Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Memoirs of a Geisha...Fragrance Line (Chapter Four): Aroma M Perfumes Geisha Amber Rouge

It’s been some time since I’ve featured Aroma M on my blog. In the same vein, it’s been some time since Aroma M launched a new fragrance. Since Maria McElroy did her part and brought to us a new addition to her Aroma M fragrance line, I had to do my part and review it!

Aroma M’s fragrance oils are rich with character. While I’ve only featured my three favorites thus far on the blog (Green, Blue, and Noire), I can safely say that I love the entire line. Maria is a talented perfumer and she knows how to inject an air of sensuality into her creations.

Amber Rouge is a flanker to the pre-existing Geisha Rouge fragrance. Geisha Rouge is a scent reminiscent of strong, mulled wine. There is a near-medicinal start to the scent, which mellows out into a delicious mix of allspice, tonka, and tobacco. The slightest hint of vanilla keeps this fragrance from veering into the heavily masculine. Geisha Rouge reminds me of cold nights by a fireplace, spiked drinks, and Holiday parties stocked with candies and pies. The sillage is decent, and the spiciness lingers on the skin for hours. Still, there is a decided innocence to Geisha Rouge, due to the Christmas-y connotations it brings up for me.

However, there is absolutely no innocence to be found in Amber Rouge, oh no. This scent is, to put it simply, narcotic. Heady, teasing, hypnotic: Amber Rouge drugs you and seduces you slowly but wholly.

(picture from

I find it absolutely amazing that I basically have, in a small roll-on, the olfactory equivalent of listening to The Weeknd. When I first applied Amber Rouge, I was immediately reminded of him, and especially of his song “Wicked Games”. I am transported into a dark room; the smell of hash is strong, and I’m buzzing from drugs and desire. Every sensation is amplified, and the touch of my lover’s hand across my skin is as inviting and luxurious as pulling on a soft cashmere sweater.

That’s the thing: there is an undeniably soft and inviting aspect to Amber Rouge. Still, I choose to ignore it. I can only focus on the pleading, dripping sexuality of the fragrance. The lyrics to “Wicked Games” echo in my mind: Give me all of it, I need all of it to myself.

Sex, drugs, and perfume: decadence in a way I’ve never quite experienced before.

Amber Rouge owes its power to the addition of Japanese incense and resins; Maria was inspired by her travels through the Far East, and it is that smoky depth that I find so irresistible about Amber Rouge. And of course, there is the Moroccan amber which gives this fragrance its name: because of it, the development of the fragrance sees it go from heady heat to a honeyed, sweetly spicy, and fuzzy scent that wears close to the skin. The wearer is faded, the high is coming down, but there’s the cognizance of earlier debauchery.

I cannot get enough of this fragrance. In the couple of weeks that I’ve been testing Amber Rouge (and meaning to post this review!), I’ve made a noticeable dent in my roll-on. Maria, you’ve created an addict - and I don’t want to ever get off of this.

Aroma M fragrances are available on the Aroma M website. Amber Rouge retails for $55 for a 8ml roll-on - trust me, you’ll want to make this purchase.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Joey's Monday Musings

Happy Post-Thanksgiving and Black Friday Weekend, everyone!
I am so worn out from what was just a very, very lovely weekend (minus the excruciating migraine that struck me down Sunday AM); because of my exhaustion, I can’t offer you a full-on review of anything today. My nose is just as worn out as my body.

However, I thought it would be fun to do a “Monday Musings” post, full of random thoughts and reflections on the things I tested and saw this weekend. So, if you’re interested, read on! 
I promise that I have lots of fun reviews coming up. I just need to get used to my new schedule: I work much, much earlier hours at my new job than I did at the yoga studio (and I also don’t have computer access at my new job), so the times at which I blog and swatch and whatnot have to be adjusted. Well, my whole routine needs to be adjusted! Wish me luck.
1) Thanksgiving weekend brought me a lot of blessings in the form of blogger visits to NYC! I spent Friday afternoon and evening with Xiao of Messy Wands, and I spent a lovely Saturday AM with Birgit of Olfactoria's Travels. I’ve met Xiao before, and it was a treat to see her again. She needs to move to NYC already. Birgit was as gorgeous and sweet as she appears on her blog, and she is so knowledgeable about fragrances! I was so pleased that she enjoyed my little tour of the fragrance counters of Fifth Avenue.
2) Can I say how glad I am that Bobbi Brown re-released Black Pearl Shimmer lipgloss? It’s the most bizarre and stunning mix of grey, purple, and mauve; when it was first released in  the summer of 2007, I went to work late just so I can stop at Bloomingdales Soho and buy it right away! I kind of forced Xiao to buy it on Friday. I can't wait to see her review.
3) There is nothing better than a good sales associate. If you are ever in the need for anything from Guerlain (makeup, perfume, skincare, advice, etc.), please look up Peggy at Bergdorf Goodman! She is a real gem, and her enthusiasm and generosity was a lovely surprise to both me and Birgit.
4) For the first time, I found a current formulation of a fragrance to be preferable over the vintage formulation. I was shocked. The fragrance?: JAR Golconda. Oh JAR fragrances, you’re so divine and so upsettingly expensive. The vintage formulation was a bit too green for my tastes - like Aftelier Haute Claire but without the delicious nuance of that fragrance. The current formulation was all spicy, divine carnation and clove. I could not stop sniffing myself!
5) Birgit and I tested quite a few fragrances while we were together. Here are some thoughts on some of the ones I remember trying:
  • Guerlain Iris Ganache: I purchased a small decant today from a fragrance friend, if that shows you what I thought. I blame Carrie for this, as I blame her for most things ;)
  • Guerlain Jicky parfum: WHOA BABY. WHOA WHOA WHOA. The EDT has nothing on the parfum.
  • By Kilian Sweet Redemption: Bleh, I’m surprised how much I disliked this fragrance. I’m an orange blossom fan, but there was something upsettingly plasticky about this.
  • By Kilian Love & Tears (solid perfume): The stunning compact drew me in, and the actual perfume kept me there. Oh, just pretty, soft and feminine!
  • Creed Royal Oud: Not terribly royal, but lovelier than I expected. I have found that Creed’s male-oriented fragrances are much, much nicer than their feminine counterparts. This one is no exception. 
  • Chanel Jersey: My Downy smells better than this stuff, and lasts longer to boot. What the hell, Chanel!? 
  • Dior Patchouli ImpĂ©rial: The more ambered, masculine version of Chanel Coromandel; I think I need this, sigh.
  • Cartier L'Heure ConvoitĂ©e II: Yum yum yum! I need to get a sample of this to give it a second run, but I quite enjoyed it when Birgit and I sniffed it at Saks.
  • Serge Lutens Vitriol d'Oeille: Well, I also bought a small decant of this today if that gives you any hints to what I thought about it.

6) Can I repeat how glad I am that I did not go to Target or do any sort of in-store Black Friday shopping? I did do a few Indie orders: I ordered from Shiro Cosmetics, Persephone Minerals, and used an Apothica gift card to order a couple of treats for myself. I am saving everything as Christmas presents to myself! Remember, SHOP INDIE! What did you all end up buying? 
Please, share your thoughts/musings/rambles with me! Have a lovely Monday!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Beauty Spotlight Team 11/27/11

The holidays are heating up for the Beauty Spotlight Team. We’re all so busy but it doesn’t stop any of us from bringing our love of beauty to you. Most of us have picked out just one of our many posts from the past two weeks to share with you. We invite you to read these and then take a look through our blogs to see what else we have been excited about. Enjoy!

Joey is in awe of perfumer Mandy Aftel's talent, and nowhere is Mandy's genius more evident than in her Shiso perfume - a fragrance that is simultaneously beautiful and disturbing. Read her review over at Beauty, Bacon, Bunnies!

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed is stuffing your stocking with cute gift ideas - check out what she is hoping to get from Santa this year!

Marcia from Beauty Info Zone has found a skincare system that’s working beautifully for her. Find out why Somme Institute has hit the spot for her.

Modesty Brown attended a MAC Trends workshop and shares the tips she learned as a non-makeup artist. There's also a little look at some of the trends from the the AW11 catwalks.

Are your hands suffering the effects of cold weather and dry heat? Then Lipstick Musings has the cure, courtesy of L'Occitane!

A monthly "giftbox" subscription for nail polish lovers? Pammy Blogs Beauty checks out Julep Maven and the "Sneak Peek Box".

Are you a fragrance lover or looking to finally explore the world scent a little more? Check out this incredible resource on Discovery and Sample Sets on Perilously Pale!

Styrch at Pretty in Dayton gets back into glitter by admiring some Eye Candy.

Cindy from Prime Beauty is a sucker for shiny metallic eyeliners. Check out her newest love from Nars Cosmetics but get out your credit card first!

Visionary Beauty shows us two essential liners from the delightful and whimsical Rouge Bunny Rouge!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Beauty + Charity: The Auction is Back!

I just wanted to get a quick word out about the wonderful auction, pioneered by the Arm of Beauty and Doom, KarlaSugar!

The auction is a joint effort combining the generosity of the beautyblogosphere and the brands we all know and obsess over. Last year was a great success (although I’m still bitter I was out-bid on a few items, ha!) and I am happy that Karla brought it back for year two. 
There are some seriously incredible items that were donated this year; the must-have products of the season are here along with seriously hard-to-find items, and the cult favorites every self-respecting beauty junkie must own. Just check out some of these pictures!

All proceeds from the auction go directly to Doctors Without Borders, through the site’s secure giving page. So, when you win a product, your money goes straight to the charity.

The auction will be live Monday, November 28th through Monday, December 12th. 

Happy shopping!
**Just some notes:
  • Most of the auction items are now visible online, but no one can bid until November 28th. However, you can still register on the site, browse, and bookmark the items you really want to jump on! 
  • If you registered last year, you have to do it again - and don’t worry, your private info is kept private. Although, it would be kinda cool if Karla showed up at your home! Ha! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Reflections!

As I post this tonight, I wanted to take the time to reflect back on today - Thanksgiving, or as I like to call it, Turkey Massacre Day. 
I have had a lot of terrible luck lately. Any of you who read this blog, or follow me on Twitter (or are friends with me on Facebook!) know this. For the first time in my life, I spent Thanksgiving alone. The thought of it was actually worse than the reality of it. Being alone today has allowed me to realize that, despite my depression and despite the bad luck streak I’ve been facing, I have so much to be thankful for. 
If you don’t mind, I’d like to list just a few of the things I have to be thankful for. Please feel free to share your lists with me, and remember to GOBBLE HAPPY
**The “Gobble Happy” comes from a text message from Momma Bunny, her first ever! I was so proud of her and her enthusiasm for finally embracing technology.
I am thankful that I am alive, sane enough to function on a day-to-day basis, and in relatively good health. I am also thankful that my senses are all in working order, I can walk without pain, use my hands without pain, and breathe deeply every day. 
I am thankful for my new job in a time when many people are unemployed. I am especially thankful that I quite enjoy my new job, that it has steady (and full-time) hours and decent pay, and that there is room for growth in said job. Also, it is beauty-related and I have a sweet discount! 
I am thankful that I have a space online to call my own, where I can write about what I want and that people actually care to read it! I am also unbelievably thankful for the friendships and connections that I have made through blogging. I honestly would not be able to wake up and face each day without the love and companionship you all give me, and I truly hope I give the same to you. Honestly, I owe you all more than I can say.
I am thankful for perfume, and for the color taupe.
I am so thankful for bacon, alcohol, butter, carbs, whoever first discovered the possibilities that deep-frying brings to food, and water.

(Thank god for St. Ides and cheap beer - and the friends who drink it with me!)

(Buffalo wings, fries, and deep-fried pickles!)
I am thankful to have a roof over my head, an excellent college education, and an incredible head of hair. 

(Me, the day I graduated with honors from NYU's Gallatin School)

(Yeahhh, I love my curls!)
I am thankful that I haven’t broken a bone in a decade...I think. Nope, lied. Fractured my  left thumb back in 2007. Scratch this one!
I am thankful for independently-run businesses and the amazing, passionate people that run them. Shop Indie, Shop Indie, SHOP INDIE.
I am thankful for my parents, despite our very rocky relationship. I am thankful for my closest friends, whether they be near or far; I love you all more than words can express. I am thankful for my ex-boyfriend, because without him a lot - ok, most!- of this past year would not have been possible (and I thank him also for forcing a painful but necessary learning experience on me). Everyone who has come into my life - whether for a short time or for the long haul - has helped me to become the insane bunny I am today. 
Have I mentioned that I’m thankful for bacon?! And taupe?! And perfume?!
I am thankful that I have spent my entire life in the most dynamic, oxymoronic, and alive city in the whole world. New York is at the very center of my being. I am my shadow city, I am Manhattan, I am the Bronx. I am the nightlife at 3am, the sunrise over skyscrapers, and the intensity that reverberates through the sidewalks.

(Me, at Columbus Circle at 1:00am on a Sunday AM after too many G&Ts)
I am thankful for Target, for allowing me to find storage for my perfumes and this lovely binder for my Indie eyeshadow samples:

(Binder! How pretty, no?)

(Lookie, Linnaeus Cosmetics samples!)

(More samples! The ones on the R are Pollen Cosmetics)
I am thankful for Apple, because my MacBook Pro keeps me sane!
I am thankful for Marvel, candles, patchouli, a good leather accord, carnations, derp-derp animals, Albert Camus, Michel Foucault, and blank notebooks. 
I am thankful for music. Well, good music. Special thanks go out to The Weeknd, Fink, OFWGKTA, and the entire Quiet Storm genre for providing the soundtrack to this past year. Oh, and jazz. Must include jazz! 
I’m not thankful that the past two predicted Raptures were a bust. Hello, I need Zombie Biggie to come back and reclaim the rap scene!
I am thankful that I get to meet Olfactoria this weekend! I am thankful that I’m off from work this weekend; I had a lot of errands to run and I am happy to have the time to do so.
I am thankful for all of the little things, the big things, the every things, and the some things. 
I love you, everyone. Have a lovely, taupey, and fragrant Friday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Beyond The White Picket Fence: Aftelier Shiso

I have a penchant for the generally disturbing and disconcerting. I’m not sure if it’s the ex-goth in me, or the absurdist in me, or if I’m just a morbid little bunny. I just appreciate the atypical, the things that one would not necessarily call pretty, those things off the beaten path of normalcy.
I’m the same way with fragrances. I made Gaia shriek with horror when, upon smelling Etat Libre d’Orange’s Secretions Magnifique, I declared that I’d wear it in the street. I love smelling funky, sweaty, and generally sort of skanky. Oh, and I adore fragrances that are funereal in nature. I actually have a post about my favorite (indie) funereal scents that I’m planning on posting tomorrow, if I can finish polishing it up.
Today, however, I’m focusing on a fragrance that is neither funereal or skanky, but one I once described as simultaneously serene and unsettling. It’s an oxymoron, I realize, but that’s the only way I can accurately describe how this juice makes me feel. 
Of course, I should probably tell you what perfume I’m talking about: Aftelier Shiso

(Sam Mendes and David Lynch have taught me to be skeptical!)
Mandy Aftel has a gift for the strange, beautiful, and poetic. Her fragrances are liquid paintings, meant as much to make their wearers think as they are made to make their wearers smell wonderful. Shiso unsettles me greatly, stirs in me a sense of multiplicity, and encourages me to delve deep to understand just what I’m smelling.
The initial application is a nearly astringent, chilled blast of geranium and lavender and this unbelievable spicy green note: not the same hyper-real green of Haute Claire (if Pantone 354 C had a smell, it’d smell of Haute Claire), but the green of a fresh salad, or perfect leaves on the stems of flowers. This, of course, comes from the perilla (shiso) and green pepper essence that Mandy magically weaved into her creation. I am reminded of the various herbal tonics my grandmother concocted and bathed me in as a small child. My ills are cured, and my core is shaken. The tiniest hint of clove and acidic grapefruit keeps me on my feet. Attempting to understand what exactly I’m smelling is a serious challenge. I just know that it’s undeniably different and lovely.
As the fragrance develops, there is a decidedly dusty floral aspect that begins to emerge. I see books of old pressed roses, the citrus rind garlands I made as a child to hang in my windows, and I smell a soapy, almost waxy accord reminiscent of gardenias - but there are no gardenias (I believe this is the kewda essence but I’m unfamiliar with its fragrance). Oh, and there’s a fantastic soft powdery facet: all patchouli and sandalwood. At this point, my confused nose is in heaven: Mandy’s patchouli and sandalwood are just stunning, and they remain stunning for hours. It’s a perfume to sleep in, if you don’t mind vivid dreams.
(This is the point where the geisha influence finally strikes me and I am reminded of, in  Memoirs of a Geisha, Sayruri’s mention of the agarwood that the geishas wore as perfume: the soft, woody scent that trailed those beautiful creatures. Leave it to Mandy to take a classic composition and make it wildly her own.)
Lavanya called Shiso a 'Thunderstorm scent' - “a perfume with that something disturbing that  battles with [her] till [she] submit(s) to its beauty, both comforted and expressed.” Carrie declared it “emotionally challenging and at the same time balancing and recalibrating.” I have decided that Shiso is every surburban dystopia trope (think Blue Velvet and American Beauty) distilled into a little bottle: akin to seeing something so perfect and pristine that you wonder if what you see is secretly hiding something dark and twisted. Just beyond that perfect exterior lies chaos. 
Don’t let my review scare you: Shiso is truly wonderful, and is truly unique in its composition. Those of you who enjoy woody, spicy, green fragrances will fall head over heels for it - as will those of you who enjoy a challenge. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An Essay on Temporality - and a review of Ormonde Jayne's Ormonde Woman

Obviously, over the past week I have been thinking a lot about temporality and the fleeting nature of, well, everything. Breakups are wonderful thought exercises in existentialism for sure - a painful yet much needed thing for an ex-philosophy major.
I swear this has a point; this isn’t another pity-fest for me. There’s a perfume review in here, emerging from the wreckage of my emotions and the inner recesses of my ‘fumed-out brain. 

The day before the breakup, I decided to test out Ormonde Jayne’s Ormonde Woman. If you remember, my now-ex loved Ormonde Man, but I had been unable to test out Ormonde Woman. This is because my sample of Ormonde Woman didn’t survive its travels from London to NYC.
**An aside: Dear PR people, please always bubble-wrap products that are being sent overseas, especially perfume. Otherwise, there will be heartbroken bloggers all over the place! 
**Another aside: Ruth, you’re an angel for sending me a sample of Ormonde Woman - and an angel for being a kind friend. I am lucky to know you.
I was hungover, tired, and slightly crabby because I had to make an impromptu trip downtown to deliver an iPod to a friend who had forgotten he drunkenly gave it to me the night before. I needed to be in my happy bunny place; I remembered Carrie’s gorgeous review of Ormonde Woman and, hoping I’d be transported to a mental locale as lovely as her’s, I sprayed myself and hopped on the train.
The day I experienced with my friend, as I reflect on it, served as the perfect backdrop for experiencing Ormonde Woman. It was a day ripe with beautiful memories and a sweet, simple joy that would not last very long. 
Ormonde Woman strikes the same velvety, outdoorsy chord as Ormonde Man, but (thankfully!) was nothing like the soapy, peppered mess I experienced while wearing the latter. Simultaneously full of warmth but shot through with a chilly forest wind, Ormonde Woman is less a perfume and more of an experience, an environment: prone to inevitable change.

(One of my favorite NYC backdrops: the courtyard of the Museum of Modern Art)
This was my initial problem with the fragrance: it has an incredible lack of longevity. I have never experienced this before with a fragrance of this price tag and with the sort of notes Ormonde Woman contains. Woody, deep fragrances typically last all day on me. I get about two hours tops with Ormonde Woman when sprayed directly on my skin;  however, when sprayed on my clothes, the fragrance is detectable the next day.
I was surprised, though, at how little this problem bothered me. How could I be mad at something so strikingly beautiful? The fragrance metamorphosized with me and with my day. 
That initial spray is a velvety caress of cardamom, violet, and jasmine. Texturally, you can actually feel this fragrance as much as you can smell it. It is the softest caress of the calloused hand of my friend across mine, the crisp fall air as we stand at the Fulton Seaport watching the sunset, the coziness of a warm and filling dinner in Chinatown.
Then - oh! - that gorgeous, indescribably hypnotic hemlock comes to play with a delicious base of vetiver, cedar, and powdery amber. Ormonde Woman becomes the drop in temperature as nighttime creeps upon us, fast legs running down Wall Street. I feel as invincible as the Occupy Wall Street protestors but smell arguably better. We slink down West Broadway, admire the shadowy skyscrapers of Tudor City, and run down Park Avenue and through Central Park. I am constantly on the move. Shadows play along the sidewalks and every couple of hours I refresh my fragrance (thank goodness for portable little samples, no?), and I revel in the beauty of my night and my surroundings.
And I realize: I’ll never have this indescribably lovely moment again. I’ll have other moments, but not this one. I’m strangely ok with this. I am reminded of the final moments of “Six Feet Under”, when Nate whispers in Claire’s ear as she photographs her family one last time: “You can’t take a picture of this, it’s already gone.” Ormonde Woman has faded off of my skin numerous times throughout this long night. I go home, flush with happiness. The next night, while I am wearing the same sweatshirt from yesterday’s adventure, my boyfriend ends our relationship.
After it all, tears abundant, he tells me: “Joey, you smell absolutely wonderful. What is that?” 
What can I do but laugh, and smile, and wipe my eyes? Snapshots of the night before, snapshots of my relationship, and snapshots of the bright city lights flash through my mind. I realize that I’ll eventually be ok. Not that night, not the next night, but soon. Pain is as temporally driven as joy. I run into Riverside Park and spray myself again. 
Ormonde Woman is the perfect reminder of fleetingness. There is something inarguably special about that which does not last forever. I want to remember this. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm late, I'm late for a very important date...

Of course, in the insanity and confusion that is my life right now, I forgot to post Styrch’s Mystery Makeup Bag this weekend! Here it is below (click on the bag!):

I’ve met Styrch before, and she’s a joy to be around. I had so much fun looking inside her makeup bag!
As for my blog: I’m back on it this week! I’m kind of sick of moping around and not doing reviews. I’ve received SO much fun stuff this past week: tons of samples from dear friends, a huge (HUGE!) Sonoma Scent Studio order, and the newest Aftelier fragrances. Oh, and I do have makeup to review - like the coveted TheBalm Muppets palette, which I’ve actually had since August 31st and never reviewed! Now that it’s impossible to find, I want to review it. I suck! 
Oh, and I have to show you all my growing eyeshadow sample binder, inspired by the awesomesauce Ana
I appreciate everyone’s patience with me. I’ve missed you all, and the love everyone has shown me this past week means more to me than I could possibly ever express. I never realized how strongly forged our friendships are, even if they exist only over the Internet. Love is everywhere, and you all reminded me of this crucial and important fact. 

Thank you, thank you, and I’m throwing perfumed kisses your way!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I need a bit of a hiatus, my friends.

I write this with a sincerely heavy heart. I need a bit of a break from my blog, at least through this week.  My relationship - which you all knew about, and knew meant the world to me - ended last night. I'm feeling...well, indescribably crushed. I am lucky enough to have received some new things to play with, which will hopefully distract me and lead to some great reviews when I'm feeling more up to it.

For now, please send me a little bit of love. I need it desperately. Thanks.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Beauty Spotlight Team 11/12/11

The Beauty Spotlight Team always has excitement in store for you. Whether you are in the mood for fragrance, lipsticks, eye products or giveaways there’s something for you. If you want to put in your opinion about Limited Editions (and we all have strong opinions about that!) or learn about Google + we can provide that too. Have fun reading this week’s links.

Joey over at Beauty, Bacon, Bunnies can't believe that she's in love with a celebrity fragrance. Regardless of the name behind the fragrance, there is just no denying how delicious Boyfriend by Kate Walsh smells!

There’s a lot of sassiness going on at Beauty Info Zone. TheBalm Shady Lady Volume 3 has invaded Marcia’s life and she’s inviting others to play too. Come see what these ladies are up to now.

She may not be a Metal Queen - but Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed is embracing the metallic makeup trend! Check out her swatches and see if you might like to go metallic too!

At Everyday Beauty, Zuzu's Petals found the perfect juicy fall red lip gloss in NARS Bad Education.

Over at Lipstick Musings, Shannon is the victim of a happy mistake when she discovers Dior 5 Couleurs Eye Shadow in Rosy Nude. Stop by to see why she was so pleased to get the wrong item!

London Makeup Girl is having a rant about Limited Editions that have a shorter life than a Mayfly. Do you agree with her? Read her post (and some interesting comments) here: Limited Editions and other foolishness.

Modesty Brown shares her current staples, including swatches of Rouge Bunny Rouge sheer lipstick in Murmurings and Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Bonheur.

Are you an early adopter? If so, you’ll love that My Beauty Bunny has compiled a list of beauty bloggers to follow on Google+!

Find out what eyeliner Paula, from Older Girl Beauty, likes so much that she wears it most days of the week.

Is the cold weather making you dry? Well, be sure to enter Pammy Blogs Beauty's Carmex Healing Skincare Giveaway!

Check out Perilously Pale for a chance to win skincare from Yonka Paris!

At Pretty in Dayton Styrch is introduced to a body whip that could very well be her Holy Grail body moisturizer.

Tarte gives more than just Lip Service to their limited edition LipSurgence Collection. One for you and two for Prime Beauty!!

The time-honoured holiday parings of red and gold shades is captured with Les Scintillances de Chanel, Visionary Beauty checks out the eye shadows on offer: classics with a twist

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ormonde Jayne's Ormonde Man: My Man's In Love With It!

If you read yesterday’s review, you would know that Kate Walsh Boyfriend was a dismal failure on my boyfriend. Serious scrubber status, to be honest. To make it up to him (and to cover up the saccharine stink emanating off his skin), I decided to take the opportunity to test out another masculine fragrance on him.
I sprayed Ilusionisto’s other arm with Ormonde Jayne’s Ormonde Man, taken from the beautifully presented Discovery Set I had received for reviewing purposes last week.

(photo borrowed from the Ormonde Jayne website)
Ormonde Jayne is a highly-regarded niche fragrance house based in London; perfumer Linda Pilkington aims to create products whose lovely exterior (really, the packaging of the Discovery Set is just so chic and elegant!) house beautiful and unexpected fragrances. The Ormonde Jayne perfume collection consists of thirteen fragrances; Ormonde Man (along with its counterpart Ormonde Woman) falls into the Woody/Signature Scent range. There are also the Florals, The Floral Orientals, and the Colognes - I’ll get to these soon enough! 
Over the past few months, I’ve put a hell of a lot of perfumes on my boyfriend. He quite willingly participates in my little experiments, and is really beginning to understand and analyze fragrance. It’s really adorable, and makes it easier for me to review certain fragrances - I like wearing masculines, but sometimes, I just want to see what they smell like on someone with a Y chromosome. I’m thankful I have Ilusionisto for that. 
Ormonde Man was love at first sniff for him! As soon as the first spray hit the crook of his elbow, I heard a loud “Oh god, that’s great! What is that?” And it was great on him, better than I expected!
Here is a collection of quotes from my darling boyfriend about Ormonde Man, interspersed with my explanations:
“Oh, it’, what’s that word you taught me? The one about citrus notes? [I remind him that the word he’s looking for is ‘hesperidic’] Hesperdedic? Hesteridic? HESPERIDIC! Yeah, that. It’s hesperidic. Thanks baby!” The juniper berry and bergamot really shined on his skin. The first fifteen minutes of the fragrance was simultaneously bright and spicy. I could smell the fizziness of pink pepper (WHY IS THIS IN EVERYTHING?!) and the deep warmth of cardamom. 
[Twenty minutes in, when the deep, textured mossiness of the heart notes and base notes started to emerge] “Oh, ooh, what is that? It’s so...yeah, I really don’t have the vocabulary or nose you do, but I know I like this. What is that smell? The oud + hemlock  accord that comprise the heart of Ormonde Man, translated on Ilusionisto’s skin, expressed themselves as something that’s best described as velvet. Fuzzy, dark, intoxicating. A drug of the highest order. At this point, I was comfortably nestled in his arms with my nose in his elbow. It made it hard for him to eat his pint of Ben & Jerry’s Mint Chocolate Cookie, but he managed. I had zero desire to move. There was also an evident hit of vetiver (be still, my rapidly beating heart!) that added to the tangible greenness of this fragrance. I’ve read reviews of Ormonde Man that use forest imagery to describe it, and it’s true: you have soil, bark, decomposing grass, the wind through lush leaves, the midnight sky. 
“I see colors when I smell this.” Clearly, so did I. My boyfriend is an artist as well as a musician. I need to remember to ask him to paint what he saw when wearing this. I’m curious to know if our mental images match up.
“Joey, this is the best thing you’ve ever put on me, I think. It keeps getting better.” This was the point when the cedar and sandalwood popped up to say hi. Powdery, cozy, woody and close to the skin; he is so lucky I didn’t eat his arm at this point.
“Baby, I think I need a bottle of this. This is honestly the first time I ever wanted to wear a cologne.” Well, hell. This is going to be one expensive present, but he’s right - he needs this. 
I slept very well that night; his natural smell combined with Ormonde Man was just hypnotic. I had to know if it smelled as good on me. 
Unfortunately, Ormonde Man isn’t quite as special on me as it was on him. The initial spray was all effervescent, peppery soap - how annoying! I could clearly make out coriander and that pink pepper, and those are the two notes that stuck out for the first three hours of wear. I had none of that magical plushness my boyfriend experienced. Eventually, the bubbles popped and the scent transformed into a cozy, powdery skin scent - all musk and sandalwood. Pleasant, but not quite worth tolerating the earlier soap smell. 
I suppose I can’t have all the luck when it comes to fragrances. So, my sample spray will go to Ilusionisto, and I’ll plot to buy him a bottle as a joint graduation/Hanukkah present. What a lucky guy he is, ha. 
Ormonde Jayne fragrances are available on the Ormonde Jayne website. I highly recommend ordering the Discovery Set, which retails for £44 with free shipping worldwide (that converts into about $70USD).