7 business days.

Firstly, I want to mention that about a week after I placed the order, I happened to notice something while I was doing my weekly coupon-loading on Shoppers Drug Mart’s website/app (it’s totally worth it, by the way—I’ve racked up so many Optimum points using the personalized coupons they are constantly cranking out!). My Optimum Points total seemed unusually low, even considering the 95,000 points I had just redeemed over the weekend. Then, under my Transaction History, I saw this:

They’d deducted my redeemed points twice!

As I was already on the Shoppers Drug Mart site, I shot off an email to them via their contact form. Shortly afterward, I received an email saying my message could not be delivered because my Yahoo email wasn’t being accepted. Guys, it’s coming from your own web form. Then, a tweet came to nothing as they asked me to direct message them, and then, via DM, asked me to send them an email. I emailed, then they asked me to call in.

I suppose I could have just called from the start, but what on earth are web forms and email and other methods of online communication for, then? In the end, I had a light bulb moment and checked beautyBOUTIQUE.com, where I’d actually made the purchase. They had their own web form for contacting customer service, so I tried that. (Frankly, it was already 4pm and there were constant drilling sounds coming from an adjacent apartment, so I didn’t feel like shouting over the phone with a CS agent. Not to mention Peanut is very keen on talking to everybody on the phone, even if it’s not for him.)

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Haulage! Perfume & the Dangers of the FragranceX Waitlist

I’m on the waitlist for many items at FragranceX, my favorite online perfume discounter (no affiliation), but I’ve never actually bought anything they’ve notified me about being back in stock. Until just now.

I currently have a tester bottle (capless and boxless) of Guerlain Mitsouko eau de toilette, and have wanted to pick up a proper bottle of the eau de parfum, too.

Well, it just came back in stock at FragranceX, and there was just one bottle. 75mL was a bit more than I wanted (50 would have done me just fine), but the price was pretty darn good, so I bit. I get a 10% loyalty discount and free duty-free shipping, as well. I mean, it’s only my second-favorite perfume of all time, and it’s perfect for the upcoming fall. Plus, I’m getting tired of smelling baby poo and spit-up!

Guerlain says:

Fruity Chypre.
Mysterious, balanced, velvety.

A masterpiece of balance and originality, Mitsouko marries a fruity note of peach with jasmine flowers and May rose. The mysterious dry-down of the fragrance blends spicy notes with those of underbrush and vetiver.

Mitsouko initiates the use of the peach note in perfumery. Illustrating the innovative side of its creators, Mitsouko is the first fruity chypre fragrance in the perfume world, following other chypre fragrances introduced by Guerlain.

Guerlain Mitsouko edp. It’s miiiiine!
Image: guerlain.com

I’ve accumulated too many new perfumes recently. Time to put an end to it (and go back to buying nail polish! Hahaha…) Here’s my recent damage:Read More »

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 »

12 Perfumes I Want Just for the Bottle

I don’t normally post on weekends, but this post was all done and ready to go, and I haven’t posted much lately.

In the wee hours of the night, I stay up with my two-and-a-half month old daughter and try not to do any online shopping. Therefore, I end up doing silly things like dissecting nine different versions of a Middle Eastern cookie recipe to create one über-recipe or compiling long lists of things that probably only I care about.

Recently, I’ve had perfume and handbags on the brain—which makes more sense than you’d think, since so many fashion houses necessarily have their own lines of perfume, as well. What do Narciso Rodriguez, Stella McCartney, and Juicy Couture know about perfume? But everyone from Michael Bublé, David Beckham, Zara, and the Kardashians to Donald Trump, Ferrari, Minions, and 24 (yes, the TV show) has a perfume line, so really, none of it makes sense anymore.

(I don’t wish to seem like I’m slamming any non-perfumers’ perfumes—some of my favorites are celebrity scents! I just really wanted to mention the Minions again.)

The perfume and handbags combination then got me thinking about the design of perfume bottles, as surely fashion houses would care deeply about their products’ aesthetics. I’ve seen many bottles that are straight-up hideous and others that are sublimely lovely. It’s never really affected my purchasing behavior, as it’s what’s inside the bottle that really counts: I’m not toting my perfume around with me and wearing it around my neck. But still, I like pretty things, and there are some fragrances with bottles I’ve admired but I haven’t gotten around to adding them to my collection for one reason or another. Here are the top 12 perfumes I want just for the bottle (in alphabetical order):

1

BALENCIAGA Florabotanica

I love everything about this perfume, except for the way it smells. I felt that Florabotanica didn’t smell like very much at all, like a generic, vaguely scented bath product. Everything else about the fragrance—the name, the bottle, the notes (mint, carnation, rose, and vetiver, all of which I enjoy)—is screaming Buy me! so I feel I should probably revisit it. Perhaps—and I hope—my nose was just having an off day.

2

CHANEL N°5

It’s the world’s most iconic perfume bottle. (See the Andy Warhol painting above.) The fragrance itself isn’t to my taste, however. I’ve tried the eau de toilette—it opens like ginger ale, then sours like a lemon on my skin. Perhaps I’ll try the eau de parfum one day, but I do have and love 2007’s N°5 Eau Première, and that’s probably enough N°5 for me, even though its bottle is not quite the same gorgeous, chunky style.

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