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Balmain Eau d’Ivoire (Eau de Toilette) Review
From looking at the classically-structured Balmain glass bottle alone, you might not guess this is a sporty, fresh and almost girly fragrance. (In fact, I couldn’t resist doing some “antique” photo effects with that beautifully-simple bottle.)
Scent wise, it’s also quite minimalist but incredibly easy to like. Actually, on first sniff, it brings to mind not one - not two - but several “pink” colored perfumes.
Gucci Eau de Parfum II
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche
Versace Bright Crystal
Shiseido Zen Sun
It starts out fresh and juicy, then blooms into a clean white floral, before a very green/minty base.
Top notes: Bergamot, red currants
Heart notes: Magnolia, osmanthus
Base notes: Patchouli, ambrette seeds
I smell predominantly mouthwateringly tart red currants and a shower-fresh magnolia. It invites people to take deep breaths on warm days. (I would love my shampoo to smell like this.)
Then it slowly warms up and becomes more unique as the osmanthus comes in, a floral note I adore and think should get a bit more airtime among perfume lovers. For those living outside of east Asia, osmanthus is a flower with a beautiful fragrance that’s (to me) somewhere between honey and tea. In fact, it’s often candied in syrups, and used in sweet herbal teas and desserts, the way violets are used in Europe.
(image from www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca)
If you don’t like the sometimes sharp and musky scent patchouli has, don’t worry. It’s very soft in Eau d’Ivoire. In light doses, it smells just fresh and minty. Here, it combines with the herbal buzz of ambrette seed just to add a little texture so the fragrance doesn’t just smell completely like expensive shampoo.
Sounds weird but smelling Eau d’Ivoire makes me salivate. I think of fresh, ice-cold lemon tea on a warm day. It has the tart, refreshing fruitiness, the delicately sweet body, and the slight after-bite of good strong tea.
The Body Shop: White Musk Smoky Rose Collection
Can I say this is my favorite White Musk flanker to date? And I’ve owned many. The best-selling cruelty-free range is very affordable, and while the scent is not too complex it’s still a nice reliable classic. I’ve tried the original Eau de Toilette, I tried the oil, I moved on to the Eau de Parfum, and then White Musk Blush.
Then I fell for White Musk Intrigue, and couldn’t resist White Musk Sun and White Musk Libertine the following year. (Girl has a problem…)
Top: Bergamot, pink pepper, blackcurrantHeart: Tobacco flower, black smoky rose, orange blossomBase: Musk, Olibanum, Immortelle
Smoky Rose opens like fruit soda. There’s a vague fruitiness, but mostly you get an indistinct sweetness with a zing from the pink pepper.
The topnotes don’t stick around for very long though. In about 2-5 minutes, you’ll pretty much be left with the floral heart. Don’t expect a bouquet of roses! You’re far more like to encounter the smoky, honeyed tobacco-flower accord. Good if you love the note (like me) and not so good if you don’t.The rose and orange blossom take the backseat.The base is very balsamy and resiny rather than musky, due to the raspy olibanum (Frankincense!) and immortelle which is a salty-syrup note that reminds me of caramel popcorn or hot pancakes.Weird I know!
- Shower gel (SGD16.90)
- Body lotion (SGD22.90)
- Fragrance Mist (SGD20.90)
- Eau de Toilette (SGD28.90)
- Eau de Parfum (SGD39.90)
There ARE slight variations in the smell depending on the formula.
I haven’t smelt the shower gel, but they usually smell similar to the fragrance mists.
The lotion is the one where a honeyed rose is more apparent to my nose. It’s not as musky or smoky as the other products.
The fragrance mist is the one where the musk seems a bit more apparent, along with the creamy tobacco and immortelle flower. Almost no noticeable fruit notes.
The EDT is the one with a more pronounced fruitiness compared to the other products. It stays almost fruity-floral for awhile, before warming up to the smoky floral heart, accompanied by a resiny base. Scent lasts for a very respectable amount of time (4-5 hours on my skin)
The EDP is where the scent is the thickest and most “Creamy/musky”. There is hardly any fruitiness before the richer darker notes take over. The rose and orange blossom are almost drowned out by the tobacco flower and the base notes. Lasting power is not significantly longer than the EDT.
I would actually recommend the EDT over the EDP in this case, simply because it smells more nuanced and lasts just as long, but for a lower price.
You might like this if you like:
Fragrance Obsession/Review: Korres Pepper Jasmine Gaiac Wood
I think Korres doesn’t get enough attention for its masterfully-crafted all-natural perfumes. Pepper Jasmine Gaiac Wood is just one of the ones I love enough to own (I like almost ALL of their scents), but I’d say firstly that the name isn’t at ALL indicative of what it smells like. It’s not an obvious floral or woody scent.
But then jasmine is a very dense, sweet flower that sometimes smells like candy or fruit, so it’s no surprise.
Pepper Jasmine Gaiac is spice laced with a little white chocolate.
That’s the only way I’d describe it. It really reminds me of Victor & Rolf Spicebomb, but without the heavier and sweeter tobacco and saffron vibe. I fell in love with this at first sniff.
Top notes: anise, citrus, sandalwood, vanilla
Heart notes: Jasmine, passion fruit, Gaiac wood
Base notes: pepper, white chocolate, greenery, peach.
They’ve placed pepper, green notes and peach in the base, and sandalwood and vanilla in the top, a reverse of usual scents. But it works for me. I never really get much fruitiness from the scent though, so if you are looking for a fruity-sweet or gourmand fragrance, this is not it. Once it dries down, it’s more a creamy skin-scent with depth and a fresh bite of spice.
Yum and clean at the same time!
Lasting power is average for a floral EDT with a slightly sweet base (about 4-5 hours on my skin), and I would say the scent projection (how far the fragrance diffuses) is quite low. This is a scent that hugs you, so while it’s not one of those fresh, powdery or aquatic scents, it’s not overpowering on warm days.
Korres is available at korres.com, and korres.com.sg (yes, they ship in Singapore so you don’t need to trek down to a store).
Lancôme La Vie Est Belle L’Eau de Parfum Légère
launched a little earlier in the Western Hemisphere as a Summer “lighter” flanker to the original best-selling La Vie Est Belle (meaning “Life is Good”) l’Eau de Parfum but will only hit parts of Asia and the Pacific around October.
Top: blackcurrant, pear
Heart : jasmine, orange blossom, iris, patchouli
Base: chocolate praline, vanilla, white musk
Not for anyone who doesn’t enjoy sweet gourmands! That said, this won’t smell like a dessert platter. It smells complex and “like a lady”.
Who should check it out?
Go sniff it if you like lush gourmand florals like
Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb
Burberry The Beat
Thierry Mugler Alien
Paco Rabanne Lady Million
I’ll also check this out if you like fruitchoulis like
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
Chanel Coco Noir
Thierry Mugler Angel
Random fact: The perfumers of La Vie Est Belle created many of the above listed scents, so it’s not really surprising that they share a similar DNA.
Latest Scent Crush: Marc Jacobs Honey
Aaaaahhhh, honeysuckle! Honey! Orange Blossom! Woods! Pear! Some of my favorite notes all thrown together into one cute little yellow polka-dotted honey-bee bottle.
Even the yellow and black spotted carton is cute.
Created by perfumer Annie Buzantian from Firmenich, Honey (despite its name) is a crisp, and almost fizzy-fresh fruity-floral.
Top: Pear, Fruit Punch, Juicy Mandarin (an oriental citrus that’s similar to orange)
Heart: Orange Blossom, Peach Nectar, Honeysuckle
Base: Honey, Golden Vanilla, Smooth Woods
Honey Eau de Parfum smells like tart, fizzy fruit cocktail and then it morphs into soft, creamy white florals with a hint of peach and honey. This phase lasts most of the way and In the final drydown, it softens to a sweet, shower-clean skin-scent. Definitely more honeysuckle than honey.
Despite the honey, vanilla and woods in the base, this does not have an oriental dry-down. In fact, something in the clean dry-down reminds me of another citrus Summer scent that came out recently, Shiseido Zen Sun, which I also enjoy. If you’re expecting something dessert-like, you’ll be disappointed.
I’d say it’s definitely very in line with most of Marc Jacobs’ scents. It’s not deep, dark and complex. It’s sunny, happy, girly and universally-likable. Great for days when you just need a pick-me-up, or if you’re looking for a starter scent and would like something light and wearable. If you like any of the Marc Jacobs Daisies or some of the sweeter or fruitier Splashes, then give this one a try. (I personally prefer it to Dot, but scent taste is very subjective, so give it a sniff!)
Lasting Power and Projection?