Thursday, April 29, 2010

Glee Fragrance Poll

Chris Colfer's Kurt Hummel is probably the most fashion-conscious character on Glee. Loved his ascot in last night's episode! Kurt likes to look good, so he probably also likes to smell good. What fragrance do you think he might wear? Keep in mind that he's a high school student in Lima, Ohio, and most likely only has access to the Macy's in the Lima Mall. But...maybe...he's been to Columbus to visit the Nordstrom? In any case - what would he wear?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Is it Me...

Or is Cher starting to look like Frank Langella?  I mean, she does look great (at 64!) better than she did a few years ago....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cindy Crawford Has a Jewelry Line...

...and she's selling it through JCPenney. Honestly, when she came out with her home collection, I thought it was a bit Value City, but the jewelry is actually pretty nice, for example, the simple diamond pendant below.

The One Kiss jewelry collection is high-quality fine jewelry featuring necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings – all at affordable prices. The henna symbol carried throughout the collection translates to “kiss.”

In support of the official launch of the collection, JCPenney launched a Mom & Me Facebook sweepstakes last week, offering participants a chance to give your mom the royal treatment with a day of shopping and pampering that you can enjoy with your mom as well!

Prizing includes:
  • Cindy Crawford One Kiss jewelry gift (just for mom)
  • JCPenney $500 gift card
  • wardrobe stylist consultation
  • makeover at the JCPenney Salon
  • photo shoot at the JCPenney Portrait Studio
Enter the contest here:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Congratulations, Seth Aaron Henderson!

Season 7 of Project Runway has finally come to a close. Although more interesting and certainly packed with more talent than season 6, season 7 didn't have the excitement of earlier days. Methinks Project Runway has jumped the shark, but because I'm an artist and I'm interested in fashion, I'll still watch it. Much to Mr Minx's chagrin.

Seth Aaron stood out from the pack early on, as did Mila and Emilio and Jay. Had any one of them won, I would have been pleased. Seth Aaron was probably my favorite in that his aesthetic of super-structured tailored pieces is really me. Seriously - I am all about very tailored looks. When I was slim for those brief moments in the early 90s, I was rocking fitted jackets and high-waisted skirts/pants. Had I a skeletal model physique today, I'd be all over his clothes.

I don't get the strong dislike that I'm finding all over teh Innernets for Emilio and Mila. I didn't find either of them to be objectionable, and I liked most things they sent down the runway. I felt bad for Emilio because losing seemed to hit him so hard. But his and Mila's pieces were so shop-ready, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they eventually become more successful than this year's winner.

To see all of the Fashion Week collections, including those belonging to the SEVEN decoys, click here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


INDULGE IN A NEW YORK MiNUTE From the cobblestone streets of SoHo to the hip lifestyle concepts of the Lower East Side, a revolution is inspired by the pulsating rhythm of New York’s fierce ever䰀changing spirit. Leading this evolution, MiN New York set out with a simple, yet demanding philosophy: The world doesn't need more products. It needs BETTER products. After ten years of steady growth, MiN New York launched our concept store in SoHo, New York City. Founded on a traditional sensibility of personal service and superb quality, guests are invited to discover an edited selection of premium products and services both online and at our Apothecary & Atelier. MiN New York’s Crosby shop focuses on men’s and women’s grooming, fine fragrances, and curiosities. Bespoke fragrance design is also offered by appointment. A destination for refined, global䰀minded individuals and style hunters, MiN New York offers simple luxury in a New York MiNute.
Last week when I attended Sniffapalooza in New York, I was excited to see a new store on the Sunday schedule, one located about 300 feet away from one of my favorite shops, Lafco. MiN NY, at 117 Crosby Street in SoHo, bills itself as an apothecary, selling hair care, bath, and men's grooming products in addition to a nice selection of hard-to-find fragrances.

MiN is gorgeous, a mix of Old World and new, with lots of wood, leather furniture, and even a bar with espresso maker. It's a comfortable and relaxing place to shop the 40-odd brands that range from Serge Lutens and Penhaligon's to Erno Lazlo and MiN's own line of hair and skin care products. I was particularly excited to see cb I Hate Perfumes, Geo F. Trumper, and Parfums Frapin. MiN is also the exclusive distributor in the US for the Miller Harris line, so if you need to check out L'Air de Rien or need a new bottle of Fleur Oriental, this is the place for you.

Also at MiN is the Linari line of home and personal fragrances that includes, room sprays, diffusers, candles, and eaux de parfum. The Eaux are housed in heavy Italian glass bottles that are as much objects d'art as they are atomizers. I particularly liked Angelo di Fiume, a gourmand with fruits and vanilla.

MiN also has an online store, if you can't make it to SoHo. But don't you want to try out that sofa after a round of sniffery?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards

The CMA Awards were held this past weekend. I don't much listen to country music so couldn't care less about the winners - I just like to watch the red carpet (or in this case orange carpet) and rip on the fashions.

Taylor Swift looks a bit like she climbed out her bedroom window while wearing a negligee and got attacked by wisteria, but the dress is pretty enough, and age appropriate.

Reba McEntire was also attacked by some foliage, but I think she looks otherwise gorgeous.

Skiier and Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn was in attendance - who knows why? - looking lovely in a fairly simple red gown. The leather clutch with brassy zipper is all wrong for this look though.

Jewel was flawless. Perfect color, great hair, great earrings. Love.

WTF is former Dancing With the Stars champ and Proactiv pitchman Julianne Hough wearing on her left boob? It looks like a crushed aluminum roasting pan. Bring on the turkey - the girl is ready for Thanksgiving!

Cowboy Troy's balls are so big, he can't stand upright properly. Someone call a medic.

This pair is apparently Kelley Shepard and Kristy Osmunson of a group called Bomshel. First of all, learn how to spell. Second - Malibu Skipper wants her wardrobe back.

Someone please tell Rebecca Grant that Malibu Barbie is also on the warpath. And is this chick wearing someone else's head? it doesn't look to be properly attached to her body. Is there a neck?

Nicole Kidman has finally given up. Sad.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Good Housekeeping's "Shine On" Event

Celebs turned out for Good Housekeeping's "Shine On" 125 Years Of Women Making Their Mark event. By the way they were dressed, it seemed that some people thought they were going elsewhere.

Jessica Simpson looked cute in her short strapless dress.

Hillary Duff was a bit more formal, with lots of sheer black. Still cute.

I'm completely amazed that Dorothy Hamill didn't put a wrinkle in her dress on the way over. Did she walk? It's a little plain though. She could have added more interest with better shoes.

God bless Brooke Shields for wearing an age-appropriate hem length. Someone please show this pic to Kelly Bensimon, who's too old to look so slutterific.

Marlo Thomas shows off her Botoxed forehead. Bangs would have worked better, and been more flattering.

Martha Stewart is wearing some crazy gold disco pants - I kinda love them - but that shapeless blue tunic has got to go.

Marlee Matlin obviously thought she was attending a more formal occasion.

Ann Taylor Friends & Family Discount

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kristen Bell at the Academy of Country Music Awards


This weekend, while playing with my collection of Sniffapalooza samples, I spritzed on some stuff called "Soulgasm" (after I laughed at the name and the tacky tattooed tramp on the accompanying card) and was immediately compelled to write about it. First let me share with you the notes, according to the Sasha Varon site:
Exhilarating head notes including succulent Peach, Anjou Pear, fragrant South African Freesia and warm, exotic Black Currant instantly intoxicate with an intensity that piques the senses of everyone around you
Salacious heart notes of wild, Night-Blooming Jasmine, delicate Eurasian Lily and multi-faceted Woodberry blossom forth, unmistakably.
Flushed, lusty & playful base notes of clean Musk, Amber, and sweet, warm Vanilla punctuate this sensually provocative, subtly brash luxe parfum.
In other words - it stinks. Soulgasm is not only a stupid name for a fragrance, it also smells like a cheap fruity dollar store air freshener or an equally cheap candle. Exhilarating, and salacious, my ass. As for provocative - it has provoked me to scrub it off, pronto. Gack.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sniffapalooza! Part the Second

I didn't spend as much time sniffing on Day Two of Sniffapalooza, but did end up hitting three separate shops.

First was Bond No. 9. I was primarily interested in sniffing their two newest, High Line - named after the new public park on NY's West Side - and Montauk. The former was a bright sunny scent, a little tangy, a little musky. The latter, a new Andy Warhol scent, was a bit disappointing, as it possessed the same shrill icepick-in-the-head sensation that I found in Harrods for Men and the Signature Oud.

After claiming my goody bag (one sample of each of Bond's scents, except High Line and the not-yet-released Montauk - I've got so many of these now, I can open my own store) I headed to Lafco, a shop that carries the Santa Maria Novella line of products almost exclusively, with a few other brands. I was there for the soap - Claus Porto soaps last forever and smell terrific, and I ended up buying at least 6 bars of various fragrances.

Around the corner from Lafco is a new shop, MiN NY, I'll mention that shop more in a future post. In the meantime, I had fun browsing the lines of fragrance (including Parfum d'Empire and Penhaligon's) and sipping Prometheus Capsaicin Spiced Elixirs while eavesdropping on conversations in the crowded room.

I made no fragrance purchases on Sunday, but I think the three bottles I bought on Saturday was quite enough, don't you?

Read part 1 here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


adam lambert
see more Lol Celebs
I always kinda thought he looked like Tony Curtis in drag.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Separated at Birth

Glee's Lea Michele and Wicked's Idina Menzel. I read a rumor a while back that said because of the striking resemblance between the two actresses, Menzel may appear on Glee as Michele's birth mother. Stay tuned!


I spent the past few days in New York sniffing fragrances with fellow aficionados at an event called Sniffapalooza. The weekend began on Saturday morning at a "breakfast" at Bergdorf Goodman. I put breakfast in quotes because if I hadn't asked for the bagels to be passed to me by my rude tablemate who had no problems stuffing her own face while ignoring me, I wouldn't have gotten any. (Yeah, I'm talking about you, blondie, and the rest of your party. Don't think that nobody noticed that you ate at least a bagel and a half.) I did have my fill of very good, pulpy, orange juice, however. Anyhoo, the food is unimportant at this event - the main focus is on hearing what reps from various perfume companies have to say about their newest releases.

I was particularly interested in the new Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo fragrance, Bergamotto, and the new Guerlain Eau de Toilette by Thierry Wasser, La Cologne du Parfumeur. If I hadn't sniffed them first during the breakfast, I might have passed them by. Instead, I tried them, loved them, and purchased them both.

Bergdorfs is one of my favorite places in New York. Not only do they always have the most interesting and newest fragrances, but great people work there. I always find myself chatting away about all and sundry with the lovely and talented Donna Muzio and David Aikman from Estée Lauder, and when he's not flooded with customers, Jason Beers at Guerlain. He wasn't in this time, so I only lingered long enough to pre-order La Cologne for the upcoming BG Gift Card sale (hey, why pay full price if I don't have to?)

After BG came lunch, at Opia. Can't say the three-plus-hour-long rubber-chicken meal with mostly boring speakers and the din of 130 or so mostly women chattering at the top of their lungs was worth the time or the money. In the past we had eaten at Seppi's, which was a clusterfuck, but at least the food was good. Anyway...Katie Puckrik of the YouTube channel Katie Puckrik Smells was by far the most interesting and entertaining speaker. I never checked her videos out before, but will certainly do so now. Chandler Burr was also somewhat entertaining with his brief tirade about the use of notes to describe fragrances. What are we supposed to use instead, poetry? Bullshit. If you tell me that a scent has patchouli and bergamot and vanilla, I at least have an inkling of what the components smell like, if not the whole composition. I enjoy your writing, Chandler, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with you.

The mini tarte tatin dessert we had was the highlight of the meal.

After the interminably-long luncheon, it was time to bid farewell to Takashimaya. Unfortunately, I spent most of my time in that store looking for the usual selection of cupcakes from Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery - the only reason I go to the overcrowded, cramped, Tak - and did not find them. Not hiding my disappointment, I stalked across the street to Bendels, rushed past the gauntlet of hungry-eyed cosmetics SAs on the first floor and attacked the selection of fragrances available on the second. Seems like Bendels is giving less and less room to the perfume department but offering more and more lines. Francois, who sat next to me at the lunch and spoke briefly about the new Jacomo fragrances 02, 08, and 09 was there with his young daughter who ably assisted him with spritzing the fragrances. All were lovely, but I fell for 08 in particular and had to purchase the spicy oriental that reminded me of Christmastime. In order to get the gift-with-purchase, I needed to spend another $11 and grabbed a bottle of Apothia IF shower gel. I also had to endure the over-tanned and over-bearing SA who was ensconced in a cramped and sweaty corner and who called me "sweetie" every few moments. Gack! Get me out of there....

One last stop on Saturday's agenda - the Krigler boutique at the Plaza. On the way over I encountered a darling 8-week-old beagle puppy who was being watched by a total stranger as his master gabbed away with others, not paying one bit of attention to his doggie. I could have slipped him into my bag and walked off without being noticed, which was tempting. The poor pup was experiencing separation anxiety and wanted to be cuddled. I did what I could after admonishing his master to make sure the pup's collar was fastened more securely, and headed into the Plaza.

Krigler has been around for 5 generations, in Europe, and has been worn by Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. Several of their fragrances were lovely, several more proved sensory overload, and after my unwise decision to mingle the vanilla and orange blossom varieties on my skin, I beat a hasty retreat to my hotel room for a scrub and an aspirin.

Stay tuned for Sunday.... (Read part 2 here.)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fragrance Review Flashback - Nasomatto Absinth

The plain glass bottles with oversized wooden tops (reminding me of English Leather) and their minimalist, almost afterthought labels made me think of a hobby perfumer's attempt at packaging. A couple of sniffs and a peep at the price tag changed my mind: these are well crafted scents made from high quality ingredients. A later look at the Nasomatto site with its ridiculous "manifesto" made me wonder if the company wasn't run by the creators of South Park:

I take advantage of what you always said about me
I take advantage of your sexual essence
I take advantage of drugs and food
I take advantage of my olfactive memory and trips
I take advantage of mistakes
I take advantage from the Z1
I take advantage of the best raw materials
I give advantage to people longing to distinguish themselves

Then I read the description of Absinth, which "aims to invoke a degree of hysteria. It the the result of a quest to stimulate irresponsible behavior."

Now, why, with the amount of rampant irresponsibility already so prevalent today, stimulate it? And...hysteria? Not even close. Warm fuzzies, maybe.

I love woodsy scents. I love gourmand scents. I really love woodsy scents that are also gourmand and maybe a little masculine. Nasomatto Absinth is just that kind of fragrance. I first smelled it at Barney's last November - they had only just gotten in their stock and no samples were available. Absinth sprited on a piece of paper was just heavenly, and it was almost as good on my skin. (I hate when they're better on paper.) It took a while before I was able to obtain an actual sample of the juice, and I'm happy to say that it's very nice on my skin as well.

Absinth has a slightly bitter/medicinal herbal note hovering above a base of dusty woodiness. There's bright note as well that makes me think of ginger juice, and of Fendi Theorema, although they're really not similar.

I love it - I just wish it weren't so expensive. In addition to Barney's, Luckyscent also carries the Nasomatto line.

Nasomatto Absinth Notes: absinthe, herbs, vetiver

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fragrance Review Flashback - Montale Sweet Oriental Dream

With the popularity of gourmand scents these days, a fragrance family that came into existance relatively recently, we find perfumes with notes of saffron, chocolate, and even black truffle. Gourmand fragrances tend towards the Oriental, so it's not surprising to see a few pop up based on the Turkish delicacy, loukhoum.

Loukhoum, otherwise known as Turkish delight, is a gelled sugar-and-cornstarch candy typically flavored with rosewater and studded with bits of nuts. One story about the origin of this candy comes from the late 1700s, when a Turkish sultan grew tired of cracking his teeth on hard candy and demanded something softer. His confectioner developed a recipe using water, cornstarch, sugar, cream of tartar, and rosewater cut into chunks and rolled in powdered sugar. The soft candy delighted the sultan, as it was finally a rahat loukhoum ("comfortable morsel") for his poor teeth.

Sweet Oriental Dream

Notes: Moroccan rose, loukhoum (honey, rose water, sugar, fruit, jam, nuts), almonds, vanilla

Sniffing the juice in the vial, I can smell the roses. Once on, however, there's a strong cherry-almond smell coupled with a whiff of rosewater and honey. For a few minutes, this combines to create a Play-Doh smell, but that quality fades and the scent becomes more like that of rahat loukhoum.

The rose scent is very subtle, with the almond and honey taking center stage. There's a jammy note as well, something similar to a sweet cherry-scented tobacco, but not at all smoky. The drydown brings out a powdery vanilla that gives the effect of a sweet coating of confectioners sugar sifted onto the skin.

Overall, this is a very edible scent, but I wish the jammy-ness was a bit stronger, with more rose. It is slightly more pronounced in the drydown, but I want more.

Needless to say, this will most likely prompt me to get my hands on several other loukhoum-based fragrance samples....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fragrance Review Flashback - Juliet

Makeup artist Juliet Stewart's motto is "Be Unforgettable...Own Your Beauty." With her first fragrance, Juliet, she "seeks to express, in the creative form of a new fragrance, the essence and personal importance of my motto."
The perfume “Juliet” captures the subtle but real enthusiasm that every woman can feel when she is confident that she is unique and noticed. This fragrance is an original one from me, but it is not limited by me. It is not limited at all; it is open, friendly and filled with warmth. This perfume has a magical edge that captures the attention of others.
I have a purpose in producing this perfume: to demonstrate that my name stands for meaningful beauty that all of us need so much in our lives. It is the first product I have created but it is only the start of my brand. I give you the opportunity to share this fragrance with me, and I want you to expect more things from me that are of equal quality for use by all of us.
There is this most clean and pleasurable surprise when you first nuzzle up to its opening accord of the finest, most classic Italian notes of Lemons from Amalfi, Basil, Bergamot and Sicilian Orange coupled with nuances of fresh Mediterranean Herbs that are rendered ultra-feminine with Italian Jasmine and Vanilla from Madagascar on a warm background of Amber and Precious Woods from the Orient that make you feel truly beautiful.
Juliet, the fragrance, is indeed a pleasurable surprise. Opening notes of citrus, predominately lemon and bergamot, coupled with herbal tones, make this a refreshing, almost bracing eau-de-cologne-ish scent. I say almost, because there is, even at the opening, an undertone of warmth. The woods are lightly noticeable, and there’s a touch of vanillaic sweetness. It’s not until the drydown, however, and several hours in, that the bright notes fade sufficiently for one to notice the beautiful soft amber.

Juliet is right up my alley. I like fragrances that have a combination of citrus and herbs, particularly basil, and I am particularly drawn to woody vanilla and amber scents. Juliet is all of the above. It starts out bright and sunny, then ends up cozy. And it’s a fragrance that both men and women can wear equally well – it smells yummy on my husband too.

Juliet is available at, $125 for 50ml.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fragrance Review Flashback - Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint

Notes: wild mint, peppermint leaf, jasmine, camomile, coriander, cardamom, bergamot, mace, cassis, ylang ylang, orange flower, rose de mai absolut, muguet, cedar, musk, mate absolut, vetiver, prune, guaiac

Somehow, mint and jasmine doesn’t seem like a particularly good combination, and I maintain that they wouldn’t be ordinarily, but in the hands of Jo Malone’s perfumers, they work very well. Of course, this is no soloflore (and would it be, with a flower and an herb?) and the ingredient list is as long as my arm.

I haven't found a Jo Malone scent that I really liked, until now. I love the way the mint smells fresh picked – there’s a very definite green herbal quality to it – rather than harsh and artificial, like some toothpaste additive. The jasmine is there, part of the greenness of this scent, and not smelling too much like jasmine to my nose. But there’s also so much going on, it’s hard to tell. There’s also a barely perceptible bit of sweet spice mingling in the background, grounding the opening notes

As the scent dries down, the mints stays dominant while the other floral notes commingle in the mid ground. Then a while later on, the cedar is noticeable and, in my opinion, this is where the scent is at it's prettiest. There's something about the combination of mint and woods with musk and soft floral notes that is really attractive to me. And it's at this point that this scent reminds me of something Acqua di Parma would do with their Blu Mediterraneo line - create something so fresh and summery, it's like being on vacation.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fragrance Review Flashback - Creed Virgin Island Water

Scent names are funny. I think that water from the Virgin Islands would smell strongly of salt, seaweed, maybe some dead fish? Apparently, however, Creed's new Virgin Island Water "captures the tropical splendor of scents carried in the trade winds of Sir Francis Drake Channel near Ginger Island in the Caribbean."

I got a very generous sample of Virgin Island Water from the Creed counter at Saks during the Sniffapalooza Spring Fling. I wanted to spend a little time sniffing the Creeds, as I haven't yet found a Creed scent that I really like. Fleurs de Bulgarie and Fleurs de Thé Rose Bulgarie are both nice, but not necessarily something I want to wear all the time. But there seemed to be some sort of rules involved with the bottles at Saks...when I walked to a quieter part of the counter, I was told that I was not allowed to sniff from those bottles, only the ones on the other side. Uh-huh. Forget it then. I'm a customer, Sniffa nametag or not, and I should be able to smell or spritz any bottles within reach. But I asked for a Virgin Island Water sample and got it, suprisingly without argument.

Notes: bergamot, lime, mandarin, coconut toddy (a liquid derived from the sap of the palm tree), copra (the white inner portion of the coconut), jasmine, hibiscus, ylang-ylang, ginger, tonkin musk, white rum, sugar cane

The opening notes are all about citrus. We get a little bergamot, a lot of tart lime, lime that's suddenly sweet like sourball candies. Then a bit of coconut wafts in on a breeze, subtly, not at all pushy or obnoxious. It's an obvious coconut note, but not a particularly assertive one. It doesn't make one smell of suntan lotion. I don't catch much of the floral elements of the scent at all before the ginger adds a little bite to the lime and coconut. The final additions to this tasty summer cocktail are a shot of sweet white rum and a teensy bit of musk.
Pleasant, sweet and summery, but not my style. Maybe I'll try to sneak up on a Creed counter elsewhere. Do them make them without SAs?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fragrance Review Flashback - CdG Guerilla Series 1 and 2

This coming weekend I am going to NYC for the Spring Sniffapalooza event! I'm excited to get an opportunity to experience lots of new and new-to-me fragrances - I've been feeling deprived lately. So in honor of the upcoming Sniffa fun, all this week I'll be re-printing some old reviews of mine. Enjoy!

Avant-garde fashion designer Rei Kawakubo opened her first ad hoc clothing shop in Berlin in 2004. These short-lived Guerilla boutiques "occupy" a space in a dead area of a city not known for being a fashion hub. Not only are they off the beaten track, they are also un-advertised, apart from spreading posters around the city. The shop remains open for a year, regardless of its commercial performance. Thus far, the concept seems to be a success.

Comme des Garcons has created two scents based on the rebellious nature of these shops, Guerilla 1 and Guerilla 2. Both are interesting, and like other CdG fragrances, dabble in the weird.

Guerilla 1
Notes: pear, saffron, cloves, flower of champaca, black pepper, vetyver, cedarwood, musk

The opening note is a somewhat sweet pear, followed by an odd clashing smoked plastic smell. The pear departs to become champaca flower veiled with a cucumberlike aura that doesn't quite - but almost - decends into pickle. After a few minutes, the plastic smell dissipates and hints of peppery spice can be detected on a background of light woods.

What starts out a somewhat bizarre scent, actually dries down quite nicely, and is a bit on the masculine side.

Guerilla 2
Notes: bergamot, pink pepper, ginger, red pepper, curcuma, raspberry, tuberose, vetyver, cedarwood, musk

Guerilla 2, on the other hand, is much more girly. It starts off as tart raspberry with the sharpness of pink pepper and a touch of ginger. As it dries down, the pepper fades and the tartness is joined by a barely perceptible white floral aroma. The musk comes slinking in a bit later, adding a sweet, almost vanillaic quality to the composition. Overall, this one is actually a lovely little fragrance.


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