Monday, 9 August 2010

The Nose Post

Finding the perfect fragrance for you can take years, some people never do and are constantly getting bored by the ones they have and lead a life of perfume promiscuity.
I have personal favorites and a signature.

I also do very much like to familiarize myself with everything there is on the shelf, even if I am not always a citrus person for example, I will still be curious to smell it all.

Now, If you want to buy a new fragrance and are going out with the intention of doing so. On the day, remember to not apply any perfume beforehand. Every perfume sits differently on different peoples skin when it blends with their body chemistry, some may suit you, some may not, all of them will smell the same on a piece of cardboard.

When trying a new fragrance, try it out on a card first, if it pleases you, apply it on your skin and wait a few seconds for the alcohol to dry down then whiff away. I would suggest you wait around 30 minutes, walk around and smell it again to see what the fragrance has transformed into. If you are convinced, then and only then should you make the purchase.

I'm a beleiver of independant perfume houses but sometimes I will make an exception.

Make way and open up your mind for these bad boys I'm going to write about:

So Im going to start with L'Artisan Parfumeur. An independant french perfume house that understand perfume as an art.
- Dzing, by l'artisan parfumeur took me years to find but it is me. I live and breathe it and everyone recognizes it as me as I am incredibly guilty of dousing myself in litres of the potion.
It is important to remember, there can be so many perfumes you find incredibly pleasant but don't match your personality.
Dzings little logo is a lady riding a tiger. Check, totally me.
The idea behind it was to capture the chaos of a circus, yet there is a sweetness to it.
There are leather, ink and cotton candy notes to start off with and later dries down to a strange vanilla note.

Safran Troublant is another fragrance by L'artisan parfumeur. I hadn't heard of it until a friend of mine had purchased it recently and I was immediately interested when I heard the word saffron in it. I asked her to wear it and meet me aswell as researching it thoroughly (I'm a geek like that.) The result was wonderful. Safran troublant is an oriental and soft floral scent, it draws you in and transports you to Morocco's spice market. You have notes of saffron, fresh red roses, honey, vanilla in this beautiful fragrance, and it will make you feel just that much more feminine.

Kisu by Tann Rokka is not for everyone, but as I am demonstrating my favorites and variety, this one is a woody scent. In fact I would call it the Queen of all chypre scents as you have notes of cedar, patchouli, ylang ylang and musk. It is incredibly deep and sensual and has an oriental feel to it.

Etat libre d'Oranger
are just the enfants terribles of perfumes. With their incredibly provocative, controversial, naughty, and lets say interesting concoctions they have gained a lot of attention. When I first heard of this brand I went searching for it in Harvey Nichols in London and spent a good 15 minutes looking for it with no avail, when I finally asked a sales assistant I saw that the bottles had been turned around as the packaging and the labels on them were too offensive.
Ok so E.L.D.O. may have very sexual themes, but their results are still human, interesting, and for the curious people out there its always an option.
Side note: Rossy de Palma and Tilda Swinton have done collaborations with the perfume brand.

Vierges et Toreros by Etat Libre d'Oranger
Why this one? Because it contains leather notes AND floral notes. It is a man, a bullfighter, and a sweet virgin, in one scent. Its beautifully unisex. From the range, I choose this one.

Fleurs d'Oranger by Serge Lutens.

Sometimes I wish I were a different person so this would match my personality. This orange blossom fragrance isn't like every other one you find. I haven't found any other one that compares, nor will anyone ever. This one echoes the south of spain yet has a strange note which makes it what it is. Cumin. Every other orange blossom perfume I have smelled lack the warmth that this one has, making them feel sterile compared to this one with cumin. I see this as a wedding fragrance, its absolute happiness.

Fracas by Robert Piguet made a huge comeback a while ago, Marilyn Monroe used to wear it. Speaking of body chemistry, I use my father as a guinea pig sometimes, testing nail varnish on him and perfume too, Fracas smells so good on him and like cleaning products on me. It is a bottle of white flowers and I will not deny how instantly recognizable it is. Most women who use this do end up feeling like a million dollars. I'm not here to sell you Fracas though, I'm here to talk to you about her leather wearing, chainsmoking sister, Bandit. If Fracas was Monroe, Bandit is Bardot. I used Bandit before I knew about Dzing. How to describe it? Leather and bunch of flowers. Hard and soft.

1000 by Jean Patou is up there at the top of the perfumes list. It is a classic, along with Joy. A green floral fragrance. It really does feel like 1000 flowers in a bottle.

I discovered Memo perfumes years ago, I tried on one of their fragrances called Lalibela, a sweet and curious fragrance that had me thinking about it for days. With notes of orchid, coconut, rose, peony, jasmine and patchouli, its magical.
The concept of this perfume house is to capture the feel of a certain place.
Another fragrance they have called Sundance really did make me laugh. I don't know if it was just me, but I have tried it many times and the opening notes are those of a very green illegal plant you find at lots of festivals. I am not sure if this was intentional or not, however it does work well with a name such as Sundance. Thankfully the marijuana opening notes dry down very fast and you're left with pear, tuberose and pimento.

Memo Perfumes are hard to come by unless you live in Paris. Here is the website.

The House of Creed are best known for their Love in White and Love in Black perfumes. Aqua Fiorentina is their fruitiest fragrance. It is lemon trees in Italy. It is the hottest day in summer.

My recent discovery has been Narcotic Venus by Nasomatto. The name really does do the fragrance justice. It does have a sleepy overpowering quality to it, lots of tuberose, hyacinth and jasmine too. This scent is amazingly sexy and beautiful. If you're a perfume lover I suggest you check this one out, it is haunting, mesmerizing. A new favorite.

An unusual fragrance for men, which I personally really love is Shaal Nur by Etro. Yes it does smell slightly Middle Eastern/ Oriental, No it does not smell like Oud. I always say it smells like Johnson and Johnsons baby powder and Lemon with some spices. I know it sounds strange but it really is wonderful, and different.

Acqua Di Genova, you can't get more vintage than 1853. Cologne water that is still being produced and sold under the same name. A tradional cologne that many men would appreciate.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The Importance of Luxury Watches.

(I have recurring dreams of this watch. Some women dream of making a wonderful home, finding a man, Johnny Depp, I dream of the Jules Audemars Chrono Tourbillon.)

You’re either a believer or you’re not. Many people believe that it is ridiculous to spend more than a few hundred

£ or that even on a timepiece. First one must understand the concept of luxury, why one would want to invest in a Breitling as opposed to a Swatch.

Once you know about luxury watches they are aspirational, models are recognizable and there is the envy factor built in, isn’t there?

A luxury watch goes beyond being a miserable timepiece with its complications that their customers dropping platinum credit cards really don’t care about, to being a statement.

This statement is a definition of character by the wearer, after a week of wearing a luxury watch, i can swear on the sweetest puppy’s life, it will feel like you have phantom limb syndrome as soon as you take it off for too long. It becomes you, a relationship is formed. Confidence is arisen. You walk into stores dressed like a hobo but you’re still wearing a big fat Parmigiani Fleurier and that intimidating factor that sales staff once gave out flies out the window. You know who owns whom, even if you have no money left in the bank.

Diamonds don’t make a watch, its the monster machinery that makes it beautiful. The watch in itself is like a piece of jewelry, for men, who don’t have pearls or diamonds, luxury watches is their excuse to indulge themselves.

I personally believe that women should keep their watches simple aswell, diamonds are for jewelry and not to be mixed with watches, I have a preference for mens chronograph watches, and I joke in a snobbish manner “anything less than a chrono is to wear when you clean the house,” but if Rafa Nadal can wear the 500,000 Richard Mille on the court, well to hell with it. I deserve to wear a Chrono when i do my chores damn it! Or I’ll hire people to do everything for me of course.

Some of the most beautiful watches I have seen are from Audemars Piguet, especially the Jules Audemars collection. Most people go for the royal oak, which is a brick of a watch but stunning, except for the very sporty looking carbon one.

Hublot is a brand where i will make an exception when it comes to mixing diamonds with timepieces as they do it oh so tastefully for women and the end result is classy bling, just don’t get robbed.

If you’re wearing a Blancpain, it doesn’t need to be a chrono. its a Blancpain.

I’m adding in Piaget, I feel they make beautiful luxury watches, however they don’t feel like everyday ones. Occasional use, perhaps, If you’re thinking of expanding your party selection and you can afford it, please, go for it!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Beautiful is beautiful forever...

How to keep perfect from head to toe? Its tough... but sue me, I believe being a lady and all the cosmetics that come with it is fun.
The painful waxing... is not.

I have some wonderful products and brands to share with you P.O.A. style followers.
Magic, and i mean magic. No gimmick, from the dead sea. Ahava purifying mud mask, I have tried and tested on various occasions have reduced red up and coming horrifying scary looking marks to nothing. Apply the mask, wait a couple of minutes, and go to bed, and the next day, visible improvement.

I don't know what dead sea minerals this stuff has but its definately worth keeping around.
You may also want to try the Mineral hand cream, quickly absorbant and smells so good you'll look like a weirdo on the metro constantly sniffing the back of your hands.

Good news if you're into the brand, the store in Monmouth street do beauty treatments too, book well in advance!

The fish spa has come to London. Dip your feet into a tank full of toothless fish and let them eat away at your dead skin. The result apparently is: Softer healthier skin, a fish pedicure!

Personally, I was interested in this idea years ago when I first heard about it, and it wasn't available in Europe and the laws hadn't been passed because it had been deemed unhygeinic, however a very good friend of mine had gone to a fish spa in Singapore and mentioned that they were obviously much more generous with the amount of fish over there and it was a proper pedicure.
My advice, try anywhere in Asia for the fish spa, but if you just want the experience you do have these options:

Oh shampoo, my favorite topic, and I could rave about my favorite shampoo for hours. Let me start by saying this, shampooing is one of the few luxuries I believe to have in my life. Others would be Sleeping well with an eye mask till 12 if I'm lucky. Eating good food. Spending 10 minutes massaging a luxury shampoo into my hair whilst thinking of nothing at all and singing makes me HAPPY.
I do take my shampoo very seriously. I can ONLY use a luxury shampoo and there is only one brand that make luxury haircare.
Alterna are completely sulphate free.
Sulphate is harsh and shouldn't even be used on scalps. Most shampoos in drugstores contain sodium laureth sulphate because that is what makes shampoo lather up. In many stores such as planet organic and whole foods you may find other alternatives that are also sulphate free, such as avalon organics, Dr.Bronners magic soap (is primarily used as soap but can also be used as a shampoo. I highly recommend the Dr. Bronners Rose soap to use for washing clothes, add some to your laundry and your clothes come out smelling divine.)

However, these shampoos aren't luxury. Alterna uses Enzymotherapy, adding essential vitamins to each product so the hair can easily absorb the properties.
I personally recommend the Caviar Anti Aging Moisture Shampoo.

If you're really luxe...
Go for the limited edition White Truffle luxury shampoo and conditioner.

Now I'm going to disclose a secret. The deep conditioner that you never knew you needed.

From what I know, Terax was a little, not very well known Italian haircare company that got big through the rave of celebrities and was later bought out by an american company.
Once a week leave in for about Ten minutes, read this blog, wash out.

Now, I just wanted to blog about this spa I just read about, although now that I've
actually researched it, It's been around for a while.
Ada Barak's Carnivorous Snake farm in Northern Israel.

Getting massaged by snakes?
Will this trend spread like the fish spa?
Sounds weird but kinda sexy, lets hope that the asp that killed Cleopatra isn't lurking around in there.
Here's a video I found related to it from the Time website,32068,1815811898_0,00.html