Tag Archives: SMELLS GOOD

Sweet Sixteen Minus Six: bliss vanilla + bergamot

1 Apr

The first time I posted this, I upper-cased the b, the v, and the other b, even though it is not the style of the brand. This lower-case-ness is all well and good on a shelf — not so much in a post or in anything editorial. I think it looks weird. It’s weird, right?

I forgive it, though, as I love this line entirely. Number 2 in the series; at this writing I continue to long for something for The Hair that smells of this lovely, lovely scent…

***

I’ll always remember the first time I got a whiff of Bliss’ cunning combination of vanilla and bergamot: I was working as the art director of a super cool female’s magazine, and one of my colleagues pretty much thrust an open tub of the Body Buff under my nose. ‘Oh, my God!’ I sighed. ‘It smells like the beach!’*

V+BIf ever there was a hoard-worthy product line, it is this one. I couldn’t bear to not have it around, just in case — and ‘just in case’ = the possibility of sharing my fragrant, beachy, perfectly exfoliated skin with a… ‘friend’. As it is, this scent almost exists almost entirely in my memory, because I allow myself to use it so rarely. (Which either says sad things about the state of my… ‘friendships’, or implies that I choose my ‘friends’ with extreme care. Let’s agree on the latter, shall we?)

Oh, but when I do decide to break out the V+B, I do it thoroughly and completely. The Body Buff is truly superb, and one of the top five I have ever used. The Soapy Suds come next, naturally, and of course it is all capped off with the wonderfully rich Body Butter. I only wish there was a shampoo and conditioner. And a perfume. And a — a hat, or something. I wish there were clothes that smelled like this.

You think I’m kidding, don’t you? I am so not. The smell of the seashore is hardwired into the pleasure centre of my brain, so that, like a rat in a Skinner box, once I get a whiff of beachy goodness all I want is more. Some of the best times of my life were spent oceanside, and a tonne of unencumbered joy is triggered by the glorious scent of the auld V+B. I am a great believer in aromatherapy, and the days in which I walk around, wafting the joyful fragrance of undiluted joy and optimism, I have a very joyful and optimistic day. It is totally true.

***

Body Buff £28/€39/$36, Body Butter £20/€25/$28, Soapy Suds £16/€22/$18

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*I have absolutely no idea why the combination of vanilla + bergamot smells like the beach, but it does.

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I have a line on a scent that will complement this perfectly, but is not Of The Brand. Can you guess what it is?!?

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Sweet Sixteen Minus Six: Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse

27 Mar

I keep losing track of — hang on — right, okay, this is number 3 of 10, and it is all I can do, on a daily basis, to not lash a bottle of this in my handbag so that I can re-apply it with the same regularity as I do with lip balm. This is delicious, and also so great for me pelt. And I absolutely can spell prodigieuse without looking.

***

I am sensing a trend.

I really like things that smell nice.

Here’s another extraordinarily lovely-smelling thing, and it is also a thing that comes in another version with sparkle in it. Can it be more perfect?

I love it so much, I can actually spell Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse without looking it up.

NUXE-06This is a multi-use dry oil, which means it is not greasy, which means you can use it all over your entire self without worry> Hmm, yes, well. I used it once in my hair because there was a Nuxe shampoo that didn’t have an accompanying conditioner; it was recommended that I use this, and the result was not happy. I may try it again as an intensive scalp treatment yokie bob, because what else do I have to do with my time — but I also like to give things their fair dues.

Otherwise, using this everywhere else is highly recommended. The scent is delicious, and I suppose it is the result of the perfect alchemy of its ingredients: Borage, St Johnswort, Sweet Almond, Camellia, Hazelnut, Macadamia Plant Oils. Now, I wouldn’t know what borage smelled like if it crawled up my nose, but I do know the smell of almond as used in product, and suspect that the Huile errs on the side of this natural element.

Does it? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. This stuff is great first thing in the morning, as applied on damp, shower-fresh skin and massaged in deeply; all the way to last thing at night after you’ve cleansed and toned.

As if that’s not enough, there’s a Huile Prodigieuse Or that is a summertime essential. This is the one that brings the golden sparkle; I’ve decided not to wait for June, and will be dousing myself in this, liberally, to beat the January* blues.

***

For 100mls: €30/£33/$45

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*Or the March blues, as apparently yees are up to your oxters in the horrible, cold white stuff.

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Sweet Sixteen Minus Six: Jo Malone Body Crème

26 Mar

Into the final four! I had a hard time picking the top top of my Top All-Time Faves For Now, so, I don’t know, I think from here on in, they are all number one. I adore number 4 the way I adore my loved ones, no lie. May I acquaint you with a beloved member of the Conley family?

***

Everything about Jo Malone feels rich: the beautiful cream-and-black branding, the boxes, the ribbons, and most particularly, the heavy glass tub that contains the luxurious body créme.

There is absolutely nothing like the Jo Malone Body Créme. I don’t like all the scents — and frankly, I wouldn’t blame you feeling completely suspicious of me if I did — but the ones that I do, I adore. Unconditionally. Without reservation.

Lime Basil & Mandarin. Pomegranate Noir. Amber & Lavender! Oh, I forgot about that last one. I went to swap the places of LM&B and PN, but I can’t. I don’t think I can. Can I? No, not possible. Even though I layer PN with pleasure, and everyone knows what it is, and I don’t mind everyone recognizing it, because it is so delightfully sensuous, and something of a signature scent for me … I still can’t put it first, because it wasn’t my first.

JO MALONE LBMLime Basil & Mandarin. I had no idea that this Sweet Sixteen was going to be so nostalgic, but I have just gone off into a mental video memory of the first time I got a whiff of the stuff. I had been hanging with some pals, enjoying the bubbling hot tub at the SPORTSCO Leisure Centre in Ringsend {why do I remember it as the ESB gym?} and then after repairing to the changing room, one of the women passed around the body crème. Its heavy glass jar immediately communicated its splendour, and an obsession was born.

I had to have it. I had to have it for myself. I didn’t care that I was suddenly smelling that scent everywhere I turned; rather, it became the clarion call of a little club of ladies who knew what was what when it came to self care, and about splurging a mad amount of money of a thing that didn’t last for an appreciable amount of time.

Ah, now! That last bit is not so true. Because it so well-crafted, you need less than you think to enfold yourself in the fragrant goodness that is a Jo Malone body crème. So all of us who were amongst the vanguard were less annoyed at smelling ourselves coming and going {oh, dear, that sounds nasty} and more keen to appreciate the savvy of our fellow Malonistas.

It’s like being a member of a club whose only agenda is to smell gorgeous. I consider myself to be a lifetime member, with honours.

***

€63/£48/$75

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Sweet Sixteen Minus Six: Elemis Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt

25 Mar

The criteria for choosing the ten out of sixteen all-time faves was: do I wish I had it on me, right this second, away from home? Number 5 fits that guideline like a glove — a deliciously fragrant and indulgent and luxurious glove…

***

Here is my recipe for the perfect home-spa experience: Elemis Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt.

That’s it. That’s all you need.

I’m delighted to be able to make this recommendation in typed-out words, because confidence in my articulation abilities takes a terrible dip when I try to speak the word ‘frangipani’; ‘monoi’ is not so bad, but following hard on the heels of the preceding fail, it just makes the whole situation worse that it needs to be.

mmm elemis{I say fraangeepannee, as opposed to the more American way, which because of the longer, fancy ‘a’ sounds, would be frahhhhngeepahhhhhnee. Both sound equally awkward to me, in my actual voice.}

Linguistics aside, this stuff is the stuff of dreams. Fill your bathroom sink with hot water. Set the bottle — the lovely smoked glass bottle — in the water so that the solid material within softens into a luscious oil. Run a bath. You could even run the bath and meltify the Melt in the tub! Whatever: at some stage, shake in a few {million} drops. Enter; recline; relax.

Dunk your head under the water, then proceed to shake a few {million} drops of the Fraheheheheh on your head. Massage into your scalp. Sigh with pleasure.

Language, and pronunciation therefore, will cease to be an issue.

Get out of the bath before you, yourself melt. Shake the previously recommended number of drops of oil on your wet skin, massage. Pat yourself dry with a towel. Maybe rinse your hair out if you’re going out that evening — although why you would is utterly beyond my comprehension. You’ve just given yourself an amazingly self-nurturing treat! Stay home! Put your feet up! Get someone to make you your tea!

The only caution I have is that I’ve heard from pals who are as in the know as I, that the Fraheheheheh yokie can tend to discolour white toweling robes. Not that you’re not going to wrap yourself up in one regardless, but know that you may have to give it a spin in the washing machine sometime after your Melt event. Or you may close your eyes to this, because your robe is going to smell gorgeous — almost as gorgeous as you do.

***

€32/£29.70/$50.00

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Sweet Sixteen Minus Six: Lush’s Karma Line

21 Mar

Number 7! Still love this, and people always, always comment when I wear this. The good class of comments, of course!

***

When I first received Lush’s Karma perfume, several years ago, it came in a kind of… well there’s no way to say it nicely. The bottle was ugly. It was squat, the label was unappealing, and its presentation was very, very ‘meh’. I gave it a cursory spritz, somewhere around my breastbone, and promptly fell in love.

I don’t know that much about perfume, except that I love it, and that it has always figured largely in my life. I love smelling good, and I love good smells; in an effort to KARMA FAMmaybe learn something, I went over to the Lush website, purveyors of Karma, and took a look at the ingredients.

I don’t feel much the wiser. I don’t know why six of the elements have asterisks, although I suppose I could make an educated guess or two {discretionary as regards the maker, perhaps? Because all their stuff is made by hand?} Eh, what do I care really, if it is fragrant?

And it is fragrant. Fresh, long-lasting, sweet without being cloying, Karma is great when you’re in the mood to really wear a scent. Meaning, you have so many elements to the line, you can layer and know that you are going to be exuding sweetness and freshness all day long.

I totally went to town on this one: I washed my hair with the solid shampoo bar, I moisturised with the… moisturiser, and then I doused myself in the scent, which is in a redesigned package. Still not sure they’ve got it right, as the opaque, black, squat bottle looks like something you might find in a goth apothecary rather than on the vanity table of a sweet and fresh-smelling lovely being.

There’s a bath melt, which is nice to use in an end-of-the-day soak. There’s soap, which I didn’t try, a more practical application of the fragrance at the beginning of the day, for me anyway; I can’t imagine trying to start the day with a bath…

There is not a conditioner*, which I lament.

There is also a solid version of the perfume, which for me is a fail: the product is red, and it stains my skin, and my clothes.

Clearly, this last is easily avoided if red wrists are not your thing, and the perfume will do the trick more comprehensively, anyway. Must get my hands on the soap, though, to truly experience the layering of Karma. The good kind, that is.

***

Karma Komba Shampoo €7.90/£5.00/$10.95
Karma Kream Body Cream €16.15/£12.45/$27.95
Karma Bath Melt €5.90/£3.20/$6.95
Karma Perfume €24/£20/$42.95

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*As far as I know, from a quick google.

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Four out of Five Senses: Lush Shine So Bright

18 Sep

How weird is this?!? I got some samples of the Lush’s new hair care line in the post today {that’s not the weird bit} and it occured to me, Hey, I haven’t done one of those Snap! Judgement columns in a while, and I thought I might do one, just on the two bits I got today. Then I opened the wee tin of Shine So Bright, and thought — we are almost there, hang on — This smells amazing! I should do that thing with the four out of five senses!

Which was a million years ago, and I had forgotten what I called it, so I searched the site and whoa! The first and only time I’d done it, it was for a Lush product!

It is totally weird!

Or not, as scent is the sense that Lush leads with. Insert comment about walking by one of their shops here: ______________. So, maybe not as weird as I think, and not so weird when you consider that it was my own thinking down my own neural pathways. If you had come up with this idea, that would have been completely weird!

Right, so.

Looks like a little lip balm, or one of the solid fragrances they do. I always find these hard going, at least until you get the first dig into it.

Yeah, definitely looks like a balm. Okay! This will be a balm for the ends of my hair!

I gave it a sniff, which unfortch: no pictures. It smells lovvvvvely, and reminiscent {<ha, ha} of a product from a different brand that I love, love, love, and I should probs not say? This smells fresh, and clean, and floral, but not so flowery that you reek of meadow. The ingredient list is big on oils, of the coconut and of the olive, but I think it is the orange flower absolute that is making me sigh and go all wistful.

It feels grand. It actually scrapes up easily, and once you warm it between your fingers, any suspicion that this is not going to spread easily is assuaged.

I scraped up too much, but it didn’t really matter as I don’t need perfect hair today {horses.} If you have fine hair as I do, go easy on this. You won’t need much, and it really should live on the ends of the hair only.

The shine, it blinds. It feels soft and silky, and the scent, ah, I love it.

I can hear you saying, This convention is not working, and you’d be correct, because there is nothing aural about this product, and generally, about any product in the world. Yeah, well, whatever. Three out of five isn’t as good as four out of five — oh, okay, probably won’t do this again.

Until I forget that I said that, and think, Hey, I should do that thing with the four out of five senses!

***

Lush Shine So Bright (10g) : €5.75/£4.50/$9.95

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse: Can Perfection Be Improved Upon?

4 Jul

Oh, yeah. Continue reading

Scenes from a Library

25 May

I don’t know why I keep taking pictures of myself in Deansgrange Public Library.

I think I am still a little squicked by my revolting cuticles, so here’s a picture of The Hair, which received a dollop of Morocanoil’s Curl Defining Cream and an air dry.

I’ve just approved a comment from a reader about how much she loves this stuff too, and since I actually had some in The Hair, and here I am working away with full access to photographic capabilities, it just seemed like kismet.

 

The Newest Addition to the Hair Care Family: L’Oréal Paris Hair Expertise

11 May

I’m not going to take another picture of my bath, because A) it is manky, and I can’t be bothered wiping it down for the internet, and B) I think there may be even more product in there? Let’s just say I could wash the hair of South County Dublin with the shampoo and conditioner I’ve got in there, and also give at least half the people intensive hair masks.

L’Oréal Paris Hair Expertise combines many of my favourite things, not the least of which is Paris and Hair. Their new Ever line offers three different programmes for the different situations in which we may put our hair: EverPure for those who colour-treat; EverSleek for those whose frizz is an issue; and EverStrong for hair that is brittle and fragile.

At the L’Oréal Studio, I was prescribed the EverPure Line:

Clockwise from left: Lasting Moisture Leave-in Créme; Moisture Shampoo; Moisture Conditioner; UV Filter Protective Mist; Reinforcing Intense Mask.

So the gig here is that this is a line you can buy in a chemists or a Tesco, and it fills the gap, price-wise, between the bargain stuff that can sometimes be perfectly fine, if not totally great {L’Oréal’s own Elvive springs to mind} and the salon stuff that costs a bomb but gives you gorgeous, shiny hair. The prices range from €8.49 for the S&C up to €10.49 for the Mist, so you’re not talking ‘break the bank’ here.

Plus, the shampoo and conditioner is highly concentrated, and despite being sulphate-free {sulphates are chemical compounds and they make all that lather}, you need very little to get a good going over.

I enjoyed a shampoo and deep condition, and the scent of the stuff really sent me. All the lines make great use of botanical oils, and mine features rosemary, juniper and mint.

I got a lovely blow dry as well, so will be reporting back when I do this myself. The shine was impressive, I must say, and The Hair felt as soft as it does when I use the really pricey S&Cs I’ve got to hand. Since I’m trying to get another day out of the styling, I’ll be availing of the Mist, which isn’t something that I would normally bother with, and see if it spruces up the ‘do.

There’s a serum that hasn’t been launched yet, and the only thing I would say is, whither the styling cream?

Pictures, ‘Cos It Did Happen: Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream

7 May

I went through this phase a couple of years ago, when I was putting product into The Hair in order to turn its waves into curls.

Eh. The Hair is in no way curly a’tall, and the waves, they are mainly half-hearted, they don’t know whether to go for it or just give up. Also, the texture of whatever curliness I did manage to conjure, well, it was pretty cripsy. Looked nice, but ooh, do not touch because: ouch. When I got my first flat iron I was like, Okay! Flat is where it is at! and I have been very satisfied.

Then I got given Morocanoil’s Curl Defining Cream. I got a lot of Moroccanoil stuff and you may have noticed that I have been using it over the past few weeks. I had forgotten about this, because I have pretty much given up on the notion that The Hair would benefit from curl-inducing product. I decided to try it though, because how do you know anything until you try something? And, look:

I think that is pretty good! You can’t reach through the screen, but believe me when I say that if you could, you would touch soft hair. I know it looks a little crunchy, at left, but that’s only because it is still damp, and the sun, it is blinding on the highlights.

I didn’t do anything but squinch The Hair up, from time to time.

This is perfect for the times when you go away for a long weekend and simply cannot be bothered to do the whole routine. Like, you’re down the country, and there’s going to be an open fire, and you can dry your hair in front of it. Two pumps of this stuff, depending on the length of your hair, of course, and you’ll squinch the night away, and! And you will have lovely hair in the morning, if you wind it up in an elastic.

This is next-day, post-rosette, been-under-a-riding-hat hair, at right. I think that is pretty good, too! I used a wide-toothed comb to fluff it up, and that is all. I would go out into the world with that hair.

As do all Moroccanoil products, it smells delish, and The Hair felt extremely silky. The flyaways were minimal, too.

I you are one of those betches lucky, lucky ladiez who have naturally curly hair, but hate the frizzing and the tangling, oh, how highly I recommend this. Me, I’m just happy to have the wavy option back in play, but with a degree of softness I hadn’t dared allow myself to imagine. {<The Hair, it makes me come over all melodramatic, like.}

€30 (via http://www.beautyfeatures.ie)

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