spring-scents-perfume-shallow-materialistic

Six Stunning Scents For Spring

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In the same way that people like to update their wardrobe from season to season with a few key pieces, I like to refresh my perfume arsenal. As the chillier months melt away, I am looking forward to a lighter, more romantic scent wardrobe, filled with bright fruits, feminine florals, and earthy aromas that bring me closer to nature. With this in mind, I have curated a short and sweet list of six stunning scents that absolutely scream ‘spring is here!’. Keep scrolling to check them out!


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1 // Pop By Stella McCartney

Notes: Tomato Leaf, Violet Leaf, Green Mandarin, Violet, Frangipani, Tuberose, Sandalwood, Cedar, Musk

When you look at the notes for Pop by Stella McCartney, you don’t really get a strong impression of what this scent will smell like. Despite its predominantly floral, herbaceous ingredients, Pop is bright, flirty and optimistic. If it was a colour, it would be shocking pink. It has a sweet, almost edible aroma that is accented with ultra-feminine floral aromas. Wear it on those sunny spring days when you want to be dancing through your 9-to-5.

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2 // Marche au Fleurs By Fragonard

Notes: Melon, Black Currant, Sweet Pea, Lily-Of-The-Valley, Peach, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Musk

Fresh and almost watery in it’s opening, Marche aux Fleurs truly does smell like a walk through a rain-soaked French garden. Juicy black currant and ripe melon add a touch of sweetness to a dewy bouquet of white florals.

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3 // White Potion By Ayala Moriel

Notes: Ylang-Ylang, Grapefruit, Rosewood, Tuberose, Jasmine, Gardenia, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Coconut

Tuberose is the sultry vamp of the flower world. It’s not shy and it doesn’t hold back. It’s the star of the show in indie-perfumer Ayala Moriel’s decadent confection. White Potion is unapologetically sexy with sweet, almost carnal tuberose combined with juicy grapefruit, creamy sandalwood and beachy coconut. It’s a creamy, romantic fragrance that softens throughout the day, leaving a rich, floral trail that will intoxicate those around you all day long.

 

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4 // Baiser Volé By Cartier

Note: Lily Pistil, Citrus, Lily Petals, Lily Leaves, Green Notes

If spring could be incapsulated in a singular fragrance, it would be the delicate, powdery aroma of a fresh-cut bouquet of lilies. This ingenious cocktail by Cartier captures this timeless scent, surrounding all parts of the lily – the pistil, petals and leaves. I love spritzing this on when I leave the house on a spring day. Its bright and joyful, with an aroma that garners compliments from ladies and gentlemen alike.

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5 // Curious By Britney Spears

Notes: Louisiana Magnolia, Anjou Pear, Lotus, Tuberose, Cyclamen, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Musk, White Woods, Vanilla

What?! A celebrity scent?! No seriously, Curious by Britney Spears is simply gorgeous and so ‘spring’ that it had to be included on this list. It opens with a refreshing, watery burst of juicy pear, Louisiana magnolia and lotus. As it continues to bloom, the intensive floral heart is enveloped in a warm, sultry blanket of sandalwood, musk, vanilla and precious woods. This fragrance has been flying off its shelf since 2004 and it’s not a surprise why. Curious may be a celebrity-endorsed scent but it’s effortlessly elegant, feminine and timeless.

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6 // Wisteria Blue By Nest Fragrances

Notes: French Wisteria, Bulgarian Rose, Imperial Jasmine

Romantic and regal are the two words that could best describe Wisteria Blue. Its simple composition proves that a complicated array of notes doesn’t always mean that a scent is more interesting. The three distinctive but complimentary notes blend together perfectly, creating a soft, velvety scent that is perfect for everyday (even office!) wear. It’s the kind of airy spring scent that you won’t want to start your day without!

Have you tried any of these fragrances? What is your spring signature?

xoxo,

Alicia

 

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Valentine’s Gift Guides For Him & Her

Have some last minute V-Day shopping to get done? I feel you. But don’t fret – I’ve rounded up 22 pretty gorgeous gift ideas that are sure to please the special lady or gentleman in your life. Simply scroll, click, and pick up the perfect gift for your beloved or for numero uno – you.

FOR HER

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1 // Vivienne Westwood – Tamia Earrings

These sparklers are just the right blend of sweet and edgy, for the lady who likes a little bling in her day-to-day.

2 // Marc Jacobs – Daisy Eau So Fresh Kiss

If she loved the original, she’s going to gaga for this spring-fresh blend of cherry blossom, blackcurrant and creamy sandalwood. Plus, how gorgeous is this bottle?

3 // Godiva – 24 pc. Signature Chocolate Truffles Gift Box

This stunning collection of mouthwatering dark and milk chocolates is almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.

4 // Tiffany & Co. – Elsa Peretti Open Heart Small Necklace

There is truly no better way to tell her she’s got your heart than with this minimalist open heart silver pendant. After all, jewelry is worth a thousand words.

5 // Côte Noire –  Pink Roses in Black Glass with Gift Box

Proving that faux can be fabulous, these artificial roses look like the real thing but last forever! They also smell gorgeous, thanks to the 10ml spray bottle of rose petal scent. Choose from ivory, blush, pink or crimson (the pink is my favourite).

6 // Jennifer Behr – Velvet Bow Hair Clip

Crafted out of luxe velvet, this sweet yet simple hair clip lends a touch of romance and femininity to an otherwise simple outfit.

7 // Tod’s – Women’s City Gommino Nubuck Penny Loafers in Pink

For the woman who is tired of traipsing around in toe-crushing stilettos, these hot pink loafers are super comfy and oh-so-chic.

8 // Chanel – Coco Mademoiselle Scented Foam Bath

Make bath time all the more indulgent with this creamy bubble bath, scented with Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle. Pair with a glass of champagne and oodles of candles.

9 // Olivia Burton – Moulded Floral Bouquet Watch in Blush & Rose Gold

This breathtaking time piece is seriously like a wearable piece of art. Guaranteed, anyone who wears this will be punctual, because they won’t be able to stop staring at their wrist.

10 // Pink Poodle – Collectif Heart Shoulder Bag (from Glasgow)

A little cheesy, a lot adorable, this statement-making bag will add a playful hit of colour and kitschiness to any and every outfit. The chain-link strap also keeps hands free!

11 // Cosabella – Jolie Printed Tall Triangle Bralette

Sweet and sexy, this floral-printed lacy number is as comfy as it is pretty. The crushed raspberry hue is also guaranteed to look gorgeous against all skin tones.

FOR HIM

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1 // Komono – Gold Winston Watch

If Cary Grant was a watch, he would be this gleaming beauty from Komono. From the cognac leather straps to the black face and gold hardware, everything about this watch says old-school dashing.

2 // L:A Bruket – 166 Grooming Kit

Think it’s just us ladies that like a bit of pampering? Think again. This fully-equipped shaving set makes it easy for your man to stay primped and polished with luxe products and ingredients that are selected especially for your man’s skin and hair.

3 // Mulberry – Mother Of Pearl Cufflinks

Like in relationships, when it comes to style, it’s the little things that make all the difference. With real mother of pearl, these sleek cufflinks are a luxe way to say ‘I love you’.

4 // Guerlain – L’Homme Ideal Eau de Toilette

This woody oriental is so lush and sexy that I want to wear it myself. With notes of almond, incense, leather, woods and just a hint of vanilla, this sultry cologne will keep her leaning in.

5 // The Nikka Whisky Co. – Whiskies in Tube Tasting Set

Indulge his love for whisky with this sleek and stylish tasting set! It’s a great way to find out which one he loves the most and will make cocktail hour a lot more exciting. After all, variety is the spice of life!

6 // Electric Av2 – Polarized Gold Sunglasses

Help him channel Tom Cruise in Top Gun with these sexy sunnies. They cost a pretty penny but who can put a price on protecting the eyes of the one you love right? Exactly.

7 // Burberry – Check Cotton Oxford Shirt

There’s nothing like a well-made Oxford shirt to make a man look put together. This crimson gem is made out of high-quality cotton fabric and can be dressed up or down for date night or weekend wear.

8 // Scotch & Soda – Velvet Slip-On Loafers

These plush velvet loafers will make him feel like Sonny Corleone (without the crime family) and will keep his toes toasty during February’s chilly mornings and evenings.

9 // Beats by Dr. Dre – Studio 3 Wireless Headphones

Music just sounds better with Beats. Make his morning commute a little better with these luxe headphones. You can’t buy love but Beats is pretty close.

10 // Jack Black – Mint Lip Balm and Double Duty Moisturizer

Keep his lips kissable and his complexion smooth with this refreshing duo from Jack Black. My boyfriend loves their lip balms and I have to say, I borrow his minty formula all the time.

11 // Thom Browne – Penguin Mohair & Wool Jacquard Scarf

There’s something about gentlemen in scarves that just gets me. It’s that extra touch of style that not all men add to their ensembles but they should! I remember when I went to Paris, all men wore scarves and it just looked so polished and fabulous. This quirky piece will keep him warm and stylish with cozy mohair and wool.

Which gift options are your favorites? Make sure to pick up a Valentine’s treat for yourself!

xoxo,

Alicia

5 Fantastic Subscriptions That Are Totally Worth It

I’ll admit that, while I love nature, I’m a total city girl who loves the many amenities of urban living. Prior to this year the only kind of subscription I paid for was Netflix and for monthly issues of Elle Canada. The past year has been a revelation and I have discovered 5 game-changing subscription services that make everything from getting ready in the morning to cooking dinner, so much easier and more pleasurable. Whether you’re looking for convenience or a little bit of luxury, these services are sure to elevate your daily life. 

1 // My Stylish French Box

If you’re like me and go wild for all things french, then this lovely box of treasures is going to give you goosebumps. Sign up and every few months you will be sent a parcel filled with fashion, beauty, home decor and lifestyle items by gorgeous french designers from all over the country. It costs a pretty penny, but when you consider how many luxury gifts you get per box and how useful each item is, it’s totally worth it. You can even gift a box to a friend! If you want to live like the french, and who doesn’t, then this is the subscription service of your dreams.

2 // Naturebox

Healthy and yummy snacks delivered to your door? I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a dream come true to me! I don’t snack a ton during the day but I like to have a pick me up or two while I am work and after a workout to keep my energy levels high and my mood pleasant. Because hanger is a real thing my friends! Each snack is made without artificial flavours or ingredients and there are over 100 options. Go nuts – literally and figuratively (the salt and pepper cashews are delish).

3 // ScentBird

I’m a fragrance fanatic and so when I discovered Scentbird I was hooked. For only $14.95 a month they send you a small bottle of perfume so you can see if you love it and want a full-sized bottle. Each month you get to choose the perfume you want to be sent and they have options from some of the biggest brands and designers – think Dolce and Gabbana and Armani – as well as more obscure indie brands. For the cost of a sandwich and coffee, you’ll be sent high-end perfumes bottles. And these aren’t the tiny sample vials you are given along with a purchase at a department store. Each bottle comes with 8ml of fragrance and so if you spray modestly they can last ages! It really is the subscription service of my olfactory dreams. 

4 // Ipsy

I can honestly say that since I’ve started my subscription with Ipsy (early spring last year), I have rarely had to go out and buy makeup. When you sign up you fill out a profile that tells the company what your preferences, skin type and hair type are, and then each month a bag is sent to your door that is specially created with products to fit your tastes and beauty needs. I have to say, their system is effective because I very rarely get a product that I don’t like. They also send fabulous, high-end products from brands like Benefit, Tarte, Too Faced and Makeup Forever, as well as lesser known indie brands. Beauty fiends, sign up to discover new products and brands, and for the joy of getting a little bag filled with makeup every month. Oh, and did I mention that the bags are adorable? I have used Ipsy bags as clutches and wallets on more than one occasion. 

5 // Hello Fresh 

I can honestly say that I love cooking, and so the only real obstacle to me making a home-cooked meal at the end of the day is a lack of energy and ingredients. Hello Fresh delivers perfectly proportioned ingredients and recipes to your door so that you can make fancy-pants, delish dishes in no time at all and with practically zero cooking know-how. I wouldn’t use this service on a daily basis, but it’s perfect for lazy days or when you are hosting a dinner party and want to make a stellar impression with very little effort. It’s also a great way for beginners to improve their cooking skills!

Have you tried any of these subscription services? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Falling For Fall | 6 Cozy Autumn Candles

I’m a scent-aholic and so one of my favorite things about fall is filling my home with cozy smelling candles inspired by the delicious aromas of autumn. Candles, and scents in general, can do wonders for creating a specific atmosphere and mood. For example, if I want to relax and unwind, I might light a candle scented with vanilla, woods or lavender. If I want to feel cozy and creative, I’ll light smokier scents with apple, tobacco, cinnamon or caramel. Whether it’s the perfume you wear or the candles you light, scent is such a personal, intimate thing and everyone has their own preferences and opinions on what makes a perfect fall candle. Some prefer sweet pumpkin spice latte scents, while others like candles that mimic the smells of nature – fallen leaves and dewy apple orchards. Whatever your preferences, I am positive that one of these delectable fall candles will tickle your fancy. Here’s to all of the warm and fuzzy feelings and delicious smells that fall brings!


1 // Bath and Body Works – Leaves

NOTES: Red Apple, Golden Nectar, Clove Spice

Leaves from Bath and Body Works is an autumn classic and is one of the candles that I repurchase year after year. It’s sweet and spicy but still fresh, reminiscent of a brisk but sunny fall day spent crunching through fallen leaves in a tranquil park. It’s utterly pleasant and a fail-safe crowd pleaser. I’ve yet to meet a soul that didn’t adore Leaves!


2 // Byredo – Treehouse

NOTES: Bamboo, Pimento, Hay, Labdanum, Myrrh, Leather

If you lean towards green, outdoorsy scents, you are sure to fall head over heels for this refreshing candle. It reminds me of fragrant pine needles, dew-laden grass and fallen leaves. Oh, and apparently it’s Taylor Swift’s favorite!


3 // Max Benjamin – Coffee and Cardamom

NOTES: Coffee, Cardamom, Patchouli, Rose and Vanilla

Is there anything more mouthwatering than the smell of hot coffee in the morning? Only if it’s laced with exotic cardamom, voluptuous rose and creamy vanilla. This sensual candle is exactly what I want to light when I want to cuddle up on the couch with my boyfriend. The definition of cozy.


4 // Nectar Republic – Autumn Pear

NOTES: Fresh Pear, Caramel, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Vanilla

If bakery-inspired scents are your jam, then look no further than this drool-worthy candle. With nuances of juicy pear and creamy caramel and cinnamon, it smells exactly like a poached pear tart. Light this bad boy and everyone will be wondering what delectable confection you’ve been baking.


5 // Frostbite Studios – Sherlock’s Study

NOTES: Pipe Tobacco, Cherrywood, Fresh Rain

Channel your inner recluse detective and enjoy the mysterious aromas of smokey pipe tobacco and cherrywood. A clean rain accord brings a slight freshness to the candle that reminds me of days spent in a musty study, reading with tea in front of a rain spattered window. It’s very unique and completely sets itself apart from other atypical fall scents.


6 // Often Wander – Apple, Ginger & Sandalwood

NOTES: Apple, Ginger and Sandalwood (obvs)

When it comes to fall scents, the smell of apple and ginger is a classic. This sweet and spicy combination reminds me of a juicy wedge of apple pie, but without all of the guilt and calories. It’s also made with clean-burning soy wax which lasts a lot longer than other waxes, so you can enjoy this delicious candle for ages and ages!

Do you have a favorite fall candle? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

xoxo,

Alicia

Five Hair Masks That Work Like A Charm

Even if you weren’t cursed, I mean blessed, with super dry curly hair like me, everyone can benefit from introducing a hair mask into their beauty routine. Especially in the summer when chlorine, saltwater and UV rays wreak havoc on your hair. There are tons of masks out there for all different hair types and needs. These four are my favorites and I can promise you, you actually will notice a difference after using them. Say bye to split-ends and hello to silky bunny hair.


1 // Christophe Robin – Regenerating Hair Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil

Okay, I’ll be honest – what first attracted me to this line of hair products was the name. My boyfriend’s name is Chris but I always call him Christopher Robin (like the annoying girlfriend I am) and so my initial reason for trying this mask was pure novelty. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this deeply hydrating, deliciously scented mask left my parched, curly hair soft and shiny after just one use. Enriched with pure prickly pear seed oil, this rich formula quenches dry, frizzy strands and leaves it smelling lovely.

2 // Living Proof – Restore Mask Treatment

Even though I haven’t dyed my hair in six months, the bleach from my balayage has still left my hair more dry and brittle than it had ever been before. This rejuvenating mask is filled with hair nourishing butters and a unique OFPMA molecule which replenishes moisture levels in the hair and repairs damage. It is very rich so I don’t use it all the time, but when I want hydration like nothing else, this is my go-to.

3 // Amika – Nourishing Hair Mask

This yummy smelling mask is like an antioxidant-packed power smoothie for your hair. It’s chock full of brightening vitamin C, thanks to its main ingredient – Sea Buckthorn. Softening jojoba oil thoroughly  moisturizers strands, smoothing frizz and making your mane super shiny.

4 // Briogeo – Repair Deep Conditioning Mask

I received a sample of this mask in an Ipsy bag a while ago and I instantly fell in love. It has a really light, almost gel-like consistency but does wonders for damaged, brittle hair. A lot of the same nutrients your body requires to be healthy, your hair needs too! Give your tresses a huge dose of B vitamins, biotin, algae and vitamin C with this do-it-all hair holy grail.
5 // Garnier – Whole Blends Honey Treasures Repairing Mask
Although I don’t love the packaging of Garnier’s new ‘Whole Blends’ hair care line, I adore the products that I have tried so far, in particular this creamy, sweet as dessert hair mask. It’s packed full on honey, as well as one of my favorite super foods, royal jelly. I also love how low maintenance this is. Simply smooth is onto your hair after shampooing, wait a few minutes, and then rinse it out. Boom – effortless mermaid hair in a blink of an eye.

Have you tried any of these? What are your favorite masks? Let me know 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

dirty-martini-cocktail-how-to

The Dirtier The Better

I’ll admit it – I rarely go out drinking. I’m 23 but with the soul of a 95-year-old woman and nine times our of ten I would rather curl up with a cup of tea and Netflix or read a book in the bath. One Friday night I was legitimately knitting while watching Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. Did you fall asleep yet? When I’m not being boring or indulging in one of my favorite geriatric activities, I do like to indulge in one (or four) drinks, some snacks, and the company of my boyfriend and/or friends. My tipple of choice? The dirty martini.

Now, not everyone likes the strong, briney flavor of a dirty martini. It took me a while to appreciate the dry, refreshing flavor of gin but now I love it and there are a lot of variations out there that play with different flavors (this one has notes of rose in it – something that totally seduces a flower child like me). The first time I made a dirty martini I couldn’t even finish it. Sure, there are only three ingredients, but the way it’s made, the quality of the sauce you use, and how cold the drink is makes ALL of the difference. Now, I make a pretty mean martini – sometimes I even prefer mine to those that are made in a bar or restaurant! Not to toot my own horn. Now if you aren’t into super sweet drinks, like gin, love olives, and can’t get enough sodium in your life, low and behold your new favorite cocktail. Here’s how to mix an awesome dirty martini that will make you feel like a female James Bond.

dirty-martini-ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 oz gin or vodka (I prefer gin but it’s really your call.)
  • A drizzle of dry vermouth
  • 1 oz of olive brine (I like my martini’s filthy so I add 1.5 or 2 oz sometimes)
  • 2-4 stuffed olives (If you can find them, blue cheese stuffed olives add some extra decadence and kick to an already salty dirty martini)

YOUR TOOLS

  • A chilled glass
  • An ice-filled shaker or a spoon for mixing
  • A spear for your olives

Traditionally martinis are made with gin, but vodka is a very popular substitute. I like both but gin is my favorite. The tree-like flavor of gin (derived from juniper berries) makes the cocktail a little more refreshing and lightens up the salty flavor of the olive brine. Dirty martinis can be ‘wet’ or ‘dry’ depending on how much vermouth you add. I am not a massive fan of vermouth and so I add just a drizzle and like to keep my martini’s on the dry side.

  1. How to mix them? Chill a glass by putting it in the freezer for ten minutes or by filling it with ice and then dumping it out. You can use a martini glass if you’re feeling fancy but we’re not that posh over here and I would drink a martini out of a mason jar if it was my only option.
  2. Next, put your ingredients into a shaker, shake it like Taylor Swift says, and then strain it into your glass. You can also pour the ingredients directly into your glass and stir to mix your drink. Some people believe that martinis should ONLY be stirred because shaking it ‘bruises’ the gin. Whatever that means. It’s your choice. A lot of bars use shakers but I don’t have one and my martinis always come out tasting great.
  3. Strain your mixed martini into your chilled glass and garnish with olives.
  4. Enjoy the salty deliciousness!

Do you have any favorite cocktail recipes? Do you have tips to make an even better dirty martini? Let me know in the comments! I am always down to up my martini game.

xoxo,

Alicia