Scent Saturday | Akazie by Frau Tonis


NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Akazie by Frau Tonis Parfum Berlin

NOTES | Acacia, Wood Notes, Mimosa, Moss, Powder

VIBE | Elegant, Sophisticated, Aldehydic, Luxurious, Chic, Vintage

A few months back I did a review on another perfume from Frau Tonis called Veilchen and I promised then that I would review the other two scents I bought in Berlin called Linde Berlin and Akazie. I’m finally getting around to reviewing Akazie, another scent out of my Frau Tonis trio, and so without further ado, here it goes.

Let my start by saying that Akazie is not a perfume that will appeal to everyone. It’s very powdery and aldehydic, two olfactory qualities that are usually associated with the phrase ‘smells like an old lady’. Other examples of aldehydic perfumes (if you’re unsure what I mean) include Chanel No. 5 and Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds. If you have smelled these scents you know that while they are classics, they’re not to everyone’s taste. Some aldehydic perfumes are very heavy and overpowering, choking you out with the synthetic smell of abstract florals and powder. Others, like Akazie, use this chemical note in a beautifully subtle way that enhances the other flowers in the perfume’s composition. If they are done right, the aldehydes add a vintage charm and complexity to an otherwise simple array of notes. Akazie has been blended beautifully and the florals and powdery notes are perfectly balanced.

When I first spray on Akazie, the mimosa and oak moss stand out the most. At this point the fragrance is incredibly feminine and elegant. It reminds me of a perfume that an Old-Hollywood starlet would wear. Mimosa is the star of the show here and remains the most prominent note throughout the entire fragrance experience. I’ve always loved mimosa, and it smells true to nature in this scent. When Akazie dries down (after around five hours), all that’s left on my skin is a soft, mossy floral smell and this is the part of the fragrance I love the most. It’s just so soft and delicate. Chypre-floral fragrances are my favorite perfume genre and this one is a real favorite of mine. 

Frau Tonis makes truly stunning scents and Akazie is no exception. Centering around the sweet perfume of mimosa, this chypre-floral fragrance is utterly unique and timelessly elegant. Because of its aldehydic undertones, it may not appeal to everyone. If you prefer super sweet, fruity confections, this may not be your cup of tea. If you love florals and perfume classics like Chanel 5, then this will be right up your alley. It’s not an everyday perfume but is perfect for special and more formal occasions. Like a luxe strand of pearls, Akazie has a refined beauty that is absolutely timeless. 

Alicia

DIY Stress Relieving Whipped Body Butter


Photo via Poppy Talk 

In the interest of full disclosure, here’s a little tidbit of information about me – I’m as high strung as they come and have battled varying degrees of anxiety for years. I’ve been a chronic worrier since I was a kid, and while some days are more challenging than others, I do feel that over the years I have found a few things that make me feel better and keep me calm. Some of these things include yoga, going for a brisk walk, painting, or lighting scented candles and taking a bath. These are little comforts for me and I believe that self-pampering and aromatherapy really help to soothe my mind and body. I love essential oils and I find that certain scents have an especially positive effect on my mood. Lavender, rose, ylang-ylang, and vanilla are my favorites and when they are combined, they instantly send me to dreamland. Essential oils also have a lot of effective beautifying properties as well, so what better way is there to reap their stress-relieving benefits than by using them to make an all natural body butter? This particular recipe results in a rich, whipped texture that reminds me of white chocolate mousse, although trust me, you don’t want to eat it. With only two ingredients comprising the actual body butter, it is really easy to make, and you can totally customize this recipe with your own essential oil combinations if you’re not a fan of my soothing blend. It’s totally up to you! Read on for a stress-free mind and super soft skin!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Shea Butter
  • 3 Drops Rose Absolute
  • 1 Tsp Rose Water
  • 1 Drop Frankincense Essential Oil
  • 1 Drop Lavender Essential Oil
  • 1 Drop Vanilla Absolute
  • 1 Drop Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil

DIRECTIONS

1 // Measure the coconut oil (it should be solid) and shea butter into a medium bowl. Add rose water and stir with a spoon until well blended.

2 // Blend the buttery mixture with egg beaters or a hand mixer until soft peaks start to form. Set aside. 

3 // Add essential oils to your partially whipped mixture. Blend further until stiff peaks form.

4 // Spoon mixture into an empty and clean mason jar. Store in a cool dry place. If you’re giving it away as a gift, feel free to dress the jar up with dried rose petals, lavender buds, ribbon, and/or twine. Get creative! 

5 // Enjoy your gorgeously floral scented, silky smooth skin!

If you give this a try, let me know what your verdict is! Also, I’m always on the lookout for beauty DIYs, so please let me in on a few of your favorites!

xoxo,

Alicia

Fragrance Friday | Baiser Volé


NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Baiser Volé by Cartier

NOTES | Citrus Fruits, Lily, Green Notes

VIBE | Romantic, Feminine, Innocent, Optimistic, Comforting, Bright

Think of how it would smell to shove your nose into a bouquet of sweet, fragrant lilies. That’s exactly what Baiser Volé, a soliflore fragrance by the prestigious jewelry line Cartier, smells like. I’ll tell you right now, if you love lilies, then this perfume will delight you. If you don’t like lilies, then don’t even bother with this one because it’s all lilies, all day long. I absolutely adore lilies so I love every aspect of this perfume, from the top to the very base.

Cartier Baiser Volé is a soliflore perfume and is very pretty, but is not in any way complex. It smells like lilies, plain and simple, but in a realistic way. What’s unique about this scent is the way that it uses notes that mimic the different parts of the lily, from the powdery pistil, to the creamy petals and crisp, green leaves. It opens with bright citruses and the pistil of the lily. When I first spray the fragrance, it smells very powdery and clean. The zestiness of the citrus fruits fade almost instantly. The heart is lily and nothing but, and without the fruits in the top, the lily smells a lot softer at this point, with just a hint of creaminess. This part of the fragrance is supposed to mimic the smell of the flower’s petals and it does the job perfectly. At this point, Baiser Volé is stunning in simplicity, just like a bouquet of white lilies.

The base of the fragrance is as minimalistic as the top and the heart, with only one complementing note of greenery alongside the lily. The slightly sharp green note is the base is reminiscent of the flower’s leaves. All that’s left on my skin is a powdery, floral trail with just a hint of green freshness that is barely detectable. Baiser Volé lasts for about 4-5 hours in total, but I don’t mind reapplying it throughout the day because it is that gorgeous. Soft and pretty, it’s absolutely perfect for spring but would work for summer too. In terms of when to wear it, Baiser Volé is a nice everyday perfume but is particularly suitable for special occasions. It’s not overly strong but projects far enough that you shouldn’t be surprised when you get a ton of people asking you what you’re wearing. This is definitely a scent that gets compliments and every time I wear it, I feel as pretty as a picture. If you love soliflores, and more importantly, if you love lilies, then you need to give this scent a try.

Have you tried Cartier’s Baiser Volé before? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Splurge & Save | High End & Drugstore Beauty Favorites


I don’t think that it’s any secret that I’m a huge beauty junkie. While I do have a ton of different make up, skincare, and hair products littering my vanity, they aren’t all from high-end, trendy brands. There are certain products that are worth splurging on, just as there are a few holy grail drugstore items that rival even their most pricey counterparts. From my splurge-worthy swear-bys to the diamonds in the rough, these are the best beauty products out there, regardless of your budget. 

SPLURGE 


1 // Fresh – Lotus Youth Preserve Eye Cream

I am a bit of a night owl and so a good eye cream is a must for me. This anti-aging formula brightens my eyes and makes me look like I’ve gotten a good eight hours of sleep when really I’ve only gotten five. It also packs an anti-aging punch with star fruit extract and tons of antioxidants.

2 // Urban Decay – Naked Eye Shadow Palette

This is the holy grail of eye shadow palettes. It has it all – neutrals, blues and purples, metallics, and mattes. Whatever my mood, there is a delightfully high-pigmented shadow ready to go. It also never creases and lasts for ages. This palette may be a little pricey but it’s worth every penny and when mine bites the dust, you can bet that I will buy another ASAP. 

3 // Benefit – The Porefessional Face Primer

Seriously, this stuff is better than any foundation I have ever used. I don’t even need foundation after using this primer. It goes on like silk and blurs pores and imperfections until all you’re left with is baby smooth, porcelain doll-like skin. Add a touch of mascara and some tinted lip balm and you’re good to go!

4 // Marc Jacobs – Highliner Gel Eye Crayon

This is my favorite eyeliner. Why? It goes on smoothly, doesn’t tug at the delicate skin around my eyes, is highly pigmented, and it lasts all day long. It is also self sharpening. Why is there even such thing as eyeliners that you have to sharpen yourself in this day and age? But for real, this eyeliner looks as fresh at 8 pm as it does 8 am. Give it a try and see why it’s perfection itself.

5 // Fekkai – Salon Professional PrX Reparative Mask

The key to silky smooth strands is hydration. Fortified with hair-nourishing vitamins and Argan extract, this vanilla scented hair mask penetrates deeply into each hair shaft to smooth and condition, leaving it lustrous and soft. It also never hurts when your hair smells like sugar cookies. 

SAVE


1 // L’Oreal Paris – Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black

I have tried many mascaras, from high-end designer to cheap dollar store versions. This inexpensive formula is one of the best out there. It leaves my lashes thick and fluttery. There’s practically a breeze when I bat my eyes. Bambi eyes are just a few clicks away. 

2 // Revlon – Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour in Addiction

This is the perfect matte lipstick. It glides on like a gloss and then dries to a plush, velvety magenta hue that brightens my face and makes me look polished and pretty. It also doesn’t dry my lips out which seems to be a common problem with matte and long-lasting lipsticks.

3 // Neutrogena – Hydro Boost Water Gel

Lightweight and cooling, this is my absolute favorite moisturizer in the summertime. It is formulated with purified hyaluronic acid and this gel formula sinks into the skin right away and deeply hydrates without leaving a greasy residue. It keeps my skin looking fresh and supple, but never shiny.

4 // Olay – 4-in-1 Combination/Oily Daily Facial Cloths

While I love indulging in a multi-step skincare routine on most days, sometimes I’m just too exhausted to cleanse, tone, and moisturize. Enter these delightfully multitasking cloths which whisk away makeup (even waterproof mascara), oil, dirt, and debris while toning my complexion, all in one go. They are absolutely perfect for low-maintenance ladies. Now there is no excuse for going to bed with a face full of makeup!

5 // Garnier – SKINACTIVE Micellar Cleansing Water (All-in-1 Waterproof Makeup Remover & Cleanser)

I’m sure you’ve heard of micellar water before – you know, that skincare product that all the models claim to use religiously and that every magazine raves about. It’s like this magical potion from heaven that takes off all of your makeup, cleanses and conditions skin. The best part? You don’t have to rinse it off! This formula is super gentle and removes literally everything, even my waterproof mascara. It’s like unicorn tears in a bottle. Lazy ladies, rejoice!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you have any favorite luxe/cheap beauty products that you think I should try? Let’s talk beauty! 

xoxo,

Alicia

Scent Saturday | Daisy Eau So Fresh


NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Daisy Eau So Fresh by Marc Jacobs

NOTES | Grapefruit, Green Notes, Raspberry, Pear, Jasmine, Rose, Violet, Litchi, Apple Blossom, Musk, Virginia Cedar, Plum

VIBE | Exuberant, Sparkling, Bright, Youthful, Playful, Energetic, Girly

In my opinion, it is rare that a sequel is ever as good as the original. Whether it’s a book, movie, or perfume, eight times out of ten the second (and third, and fourth) effort tends to fall a little flat. There are always exceptions to every rule and in this case, Marc Jacob’s Daisy Eau So Fresh is that exception.

Before I smelled this perfume for the first time, I expected to be underwhelmed. Because I loved Daisy so much, I thought that I would be making comparisons in my head favouring the original. After spraying it on my skin however, I was shocked to realize that (dun, dun, dun) I love it even more than Daisy. While Daisy is a beautifully composed scent, it’s very subdued and demure. It’s reigned in and perfectly pleasant but it doesn’t make a statement. Daisy Eau So Fresh is like the original’s bubbly, social butterfly of a younger sister. It’s youthful and sparkly like a sequined dress. If you enjoy fresh and fruity fragrances, then this energetic juice will be right up your alley.

Daisy Eau So Fresh opens with a glittering blend of grapefruit, fresh green notes, and juicy raspberry. The top is my favorite part of the scent. It’s so vibrant and uplifting – the kind of opening that instantly puts you in a good mood. After a little while the fruits begin to mellow and the soft bouquet of jasmine, rose, violet, and apple blossom start to take centre stage. It’s still sweet and fruity with a bit of litchi intermingling with the flowers in the heart. It’s at this point of the fragrance that it starts to become more mature and sophisticated. It’s still youthful and flirty, but it’s a little more complex at this point. The heart lasts for about two or three hours before it starts to dry down into the base of the scent. Woodsy cedar and clean musk are sweetened by a touch of juicy plum. The end of the perfume is very clean and subtle. It doesn’t quite glitter with bright fruity notes like it does when you first spray it on, but it shimmers with just a bit of fruit and musk. It’s a very pleasant drydown and I feel like it really ties the different layers of the scent together.

Daisy Eau So Fresh is a great perfume for any occasion whether it’s formal or casual. It’s a very fresh, fruity scent that is especially suited for spring or summer. While it has a youthful vibe, Daisy Eau So Fresh is lovely on people of all ages – I wear it and so does my 76 year old great aunt. I’m a firm believer in the idea that perfume is ageless and that people should wear whatever scent they enjoy. It’s just a beautifully composed, perfectly blended, happy scent that puts me in a great mood whenever I wear it. If you were a fan of the original Daisy, or are just looking for a fun, fruity scent, I highly recommend that you give this gem a try.

Any Daisy/Daisy Eau So Fresh fans out there? Let me know what you think of this scent or if there are any perfumes you think that I should review next! 

xoxo,

Alicia

Fragrance Friday | White Potion by Ayala Moriel 


NAME OF FRAGRANCE | White Potion by Ayala Moriel

NOTES | Ylang-Ylang, Rosewood, Grapefruit, Tuberose, Jasmine, Gardenia, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Coconut

VIBE | Feminine, Ethereal, Exotic, Sweet, Sensual

I love white floral fragrances, but this enchanting perfume is one of my all time favorites (and Ayala Moriel is one of my favorite perfumers). With creamy notes of coconut, tonka bean, and sandalwood enveloping the three main flowers – jasmine, gardenia, and tuberose – White Potion has a sensual, dessert-like undertone that is totally intoxicating. I feel like people either love or hate white floral perfumes because they can often be very strong and overwhelmingly floral. White Potion is not like that. It’s soft and ethereal, evoking images of moonlit beaches, wildflowers, and elfin girls in white, flowing dresses. It’s what I love to wear when I want to feel extra pretty.

When this fragrance first touches my skin, the notes that stand out the most are tuberose, coconut, and ylang-ylang. The tuberose is rich, almost carnal, but is tamed by the creaminess of the coconut and ylang-ylang. At this point the fragrance is a beachy white floral with just a hint of spiciness, likely from the rosewood and sandalwood.

As White Potion starts to unfold further, the other florals start to become more prominent, with jasmine and gardenia coming out of the shadows and into the forefront. The scent is a lot heavier at this point, but it never becomes overwhelming. Jasmine, gardenia, and tuberose are powerful flowers – they are like the divas of the garden – and it’s kind of amazing to me that White Potion never smells overpowering or strongly floral. Like all of Ayala’s scents, it’s perfectly balanced and the other notes (grapefruit, tonka bean, sandalwood, coconut, rosewood, and ylang-ylang) compliment the three main flowers flawlessly.

The dry down is very subtle, in part because it is a natural perfume made with plant essences. After the opulent white blooms have dissipated, what’s left on my skin is a slightly sweet, milky trace of coconut and sandalwood. It’s light and soothing, like drinking a glass of steamed milk before bed. It’s the kind of intimate scent that you can only smell when you lean in close for a hug. It doesn’t project far or fill the room, but this kind of adds to its appeal. Because it’s made of all natural ingredients, White Potion (and all of Ayala’s scents) is great for people who are sensitive to synthetic, mass-produced perfumes. In terms of when to wear this, I think it’s nice for everyday but it’s especially fitting for romantic situations. It’s a creamy and sensual scent that is sure to earn you plenty of compliments. It also puts me in a mellow mood when I wear it which is a big deal because I am a giant spaz by nature. If you love white floral and creamy, sweet scents, then it’s going to be love at first sniff. It was for me!

Have you tried White Potion or any of Ayala’s other scents (if you haven’t, then you should!)? What did you think? Let’s chat in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Brand Spotlight | BaYou with Love

If you’ve read anything about actress Nikki Reed, you’ll know that she is a busy, busy lady with an awe-inspiring collection of job titles. Not only is she a successful actress and musician, but she is also a passionate conservationist and champion of animal rights. Now she can also add ‘designer’ to her list of occupations, as she has partnered with Morgan Bogle (the founder of Freedom of Animals) to launch the eco-chic lifestyle brand BaYou With Love.

So what kind of products can you find within the label? Pretty much everything from clothing and loungewear to beauty. Everything within the line is made out of environmentally friendly materials – think organic cotton, tencel, cupro, and recycled canvas. The clothes are also gorgeous, with loose, flowy silhouettes, muted colours, and subtle details. This chambray dress is my favorite and is just the kind of effortless piece I would want as my summer uniform. Natural clothes have a reputation for looking frumpy but that is SO not the case with this line. Every piece is beautiful with a laid back California feel. 

Just like the clothes, the beauty products are also lovingly crafted out of natural materials, such as olive oil, calendula, and plant-based essential oils. I am particularly intrigued by the BYL Multi-Purpose Skin Balm which can be used anywhere on your body that needs a little extra moisture and TLC. It’s vegan, biodegradable, and scented with soothing lavender. So basically it’s just the thing you want to slather on your body after a post-yoga shower!

Aside from the fact that all of the products are beautiful and high quality, one of my favorite things about BaYou With Love is its commitment to sustainability and USA production. Every single piece is made in the United States which helps to support local artisans and ethically run factories. From the health of the planet to the health of the people who wear these items, BaYou With Love is designed for people who are mindful about what they put on their bodies and how those decisions affect the planet. It is a beautiful line with beautiful values at its core. I’m inspired by its message and believe that brands that support independent artists, local production, and sustainable practices are so important and I hope that one day those kinds of brand values aren’t selling points, but that they are the norm. If you haven’t checked this new brand out yet, you are in for a treat! 

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1 // Chambray Dress

2 // Canvas Button Top

3 // Button Down Jumpsuit

4 // Wide Leg Pants

5 // Plant Oil Perfume

6 // Sustainable Tea Blanket

7 // BYL Multi-Purpose Skin Balm

8 // Pajama Petal Shorts

9 // Pajama Box Top

10 // Over Sized Backpack

All Photos via Bayou With Love

xoxo,

Alicia