Perfume Review: Nitro Noir from Kierin NYC

Recently Kierin NYC sent to me a Perfume Discovery Kit.  It contained four 2 ml perfumes to try, which is enough product to wear for a couple of weeks. I love when perfume companies do discovery kits as they let me try out the perfumes to see which one is for me. 

While there are a lot of scents I like, there are a lot of scents that sound good when you read them and then don’t really work for you when you try them on. The Kierin NYC Discovery kit is offered for $20 on their site, but (and this is the really cool thing) when you order the discovery kit they give you a code so that when you order a full size of whatever perfume you ,like, you get $20 off that purchase. 

The full sized bottle made from recycled glass

That’s right, the cost of the kit rolls right into the perfume purchase.  Plus with the discovery kit you get a 10 ml bottle of their latest fragrance release. The bottles pictured are the 10 Ml and the full sized bottle of their latest release which at this time is Rose Ink. I’ll be saving that review for once I have worked my way through the discovery kit, I just couldn’t resist showing the bottle.  It is 100% recycled glass and coated white so the perfume is protect from sunlight.  Personally I love the look of the bottles.

But now it is time for the perfume.

The Discovery kit contains four perfumes.  Last week I reviewed the first of them, 10 a.m. Flirt, and I really liked the scent. Now it is time for Nitro Noir.

According to the Kierin NYC website Nitro Noir is…

Impossible To Resist

The 10 ml size of perfume

Nitro Noir is a remarkable and decadent scent. It is spicy, intoxicating and hypnotic. Designed for the individualist looking to get noticed in a crowd, but made for more than going out. 

Eau de Parfum:  Premium quality with 20% Fragrance concentration. Comes as a Natural Spray.

Clean & Conscious: This product is cruelty-free, vegan, eco-friendly, sustainably sourced, recyclable and free of toxins, parabens, phthalates, unnecessary dyes and stabilizers. Made with natural sugar cane alcohol. 

KIERIN CARES: Proud to be one of the very few perfume brands certified 100% Vegan & Cruelty Free by PETA.  

Nitro Noir Sample from the discovery kit.

Fragrance made in the USA. 

Vibe:  Intoxicating – Hypnotic 

Olfactive Harmony: Chypre – Floral – Gourmand

Key Ingredients:  Italian Bergamot – Pink Berries – Orris – Patchouli

Perfumer: Mathieu Nardin, known for combining artisanal techniques with modern materials and new innovations.

This premium niche eau de parfum is an “artfully crafted scent collage with signature vibes.” 

Now for those who are looking at that and thinking, most of that I get, but there is one word I am unfamiliar with, I got you. According to Wikipedia Chypre is…

Chypre (pronounced [ʃipʁ] or [ʃipχ]) is the name of a family (or concept) of perfumes that are characterised by an accord composed of citrus top notes, a middle centered on cistus labdanum, and a mossy-animalic set of basenotes derived from oakmoss.

And I have to say that I find it appropriate here.  While I get the dominant scent of Patchouli in the mix there is a slight citrus note to the scent and there is an almost mossy scent balancing it out.  The citrus note for some reason pings as tangerine to my nose rather than anything else. Perhaps that is the Italian Bergamot mixing in, I’m not sure. Nitro Noir does have that sweet tang I associate more with tangerines though.

There is also an odd fruity scent as well that sort of reminds me of pears. It is a very light back note and looking at the list of intended notes I’m not entirely certain where that note is coming from. I have to say I am not getting a whole lot of floral notes. which I’m actually fine with. While I like floral perfumes, I also like a break from florals and this is certainly a break from florals.

Like the 10 a.m. Flirt, this perfume comes on strong, but given a moment or two to settle down and Nitro Noir starts to hug the skin a bit more.  It does travel a bit more than the 10 a.m. Flirt thought.  With the 10 a.m. Flirt a person would need to be very close in order to inhale the scent of your perfume.  Nitro Noir will be noticed in casual conversation.

It isn’t something you would scent from around the corner, It does not dominate a room. It isn’t overpowering but noticeable.  Because of that I would not wear it to the office.  Not only does it take up space, but the scent does lean more evening than it does daytime office work, at least for me. 

The mossy notes, which I think might be the Orris, give it a bit of a fresh scent that is lightly green (at least to my nose which admittedly sometimes converts scents to colors) so it isn’t as heavy as some of the patchouli influenced perfumes can be, especially blended with bergamot. 

Nitro Noir is a scent I would wear to an event or out to a club, it is probably not one I would wear to dinner.  It would be appropriate to wear at dinner time, I just don’t think I’d want to wear it when focusing on food.  Drinks, and appetizers yes, an actual meal not so much.

One thing I like to do with scents when I am wearing them is close my eyes and inhale and picture the scent in a scene.  When I do that with this, I can picture a glass of red wine in my hand as I stand on a patio in the early evening at a party. In my mind I also picture the warmth of an early summer evening where the heat of the day has gone but the residual heat keeps anyone from getting cold. In addition to warmth there is a level of sophistication to the scent.

While a bit picturesque I think Nitro Noir is a perfume that does go well with warm nights rather than cool days. 

Despite the decided lack of warmth right now, I did enjoy wearing it this past week.  It is a perfume that will last the duration of the day, should you choose to wear it throughout the day. This is the second perfume I have tried from the Discovery kit and thus far both have had the same longevity to the scent.  Hopefully that will be something that is standard throughout Kierin NYC’s perfume line. While I generally choose perfumes for their scents, I really like when I can apply a scent when I want it and have it last without having to reapply midday.

Even though I wouldn’t normally wear this in the day time, it is nice to know it will last.  In this trial, I wore it for the full day and had only minor scent fading throughout the course of the eight hour day.

I generally work alone and when I partner with people it tends to be over the computer or on the phone, so there was no one to object to any scent I felt like wearing. 

It is however more of a cocktail party scent.  It is warm and sensuous and more suited to after office hours.  For me it is also something I would wear more often when the weather warms, or at least when I want my mind to think of warmer settings.  I’ll admit, I had more thoughts of warm summer evenings this week than I have in a while.  Over all, Nitro Noir was a rather enjoyable scent and I look forward to discovering the other scents the Discovery Kit has to offer.

Discovering the 10 a.m. Flirt

The Discovery Kit from Kierin NYC

Recently Kierin NYC very kindly gifted me a Perfume Discovery Kit to try out and review. And by now I think everyone knows I absolutely love reviewing perfumes. The Discovery Kit contained four 2 ml perfumes to try, which is enough product to wear each for a couple of weeks to see how it suits.

Personally,  I find this a great way to discover new perfumes.  There are so many perfumes that I have sniffed in stores and thought I liked until I got them home and started wearing them.  Conversely there have also been a few perfumes that I didn’t think I would like, but fell head over heels for once I put them on and wore them around for a bit. There ae also perfumes I’ve smelled other people wearing that I loved on them, but did not suit me at all when I wore them.

As perfumes can get a bit pricey, and scent is so different from person to person, it only makes sense to try them before you buy them.  Kierin NYC’s Discovery Kit actually makes that a lot less risky, not only scent wise, but monetarily as well.  The Discovery Kit costs $20, however in addition to the four perfumes to try, you get a $20 credit towards the purchase of a full perfume. 

That’s right my darlings, the $20 for the Discovery Kit just rolls right into the price of the perfume (they send you a card with a code to use when you make your first purchase). Their perfumes come in two sizes.  The 10 mL size of 10 a.m. Flirt which is sold for $30 and their full sized bottle (50 ml) retails for $84. 

the 10 mL size

The full sized bottles come in recycled glass bottles that are painted white (with a beautiful design on the outside).  I love that they are opaque glass as light is not a good thing for perfumes and the glass is both beautiful and protective. Both sizes are pictured in this post in the scent Rose Ink, which is their newest scent so you can get an idea of the sizing. 

It is however not the scent I will be reviewing today. For now I am going through the discovery kit, giving each perfume a week of wear to see how I feel about it.  The first perfume I chose to try was the 10 a.m. Flirt.

The full 50 mL size bottle

And you know I love perfume descriptions so here is the one offered for 10 a.m. Flirt on the Kierin NYC Website.

Are You In A Fresh, Magnetic and Flirty Mood?

10 a.m. Flirt is a complex yet clean, unique scent that reserves its most lasting and memorable notes for those you allow to get close.  

FREE 1ML SAMPLE OF OUR NEW FRAGRANCE WITH EVERY ORDER. LIMITED TIME OFFER, ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! 

Clean & Conscious: This product is cruelty-free, vegan, eco-friendly, sustainably sourced, recyclable and free of toxins, parabens, phthalates, unnecessary dyes and stabilizers. Made with natural sugar cane alcohol. Fragrance made in the USA. 

Vibe:  Flirty – Magnetic

Olfactive Harmony:  Floral – Woody – Green

Key Ingredients:  Gardenia – Fig – Cashmere Wood – Sandalwood

Perfumer: Mathieu Nardin, known for combining artisanal techniques with modern materials and new innovations. 

This premium niche eau de parfum is an “artfully crafted scent collage with signature vibes.” 

I have to say, that is a little bit different than the usual florid prose given to perfumes.  It is very to the point and I have to say the points are good ones. The clean and conscious ethos is one I can really get behind. You all know how I feel about parabens at this point I’m sure.

When spritzed on the wrist, this perfume does come on a bit strong.  Then as though it has realized its mistake it fades back very quickly to a more personal scent.  And there it stays.  The scent on my wrist stayed more or less the same throughout the day.  At the end of an eight hour work day, the scent was only slightly faded, but still definitely present. 

As the description says, this is a scent for those you allow close. As I think of scent as a very personal thing, I rather enjoy that aspect. I generally like to keep my scents close rather than sending them ahead of me to announce my presence.

I would also have to say that Floral, Woody and Green are also really accurate descriptions. I would say that I noticed the green first.  And yes I know sometimes my scents and tastes come out as colors, but in this case the fig is the cause, not my sometimes strange internal wiring. It is the green of growing figs. There is a slight sweetness to the scent that follows and at first I was inclined to lean into that sort of sweetness you get from a very ripe fig.  I believe that may be the gardenia though. 

Gardenia is one of those elements that I am always hesitant with as it can easily overpower everything.  It isn’t overpowering here, it is very balanced with the green of the fig and the woody spicy sort of notes that come from Cashmere Wood and Sandalwood.  If I were listing the scents as they hit me, I would say green fig, spicy sandalwood, and then cashmere wood with a touch of gardenia to sweeten up the mix.

This scent is more spicy than sweet.  However, it is sweet enough to bring it into a day time perfume rather than a night time one. 

When I first spritzed it on my wrist, the spices made me think evening, but then that gardenia kicks in to mellow the spices and it becomes a day appropriate scent.  I know technically, you can wear any perfume you want any time of the day, but to me there are some scents that just make me feel it should be worn at night and there are some scents that make me want to wear them in the day time.  It’s not as though you will cause shock and horror if you wear an evening perfume in the day. I use appropriate in a personal sense. 

I am a very scent oriented person and scents do change my moods. Some perfumes I simply can’t wear during the day because they take my mind too far out of work mode for them to be practical for me in the daytime. I just won’t get anything done as my thoughts will be far, far away.

Sandalwood tends to lead me towards the evening as it tends to be a somewhat sensual scent, however all of the other elements work with it to make it something I would wear in the day and still manage to get my work done without mentally straying from the day’s path. With that hint of spice though, it is definitely a little flirty.

I’m really pleased with that actually.  So many times the word flirty is associated with sweet almost little girl perfume scents.  This is not a perfume you would have worn in middle school.  It is an adult perfume, but it isn’t stodgy and matronly either.  It is grown up without being old. Which is a really hard line to find.  The 10 a.m. Flirt finds that line and walks it with precision and grace.

While I would term this a day time perfume, because of the Sandalwood, I believe it would work well as a transitional scent. This is one I would put on in the morning and then keep a in a small atomizer in my purse so that I could touch up before meeting friends out for happy hour.    It is not one I would reach for when going out at night. It is day to evening transitional.  I would go for something else when going out for the night.  For me, this 10 a.m Flirt is appropriately named and is at its best when worn during the day.

As the first scent pulled from my Discovery Kit, I have to say I am excited to see what other delights the kit holds.  This was an excellent entrée into Kierin Perfumes and I have to say, I can’t wait to try the next one. Tomorrow, I begin the trial of the Nitro Noir. And after a week of trial, I’ll be back to let you know how that worked out for me. For now, I am going to enjoy the last day trying out the 10 a.m. Flirt.


Discovering Kierin NYC Perfumes

The Kierin NYC Discovery Set

Anyone who has read my posts for any length of time knows that I am very scent oriented.  There are products I have tried that weren’t all that effective, but smelled great and I lamented about passing them by.  There have been products that worked fantastically well, but I couldn’t stand the scent of, and those too I lamented passing up, knowing I wouldn’t end up using them if I purchased them.

But nowhere is my sense of smell better utilized than in testing and trying out perfumes.  I love testing and trying them out and finding new ones to love.  It is also paired with my love of glassware, making collecting perfumes almost an inevitability.

Kierin NYC is a perfume company and they just gifted me something that is absolutely fantastic.  It is their Discovery Set. What is a discovery set? Well…

Our Discovery Set is an inspirational gift for yourself or someone else and the perfect way to try all of our Premium Eau de Parfums. Set Includes four 2ml / 0.07 oz trial size mini-sprays plus an $20 credit towards your next online order of a full-sized fragrance (50ml/1.7oz). An almost risk-free way to sample our collection. You just can’t lose! Set includes:

NITRO NOIR – An Intoxicating and Hypnotic Vibe. Premium Olfactive Harmony is Chypre Gourmand – Spicy. Key Ingredients are Italian Bergamot, Pink Berries, Orris, and Patchouli. 

SANTAL SKY – An Intimate and Serene Vibe. Premium Olfactive Harmony is Woody – Spicy. Key Ingredients are Saffron, Sandalwood, Vetiver, and Cardamon seeds. 

10 am FLIRT – A Magnetic and Flirty Vibe. Premium Olfactive Harmony is Fresh – Floral – Green. Key Ingredients are Gardenia, Fig, Cashmere Wood, and Sandalwood. 

SUNDAY BRUNCH – A Cheerful and Luminous Vibe. Premium Olfactive Harmony is Citrus – Floral. Key Ingredients are Italian Bergamot, Lemon, Earl Grey Tea, and Jasmine.

FREE 1ML SAMPLE OF OUR NEW FRAGRANCE WITH EVERY ORDER. LIMITED TIME OFFER, ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! 

Kierin NYC

Shop Our KIERIN Discovery Kit & Get a $20 Credit Towards Your Next Online Full-Sized Fragrance Purchase

The Discovery Kit retails for $20.  So essentially when you order it you pay $20 and if you like one of the scents and decide to order it then you can put the $20 towards it. Which quite frankly is something I find absolutely fantastic.

The 1 ML sample size that comes with the order

The fact that it contains four separate perfumes for me to try is also something super fantastic. And don’t those descriptions sound amazing?  I’ll admit, the Santal Sky is the one drawing me in the most, so I set it as the fourth one I will try. I started the 10 a.m. Flirt last week when the set came in and will be posting my review of it on Wednesday actually. 

For those that have never heard of the brand (and they are a relatively new one. KIERIN NYC is artistic, genderless and individualistic. Diversity and inclusion are core to the brand and not just presented as an afterthought. KIERIN NYC is a brand for young people of all ages, colors and nationalities.  In addition their scents are Vegan and Cruelty Free.  In addition they are what is called a conscious brand which essentially means that all of their fragrances meet the IFRA ingredient standards and the California Prop 65 Standards for ingredients. They do not use phthalates or parabens and use only the highest quality essential oils, naturals, and synthetics. 

And then there is the bottle. According to the brand…

The full sized bottle. There is a spray under the cap

Our bottles are made from recyclable glass and coated with a layer of white opaque natural paint. It protects the actual fragrance of sunlight, which means we don’t use perfume colorings and UV filters which could provoke potential allergies reactions.

Kierin NYC

So no nasty parabens and phthalates AND recycled glass bottles. How could I not want to try out their perfumes?  Incidentally, pictured here is one of their fabulous recycled glass bottles which I just think looks delightful.  I don’t know why, but I really adore the way they have printed the design across the corner of the bottle instead of on the flat face of it.  It is just such a special little touch that just makes the design sing.

So all that is left is to try out the perfumes.  I will be working my way through the Discovery Kit and then trying out the full sized bottle.  I’ve already started the trial of 10 a.m. Flirt and I can’t wait to share my thoughts.  I will post the review on Wednesday. So stay tuned. 


Perfume Review: Oscar de la Renta: Bella Blanca

This Bella Blanca Perfume by Oscar de la Renta was sent to me by Influenster for the purpose of review and I couldn’t be happier. In the past they have sent sample sized perfumes, which turned out to be okay as they were not perfumes I enjoyed enough to work through a full bottle there was no disappointment in the sample size. This was a little different.

When I received the bottle I thought the name sounded familiar. Okay, my first thought was, what a beautiful bottle. My second was that it sounded familiar. It turned out that I reviewed a sample of the Oscar de la Renta Bella Rosa a while back. The sample size was used up and when I checked my list of perfumes to pick up, it did make the list. I also went back and checked the full review I made of the Bella Rosa (This link will take you to it). Clearly, I liked it enough to put it on the list to purchase for my collection, but had not yet gotten around to picking up the full sized bottle.

It turned out that I did like it but I found it didn’t last long. the review made me want to try the Bella Blanca a lot more. But as you know, I enjoy perfume descriptions as much (and in some cases more than) the scents they describe. So let’s see how Bella Blanca is described.

DESCRIPTION AND DETAILS

DEWY FREESIA, JASMINE SAMBAC AND CREAMY SANDALWOOD CAPTURE THE ALLURE OF THE MODERN OSCAR DE LA RENTA WOMAN. INSPIRED BY THE HERITAGE OF THE BRAND, BELLA BLANCA IS A WHITE FLORAL FRAGRANCE THAT IS AS TIMELESS AND FEMININE AS ITS MUSE.

FRAGRANCE NOTES:
• TOP: FREESIA, GREEN PEAR, CASSIS, MANDARIN
• MID: VIOLET LEAVES, JASMINE SAMBAC, WHITE ROSES, DEWY MUGUET
• DRY: AMBROX, CREAMY SANDALWOOD, PEACH SKIN MUSK, CASHMERE MUST

DUE TO HAZMAT RESTRICTIONS, THIS ITEM CAN ONLY BE DELIVERED VIA GROUND SHIPPING.

Okay I’ll admit the Hazmat restriction notice amused me. I’m also remembering why I wasn’t too enthused by their descriptions. Most perfumes tend to offer you some sort of descriptive vision that makes you believe your life will be transformed by the scent. Timeless and feminine is an extremely straight forward claim.

So what about the perfume?

I spritzed, I sniffed and I wore the perfume for a week. The Jasmine is certainly present as is a bit of the mandarin. I’m guessing that the slight fruity note comes from the combination of mandarin and Peach Skin Musk, listed in the Dry category.

It is a floral perfume with fruity notes. Even though white roses are listed, it is not a rosy scent. It is lightly sweet, but not cloying. It is also sweet in an adult way instead of a young girl way, if that makes sense. I can close my eyes and see someone in their twenties and thirties (on up) wearing it, but I couldn’t see it being worn by a teenager. It is adults only, but not older adult. It is a scent I would buy for me, but not for my grandmother.

In fact, I liked it quite a bit and will definitely add it to my repurchase list.

Whereas the Bella Rosa seemed to thrive in the spring, I could almost see this as a year round scent. The scent of it doesn’t transport me to a specific season. It is a day time friendly perfume, but I could also see spritzing it on before leaving the house for an evening out. It is a very versatile scent. While I tend to have almost a library of scents based on seasonal and time of day appropriateness, I don’t have a lot of scents that transition from one to the other. This is one I could see wearing during the day and then refreshing just before going out.

When sprayed, the scent comes on strong. If you give it a moment, it settles back down. The scent clings to you and once it settles against your skin, it is a very personal scent. It is not one that projects into the space of others. It does fade down throughout the day and by the end of the work day is only a bare whisper of a memory. Like Bella Rosa it lasts longer as a personal scent if you spray cloth rather than skin. But it does last a bit longer than the Bella Rosa on the skin which I think is an improvement.

If wearing it from day to night, add a second application for the night. Because it sticks so close to the skin, it can be worn in a restaurant without interfering with the scent of the meal. I know that sounds strange to say, but i have some perfumes that I would wear out to a club, but wouldn’t wear out to dinner because they might clash with the meal. But then again I feel that half of the meal is in enjoyment and anticipation of the scents wafting from kitchen and plate, so that may be more of a personal taste.

Bottle detail

I am very happy with this perfume. I really enjoyed the scent and love that it is a year round one that can transition from day to night as the category is a very big gap in my collection, now much smaller. The bottle is also beautiful as part of my perfume display. I am very happy to have and wear this perfume and I am so pleased that Influenster decided to send it to me. I will happily use every drop.


If you are in the market for perfumes Sobelia has a sale going on for Valentines day. from now until February 8th, 2021 you can take an extra 10% off their already discounted prices using the code LOVE. (and yes they do stock Bella Blanc, I checked)


Shop Sobelia Perfumes Today!

Perfume Review: Viva La Juicy Le Bubbly

That’s right, it is time for another perfume review. For the past week I have been wearing Viva La Juicy Le Bubbly. It was a sample that came in my December Macy’s Beauty Box. I have to admit, I’ve seen Juicy Couture perfumes around for a while but never really tried any of them. I don’t know why actually. It just somehow slipped my radar.

I think it might be because the language in the descriptions don’t tend to grab me the way some perfume copywriters do. Usually the copy that accompanies a perfume paints a picture and lets you imagine the scent. The description for Le Bubbly is very much like most of Juicy Couture Perfumes descriptions…

Make every night in, a night to remember. Viva La Juicy Le Bubbly perfume for women makes pink champagne wishes and glam dreams come true, all with a POP of pinkatude. Your party for one has just begun as fizzy fragrance notes of pink berries and sweet jasmine keep things feeling bubbly. This couture scent is poppin’! #PartyForOne

I can see how that description is more of an effervescent bubble that goes along with the pink champagne, but it doesn’t suck me in like a lot of perfume descriptions do. I have to admit, I love the descriptions of perfume almost as much as the perfumes themselves.

But that aside, it is the perfume that matters.

And as I have the sample, I tried it regardless of the accompanying text.

When sprayed on the wrist, the scent comes on a bit strong at first but almost immediately fades back to something that stays closer to the wrist. When i first applied it I thought that it was going to be one of those perfumes you can scent from around the corner. It is not.

Nor does it fade away completely throughout the day.

It is just excited to leave the bottle. Then once it has greeted the room, it settles in. In an eight hour day it did fade down a little bit more, but it was still a noticeable scent at the end of the day. That initial fade down is generally what it holds for the day.

I really like scents that stay close to the skin. I wear perfumes I like but I don’t want to force them on others. I think of scent as something more personal and like for them to remain in my personal space. This one does. Others you are talking to can smell, but really only when they are right in front of you and not across the room. Which is kind of the perfume sweet spot for me.

The only scent indications the description gave were red berries and sweet jasmine. I definitely scent the sweet jasmine in this perfume. It is one of the defining scents. However I don’t really get red berries. Oddly, I get more tangerine.

The scent is sweet, but not cloyingly so. There is a tartness that mellows the sweet out a bit. It doesn’t hit as really floral though. I think that is why red berries took first billing over the sweet jasmine. There are floral notes with the jasmine but it leans slightly fruity.

I actually rather like the perfume and am sorry my sample is almost used up.

I would say that despite the fact that the description leans more towards party than anything else, this is definitely a day time scent more than a night time one. I think you could wear it at the office and transition to happy hour with it, but it isn’t one I would deliberately put on for a night out.

The bottle the perfume comes in is very much in keeping with the Juicy Couture theme. It looks like a Juicy Couture product. While pretty the pink and the bows make it visually look as though it is for a younger audience. However, while the perfume does feel young and fresh, it does not feel little girl-ish. It is a scent that an adult could wear without the scent seeming too childish.

The perfume is a new arrival to the Juicy Couture line up of perfumes and the bottles fance in price from $25 to $99 on the Juicy Couture site. I don’t know if this is limited edition or if they are going to keep it around. There is a mention of it being a part of the Limited Edition Collection. I don’t know enough about the brand to know how long their Limited Editions last. Some companies have a limit of only a few months while others keep it seasonal or eventually ad it to their line up. This is my first Juicy Couture perfume and I was surprised how much I like it. I will be paying attention to the availability and hopefully adding a bottle to my collection. It has also encouraged me to try more from the brand. They have quite a few perfumes out there, I think it would be interesting to see how their standards compare to this one. Sobelia actually has many of their scents, most for 40-60% off the regular retail price. I might be perusing their selections later as it is a great way to try out scents without breaking the bank.


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Perfume Review: Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb Nectar Review

Once again it is time for a new perfume review.  As I’m sure anyone who has ever read my posts with any regularity can tell you, I am a very scent oriented person. This makes perfumes one of my weaknesses and guilty pleasures. Another guilty pleasure is pretty underwear, but that is a different story..

I know a lot of people go for a signature scent, the scent that will be forever linked with them in the minds of those who know and love them (or even know and despise I suppose.  I’m pretty certain both Snow White and Cruella DeVille each had a signature scent – as well as people who loved and despised them).

While I hope that one day I too might find the scent that is perfectly me, I somehow doubt it.  I am more like the honey bee in a field of flowers, flitting from perfume to perfume to build a collection.  I tend to think of scents the same way I think of music. Some days I want Billie Holiday, other days, Vivaldi, Beethoven or Rage Against the Machine. I listen to the music that suits my mood that day. I’m certainly not going to choose one song and only listen to it all day, every day. For me perfume is the same way.

Some days I want something sensual and seductive (even if the scent is just seductive to me) other times I crave something light and clean, or even floral and happy.

Can you have a signature collection of perfumes?

Well whether you officially can or not, that is what I am going for I suppose.  I am building a mood ring of scent. I tend to group my scents by both mood and season actually.

And to do that, I need to try out a lot of samples. Today’s perfume is from Viktor and Rolf and it is the Flowerbomb Nectar.  According to Viktor and Rolf …

Flowerbomb Nectar is a new chapter of the Flowerbomb story: a sensual and intense version of the iconic fragrance, reaching into the heart of the floral bouquet.

With a denser silhouette and sharper lines, reflecting the intensity of this potent fragrance, Flowerbomb Nectar continues with the iconic bottle tradition.

Fruity and sparkling head notes with blackcurrant bud absolute and bergamot blend, explode with the smoky note of gunpowder. At the very heart of these flowers, lies an addictive and feminine flower liqueur enhanced by this infusion.

Flowerbomb’s floral signature: the honeyed floralcy of orange flower absolute and the liquorous notes of osmanthus absolute are ever so faintly lilted with warm notes of vanilla, amber and benzoin at its base – adding a sensual touch.

I know some of you saw bergamot in the description and went, ‘uh oh, this won’t be good’. Some of you may have even shouted ‘Run Mimsy, Run!’ I appreciate that.

But truthfully I can’t smell the bergamot, or it is enough of a base note not to trouble me.  With many bergamot infused products my eyes tend to itch and water, hence the warning to run away.  I’ve worn this for a week with no actual issues with the scent so I consider that a win.

But if it doesn’t smell like bergamot what does it smell like?

To be honest, it smells vaguely peachy.  It is still floral, but for some reason I get a vague hint of peach. Like those really ripe peaches that have been sitting in a shaded road side stand and have never seen the inside of a refrigerator. They aren’t over ripe, it is a much more subtle peach thread than that, but it is somehow present. 

There is a grounding element to it so it isn’t sweet on sweet (although it is quite sweet). I wouldn’t say it smells of gunpowder but it is a slightly smoky note at the back of the perfume. I think that note comes from the amber and benzoin.  I can smell the vanilla in the scent, but I still get more peach than black currant.

Personally, I think they could have bumped up the smoky notes just a little bit and it would be a little more balanced.  It is leaning a bit too much to the sweet side for me to be head over heels in love with it. 

I like it though, and over the past week it has grown on me, but it isn’t one of those scents that makes me immediately put it on the list of want to buy products. The sample size is quite large so there will be several more weeks of testing before this bottle is empty. I think it is one that I may set aside while I try other perfumes and then try again in the spring, and then again in high summer to see how I feel about it then. It might prove to be a seasonal scent. Once the bottle is empty I will decide if I want to pick up a full size for my collection. 

I know that sounds a little wishy washy, but I am okay being on the fence with perfumes.  Sometimes my brain needs more time to decide on scent. With other beauty products you can see results or application.  Perfume is more of a state of mind.  Sometimes it just takes longer to settle than others.

Plus perfumes can be quite pricy so I like to be sure before I buy, not only for the cost but because of the wasted product. I really hate wasted product. And because I am looking to build up my collection so I have a scent for the Many Moods of Mimsy I do tend to use sample services, like Scentbox and luxury perfume discount retailers like Sobelia.(I’ll post an ad for them down below for you to check out. They are one of my favorites actually. They have a lot of products, ship fast and well and offer great discounts on perfumes. I think they currently have the Flowerbomb Nectar in several sizes on their site if you are interested.It is a great way to build a collection without breaking the bank.

At the moment I like the Flowerbomb Nectar and will enjoy wearing it, but am uncertain if I want to commit to a full sized bottle. I also think this is more of a warm weather scent which might be part of my on the fence situation. It feels more spring than winter.  I suspect that when I put it on my wrists in the spring I will like it a lot more than I like it in the winter. But of course I won’t know until I get there.

While there is something slightly sensual about this scent, it is still very much a day time perfume.  The scent stays close to the body so you aren’t walking around in a cloud of it and I believe that if you apply lightly in the morning, it could easily be worn in an office without causing major reactions from coworkers. I know that sounds a little odd, but I have worked with people who you smelled coming around the corner well before you saw them.  I love perfume, but I never want to be that person. 

I like wearing scent for me, but I don’t want to inflict it on everyone around me.  This is a scent that you could get away with in an office space without being referred to as The Scented One Down The Hall Who Must be Avoided in Elevators.

I don’t think that is a moniker anyone wants.

This perfume settles in close to the skin and while it does fade a little throughout the day, it is still noticeable on the wrist at the end of the day.

At the end of the week of wear, I like the scent and will happily wear it.  Whether it will be purchased in the full size and added to my permanent collection or simply worn until empty and the empty bottle passed along after being thanked for its service has yet to be determined.  For that, I will have to wait until warmer weather arrives.



Perfume Review: Vanilla Vibes by Juliette has a Gun

Vanilla Vibes by Juliette has a Gun perfume sample

Juliette has a Gun and I have not had the best relationship in the past. I had several samples from ScentBox and then I recently received this sample in an IPSY.  Whatever marketing person writes the descriptions for their perfumes ought to be congratulated.  They get me every time. 

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With the Juliette has a Gun Perfumes as soon as I read the description I think, Oh yes, that scent must be mine.

As I said, this has happened numerous times and each time has ended in heartbreak.  I’m pretty sure the culprit is patchouli.

There are some brands where patchouli is an ingredient and I have no issues with it.  Sometimes I even enjoy the addition.  Other times not.  Juliette has a Gun is one of those brands that when I see patchouli mentioned I need to walk away.  There may be an exception in their list of fragrances, but as of yet I haven’t found it.

What I have found is that I need to scan the ingredients list before reading their description.  Because again, they get me every time. Reading the ingredient list is now my only defense.

So when this perfume sample arrived I set it to the side, looked the perfume up on the site and found that there is no patchouli in the scent.  And so, assured I wasn’t being lured into a trap, I read the description offered by the brand

Enjoy the trip!

Close your eyes and get transported across the immensity of the desert. Suddenly, she appears, voluptuous. The Natural Vanilla reveals its aphrodisiac charms.
She sets her heart on the sea salt, mineral, crystalline. Under the influence, he can’t take his icy eyes off her.
The encounter is symbiotic, electric, like the decibels that resonate far away. You think it was all a dream?

Top notes: Fleur de sel (Sea Salt), Heart notes: Orchid Absolute, Natural Vanilla Absolute, Bottom notes: Tonka Bean, Bezoin Absolute, Sandalwood Absolute, Brown Musk

Olfactive family : Ambery Fresh

Now seriously, how am I to resist that?

So I didn’t even bother trying.  I spritzed and I sniffed.  Finding nothing objectionable, I applied it to my wrists. 

Do you know what it smells like?  It smells like a vanilla orchid. You know those little yellowy white blossoms.

I’m a big orchid fan.  If I could afford it I would build a room onto the house that would be called the orchid room.  I would become like a combination of those mad aristocrats who went searching the world for new orchids crossed with Nero Wolfe from the Rex Stout Novels. (Incidentally, fabulous novels by the way and Audiobooksnow has a sale going on where you can get them as audio books. The link will take you to the page – I highly recommend Fer-de-lance).

Even without a fortune vast enough to build an orchid house and ensure I am termed eccentric instead of loony I am hoping to add a vanilla orchid to my sunroom at some point. The scent is too fabulous not to.

So as you can see this scent is off to a good start with me.  In general my issue with vanilla scented perfumes is that they tend to be overpoweringly sweet.  This Vanilla Vibes, while still sweet and somewhat floral, has enough of a balance to it that it is not cloying.  I am pretty sure this can be attributed to both the sandalwood and the Brown musk that are listed in the mix.  They provide a spicy note to the blend that really does help make it a balanced scent.

I expected something sweet and little girl-esque to be honest.  A lot of vanilla scented perfumes tend to be ones you might get for a little girls first perfume (How little depends on both the girl and the scent, some of them smell as though they were taken from Strawberry Shortcake’s Friend). This smells like it could be worn by an adult woman.  It is a grown up vanilla which is surprisingly hard to find. At least it has been for me.

But how does this nice scented perfume perform?

When sprayed on the wrists it comes on strong, but after a few minutes it settles down. While it is able to be scented by those around you, it doesn’t travel far.  After about two or three foot distance, it becomes less noticeable.  Which means in an office space, even in cubicles, you would be fine. With the six foot safety distance currently recommended, you would be more than fine. 

As the day moves on, the scent pulls closer and closer to the skin and becomes more of a personal scent.  By the end of an eight hour work day, I could still smell the scent on my wrist  if I held the wrist to my nose, but otherwise it faded.

I actually like that factor in this scent.  While I like the scent of this perfume, it is very much a day time scent.  There is something bright and sunny about it that would make me choose a different scent for a night out. I would wear this to a garden party, but not for a dinner out.

Overall, I am very pleased that I was able to try out this perfume.  It is actually the first one I have tried from the brand that I have truly enjoyed and I have to say, I will be adding it to my list of perfumes to order a full sized bottle of in the future. 


Perfume Review: Voce Viva by Valentino

Voce Viva by Valentino

It has been a while since I have done a perfume review and I have missed them.  This summer I spent so much time working in the garden that I stopped wearing a lot of perfumes. They made me targets for bugs.  Apparently, the mosquitos in my area are huge Cartier fans.  I forgot I had it on one afternoon when I stopped to pull weeds and by the time I came in my wrists were bracelet-ed with bites.

Then I tried to use up some of my samples, most of which I already reviewed so there were no new ones to talk about.

Until now…

This Voce Viva perfume sample from Valentino came in the mail.  I believe it is from Influenster.  There were no markings on the mailer and usually when Influenster sends stuff they have campaign information with the product.  This had nothing.  It was just a perfume sample in a box.

The black box of arrival

Seriously, plain black box outside, perfume and card within.  No other info. But for the purpose of disclosure, I believe it was influenster that sent the sample.

The information I found on the perfume came from the Ulta website and according to the page…

Valentino Voce Viva Eau de Parfum is a radiant floral perfume that combines the sound of your voice and scent of your fragrance to celebrate every woman. Like a voice, a woman’s fragrance is personal, intimate and leaves a trace. The harmony of a blooming floral bouquet, made addictive and powerful through an unexpected crystal moss accord. Celebrating every woman’s voice.

Voice of a generation, Lady Gaga has inspired millions of people around the world for more than a decade, and is the ambassadress of VOCE VIVA. With Valentino, the singer shares more than her Italian origins. A symbol of respect for individualities, and for everyone to find their place, Lady Gaga speaks to the same values as those of Valentino.

”I believe today that the true power is to be able share emotions.” – Pierpaolo Piccioli, Maison Valentino Creative Director

Bottle design on right

About The Bottle: A sleek glass bottle; square and notched on the sides, reveals the light passing through its golden-hued scent allowing a V of light to emerge. The emblematic Valentino Rock stud highlights the cap and collar, portraying a modern edgy personality. This iconic Valentino perfume bottle is signed by a vibrant red.

Fragrance Family: Floral, Scent Type: Woody

Key Notes: Top – Italian bergamot essence, mandarin essence; Middle – orange blossom absolute, golden gardenia accord; Base – crystal moss accord, vanilla, tonka bean

As always, I love perfume descriptions.  They can take you away to magical lands if you aren’t careful.  Sometimes I think that I enjoy perfume descriptions almost as much as I enjoy the perfumes themselves.  Sometimes more. Plus there are the bottles themselves. I do love a well designed perfume bottle.

I had high hopes for this perfume after reading the description.  And from hearing that this was inspired by Lady Gaga. I thought if anything, that might make it innovative and new. While Bergamot is not a scent I am fond of, I adore orange blossom and mandarin essence. My only issue with them was that combined with the vanilla, gardenia and tonka bean it could be too sweet. I crossed my fingers and hoped.

When sprayed on the wrist it is very Bergamot forward and it is very sweet. There are light traces of orange mixed in, but it is mostly bergamot and sweet that I smell.  It is also a very heavy perfume.  This is not a light and airy scent.

One spritz on the wrist and I had to kind of air out a little before getting into an enclosed space.  There was a bit of an alcohol smell upon first application, but it faded after a minute of waving my wrists around in the air.

It is the sort of scent that envelopes you and fills the air around you. I tend to prefer my scents to stick close to the skin, almost like a secret scent just for me and those I allow into my personal space. 

This scent is a presence in any room. It will get noticed.

It will not be ignored.

It is not a scent I would consider wearing to an office or in an elevator. Unless you were a character from the cast of Dynasty. The original one not the remake, this scent needs 1980s shoulder pads. It is too potent to sit in an office all day.

After a couple of hours  it fades back a bit, but I sprayed it on my wrist in the morning and it was still noticeable when I went to take my evening shower. It is a scent that lingers.

To me the scent seems a little unbalanced.  It is too aggressively sweet, almost cloyingly floral.  It feels as though it needs one earthier element to balance it out. 

Now while I am not a bergamot fan, I will say that this perfume does smell very expensive. I don’t know what element that is, but something about it pings as expensive on my personal sniff-o-meter. It is also a very mature scent.  When I close my eyes and picture who I would think about purchasing this scent for, it would be my grandmother.  It is a little too mature for me to even think about purchasing for my mother. 

It isn’t that the perfume smells ‘old’.

It’s profile is just more reminiscent of a perfume from the 1940s than it is of what I would think of as a more modern scent.  I could not wear this, and I don’t think any of my cousins or sisters in law would either.  It isn’t something I could see my nieces wear or even my mother or aunts.  I could see my grandmother wearing it. Because of the 1940’s sort of bend to the scent, that seems the right age appropriate level for it.

Not that my grandmother was a circa 1980s Dynasty type character.

While I have appreciated several Valentino scents in the past, (Valentina by Valentino for example, is still floral and sweet, but somehow better balanced and more modern/classic in scent, at least in my opinion), this one is not for me.  Admittedly putting it on does make me feel like I ought to be a Dynasty character.

But no one wants me striding into a law office in a 1980s ladies power suit and heels demanding to know what you think you are doing with my Daddy’s company. Mostly because my Daddy didn’t own a company. Although I will admit it is a fun, if fleeting mental image.

I am happy I got to try a sample, but I don’t think that it will be added to my perfume collection any time soon. Which is a shame as it is such a pretty bottle.  Fantasies aside, the scent just isn’t for me. If you are looking to add this perfume to your collection at Ulta.com the 1.7 oz bottle retails for $100. I think it also sells at Nordstroms and Macy’s.

If, like me, you love perfumes and can never limit yourself to just one, I would like to suggest you take a moment and visit Sobelia’s website.  They have simply oodles of perfume (600 famous brands and over 7,000 different products currently in stock) and at discounted rates. For example a 50mL bottle of Valentina is currently $58.99 instead of $96.80.

And from now until December 12th if you spend $60 you can get $5 off with the code CHRISTMAS5, or $10 off a $100 purchase with the code CHRISTMAS10.  So if you are looking for a gift for a perfume lover in your life, or simply adding to your own collection, now is a pretty good time to give the site a look over.  Personally, I think I will be adding several to my collection this year.  In the past year I tested several samples I really liked and a few that I have been thinking of purchasing.  The first bottle I am planning to pick up is my reward for losing ten more pounds so I will have to wait for a little bit, but there is no reason you can’t take advantage of the holiday sale.


Perfume Review: Salvatore Ferragamo F for Fascinating Night

It has been a really long time since I have done a perfume review.  Partially it is because I wanted to work my way through the perfumes I had before trying out any new ones. I found several that I kind of liked in the past year and a hand full I really liked and would consider purchasing in a full size. Before I made the purchase, I wanted to be certain I would use an entire bottle. So I used up many of my so-so fragrances in the spring, clearing them out of the way and determining that no, I really didn’t want to purchase them. And then of course the summer hit.

The truth is that during the summer I tend not to wear a lot of perfumes.  I spend a lot of time outside, especially in the garden and perfumes tend to insure that I will get eaten alive. When I wear perfume it seems to trigger an attack. The scent itself is irrelevant, and while the Miss Honey and Mr. Flower face cream may have simply caused a temporary curiosity, perfumes just get me bitten. At least until the heat breaks.  

So once the fall garden chores were complete and the beds left to winter away under mulch and dream away until spring, I was able to start wearing perfumes again.  And I have missed it. Even when I am going nowhere but to my desk to work, wearing perfume makes me feel as though I am thoroughly put together. Even if I am wearing pajama plants under the desk.

Well the right perfumes tend to make me feel put together. Even though I haven’t been wearing perfume for a while, I have several newer ones I haven’t really gotten to try and so those are the ones I wanted to start with before going back to my clear out the okay but not spectacular products. The one I have chose to try this time around was the F for Fascinating Night by Salvatore Ferragamo

Take your fabulous aura to a higher level with just one spritz of F for Fascinating eau de toilette spray, an elite women’s fragrance by Salvatore Ferragamo. Captivating and luscious, this signature scent introduced in 2007 opens with juicy mandarin orange for a burst of flavor that is reminiscent of a spring day. Shower your skin with this delicious fragrance featuring a sweet heart of jasmine and a dry down of earthy patchouli notes that linger in your wake.

I will have to say that for once, I actually agree with the description.  And not just because I think I have a fabulous aura all on my own. This is a good scent for spring.  It is light and floral and tends to evoke a newly emerging spring.  It is, however, a little on the sweet side. hile I don’t object to sweet scents, there are in fact several I like, I think I prefer a sweet scent to have at least one slightly earthy note to ground it and add balance.  This one is just slightly too sweet.  It feels a little off balance to me.  I would have thought the patchouli notes would have given it a little bit of grounding in the earthy zone, but alas, they did not. 

I sometimes have issues with patchouli. Often times it will make me sneeze. A lot. It is not pretty. It’s one of those reactions that I think might be called a sensitivity rather than an actual allergy. I sneeze but I don’t have break outs or anything. I had no issues with it so if patchuli is truly one of the scents in this perfume, it is an undetectable one. At least to my nose.

This is definitely a day scent.  It isn’t something I would wear out at night or on a date. It is a little young and flirty and actually reminds me of some of the scents I might have worn in high school. While a bit on the younger scented side, it is a scent you could get away with in an office space without causing too many issues.

The perfume comes on strong when first sprayed, but if you wait about twenty minutes it fades back to something that is more wearable. It doesn’t travel though so you don’t really have to worry about having a large scent cloud around you once you apply it. It stays pretty close to the skin once that initial spritz fades down. After about four hours of wear, the scent tends to fade away completely.  If you do reapply for the afternoon, remember that twenty minutes of airing time before you join others as it really is quite strong when first sprayed. You really will want a few minutes to air out before returning to the office.

This is one of those scents that definitely has a season and autumn is not it.  This is a day time in the spring scent. While I like it and will set the sample size I have to the side to wear again in the spring, I doubt I will actually purchase a full sized bottle.  I like spring and I like the scent, I am just not certain this is for me. It is at best a so-so scent for me. I can and will use up the sample sized bottle. It is just a little too sweet for me to feel confident that I would actually use the entire bottle should I purchase it.


Confessions of a Rebel B*tch, Please Perfume Review

Let’s hear it for strategic placement.

I feel like it has been forever and a day since I have posted a perfume review. They arrive, I wear them I make notes and then I get distracted by something shiny like a befuddled magpie spotting an aluminium can.

This particular perfume came to me via my Scentbird subscription.  It is a monthly perfumes subscription in which you receive 0.27 ounces of a particular scent (you get to choose the ones you want and set up your queue. It costs $14.95 per month and while the first perfume comes with a reusable travel sprayer, the subsequent ones come in the above pictured strategically placed cardboard tube. Sometimes I end up choosing a great scent, other times I am let down, but either way I have a month’s supply of any particular scent I order to use and decide if I want to invest in a full bottle. If you like perfume, you can easily see how much money this saves. Now I only buy the perfumes I know I will wear based on the fact that I did wear them for a month rather than just a few spritzes from a tiny sample where I hope for the best.

Admittedly sometimes, my selections aren’t the best. I can actually lose myself for hours just reading the descriptions.  The words draw me in every time and I find myself thinking, oh yes that is the sort of exotic life…er perfume that attracts me.

Those marketing folks are good.

Admittedly, I also collect a lot of books about the incense and spice trade of yore too. 

Go figure?

This scent was from the Brand Confessions of a Rebel. I’ve purchased form them before and in general like their scents. Their descriptions are less romantically inclined and tend to match their fragrance names actually.

So what did Confessions of a Rebel have to say about this scent B*tch, Please?

In-your-face fruit notes like blackcurrant mingle with jasmine petals, weaving a decadent web tinged with an element of sass. Bold, brash, and unafraid to bare it all, creamy sandalwood and skin musk evoke a carefree, confident kind of vibe. You know exactly who you are, and you are, in fact, the f*cking boss.

Confessions of a Rebel

Okay so perhaps this time, the marketing wasn’t designed to whisk me off to far off locales.  As much as I love perfume descriptions it was the scent combination that got me and the knowledge that it is a good brand. It is supposed to have notes of Black Currant, Jasmine, Sandalwood and musk. To me, the combination sounded delightful. 

In fact, it is quite delightful.  There is a juicy fruitiness that is more earthy than sweet.  There are light floral notes from the jasmine that are tempered by the spice of sandalwood.  It is very well balanced and I loved spraying it on my wrist.  There is something clean and fresh about it, and yes, something a little powerful. 

My only problem is that it doesn’t last long.  You have an hour, two tops before the scent fades.  I don’t know if that is meant to be a metaphor or not. I do know that I like the perfume and despite the fading scent, I will consider this a possibility for a full purchase.  It is a scent I wouldn’t wear to work expecting a full day of wear out of it, but something I would keep in my purse to spritz as I was leaving the building to meet someone or just before I left the house for dinner out.  I think the scent would be fine for a dinner out actually as it stays close to the skin instead of spreading out to clash with the scent of the meal. 

Name and description aside, it is  a very seductive scent.

But then again, they say power is seductive too.

I may wear this out, but I think I would also wear it for a night in. It’s just that sort of scent.

FragranceNet.com
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