Saturday Question: Sample Size & Format

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Portia

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Heya APJ,

Taking an idea from Olfactoria’s Travels. Once a week there used to be a Question. Everyone would chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it would be a generally fun event each week. Taking sides never meant taking offence and everyone kept it respectful and light.

Saturday Question: Sample Size & Format

Today we are joined by Lillibet who has a Saturday Question

Portia can we have one about the ideal sample size and format (i.e. spray or dab)? I’d be really interested to know what everyone thinks.
Lil Xx

My Answer:

Hey Lillibet,

I like to get 3+ good wears out of a sample. Two or three wears of four spritzes on the back of my hand usually and one full body wear with the remainder. So when I’m buying samples I usually go for the 2ml Spray option, and my go-To for that is Surrender To Chance. If I’m lucky enough to see someone splitting a thing I’m interested in or if it sounds fun I’ll buy a decant of 5ml-10ml.

When I get a smaller dab vial it will be transferred into a disposable plastic spritz bottle and I’ll get a couple of wears out of that. It never seems enough to get a real knowledge of how a fragrance performs and I often wish for more..

So, my question to you is:

What Sample Size & Format Do You Prefer?

Maison Mona di Orio: New Launches 2017

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Val the Cookie Queen

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Good Afternoon from my computer, Wimbledon playing in the background!

It astonishes me that within the realms of a heavily saturated niche perfume market, that there is still the desire to create more. These two new MdO´s are niche as it should be, edgy and enthralling, but wearable. Accessible to anyone wishing to branch off from the more mainstream perfumes, yet still graceful and alluring. Those who want to smell of dead animals and bodily fluids are surprisingly enough, in the minority. Both Suède de Suède and Dõjima will charm the perfumistas whilst opening up a world to those just discovering niche fragrances.

Frederik Dalman is the Swedish in-house perfumer for Maison Mona di Orio.

Maison Mona di Orio: New Launches 2017

First Impressions

 

Dõjima by Frederik Dalman for Mona di Orio 2017

Rice accord,nutmeg absolute, ambrette, jasmin, orris, clary sage absolute, labdanum CO2, sandalwood, musks

Inspired by rice, and named for the Dõjima Rice Exchange founded by Samurai in 1697 in Osaka, Japan. Dõjima opens with a vivid green, slightly astringent, warmly spiced top layer; a nutty rice note hovers. There remains a greenness throughout, wrapped in a creamy sandalwood, a possible dash of vetiver, who knows? There is some jasmin and orris but I don´t wanna sniff myself into a coma trying to locate them, it takes away the pleasure. An aromatic delight.

Suède de Suède by Frederik Dalman for Mona di Orio 2017

Cloudberry, Sichuan pepper, suède accord, cedar wood, osmanthus, strawberry leaf, castoreum, patchouli, musks

A soft buttery suede/leather wrapped in a sharp berry shell. Frederik Dalman uses cloudberry, they have a distinctive tart taste, and feature in a number of Swedish culinary delights. The zesty berry opening melts into the supple suede, ripples
itself throughout, and remains until the end, preventing the suede from dominating. Osmanthus and strawberry leaf keeping
the cloudberry alive, castoreum, patchouli and musks giving the base. This is a year round leather and one to invite your civilian friends to try. Sensual.

Please take a look at Mona di Orio for the full scoop. Thanks a million to Jeroen, Frederik and Vera for sending me the beautiful box with enough perfume to wear it properly.

Launch in September. 180€ for 75mls

I have a number of MdO miniatures, and an original bottle of her Vanille. I would love a bottle of Mona´s Musc.
Any MdO lovers out there?

Bussis my dears.
CQ xxxx

Saturday Question: The Case Against Fragrance by Kate Grenville

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Greg Young from AusScents.

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(Ed: Taking an idea from Olfactoria’s Travels. Once a week there used to be a Question. Everyone would chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it would be a generally fun events each week. Taking sides never meant taking offence and everyone kept it respectful and light.
Today we are joined by my mate Greg who has a book review attached to the Saturday Question)

Hi APJ,

As something of a perfume collector, I thought I owed it to myself to read this book and find out more about what is in those fragrances in the cupboard.

Kate Grenville has long known that she has an intolerance for fragrances that give her headaches. When it reached a point where she was almost totally incapacitated during a book tour, she decided to research the matter and wrote this book.

(E)-I-(2,6,6-Trimethyl-I-cyclohexa-I,3-dienyl)but-2-en-I-one
(The Name of the Rose)

Book Review: The Case Against Fragrance, by Kate Grenville

 

Book Depository

 

Grenville points out that, in modern society, fragrance is almost inescapable. It’s not just the perfumes that we wear. It’s also added to every imaginable household product from toilet paper to laundry liquid. Stores, restaurants and hotels spray fragrance in the air. It’s ubiquitous, and that’s a problem for people that are affected by it, like Grenville.

Any attempt to identify what is causing these problems founders on a few issues. First, trade secrets legislation means that the contents of “fragrance” ingredients don’t have to be revealed. Second, there are thousands of ingredients commonly used in fragrance, and only a subset of these have ever been tested for safety. Finally, nearly all the testing and certification is done by the fragrance industry itself, so conflict of interest issues apply. It’s not hard to see why a manufacturer might prefer to declare that a rose fragrance contains “parfum” rather than the chemical formula above.

Even what we do know is somewhat alarming. Grenville provides an extensive list of compounds known or suspected to be carcinogenic that are either used in fragrances or can form when fragrance ingredients interact with the air (as they unavoidably will). Chief among these is formaldehyde, although there are others.

Another concern is the prevalence of synthetic musk compounds that have proven to be almost indestructible. These compounds bioaccumulate so that they become more prevalent the higher up the food chain you go. That means that the very highest levels are seen in the most vulnerable: breastfeeding babies and foetuses in utero. These musk compounds can mimic the action of hormones such as oestrogen, creating over-supply which can lead to birth defects, genetic abnormalities and cancer.

Grenville is quick to point out that it is impossible to pin this on fragrance specifically, because there are so many other potential triggers for such conditions to emerge over a lifetime. Indeed “the case against fragrance” is largely a circumstantial one. Grenville shows that there are potentially harmful chemicals in fragrances, they have reached a point of ubiquity in the environment, and people are having adverse reactions. But there is no smoking gun; it is impossible to say for sure that there is causality here, and no scientific study would draw the kinds of conclusions that Grenville invites us to make here.

So what to do? The author’s solution is a bit simplistic. For one, she advocates embracing fragrance-free versions of products. That’s fine, except she does not apply anything like the same scrutiny to those alternatives. Just as decaffeinated coffee is not necessarily better for you due to the added chemicals, how does one know whether a fragrance-free detergent contains no harmful chemicals either?

More interesting is Grenville’s suggestion that fragrance-free workplaces may become the norm. ¬If a scientific institute such as the US Centres for Disease Control can adopt a policy that says “Fragrance is not appropriate for a professional work environment”, then it’s possible to imagine that this may one day become more widespread particularly if, as in the US, there are OH&S lawsuits decided in favour of people with fragrance intolerances.

Decades ago the idea of passive smoking was seen as cranky, now it is enshrined in law. We do not have the right to deprive others of a healthy and safe work environment; that is a very clear legal precedent. So maybe one day people who wear perfume will be like the smokers of today, skulking out the back giving themselves a shot of Shalimar before washing it off and heading back inside.

Food for thought? What do you think?
Greg x

Ombre de Hyacinth by Calice Becker for Tom Ford 2012

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Portia

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Hiya Designer lovers,

Today we are looking at one of the Private Blend Jardin Noir series. The only one of the group still on the Tom Ford website is Cafe Rose but the others are still available at the discounters including this one.

I don’t tend to try all the Tom Ford fragrances because I think his pricing policy is taking the piss. Yes, they are lovely, some could even be classed as modern masterpieces but the consistent price jumps, bringing out a bunch at a time, the lack of consistent availability due to discontinuations and that it’s really just a jumped up Estee Lauder brand all make me a bit grumpy with them.

Anyway, all that aside, when I was in the USA in 2013 these were relatively new. Tom and I spent a moment sniffing them and I liked a couple but couldn’t remember which. So I bought a set of decants. I don’t know why but the set got put aside unopened and they have just resurfaced.

Ombre de Hyacinth by Tom Ford 2012

Ombre de Hyacinth by Calice Becker

Ombre de Hyacinth Tom Ford fragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Galbanum, Magnolia, Violet leaf, Frankincense
Heart: Hyacinth, Jasmine, Pink pepper
Base: Benzoin, Galbanum, Musk

My Google translate says Ombre de Hyacinth means Shadow of Hyacinth.

Bitter, smooth green with a very slight taint of sweetness. Galbanum gives a dark furriness here and is offset by the lightness and crisp snap of violet leaf. Quickly coming in is the hyacinth but to me it’s like running your thumb down the stalk of the flower and smelling the wet sappiness. The frankincense is resinous rather than could stick, woods or smoke and helps the galbanum feel ultra glassy.

Ombre de Hyacinth hyacinth pezibear pixabayPDI

My skin throws only the merest soapiness until well into the heart and the vegetational greenness stays, overriding it and giving the impression of drinking clean, fresh water from a snow melt stream. Yes, Ombre de Hyacinth stays dark for me. The fluting notes of violet & hyacinth are overshadowed by the bitter shade of galbanum. This makes them both more interesting because you have to follow your nose to find them. Also, I’ve never noticed them dealt with in this way before.

Soapy? Not really what I think of as soapy but the scent in deep dry down does seem to lose focus and becomes an amorphous, slightly pea scented wash. Not bad, but not nearly as amazing as the first 3-4 hours. What though do I expect? That’s a pretty good run before boredom sets in. Maybe it’s me and not the scent that has become less excited?

Ombre de Hyacinth lasts exceedingly well. Once the fragrance has died down it stays at that level, fragrant within a 30-ish cm radius and a whisper outside that, for hours and hours.

WikiCommons

Further reading: Non Blonde and Perfume Posse 
Feeling Sexy Australia has AUD$325/50ml FREE Australian delivery
Surrender to Chance has samples starting from $4/0.5ml

What do you think of the Tom Ford Private Blend range? Do you own any? Which is fave?
Portia xx

Modern Muse Le Rouge Gloss by Estée Lauder 2016

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Portia

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Hey Hey Scent Hounds,

So let’s start right away by understanding that this is neither made for nor expected to be a big hit with perfumistas. I love the original Modern Muse, it’s got a really lovely thing going on and I have a couple of mates that now name it their warm weather signature scent. Hugging someone in the original Modern Muse is delightful.

Modern Muse Le Rouge Gloss by Estée Lauder 2016

Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Mandarin, Black cherry, Rosa centifolia, Pink pepper, Carrot seed, Vinyl accord, Jasmine absolute, Styrax, Labdanum, Saffron, Patchouli, Vanilla

Firstly, let’s talk about this red & gold bottle with the plastic bow. It’s fun, I love the colour combo and also love that Estee Lauder took a chance on a shape not svelte, luxe or refined. Here we have a silly bottle. Somehow though it works, an irreverent swipe at all the conformity that the big brands and even they themselves have been doing. Bravo for design frippery.

Hefty sheer and sweet. You know how diet drinks have a weird aftertaste that people become addicted to? Modern Muse Le Rouge Gloss is like a cheap diet cherry cola. The freaky thing is that for all this 100% natural feeling scent, it works. It fizzes and has a sticky, glutinous appeal. The vinyl accord is warm and worn. The base ends up a sweet resinous faux-chouli with the diet cola accord and last for AGES, following me around all day and night. It goes so long that I get a little bored.

What Guerlain does with cherries is sweet but still maintains an air of sophistication, Modern Muse Le Rouge Gloss wears a similar fashion but a year later and from Target. YET, worn with such confidence, youth and joy that you hardly notice how crap it looks till you see comparison photos. I will admit to you right here and now that I am madly in love with this frivolous funster. I bought myself 30ml and one of my dear girlfriends 50ml. She loves it too.

Further reading: Lady Writes
Estes Lauder counters everywhere, chemists and discounters.

Have you tried any of the Modern Muse line?
Portia xx

 

Gatineau Face Basics: Peeling Expert

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AF Beauty

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Hey there Beautiful APJ Peepy-Peepers,

I might be using all my beauty products wrong 🙁

Having  recently returned from the UK on some holidays – they have started up this concept of a “beauty box” which is a great way to sample some new products at a really good price. Not all boxes are created equally and it definitely depends what you want to try versus what you’ve used before and importantly, the size of the product you are particularly interested – pay attention to the detail, some of them will show pictures of full size products but send small sizes in the package.

Gatineau Face Basics: Peeling Expert

Am I Doing It Right??

All Beauty

Caveats aside, I bought this Beauty Box which largely I’m happy with and I’m here to talk to you about the Gatineau Peeling Expert. So, cutting to the chase – this product blows my mind! The instructions are brief and they do not give any indication of the extent to which this product is used and it has really made me question whether I am using the rest of my beauty products correctly.

It says, apply a thin layer and massage gently till it breaks down to an oil. Easy you think. Not so – it takes about 30 seconds for it to start to break down into the oil. The break down to an oil is not like my other favoured (and discontinued) product from the Body Shop (I wrote about replacements here) and in fact it feels a lot thicker and difficult to wield.

The next instruction is to, and I quote, “keep massaging until a fine fluff appears.” So, I have to admit, I was a little confused when I first saw this and wondered what would happen. I wondered if it was like a super acid cleanser that would cause my face to bubble? And then I wondered if it would turn into a powder on my skin? But how from an oil? So, the result is neither. It actually goes from the oil to a peculiar peeling, which I’ve only ever seen before from Clarins, their Doux Peeling.

I’ve used the Clarins one previously, but looking back I think the guidance from the SA was perhaps not the best. She had recommended that I use my entire palm to remove the Doux Peeling and I didn’t enjoy it at all. The Gatineau version is actually a lot better and it does form a sort of fluff – mine is most often like a crumble (haha – gross!) than a fluff. The whole process from application to removal takes a few minutes – and the migration through the stages is something quite unique and successful. I actually really like the Gatineau peel, I use it about twice a week and it does leave my skin feeling lovely and soft.

The problem I have now though is wondering whether, in my haste to use my other products, whether I’m actually missing out some amazing feature of another product?

Do you have any products that have these stages? Do you now wonder if you’re missing a trick with your product?!

See you soon, sexy wexies!
AF Beauty

Giovanna Antonelli: New Perfume House

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Val the Cookie Queen

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Olá APJ!

Let me give you a brief introduction to a trio of new perfumes. Giovanna Antonelli is a household name in Brazil, a superstar. I think 3.6 million Twitter and more than 5 million Instagram followers probably indicates indicates that. She is an actress and probably best known in South America and in Portugal for her soap operas success. Now at this point in any advertising blurb I would already be turning the page. Had it not been for The Silver Fox suggesting that I try them I would be long gone. And let´s be honest here, Giovanna Antonelli does
sound so much more attractive than our Anglo-Saxon names!

After creating a line of nail polishes, jewellery, and being involved in some cosmetics, Giovanna turned her thoughts to a perfume line. Being into perfume herself she decided against a straightforward celeb brand and had three more specialised perfumes created for her, under her name. Giovanna Antonelli harbour no lofty ideas of revolutionising the perfume industry. Nor are their fragrances full of the typical eau de niche notes, you know – generic base note chemicals, ISO E etc, etc, etc. (These evolve, top notes, heart notes and base notes!) Three years were spent in the preparation and refining of these absolutely lovely perfumes.

Giovanna Antonelli: New Perfume House

I have been wearing the three perfumes over for the last few weeks. Proper full body applications! Many thanks to Lionel from Courtois/Mourot Perfumes for the travel bottles. It makes such a difference to be able to wear perfume as intended.

 

411 INTENSO A chypre floral.

Top: Bulgarian Rose, bergamot, pepper, cammomile.
Middle: Jasmin sambac, ylang ylang, peony.
Base: Patchouli, Amber, Vetiver, sandalwood

611 EXTREMO A floral oriental.

Top: Rhubarb, pear, bergamot
Middle: Tubereuse, Egyptian jasmine, hawthorn
Base: Liquorice, iris, benzoin, vanilla

 

 

811 ABSOLUTO A spicy oriental.

Top: Bergamot, pepper, cloves, lavender
Middle: Green, jasmine, honey, tolu
Base: Patchouli, amber, musk, vanilla

I am sat here at my desk, wearing all three. Each one is rich, full-bodied, rounded, and absolutely lovely. Exuberant, vivacious, heated, and absolutely lovely. In these days of so many things smelling the same, lovely is indeed the highest praise. And I will wear every single drop, not something I say very often.

Around 150 Euros for a 100 mls. Take a look at Giovanna Antonelli. You can practice your French and Portuguese, the English site is up and coming.

Obrigada Giovanna Antonelli.

Beijos
CQ