Guess When and Win

Have you noticed an increasing frequency of people vlogging about buying and finishing products, from nail polish, to body lotion, to make-up and even perfumes? Googling videos with “YouTube beauty product empties” yielded thousands of results. A quick perusal showed that the most relevant videos ranged from 5 minutes to an average of 20 or so minutes each. The earliest video was from May 2013 and the most recent one was from a few minutes ago.

In Perfumeland, finishing a full bottle of perfume is like finding a unicorn, unless you have perfume-eating skin, in which case, you WISH said unicorn magically replenishes the bottle you are about to finish. I am close to seeing my next1 perfume unicorn. Can you guess for which perfume?

Chanel No 19 EdP

If you guessed Chanel No. 19 EDP, you are absolutely right!

According to Fragrantica, Chanel No. 19 was launched in 1970. The Number 19 in the name refers to the August 192, birth date of Coco Chanel. While there are various formulations of Chanel No. 19 (EDT, EDP, Parfum and even a flanker – Poudre), the one I like best is the EDP. It has a bracing combination of bergamot, iris, vetiver and a hint of leather. It is easy to wear, office-friendly and lasts all day with my usual 5 sprays. Chanel No. 19 EDP gives me backbone for anticipated stress-filled days; and there had been plenty of those since I bought this 100mL bottle in March 2015.

I still have a few wearings left and I am determined to finish it before the end of the year. To celebrate this milestone, I am offering a miniature L’Air du Desert Marocain3. To be entered, leave a comment and include the following:

  1. Date when you think I will finish the bottle.
  2. The last perfume bottle you finished – when and which one. If you have not finished one, which one will you use up within the next 6 months?
  3. Your country (there is no restrictions but we need to know).

The contest is open until 11:59PM PST on December 23, 2017. The winner will be chosen via Random.org from the commenters who guessed the date correctly. If not one guesses the date correctly, everyone will be included in the random drawing. Please note that neither Undina nor hajusuuri is responsible for replacing the mini if it were to get lost or damaged.

Tauer LDDM Mini

1 Burberry Britt Sheer, Hermes Kelly Caleche EDP and Shu Uemura Fleur de Source

2 Coco Chanel was born on August 19. I started working full time after college on August 19. Coincidence, or not?

3 The L’Air du Desert Marocain mini is courtesy of Andy Tauer. He sent me 2 extra minis, one of which I sent to a dear perfumista friend and the second one is for this contest.

 

Images: hajusuuri’s own

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In the Search for the Perfect Scented Shower Gel

Have you ever worn a perfume that was so good that you just want to bathe in it? Fortunately, for those of us who answered Yes, there ARE bath & body products to satisfy that desire. My obsession with scented shower gels began during my pre-perfumista days with the now sadly discontinued L’Occitane Thé Vert Green Tea. While I wisely bought a back-up of the eau de toilette, I used the last of the shower gel 2 years ago.

In this post, I have summarized my experience using shower gels of some of my favorite perfumes. These are all easily accessible although most are in the spendy category ($25++). I am not affiliated with any of these companies and my recommendations are based on my experience.

Shower Gels

Starting from the worst…and ending with the best shower gel:

Perfume

How’s the Shower Gel?

Verdict

Prada Candy o  Sticky laundry musk chemical mess. Failed
Philosophy Fresh Cream o  Gel had good consistency.

o  Fragrance was too light and reminded me of dishwater with leftover milk.

Failed
Hermes Voyage d’ Hermes o  Reminded me of the perfume.

o  Product was too watery and not the right consistency for a shower gel.

o  Ended up being the most expensive per mL.

Failed
Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay o  Product is labeled as body and hand wash.

o  Great as a hand wash but meh for showers.

Failed
Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine o  Smelled just like the cologne!

o  Gel was very thick and required patience to get product out. A squeeze tube may be a better container.

Will buy again
Chanel No. 19 EDP o  Reminded me of a mix between the EDP and Poudre.

o  Feels luxurious with packaging to match.

Will buy again
Le Labo Iris 39 o  Smelled like a saltier version of the perfume.

o  Fragranced the body lightly and the bathroom nicely.

Will buy again
Lush Rose Jam o  Smelled like rose jam and filled the bathroom with a heady rose scent!

o  Actually better than the perfume.

Will buy again
Frederic Malle Carnal Flower o  Smelled true to the BWF aesthetic and felt super-luxurious.

o  I kept huffing the empty sample container, need I say more?

Will buy again

Carnal Flower Shower Gel

Many of these also have matching body lotion but since I don’t use scented body lotions, I don’t have an opinion as to their quality. I understand that a similar scented body lotion effect can be achieved by adding a drop or two of perfume mixed in with unscented body lotion.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I will report on making my own small batch shower gels, as soon as I find a source for fragrance-free shower gel. Given a choice, I would like to see the following in shower gel format: Atelier Cologne Sous le toit de Paris, Frederic Malle Iris Poudre, Le Labo Vanille 44 and Puredistance Opardu.

How about you? What scented shower gel do you enjoy using? What’s on your scented bath & body products wish list?

***

From Undina:

I know that you all take part in the conversation because of the conversation. But a draw from hajusuuri is already a tradition. So everybody who answers her question(s) will be entered to win:  4 ml shower gel (choose between Carnal Flower, Iris 39 or Rose Jam) + 4 ml of unscented Diana Vreeland body cream + Perfume Sample Travel Kit (compact box, 2 atomizers, 2 dab vials and labels). No DNEMs, please! If you win and do not want the prize, hajusuuri will let you nominate another winner (she’s that kind).

This giveaway is open to everyone worldwide. The giveaway is open until 11:59PM PST on December 12, 2015. The winner will be chosen via random.org.  Please note that neither Undina nor hajusuuri is responsible for replacing the samples and decants if they were to get lost or damaged.

Images: hajusuuri

Lock, stock and barrels

Customs official: Anything to declare?
Avi: Yeah. Don’t go to England.
Snatch

I’m lucky not only to live in the area with a great climate but to live really close to two wine regions in California – Sonoma and Napa. Being wine enthusiasts, my vSO and I belong to several wine clubs in Sonoma and three-four times a year we take short trips there “to pick-up our shipment”. Of course, we could use a mail delivery option since if to add up the cost of gas, hotel and meals for those trips there will be no savings whatsoever – quite the opposite. So we use that reason just as a pretext to go away from a daily life for a couple of days.

Napa, CANormally during Sonoma trips we would go to one-two new (for us) wineries, visit two-three places we liked and wanted to see which new wines they’d released and also stop by those wineries where we had a pick-up. This time we decided to stir thing up and go to Napa.

We’ve been to Napa before many years ago and had some warm memories about that visit so the idea was to just spend some time there, do some tasting and go to those places we liked from the previous time.

Accommodations

There are not too many nice hotels to stay in Napa area so I was very proud of myself when I managed to score a “four star” Silverado Resort through priceline.com for $120/night. Plus tax. Plus, as I found out the day we checked out, a $20/day “resort fee” and $2/day “occupancy tax”. Whatever. On the plus side, they had very nice bath robes – not that I needed it since I always bring something to wear in the room, but it was nice. On the minus side, even though the room was clean the carpet was way beyond its natural life span and the fact that we could get some sleep should be attributed entirely to the nice weather (have I mentioned how lucky we are with our climate?): had it been a little warmer or colder, the sound from the cooling/heating unit strategically placed almost above the bed wouldn’t have allowed us any night rest… Well, after some thinking I have to take that “strategically” back: our neighbors’ AC, for all ten minutes they thought it was hot enough to turn it on, produced the noise that wasn’t much less irritating than the unit over our heads did.

Tasting Rooms

St. Clement wineI still remember those times when tasting was free at most places. I didn’t like it because every time I felt obligated to buy something after a nice person poured me some wines and entertained me for ten minutes throwing in appellations, terroir and other very important words. I always felt I’d preferred to pay for trying those wines and then decide if to buy anything on its own merit. Should I have been more careful with my wishes?

We deliberately chose several well-known wine producers and decided to try their reserve/exclusive/etc. lines. We knew about $20-$35 tasting fees non-refundable with purchase and we were fine with that. What we weren’t prepared to was a complete lack of attention and service that you get (should I say “didn’t get”?) for that fee. I can’t believe people who work at Silver Oak’s or BV Private Reserve’s tasting rooms really think that anybody drives all the way out there to drink 3-4 ounces of wine in silence. I could have stayed in the hotel gone to a bar and had a better drink for cheaper (I refer to the process, experience and not the quality since everywhere we went wine itself was very good. Overpriced but good).

Sequoia Grove winery testing roomI want to mention two places that stood out in the positive way: St. Clement Vineyards and Sequoia Grove winery (see picture on the right). At both places stuff was knowledgeable and friendly.

Food

Since this visit wasn’t connected to any events or celebrations we decided not to spend time researching restaurants and both evenings in Napa we just walked in the downtown from one menu to another until we found something we wanted to eat. We enjoyed eating at both places we chose, so I want to mention their names – Zuzu Tapas & Paella and Angèle Restaurant.

Perfumes

As much as I love our trips to the wine country I always struggle with the self-imposed limitations on wearing perfumes to wine tasting. This time I realized the vacation wouldn’t be as enjoyable as it could without perfumes. I decided to find perfumes that wouldn’t interfere too much with wines. The idea was to use perfumes that were as far from the wine smell’s components as possible. I chose La Tulipe by Byredo and Eau du Soir by Sisley.Both scents worked perfectly for the occasion. One night to the restaurant I was wearing Chanel No. 19. This one works for me always.

During our walks in Napa we stopped at the Baker Street Downtown“Tobacconist and Lifestyle store for Discerning Men and Women”. I didn’t realize it was a tobacco store until we were inside and I was about to leave when I spotted some perfume bottles. This store carries perfumes by Lubin. I sniffed them from bottles and then went there the next evening and tried two – Gin Fizz and Idole. Gin Fizz was exactly like I imagined it would be – sparkling, citrusy, uncomplicated. It wasn’t interesting enough for me to pursue it in future even to try again. With Idole it was a different story. I liked it from the first wear. It was woodsy, smoky and spicy. I will try to get a sample to test it more.

On our way back we stopped at the Mill Valey’s shopping center to visit Nicole Grey & Co. gift store. I found it during one of the previous trips. It carries several rare perfume brands: Boadicea the Victorious, Carthusia, Juliette Has A Gun, Profumi del Forte and some others. After a couple of rounds of sniffing from bottles I moved to blotters and then by the elimination process chose four contenders to go on my skin. By the time I arrived home I had a winner: I will be seeking By Night, White by Profumi del Forte for the further testing. I liked it through all the stages – from the top notes to the drydown.

Do I have anything to declare? Yes! Don’t go to Napa. Sonoma is a much friendlier and more enjoyable place.

What is your drink of choice? Does it go with your perfumes?

As always, feel free to post a link to your blog’s post(s) related to the topic.

Images: my own