Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: Vanille Extreme (EDT) by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

I am a sucker for Vanilla perfumes. I must. have. them. So when I saw this sample at Lucky Scent, I had to give it a whirl.

The Scent

Extreme is 200% correct, this one is super duper sweet!!!! Your dentist would NOT approve!!!!

Vanille Extreme starts off with a tooth achingly sweet vanilla ice cream blast, as if you've had your head stuck in the carton & had a massive feeding frenzy. It's dripping from your nose, mouth & chin. You can almost FEEL the stickiness of the sugar, vanilla & milk.

The vanilla here is not rich or warm, but similar to concentrated vanilla essence (not that there's anything wrong with that!) and the milk note makes it creamy. Sillage is at maximum here!

The heliotrope then joins in but turns into a bit of a party pooper, calming the scent down with a floral twist. Don't get me wrong, it's not awful however personally I'd prefer the sugar, milk & vanilla to be solo.

Lasting Power

The initial blast of Vanille Extreme EDT lasts about an hour or so on me, and then stays close to the skin, it doesn't completely fade. During the day I get vanillary whiffs that make me want to lick my arm.

Will I Buy It?

I will enjoy my sample whilst it lasts, but I don't think I will be buying a full bottle of this. It's very nice, but I don't love it.

Do I Recommend It?

If you're a vanilla lover like myself, you MUST try it! I recommend picking a sample up at Lucky Scent before you spring for a while bottle though.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Review: Fleur de Vanille by Fragonard

I was absent-mindedly browsing through perfumes at a boutique when I asked the SA if she had anything with vanilla. She bought out Fleur de Vanille & sprayed it on a strip.

I had never heard of Fragonard before. I thought it was nice, threw the strip in my bag then promptly forgot about it.

A few days later I detected a beautiful scent. Mouth watering vanilla. What is that smell????? I found the strip wondered why I had dismissed it so quickly. Wow, I was in love!

French perfumery Fragonard describe their scent as;

"Sensuous vanilla flowered with Ylang, heliotrope and rose on a sweet harmony of chocolate, cocoa and musk"

What do I think?

This fragrance is very very sweet so you'll have to be a huge gourmand lover, but don't expect a cheap cupcake vibe. The vanilla in Fleur de Vanille is very impressive. Luxurious, silky smooth & rich.

There is a perfect hint of florals - rose, heliotrope & ylang ylang - & a touch of musk. These notes are so well blended & don't overpower or ruin the vanilla.

To tie everything up in a beautiful French bow - the cocoa/chocolate note brings everything together perfectly.

How long does it last?

The longevity is amazing for an EDT & lasts up to 12 hours on me! The cardboard strip I was given lasted weeks.

Would I buy it?

Fleur de Vanille is of the best vanilla's I've smelt in a long time. I've already purchased a full 100ml bottle. When this bottle is half used, you can bet that I'll be ordering a new one.

My rating: 8.9/10

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Review: Eau d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal

I had given up searching for a my perfect Summer lemon fragrance when I stumbled upon Eau d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal.

You wouldn't think much from the name or the packaging (especially the square bottle). So many perfumes these days rely on attractive bottles to make you try a scent (and it certainly works!). Annick Goutal bottles all look the same so you really have to rely on word of mouth/reviews, an eyecatching name or good ol' perseverance to find a scent for you in this range.

I happened to stumble upon a tester of Eau d'Hadrien on its own. I ignored it & looked at perfumes around it, but then I saw they had a small 15ml bottle for sale @ a bargain price. I admit, I really wanted to own an AG perfume so I tried it. I am so glad I did.

Fragrance notes:

Sicilian Lemon
Green Mandarin

What do I think?

Eau d'Hadrien is simple, classy & super-wearable. It is also an addictive scent & really energising. definitely a form of aromatherapy.

This fragrance starts with a super fresh just cut lemon scent, not long after a lovely fresh grapefruit & mandarin combines with the lemon. The scent is very natural & it is deliciously juicy.

Just when you think you have Eau d'Hadrien figured out the cypress/aldeydes gives it a small unusual herb type quality & the ylang- ylang gives it a tiny soft edge.

I usually choose this fragrance when it's warm, or I don't feel like a complicated perfume. It is also perfect when I need a pick-me-up. You know how you just have days like that?

I see many people compare this perfume to cleaning products, well I don't use lemon cleaning products often & the ones that I have used certainly don't smell like this!

When to wear it?

Eau d'Hadrien works for anytime of year, however is simply perfect for Summer.

Who can wear Eau d'Hadrien?

This perfume is termed as Unisex. Whenever I see the word "unisex" I'm very weary as the scent usually still leans on one side (be that masculine or feminine - usually the former) however Eau d'Hadrien is neither & I would most probably call it Asexual as it is neither feminine, nor masculine if you know what I mean.


Lasting power is not too bad on my skin, I get a few hours out of the EDT. It will last even longer if you layer it over moisturiser. The scent seems to lie close to the skin but I get lovely whiffs of it during the day.

It also seems like a perfect layering scent, I am eager to try it with vanilla or sandalwood as I think they would compliment it very well.

The bottle?

There seems to be two different bottles - the square one (which seems to be marketed to men) and the tall bottle (see both above). I have a small square bottle - it is great as it lets you control how much you use, whether it be a dribble, half squirt or a full spray. Some perfume bottles only let you do a full spray or none at all. I might be way off base, but I feel that this shows the quality of the nozzle.

Would I buy it again?

Yes, I will definitely re-purchase Eau d'Hadrien when I run out.

I highly recommend you try Eau d'Hadrien!

My rating: 7.8/10

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: Dance Baby by China Glaze

I finally got around to trying the popular brand China Glaze. I've seen various positive reviews & posts about this nail polish & when I saw it during a shopping trip a couple of weeks ago, couldn't resist trying it out. There were only a few colours left so I picked a pink colour called Dance Baby.

What I don't like about it;

2 x coats of China Glaze' Dance Baby
NB: For some reason Blogspot wants to display this photo sideways,
no idea why as it's definitely upright. I will fix as soon as it lets me! :(

I have to say, I'm not really loving this colour. I picked it as as in the bottle it seems to be a light demure pink (slightly pinker than a french pink) but it comes out a little too bright pastel pink for my liking. Nice colour, but not what I thought it would be.

What I like about it;

At application the polish seemed to be a little thick & streaky however it's one of those polishes that dries to an even glossy finish. The cost was good too, at $7 for the bottle.

Would I buy it again?

Yes I will try another China Glaze nail polish, but I wouldn't buy this colour again. I will however keep using Dance Baby for work till I finish the bottle.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Make-up brand Illamasqua says high Australian prices 'unjustified'

I noticed Illamasqua's "Australia Fight for a fair beauty price" campaign on their Facebook page a couple of weeks ago & have been following it with interest since then. I wholeheartedly agree that we Aussies pay through the nose for cosmetics for no good reason. What makes me a little suspect is that I could understand if a brand like Australis Cosmetics or Face Of Australia had a campaign like this (and I & a lot of Aussies would get behind them too) but Illamasqua? Their prices aren't exactly cheap! Sure it's clever, but I can't help feeling that their agenda is purely marketing.

I saw this article on today & it basically calls the company out on pulling a publicity stunt & trolling customer data through their petition.

Do you agree?

Make-up brand Illamasqua says high Australian prices 'unjustified'

AN international cosmetic brand says the inflated prices Australian consumers pay for make-up are not justified.

UK brand Illamasqua, who themselves charge Australian consumers up to 70 per cent more for the same product, says the justification used for charging higher prices is inconsistent.

The brand, which retails through Myer in Australia, has launched a campaign to “fight” for a fair price for Australian customers.

But consumer group Choice says the campaign is a cleverly disguised marketing exercise and is aimed at data mining consumers.

Illamasqua says they will drop their prices to match those charged in the UK if they get 20,000 signatures from consumers, but those who sign must commit to buying the brand’s products.

The petition has received 10,000 signatures in 10 days.

Around 70 per cent of the cosmetics and toiletries sold in Australia are imported and retailers point to taxes and import duties, transport costs, higher wages and more expensive rent to explain the price difference.

Illamasqua Founder Julian Kynaston said: “In our investigations, none of these, or even a combination of all of these, account for such a huge price variance.

“Which leaves us to conclude the reason brands are more expensive in Australia is that most have always done so, so others follow suit.”

Mr Kynaston said that when Illamasqua entered the Australian market two years ago they looked at what was “normal” for the brand’s closest competitors in the market and priced their products in the same range.

“At the volumes we currently sell we would make considerable losses if we just dropped our prices,” he said.

Choice spokesperson Ingrid Just said the campaign was smart marketing and was tapping into consumer sentiment.

“If they were absolutely genuine then they would just reduce their prices,” Ms Just said.

Ms Just said by signing the petition consumers are giving Illamasqua their contact details, which is rich information the company can use to email future marketing.

IBISWorld analyst Craig Shulman said that the advent of online retailing did not drive cosmetic prices down as was expected.

“There does appear to be phenomenon that people are still paying these prices, and as much as people complain in the end the dollars are forked over for these products,” Mr Shulman said.

Large international cosmetic retailers such as Sephora have an online store but do not ship to Australia.

Leading brands such as MAC have a separate Australian website that charges customers higher prices than in the US. The US website does not offer international shipping.

Overseas sites such as Rock the Catwalk and All Cosmetics Wholesale offer significant discounts and cheap shipping, but stock a limited product range.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

NOTD: OPI Pink Shatter

I couldn't resist picking up another shatter from CatchOfTheDay - this time I got a range of colours from navy, blue, turquoise & pink! I decided to try pink, being the most "work friendly" shatter.

How to use it?

I've had issues with some of the shatter colours (white & red - I'm looking at you!) but pink went on like a dream. Very similar to black shatter, it worked very well.

What does it look like?

A thin layer seemed to work better for me (like the silver, gold & black shatters). The colour is a super bright pink.

I haven't tried pink over a dark colour as of yet. It seems quite opaque however as per my experience with the red shatter, a dark colour beneath may darken the pink - I will give it a go & report back.

In the picture to the right I have:

2 x coats of Ulta3's Lily White
1 x thin coat of OPI's Pink Shatter
1 x coat of Ulta3's clear Non Chip Clear polish.


Pink Shatter is a lot of fun to wear, eye catching & works really well! No hard work or redos here.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Review: Twilight by LUSH Cosmetics

I'm a big fan of the Lush Twilight bath ballistic (as well as the Shower Gel) & although I adore it, it's a lot of money for something you use for a few minutes then wash down the drain. Still, I think it's worth it as an occassional treat. I love the smell so much that I have wished it would last longer.

Needless to say, when I found out Lush make a Twilight perfume - I knew I HAD to have it.


Top Note: Lavender oil
Middle Note: Ylang ylang Absolute
Base Note: Tonka bean Absolute

How does it smell?

The notes in Twilight are basic - Lavender, Ylang Ylang & Tonka Bean. These 3 simple notes go so well together & create a very luxurious scent. The bath ballistic has a lovely malty quality & I wondered if the translation from bath product to perfume would work?
Twilight perfume 30ml

At first spray, you get a strong waft of Lavender. It smells so distant from the Twilight bath ballistic I immeditely thought that it was going to be a fail. Good try Lush.

Not long after however, the Ylang Ylang comes through & soon after the Tonka Bean. The Lavender steps back & it turns into the creamy Twilight I know & love. Phew!

You don't have to be a big lavender or ylang ylang fan to love this. They are both more supporting scents rather than standout florals.

Twilight is very very comforting. I find myself smelling my wrists throughout the day. Lasting power is great. One spray on each arm remains for 12+ hours, after which it's still there - but lies close to the skin.

The Bottle

The only thing I dislike about this perfume is the bottle. The black bottle seems to be thick glass covered in black colour which I admit, will protect the perfume from light. The issue is however that you can't see inside & the weight makes it very hard to tell how much perfume is left in the 30ml bottle.

Also, one tip is make sure you don't get any perfume on the bottle, as the alcohol will disolve the black dye & it will run - dying anything in its path black - including your fingers. I found this the hard way when another Lush perfume I purchased leaked a little during transit.

I realise that this is the new way Lush/Gorilla Perfumes are packaging their product, but if I had my way I would get them to go back to the glass bottles they had previously. At least you could see how much perfume is left.


I'm very happy to say that YES - the transition from bath ballistic to perfume was successful! I'm ecstatic that it's just like the bath ballistic. Twilight is a great perfume & it lasts longer than some of my more expensive perfumes. At $50US for 30ml it's not the cheapest fragrance, however I feel that it's worth it.

So, my advice is - if you love the Twilight Bath Ballistic, don't even think about it - buy this NOW! You won't regret it!


Recommended for: Winter, cooler days.
Where to buy: Twilight is a limited edition perfume released in the UK & US, unfortunately at this time it is not available for purchase @ Lush Australia.
Cost: Usually about $50USD + delivery (I purchased my Twilight on eBay)

My Rating: 8/10 (2 points taken off because of the bottle)