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:

Read More »

Advertisements
fivezero's perfume tray, May 2018

Perfume Diary: May 2018

The idea of a perfume tray is one that I’ve partially subscribed to over the years, but recently, I haven’t really kept one. The fact remains that light (and heat) will ruin perfume, so I almost always prefer keeping perfumes in their original boxes. It makes it easier to organize them and move them, as well.

The main drawbacks of this, of course, are that I don’t get to enjoy the bottle designs and that it makes it annoying to actually use my perfume! Having to remove a perfume from its box and then replace it every time I want a spritz gets tiresome.

Elizabeth Taylor at her dressing table
Elizabeth Taylor at her dressing table (1948).
Image: elle.com

If you have a minimalist’s perfume wardrobe, then it’s a simple thing to display perfumes on your vanity, even by a window—you’ll likely go through the perfume fast enough that light and heat degradation aren’t a problem. My perfume collection is a larger one, so this doesn’t work well for me. I honestly do not recall the last time I finished a bottle of perfume! (Well, it was probably when I dropped a bottle of Clinique Happy about sixteen or seventeen years ago… Does it count if I gave bottles away?)

white perfume tray
Image: inrichting-huis.com

But I did use to keep a perfume tray out for the sake of convenience, and it displayed some of my most-worn scents. Sadly, after several years of sitting in indirect sunlight, the top notes have turned in my bottles of Burberry Brit EDT, Tracy by Ellen Tracy, Clinique Happy, and Calvin Klein Truth—at least the scents are fine once I get past the first couple of minutes of soured top notes. Britney Spears Fantasy fared well, but I think it’s because the bottle is semi-opaque. (You can tell I wasn’t keen on using more expensive or discontinued scents as guinea pigs!) Overall, my first attempt at a perfume tray didn’t work as well as I would have liked.Read More »

Chloé Nomade: The New Fragrance

Perfume Notes (March 2018)

It’s Friday the 13th!

My March perfume roundup took a while to compile; as you can see, I was a busy sniffer!

  1. Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs EDT
  2. Cacharel Scarlett
  3. Cacharel Yes I Am
  4. Cartier La Panthère
  5. Chanel Chance Eau Tendre
  6. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Intense
  7. Chanel Cristalle EDP
  8. Chloé Fleur de Parfum Chloé
  9. Chloé Love Story EDP
  10. Chloé Nomade
  11. Clinique Aromatics Elixir
  12. Dior Addict EDP
  13. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Eau Intense
  14. Elie Saab Le Parfum in White
  15. Elizabeth Arden Untold Eau Fraîche
  16. Giorgio Armani Code Cashmere
  17. Givenchy Dahlia Divin EDP
  18. Givenchy Play for Her EDT
  19. Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pera Granita
  20. Guerlain L’Instant EDP
  21. Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Eau Fraîche
  22. Jennifer Lopez Blue Glow
  23. Lanvin Eclat d’Arpège
  24. Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh
  25. Marc Jacobs Decadence EDP
  26. Mugler Angel Eau Sucrée (2018)
  27. Mugler Aura
  28. Oscar de la Renta Bella Blanca
  29. Ralph Lauren Romance Rosé
  30. Ralph Lauren Tender Romance
  31. Reem Acra Reem Acra
  32. Stella McCartney L.I.L.Y
  33. Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris EDP

CACHAREL
Anaïs Anaïs EDT

Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs EDT 100 mL1978 | Roger Pellegrino, Robert Gonnon, Paul Leger, Raymond Chaillan
Top Notes: orange blossom, hyacinth
Heart Notes: rose, lily, jasmine
Base Notes: amber, sandalwood, incense

This one has been around for a long time, and while it’s never been one to which I paid much attention, I recently thought I’d resniff it. It has also recently been relaunched in EDP and EDT; I am pretty sure I tested the old version, since the bottle had the old style cap, which is as wide as the bottle itself.

Anaïs Anaïs is perfectly fine, and very 1980s-smelling. Strong, big florals, lots of powder. I don’t really have a reaction either way—I wouldn’t choose to wear it myself, but it smells fine.

I have seen this (and Cacharel Amor Amor) on the $19.99 rack at Shoppers Drug Mart, but maybe that’s just been to clear out the old bottles over the last year or two.


 

CACHAREL
Scarlett EDT

Cacharel Scarlett EDT 50 mL2009 | Honorine Blanc, Olivier Cresp, Alberto Morillas
Top Notes: citrus, tea, pear
Heart Notes: jasmine, orange blossom, honeysuckle
Base Notes: white musk, honey, sandalwood

Named for the character Scarlet O’Hara from Gone with the Wind, Scarlett is initially fairly pretty and clean-smelling, with bright citrus notes mingled with delicate white florals. It quickly turns into something musky and a little cloying—honey is often tricky for me this way.

I was quite surprised to see a tester for this older perfume at Shoppers Drug Mart recently! The adorable bottle doesn’t have anything written on it, and the box was nowhere to be found, so I had to squint at the tiny sticker on the bottom to figure out which fragrance it was.Read More »

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.

Read More »

fivezero's Topbox, November 2017

Topbox — November 2017

Well, I’m still subscribed to Canadian subscription box Topbox (referral link)! I didn’t expect to be, but they stepped up their game a bit over the last two months, which justified the low CA$12 shipped price for me.

Here’s my November 2017 box, which I’m late in posting. I have a couple of Topbox special collection boxes to post, as well as my December 2017 box, as well.

What I Received in My Topbox (November 2017)

  • China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Dope Taupe (0.5 oz) [CA$8]
  • Elizabeth Arden Lasting Impression Mascara in Lasting Black (2.5 mL sample) [CA$32 / US$24 for 8.5 mL, value: CA$9.41]
  • Laritzy Silicone Makeup Blender [US$14]
  • Sebastian Professional Shaper Plus+ Extra Hold Hairspray (38.5 g sample) [CA$19 for 300 g, value: CA$2.44]

Also, because I submitted a mild complaint the previous month (about getting disappointing, itty bitty samples two months running), they sent me a bonus this month:

  • BeneFit Dandelion Shy Beam (4 mL sample) [CA$35 for 10 mL, value: CA$14]

Box Cost = CA$12 + 1.56 tax, free shipping

Total Box Value = CA$8 + CA$9.41 + US$14 + CA$2.44 ≈ CA$37.55

Unfortunately, I already own China Glaze Dope Taupe, but it’s still nice that they sent a polish. It’s just a shame it isn’t from a more recent collection, so I’d have been less likely to own it.

Detailed pics follow:

Read More »

fivezero's beautyBOUTIQUE haulage, Shoppers Optimum Points redemption (September 2017) Chanel, Dior, Estée Lauder

Haulage × 2! beautyBOUTIQUE (July & September 2017)

This post covers two Optimum Points redemption orders I placed in July and September 2017.

I’ve been racking up the points via the Shoppers app, and redeemed 95k points for $170 worth of product (all prices in CA$) in both July and September during two PLUS Bonus Events. Here’s July’s order:

  • ARTDECO Art Couture Nail Lacquer in Silver Willow (978)
  • Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules (60 Capsules)
  • Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in 1N2 Ecru
  • Soap & Glory Flake Away Spa Body Polish

Free samples (I forgot to take pics of these):

  • Elie Saab Le Parfum EDT (sample)
  • Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Overnight Firming Mask (sample)
  • Vasanti Brighten Up! New Skin Amplifying Moisturizer (sample)

beautyBOUTIQUE actually made the first ever mistake I’ve ever had with them: they sent me the wrong shade of ARTDECO Nail Lacquer.

  • ARTDECO Art Couture Nail Lacquer in Rose Peony (953)

ARTDECO Nail Lacquer in Rose Peony 953

They only asked me to send a picture, which I did, and then they sent out Silver Willow right away. I got to keep Rose Peony, as well. I was really pleased with their excellent handling of an error. Plus, when they sent me the correct nail polish, they also included three free samples!

  • Lise Watier HydraForce Hydra-Protective Creme-Gel (sample)
  • PRADA Candy EDP (sample)
  • Sekkisei Clear Brightening Mask (sample)

Read More »

Haulage! fivezero's beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart Spend Your Points Plus Event Optimum redemption (June 2017)

Haulage! beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart (June 2017)

During last weekend’s Shoppers Drug Mart Spend Your Points Plus Event, I hopped onto their luxury beauty website, beautyBOUTIQUE, and redeemed 95,000 Optimum Points for $170 (plus $30 worth of Bonus Points to be added to my account later this month):

  • Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Coralium (562) [$32]
  • Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Sargasso (558) [$32]
  • Clarins 4-Colour Eye Palette (LE) from Sunkissed Summer 2017 [$45]
  • Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in Attract (867) [$72]

These were my 3 free samples:

  • Elizabeth Arden SUPERSTART Skin Renewal Booster (free sample)
  • Elizabeth Arden White Tea EDT (free sample)
  • Lise Watier HydraForce Hydra-Protective Creme-Gel (free sample)

My total was CA$181, so $170 was subtracted from my points redemption. You still have to pay tax (13% HST in Ontario) on the full amount, however.

The savings is like paying $1.94 for each Chanel polish, $2.74 for the Clarins palette, and $4.38 for the Dior palette!

$181 subtotal – $170 redemption + $23.53 HST = $34.53 Total

Plus the $30 worth of bonus points to come later, too.

As usual, my beautyBOUTIQUE order arrived very promptly and perfectly packaged.

Here are more detailed product photos:

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colours in Coralium and Sargasso

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colours in Coralium and Sargasso (which doesn’t look this shimmery in real life, it’s the famed Chanel “invisible shimmer” type)

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in Attract

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in Attract

Read More »