Unboxing the June Scentbox

As most of you probably realize by now, I am a very scent oriented person. I also am not a one scent sort of person. I like having a library of scents so that I can adjust the scent i wear to suit my mood, an event I am attending, the season and even the time of day. I like knowing that I have warm and cosy scents to reach for in the winter and slight and airy scents to reach for in the summer. I enjoy scents that I can wear to an office and having those I reserve for a special night out.

As anyone who likes perfumes can attest, perfumes can be somewhat expensive. And just because you liked the perfume you sprayed and sniffed once in the store or smelled on another person, doesn’t mean it will work out for you.

For me, I find sampling perfumes essential to finding ones I am willing to purchase and add to my collection. While I pick up perfume samples in a lot of places, I also like being able to choose my own samples. I like reading the descriptions and imagining the scents and then choosing what is sent to me. For a while I had a Scentbox subscription and then Ilet it lapse for a while as I had a stockpile of perfume samples to try out and I wanted to clear out older scents. I Have managed to clear out a few scents and I decided June was the perfect month for once again enrolling in Scentbox.

For those that don’t know, Scentbox is a perfume sampling subscription. Each month for $13. 95 you recieve one 0.27 ounce sample of the perfume you put in that month’s line up. While they do offer a monthly selection if you don’t have something in mind that you want to try, you fill out the queue by picking out scents that appeal to you. Sometimes I go with their recommendation and bump my choice down the line a month or two, other times I choose a perfume that appeals to me.

There is a discount for those wanting to try the subscription for the first time. $9.72 for your first box. I’ll post the current deal below if you’d like to try it out.

There are several things I like about this subscription. The first is that each month’s sample comes in a reusable metal traveling case. You twist the tube and the spray nozzle emerges from the tube. They are really handy for traveling. The first month the metal tube comes in a nice box like the one pictured here. I believe that while you still get a new case every month, the subsequent months the box it comes in is smaller and more compact.

In addition, each month you are a subscriber, you earn Scentbucks for your subscription. These add up and can be put towards another purchase form their site. Not only can you purchase full sized bottles of the perfumes, but you can also purchase various bath and body care items, candles and wellness/cbd items as well from the site. These items can also be added to the list so if you decide one month you would prefer a body scrub to a perfume, you can choose that instead. If you are going out of town you can skip a month easily and one of my favorite things about this subscription is that each perfume is mailed with a return label so if you get the sample, spritz, sniff and decide that it isn’t for you, the sample can easily be returned for a different one with no issues.

Get Free Exchanges Every Month at ScentBox.com!

I had to take a break so that I could work through my stockpile of samples, bt I am so glad I can once again receive a monthly sample to try out. This month I didn’t go for the suggested sample and instead went for Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream. I know it has been around for a while, but I have somehow missed a large number of Marc Jacobs Perfumes. And I have to say the bottle has always appealed to me. In case you happen to like this perfume Sobelia has it on sale currently for 42% off.

The Subscription charges on the 30th of the month for the following month and all shipments are mailed out on the 7th of the month. My sample arrived safe and sound. However as I am completing a Zents Eau de Toilette trial, I will hold of testing this out for a little while. But that of course would be the perfume review rather than the subscription review. My selection arrived safely in a rose gold travel tube. I think each month is a different colored tube so they can be told apart at a glance. The glass tube of product is filled to the brim with scent. And I am very much looking forward to giving the scent a trial run. I am also looking forward to saving up my scent bucks to put towards a full sized bottle of perfume from the site. It adds up slowly, but with each purchase the amount grows and as it does, I get to test out many fantastic scents to find ones that I really enjoy wearing.

For me this is an excellent, cost effective way to try out perfumes, finding out if the scent is right for me and if it is one i want to live with long term. It helps me not waste either money or product and while I will occasionally take a break, Scentbox is a subscription to which I will always return.

Perfume Review: Santal Sky by Kierin NYC Perfumes

The Discovery Kit

As many of you may be aware, I have been working through the Discovery Kit from Keirin NYC. They very graciously set the kit over for me to try and review. The kit itself costs $20 if you buy it from the Kierin NYC site. However, with that $20 purchase you get a code that gives you $20 off your purchase of a full sized perfume.

How cool is that? You get to try four separate perfumes and then the cost of the Discovery Kit just rolls right into the purchase of the perfume you like the most. The hardest part is actually picking which perfume you like the most. Plus with each purchase you get a free 10 mL container of their latest perfume release to try (while supplies last). The current perfume is Rose Ink and I will be trying that out once I have finished with the Discovery kit.

the 10 ml size in Rose Ink

Which will be soon as I have reached the fourth, and final sample in the discovery kit. This perfume is Santal Sky and I deliberately left it for last because it sounded like the one I would like the most. So what does the site have to tell us about the perfume?

Santal Sky is an amazing, thoughtful scent with a touch of irreverence. Woody, intimate and serene fragrance and bound with earthy vibrancy, it refreshes the soul and embodies a calm heart in the fast beat of city streets. 

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. Fragrance made in the USA.

Vibe:  Intimate – Serene 

Olfactive Harmony:  Woody – Spicy

Key Ingredients:  Cardamon – Saffron – Sandalwood – Vetiver

Full sized bottle in Rose Ink

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 am very much a fan of spicier perfumes. Not that I don’t have my friends in the florals, but I do tend to like the spice. As with every other Kierin NYC Perfume, the scent description for Santal Sky is spot on. It is a woody- spicy blend. I would say it is very sandalwood forward with an earthy saffron kick to it. The Vetiver and the Cardamon are very much back notes.

I would also say that they are very accurate in describing the scent as intimate. It is intimate in several senses of the word. The perfume itself is intimate as it may come on strong when first sprayed but after a few moments it fades back to a very personal scent.

To smell it, another person would have to pretty much be in your personal space. It is not a scent that travels to say hello to the neighbors. You can smell it when wearing it, and after that initial fade it will last pretty much all day close to your skin. This is a scent just for you and those you let in close.

It is also somewhat intimate in the sense that it is a very sensual scent. This is not a scent I would wear to the office. It is not a scent I would wear to happy hour.

Santal Sky is a date night scent.

What is kind of interesting to me is how well thought out the Discovery Kit, and in fact Kierin NYC Perfumes are. There are four perfumes in this kit: 10 a.m. Flirt, Nitro Noir, Sunday Brunch and Santal Sky. 10 a.m. Flirt is a scent that I would call office appropriate, Nitro Noir is a happy hour out at night with friends kind of scent, Sunday Brunch is a day time out with friends scent and Santal Sky is very much a date night with that special someone perfume.

I really like that it is almost a library of scents, each perfume in it’s own category. Each scent with it’s own time to shine. I find that very well thought out and as I tend to associate scents with specific times and activities I really appreciate the thought that seems to have gone into not only each scent but in the collection as a whole. I was very pleased with this discovery kit as well as each of the perfumes in it.

Santal Sky, is the last perfume in the kit and I am happy that I did leave it for last. I enjoyed the warm spicy notes and while i did wear it each day for a week straight to test it out, the remaining portion I am going to save for afterhours wear as I think that is the time of day where this particular blend will really shine. Now of course comes the hard part, figuring out which scent I want to order in a full sized bottle.

At least I know that all of their perfumes come in recycled glass bottles that have been coated in white and given beautiful graphic designs on them, so no matter what I pick I’ll feel good about the bottle and know that it will look good in my perfume collection.

Perfume Review: Sunday Brunch by Kierin NYC Perfumes

Recently I have been trying out the samples from the Kierin NYC Discovery Kit. As you know, and I’m sure everyone knows at this point, i am a huge fan of trying perfumes before I purchase them While the collector of glass in my sees the bottles and just wants them, not all perfumes are scent’s I want to have around, regardless of the beauty of the bottles.

Full sized bottle (different scent)

That is what makes discovery kits, like this one so fantastic. In the discovery kit you et four samples of perfumes to try out. There is enough product in each for about two weeks of daily wear, which is plenty of time to find out if you can lie with a perfume. There have been many perfumes I have tried that I liked initially in the one day wear test but found after three days I was ready to call it quits. As perfumes can get pricey, I find it better to just try a sample for a full week straight and then take some time to think about it.

What I especially like about this kit is that while it costs $20, when you purchase it you also get a $20 voucher that rolls into the purchase of a full sized bottle of perfume from the brand. And currently (while supplies last) you also get a 10 ml bottle of their latest release Rose ink. The 10 ml sized bottle is shone in this post as is the Full sized bottle of the perfume so you can see what they look like. They (along with the discovery kit) were sent to my by Kierin NYC for review). I love that the bottles are made from recycled glass and given a white coat to protect the perfume inside.

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the 10 ml sized bottle

Now, I have been working through this discovery kit (this is the third out of four that I’ve tried)/ I had to take a little break because I was having dry skin issues and I didn’t want to spray anything erven remotely near my hands if I didn’t have to. My baby doll picked up an extra strength hand sanitizer and it dried my hands out more than anything I have ever used. I’ve been moisturizing like crazy (and stopped using that hand sanitizer) and all is well now so I can get back to wearing perfume.

Today’s sample is the Sunday Brunch Scent. The official description is …

In The Mood For Good Times?

Sunday Brunch inspires a celebratory mood and making memories of a life well lived.  A unique blend of scents, this fragrance is citrusy, cheerful and luminous.  

au 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.  Fragrance made in the USA.

Vibe:  Cheerful – Luminous

Olfactive Harmony:  Citrus – Floral

Key Ingredients:  Italian Bergamot – Lemon – Earl Grey Tea – Jasmine

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’ll admit, I was slightly nervous about this scent. Bergamot and I are not the best of friends and while I love the scent of Earl Gray tea, I don’t like the taste of it. While my grandparents were Builder’s tea all the way, my mom is a huge Earl Gray fan. For drinking I lean towards regular black tea but Earl Gray is a huge scent from my childhood.

As I think about it, this perfume actually captures my favorite part of that which is the scent. I like the scent of Earl Gray, I just can’t take the taste. Sunday Brunch does capture that scent. The lemon is quite forward in the scent mix and blends well with the Earl gray scent. It smells like tea with lemon. There is a slight floral element to the perfume but it is a back note. It is as though you were having tea in the sunroom and the heat was making the scent of the garden rise outside and drift inwards. The florals are a light touch but the Earl Gray and lemon are more present.

The scent, like all of Kierin NYC’s perfumes thus far, come on strong and then fade back to something more wearable. I would say this is more of a day scent than an evening one. I could see wearing it to an office or on a day time shopping excursion, but I wouldn’t choose it for after hours. It is too sunny a scent for that. It is a very bright and sunny smelling perfume and I like it.

I have a hard time separating the nostalgia from the scent though. For me it is very much a scent that brings me back to childhood and having morning tea in the summer with my mother. We always had potted plants and gardens so even the floral seems appropriate. I really enjoy it for that, but I am not certain i could wear it every day. The perfume seems wearable enough for everyday use, but I doubt my memories could take it in a daily dose. While I like the scent and may end up getting a small 10 ml size of it, I can’t see this being a full sized bottle purchase for me.

This would be a once in a while perfume so I am sure the smaller size would last a while. I am however very glad I tried it and will definitely wear it again. I just think that trips down memory lane should probably not be taken daily. If you are looking for a light scent for daytime wear, you might want to actually give this a try though. while the citrus does brighten it, the tea gives it a bit of grounding so it is a very well balanced blend. I can’t wait to see what the final scent in the discovery kit holds for me.

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.

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: 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.

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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.

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Reviewing Bella Rosa by Oscar de la Renta

This fragrance was one of my Scentbox subscriptions. For those who don’t know, Scentbox is a monthly perfume subscription service that sends a 0.27 ounce spray bottle full of scent to subscribers each month for $14.95.  Each month they give you a metal traveling case with the spray vial of perfume. These tubes are reusable and I often re use them with Scentbird perfumes as those are the same size but do not come with a travel case each month (you can order them separately, but I have extra so I don’t bother.)

In addition each perfume earns you a Scentbucks credit which you can save to use in the purchase of a full bottle of perfume which they do sell on their site as well. Each monthly sample ends up with about $2.24 in scentbucks earned, which can over time lower the cost of a perfume.  In the meantime I am trying all different scents to see what perfume it is I want to order. 

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The perfume I tried this month was Bella Rosa by Oscar de la Renta. On the site its description reads…

Bella Rosa by Oscar de la Renta is a Chypre Floral fragrance for women. Bella Rosa was launched in 2019. The nose behind this fragrance is Harry Fremont. Top notes are pink pepper, freesia and mandarin orange. Middle notes are pink rose, jasmine and orris. Base notes are patchouli, sandalwood and amber.

As far as perfume descriptions go, this one was not as intriguing as they usually are.  Typically perfume descriptions try to whisk you off onto an exotic holiday or a more fanciful life then you’ve ever dreamed of having. This one saw no reason to do so.  It was in my recommendations though so I added it to my queue and this month it’s turn came about.

I will say the scent is perfect for this time of year.  It is lightly floral but not cloyingly sweet. It is delicate and feminine and reminds me that all these rains we’ve been having lately are leading into growth and life. It is an excellent pick me up for a dreary day.

It does however not last long.  On skin the scent lasts maybe an hour or two before fading to nothingness.  It lasts much longer on cloth though so if you spray your shirt instead of your skin you can still get teasers of the scent throughout the day.  While I wasn’t happy with the length of time it lasted, I did enjoy the scent, especially now.  It has a calming sort of effect on me. When I inhale and close my eyes I can picture people in ball gowns and jewels in an old black and white movie where nothing truly bad ever happens.  It’s one of the funny movies rather than the more angst filled ones.  This is the scent you can almost see the dancing ladies wearing as their silks whisper across the dance floor.  It is that kind of scent.

See this is what happens when the perfume company doesn’t provide me with a fanciful description. I make one up myself.  Still I think that describes what the scent of the perfume sort of embodies.

I don’t know if I would buy this again.  Currently I am enjoying using it.  I find it soothing and pretty, but I am not happy with its duration.  It’s not a definite no though either.  Usually with perfumes I am very much a yes or no sort of person.  This one may actually be my first maybe. I have to say the bottle is absolutely beautiful and definitely something I could see on my perfume shelf. And as vain and shallow of me as that sounds, I like pretty bottles. I won’t buy it just for the bottle, but as I am already on the fence it may sway me towards a future purchase. For now, I like the Oscar de la Renta Bella Rosa. Whether or not a bottle ends up in my collection is to be determined later.

Perfume Review: Euphoria Blush by Calvin Klein

This sample of Euphoria Blush by Calvin Klein was sent to me by Influenster for the purpose of review

I’ll be honest, when looking for perfumes, Calvin Klein doesn’t always spring to the top of my mind.  I think I associate most CK scents with something fresh and sporty. But when Influnster sent me a small sample to try, I was game. 

I have to say, it has been a while since I used one of the really small spray samples instead of the month long sample supply as sent from Scentbox and Scentbird. However as I always give perfumes a week of trial before I make my decision and the small vial did have enough perfume for the week, I was able to do a regular review on it.

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I have to say I was surprised by how much I really liked it.   But first a little about the perfume.

According to the product page listed on the ULTA website…

Embrace love’s passionate journey. Inspired by the temptation of falling in love, Euphoria Blush Eau de Parfum by Calvin Klein is an enchanting fragrance. Fresh and intoxicating florals evoke passionate desires, creating a seductive and addictive scent. A rich heart of rose, jasmine, and orchid layers over a warm and sensual base of amber and patchouli. A hint of chocolate pairs with raspberry top notes to inspire the sensation of a guilty pleasure, an exploration into emotions and lust. Updated in subtle pink blush, the signature Euphoria bottle is sleek and sophisticated with a curved contour.

Fragrance Notes: Top – raspberries, pink pepper, blackberries; Middle – rose, orchid, jasmine; Base – chocolate, patchouli, cashmere wood

It is a very feminine scent.  The orchid, rose and jasmine provide sweet florals while the raspberry provides a little tart to balance it out.  I think the base notes are less scents and more of a way to ground the florals and fruit and keep it from being too cloyingly sweet.

I will say I think it is more of an evening scent than a day one.  Something about it seems a bit more sensual than office friendly.  It comes on strong when you first apply it so I would recommend applying it about half an hour before you actually plan to leave the house so it has a chance to settle down.  Once it does, it becomes a soft feminine scent. Just let it relax first.

I think my biggest problem with this scent is its staying power.  It doesn’t really have one.  After about four hours there is barely a discernable trace when you hold your wrist directly up to your nose. It lasts a little longer on clothing than it does on skin I’ve noticed, so if you are a person who spritzes their clothing rather than their skin, you might find it lasts longer.

Over all I think it is a great scent and I am sad that one week of steady use rather depleted my small vial of scent.  I don’t know if a larger sample is offered on either Scentbird of Scentbox but I think I might check.  That way I can give it a full month of wear to determine if I really want to spend the $98 for the full bottle.  I can say that at the moment it seems like a definite contender for space in my perfume collection. Thanks Influenster for letting me try something I might not have picked up on my own.