Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bruno Fazzolari- Au Delà


The wonderful depth of Au Delà, one of five perfumes by San Francisco-based artist Bruno Fazzolari, is not surprising. Deriving inspiration from art, theology, and music (you can read about it in Fazzolari's blog), there are some very complex idea that lead to the creation of Au Delà.  In the blog post I linked above you can get a glimpse of the visual art (by Bernini), read a passage by St. Teresa of Avila, and listen to the music that gave Au Delà its name and character, the fifth movement of Éclairs sur L'Au Delà  ("Flashes of the Beyond") by composer Olivier Messiaen, called Demeurer dans l'Amour,  ("To Dwell in Love").  It's quite a bit to take in, and not completely necessary if one just wants to smell and enjoy the fragrance; but there are some keywords worth noting about the backstory: ecstasy, surrender, and immanence. The latter is actually a fantasy note in Au Delà (every one of Bruno Fazzolari's perfumes has one). It's a Catholic concept but also a philosophical theory of divine presence in which the divine is seen to be manifested in the material world (thank you, Wikipedia).

How does all of that translates into a perfume? As a chypre, naturally.

Au Delà is a floral chypre that takes delicate white flowers (neroli, jasmine, orange blossom) and uses hints of their carnal indolic nature while stretching the dreamy abstract quality of these note to the max. The smell of seductive nocturnal flowers carried in the warm air of a summer night  fills the soul with a deep longing. The beauty is otherworldly, but the aching heart is personal.  Au Delà is also grounded in reality, showing a green streak, an earthy spiciness, and of course-- oakmoss to rule them all (and in the darkness bind them).

Have I mentioned that Au Delà is nothing short of gorgeous? It is. There's a wonderful balance there of flowers and earth/spice, there's sin and grace, and most of all it has a rare form of elegance. I wish the perfume came in an extrait or at least an EDP; I've depleted my sample in order to get a better longevity (about five hours), but at least the fragrance lingers beautifully on my summer scarves. Despite the connection to chypre perfumes of yore, Au Delà smells and feels modern. It has an open space between the heart and the base notes that allows the contemporary perfume lover to live inside them and make this fantasy her or his own.

Notes:Coriander,Neroli, Jasmine, Oakmoss, Orange Flower, Amber. Fantasy note: Immanence.

Bruno Fazzolari- Au Delà ($65, 30ml EDT) is available from brunofazzolari.com. The sample for this review was sent for my consideration by the perfumer.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lucien Lelong- Indiscret (Vintage Perfume)


Suggestive perfume names are not a new trend. Indiscret by Lucien Lelong was launched around 1936 (though the ad above is a much later version). It was composed by perfumer Jean Carles who gave us notorious skank bombs like Tabu and Shocking (Schiaparelli), but also the impeccably coiffed Miss Dior and Ma Griffe. On this spectrum, Indiscret is actually closer to the ladylike end of the spectrum, pretty much in line with Lucien Lelong's gowns. Though, the lady might as well be a tramp.


Lisa Fonssagrives wearing a Lucien Lelong dress. Photo by Erwin Blumenfeld, French Vogue, May 1939

Indiscret is a heavily spiced floral. The top notes of my vintage bottle are probably not what they used to be, but what's left is dark green and quite crisp. The galbanum is restrained and not as bitter as it can be, but it leads the way nicely to the floral-spice-powder heart, which is quite hefty. I smell clove. Lots and lots of clove, and maybe even nutmeg and allspice. The rose geranium smells like it was just picked from the garden, and it plays well with the dry powdery orris. Indiscret has a noticable presence. It's not trying to hide, though it's well-mannered and not really shocking. As a matter of fact, to my modern nose this feminine Lucien Lelong perfume could have been presented as a spicy masculine in today's market.





Indiscret dries down into a dry wood and musk fragrance that has a surprising longevity for an eau de cologne. It remains noticable on my skin for 4-6 hours, with some remnants on my clothes or pillow.  I have to say that I like it a lot. I like Lucien Lelong's idea of femininity; I enjoy the strength and distinct character behind the well-mannered facade, and the uncompromising statement Indiscret makes as it enters the room. I'm also happy with the absence of aldehydes, which means that this fragrance doesn't give an immediate vintage vibe (well, not until the oakmoss makes itself known).

Notes:  mandarin, neroli, tiger orchid, bergamot, white peach blossom, galbanum and orange flower, jasmine, cypress, basil, clove, violet, ylang-ylang, tuberose, rose geranium, iris, oak moss, vetiver, patchouli, guaiac wood, white musk and amber.

Kevyn Aucoin- The Eye Shadow Singles - Matte 105



Kevyn Aucoin Matte #105 swatched over an eye primer

 There are some new eye shadows in the Kevyn Aucoin line; the duos were released in the last couple of months (I'll review one soon), and now the new single matte eye shadows join them. They only come in six colors so far, all neutral and very basic, so I chose #105, Taupe Grey; because, hey! It's taupe.

The new packaging is square and a bit more refined than the Kevyn Aucoin old singles (you can see them here and here). There's a fabric pouch, but thankfully no silly sponge applicator. The texture is, indeed, completely matte, and I have to warn those of you who don't use an eye primer that it's just not going to work. These Kevyn Aucoin matte eye shadows will not blend over bare skin and are going to look might ugly (see below):

Kevyn Aucoin Matte #105 swatched over bare skin with the same brush (Hakuhodo B532)
I think this proves the point.

Kevyn Aucoin Matte #105 is definitely a taupe. It looks gray in the pan, but leans brown on skin (as you can see, the primer also makes the color appear more true to the pan). It's not very exciting, I guess, because most of us have several eye shadow colors in this family. I actually thought I had an identical Bobbi Brown color, but the ones I tried were still slightly different, so there you go.

Kevyn Aucoin- The Eye Shadow Singles - Matte 105 ($30) is available from Bergdorf, Barneys, and dermstore.com.

Laura Mercier Lipstick Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Colour: Star, Malt





Lipstick Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Colour is a new formula for Laura Mercier's lipstick. The lipsticks are 100% wax-free, which is meant to make the texture as light as possible. They really do feel like nothing, and glide onto the lips effortlessly. Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau lipsticks are offered in 15 colors and three finishes: matte, sheer, and creme. To make things as easy as possible for us, Laura Mercier used the first letter of the finish as the first letter of the color's name, thus Star is sheer and Malt is Matte (and my next purchase, Cafe and Chic are Creme).

Here's the ingredient list as posted on Laura Mercier's website:
PENTAERYTHRITYL TETRAISOSTEARATE, OCTYLDODECANOL, MICA, SILICA, POLYETHYLENE, C12-15 ALKYL BENZOATE, ISODECYL NEOPENTANOATE, TRIACONTANYL PVP, SILICA DIMETHYL SILYLATE, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, DISTEARDIMONIUM HECTORITE, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, FLAVOR (AROMA), PENTA
Star is a very sheer warm red (Laure Mercier describes it a s"brick"). It's more of a light stain, but as you can see in the swatch above, it can be built (these are three coats). Malt is much warmer than it appears on the website (the color samples are atrocious and very early 2000s. When are the good people at Laura Mercier going to acknowledge the importance of online shopping?). The best way I can describe this shade is as a caramelized rusty rose. The finish is, indeed, matte, but it actually feels creamy on the lips.

Rouge Nouveau lipsticks are scented, but less so than other Laura Mercier lip products. still, as a lipstick that's touted suitable for sensitive skin I'd expect that they forego the fragrance. One of the best thing about them is the way they wear off: gradually and evenly, without leaving patches of dry product behind. I do find that lips need to be well-prepped before application, but that's always true as far as I'm concerned.

Bottom Line: the more the merrier.

Laura Mercier Lipstick Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Colour ($24 each) can be found at the counters and on lauramercier.com.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Providence Perfume Company- Mousseline Pêche


Indie perfume and indie fashion are a good combination. Based on this example, Mousseline Pêche by Providence Perfume Company, a limited edition fragrance collaboration between perfumer Charna Ethier and fashion designer Jonathan Joseph Peters, who lives and works in Providence. If Peters' name sounds familiar, it's probably because he was a contestant on Project Runway Season 7 (the winner was Seth Aaron; other notable designers were Mila, Emilio, and fan favorite Anthony).

Mousseline Pêche is about fabric, color and their relationship with skin, which if we think about it, this concept is just as relevant for perfume. This relationship has a tactile aspect that is often compared to peach skin. Put it all together and you get Mousseline Pêche.


The fragrance opens with sunshine. An incredibly balanced blend of citrus notes that feels sheer like a see-through fabric. There's no sharpness or juiciness, just an impression of an early morning light. As the peach and rose make an appearance, Mousseline Pêche becomes somewhat sweeter. It's a testament to Charna Ethier's incredible talent that this accord is not cloying and saccharin-like. Not only that, it's also incredibly realistic, and as I mentioned above, tactile.

Mousseline Pêche has a powdery facet and a link to classic perfumery, yet it's light and summery. The overall feeling of the fragrance is incredibly pretty-- it is, indeed, the equivalent of a summer silk dress for a special event. It trails behind you a little, exposes a little skin when the breeze plays with your sheer wrap. The romantic feel of vintage rose makes me think Mousseline Pêche would make a perfect bridal fragrance, something to make an unforgettable romantic honeymoon, or just a beautiful summer treat.

Notes: yuzu, pink grapefruit, rosewood, peach accord, ylang ylang, rose otto, tonka, vetiver, spun sugar (natural maltol).

Read also this review by Ida Meister on Fragrantica.

Providence Perfume Company- Mousseline Pêche ($50, 15ml EDT-- lasting power is more like a good EDP) is a limited edition fragrance, available from providenceperfume.com. The sample for this review was sent by the perfumer.

Photos:
Jonathan Joseph Peters preparing a model for a photoshoot via the designer's Instagram account.
Kristian Schuller- Models On The Beach.


Malin+Goetz Tobacco Candle


Here's another weather-inappropriate candle that's too wonderful to wait until fall. Malin+Goetz Tobacco candle smells dark and very rich. The complex scent shouldn't surprise anyone, considering this beeswax/soy/vegetable waxes candle also contains 16% eau de toilette and an actual note list:: Basil, Rye, Chestnut Honey, Ylang Ylang, Tobacco Leaves, Guaiacwood and Bourbon Vanilla. The result is a very dense scent and a massive projection that can be smelled in several rooms when the candle is burning in the leaving room.

Malin+Goetz recommend to keep the candle burning for a minimum of 2-3 hours  the first time you light it, for optimum performance, but not burn for more than 3 hours at a time afterwards. I'll also add that unless you keep all windows open, there's little chance you'll want to keep the candle burning any longer than that because the scent is so heavy and dark that it can be a little suffocating. However, it's also quite addictive and utterly delicious. The candle smells strongly of honey, wood, and tobacco leaves, and is more sweet than smoky. The promise for 60 hours of burn time is accurate.

Malin+Goetz Tobacco Candle ($52, 9oz) is available from beauty.com and malinandgoetz.com.

Photo:  Frances Benjamin Johnston,  self-portrait in her Washington, D.C. studio, 1896

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

CB I Hate Perfume- Outside


I have at least two things in common with Christopher Brosius of CB I Hate Perfume. We both hate insects (well, ladybugs and dragonflies don't count), especially mosquitoes. I'm also ridiculously sensitive to bites, making the husband suggest that I don't leave the house unless I'm covered in mosquito nets. He's only half kidding. The other hatred CB and I share is a dislike of the way commercial bug repellents smell. That's why Brosius created Outside (#610), a limited edition essential oil blend that acts as a bug repellent but actually smells like a perfume (I wonder if CB notices the irony in this):
 "I hate bugs. Particularly mosquitoes. So this perfume began in 1992 as a bug repellant for me when I lived in the country. I knew from my research that one of the principal reasons plants produce their essential oils is to protect themselves from insects and I discovered several essential oils that were particularly effective to protect me from insects as well. The challenge then became to blend these various oils so that they truly smelled like perfume. Which, after a period of experimentation, is just what I did."
Outside smells mostly like a lavender blend. I also get quite a bit of geranium and a lot of patchouli that gives the impression of freshly-turned moist earth in your kitchen garden. I can't say that Outside is a real perfume, but it is very pleasant if you're a patchouli lover who likes essential oils.  I have this image of being invited to the Queen's garden party, anointing myself in Outside for protection before wearing a cute floral dress and an outrageous hat. However, once I get to meet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, he unceremoniously tells me that I smell like a dirty hippie. Prince Philip would be right.

I bought my sample of Outside a little over two weeks ago and have tested it several times since then. I can tell you that when I wasn't wearing it I acquired a couple of mosquito bites (including during a quick walk in Manhattan, from the car to Bergdorf). No incidents when I risked my skin wearing Outside in my bug-ridden backyard, so the repellent thing may be working. The scent doesn't project too much but a drop lasts for about 3 hours on my skin. I experimented with wearing Chanel No. 19 while having the oil on and the result wasn't unpleasant, so I guess layering is the way to go.

The main issue with CB I Hate Perfume's Outside is the price. I spend as little time as possible outside so the 2ml sample will last me a while, but if I were to spring for a full bottle It would cost me $115 for the 15ml absolute or $100 for the 100ml water perfume. That's quite steep for a bug repellent, but talk to me the next time I get covered with welt-like bites.

Notes: lavender, geranium, patchouli, cedarwood, bergamot and a touch of oregano.

CB I Hate Perfume- Outside is available from cbihateperfume.com. If you visit the site do take note of CB's effort to raise money quickly to move his gallery (out of necessity) through an interesting benefactor plan. A "contribution" gives an added percentage of credit for future percent over what you pledge. It's not really a contribution because you get the full pledge back in credit plus the extra percentage (starting at 10% for amounts between $100-$199), which I guess makes it more of a loan, paid back with interest in good perfume. 

Art: John Singer Sargent- The Mosquito Net, 1908.

Thymes- Ginger Milk Bath & Shower Gel


The good people at Thymes have brought back a selection of products from their original classic scent ranges: Fig Leaf & Cassis (my absolute favorite), Ginger Milk, Green Tea, and Sleep Well. They also made their Filigree range permanent once again, as is the heavenly Goldleaf (if only they bring back the laundry detergent!). I was recently sent a bottle of Ginger Milk Bath & Shower Gel by Thymes PR, so blame them for the extra time I spend in the shower these days.

Ginger Milk is a zesty citrus scent, tart and refreshing, over a sweet musky base (notes: lime, ginger, tamarind, vanilla, cucumber, ambrette seed). I enjoy how the ginger note emerges after the citrus, making the scent a little more unusual. It doesn't linger much once the soft later is rinsed, and by the time I'm out of the bathroom there's nothing left, so no clashing with my lotion and perfume. The shower gel is gentle enough for my finicky skin, and not drying at all, at least at this time of the year.

I also got to try the room spray in Ginger Milk. It's very nice but doesn't last at all. I wish it came in a candle and/or a linen spray, so the scent would linger a while longer. As it is I'd advice you to skip the home spray mist and stick with the body products.

Thymes- Ginger Milk Bath & Shower Gel ($25, 12.25 oz) is available from thymes.com. The product for this review was provided by PR.

Photo: lindawagner.net

Chanel Mystere Fall 2013 Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eyeshadow








Mystere is the new Chanel eye shadow quad for Fall 2013. It's a neutral palette that goes with the khaki-bronze theme of the eyeliner and mascara in the collection, but will obviously fit well with just about anything you'll throw its way. The colors are subtle, complex and sophisticated. There's an ivory, a taupe (less purple than Gri-Gri), a khaki bronze, and a blackened olive or a bronze infused black/brown (depending on the light).

The texture of Chanel Mystere quad is the typical semi-sheer and shimmery that creates quite a bit of fall out. I can tell you that photographing the compact was a nightmare because from the second I removed the protective plastic insert I had debris all over the place. I kept wiping, but every time I moved the compact more particles got loose, resulting in dusty shimmer all over the place. This also means that you need to use a very tightly packed brush and I highly recommend applying your base and concealing after you're done with your eyes; but if you're a regular user of Chanel quads you already know that. Another reminder: an eye primer is non negotiable. Without one Mystere applies patchy, glittery and shows an abysmal color payoff. That's also what you'll see if you swatch Mystere at the counter on bare skin. However, the swatches above were done over an eye primer, and you can see that there's no lack of pigment there.

Mystere is closely related to another Chanel eye shadow quad, Prelude, from two years ago. Prelude is warmer, especially on my skin, and doesn't have the khaki leaning of Mystere. I don't think these quads are interchangeable, but the colors can be mixed and combined.

Bottom Line: beautiful, if you like Chanel eye shadow quads and get along with theit texture.

Chanel Mystere Fall 2013 Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eyeshadow ($59) is available from nordstrom.com


Monday, June 24, 2013

Chanel- Beige (Les Exclusifs)


I like to revisit major perfume releases a significant time after the hype round them has died. Especially when the fragrance in question has failed to impress me, initially and subsequently, as was the case of Chanel Beige. Back in 2008 when Chanel added Beige to their Les Exclusif line my first thought was that it was pretty enough and I could sort of smell the Chanel DNA, but Beige was really not my color or my cup of tea. I didn't mind it, just couldn't see the point. I kept testing Beige over the years (had a funny vision about it the second time around), and recently decided to really devote a few days to living with it, just so I can get it out of my system.

Spoiler alert: I'm not buying a bottle.



Beige is a lightly honeyed floral fragrance.  It's very feminine, quite proper, and so light on sillage and projection that it's truly an inoffensive, office-friendly perfume. The freesia note is straight out of a Crabtree & Evelyn catalog, and it makes Chanel Beige smell not so much soapy, but more like a good shampoo, already lathered under a good stream of hot water in a fancy shower. The white fluffy towel awaits you.

The honey in Beige less an actual note and more a fattening of the hawthorn. There's nothing dirty or animalic here, so those who shy away from anything that reminds them of Miel de Bois should be safe here. Beige has a certain warmth and a musky dry-down that lingers on long after you no longer feel "perfumed". I think that this is my favorite thing about Beige, even if it forces me to spray most of a sample's content for every wearing. The late dry-down is sweeter and smoother than Beige lets on at first; sort of like the lining, stitches, and little details inside a real Chanel couture garment.

Chanel Beige ($130, 2.5oz EDT) is available from select department stores, Chanel boutiques and chanel.com.

Art: Cecilia Paredes, 2010

Chanel Fall 2013 Le Blush Creme de Chanel: Fantastic





I know that many of you are in somewhat of a Chanel overload, but there are so many new colors to explore and they're just arriving at the counters (and not even all the stores yet); so I'm trying to show you what I picked out of the collection and review as quickly as I can once I get to experiment with each one.

Fantastic is one of two limited edition colors in the new Le Blush Creme de Chanel range (the other one is Présage, a very orange apricot that I decided to skip lest I look like a mango). These cream blushes have a silicone formula, intense pigments, impressive longevity, and colors that are more summer than fall, but I'm not complaining, considering that it's still June.

Fantastic is perhaps the boldest and scariest color among the Creme de Chanel blushes. It's a deep reddish pink, an almost fuchsia shade in a certain light. There's no doubt this blush looks gorgeous on women of color who don't need to sheer it out as much as I do. But even my alien pale olive skin benefits from this color, especially as the final touch of cheek color over a bronzer. A quick way to blend Fantastic is to use your foundation brush with whatever's left on it after applying your base. I find that Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is exceptionally good at this, as are most stippling brushes (avoid the ones that are two big, though. You want to keep the blush contained).

Another tip is to work relatively fast. As you can see below, when I tried to blend the blush after about five minutes, it was mostly set. You can see the original stripe at the bottom of the swatch, just below and whatever I managed to blend upwards:


Chanel Fall 2013 Le Blush Creme de Chanel in Fantastic ($38) is a limited edition color. Available from Nordstrom.com.

Chanel Gri-Gri and Hasard: Single Eye Shadows Fall 2013







Chanel is offering two new single eye shadows (Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadow) in their Fall 2013 lineup: Hasard and the limited edition Gri-Gri. Both are hard to describe colors: Hasard is a matte... something. Grayed lavender brown? Taupe that's heavy on the gray? Gray warm purple? All of the above, I guess, depending on your skin tone and lighting. Gri-Gri is a somewhat taupier shimmery version of Hasard. It's somewhat more sheer and has the typical texture of Chanel shimmer eye shadows (complete with some fallout).

Hasard and Gri-Gri create a tone-on-tone daytime look that's made more interesting because of the different textures. They probably don't appear all that exciting swatched on my arm, but the quiet and restrained shades are actually flattering. I find that they make the very dark brown color my eyes seem richer, more chocolate brown and less flat espresso. The blue-eyed among you are also likely to find the combination even more enchanting.

Hasard can be quickly built into a very intense taupe. My swatch above is a medium-light one layer applied with Paula Dorf Contour brush. That's what I use over my lid, adding a little more as needed and creating a strong shape that extends slightly over the crease and the outer corner. I then take a flat lay-down brush (Shu 10 N, Hakuhodo S121G or anything similar) at pat the shimmery Gri-Gri in the middle of the lid. A quick blending, a touch of eyeliner and I'm done. Speaking of eyeliner, almost anything goes here: black, navy, aubergine, dark brown. The one color that clashes horribly is Chanel Khaki Précieux from this collection. Not that it's any surprise, as this pencil is destined for use with the new Chanel Mystere quad. One last note: a primer or a cream shadow base is mandatory to get the best of these two eye shadows, both in terms of performance as well as the colors themselves.

Bottom Line: pretty but not groundbreaking (and it's high time Chanel improve the texture of their eye shadows).

Chanel Gri-Gri (limited edition) and Hasard Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadow for Fall 2013 ($28.50 each) are arriving at the counters. Also available from Nordstrom.com.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Union Fragrance At Henri Bendel


Union, as in Union Jack.

Union Fragrance is a British brand that launched last summer. The line was exclusive to Selfridges and recently it has crossed the Ocean is now also available at Grace Brothers Henri Bendel in NYC. The concept behind Union Fragrance is to use and showcase natural raw ingredients that are native to the British Isles;  to do so, the brand owners and the perfumer they hired, Anastasia Brozler, had to find landowners willing to grow some of the flowers commercially, and then learn about distilling and tincturing ingredients that are rarely used in their natural form (more about it in this story from The Ecologist).  I got to try the first four Union perfumes (a fifth fragrance, Gunpowder Rose, was released recently, but I don't have a sample of this one). Here's a quick overview of the line.

Quince, Mint & MossNotes: mint, juniper berries, petitgrain, thyme, sage, moss
I don't always mean it as a compliment when I say that a fragrance is "fresh", but this aromatic herbal fragrance is alive, vibrant, and very green. It's perfect for summer without being too lightweight. The herbs have a bite and the quince is delicious. A must-try for green lovers.

Holy Thistle
Notes: holy thistle, bay, pine resin
Another green one, this time more moody and spicy. It makes me think of fall, for some reason, gray skies and deep colors.  I've never been to the Scottish Highlands, but if that's what they smell like I'm ready to pack my bags and go. Holy Thistle is perhaps more masculine than Quince &co., though both are quite gender-neutral (as is the rest of the line).

Celtic Fire
Notes: oak, fir balsam, pine needles, marmite, birch tar, myrtle, peat
Celtic Fire is a full-bodied, smoky, tarry wonder. Fans of campfire scents (Lonestar Memories, Patchouli 24) and smoky peat (Alan Cumming) must give it a try. There's an almost meaty quality to Celtic Fire that's a bit disconcerting for me as a vegetarian, but the complexity of the fragrance has won me over.

Gothic Bluebell
Notes: English bluebell, narcissus, violet leaf, ivy
I didn't expect to fall in love with what seems like a delicate floral,  but here I am. They're not kidding about the Gothic atmosphere of this fragrance: pale Jane Eyre may be taking her quiet walk, but Mr. Rochester is about to gallop into the scene on his horse and wreak all kinds of havoc. Something dark is lurking in that oak forest.

Union Fragrance perfumes ($185 or £125, 100ml EDT) are available from Selfridges and Henri Bendel. It's one of a handful of brands that Henri Bendel actually offer for sale online, including a $75 miniature set (4x5ml roller balls of the four fragrances above), which I'm >this< close to ordering.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Karl Lagerfeld- Lagerfeld (Vintage Perfume)




Karl Lagerfeld's 1978 men's cologne was initially just Lagerfeld,  later renamed Lagerfeld Classic. The bottles look the same, but the font has changed and the word "Classic" was added. Mine is the older Lagerfeld Cologne you see in the top photo, so that's what I'm reviewing here: the rich aromatic oriental created by perfumer Ron Winnegard for Uncle Karl's original perfume line. It was the time Lagerfeld designed for Chloe, Fendi, as well as for the theater, before Chanel, before the weight gain, the drastic diet and the sleek silhouette that has become his trademark.

Karl Lagerfeld circa1970, by Antonio Lopez. 

I don't think of Lagerfeld by Lagerfeld as a particularly masculine fragrance. The opening notes, as green and spicy as they appear, also have a floral undercurrent that keeps it light and cheerful, before it takes a turn towards the powder and wood. From that point, Lagerfeld is an avalanche of darker and sweeter notes, most notably tobacco, amber and tonka bean. The eau de cologne concentration keeps Lagerfeld from being very heavy, for better and for worse.  It's just sweet and rich enough to feel satisfying and slightly cuddly.




Lagerfeld by Lagerfeld, at least in its vintage form, has decent sillage from 2-3 sprays, and stays on, though close to the skin, for at least six hours. I love it enough to spray with abandon at times and get an all day longevity.

Notes: bergamot, tarragon, lemon, clary sage, green notes, aldehydes, rose, cedarwood, tobacco, jasmine, orris, sandalwood, patchouli, amber, oakmoss, vanilla, tonka, musk.

Photos via: Find Your Mom's Basement, Hprint, Harper's Bazaar, W Magazine.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Chanel Fall 2013 Le Blush Creme de Chanel: Revelation





Coral blush, anyone?

I have a feeling that Le Blush Creme de Chanel in Revelation is going to be extremely popular. Revelation is somewhere between a pink coral and a pink grapefruit, very much on-trend. The swatch above is the blush in full intensity, but like the rest of this Le Blush Creme de Chanel line, it can be sheered to the desired level. As you blend the blush, its silicone texture melts into your base makeup, the matte finish makes the blush one with the skin. It's easy to apply with various brushes or with your fingers (keep a makeup wipe close by to clean your hands before you accidentally touch your clothes).

Application is quick and easy, you only need a small dot of product for each cheek, and the blush's longevity is phenomenal and seems to be summer-resistant. One odd thing: Chanel regular blushes (as well as eye shadows) all come with a protective plastic insert. For some reason, Le Blush Creme de Chanel doesn't have it, though it could have been quite useful to protect the product from drying. I believe the silicone texture is resilient enough (unlike Chanel cream eye shadows that really could use a flat disk such as the one Lancome provides). Still, I wish for just a little more attention to detail.

The blushes come in the standard Chanel velveteen pouch that protects the compact from scratches. No applicator is provided, and that's perfectly fine with me.The mirror inside is wide enough for use on the go.

Chanel Fall 2013 Le Blush Creme de Chanel: Revelation ($38) is already at the counters. Also online from nordstrom.com.

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