Review – Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Flora Rosa

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If you read some of my other Guerlain reviews, you will have noticed that I am a lover and collector of their fragrances. They are really the only ones that I use. The Aqua Allegoria line is a collection of fragrances inspired by nature. They are light fragrances that represent the sweet moments of Spring. Each Spring, a limited edition scent is released to join the four permanent ones in the collection.

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The bottles are encased in a gilded caged top that is reminiscent of the infamous Bee Bottle. Each Aqua Allegoria fragrance draws inspiration from one or two raw materials from nature.

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Aqua Allegoria Rosa Pop was a new one that I was able to track down and purchase. It draws it’s inspiration from the Rose, but it is made crisp by the addition of red berries, iris and musk.

On initial spray I definitely get more of the berries. This immediately reminds me of that pink Mr Bubble bubble bath. It’s crispy, fruity and sweet smelling but clean with a light floral undertone.

The rose comes out more on the dry down and is so lovely. This is a very youthful and bright rose. This aint ya grandmother’s tea rose fragrance that is for sure. It is sweet and sheer.

The final dry down is a warmed up by the musk and the rose becomes softer. The musk and rose combination makes this a very creamy like fragrance.

I did find that this lasts a very long time on the skin. I have never been a really big fan of Rose products or fragrances, but lately I am becoming obsessed with all things Rose. I had to try this one and I’m glad I did. This is now one of my favorite rose fragrances yet. This would make a great fragrance for Spring or Summer as I did find it to be light, creamy, bright and simple.

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Review: Guerlain Rose Barbare

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I used to never be a fan of rose scented products or fragrances. They say our tastes change every 7 years, so I guess that explains why I’m now obsessed with rose scented everything.

I am a huge fan of Guerlain, especially their fragrances. They are the only perfume that I purchase and wear and I consider myself somewhat of a collector of their fine fragrances. Every time that I am at Epcot at Walt Disney World, I make a special trip the France Pavilion to purchase a new fragrance. On our most recent trip, I went into the Guerlain Boutique solely to buy Mitsuko and not spend any more money than that. I was actually trying to keep myself on a budget this trip. But I asked about what rose scented fragrances they had on hand. We tried a few and I just fell in love with this one right away. My husband said “buy it” and it was my valentines’ present. Quelle surprise!

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Rose Barbare is one of three fragrances from the L ‘Art et la Mature collection (The Art and Material). The perfumes were launched in 2005 as a way to celebrate the remodel of the main boutique in Paris on the Champs-Elysées. Rose Barbare (Barbarian Rose) is a lovely fragrance dedicated to rose. The composition includes aldehydes, rose, the sweet notes of honey chypre and peach and a base of spicy grass notes reminiscent of the forest floor.

To me this is a bouquet of soft florals, with just a whisper of a scent as you spray it on. I don’t find it as heavy as some other Guerlain fragrances when its wet on the skin like say Shalimar. At first you get a sweetness from the honey, and another note which Im guessing is the peach? On the dry down you get more of the rose, but it is not your grandmothers old tea rose perfume, it is sweeter, more delicate and more modern.

This is very different from some of the other Guerlain fragrances that I own. I absolutely love the atomizer and the wonderful little leather box it comes in. This is one for special occasions or a date night out. I believe that other fragrances have been added to the original three. Now I need to try the other in the collection and I’ve got to collect them all.

 

Review: My New Beauty Holy Grail

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Bonjour mes amis!

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I’m a beauty product junkie. I worked in the Beauty Industry as an esthetician, hair stylist and makeup artist for over 15 years. Even though I’m no longer in that industry, I am still obsessed with a good beauty product. Wave some new anti-aging serum or a yummy new moisturizer in my face and I’m hypnotized. This is of course to the dismay of both my husband and my bank account. My bathroom looks like la pharmacie.

So when I first heard about Embryolisse and their cult fave product, Lait-Creme Concentre I was intrigued. I have a hard time finding French beauty products in the U.S. at affordable prices. Sure, we have easy access to brands like Guerlain and Chanel. However, I don’t always want to drop $300+ on a moisturizer. Now a nice fragrance, that is a different story.

Embryolisse is a beauty product that most Parisians swear by, and is easily picked up at one of the many la pharmacies in Paris. These drug stores are similar to our CVSs, Rite Aids, and Walgreens. They hold a treasure trove of wonderful French beauty products.

Embryolisse began in 1950, by a Paris hospital dermatologist specializing in skin diseases. The company continues to create amazing skincare products with plant extracts and other active ingredients. The top selling product, Lait-Creme Concentre, is a beauty industry cult fave. It is favored by top actresses and makeup artists. In fact when I posted about the product on Instagram, several of my MUA friends chimed in to say how amazing the product is, and it’s a must have in their beauty kits.

Lait-Creme Concentre is more than just a moisturizer though! It can be used as a cleanser, hydrating mask, moisturizer, makeup primer, foundation mixing agent and hair texturizer.

The cream is a rich moisturizer that is great for dry skin, helps with wrinkles and loss of firmness, as well as restores a youthful glow to the skin. Lait-Creme Concentre is rich in plant extracts and essential fatty acids like Aloe Vera and Shea Butter.

It has a light, powdery, floral scent that is not overwhelming. I find the scent very pleasing and reminiscent of youth. The texture is wonderful and the cream spreads easily. A little definitely goes a long way. I found my skin to stay continually hydrated through out the day. With other moisturizers I have used in the past, I find that I need a hydrating pick up around mid-day. I usually carry my Mario Badsescu Rosewater and Herbal spray for this purpose. However, with the Embryolisse cream I have found that I no longer need this pick me up. My skin stays hydrated throughout the whole day. Skin is left soft, plumped and radiant.

The large size, a 2.6 oz, tube retails for only around $28 so the price is wonderful for this product. You can order online through sites like Derm Store and Amazon, but I actually managed to find mine in Target of all places. This will definitely be a staple in my skincare arsenal for years to come.

Have you tried the Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre? What other inexpensive French Beauty Products are you in love with? Let me know in the comments.

Au Revoir!

Review: Les Parfums Louis Vuitton

     This might just become known as the “Gay Gasp” heard around the world. When I found out that Louis Vuitton was launching a line of fragrances I was over the moon excited. Louis Vuitton teamed up with Maître Parfumeur Jacques Cavallier Belletrud to create the parfums.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a HUGE Louis Vuitton fan. Although, currently I only purchase, collect and use fragrances from Guerlain, I was still curious to try these out. I have been saying for literally YEARS that LV needs to release some beauty products, especially fragrances. Seems every other designer is in the fragrance biz and has at least one signature fragrance. And now we are not getting just one perfume from Louis Vuitton but SEVEN!

The perfume collection includes:

  • Rose des Vents – a blend of roses, iris, cedar and pepper
  • Turbulences – tuberose and jasmine with a faint touch of leather
  • Dans le Peau – leather intertwined with apricot, jasmine and musk
  • Apogee – blends lily of the valley with jasmine, magnolia rose with a base of sandalwood (this might be my favorite based on the notes)
  • Contre Moi – warm vanilla mixes with orange flower, rose, magnolia and cocoa (this might be a second fave for me)
  • Matiere Noire – dark woods like patchouli mixed with white flowers such as jasmine
  • Mille Feux – raspberry infused leather. (this one is going to be interesting)

 

 

The closest Louis Vuitton store to me does not carry the fragrances sadly. I need to find a store that carries them all so I can sample them. I have only been able to try two that I got as samples when I made a recent bag purchase from Louis Vuitton; they included samples in my package. However, I can’t wait to try them all.

Here is my reviews of the two that I have been able to try:

 

Rose des Vents – After reading the descriptions of each one I was left a little “meh”. I get the idea behind adding leather notes to their fragrances as they are a leather goods luxury brand, however I find that fragrances with leather notes don’t work for me.

Rose des Vents was one that really struck me. In the past I’ve never been a rose fan either but lately I’m starting to love florals more, paticualry those with rose notes.

This is an absolutely beautiful floral fragrance, that is not overpowering in rose. It’s woodsier and spicier. This is not your grandmothers tea rose perfume. It has depth and sophistication. The dry down is lovely and soft and the longevity of it is amazing.

Matiere Noire – This is an interesting fragrance and I definitely get notes that are not even mention in the description. This reacted very differently on me than it seems to have been for others.

At first I get a very leathery note (which is not listed in the notes) so that is curious. But it quickly dries down to deep, woodsy and incensy note, which I’m guessing comes from the patchouli and the oud.

On the dry down I get more of a burst of citrus and I’m reminded of the smell of a watermelon rind. Crisp and earthy all at once.

The final dry down to me is very reminiscent of Dior’s Poison. I think this is a lovely fragrance but not really for me.

Which ones do you find the most intriguing? 

 

Au Revoir!

Review: Guerlain Shalimar

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A few years ago I decided to clean out my fragrance collection and focus mainly on collecting fragrances from Guerlain. It seems a lot of fragrance lovers eventually find their way over to the Guerlain side. Their fragrances are often varying, plentiful and complex.

One of the most well known Guerlain fragrances is Shalimar. In fact most stores that carry Guerlain usually only have Shalimar in stock. It was not my first Guerlain purchase but it has become one of my staple perfumes to have on hand.

Guerlain has a rich history and is said to be the first oriental perfume ever made. In fact Guerlain writes in the description of Shalimar… “Four centuries ago, in India, Emperor Shah Jahan fell hopelessly in love with Princess Mumtaz Mahal. He had the enchanting Gardens of Shalimar built for her and dedicated the Taj Mahal to her as well, one of the seven new wonders of the world. This incredible tale sparked the imagination of Jacques Guerlain, who created Shalimar, the first oriental fragrance in history, in 1925.”

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The notes in Shalimar are so rich and varied. The perfume is composed of citrus notes; lemon and bergamot, jasmine, may rose, opoponax, Tonka bean, vanilla, iris, Peru balsam and gray amber.

Shalimar was one that I was sure I was NOT going to love. It just seemed so old lady-ish based on reviews I had preivously read. However, I decided to give it a try and now I LOVE it.

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On first spray, while wet on the skin, there is something so strong that I don’t like.  I dont get the citrus notes as strong as I would have thought.

But within an hour, upon the dry down, this becomes this soft, powdery scent. It’s like a warming resinous incense. It makes me think of Buddhist temples I visited in Asia. The temples were filled with incense that had been lit in honor of Buddha and the dead. In Shalimar I get that incensy, oriental fragrance of the balsam and amber.

The dry down keeps changing, first its warm vanilla, than its this firey resin and ends in a bouquet of flowers. The wear of Shalimar is amazing as the scent seems to linger on the skin all day. The final base notes stay behind and envelope you in the amber, vanilla and tonka bean.

This is definitely a strong fragrance for a strong woman or man.