Section: Skincare & Fragrance

Blooming Lovely With Clean Blossom, a Rich White Floral Perfect for the Hot Summer Months Ahead

Published in: Clean, Fragrance, Guest Post

Clean Blossom Perfume

Mid-spritz. Clean Blossom Smells of a warm summer day.

Okay, you guys, I’ll admit it. I’m literally obsessed with perfume. I have upwards of 30 bottles, ranging from Stella to a few Diptyque, Jo Malone and even Serge Lutens, so it’s safe to say that in my time I’ve sniffed a fair few fumes (I dare you to say that three times fast).

One of my greatest pleasures in life is pairing a fragrance with my mood. There are two kinds of perfume lovers; those who find a cherished fragrance and don’t mess with success, preferring to repurchase bottle after bottle, and those who are a fragrance’s fair weather friend, adoring many and exhibiting fickle favoritism. I unquestionably fall into the latter category.

And, of course, as the trees are finally bursting forth from their skeletal winter forms and blooms are popping out of every garden bed it’s only fitting that I reach for a flourishing floral with a strong bouquet, and for that I have recently been drawn to Clean Blossom ($72 for 2.14 oz).

Clean Blossom Perfume

Beautiful and feminine Clean Blossom

Clean fragrances have been available for over a decade, all owing their popularity to the very first (unsurprisingly entitled Clean), which was said to have been inspired by the beauty in a bar of soap. Since the first smash hit, Clean has released a bevy of “spin-offs” all inspired by simple fragrant pleasures: skin, linen, laundry and rain.

Blossom is the latest release in the deceptively simple range. To my nose it smells of heavy white floral blossoms on a hot summer day. There is a definite dewiness that makes me think of the sunny early morning hours, when the plants are still damp and the smell of night mingles with dawn. Top notes of neroli, lilac and freesia account for the heavy floral burst. Supported by middle notes of orange blossom, lily and magnolia, it is unquestionable that white floral reigns supreme as the chief impression left by Clean Blossom. Musky cottonwood and sandalwood serve as base notes and account for the subtle yet unmistakable deep scent of night that lingers in the floral air.

It’s poetic, and I adore it.

Perfume tells a story, so I always do my best to look up the perfumer’s inspiration. Sephora often provides this information, and I find it provides insight and context into the selected elixir of top, middle and bottom notes:

“Blossom is based on one of my favorite flowers, neroli (orange blossom). Its distinctive aroma fills the air of my childhood places—the south of France, the French Riviera, and the Italian Coast—as well as my current home in Arizona. The name ‘neroli’ is a tribute to Princess Nerola, who made this flower essence famous by using it as a perfume at the end of the 17th century.”

— Claude Dir, master perfumer at Mane and the creator of Clean Blossom

Clean Blossom Perfume

A blooming spring and summer floral: Clean Blossom

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Maintaining Clear Skin With Help From Caudalie Paris Vinosource Moisturizer

Published in: Caudalie, Guest Post, Skin Care

Kiko Artist Collection

Exfoliants have done THE most for my skin

I don’t talk about skin care enough, considering how much time and money I actually invest into it. And I actually get lots of compliments on my skin too! But before I found a regimen that worked, I had a very bad case of cystic acne that would flare up over and over again, like clockwork. The same areas would break out, heal, then break out again.

Caudalie Paris Vinosource Moisturizers

Caudalie Paris Vinosource Moisturizers

My current nighttime routine helps keep my skin happy, and now my skin is pretty much blemish-free…except for at this very moment, of course, because the Universe is a funny place. But generally these days I only need to focus on healing the damaged skin (can still look red and raw), exfoliating, and moisturizing.

clinique, estee lauder

My current skincare line-up (L-R) Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion, Clinique Charcoal Mask, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum

Skin Prep: The Cleanse

The most important part of my nighttime routine involves removing every stitch of makeup before I go to bed. I won’t go too into detail, but I double cleanse, either using a makeup wipe + cleanser or cleansing water + cleansing oil, and I also always remove my eye makeup separately with a bi-phase product. Sunscreen and waterproof eyeliner remove easier with separate, targeted products, but your skin care products won’t do a thing for you if there’s still makeup sitting on your skin throughout the night.

Layer, Layer, Layer

Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion

Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion

These next few products are the exfoliants and serums I layer under the moisturizer…

Exfoliants have done THE most for my skin. Instead of using a physical scrub, I obsess over my Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion ($14). It’s super gentle but also super effective, and it somehow keeps my skin clear with just a thin layer. If I feel like my skin needs a little boost, I’ll use the Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Clay Mask ($25).

I’m partial to the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum ($92) and Advanced Night Repair Eye Serums ($65), which I’ve seen my mom use, and I always come back to them. I’ve always lived in an “Estee” house, and I have no complaints so far!

Helloooo Hydration

skin-caudalie

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The Three Scintillating Scents That Are Singing Me Into Summer

Published in: Fragrance, Guest Post

Narciso Rodriguez for her Eau de Parfum ($124), The Body Shop Atlas Mountain Rose Body Oil, and Mixologie ($99)

Narciso Rodriguez for her Eau de Parfum ($124), The Body Shop Atlas Mountain Rose Body Oil, and Mixologie ($99)

Here in New York City, the weather has officially broken out of what seemed to be a neverending cold snap, and I am loving it. The evenings and early mornings can still be a little chilly and, much to my mom’s chagrin, some parts of the state are still getting snow days! But that’s way up in the Adirondacks. I’m extra happy to be downstate at the moment dousing myself in these three floral, feminine scents.

These have been putting a little extra spring in my step since before the weather got warm.

The first one is…

Narciso Rodriguez for her Eau de Parfum ( $97 for 1.6 oz., or $124 for a 3-oz. bottle)

I’m a sucker for packaging, and this bottle is everything my little heart (or should I say my eyes?) desires. Like the scent itself, it’s feminine, it’s pink, it’s delicate — everything I secretly love while trying to retain a hardcore princess persona.

Narciso-Rodriguez-for-her-Eau-de-Parfum-2

Also, can we talk about this bottle? As someone trying to expand her style into more of a sophisticated look, this bottle could not be better. It feels heavy in my hand, and that beautiful creamy pale pink? That’s the bottle, not the liquid. 

I am mildly obsessed with the bottle… .

Narciso-Rodriguez-for-her-Eau-de-Parfum

As for the fragrance, the brand describes it like this: “Radiant notes of rose petals, iris, and hints of amber, the result is a pure fragrance of soft florals and powdered musc.” The only argument I have with that is the spelling of musk. 😉 The outcome is a soft, ultra-feminine fragrance that lingers on my skin and clothes and kind of makes me feel like a woodland creature.

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:)

Elie Saab Rose Couture Le Parfum and Ralph Lauren Tender Romance: Two New Fragrances 100% Approved by Me and My Scent-sitive Boyfriend

Published in: Elie Saab, Fragrance, Guest Post

There’s a lot to consider when sniffing out a new fragrance or scented product to love, like…how it makes me feel, what memories it calls to mind, how well it works (if it’s something other than a perfume), how much it costs, etc. — but I also take into account the people around me — mainly, my boyfriend. He’s highly sensitive to scents! And also allergic to avocado…so anything made with avocado oils or butters (which rules out a LOT of things from Lush, for instance) is a no-no in our household.

Both of these two new fragrances that I’ve been wearing lately — Elie Saab Rose Couture Le Parfum and Ralph Lauren Tender Romance — are not only 100% recommended by me, but they’re also 100% approved by my scent-sitive (ha!) boyfriend.

First, there’s Rose Coutour, and we all know how much I love rose scents. 🙂 As I’ve said it time and time again.

I have a hard time describing individual rose scents nowadays because of how popular they are at the moment. This one’s top notes are blended with peony, and they circle down to a rose nectar base and a finish with just a dash of vanilla and jasmine.

That I would I fall in love with this fragrance was a no-brainer, but it’s all of the little details that really bring it home, like the beautiful bottle.

“The perfumer Francis Kurkdjian has harvested this Rose Couture from the heart of ELIE SAAB Le Parfum, whose radiant Orange Blossom is brightened by rose petal honey. Magnified and showcased in the new eau de toilette, the rose asserts itself more majestically.

“In the soaring top notes, it blends with fresh Peony into a whirlwind of silken petals. The delectable dew melts into an exquisite Rose Nectar, enhanced with fruity facets and softened with a dash of Vanilla. This addictive accord is carried by a breath of Jasmine as sheer as silk chiffon…

“A sumptuous woody base bolsters the airy composition, just as a tight-woven fabric adds structure to a flowing sheath. The voluptuous satin of Sandalwood. And the dark velvet of Patchouli which, by contrast, exalts the freshness of these radiant floral materials…”

— ELIE SAAB

Like a rare, precious jewel, the multifaceted bottle also adds to the overall effect when I put this on.

ralph lauren, elie saab, fragrance, perfume,

Floral and romantic, two of my favorite elements…

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas: 5 Fantastic Fragrances

Published in: Clean, Fragrance, Gucci, Tocca, Tom Ford Beauty

From the left: Gucci Bamboo, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Acqua, Clean Reserve Velvet Flora, Maison Martin Margiela Replica Lipstick On and Tocca Emelia

From the left: Gucci Bamboo, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Acqua, Clean Reserve Velvet Flora, Maison Martin Margiela Replica Lipstick On and Tocca Emelia

There’s something so comforting about hugging mom and getting a good whiff of her scent.

Why is that? Maybe it’s some primal leftover from childhood that never quite leaves you? Hmm, deep thoughts…

Mother’s Day is this weekend! If you’re looking for a gift, here are a few of my favorite mom-friendly scents.

For the sophisticated mom — Gucci Bamboo

Gucci Bamboo is like a perfect pair of nude pumps or a tan trench that goes with everything. For moms with a classic style.

Official notes: Italian bergamot, Casablanca lily, ylang ylang and Comoros sandalwood.

Unofficial notes: A great day at a job you love, cocktails with good friends after a long week, and looking at yourself in the mirror and totally feelin’ your current outfit.

$92 for a 1.6-oz. bottle, available now at Sephora.

For the fun-lovin’ mom — Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Acqua

This playful perfume smells like summers on the beach. If your mom’s a water baby, I bet she’ll love it.

Official notes: Citrus and amber

Unofficial notes: Sand between your toes, saltwater on your skin and endless summer days that lead to sultry summer nights…

$150 for a 1.7-oz. bottle, available at Sephora.

For the no-nosense mom — Reserve Velvet Flora, by Clean

For moms who like their scents on the not-so-sweet side, Reserve Velvet Flora could almost pass for a men’s cologne.

Official notes: Green bergamot, jasmine lily, saffron flower, cedarwood, moss, musk, amber and patchouli.

Unofficial notes: Old books, Sunday brunch on a crisp spring morning, and standing next to your current boy crush and catching a whiff of his cologne.

$90 for a 3.4-oz. bottle, available at Sephora.

For the flirty mom — Lipstick On, by Maison Martin Margiela

A girly-girl scent for moms who never leave home without a tube of red lipstick.

Official notes: Bergamot oil, heliotrope accord, neroli oil, orange flower absolute, orris concrete, galbanum oil, tonka bean absolute, vanilla bourbon extract and patchouli oil.

Unofficial notes: Matte red lips, black cat eyeliner and a single strand of pearls. *meow*

$125 for a 3.4-oz. bottle, available at Sephora.

For the easygoing mom — Tocca Emelia

I think this is a scent for almost anyone of any age. You’ll be tempted to “borrow” this fresh, easygoing scent from mom to wear it for yourself.

Official notes: Watery clementine, loquat fruit, bucchu leaves, fig leaf, geranium coeur, magnolia tree leaf, amaryllis, Kadota fig, maté absolute Paraguay, bison gross, florentine orris, praline, ambrette seed absolute and coconut water.

Unofficial notes: Chatting on the phone with your best friend and laughing at all of your inside jokes, long walks in the afternoon on a sunny spring day, and your favorite maxi dress.

$68 for a 1.7-oz. bottle, available now at Sephora.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

P.S. Happy Tuesday, friend. 🙂

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