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

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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)

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BADGLEY MISCHKA — Badgley Mischka (2006)

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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 »

10 Things I Hate in Handbag Designs

[Hermès Kelly 32cm Ostrich Bag in Tangerine. Image: christies.com]

Since I did a big handbag post yesterday, I’m kind of in the mood! While I was composing my wishlist, I was thinking of handbag features that I truly dislike. I’m talking strictly aesthetics, here—no bitching about brands I don’t like, environmentally-unfriendly manufacturing practices, celebrity spokespeople I irrationally dislike, or anything of the sort. Here are my top 10 handbag design pet peeves:

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Non-adjustable shoulder and crossbody straps. This is the biggie for me as a short person. Sometimes, even the shortest setting is still too long for me on semi-adjustable straps! I understand that fully adjustable straps look more at home on casual and rugged bags, and that they would cost more to make, but I have not bought bags simply because their shoulder or crossbody straps are too long for me. I imagine tall people have the opposite issue. Not everyone is the same size, nor does everyone like to have their bag drop at the same height! If I’ve already paid a lot of money for a bag, I don’t want to also have to pay a cobbler to adjust the strap for me (granted, it was pretty easy to get a cobbler to punch a new hole in a Tory Burch strap, but I was too leery to have them do it to my Chloés, so I just wear them a little bit lower than I’d prefer). I adore my Linea Pelle and Fossil bags because they have fully adjustable straps.

Ironically, my favorite bag doesn’t have an adjustable strap—I’m just lucky that its long strap somehow fits me perfectly both on the shoulder and crossbody:

Givenchy Pandora Medium Satchel in Cobalt
Givenchy Pandora Medium Satchel in Cobalt (mine is a different color).
Image: net-a-porter.com

 

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Top handles that stick up when using the shoulder strap option. I do have a bag that does this (and one of my wishlist bags, the original Givenchy Nightingale, does as well), but the handles of these bags are low-profile and floppy, so they are less annoying. The Mini Pashli, pictured below, also just about gets away with it because the bag is so pretty…

3.1 Phillip Lim Mini Pashli in Dusty Blue
3.1 Phillip Lim Mini Pashli in Dusty Blue.
Image: shopbop.com

 

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The Handbags That Got Away

[MARC by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Baby Aidan satchel. Image: farfetch.com]

I’m the sort of person who gets a little bit obsessive about one topic at a time (though luckily I stay pretty obsessed with nail polish, ha!), and recently I’ve been diving back into handbags because my birthday is coming up in the fall and I wanted to narrow down my choices and give myself time to find a good deal!

(Yes, DH and I don’t really exchange gifts. We just do gift budgets. It works out great because we no longer get disappointed about not receiving quite what we wanted! Before, I’d ended up with jewelry that I don’t really wear, and you should have seen the look on his face when I bought him an apparently subpar bottle of Scotch one year. He ain’t never gonna live that look down.)

Anyway, handbags are the only fashion items I’ve been interested in buying, simply because I’m losing my pregnancy weight and even my damn shoes are too snug right now. Clothing will have to wait. I’ve already decided that once I get back to my pre-pregnancy weight—and I will! Right?—I’ll treat myself to a new wardrobe. But for now, handbags! Weeee!

My shortlist is pretty small now, so I just have to decide what I really want. But while I was doing my research, it got me thinking about bags that, for one reason or another, I have had on my wishlist for ages. Many are discontinued (style or color), so the secondhand market is the only place to find them now. Most of these bags will remain on my wishlist forever, I feel, but I enjoyed compiling them into a single blog post for sharing.

Alexander Wang Rockie satchel in Nectar
Alexander Wang Rockie in Nectar.
Image: fwrd.com

Alexander Wang — Rockie
The Rockie is the perfect size for my petite stature (the Rocco is too large for me), but reviews all say this is still one heavy bag, thanks to all the gorgeous hardware it sports. Part of me also feels I’m not cool enough for the bag, so I continue to admire it from afar. I especially love this one in nude and pastel shades with silver or rose gold hardware.

Christian Dior Miss Dior in Crimson
Christian Dior Miss Dior in Crimson.
Image: bragmybag.com

Christian Dior — Miss Dior
This is beyond my comfort zone, price-wise. Simple enough reason! Isn’t that chain strap gorgeous, though? Most bag aficionados are gaga for Chanel’s quilted flaps, but for me, Dior and their cannage stitching is the grail. Sadly, I don’t see the Miss Dior on the official site any more.

Coach Borough in Retro Colorblock Oxblood/Olive
Coach Borough in Retro Colorblock Oxblood/Olive.
Image: thebay.com

Coach — Borough (Retro Colorblock Oxblood/Olive)
Coach has come out with some beautiful styles lately. Every time I see someone carrying this, I wish I’d gotten one—but I don’t work in an office and this bag doesn’t fit my lifestyle. (As if a Miss Dior does! Hahahaha.)

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Violet flowers. Image: pichost.me

Happy National Fragrance Day! A Roundup of Some Old Faves

It’s National Fragrance Day, and I though I rarely post about perfume, I thought I’d share five of my favorites in honor of the event.

Balmain Jolie Madame edt

Jolie Madame is a bit of an oldie, and has recently been discontinued by Balmain. They do seem to be in the process of revamping their fragrance lineup, so one can only hope that they will restore Jolie Madame to their library. I only own the newer version of Jolie Madame, and not the 1953 vintage that was created by Germaine Cellier. (Within the last ten years or so, many fragrances have required reformulation thanks to the EU’s stringent IRFA regulations.) Still, I think it smells wonderful, kind of like the inside of a chic lady’s leather handbag. It contains many notes, but I mostly get leather, violet, tobacco, and vetiver. I try to use it a lot more sparingly now, since it’s been discontinued. I’m thinking of just spritzing it into some of my handbags and enjoying it that way!

Balmain Jolie Madame edt
Balmain Jolie Madame eau de toilette

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Planning My Next Handbag Addition, & Bags I Added in 2014

I am not the girliest of girls (proclaims the “girl” who runs a nail polish blog!) but I do love my handbags.

My very first leather bag was one of two: it was either a red Coach demi shoulder bag with the softest, smoothest leather—this was around 15 years ago, folks! baguettes were in and Coach leather was super—or an edgier, cement-grey Hype hobo in no-fuss, slightly shiny but still very soft leather.

Hype, Everest pocket hobo, Steel
Hype, Everest pocket hobo in Steel.
Image: bluefly.com

I want to say it was the Coach that was first. Either way, I adored the Coach but didn’t get that many chances to use it, since it was so small. I also loved the Hype and used it to hell! It was fantastic because it had a comfortable, adjustable strap that let me wear it both on the shoulder and crossbody. Plus, I found that grey goes with almost everything.

Fast forward about 15 years and I’m really happy with my bag collection, and am thinking of trimming it down—I have a lot of bags that I no longer use and should really just donate—and, of course, I’d love to add a brand new bag, as well!

It turns out that I didn’t buy a single handbag for myself last year. That’s pretty stunning, because I don’t think I’ve had a no-handbag year for…many years…before 2015. It’s probably a sign that I’m mostly satisfied with my collection. (Either that, or I spent too much money on nail polish last year.) I definitely go through shopping phases—in 2014, I got a number of bags, but hardly any makeup at all! And last year it was the reverse.

On a more personal note, the last week has been a bit trying, as I’ve had to go to the doctor more often than I’d like—even a first-ever trip to the emergency room for me—and as a result I’ve neglected the blog even more. Today I am satisfied that everything is all right for the time being, but since I was trying to take my mind off medical issues for the last several days, I got bitten by the handbag bug again! Internet shopping is so evil, but what else can you do when you’re instructed to rest all day?

Luckily, it’s only been internet window shopping. My clicky finger has been stayed by the atrocious and only getting atrocious-er Canadian to US dollar exchange rate (we’re at 70 cents to the dollar, now, eek) so I’m just starting to compile my shortlist for My Next Handbag Addition, Which, If I Wait for the Canadian Dollar to Partially Recover, Might Not Even Be For 2016.

I’ve bought way too much Rebecca Minkoff in 2014, so I’ll probably move on to something else, particularly since I’m not keen on most of her new styles. Here’s a list of the bags I added in 2014 (keep in mind that I barely bought any makeup and clothes in 2014!), and after that I’ll share my Next Handbag Shortlist.

Handbags I Added in 2014

Rachel Nasvik, Phoebe satchel, Grey
Rachel Nasvik, Phoebe Satchel in Grey. Image: lyst.com

Rachel Nasvik

Phoebe Satchel in Grey

Rachel Nasvik, based out of New York City, used to make the most gorgeous vintage-inspired handbags that are made in the USA! She hasn’t really done much in recent years, which makes me really sad, but I did manage to add this grey Patricia to my very small RN collection (which also includes a burgundy Patricia, a white/tan Bianca, and a black Phoebe). The Patricia is a little awkward to carry due to its size, but I love the styling to pieces! The bags all come with a bright cobalt blue cotton lining, too.

I have eBay email me every time a Rachel Nasvik bag pops up there; I bought this used (or “pre-loved”, as they like to say!) for US$50.

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