24 August 2012

My new website and some more news

Hi all,

(I'm so giddy I can hardly contain myself haha!)

My official website just launched and I am SUPER excited.  I've been planning to use my brand of "shedoesitall" to lead people to all my different brands on one page.  I still need to change some of the photos (these aren't my best or newest), but other than that it is finally done.  Here are some screenshots, below the jump.

19 August 2012

Perfume Review: 1000 Flowers - Reglisse Noire (+ a giveaway!)

 Reglisse Noire is the first perfume from the house "1000 Flowers".  I had heard a lot about this fragrance due to my love for licorice, but ignored it due to EdT snobbery.  I felt that if it wasn't an EdP, it was not worth my time.  I eventually gave in to my curiosity and ordered a sample.

The description (stolen from Fragrantica) is as follows:

Réglisse Noire is the scent of black licorice candy, as its French name says itself. This is the first fragrance from the Canadian niche house 1000 Flowers founded by the perfumer Jessica Buchanan in order to explore the creation of perfume driven by the ideal of beauty in balance. The formula was created in Grasse France, where Jessica learned the art of perfumery working at Mane and Robertet.
Réglisse Noire opens with notes of white pepper, ozone, mint and shiso leaf. The heart is composed of black licorice and star anise and ginger and cocoa. The base consists of musk, patchouli, vanilla and vetiver.

18 August 2012

Perfume Review: L'Artisan Parfumeur Ambre Extrême

I just got this sample for free with my order from the lovely ladies at perfumeniche.com - they always treat me so well, and I would recommend them for an awesome read (I love their clever little blog), and hard-to-find perfume samples.

The official website describes this one as follows (pic stolen from Fragrantica):

Ambre Extrême is the more intense eau de parfum version of the original refined L’Eau d’Ambre. Much deeper and resonant, with spicy top notes and waves of golden amber and spices. If the original scent is red velvet, Ambre Extrême would be travelling in the 1930s, its Golden Age, wrapped in furs, exuding sensual elixirs while circumnavigating the globe .

Notes:  amber, vanilla, fresh spices

16 August 2012

254um and some photos

Hello All,

I'm going to be a bit quiet over the next few days on the blog.  I am focusing fully on a project I'm involved in, namely a new Kenyan forum (the only one!).

If you would like to have a look (and join), please do.  It is meant to connect Kenyans and anyone involved with Kenya, and I hope it accomplishes big things in the future.  Please do get involved. :)

The website is called 254um, and is a play on the country dialling code (254) and the word "forum".

Other than this, I'm stressed with my (lack of) progress in a distance learning course I started.  I have 12 days until my deadline and haven't even started! :(

14 August 2012

Perfume Review: Amouage Interlude (Man & Woman)

I'll make this a super-short intro, since I am putting two reviews in one post:

Amouage is awesome.  They make awesome perfumes.  They are expensive, but ALWAYS (and I have tried every single one of their main perfumes) worth the price.  Their art work (in my opinion) also ALWAYS matches the juice and its story whilst on skin.  They just launched Interlude Man and Interlude Woman, and one description (from hauteliving.com) is as follows:

In the House of Amouage’s latest introspective creations for man and woman, ‘Interlude’ evokes an air of disorder while maintaining a sense of balance and tranquility through the inventive use of Frankincense and Myrrh. An orchestrated blend of technical skill and creative integrity, the fragrances take one moment in time for self reflection and personal discovery to compose internal harmony from external chaos.
“I interpret what I see and feel into scents,” says Christopher Chong. “All the social and natural chaos and disorder surrounding us today can be translated to a much more intimate level. The interlude moment is a reflection of all the trials and tribulations one overcomes to attain personal satisfaction and achievement.”

Video: TAG: Get Your Freak On! 15 Weird Facts

Response to the Get your freak on Weird questions tag :) PLUS: CATS (2nd question)! Added a random chipmunk version of my song at the end, too.

Here's the blog-post I mention: http://www.sheblogsitall.com/2012/07/on-perfume-influencing-body-weight.html

Here are the questions:
#1. What's a nickname only your family calls you?
#2. What's a weird habit of yours?
#3. Do you have any weird phobias?
#4. What's a song you secretly LOVE to blast & belt out when you're alone?
#5. What's one of your biggest pet peeves?
#6. What's one of your nervous habits?
#7. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
#8. What was your first stuffed animal & its name?
#9. What's the drink you ALWAYS order at starbucks?
#10. What's the beauty rule you preach.. but never ACTUALLY practice?
#11. Which way do you face in the shower?
#12. Do you have any 'weird' body 'skills'?
#13. What's your favorite 'comfort food'/food thats 'bad' but you love to eat it anyways?
#14. What's a phrase or exclamation you always say?
#15. Time to sleep- what are you ACTUALLY wearing?


10 August 2012

Perfume Review: Amouage Jubilation XXV

Yes, I'm reviewing another men's scent.  I was going to blog about Lush products, and my new decanting set, but this will do for today as I have a full day ahead - no time to take pictures of my packages!

Amouage is known for being a royal company in more ways than one.  They have a price tag suited for royalty, but also have a royal air about them (both the look and scent).  See here the description I stole from NST:
Amouage is a luxury perfume house established in Oman in 1983 by the Sultan of Oman, who hoped to revive and redefine the ancient Omani art of perfumery. Amouage (the name is a mash-up of “amour” + an Arabic word meaning “waves”) uses the traditional materials of Middle Eastern perfumery, such as frankincense and myrrh, but the perfumes are developed by perfumers from the major Fragrance & Flavor companies and are geared towards an international clientele.

Edit:  The creative director of Amouage contacted me to let me know this is wrong information.  The following info is correct, and taken directly from their website:

Founded over a quarter of a century ago, Amouage is a niche luxury fragrance house that draws inspiration from its birthplace of the Sultanate of Oman, infusing reference points from a rich and colorful heritage that fires the imagination of all who come into contact with its wonderful products.

Oman is a country that is proud of its heritage.
Its history goes back to the dawn of civilisation and permeates everything: the peaks where the frankincense trees grow and the sand dunes that cover the legendary cities of Sinbad the Sailor and the Arabian Nights. The coastal area fronting the Gulf of Oman is believed to have been known to the Sumerians as early as 3,000 B.C. and remains of settlements and distinctive beehive tombs are a legacy of this era.

A visit to the capital city of Muscat, will reveal a friendly and modern city full of culture, framed by the towering mountains of the Jebel Akhdar range. Travel further afield to experience the northern lagoons and south to the beautiful beaches of Salalah. The local people will always extend a warm welcome in keeping with their long tradition of hospitality.

It's interesting to note that the ad design always matches the fragrance in my opinion.  The fragrance does have a sparkle at the top that is light but always present.  It is not a dark scent (hence the moon shining), but it does have a depth to it that is cool and mysterious.  Anyway, enough about the ad.  Let me break down the scent for you. :)

08 August 2012

Perfume Review: Prada Candy

Yes, I'm dipping into mainstream territory, just for readers.  I realised I've been testing - and liking - a lot of niche brands, which aren't available for a lot of people (especially back home in Kenya).  So I decided to test a fragrance I liked that is widely available (and has won awards!).

Prada Candy had been EVERYWHERE when it launched, and its raunchy bottle which was obviously for the loud ones amongst us, just annoyed me.  "Pah!", I thought like the miser I am, "Another loud fruity floral!".  Then I started seeing good reviews, and when it ended up being compared to Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille (one of the loves of my life), I knew I had to dig up the sample I was given.

The notes given are musks, caramel, and benzoin.  Now, the Pradas I have tried are all soft and elegant, so this sounded like the typical move that perfume houses have been making recently: "Let's put some cheap smelling stuff in a bottle, market it as youthful, and watch it sell because of our brand name!"  I sprayed this one on with full snobbery glistening, waiting to write a bad review.  I got the shock of my life when I ended up loving it!

06 August 2012

Perfume Review: Parfum d'Empire Iskander

After seeing constant references from Lucasai of Chemist in the Bottle about this fragrance, and getting some requests to review more masculine fragrances, I decided to test this one.  I have samples of the whole Parfum d'Empire line, and it is the only house that I liked every scent from (after mass testing each one on every part of skin I could find!).  Side note: Please do check out Lucasai's blog - it offers a chemist's perspective on perfumes, and is very interesting!

Iskander, as all Parfum d'Empire scents, is named after yet another historical empire (I love that idea!).  I'm already a fan of this house because of its deep and characteristic fragrances, but the added story does nothing but excite imaginative people like myself.  See here the beautiful description:

The conquests of Eskander, as Alexander the Great was known in Persia, are told through the notes of Iskander. The freshness of Asian citron, mandarin and grapefruit is layered over an assertive heart of Mediterranean estragon and Indian coriander, delicately accented with the sweetness of orange blossoms. The velvety oakmoss embraces the richness of amber and musk. Full of unpredictable twists, Iskander contrasts the vivacious freshness of its top notes with luxurious warmth, resulting in a fragrance as unpredictable as the personality of Alexander the Great.

02 August 2012

Perfume Review: 06 Incense Rose by Tauer Perfumes

I am chuckling as I write this, because I was one of the biggest Tauter haters before I wrote this review.  I actually was considering putting "All of the Tauers I have tried" under the Scrubber section in my Perfume Portrait.  I only didn't because I respect Tauer as an indie house, and would feel embarrassed to write something so mean about a small company.  I also sensed that my tastes would change, and was willing to give it another try now that my nose has matured.

A month or 2 ago, my review would have been as follows:

Blegh! What is that spice? Cumin? Cardamom?  Who puts that in perfume?  Why would I want to smell of that? Gross!  I'm sorry, I cannot think of anything else to say.

Here are some excerpts of my test notes:

"Way too much spice [...] burns my nose [....] Waiting for less spice [....] spoils the entire experience for me [....] sit through this [....]"

Thanks to repeated mentions of Tauer perfumes, a mention of someone wearing it for their wedding, and talking to Undina, I have matured enough to try this again.  Last night I wore Le Maroc pour Elle.  It wasn't bad - just not me.  Today I decided to try Incense Rose, as I know I would love these notes - especially the incense, patchouli (love it if it's used to darken a scent), myrrh, and rose to sweeten things.  I sprayed my wrists and inner elbows (once each) with the generous sample I got from Tauer.

01 August 2012

Perfume Review: Olympic Orchids Golden Cattleya

I am cheating, by writing this review after I already bought a FB (full bottle, not Facebook!).  After loving a scent, one can be a little biased.  However, because my bottle is the size of some generous samples (25 ml), I'll pretend like I'm still sampling. Nobody has to know any different. ;)

Golden Cattleya is a fragrance that was made by Ellen Covey as part of the Orchid Scents series.  Ellen owns the Olympic Orchid orchid nursery in the Pacific Northwest (USA), and transferred her passion for the orchids she tends to, to this quality perfume house (can you tell I like this scent?).  Apparently, orchids cannot be, uhm, "put" in perfume (to put it in expert terms, of course), which makes her even more of a talented perfumer in my books.  I have read a few reviews on the different perfume community forums claiming that she captured the fragrance of a particular orchid perfectly.  This then means, that my babble about notes will be absolute rubbish, but never mind.  I have never smelled an orchid, so we'll have to do with with my limited knowledge for now.

I have never read her description of this scent until now, but I must say - that mention of sunshine is appropriate:

The scent of this orchid is pure gold - narcissus, daffodil, orange fruit, orange blossoms, honey, pollen, and cream soda combine with amber-tinged resins and musks to create a warm and long-lasting aura like late afternoon sunshine. This is not your usual sweet flowery orchid scent!

Perfume Review: La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens

Serge Lutens owns my heart.   I have two bottles from the export range, and one from the non-export range.  Most of the scents I have tried I love - sometimes for their actual scent, and other times for their gorgeous complexity.  I have absolutely hated a few, but good art always evokes extreme reactions, and perhaps - being an artist myself - this is why I am drawn to this house.

La Myrrhe is a pretty old scent, and was launched in 1995.  It is - judging from the name - supposed to be about myrrh, but I am not very familiar with the scent of this note, so shall judge with my limited perfume knowledge.  The notes named (but never judge a SL scent by its named notes!) are mandarin, myrrh, lotus, bitter almond, sandalwood, honey, jasmine, amber, musk, various spices and pimento.

 For this review, I dabbed a normal amount (so not too much) from my little sample vial on my wrists and inner elbows.  I recently tried to get a few of the non-export range in samples from the Perfumed Court so that I could at least enjoy these scents - even if I cannot own them.