Monday, May 29, 2006

Still on Vacation

London is lovely and as fun as always. Our hotel is a couple of blocks away from the Marble Arch, which also means a very short walk to Selfridge's. It's so good not only because it has the best brands of fragrance and makeup, but also because it's friendly and accessible: You can try things on by yourself, can ask for assistance if you need it AND the friendly staff is pretty generous about giving samples. I got some Serge Lutens and I'm already in love with the Un Bois Vanille. I see no reason to buy it here as I can get it for the same price at Neiman's, but it will be one of my first purchases as I return home.

As for clothes shopping, I've noticed something interesting: Men's fashion here is beautiful. My husband is happily shopping for interesting, colorful items. But women's clothes seem a bit boring and uninspired to me. I did get some lovely lingerie (I adore Elle MacPherson Intimates) and have yet to get to the relevant floor at Selfridge's. But other than that it's been somewhat disappointing. Also, I have a size problem. I'm a US size 0-2, but can't seem to find a good equivalent. I have yet to see a size smaller than UK 8, which is too big for me. It fits me like a US 4 would, which is exactly what it is, according to online conversion tables. But I still have hopes.

Today I'll be visiting Windsor Castle, so probably not much makeup shopping there, but maybe some royalty stalking.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


I'm going away for ten days. My sister is getting married, and after that I'm flying to London for a few days. Packing is always a big issue for me and I never travel light (is there an award for understatement of the year? I think I just earned it).

On top of all the outfits, shoes and a few purses there's the whole beauty arsenal.

All of my Mario Badescu skin care products are going in the carry-on bag. I'm not taking any chances with them. Also in the can't-live-without bag goes Laboratoire Remede Double Oxygenating Booster. This tube is worth double its weight in gold. It definitely costs like it's made of gold, but it's pure magic and is worth every cent.

I'm not going to put on any makeup before getting on the plane. I have about 16 hours of flights, layovers and airports, so my skin would feel much better with generous applications of the seaweed cream. I will have a small make up bag with me for putting on a face just before the final landing. It will include: Chanel Vitalumier liquid foundation in beige, an eyeliner pencil (one of the cheap L'Oreals, probably in charcoal grey), black mascara- the sample of Hypnose I just got and tested, Benefit's Dallas powder for this instantly healthy glow and one of the Allison Raffaele soft glosses. It'll take me less than two minutes to apply and will prevent me from looking like death. Always a good thing, especially when one's parents are waiting at the airport.

I will also have a small bottle of lavender water to spray on the airline's little pillow and blanket, in the hope of catching some sleep, a travel size tube of L'Occitane hand cream (I have one in each purse) and L'Occitane lip balm.

In my suitcase there will be a manicure/pedicure bag that includes all the normal essentials, my Diamancel foot buffer, L'Occitane foot cream (say it with me: shea butter= good), Lippmann Collection polish, base coat and top coat and Cutex polish remover pads.

My body care bag includes a travel kit of Philosophy's Amazing Grace. It's a relatively new favorite. It doesn't irritates my dry skin and the smell is the essence of clean.

Additional makeup items will include Chanel liquid concealer, Sephora's primer, a few more pencil liners (brown and sage green), eye shadows: The new Chanel quad and the khaki Bourjois. I'll probably also take a Lancome gift with purchase compact that includes a couple of good neutral shadows, powder and a rosy blush that actually works for me, though I'm taking it mostly for the shadows. Ever since Dallas entered my life, blush has been pushed to the corner of my makeup cabinet.

For lip color, I'll be taking my nude Allison Raffaele, Lancome's Sugared Maple (my signature almost red lipstick) and Chanel's Summer Plum Glossimer. I'm not accountable to any other lip color/glosses that may or may not reside in my various purses.

The only thing left to decide is fragrance. I'm leaning towards an Annick Goutal for morning and Black Cashmere for nights. I also have a couple of purse sized sprays that will go with me, so I think I'm covered.

Have I forgotten anything (other than extra money to pay for over-weight, that is)?

Photo: Vogue, May 1955

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mascara Review- Lancôme Hypnôse

I haven't used Lancôme mascara in ages. I don't use many Lancôme products nowadays, but when I did I always had way too many samples of Defincilis from those gift with purchase bags. There's no polite way to say this: Defincilis is a less than mediocre mascara that belongs in the drugstore, where products that are 1/3 of its cost deliver very similar results.

A recent trip to the Lancôme counter (I still use Bi-Facil, Rouge Sensation lipstick in sugared maple and their blush in cappucine) has earned me a sample of Hypnôse mascara which I tried today.

Here is what the web site promises: "Custom Volume Mascara- Dare to go up to 6 times the volume. With each stroke, the patented POWERFULL™ brush intensifies lashes from root to tip. Exclusive, fluid SoftSculpt ™ formula, enriched with Vitamin B5, wraps lashes one luxurious layer at a time without smearing, smudging or clumping."

As I've mentioned here before, I'm not in the market for volume. I have more than enough of that naturally. But I am looking for defining and curling, and will not reject a mascara that would also add a little length. Had I been searching for volume, I'd be very disappointed with Hypnôse. It doesn't deliver at all when it comes to thickness and volume. If that is what you're after you will not find it here. However, if you need just a bit of added length and a defining color this is a great product.

The texture is just the right consistency for even coating. It didn't run, smudge or dot. The brush colored and separated my lashes with no clumping or sticking. I didn't need to use a lash comb and the result was just I was after: long, dark (I used black) and curling upward. It held nicely all day and didn't flake.

I didn't use it on my lower lashes (I rarely do), because the result would have made Tammy Faye proud. I didn't use primer (I never do) or any other lash product.

My conclusion: This mascara is a formidable competition to my beloved Clinique High Impact. It's more expensive, though ($22 while Clinique is $13.50).

Léa Extreme by Léa St. Barth

Sometimes I think that there are two kinds of women: Those who like their fragrance to smell like food and those who don't. I normally belong to the second group. I'll never use anything that makes me smell like a fruit cup or a pie: Clinique's Happy (essence of OJ) and Simply (attacked by a giant watermelon), Chanel Chance and just about every fragrance from Comptoir Sud Pacifique. I love vanilla as a base note when combined with sexy, non-foody elements (most Guerlains), but I don't want to smell like I just bathed in McCormick.

The first time I cracked open a Lea Extreme by Lea St. Barth sample was rather alarming. The first whiff smelled like a warning: coconut and chocolate. Normally it would be enough of a reason to send this into the "use for household purpose only" bag, but I put it on in the name of research (and because I know that the full sized bottle is a $125 indulgence).

The candied coconutty element was mostly gone as the fragrance touched my skin. It probably comes from the sweet almond top note, and I was glad to be rid of it. What remained was chocolate. I needed to use quite a bit to get it to stick, but when it did, it was warm and enveloping, rather than floating. The scent settled quickly into its chocolate-vanilla base, and remained the same for the entire day, which means that its actual staying power was not bad at all, though one would need to get very very close in order to smell it after the first few minutes. I know that for some, it is actually an advantage, but I prefer a stronger presence.

I didn't hate it. I didn't love it either. It doesn't smell cheap or juvenile. But it's very one dimensional, single note with no twist or depth to it. And the end result is so much like cocoa butter, that here and there you are reminded of Palmer's lotion, which is not exactly the height of luxury.

ETA: It's months later and I've written about it here and there, but it's worth updating my original review. Somehow, this fragrance has managed to get to me in a way very few ever did. It's nothing like the scents have always attract me, and yet I get cravings for Lea. Eventually, I caved and bought the full bottle which I'm using happily whenever I need its comforting coziness. It isn't very sophisticated and doesn't smell like a million bucks, but it's good. Really really good.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Karl LAgerfeld- Chloé (My Mother's Day Perfume)

I probably owe my love (not to say obsession) for scent and fragrance to my mother. Lotions, potions, high-end fabric softener, French soaps in my lingerie drawers, lavender sachets in the closet and a certain quirk regarding vanilla sugar that does wonders to the smell of kitchen cabinets. There, on top of the pyramid of all Things that Smell Good stands perfume, which my mother has taught me to appreciate, love and never leave the house without applying some.

Some time during the late 70s my mother discovered Chloe. Back than it was considered a fine department store fragrance and was a bit hard to find. It came as an EDP in a frosted glass bottle. I was too young to really think about notes and layers, but just like everyone who was lucky enough to get close had no doubt that it smelled wonderful on her.

It became her signature, earned her many compliments and comments from just about everyone. When asked by women what it was, my mom would usually say "Oh, just something French". She always preferred not to smell like everyone else and never gave in to fragrance trends (Giorgio Beverly Hills never entered our house). When someone- a friend or a neighbor tried Chloe it never smelled the same on them. The sparkling, lovely floral formula with a powdery finish was clearly made for my mother.

This was the only scent she would wear, day in and day out for nearly 30 years. I grew up to become the complete opposite. I wear something different every day. For me there is a fragrance for every mood, every weather, every activity. I rarely put on the same perfume two days in a row, unless I have something new that I'm completely in love with. While I was discovering the allures of Calvin, Ralph and Estee my mom was going through bottle after bottle of Chloe. I changed boyfriends, got married, dabbled in Cartier, Tiffany, Jil Sander and Armani while my mother stayed lovely and unique in Chloe.

There's been a change in recent years. The Karl Lagerfeld fragrance has been downgraded to drugstores everywhere, the frosted bottle is no more (replaced with a clear one) and the EDP seems to have been discontinued, though PerfumeMart lets you join a waiting list for it. I've joined over a year ago and have yet to hear back from them. Some reviews on claim that the original formula has changed and it's not as good as it used to be.

The last year has indeed seen a change: My mom started trying on and using new fragrances. Last autumn we both discovered Dior's Pure Poison (the mix of white florals, orange blossom and my beloved jasmine appeals to both of us). Her most recent purchase was quite surprising: Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker. I'm not a big fan, but my mother loves it and only complains about its staying power- seems like Lovely needs to be used heavy-handedly to keep even a trace of it for a few hours.

I don't think that this is the end of the Chloe days, but I'm glad to be able to compare fragrance notes with the person responsible for this little hobby of mine.

Notes: green notes, coconut, bergamot, aldehydes, peach, tuberose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, hyacinth, orris, musk, sandalwood, moss, amber, cedar, benzoin.

Friday, May 12, 2006

In which we get interactive

I'm going to be in London for a few days in the end of May. I know that there are interesting lines and products that are not available in the US, so I'd like to hear recommendations from UK readers:
What should I look for? What should I get there (sadly, I don't think that Prince William is anoption)?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Thierry Mugler- Alien

I've written before how some of the most popular and heavily praised fragrances (Prada, Cashmere Mist, Chanel Chance) don't work for me. I either dislike them instantly, or they dislike my body's chemistry and just stink. On the other hand, some of my most favorite perfumes are a bit left-of-center when it comes to popularity. Like my long-standing love affair with Tiffany (some say it's very old-fashioned, but I've been using it bottle after bottle ever since I was 22).

One of the most maligned scents of the last 12 months is Alien by Thierry Mugler. So many reviewers hated it with the kind of passion I save for Escada perfumes. Something about the particular use of jasmine, I think.

Surprisingly, Alien does work for me. It's loud, for sure, but also deep and rich.  I wore it frequently last winter, sometimes even for daytime and have gotten many compliments. It's different and sexy, but I do understand why it's not for everyone. As the weather gets warmer I'll see how often I reach for it. Maybe for evening.

A lot has been said about the bottle. Like the fragrance, it's different and immediately recognizable. The alien theme is strong in its design, and I've read a comment or two comparing it to a Vorlon encounter suit from Babylon 5. There is some truth in this. I might be as girly as they come, but I'm also a sci-fi nerd in disguise. I named one of my cats after Ambassador Kosh, so having him (the Vorlon, not my orange tabby) immortalized in a great perfume bottle is very nice.

For the non-nerds among you, here's Ambassador Kosh in his encounter suit. You can see and compare for yourself.

November 2007 : I can't believe the change of heart I've had about this one. Jasmine has become my nose's archnemesis, unless it's so well-blended I can't pick it up by itself. Alien started smelling harsh, artificial and skanky;  the sillage has become a major headache trigger. I don't know if it's my nose, my skin or just becoming more particular about perfume, but after avoiding the bottle for a year, I ended up selling it and couldn't be happier to see it go.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

For those who missed it

As a part of The Great Mascara Hunt (declared by Blogdorf Goodman), here is my review of Clinique's High Impact Mascara.

Lip Service II: The Nude Files

Nudity is relative. As I said in my post from yesterday, I can't use any of those beige colors that make one's lips look pale. My skin is just too dark for it and I look like a freak. Or a dead freak, instead of fresh and sophisticated.

When I want the clean, non-painted look for my lips I reach for muted pink browns. My favorites in this category are those from Skin by Alison Raffaele. They are soft, creamy and moist, have enough pigment to show on my lips and the colors are very nice. As I've mentioned, I also blend them with other lip color to get interesting hues without compromising lip comfort.

The colors that work for me as nudes (again, remember that my lips and skin are darker than average) are:
Lipstick: Breath, Sing
Soft Gloss: Elegant, Polished (they look dark in the tube, but are sheer, soft and match my natural color).

Apparently, this is contagious

One of my biggest quirks is a healthy(?) interest with the British royal family. As a child I was interested in anything royal: the concept of real life queens and princesses was fascinating to me, much more than any Disney princess. When Prince Charles married Lady Diana in 1981 I became a rabid fan.

Years, scandals and divorces have gone by. I still read the magazines and buy the books. Despite everything, I am fond of the Prince of Wales and glad to see him so happy for the first time in his life. Camilla may never grace the cover of Vogue, but she seems to be a decent person and a good match for Charles. Something which poor Diana, as lovely as she was, could never have been.

Camilla has her own sense of style and most of the time it works well for her. But the choice of head gear for her daughter's wedding had a Medusa's hair quality to it. I'm not sure that it was the image she wanted.

But more disturbing than that, is that Kate Middleton, Prince William's very lovely girlfriend, seems to have taken fashion advice from her future stepmother-in-law(?) and is sporting something similar. I don't know why she would choose something like this. It's just wrong. She's still charming, though.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Lip Service

I can only speak for myself here, but my quest for the perfect lip color moves between two extremes: The perfect red and the perfect nude. Now, what stands as "nude" to me is not nude for most. My natural lip color is on the dark pink side of the spectrum, so anything lighter is either invisible or gives me the oh-so-attractive Night at the Morgue look.

I have several long-standing favorites from both color groups and will talk about them soon enough. But I was interested in finding something new and highly pigmented. So I decided to go for Nars. After all, they are famous for their colors (even though I can tell you that despite all the hype and claims to the opposite, their Orgasm blush does NOT look good on every skin tone. If you're olive with a side of healthy green, there's no way you can pull off anything coral. You will look like a papaya).

Nars lipsticks come in quite a selection of colors and several finishes: semi-matte, satin and sheer(though you will not get much info about which is which from Sephora- the lip colors are all grouped together both in store and online). The hues are pretty and wearable. They don't specialize in Barbie pink or junior prom match-my-dress purple. My red choice was Gipsy. I picked Pigalle as my natural looking color. If you look online, you will see that the latter is a pink chocolate color. Gipsy is described on Sephora's web site as a "warm berry", while the color swatch for it on is very brown. Nars web site make all the colors look a bit lighter than they actually are, at least that's the way it appears on my screen.

Back to Gipsy: it might have a trace of berry, but not much. It's more of a brownish muted red which to me resembles Lancôme's Maple Sugar (one of my staple colors). It's noticeable without being in-your-face and works for me as a daytime red.

But now we get to talk about texture, which is where these pretty colors fail miserably. They are supposed to be enriched with vitamin E and look either naturally stained (Gipsy is sheer) or velvety (Pigalle is semi-matte). From this description you'll never guess just how dry and unpleasant they ended up on my lips.

Gipsy, which is supposed to have more moisture feels sticky in a dry way- as though it's a residue of something syrupy that was not thoroughly wiped. It looks good enough, but no amount of lip gloss can make it feel better as long as the thing is in direct contact with my lips.

Pigalle ended up being worse. It is so dry that I have no idea how it is supposed to create the promised "velvety, full-bodied" look. It felt like it was sucking all the moisture from my (well exfoliated and moisturized) lips, which ended up making the color too dark. What was even worse, the lipstick settled on my lips in such a way that instead of coating it clung to the skin, making it the only lip color I know that exposed a very tiny, nearly invisible scar that I have on my lower lip. It's not noticeable even when I'm not wearing a lipstick ot a gloss, and every other product (other than real lip stains) glides over it. But Pigalle just made my lips look ugly and feel scorched.

The good news is that I did manage to find a way to wear both colors, so it was not a waste of $46. I apply them over a thick coat of very creamy, moisturizing nude lipstick. It tones down the color a little bit, but it still looks good, and feels the way lips are supposed to feel.

I think that my next post will be on lip color that actually feels good.

Friday, May 05, 2006

How Not to Sell Clothes

I know that I'm not the only one who found the Marc Jacobs ads featuring Meg White as a corpse lying on dirt in the middle of nowhere, to be in very poor taste. It seemed to me as a part of another wave of designers' mysogeny- Louis Vuitton and a few others also featured dead or zombie-like looking models, in scenes that reminded me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer digging her way out of the grave (sixth season, first episode).

I just leafed through Men's Vogue, where I found another Marc Jacobs ad. This one features the man who killed Meg. Wearing a denim trench coat, his face filthy, a crazy look in his eyes, his hand clutching the coat's buckle but it might as well be a knife. Or a gun. Or his penis. Welcome to Jack the Ripper's world. Apparently he wears Marc Jacobs.

Donna Karan- Black Cashmere

The sample vial of Donna Karan's Black Cashmere was  sitting at the bottom of my sample stash for a very long time. Being related to Karan's Cashmere Mist, one of two fragrance I hate the most (well, other than anything ever made by Escada, but who wears that? No need to answer), I was never very interested in trying it.

A note regarding Cashmere Mist and why I dislike it: Looking at the list of this fragrance, one would think I'd find it fabulous- Top Notes: Bergamot ,Heart Notes: Jasmine, lily of the valley, Base Notes: Sandalwood, vanilla, amber, musk. My guess is that the lily of the valley is the offending element. I'm not a big fan of it in general, and a musky muguet just doesn't appeal to me. Cashmere mist smells extraordinarily vile on my skin, like something cheap and floral in a commercial, synthetic way (that was a polite way to say "manufactured by Glade") and I could never get why it is so popular. Until I caught a whiff of something that smelled very pleasant on my friend E. Who lives in the Midwest and came for a visit. I was floored to learn that it was my old nemesis, The Mist. The lesson is that there's a skin for every fragrance.

Back to the neglected vial in my drawer. When I finally cracked it open the first sniff was intriguing. The second was love . I could tell that this was different and not at all about soap and muguet. Black Cashmere is spicy with a capital S. I was a goner from the first day. Incense, saffron, and even more dark incense.  The woody element, slightly charred and dry, smoky and impenetrably black is more pronounced than the promised vanilla note on my skin, and that's a first. Black Cashmere deepens and darkens as the hours go by, settling into a rich but not overpowering aroma.

I know that most would find it too potent for daytime or summertime. But I live for fragrance like this and can pull it off (or at least I hope so). I wear it all day and enjoy its staying power. Refreshing it again before going out for dinner has made my husband very happy. He was all for its sex appeal and seductiveness, never complaining about the presence of rose.

Needless to say, a full sized bottle now resides on the shelf and a backup in the closet.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Nothing Major

I joined the Great Mascara Hunt, a noble quest started at Blogdorf Goodman. I've already talked about my beloved Clinique High Impact, a perfect 10 for my curling needs (and I know that someone has even taken notice. Hi, A.). But I just got a sample of Stila's Major Lash Mascara and I gave it a try for a couple of days.

As I said before, being reasonably well-endowed in the lash department, I don't expect miracles from my mascara. Just defining and curling. Neither of which this mascara delivered.

Since I was using a sample tube, I can't really judge the brush. It seems okay at coating and separating the lashes. But the product itself appears to be more glossy than pigmented. It added some shine, but that didn't last after a few hours, so what little defining effect it had was gone. It didn't add any length and despite the promise, didn't curl my lashes. The product description on the site suggests layering. This is something that I'd rather not do. Coats upon coats of mascara is not a look that I would go for.

But I did manage to put this mascara to good use: My lower lashes, unlike the upper ones do curl naturally. I don't use mascara on them because the look is too heavy- too dark and racoonish. But this low pigment mascara that only gives a little shine looked pretty nice on my lower lashes. And since it hardly clamps or flakes no racoons were spotted.

My rating: 3 for upper lashes, 8 for lower.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Benefit Dallas Boxed Bronzer Blush- Does One Size Fits All?

I’m usually not a fan of products that declare themselves as right for every skin tone. From my experience it just doesn’t work this way.  A good example is NARS Orgasm blush. It gets such rave reviews and it seems that everyone is buying it. Every time I give it a try I get the same result: it looks wrong.

This is why I was skeptical about Benefit’s Dallas boxed powder/bronzer (or whatever you want to call it). Everyone loves it. And Everyone has a very different skin tone than mine. Still, my curiosity got the better of me and I found myself at Bloomie’s Benefit counter trying it on.

In my first try I had too much powder on the Benefit tester brush. It’s a thin brush with short, stiff bristles and no handle. It takes a moment to get used to, but as soon as I figured just how much Dallas to use and how to sweep it across my face there was magic. My nose and the area around have a bit of color at this point in the season (I should really be more diligent about sunscreen. I tan from standing by the window), so I just use it on my forehead and cheeks to complement my tan.

The color of Benefit Dallas is, indeed, a sun-kissed rose. It makes my skin glow in a healthy looking tan. Since getting Dallas I've been neglecting my other  bronzers and blushes. I just sweep this and my face is done. I prefer to use better brushes with this product, but must admit that even the stiff brush that comes in the Benefit box delivers satisfactory results.

I have no idea how Dallas works for paler women with different undertones to their skin. All I know is that this Non-Blonde is hooked.

Photo of Linda Evans as Krystle Carrington via IMDB.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Moonlight Shadow

I go through cycles with eye shadows. I can avoid using them for months (like last summer, when I was all about a basic, natural look), and then go on a spree, get some new stuff and play with it to my little heart's content.

I don't like a very painted eye look, especially not for day time. Teaching fifth grade math demands many things, but not a lot of pink shimmer on my eye lids. That said, lately I do feel a need to apply something light and eye opening for day, and I'm back to experimenting with different evening looks.

I wrote about my recent Chanel purchase and will review my new daytime look soon. But this post is about two Bourjois shadows that are definitely for evening. I got the Kaki Etonnant #70 and Argent #25. The first is described as "iridescent brown with green", which is exactly how it looks, especially when applied with a damp brush.

It was one of the most beautiful shadows I've ever seen, and is very flattering to my skin tone. I used it with dark sage liner (a cheapy from L'Oreal, bought in my local target. I love the color and texture- most pencils are not soft and creamy enough for my sensitive eye area)and a nude highlighting shadow under my brows, so the Kaki Etonnant could claim the spotlight. And it did. Pretty and sexy without being overpowering. The irridisent quality makes it interesting without being in-your-face shimmer.

I'm not sure how it would look on someone who is pale. The green might look too garish. But if you have greenish eyes it might be worth looking into, as it might be good for bringing out the color.

The second night I used the #25, which is a silver sparkle. Encouraged by my earlier success, I damped my brush and applied it as a highlighter. Big mistake. This color does not need wet application, as the result could be described as campy sci-fi, or tin man or whatever you want to call Cher on a bad day. I wiped it out and started again, dry, this time. Bourjois' desription didn't lie. It is silver sparkle, but when applied dry and with a light hand it does look pretty.

I combined it with a smoke colored liner (again, L'Oreal) and Lancôme shadow in Volcano (a muted charcoal) on the crease. Again, this is an evening look, and a very pretty one. If silver looks good on you, it's worth checking out. The shadow's quality is great, no creasing or smudging. The very light sparkle looks classy and stays in place. It makes curious about their other colors. There's quite a selection of them.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Salvatore Ferragamo Pour Femme

I had a sample of Salvatore Ferragamo Pour Femme that I decided to try last night. I liked the top notes- it was interesting, decidedly unfruity and didn't remind me of anything else. All are the making of a good candidate to join my ever-growing collection and be used frequently.

Last night I was also trying on some new makeup products that were a huge success. Unlike my pal Sal.

Three words: No staying power.

The sample was of the EDP (I checked twice, just to make sure). Still, by the time I got from North Jersey to the East Village nothing remained. I felt naked. This morning I tried it again, to see if it might be better as a casual morning fragrance. Again, gone in 20 minutes. It's described on fragrancenet as a "dry scent of greens, florals and spices, with lower notes of nuts and musk". No specifics. It's almost like there's a missing ingredient, something to ground it and make it stay.