Scent Saturday | Ayalitta By Ayala Moriel

COMPANY | Ayala Moriel Parfums

NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Ayalitta

NOTES | Galbanum, Sage, Neroli, Jasmine, Rose, Clary Sage, Patchouli, Oakmoss, Labdanum

Soft and earthy with a delicate innocence, Ayalitta was the first perfume by indie perfumer Ayala Moriel I ever owned, and to this day, is one my all time favourites. I have always had a soft spot for chypres, a fact that surprised Ayala when I first met her. I was seventeen at the time and I think she expected me to prefer sugary gourmands or saccharine fruity-florals like most young girls do (no judgements towards those who love sweet scents – there are a few that I enjoy too!). After learning that I loved earthy, green fragrances, Ayala so kindly gifted me with a bottle of Ayalitta. Not to be cliché, but it truly was love at first sniff. It’s everything I love in a perfume. It’s soft yet enchanting. It creates an impression that is at once familiar yet totally unusual. I could bathe in Ayalitta’s elegant composition of earthy oakmoss, sweet neroli and intoxicating galbanum.

Like a playful woodland pixie, Ayalitta lightly traipses onto the scene with notes that evoke images of a damp forest floor, strewn with sweetly smelling fallen leaves. Galbanum, sage and neroli create this impression, immediately revealing Ayalitta as a stunning chypre. There’s something about the opening of this scent that almost smells aldehydic, reminding me briefly of other iconic perfumes like Chanel Nº 19 or Oscar by Oscar De La Renta. That being said, because Ayalitta is comprised only of all natural essences, there’s nothing about it that smells heavy or artificial. It’s got a vintage quality but still smells current.

The heart of Ayalitta is when it really begins to bloom into something breathtaking – no pun intended. Opulent rose dances with the rich, almost carnal aroma of jasmine before collapsing on a soft bed of clary sage. It reminds me of sunbaked earth and wet wildflowers, soaked by autumn rain. It smells comforting and it soothes me when I’m having a stressful day. It recreates the feeling I get when I’m in nature – sometimes just a sniff of the bottle is enough to lift up my spirits when I’m feeling down. Ayala was right on the money when she picked this scent for me. There are a lot of perfumes I love from her collection, but there’s something truly special about Ayalitta.

Like the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and Ayalitta does so beautifully. Oakmoss, labdanum, and patchouli are all that’s left on the skin at the fragrance’s conclusion. Patchouli has a soil-like scent that pairs perfectly with damp, green oakmoss before fading into the sweet, slightly spicy scent of labdanum. From start to finish, Ayalitta is a magical experience. It’s sensual and soothing. It’s honestly perfect for any season, but there is something about its fresh green notes and earthiness that feels especially at home in the fall. I’m wearing it right now and am cocooned in a beautiful blanket of delicate flowers and dewy leaves. Like all things of quality and beauty, Ayalitta just gets better with time.

xoxo,

Alicia

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Fall Fashion Favourites

Ahh, autumn. The coziest, chicest time of year for fashion. There is nothing that delights me more than trading up my shorts, tees and sundresses for blanket scarves, floppy felt hats and boots galore. While the weather is still a touch too toasty for all my favourite seasonal staples, cooler days are approaching fast. Get ready for brisk autumn days with this capsule wardrobe. Menswear inspired tailored pieces. Rich jewel tones and earthy neutrals. Cuddly knitted pieces. These items capture all of my favorite fall trends!

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1 // BB Dakota – Jack By Say Anything Sweater

Is there anything better than curling up in a chunky sweater with a spicy latte in hand? I think not. This rich pumpkin hue screams fall as well!

2 // P.A.R.O.S.H. – Rioyshoe Bass Boots

Practical yet pretty, these utilitarian boots are effortlessly chic with a military vibe that is just the right amount of edgy. Plus they are sooo comfy.

3 // Dorfman Pacific – Autumn Leaf Felt Hat

I’m a hat girl through and through (there is nothing better for covering up Kramer-esque bed head). Splattered with the colours of fall leaves, this Indiana Jones inspired style will lend a boho babe flavour to any outfit.

4 // Out From Under – Autumn Striped Sweater Bodysuit

Slip this cozy number on for a perfect fit with your favourite skirt or pair of trousers. The chunky stripes and earthy palette have a 70s flair that is on-trend without being over the top. You’ll want to wear this with everything!

5 // Vero Moda – Silje Windowpane Jumpsuit

One and done – my favourite way to get dressed! This subtle windowpane print is an elegant way to wear plaid. This figure flattering jumpsuit is a little more ladies who lunch than lumberjack and will take you from brunch to the boardroom with ease.

6 // Vince Camuto – Plaid Tie-Waist Pencil Skirt

Forget the stuffy librarian-approved pencil skirts of books and movies! A high waist and feminine tie adds a girly sweetness that freshens up this prim and proper style. Pair with pumps for an elegant occasion or with studded flats for a British punk-inspired edge.

7 // Helmut Lang – High-Rise Wool Twill Pants in Autumn

Are supermodel long legs on your wish list? While these gorgeous trousers can’t alter your genetics, they will create the illusion of mile long gams thanks to the ultra high waist and wide leg style. This camel hue is also incredibly versatile and can be worn in your rotation through fall and winter and well into spring. It’s one of those classics your mama told you to invest in. She was right.

8 // Clare Vivier – Simple Tote in Army Suede with Navy, Marigold & Red

Stash all your stuff in this roomy tote reminiscent of an Ivy-league book bag. The colourful stripes add a collegiate flare that I love and the buttery soft suede is simply too luxe to say no to. It’s simple, stylish and perfect for everyday. It’s got everything that I love about Clare Vivier’s bags. It’s timeless with that quirky je ne sais quoi that makes it stand out from the pack. The perfect blend of preppy, pretty and practical!

Which piece is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Designer Spotlight | Ulla Johnson

Despite fashion’s focus on minimalism, I’ve always considered myself to be more of a maximalist. I’ll take vivid prints, intricate lace and ornate beading over streamlined silhouettes and neutral hues any day of the week. One designer who never fails to make me swoon over their unabashedly luxurious collections is Ulla Johnson. Founded in 2000, this Brooklyn-based babe’s eponymous label has since earned itself a huge celebrity-studded following and tons of recognition from the fashion industry’s elite. With a strong focus on handmade touches and artisanal craftsmanship, each collection is characterized by breathtaking fabrics, natural fibers, lush textures and opulent embroidery. Ulla’s designs look as though they could come directly from the pages of a storybook, filled with kings, queens and castles guarded by dragons. These pieces cost a pretty penny but when you look at the artful craftsmanship, you will agree that they are worth every penny. After all, how can you put a price on a fairytale?

MY PICKS


1 // Mara Top in Poppy


2 // Claude Dress in Crimson


3 // Donna Dress in Copper


4 // Nadine Pullover in Oatmeal


5 // Carolina Blouse in Blanc


6 // Marion Dress in Olive


7 // Evelyn Skirt in Army


8 // Teresa Jacket in Rose


9 // Ceri Trouser in Army


10 // Frances Overcoat in Bone

xoxo,

Alicia

Haunted Forest 

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and come October I find myself continuously reaching for darker hues and gothic-inspired fabrics, patterns and details – think skulls, lace, decadent brocade and metallic hardware.  While I almost never wear orange around Halloween (too expected and cheesy), I do like wearing spooky colours. My favorite hue this month? You guessed it – forest green. It makes me think of abandoned castles, tragic medieval princesses and foggy haunted forests. It’s also much more universally flattering than pumpkin orange and works great as an unexpected neutral. Wear it from head to toe, as an accent accessory or introduce it into your beauty routine! Take it from me, a smudge of shimmering emerald eyeliner will make your gaze positively mesmerizing! Moody yet magnetic, I don’t know about you, but I’m totally seeing green this Halloween.

FOREST PICKS

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1 // Elizabeth Cole – Jean Cocktail Ring

2 // Paddywax Kaleidoscope – Balsam + Fir Soy Wax Candle

3 // Metisu – Dark Green Belted Double Breasted Trench Coat

4 // Nine West – Bartilly Green Suede Block Heels

5 // Ana Lublin – Leather Cross Body Quilted Shoulder Bag in Green

6 // Chicwish – Enticing Lace-Up Knit Cardigan in Dark Green

7 // Ten 21 – Dark Green Wide Leg Jersey Trousers

8 // Smith & Cult – Nail Polish in Darjeeling Darling

9 // Lizzie Fortunato – Parker Feather Drop Earrings

10 // Tory Burch – Crewneck Cashmere Sweater with Logo

11 // River Island – Dark Green Floral Lace and Mesh Pencil Skirt

xoxo,

Alicia

Mean Mr. Mustard 

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Without a doubt, my favorite season for fashion is fall. The layers, the chunky knits, the boots – I love it all. But most of all, I love the colours. Moody merlot, inky cobalt, burnt orange and earthy olive are a few hues that I love to wear this time of year. But my favorite fall shade? Mustard. Bright and bold with a 70s feel, this condiment-inspired colour adds a playful twist to everything from loafers and trousers to sweaters, handbags and even nail polish. Wallflowers, don’t immediately shun this shade – even though this is a loud hue, it works well as a neutral, so don’t be afraid to mix it with other strong colours such as plum, red or bright blue. Don’t be shy! Say it with me – more mustard please! Scroll on for a few of my must-have mustard pieces.

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MUSTARD PICKS

mustard-shopping-picks

1 // Reinhard Plank – Norma Felt Hat

2 // Chairish – Grey & Mustard Silk Velvet Pillows

3 // Tory Burch – Colette Skirt

4 // David Tutera – 14k Gold Over Silver Citrine & Cubic Zirconia Flower Ring

5 // Chicwish – Comfy Day Diary Cable Knit Cardigan in Mustard

6 // Dorothy Perkins – Quiz Mustard Yellow Crochet Frill Sleeve Top

7 // Butter London – Nail Lacquer in Cheeky Chops

8 // Samoe – Band Watch in Mustard Yellow

9 // Chanel – Timeless Mini Agenda Cover

10 // Valentino by Mario Valentino – Mustard Yasmine Studded Crossbody Bag

11 // Gucci – 2017 Marmont Fringe Suede Loafer

xoxo,

Alicia

September Beauty Picks

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I, like so many others, have always been mesmerized by french ladies’ effortless yet completely elegant approach to beauty. Slightly messy hair, ruby red lips and creamy lit within skin seems to be the parisien go-to formula – at least in my mind. So while I take a few other cues from french culture in terms of my diet and attitude (eat until satisfied and no more, drink water and feel no guilt about indulging in a glass of wine with dinner and a bit of chocolate for dessert), my focus in my beauty routine is on hydrated, healthy skin, shiny yet slightly unkempt hair and sultry red lips. So far it has been serving me well and I think it will serve you too! So behold, my five favorite french-inspired beauty products that have become staples for me. Enjoy!

1 // Skoah – Hydradew Mask

Fruit is good for your body, so you just know that it’s good for your face! Hyaluronic acid, sea kelp, algae and vegetable extracts help to deeply hydrate your skin, leaving your complexion soft as a baby’s bottom and healthy. Plus it smells like grapes and feels super light and refreshing!

2 // Pixi – Glow Tonic

I’ll admit, I used to pretty skeptical about toners but this silky elixir has me in love. Ginseng and aloe vera help to brighten and soothe the skin while glycolic acid purifies and helps to remove toxins from deep inside your pores. Simply dip a cotton ball in this magic potion and cleanse any remaining makeup, dirt and oil off your face after you use your regular face wash.

3 // French Girl – Hair Rose Revive Oil

Deeply moisturize unruly tresses with this richly hydrating, but still non-greasy, hair oil. Argan oil is rich in nourishing fatty acids, while rosehip, hemp and tamanu oils condition the scalp, which is often the source of hair troubles. The rich floral scent of rosemary and rose geranium is stress-relieving and has properties that help to repair damaged hair. Basically, it does it all and you need it now. Not to be bossy.

4 // NARS – Semi Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red

There’s nothing like a swipe of red lipstick to make me feel polished and pretty. Even if my skin is misbehaving and my hair is frizzy (thank you cold weather), a ruby red pout makes me feel like Katharine Hepburn. This shade feels retro and powerful. I love wearing it to work, in the evenings. Any old time. Red is my go-to come fall and winter and this formula (although expensive) is hydrating, and lasts for ages.

5 // Benefit Cosmetics – Dandelion Box ‘O’ Powder Blush

Perfecting that no-makeup-makeup look is a bit tricky but this illuminating blush from Benefit makes it a bit easier. It’s a very subtle shade – a rosy ballet slipper pink – and has just enough shimmer to make your skin look refreshed and bright without that clown effect that a lot of blushes give. It’s a cult-favorite for a reason and is a godsend when you haven’t had enough sleep and need to look like a human being.

What are your favorite beauty product right now? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Chai Snickerdoodles

We all have our weaknesses, and while I am usually equipped with strong willpower when faced with baked goods, there are a few treats that I simply can’t say no to and am willing to spend an extra hour or two in spin class for. A few examples? My grandmother’s juicy apple pie, a flaky cheese croissant from a really good bakery, and these spicy-sweet snickerdoodles.

This recipe is from Vegetarian Times, but I tweaked it slightly with sweet pumpkin purée and fragrant chai tea to make it extra delicious and fall-like. This recipe is super easy and can be customized totally depending on the season. For example, you could add some almond extract in the summer, mint in the winter, coconut in the summer – you get the picture. For the perfect cozy fall evening treat, whip up a mouthwatering batch of these tasty cookies and prepare to impress everyone with your crazy dessert chef skills!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 stick (4 oz.) vegan margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 sachet of chai tea
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup soy, almond, coconut or cashew milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbs. cinnamon


DIRECTIONS

1 // Preheat your oven to 350°F and evenly coat your baking sheet with vegan margarine or cooking spray to prevent sticking.

2 // In one large bowl, mix together your dry ingredients (apart from the sugar). Tear open a packet of chai tea and mix it in with the flour.

3 // In a separate bowl, use beaters or a fork to cream margarine until it is light and very creamy. Add the sugar and pumpkin purée, and beat until it has a snow-like, fluffy texture.

4 // Add soymilk and vanilla extract to your creamed sugar and margarine and beat until smooth. Next, add the dry ingredients and beat until it is thouroughly mixed.

5 // Scoop out and roll little balls of your snickerdoodle dough. Coat each cookie in cinnamon and sugar before placing them on the baking sheet.

6 // Put the cookies in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies should be lightly browned on top but still soft and chewy.

7 // You can keep the cookies in an air tight container for about two weeks.

These cookies honestly taste like everything good about autumn! Enjoy these decadent treats with a hot chai tea latte or steaming cup of coffee. If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!

xoxo,

Alicia