Fragrance Find | Lolita Lempicka’s Sweet

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NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Sweet by Lolita Lempicka

NOTES | Sour Cherry, Sugar, Iris, Angelica, Cacao, Musk, Cashmere Wood

VIBE | Rich, Decadent, Sultry, Bold, Sensual, Girly, Stylish

I feel like gourmand fragrances are very much a love it or hate it kind of thing. Some people love smelling like dessert and others make their disdain for foodie scents perfectly clear. While I love all kinds of fragrances and really enjoy gourmand scents, I can understand why some people choose to avoid them. When these types of perfumes are made well they are complex, sophisticated, and mouthwatering. When their quality is poor, they are tacky and overbearing, choking you out with the synthetic sweetness of those cheap body sprays we all wore in high school. To put it simply, when gourmand fragrances are good they are amazing and when they are bad they are god awful.

Lolita Lempicka is a French perfume house that is well-known and appreciated for their delicious, confection-inspired scents, as well as their whimsical bottles that look as though they belong in a fairytale. The original Lolita Lempicka perfume comes in a purple and gold enchanted apple and is an intoxicating combination of liquorice, cherry, chocolate, iris, and ivy. It’s a sweet scent, no doubt, but it isn’t the saccharine cotton candy type of scent that a lot of us expect from a gourmand offering – AKA Thierry Mugler’s Angel or Aquolina’s Pink Sugar. It’s soft and ethereal with a warm spiciness that sets it apart from other bakery sweet perfumes. When I came across ‘Sweet‘, a 2014 addition to the Lolita Lempicka fragrance family, I was immediately intrigued because of how much I loved the original. The notes were promising too – sour cherry, chocolate, iris – some of my absolute favourite smells. When I first sprayed it onto my wrist I was a little bit unsure about how I felt about it. It was very, very sweet. Obviously – it’s right there in the name. The opening is like a blast of sugary cherry cola and, to be frank, smelling like I spilled soda on myself is not my jam. After a few minutes however, Sweet starts to develop on the skin, and the rich aroma of chocolate and powdery iris begin to take over. When I was reading the description for Sweet, it said that the fragrance contains a ‘chocolate cherry lip gloss accord’. While the idea of smelling like cherry flavoured lip gloss both appalls and delights me, the fragrance does not smell like lip gloss in any way. Despite its initial blast of sugar, Sweet evolves into a very deep, sensual gourmand that would be perfect to wear during a romantic encounter.

The notes that are the most prominent on my skin are the cherry, cacao, and iris. It’s a decadent, delicious fragrance that makes me think of a box of chocolate dipped cherries. It feels like an indulgence and, like the original Lolita Lempicka, has a sophistication that a lot of other gourmands lack. This is a very rich fragrance and not one I would wear during the summer time or in the office, but it is a gorgeous gourmand scent to wear in the evening or for a romantic occasion that you want to make extra special. The bottle – a deep red apple just like the one in Snow White – is reason enough to add this bad boy to your collection.

Have you tried Sweet by Lolita Lempicka? What are your favourite perfumes? Let’s chat in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Scent Saturday | Chanel Chance eau Fraîche 

COMPANY | Chanel

NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Chance eau Fraîche 

NOTES | Lemon, Cedar, Pink Pepper, Water Hyacinth, Jasmine, Teak Wood, Iris, Amber, Patchouli, Vetiver, White Musk

VIBE | Refreshing, Clean, Elegant, Androgynous, Sparkling

Although Chanel is my absolute favorite couture house and I think that both Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld are geniuses in their own right, I haven’t always been crazy about Chanel perfumes. There are about a handful that I truly enjoy (Beige, Cristalle eau Verte, Coco Noir, and No. 18 are my favorites). Chanel Chance eau Fraîche, however, is an entirely different beast and it lacks any of the abstract florals or heavy aldehydes and spices that a lot of Chanel perfumes are overpowered by (Coco Mademoiselle and No.5, I am looking at you). I tried this perfume on out of curiousity when I was walking through Sephora as I realized it was one of the few Chanel perfumes I hadn’t tried. I expected to feel how I usually feel about Chanel fragrances – indifference at best, promptly scrubbing it off at worst. I was pleasantly surprised by the fragrance’s refreshing opening, lightly floral heart, and woodsy yet powdery dry down. At first spritz it actually smelled a bit like a men’s cologne before softening into a watery floral with crisp greenery and woods and just a touch of powdery iris. It’s bubbly and refreshing – if it were a cocktail it would be a French 75, with sharp gin, sparkly champagne, and bright lemon. It’s a flanker of Chanel Chance and it is definitely related to Chance eau Fraîche in terms of its notes. However, the original is sweeter, with a note of pineapple and a heavier dose of patchouli. I don’t hate the original, I just much prefer the refreshing, green scent of eau Fraîche. There is also another flanker, eau Tendre, which is in a similar bottle but with pink fluid as opposed to the golden juice of the original or pale green juice of eau Fraîche. It’s actually very nice as well and I may review it in the future. It’s softer and more overtly feminine with sweeter fruits to counter balance all of the patchouli that is signature to the Chance formula. Overall, out of the three versions Chance eau Fraîche is still my favorite. It’s the perfect scent for everyday and is uplifting and bright – just the thing to wake you up on an early Monday morning (it also has a subdued sophistication that is very appropriate for the office). It’s pleasant and not at all overpowering but it’s still interesting. It’s clean and subtle enough not to offend anyone but unique enough to garner compliments and the question “what are you wearing?”. Its not quite citrusy, not immediately woodsy, and it’s not green in the way that oak moss laden chypres are. It really is a bright fragrance that is best suited for the day time. It’s ideal for spring and summer but I find the woodsy elements of the scent make it perfectly fitting for fall and winter as well. While the florals do soften the scent, it could easily be unisex and a man could wear it just as well as a woman could. This is my favorite Chanel perfume of the moment and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves clean fragrances and green, woodsy notes.

xoxo,

Alicia

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Fragrance Friday | Grin by Ayala Moriel

COMPANY | Ayala Moriel Parfums

NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Grin

NOTES | Agarwood (Oud), Boronia, Galbanum,  Green Peppercorn, Jasmine Grandiflorum, Oakmoss, Rose Otto (Turkey), Vetiver, Violet Leaf

As somewhat of a fragrance junkie, I love a lot of different genres of perfume. From week to week I will go from favoring gourmand scents to florals and orientals. With well over thirty fragrances crowding my dresser, I am not the type of girl to have just one signature scent and I can appreciate almost any type of perfume. However, if I absolutely had to choose a favorite, I would have to go with chypres. Fresh, green, earthy aromas have always appealed to me, reminding me of the smell of the rain-soaked forest floor, cut grass, and dewy flowers. I’m from British Columbia and, although it might be a cliche, scents that are reminiscent of nature – the salty ocean waves, crisp coniferous trees, and damp moss – are innately comforting to me and send me to my olfactory happy place. Grin, a delightful chypre fragrance by Vancouver perfumer Ayala Moriel (one of my absolute favorite perfumers), encapsulates everything I love about chypres. A few other favorite chypres of mine, also from Ayala, are Ayalitta and Rainforest.

I have a solid version of the scent ( a gift from Ayala from when I was working with her) and I keep it in my purse for when I need a little pick me up. All fragrances change as you wear them and adapt to your body chemistry but I find that is especially the case with natural essential oils. When I first dab Grin on I find it to be very green and earthy (as promised) with just a hint of spiciness, likely from the green peppercorn, vetiver and agarwood. As the fragrance continues to bloom on my wrist (no pun intended) a soft bouquet of florals become prominent, with notes of Turkish rose, jasmine and boronia leaving a delicate trail on my skin (boronia is the star of the show, at least on my skin). The scent stays true to its chypre roots throughout the scent and the oakmoss and violet leaf keep the fragrance crisp and green throughout the entire experience.

Grin is a perfume from Ayala’s vintage collection and as far as I know is not made in large quantities anymore. The benefit of this is that if you choose to order it, you can bet that few people will be walking around with the same scent. It’s a special fragrance. It’s romantic with a vintage vibe that is utterly elegant and refined. It feels like a fragrance you would find tucked away in someone’s jewelry box, a gift from a past lover that was made especially for them. It’s never overpowering and very intimate. It’s the kind of fragrance that you smell when you lean in for a hug or kiss and that you would associate with a loved one. It’s a favorite of mine that I wear often and I know that when I eventually run out, I will have to order it. I have quite a few of Ayala’s other fragrances (Zangvil, Orcas, Roses et Chocolat, Charisma, Dreaming Parallel, White Potion, Ayalitta, and Immortelle Amour) but Grin is an especially treasured one for me.

If you love chypres, classic florals, and fresh green fragrances, Grin is one scent that you need to try. It’s beguilingly romantic and elegant enough to wear to formal occasions but soft and fresh enough to wear every day. It’s the perfect light scent for summer and one that I wear year round. It’s a beautifully scented ode to fresh flowers and summer greenery.

xoxo,

Alicia

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Fragrance Friday | Walk On Air by Kate Spade

COMPANY | Kate Spade

NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Walk On Air

NOTES | linden blossom, bergamot, fern, neroli, Solomon’s seal, lily-of-the-valley, magnolia, narcissus, Egyptian jasmine, white iris, violet leaf, crinum lily.

If a perfume could be represented by a piece of clothing, this floral concoction from Kate Spade would be a white eyelet lace dress. Feminine, airy and effortlessly romantic, Walk On Air is the kind of unobtrusive, oh-so-pretty fragrance you can spritz on anytime. It’s never offensive, never too strong, and it is light enough to work for casual occasions, with an elegance that makes it appropriate for fancier endeavors. I first tried this fragrance when I received it in my Birchbox a few months ago. I have always loved Kate Spade’s girly handbags but had never paid their fragrances much attention. I immediately fell in love with this fragrance and went through my sample vial in a week and a half. My boyfriend loved it too and it is the only perfume I have ever worn that he commented on it without me asking his opinion first. I have a thing for floral perfumes and so I was easily sold on this crisp, white bouquet.

But how does the fragrance actually unfold? At the top are clean, almost watery notes of linden blossom, fern and bergamot. The flowers are soft and light and are given a zesty sparkle with the slight touch of citrus. Following this airy trail are opulent white flowers – think magnolia, lily-of-the-valley (a diva of the flower world, but it doesn’t overpower the other notes in this scent), Egyptian jasmine, and narcissus. The dry down is equally floral but with a powdery yet green feel that reminds me of classic chypre perfumes from decades past. Violet leaf, white iris, and crinum lily finish off the fragrance which is left on the skin as just a trace of soft flowers, like if you rubbed a freshly picked blossom on your wrist.

My favorite part of the fragrance is the heart. It’s as light and airy as the name of the fragrance but with a richer, almost creamy scent that is intoxicating and romantic. Is this fragrance overly unique or avante-garde? Definitely not. It’s a classic floral fragrance with a fresh sense of modernity that makes it perfect for every day. It’s not showstopping, but it certainly reels in the compliments. Walk On Air is everything one would expect from Kate Spade – elegant, feminine and a little prim and proper, with a contemporary twist. If florals are your bag and you are looking for a breezy scent for every day, Walk On Air by Kate Spade is a must-try.

xoxo,

Alicia

Fragrance Friday | Nirvana Black

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Company | Elizabeth and James

Name of Fragrance | Nirvana Black

Notes | violet, sandalwood and vanilla

Quite a while ago I made a review for one of Elizabeth and James’ two signature fragrances, Nirvana White. While it wasn’t a perfume that I felt needed to be added to my fragrance wardrobe, I did enjoy wearing it. It was a soft,  unremarkable, but undeniably pleasant white floral. Inoffensive and easy to wear, I found it to be a great perfume for any occasion whether one is wearing it to the office or to a wedding (or similar formal occasion). An unassuming classic floral, its the fragrance equivalent of a little white dress and matching cashmere cardigan – elegant and chic, albeit a little bit boring.

Nirvana Black, although meant to be a counterpart to Nirvana White is much more dramatic and creates an entirely different impression and mood. It’s a smooth oriental with intoxicating notes of violet, rare sandalwood and a creamy, rich vanilla base. It’s a much sexier fragrance although with a touch of innocence and a vintage feel, due to the powdery violet.

The Elizabeth and James “Nirvana” fragrance duo was created to be the signature scents for the fashion house with the idea that they would represent the duality and juxtaposition of masculinity and femininity and luxury and urbanity within the brand. Upon the release of the fragrance Elizabeth and James stated “Ashley and Mary-Kate wanted the signature fragrance for Elizabeth and James to embody the same sense of duality inherent to their partnership and the brand. The result was not one, but two blends – distinctly different, but undeniably connected.”. Elizabeth and James succeeded in this sense. The two fragrances are as utterly different as early morning and midnight but are united in their simplicity (each of the fragrances only have three notes) and in their vintage elegance. Nirvana White is a crisp, soft floral while Nirvana White is a dusky, decadent oriental yet they do complement each other perfectly. It is almost as if each of the fragrances could be looked at as two parts of one fragrance, much in the way that Elizabeth and James’ Ashley and Mary-Kate are two halves of their company with completely different outlooks on style and visual tastes but who come together to create a very distinct and unified brand.  I even layered my samples of the two fragrances together and found that the combination of the two fragrances worked really well. The dewy bouquet of florals in Nirvana White acts as a light, airy prelude to the sultry, warm floral oriental that is Nirvana White and the first fragrance transitioned seamlessly into the next in the way that the crisp airiness of morning transcends into night time.

On it’s own, Nirvana Black is a fragrance that I would save for evening and for the cooler months. It has a dark sophistication that would go well with a black tie affair and a sultry feel that would complement an outfit meant to seduce. Its sweet, spicy, slightly powdery and smoky. Unapologetic in its femininity but with a strength and boldness that is reminiscent of a man’s cologne. If Nirvana Black was the sweet little white dress and sweater set than Nirvana Black is the black velvet dress with a thigh-high slit. Sexy but always with a sense of class.

After trying the fragrances together, I do want to purchase both Nirvana White and Black. On their own they are both very pleasant, wearable fragrances. Even Nirvana Black, although it has a vibe that is a little more mysterious and unusual and of the two, it is my favorite. Together they become a fragrance that is much more complex but with an effortless chicness that is very true to the Elizabeth and James brand.

xoxo,

Alicia