31 July 2012

On Perfume influencing Body Weight

Today the Daily Mail, that wonderful place we all turn to when we desire some real journalism *cough*, featured a new scent sold by the Fragrance Shop (UK).  This new fragrance, which sounds like a fruity floral for the masses, is said to have some interesting properties, indeed.

See here, the spiel:

"Designed to ‘slim with pleasure’ PRENDS-MOI (which meanst Take Me) is based on extensive aromatherapeutic and ‘neurocosmetic’ research and contains active ingredients including ‘Betaphroline’ which when it comes in to contact with keratinocytes (cells found in the outer layer of the skin) will induce the release of B-endorphins present in the skin. A ‘pleasure message’ is transmitted through the neurotransmitters (impulse from a nerve cell to another nerve, muscle, organ or other tissue) to the hippocampus (the ‘odour brain’) triggering an immediate sensation of well being, a reduction in stress and an increase in contentment reducing the need to overeat and the scents slimming action is activated.

Top notes, with lively accents of bergamot, mandarin and grapefruit, are placed in a deliciously fresh ambience. The middle notes are a flight of floral scents where jasmine responds to ylang-ylang and freshly picked lilac. The base notes combine musk and vanilla with patchouli and the woodsy intensity of sandalwood. With a low alcohol content, PRENDS-MOI is perfect for those who love summer all year long."

For the TLDR crowd, this fragrance apparently helps you lose weight.  Yes, you read that right.  A miracle perfume, right?  The awesome Birgit from Olfactoria's Travels doesn't seem to think so.  I believe her - this does sound, as many perfumistas called out, like snake oil.

But this got me thinking.

28 July 2012

Rambling Musing: Creativity

Today has been a bit of a meh day (perhaps that is an understatement), but I have been getting more creative.  I have been much more strict about writing my dreams down in a little notebook, and I just sketched out a rough tune for a song I might be doing with the awesome Drama B.

I enjoy receiving feedback on my work, and I just realised that I got very excited at the idea of being able to create something from nothing - and then getting feedback to help me grow.  I know that people love feedback on their work, but it was only now that I was very conscious/mindful of this.  When I am being extra conscious or mindful, I feel like I am watching myself from a wiser place, and at moments like this I feel the love of an ancient, and the amazement and wonder of a child.

21 July 2012

Perfume Review: Guerlain Idylle

 (This review is part of the "30 Perfumes in 30 Days" series)

Now let me start by saying that I adore Guerlain Insolence, and own Jicky as well as Gourmand Coquin.  I plan to get Shalimar one day, too.  Therefore, I expect well-crafted perfumes from this house (which was founded in 1828, and used to create perfumes for royalty).  I expect something unique, and perhaps groundbreaking.  Most importantly, I demand something special.

The bottle is interesting.  It's been compared to chocolates, a bike saddle, golden drops, and an upside-down shoe heel.  It is nice from far, but far from nice.  In images it looks chic, in real life the plastic chips away and you realise that your diamond was actually a piece of glitter reflecting the sun.  I am not shallow enough to judge a perfume by its bottle, but this little tidbit of information about the bottle runs parallel to my feelings on the juice itself. 

Perfume Review: Dior J'Adore L'Absolu

(This review is part of the "30 Perfumes in 30 Days" series)

If you were alive in the 90s and early 2000s, and in/near a city where perfumes were sold a lot, you'll remember the large marketing campaign of J'Adore.  Or perhaps that beautiful image of a swan-like model in golden skin, hair, clothes, and water just stuck with me, and they didn't even market it that well (though I doubt it).  Either way, I knew what the bottle looked like before I even knew much about perfumes (the other perfume I "knew" before even being interested in perfumes is Cacharel's Noa - those ads were memorable too).

Perfume Review: Salvatore Ferragamo Attimo

(This review is part of the "30 Perfumes in 30 Days" series)

Another blind-buy.... Test-notes:

Fresh lemony burst, then pear sorbet - yum!  Then, after 5 minutes, it is just another fruity floral.  I would have loved it if it were a little more like Guerlain's Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune, where that "soli-fruit" (lol) note stays on and on (and realistically too!).  Unfortunately, this one turns into another fruity floral with that cheap fruit-aldehyde note I seem to sense in every mainstream (not entirely well-crafted) department store frag.  It dries down to a yummy brown sugar, just like Acqua di Gioia, but lasts a little longer.  Gasp! Will this be my fruity floral keeper?  Only if it lasts longer than 2-3 hours.

Verdict: After the short yumminess, it dries down even further to a skin scent that smells of plastic.  I like some sillage, and would have preferred it if that pear stayed.  Bye-bye!

Perfume Review: Chloe by Chloe

(This review is part of the "30 Perfumes in 30 Days" series)

I remember blind-buying this on the plane.  It said "fruity floral" and so I knew I'd love it *shudder*.  Here are my (short) test notes:

Juicy opening.  Switches to creamy flowers (but delicate, and still watery in that typical fruity floral fashion).  Smells like soap.  May have gone off, something in this makes me a bit queasy.  The bottle is in terrible condition, like it rusted somehow, which makes no sense as it has just been sitting on a shelf.  Maybe it did go off though... A bit of greenness in this one.  Scrubber.  Cannot place synthetic note.

Verdict:  I hope this was just off, and not how Chloe actually smells.  Happily donated on Basenotes to someone who was willing to test if it was off.

EDIT:  This did not go off.  It is just definitely not for me.  The Basenoter I sent it to was very happy with it, and his mum stole it from him as it reminded her of the Chloe she used to wear.  Yay happy endings!

Perfume Review: Vera Wang Signature

(This review is part of the "30 Perfumes in 30 Days" series)

Vera Wang is well known for her bridal designs.  If you have ever watched any show with a large emphasis on fashion/women (like Sex and the City), you know that a Vera Wang wedding dress is a dream come true for many women.  Here are some of her more "typical" designs:

Perfume Review: Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia

(This review is part of the "30 Perfumes in 30 Days" series)

Let me start with two positives (uh-oh!).  Firstly, the print ad is gorgeous, and so is the commercial.  The model is already totally beautiful, but the make-up, photography and Photoshop used to "pop" her beauty has done her justice.  This is one of my favourite ads when it comes to how beautiful a model looks.  I also feel that the commercial matches the description.  Here's the commercial:

Perfume Review: Dolce & Gabbana Rose the One

(This review is part of the "30 Perfumes in 30 Days" series)

Watery sweet fruity floral at first spray.  Does not open very originally.  Rose comes through.  Very watery, and although I could see myself wearing this (at least if it stays like this), after having tried Les Parfums de Rosine's take on the rose, I feel I have grown out of synthetic florals like this.  It develops beautifully; some citrus and another soft white flower and juicy fruit stay in the background.  Very modern, a little cold - nice for a wedding or a spring occasion where you want to smell lovely and not overpowering.  This is just not for me; I suspect this will appeal to people new to perfume, or department store fruity floral perfume lovers.  The heart develops into purely soft white flowers, but nothing jarring - all very average. Bleh.  As some reviewers said, "Where is the rose?".

Verdict:  To Ebay this one goes!

30 perfumes in 30 days (or more)

Ever since the start of my perfume journey, I have been exploring more and more complex scents.  This has lead me to look at my old collection (started since I was a teen) with fear - would I still like my old "classics" now that my mind and eyes (or nose) had been opened?

I decided, with the help of the principles of one of my favourite books, to review my 33 or so perfumes in a month's time, and then decide once and for all whether they fit me now or not.  The ones I do not like, I will get rid of via Ebay or Basenotes, and the others I will keep.

I tested the following perfumes (linked in chronological order):

  1. Dolce & Gabbana Rose the One 
  2. Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia 
  3. Vera Wang Eau de Parfum 
  4. Chloe Eau de Parfum 
  5. Salavatore Ferragano Attimo 
  6. Dior J'Adore L'Absolu 
  7. Guerlain Idylle
  8. TBA
  9. TBA
  10. TBA
  11. TBA
  12. TBA
  13. TBA
  14. TBA

17 July 2012

Question Time: What is gender?

I have recently been seeing a lot of talk suggesting that gender is simply a concept that humans designed to categorise - and that we should not use genders to classify, in the same way we should not use race to judge people.

This got me thinking - we assume, whenever we find a new animal, that they can either be female, male, or asexual.  I do not think a lot of us ever stop to consider that the concept of female/male may be another limited idea that human beings have accepted as the only possibility.  What if there are more genders than male/female?  What if, somewhere out there, others procreate in other ways that we could not even begin to understand?  What if there are genders outside the spectrum we know?

What do you think of the concept of gender?
Is it necessary to give it importance, or has it become redundant in our modern society?
Do you have any "out-there" philosophical thoughts on this?

Please share.

Indie Love: Cat versus Human

Do you love cats as much as I do? I have 12 of them, so you probably don't, but I think that Yasmine from the blog "Cat versus Human" comes close. Her comics have touched the hearts of cat-lovers everywhere, and I hope that she will continue to do so for many more years.  If you have a cat, love a cat, or want a cat, these comics will appeal to you precisely because they are so full of truth!

Please go check her out: catversushuman.blogspot.com

Enjoy some more of her artwork below the jump.   If you decide to use any of her work online (profile picture, blog, etc), please make sure to credit her!  :)

16 July 2012

Art Love: Short Film "Method Actor"

For anyone who may have an interest in acting, or films - here is a chilling short clip that will haunt you forever (and potentially change the way you look at acting).

Method Actor from Justin Stokes on Vimeo.

Art Love: Cartier commercial

I really don't have words.  Just make sure you watch this in full-screen on HD.  That's all.

15 July 2012

Ancient Scripture (well, not so ancient, as it is written by me)

 I wrote this a few years ago, and just found it.  Thought I'd share as it made me grin.  Reading it now, I can see it might come across as slightly sexist.  Please rest assured I was and am not sexist, though I can see why certain parts may seem extreme.  Take it with a pinch of salt and a dash of humour.  :)

And when He had made Man, there was more to be done; He saw it. So He decided to make each Man individual; one million of the same Adam might end up being boring after all. Besides, the women had already started showing individual signs of unique personality. He decided to have a talk with all of the males of mankind.

"My dear Men, I have a Great Task for you. Today, you will each decide your destiny. As you may have noticed, the females of your Kind have started looking, sounding, and thinking differently from eachother. This is called individuality. I am giving you this Gift, now, but you must choose which direction it shall take."

"But how would we do that, Oh Great One?", called one Man at the front.

"My Child, it is very simple, if you follow my instructions. Follow your mind, talent, or whatever part of yourself that you believe in and know is true, and simply let it shape who you are. Whatever you choose to follow will shape your mind and personality too."

Days went by, and, the Men did as they were told.

Question Time: Have you ever made a time capsule?

I just watched the video below, and it reminded me of the letter I recently found in a bunch of papers, that I had written to myself when I was 7 years old.  It was an assignment we had had at school; I think we were meant to open it after 2000 as there were all those rumours going round about the world ending etc.  My letter was pretty boring, and went something like this:

Hi Melissa!

I am 7.  I live in Holland.  I like purple.  I like dogs.  I like etc etc etc.

On belonging, and the perfumista community

As you might know, I recently started to understand perfume as an art (you can read about the beginning of my perfume journey here).  To help me understand it better, I went to the best place I could to do research on this new-found love - the internet.

Now, I have been part of forums before.  Yes, you become a part of a community, have awesome conversations, and make good friends.  But I have found that there is an inherent human need to belong, and the most tight-knit forum communities (in my opinion) thrive solely due to this.  Never, however, have I experienced the feeling of truly belonging, as I have with the members of the online perfume community I have encountered.

First, let me give you a quick brief on my background, so you understand where I am coming from - I am the result of the perfect formula for an outcast (please note: I use that word with pride).