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Byredo

Chanel Fragrance Tom Ford Beauty

Favorite Perfumes for Summer

June 12, 2019

Best Perfumes for Summer Tom Ford, Chanel Les Eaux de Chanel, Byredo and Jo Malone | The Beauty Look Book

Summer is almost here and today I’m rounding up my favorite perfumes perfect for the upcoming season. We are lucky to have warm weather most of the year but perfume is definitely seasonal with different months. I love this time of year when we’re transitioning from spring to full on summer. The heat is rising and there are so many scents that I love for warm weather. For me there are everyday summer perfumes and then there are summer perfumes that make you feel like you’re on vacation. I’m focusing more on the everyday ones for this round up but will list a few vacation vibe scents at the bottom of the post too. As always I’d love to hear about what you’re wearing right now!

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Tom Ford

Best Tom Ford Perfumes for Summer Soleil Blanc, Eau de Soleil Blanc and White Suede

Above: Daily Edited Large Cosmetic Case / Diptyque Large Outdoor Candle recycled

I would say that my most-worn perfumes recently are the ones from Tom Ford. I think he’s best known for the deeper rich and spicy ones, but my personal favorites are the lighter options. Soleil Blanc and Eau de Soleil Blanc have been must-haves for me for years now. Both are white florals that perfect fresh summery vibe. I also really love White Suede layered with either of the Soleil Blanc perfumes for a softer vibe. All the Tom Ford perfumes are available in multiple sizes, I’ve listed the ones I have below. I love that more of these are now coming in individual travel size sprays so I can carry them in my purse!

  • Soleil Blanc Eau de Parfum ($148 for 50 ml, also available in a .33 oz travel spray) is the perfect white floral! I carry the travel spray with me almost everywhere I go.
    • Notes include bergamot, cardamom oil Orpur, pistachio accord, ylang-ylang Comores Islands, benzoin extract Orpur, coco de mer accord
  • Eau de Soleil Blanc ($125 for 50 ml, 10 ml travel size here) is a brighter more citrus version that has a little more warmth with more noticeable amber and it’s not quite as strong on the floral notes as the original, both smell really similar
    • Notes include Vert de bergamot, orange bitter Orpur, petitgrain bigrade Orpur, ylang-ylang, pistachio accord, coco de mer accord
  • White Suede* ($235 for 50 ml) is one of the few soft musk perfumes I can wear that don’t turn on my skin, I love the way this mixes with the white florals. It’s a soft clean and warm kind of scent. The clear bottle is exclusive to Neiman Marcus but you can find it in the traditional brown at all other counters.
    • Notes include saffron, thyme, mate, suede, olibanum, musk
  • Runner ups from past: Sole di Positano, Fleur de Portofino, Neroli Portofino Acqua

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Byredo

Best Byredo Perfumes Blanche, Mojave Ghost and La Tulipe

Above: Tray West Elm /On the nails Essie Topless and Barefoot

Byredo has some of the longest lasting perfumes I’ve tried. Sometimes I notice my nose gets used the scent quickly and they seem to fade, but anytime I wear these, I get compliments and questions even hours after I’ve first applied. Andrew also notices them late in the day. I know purchasing a fragrance in person isn’t always possible (even if it’s the best way to buy them). In the event you don’t have a Byredo counter near you to smell, they have a La Selection Set with six minis which are a nice way to sample the scents. There are a number of trios available as well.

  • Blanche ($175 for 1.7 oz, shown is the .4 oz available in this trio) is a floral that has a mix of aldehyde and violet, it has floral notes with noticeable white rose and a hint of musk. It almost has a clean linen feel.
    • Notes include aldehyde, pink pepper, white rose, neroli, peony, violet, blonde woods, musk and sandalwood
  • Mojave Ghost ($175 for 1.7 oz) is the most unique fragrance I’ve ever smelled. It’s a soft fruity floral with violet and magnolia. There is a mix of musk, sandalwood and amber to give it a little warmth.
    • Notes include ambrette, Jamaican nesberry, violet, sandalwood, magnolia, chantilly musk, crisp amber, cedarwood
  • La Tulipe ($175 for 1.7 oz) is one of the scents I get the most compliments on! This is clean floral with noticeable freesia.
    • Notes include:<rhubarb, cyclamen, freesia, tulip, blonde woods and vetiver/li>
  • Rose Rinse Free Hand Wash ($35 for 1 fl oz) makes for a super fancy hand sanitizer, it has a beautiful soft rose scent with pink pepper and raspberry notes mixed in
    • Notes includepink pepper, raspberry, rose petals, magnolia, exotic patchouli, white musks

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Jo Malone

Jo Malone Basil and Neroli Perfume | The Beauty Look Book

Above: Bobbi Brown Crushed Liquid Lip Lychee Baby / bracelet Celine

Jo Malone was one of the first perfume lines I started using when I got into perfume. I think they make so many beautiful florals! Unfortunately most of my favorites have been discontinued or were limited-editions. I was so sad when they pulled French Lime Blossom and RIP Vanilla Anise. They used to have a pretty one called Sweet Milk which was such a unique one. I feel like perfume should never be limited-edition or discontinued, it’s so sad to find one you really love and then not be able to buy it when it’s used up! The same thing goes for foundation – all my HOLY grail foundations are now no longer made. The one I love right now for summer is Basil and Neroli, it doesn’t smell like basil at all!

  • Basil and Neroli ($68 for 1 oz) is the perfect neroli scent, it’s a fresh and fun lively kind of perfume. Andrew likes this one on me.
    • Notes include basil grand vert, neroli and white musk

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Chanel

Best Citrus Perfumes Chanel Les Eaux de Chanel Paris-Biarritz and Paris-Riviera

Above: Simplehuman Mirror / Tray / CC Cream swatches / Perle de Corail Le Vernis swatches

Chanel has so many classic perfumes but the Les Eaux de Chanel line stole my heart when they launched last year. These are Eau de Toilettes and are lightweight in feel. They give more of a splash of scent rather than a super long-lasting potent perfume. Living in humidity and heat makes the lightweight feel perfect for me. They launched three Eau de Toilettes last year first Paris-Biarritz, Paris-Venise and Paris-Deauville ($130 each for 4.2 fl oz). Shower gels and body lotions followed for each. I have not yet tried the body products, I’m worried I’ll fall in love and my wallet will hate me for it.

I’m thrilled to let you know that the three originals are now available in a 1.7 fl oz travel size individually for $80 each or as a trio in Le Voyage Set ($240 this one comes with a cute pouch). I ordered the mini of my favorite Paris-Biarritz the second it launched online. Right now the minis are available only at Chanel.com. The minis have a spritzer spray too! I feel like I had seen images of the minis for the European and Asian websites – I’m so happy they’re now available in the US.

  • Les Eaux de Chanel Paris-Biarritz ($80 to $130) is my favorite of the three original ones. It’s perfect for the citrus scent lover. It has notes of Sicilian Mandarin and Lily of the Valley. It has a very soft almost garden like feel to it. It’s refreshing and bright!

Les Eaux de Chanel Paris-Biarritz Full Size and Travel Size | The Beauty Look Book

This past week they just launched a fourth scent Paris-Riviera* which is lovely for those who love citrus scents. This one has vacation spa resort like vibes. It’s sweeter and a little more juicy the Paris-Biarritz.

  • Les Eaux de Chanel Paris-Riviera* ($130 for 4.2 oz) comes in one size right now. I asked if there were plans to add more body products or a travel size and they don’t have any information right now. It takes me away to a place where I feel like I’m away at a spa.

Les Eaux de Chanel Paris-Riviera Full Size | The Beauty Look Book

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Best Spring to Summer Perfumes 2019 | The Beauty Look Book

That wraps up my favorites right now. I rotate frequently! Top three favorites right now are the new Chanel Paris-Riviera, Tom Ford Eau de Soleil Blanc and Byredo La Tulipe. Runner ups for perfumes that smell like a summer vacation include Replica Beach Walk, Creed Virgin Island Water and Bobbi Brown Beach. But for now I’ve had the ones in this roundup in my spring to summer rotation.

What are you favorite summertime perfumes? Do you change things by season or do you have something you wear year round?

 

 

Press samples include Tom Ford White Suede, Chanel Les Eaux de Chanel in Paris-Biarritz (full size) and Paris-Riviera (full size). Others purchased by me.

Fragrance

Spring to Summer Fragrance Edit

June 8, 2018

Best Spring Fragrances from Creed, Tom Ford, Byredo and more | The Beauty Look Book

It feels like we skipped spring this year and went straight to summer here in Florida! Today I have a roundup of spring to summer fragrances that are light and fresh. I’ve been thrilled to find that so many of you are die hard fans of Tom Ford Soleil Blanc and Creed Love in White like me. This year both brands have launched new variations of the classics! I know fragrance is so personal so I’d love to hear about your go-to’s. If you’re looking for something new but don’t know where to start I hope this list will give you some ideas of where to start exploring!

Row 1:

  • Creed Love In White for Summer ($335 for 75 ml) is a new variation of their classic Love In White. The original is a crisp white floral with a powdery feel. The new version at first spritz smells almost identical but if you let it sit you’ll notice a softer vibe with a fruity touch. They both have that distinct white floral feel, but the new one is really beautiful! Right now Love in White for Summer is only available in the 75 ml form. I have purchased a few of their Leather Atomizers for travel or my purse. My husband also has a couple for his favorite which is Aventus for Men.
    • Top Notes: Bulgarian roses, Calabrian bergamot, sweet magnolia
    • Middle Notes: Florentine iris, rice, Virginian cedarwood
    • Base Notes: Ambergris, sandalwood, apple, jasmine
  • Louis Vuitton Apogee ($240 for 3.4 ml) is one of the soft earthy florals from Louis Vuitton. To me I notice the magnolia and jasmine notes the most. It’s a natural and earthy kind of floral. One thing I learned at the stores is once you buy the full size bottle you can get them refilled in store for a much lower price than repurchasing another full size bottle. These come in beautiful glass jars. If you cannot decide on one they have a lovely Miniatures Set which contains seven 10 ml bottles.
    • Notes: Lily-of-the-valley accord, Jasmine from Grasse, Magnolia from China, Gaiac wood, Sandalwood essence
  • Byredo La Tulipe ($165 for 50 ml) is another pretty clean floral. It has extremely strong lasting power – even though my nose gets used to it within a few hours, people who walk by notice it many hours later. To me it smells almost like fresh linen + white flowers combined. I also have this in the Hand Cream and Hair Perfume just for fun. In the event you want smaller options, it is available in the La Selection Florale Trio (12 ml vials). Alternatively on the Byredo Website you can order their Discovery Set (they limit 1 per person) and it comes with a voucher that you can use at Byredo Stores on Byredo.com.
    • Top Notes: rhubarb, cyclamen, freesia
    • Middle: tulip
    • Base: blonde woods, vetiver
  • Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt ($135 for 3.4 oz) is one of the best earthy sea salt scents I’ve tried that is so unique. It’s a great light everyday kind of scent one can wear year round, but it’s not a floral or citrus. It seems like most scents that are light need to be either floral or citrus or beachy. This one is none of the above yet it’s not spicy or heavy. I attribute the hint of bergamot to this fact. It’s one I can wear alone but I received the best tip from one of my favorite Jo Malone associates in San Diego to layer this with Wild Blue Bell. The Wood Sage and Sea Salt notes:
    • Top: bergamot, ambrette seeds, buchu leaves
    • Middle: sea salt, mineral accord, dry fruits
    • Base: driftwood accord, guaiac wood, white musk, sage

Row 2:

  • Diptyque Eau de Sens ($95 for 1.7 oz, also now available in a Solid Soap, Cleansing Hand and Body Gel and Hair Mist) is my all time favorite orange blossom. It’s not too citrus and it’s not too floral or powdery. It’s the perfect mix to be orange and floral. Lasting power is not as strong as Tom Ford or Creed on me but I don’t mind reapplying after a few hours as it fades nicely. I have the Hair Mist on my wishlist which I hope to pick up soon.
    • Top Notes: bitter orange, juniper berry.
    • Middle Notes: orange blossom
    • Base Notes: angelica, patchouli
  • Chanel L’Eau No 5 All Over Body Spray ($60 for 150 ml/5 fl oz) is a lighter variation of the L’Eau No. 5 reviewed here. I actually prefer the body spray version because it’s softer and not quite as crisp. It also comes in a Hand Cream option which smells completely different to me but is still lovely.
    • Notes: Lemon, Mandarin and Orange, Rose, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Cedar and Musk
    • Molton Brown Orange and Bergamot Radiant Body Oil ($49 for 100 ml/3.3 fl oz) is such a beautiful dry oil. As you might guess from this roundup I’m obsessed with anything that has bergamot in it! This one is a fresh one that has a blend of orange, bergamot and mandarin. It’s very bright and refreshing. The oil absorbs nicely into the skin and gives the body a luminous glow. Scent is very strong for a body oil, I can wear this alone instead of the perfume version. You can find this in other body products in their entire Orange and Bergamot collection.
      • Top Notes: orange, bergamot and mandarin
      • Heart Notes: neroli, cardamom and galbanum
      • Base Notes: musk, ylang-ylang and cedarwood
  • Tom Ford Eau de Soleil Blanc ($122 for 1.7 oz) is new this spring. It’s one of my favorites of the season and I did not think it could get better than the original. It’s really close to the original version but this one is lighter in feel and not quite as rich or deep. It’s more green and a tiny bit more citrus with a brighter feel. I do not think you need both if you are already well stocked on one. I used up my original so decided to buy this one and I’m 100% happy I did.
    • Notes: Vert de Bergamot, Orange Bitter, Petitgrain Bigarde, Ylang-Ylang, Pistachio Accord, Coco de Mer Accord

Row 3:

  • Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Oil ($74 for 8.4 fl oz/250 ml) is my favorite scented body oil. I wish it came with a spritzer but it’s so good I can overlook the packaging. It does come in a Dry Oil Spray Version which I personally did not like very much. For some reason the regular Body Oil works much better for my skin and smells better too.
  • Byredo Mojave Ghost ($165 for 1.7 fl oz) is one of the most unique scents I’ve tried. To me it smells a little fruity and floral with noticeable violet and magnolia notes. There’s a tiny hint of musk and sandalwood with amber to round it out and prevent it from being a full on floral. Lasting power on me is excellent.
    • Top Notes: ambrette, Jamaican nesberry
    • Middle Notes: violet, sandalwood, magnolia
    • Base Notes: chantilly musk, crisp amber, cedarwood
  • Tom Ford Fleur de Portofino ($230 for 1.7 oz/50 ml, also available in the All Over Body Spray which I’ve tried and loved) is a twist on their classic Neroli Portofino. They have several spinoffs of the classic and to me this one is the best because it mixes in floral making it softer, more feminine and well rounded. It smells like the spring to summer transition with crisp citrus and fresh floral notes.
    • Notes: Sicilian Lemon, Bigarade Leaf Absolute, Violet Leaf Absolute Orpur, White Acacia Accord, Jasmine Grandiforum Concrete, Acacia Honey Accord
  • Tom Ford Soleil Blanc is another classic that I’ve used up in the full size. The one shown is from a limited-edition Travel Atomizer which has just launched at Nordstrom! So many of you have said this scent is THE ONE for you. I think it’s a classic sunshine vacation scent in a bottle!
    • Notes: Bergamot, Cardamom Oil Orpur, Pistachio Accord, Ylang Ylang Comores Islands, Benzoin Extract Orpur, Coco De Mer Accord

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My top 3: Creed Love in White for Summer, Byredo Mojave Ghost and Tom Ford Eau de Soleil Blanc.

Creed Love in White for Summer, Byredo Mojave Ghost and Tom Ford Eau de Soleil Blanc

I know perfume is one of those beauty products that is best to shop for in person. I’ve ordered a few blind simply because I did not have a counter near me and it has been both hit or miss. After a couple misses I decided to never do it again. These days I’ve found more and more brands have started to sell sample vials or discovery sets on their websites. You may have to do a bit of searching to find them. Many larger retailers offer samples with beauty purchases, I almost always add one to my cart from Nordstrom. Lucky Scent also sells samples and sample packs of fragrances of their entire store. If you are ever in the Los Angeles area I highly recommend you stop by their store. You can read more in a feature I did here. In some cases you might not find any sample section online even on specific brand websites. I’ve also had luck a couple times e-mailing customer service to see if I could buy or order samples and in two instances they did!

That wraps up my spring to summer perfume favorites. I know it’s quite a lot and some of you stick to 1 or 2 scents but I also know women who rotate on a seasonal basis and like to switch things up like me. As always please share your personal favorites in the comments! I love reading about what you love and wear.

Press samples featured include items from Creed, Molton Brown and Louis Vuitton.

 

Boutique New York Packing Travel

Three Days in New York – My Packing List, Beauty Shopping Map and Haul

May 9, 2017

Byredo Store Wooster St Soho NYC | The Beauty Look Book

I’m excited to share my packing list, shopping map and beauty haul for NYC! As mentioned in my previous post I was in NYC for 3 full days. 1 day was for a conference, I had 1 full day of exploring and meetings with my friend Cafe Makeup, and then the following day I had until around 12:30 before I had to head to the airport to catch my flight. On my third day I decided to go to Soho for a quick stop at Away in the morning but most stores did not open until 11:00 AM so my shopping/browsing time was a bit limited. Next time I go to New York I will be staying in Soho – the area is just so charming and I could walk around for hours!

First a look at what I packed. The weather was mild – by Florida standards it was cold, but in comparison to the winter in San Diego it was very similar. I packed three tops, two pairs of jeans, three jackets and then also had the clothes I wore to NY which included a tank, jeans and a cotton cardigan sweater. Being a high maintenance hair girl of course I packed my hair dryer and flat iron. Since I had just come from a quick trip to Dallas I used a lot of the same beauty products and skincare. In hindsight since I only had one day in between trips I could have flown straight to New York but I was getting homesick and really wanted to see the hubby and fur babies.

Luggage, totes and accessories packed included a Louis Vuitton Neverful MM, Away Bigger Carry On (c/o), Truffle Mini Clarity Clutches (navy one c/o) , Glossier Pouch, Anya Hindmarch Inflight Case, Tatcha Travel Bag (discontinued) and a Tumi Just In Case Tote. The Tumi actually folds up into a flat compact square – I stuffed it for the photo so you could see the size. I’ve had this for years (and a few older variations) – they’re great to bring with you just in case you need an extra bag to bring home. For this trip I did check my luggage and many of you have asked how the Away luggage holds up. Between Dallas and NYC I checked it 3 times and it held up really well. No deep scratches and only surface scuffs and dark marks. I asked the reps at the store how to remove them and they recommended warm water and a washcloth or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I did a little demo video on my Instagram stories which you should be able to see until around 6:00 PM EST. The magic eraser method really does work! Of course anything you check will get marks and eventually dents.

Travel NYC Packing List | The Beauty Look Book

What I packed here ended up being similar to my Dallas trip, but slightly more edited. I wanted to make room in my luggage to bring home some things and hauls. Most everything fit inside the Away Bigger Carry On.

Away Bigger Carry On Packed | The Beauty Look Book

Away Bigger Carry On Packing List via The Beauty Look Book

Clothing pack list:

  • Short Trench from J.Crew (old style, current classic version here)
  • Leather jacket by Joie (old style, similar here and here)
  • Black woven jacket from Banana Republic (from several years ago)
  • Black raw hem denim by Paige
  • Classic skinny jeans denim by Frame
  • Flats by Chloe
  • Chambray button down by Joie
  • Stripe tank from Rag and Bone
  • Cashmere sweater from Club Monaco (old style)

Clothing Pack List for NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Makeup packing list:

NYC Makeup Packing List for 3 Days | The Beauty Look Book

Skincare and haircare packing. I hoard my minis from GWPs as much as I can. Things here that you can buy individually:

NYC Skincare Packing List for 3 Days | The Beauty Look Book

Before I met up with Amy we discussed where we wanted to go shopping. I told her I was open to anything she wanted to see as she was taking the train up to see me for the day. I shared a map I had made last year (minus the tourist spots). I’ve done this for almost every trip I’ve gone on – I map out EVERYTHING from coffee shops, photo spots, restaurants, breakfast places, shops etc. This is an edited version with just beauty as my full maps get very cluttered. Thanks to Amy for asking me to publish this. She did an amazing one for Paris which I highly recommend. We didn’t get to everything on the map – in the course of one day we made it to around 6 places including lunch spots. We took our time, on our priority list was Creed and Bergdorfs and then we said we’d just take the day as it came. The map should be clickable/interactive – I’m not sure how it will look or work on mobile though.

This is what I ended up hauling, mainly beauty this trip. First a look inside Bergdorf Goodman:

Bergdorf Goodman Beauty Shopping | The Beauty Look Book

Next stop was Barneys New York – how cool is their Mask Bar?!

Barneys New York Mask Bar | The Beauty Look Book

From Barneys New York I bought two Sheet Masks from Starskin in the Diamond Mask and Close Up options, Cremorlab Silk Pearl, and the Peach and Lily Sheet Mask Set. From Bergdorf Goodman I bought a couple cushions from Sulwhasoo (I also ordered the third option from Nordstrom when I got home). Will be testing and report back soon!

Barneys and Bergdorfs Haul | The Beauty Look Book

At Creed I bought my husband the Original Vetiver Shaving Soap and Bowl – he’s been getting more into skincare and shaving and I thought this might be a nice unique gift for him even though it’s about 3x what he normally spends on a shaving soap. They wrapped everything beautifully and even made a couple fragrance samples for him!

Creed Original Vetiver Shaving Soap and Bowl | The Beauty Look Book

Some late night shopping at the Sephora in Times Square, they have Tom Ford, Natasha Denona and Pat McGrath. On Instastories a couple days ago I mentioned how many beauty insider points I had. I forgot that I had redeemed A LOT for Drybar and Supergoop goodies. I think I asked for all the sunscreen minis they had lol!

Sephora NYC Times Square Tom Ford | The Beauty Look Book

What I hauled from Sephora was more than I intended. I only was going to get the new Dior mascara but what was I thinking, I always leave the store with more than I had planned on buying:

Mega Sephora Haul | The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least a quick stop at Byredo. I had looked for the mint Hand Cream Duo at Barneys but they were sold out so I made a trip to the Byredo store on Wooster and it was very minimalist inside. If you’re looking for this you can find it online at Byredo and also online Neiman Marcus. It was beautiful but very sparse. Online and at counters the travel size perfumes come in pre-made sets. Usually you have to buy a set of 3 with the same scents although they occasionally release mixed discover ones. In the store you can make your own 3 piece or 6 piece set but they don’t have all the scents available. I made my own with 2 Mojave Ghost (I’ve had this on my wishlist for over 2 years, I don’t know why I didn’t just buy it earlier) and 1 Flowerhead. They recommend you only carry them inside the leather cases because the glass is fragile. I’m trying to be extra careful with mine as I have broken a couple.

Byredo Soho Wooster NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Byredo Haul | The Beauty Look Book

This is a shot of what I had with me on my way back home:

Travel NYC Packing List | The Beauty Look Book

Hope you enjoyed Part 2 of my three days in NYC posts! I already can’t wait to go back 🙂 If you have any favorite spots whether it be shops, restaurants, coffee shops, hotels etc please let me know in the comments! I’ll bookmark them for my next trip!

Boutique New York Travel

Springtime Travels – Three Days in NYC

May 8, 2017

NYC Springtime Travels | The Beauty Look Book

Happy Monday lovelies! As promised I have a NYC post for you from my recent trip last month. I was in NYC for three days at the end of April. One day was for a conference and the other two days were for fun, exploration and a few meet-ups. Now that I’m on the East Coast, travel is a lot easier for me. It’s only a 2 hour flight from Tampa to NYC and I could not be happier! This was a short trip and I wish I could have had more time but I packed in as much as I could. This is Part 1 of 2. In this post I will share about where I stayed, what I saw and where I ate. In Part 2 I’ll share my full packing list and also what I hauled.

I flew into JFK and normally would have taken a taxi to the city, however my husband booked me a NY airport limousine service called Carmel Limousine. It was a bit pricier than a taxi but the fare covered tip and tolls and my husband wanted me to try it out. When it comes to travel and transportation I tend to be on the cheap side when traveling alone, my husband on the other hand always wants the best experience – he’s always really thoughtful when he helps me book my flights etc. When I flew in I was a bit worried about how I would find the car and driver. The way this works is you book your car and provide them your flight information and destination. The cars are usually waiting nearby or in the cell phone lot around the time of your arrival. There’s a number to call as soon as you land and they text you within seconds how soon the car will arrive and what model it is. In the window there will be a sign with your last name so you can tell which car is yours. My total wait time from the time I called was less than 5 minutes.

Cars were very clean, air conditioned and the drive was smooth. NYC taxis can be hit or miss with cleanliness and using this service was definitely a nice experience. If I were traveling with another person I think I would definitely use them again. On my way back my husband was going to book it again for me but since I didn’t know where I would be in the city I told him I’d just take a taxi back to the airport.

I couldn’t resist doing an Eva Chen-inspired shot (minus the fruit lol). Neverfull MM tote with a small Truffle Clarity Clutch mini (c/o) to hold all my travel essentials. Flats by Chloe. Jeans by Frame.

NYC Springtime Travels Carmel Limo Service | The Beauty Look Book

I traveled alone this trip so I decided try a smaller hotel. I had planned everything at the last minute and did not realize that the Tribeca Film Festival was happening the same week I was going to be in NY. In the course of a few days almost every hotel I had on my visit list was booked and almost double in price from their normal rates. Luckily I found one that was affordable with good reviews in Times Square in the theater district called RIU Plaza New York Times Square. I booked a King Size room and was thrilled to find that at check-in they gave me a room on the 26th floor (they have 28 floors). True to NYC style the room was very small, but it was clean, modern and functional. I had a pleasant stay – I would definitely stay here again, the location can’t be beat!

RIU Plaza New York Times Square Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

RIU Plaza New York Times Square Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

RIU Plaza New York Times Square Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

RIU Plaza New York Times Square Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

During my stay the weather was cloudy with some rain. I had checked the weather beforehand. Since moving to Florida I feel like I’ve been living in shorts and tanks and I knew the rest of the US was most likely not going to be in the high 80s. I packed an umbrella, several sets of layers, a few jackets and one pair of flats. The only thing I would have done differently for packing would have been to also pack some running shoes for easier walking. My flats were comfortable but there was a point where I wanted to walk through Central Park to find all of the cherry blossom trees (it was my first time seeing them in person!). I only made it about 1/2 a mile before I decided my feet and flats would not make the entire 2.5 mile walk in the rain.

Cherry Blossom Trees Spring NYC | The Beauty Look Book

One of the days I spend the entire day attending a conference in Soho. The conference was held by a company called Fohr Card and while I was dying to explore Soho, I was really happy to meet some other bloggers and make a few new friends. I ran into another blogger Kali from In Spades Blog and found out that we were both from San Diego, went to the same college and graduated the same year as me! Such a small world! We grabbed some dinner afterwards at Totto Ramen which I had been dying to try to catch up on life since graduating from business school. It was delicious! A quick snapshot of some other quick eats – on this trip I was on the go most of the day until late evening so relied on places open late. My brother made me promise to try this Indian street food place called Kati Roll and it was pretty close to my hotel so I did. It was also pretty good. One of the nights I grabbed some pizza by the slice near Times Square – I have really high expectations for pizza and even though it had really high ratings on Yelp I thought it was just ok. It hit the spot though – unfortunately I don’t remember the name of it.

NYC Eats - Totto Ramen, Pizza by the slice, Kati Roll

The following day was the highlight of my trip. I met up with long-time blogger friend Amy from Cafe Makeup. We’ve been pen pals for years and I’ve followed her blog for as long as I can remember. We spent the day exploring and shopping and had the best time! A look our stops below. We covered a lot of ground in one day: light breakfast at the Palm Court, a trip to B&H Photo (amazing!), a stop at the Creed Boutique, fun at Bergdorf Goodman, search for By Terry at Barneys New York, lunch and a meet up with Edward Bess, and then another trip back to Bergdorfs because we decided we needed more bronzer in our life.

Palm Court breakfast:

Palm Court NYC with Cafe Makeup

Perfume heaven at Creed:

Creed Boutique Madison Ave NYC

Shopping heaven at Bergdorf Goodman:

Bergdorf Goodman Shopping Heaven | The Beauty Look Book

Excited to see the entire line of Christian Louboutin Beauty in person!

Bergdorf Goodman Louboutin Beaute Counter | The beauty look book

Walking into the beauty level at Barneys New York, can you spot the By Terry counter?

Barneys New York beauty level makeup heaven | The beauty look book

Afternoon dessert with Edward Bess, I look so tan next to him! Thanks Cafe Makeup for the snap 🙂

Edward Bess x The Beauty Look Book selfie time

Beauty playtime with Edward:

Lunch with Edward Bess | The Beauty Look Book

Quick snapshots of Soho, Laduree, Repetto, Byredo:

Soho Springtime NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Soho NYC Byredo | The Beauty Look Book

Had to make a stop at the new Away store in Soho. They will deliver anywhere in New York and often have same day delivery which is genius! For those who know they’ll need an extra bag to take home items with them but don’t want to fly into the city with extra luggage this is perfect! They’ll deliver to your hotel 🙂

Away Travel Store in Soho NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Bryant Park at night:

Bryant Park at Night | The Beauty Look Book

Selfie at my happy place Sephora Times Square, short trench by J.Crew (old style, current Icon Style here), denim by Frame, iPhone case by Gray Malin.

Sephora Times Square NYC | The Beauty look Book

I hope you enjoyed this mini travel diary! I had so much fun in the short time I was there. Have you ever been to NYC for a short trip? What recommendations, tips or advice do you have for quick short trips? Give then amount of time I was there I was happy with what I booked in. I did waste some time by getting lost (I did a lot of walking) but sometimes getting lost takes you some fun unexpected places.

Part 2 to follow tomorrow with my packing list and haul!

Gift Guide

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

May 7, 2017

Mother's Day Gift Guide | The Beauty Look Book

Mother’s Day is approaching and if you’re looking for a gift I have a roundup of some fun ideas! I think any mom would be happy with something simple like flowers or a nice brunch date, but just in case here are some ideas.

  • Makeup gifting can be a tricky thing unless you specifically know what makeup and colors one likes. Edward Bess’s line is one exception as I truly feel he’s made a lot of universally flattering options. You can’t go wrong with his Deep Shine Lip Gloss (reviewed here) or All Over Seduction Afterglow Highlighter (swatched here).
  • Accessories like small leather accessories or cute makeup bag are always fun. I don’t know anyone who would object to receiving a new Tory Burch cosmetic case or Gucci Marmont Card Case.
  • Scent is another tricky one because it’s so personal. I think Chanel has a number of classic options like the Chance Eau Vive. If you’re a Les Exclusifs fan the Les Exclusifs de Chanel Discovery Set with 15 miniatures is back in stock! I am so tempted to order this as the minis are just to die for adorable. My personal favorite right now is Creed Spring Flower – until the 10th there is a special Creed x High Camp Gardenias gift set (reviewed here).
  • Some safer scent options include bath and body products or scented hand creams. You really can’t go wrong with the Fresh Sugar Lychee Bath Cubes or the Fresh Sake Bath. I’ve loved both and there’s a GWP going on at Nordstrom (I think it ends today May 7th for their triple points).
  • Molton Brown makes some of my favorite shower gels and hand washes. Their latest is The Perfect Picnic Bathing and Hand Gift Trio. They always have good GWP promos on their site. I planned on gifting this to my mother-in-law and I really want to keep it for myself.
  • Byredo came out with a Hand Cream Duo for Mother’s Day – I picked this up for myself in New York at the Soho boutique a couple weeks ago and think the aqua green tint is just SO pretty. You can also buy it at Neiman Marcus. I believe it is limited-edition.
  • Skincare is another tricky one as it’s also very personal but you can’t go wrong with sheet masks. Also while in NYC I picked up the Peach and Lily Sheet Mask Trio from Barneys New York at their Mask Bar which has 3 to try. It’s super cute and really affordable. Just pair it with a box of Godiva Chocolates or flowers and it will make a nice gift. (You can also find it at Macy’s or Peach and Lily)
  • If you have a mother or mother-in-law that literally has everything, you can always stock her up on beauty staples, like if you know what her favorite perfume is or mascara is, there’s no need to be super creative. Tried and true staples are always a safe bet. Chanel Le Volume is a classic you can’t go wrong with. I’m putting this in a gift set for my mother-in-law.

I hope you found this gift guide roundup helpful! Do you have any fun traditions with mothers, grandmothers or mother-in-laws?

Press samples include items from Creed, Edward Bess, Molton Brown, and Chanel.

Diptyque Fragrance Holiday Gift Guide Home / Interiors

Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Luxury Candles For the Home

December 1, 2016

Luxury Candles for Holiday

I have a gift guide roundup including some of my favorite candles for the home this holiday. I love those warm and cozy feel good scents this time of year. Pine and spice scents are always fun to give the ultimate Christmas kind of vibe, but if you’re not into those kinds of scents there are still lots of other options that are great for holiday. If  you don’t want your house to smell like a pine tree or pumpkin, but still want something for your home or for a gift, I’ve rounded up alternatives for you.

The cutest luxury set this year is the Jo Malone Christmas Miniature Candle Collection ($110 for 5 candles, 1.2 oz each). This is definitely quite the splurge but comes packaged in a beautiful box that looks like a small tent box. The throw on these is phenomenal even though they are small. It contains Sweet Almond and Macaroon, Green Tomato Leaf, Frosted Cherry and Clove, Pomegranate Noir, Peony and Blush Suede.

Jo Malone Christmas Miniature Candle Collection

Byredo carries some of the most expensive candles on the luxury beauty market. I’ve splurged on a few here and there and love them, but the price is something that holds me back from trying them all (otherwise I would). If you’re shopping for someone who already has almost everything Byredo have some unique options that I think are great.

This year they’ve introduced three candles in a gorgeous color glass version at $85 each. Fleur Fantôme and Cotton Poplin are my favorites for their soft relaxing feel and I ordered those immediately to add some color and life to our home. Bibliothèque is also available in a green tinted version (this one smells like a sweeter version of Bal D’Afrique perfume). Another thing they’ve brought back this year are minis! (I reviewed three a year ago here.) The minis run at $35 each and right now they have them in Fleur Fantôme, Bohemia, Cotton Poplin, Tree House and Bibliothèque. For those new to the brand, you can find Byredo at Neiman Marcus, Barneys’s New York and Net-A-Porter.

The white frosted ones from last year are also still available, Figue Glacée ($95) is my favorite as I love fig scents and this one has red currant, whipped vanilla cream, violet, bamboo and sandalwood mixed in. The other two Prune Glacée and Cassis Glacée are both very sweet.

Byredo Candles Holiday 2016 and Minis

The most elegant holiday scent is Antica Farmacista Black Label Champagne Collection. I love this line so much I’ll have a dedicated post on my picks. I ordered the Full Size Candle and it’s such a beautiful sparkling sweet citrus. It has Satsuma citrus, floral notes of muguet to soften the citrus, passionfruit, sugared blackcurrant and apricot. The candle comes with a box of matches in the lid. Below is also shown the Travel Candle, Room Spray and one of the minis in the Diffuser Trio.

Antica Farmacista Champagne Black Label

Lumira continues to be a favorite candle line. I’m beyond obsessed with their Tahitian Coconut candle. For holiday they still have the Holiday Trio Set which has their best sellers:

  • Tuscan Fig has notes of fig leaves, fig tree, blackcurrant, cedarwood, iris and musk
  • Cuban Tobacco is one my husband loves and has in his office, it has tangerine, cardamom, clove bud, mahogany, patchouli, musk, vanilla, tobacco and floral notes
  • Persian Rose is the best rose candle I’ve burned because it’s not powdery or dated, it has Top notes of sparkling mandarin, bergamot zest, sweet orange, Middle notes of budding Persian rose, geranium essence, Base notes of soft musk, patchouli, dark amber

Lumira Holiday Trio Minis

Le Labo x Violet Grey have done a collaboration to launch a special exclusive of the Santal 26 Candle which comes in a beautiful black glass jar instead of the clear ones. The scent is still the same as the clear one, both are named Santal which has notes including amber, vanilla, cedar, musk and sandalwood. It has an earthy almost raw feel. Another great sandalwood home scent is the Molton Brown Coco and Sandalwood line. I own this scent in every option including the hand cream, shower gel, room spray and body lotion. The candle gives all kinds of cozy warm vibes. You can find the candle in a Single Wick ($49) version or Three Wick ($74) version.

Le Labo Violet Grey Santal and Molton Brown Coco Sandalwood Candles

Diptyque is always fun during the holiday. I think their pine scent is the best one that comes out each year. This year’s special edition candles come in a Holiday Candle Trio ($100) with minis that has Sparkling Incense, Delicious Spices and Festive Fir Tree. My favorite is the blue one Sparking Incense which has cloves, vanilla and incense. Quite a few of you asked for other recommendations as some mentioned you were disappointed in this year’s holiday options. Noisetier ($32 to $62) is hazelnut which is a warm and sweet scent but it’s not overly sweet. It has a mix of fruity and woody in it as well making it a delicious option. Vanille ($32 to $62) is another option, it’s a different kind of smoky vanilla. I didn’t really love it at first, it’s one that took me a while to get used to, but it’s a cozy option. To date the best vanilla scent is Henri Bendel’s Vanilla Bean – it’s not too sweet which is my biggest issue with most vanilla based candles.

Diptyque Holiday 2016

One last roundup: Sheepskin Rug, Chenille Throw, Pillows found at Pottery Barn

Best Holiday Candles for Home

Hope you enjoyed this roundup of some of my favorites! If I had to pick just three to burn the rest of the month, my top picks would be Antica Farmacista Champagne Black Label, Molton Brown Coco and Sandalwood and Diptyque Noisetier.

Do you have any favorite holiday scents for the home? Let me know in the comments!

Press samples included from Lumira, Molton Brown and Antica Farmacista.

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Fragrance Men's Grooming

Fall Fragrance Loves for Him and Her

September 30, 2016
Best fall perfumes and colognes

There are so many new scents that have launched this season. I usually find one or two new scents each season that I love but this season almost every new fragrance I’ve tested I’ve fallen in love with. I have a roundup of ones I have in rotation right now along with a men’s rotation for my husband. He usually sticks to the same colognes so many of the ones you’ll see here have been featured numerous times. I like to switch things up frequently so some of mine are newer ones.

Up first are my favorites along with thoughts on some others I’ve tested:

The three most exciting fragrance launches this season for me have been from Louis Vuitton, Louboutin and Edward Bess. I will have dedicated reviews coming soon on the launches but wanted to give you a roundup of highlights right now. Shown above:
  • Chanel N°5 L’Eau (c/o, reviewed here) is a light clean floral that dries down to a slightly powdery musk. Many of you have bought or tried this one too and mentioned that you either love or hate it. I really like it for the clean lively feel. It was a Chanel.com exclusive for a few weeks but you can find it now at all Chanel counters (for those wondering).
    • Notes include lemon, mandarin, orange, rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, cedar and cotton musk.
  • L’Artisan Mûre et Musc has been a long time favorite. I discovered it thanks to one of my best friends who always smells amazing. L’artisan recently redesigned all their packaging so out of curiosity I ordered one of the new ones and was relieved to find the scent is still the same. Sometimes I worry formulas change when packaging does. In this case it’s the classic berry musk.
    • Notes include lemon, orange, basil, lavender, blackberry, jasmine, musk, patchouli and oakmoss. It’s one of my husband’s favorites on me.
  • Molton Brown Pink Pepperpod Eau de Toilette is one of my favorite Molton Brown scents, I discovered it in the hand cream and shower gel and loved it so much I bought the perfume. It’s difficult to describe but it has a pink pepper, patchouli and cedarwood mix with a girly zest. They have a Discovery Set online that has 8 small spritzers of their scents you can order.
    • Pink Pepperpod notes include pink pepper, tangerine, elemi oil, nutmeg, ginger oil, patchouli and cedarwood oil.
    • This weekend their Friends and Family 20% off sale is happening through October 3 with code USFF20 at checkout. I won’t have a home fragrance roundup in time before the sale ends, but their Coco and Sandalwood Candle is to die for for fall.
  • Replica Filter in Glow is a new perfume primer designed to layer with your perfume. It’s an oil based spray and scented so it adheres well to the skin. I like using it alone or layering it with Replica Lipstick On afterwards. It’s a soft warm citrus that feels bright but not sharp.
    • Notes citrus neroli.
  • Byredo Bal D’Afrique is one of the few sweet scents I find I can wear. It’s one of the most unique fragrances I’ve tried and to me I smell a slight hint of apricot in it but it’s not really like that at all. For me it’s a bright sweet with a hint of musk, amber and cedarwood mixed in. It’s floral but sweet. I find it impossible to describe. I know many of you also love this one. If you can chime in the comments how you’d describe it I would so greatly appreciate your help!
    • Notes Bergamot, lemon, neroli, African marigold, bucchu, violet, Jasmine petals, cyclamen, black amber, musk, vetiver, Moroccan cedarwood
  • Byredo Unnamed (not shown) is a new one that I tried at Barneys over the week. It was truly love at first spritz but I decided to wait on this. I cannot find the notes on this one anywhere but if Gypsy Water and Black Saffron had a baby together this would be it. It’s fresh and modern like Gypsy Water and but not as sweet as Black Saffron. I’m seriously tempted.
  • Edward Bess Spanish Veil (c/o) is one of three new scents launched by Edward. I’ll have a full review on all three very soon. Right now they are exclusive online to his website. I do believe you can call the Bergdorf Goodman counter to order but they should launch online very soon. Spanish Veil is one of my favorites. It has a Byredo Gypsy Water feel but is less sweet and more woodsy. For some reason I detect a hint of licorice.
    • Notes include Pure Sandalwood, Tonka and Guaiac Wood
  • Louis Vuitton Apogee is one of seven new perfumes launched. I bought the mini set and owe you a full review. For now my top two include Apogee which is lily of the valley. I normally do not gravitate towards lily of the valley scents but this one is just one of the prettiest florals I’ve ever smelled. It has a powdery feel so if you don’t like powdery scents this may not be for you.  It’s fresh and feminine.
    • Notes include lily of the valley, jasmine, magnolia, rose, guaiac wood, and sandalwood essence.
  • Louis Vuitton Matiere Noire is my second favorite and is more of an evening night scent. If you like fragrances like L’Artisan Mure et Musc, Byredo Black Saffron or any blackcurrant kinds you will like this one. It’s a woodsy blackcurrant kind of scent that is more of an evening one rather than day to day. There is a floral mix in it which makes it smell rich but feminine.
    • Notes include blackcurrant, marcissus, jasmine, patchouli, Laos agarwood.
  • Louboutin Tornade Blonde (c/o) is one of the most luxurious perfumes I own. If you have a current Saks or Neimans catalog you can find a small sampler card inside one of the pages to try. All three are really amazing but I fell in love with Tornade Blonde which is exactly what I think of when I think of a perfume kind of scent. It’s a very strong floral with red rose, violet and cassis along with hints of jasmine. The bottle is just incredible in the design.
    • Notes Rhubarb, Violet Leaves, Ambrette Signature, Cassis, Bulgarian Rose, Jasmin Sambac Absolut, Orange Flower Petals Firnat, Gardenia from Brazil, Ambregris, Cedarwood, Australian Sandalwood, Patchouli.
  • Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon (not shown) is one of two new Nirvana additions. As you can see from my list I like soft florals but also fresh scents. Many of you prefer sweeter more gourmand fragrances and unfortunately for me my husband does not like vanilla at all. As I do not want to repulse him I do not wear it. Nirvana Bourbon is a seductive smoky vanilla. If you like vanilla scents this one is perfect for fall. You can also now find all four in this Nirvana Mini Rollerball Set for holiday which is just so cute!
    • Notes Vanilla Bourbon. Oakwood. Tuberose.
  • Viktor and Rolf BonBon (not shown) is one I had high hopes for. As a Flowerbomb fan I thought BonBon could be a great alternative. For me it has a similar vibe but is very very sweet. If you like sweet scents I suspect you might like this. For me it was too sweet, almost like a cookie or dessert.
    • Notes Tangerine, Blackcurrant, Orange, Orange Blossom, Jasmine, Peach, Guaiac Wood, Cedarwood, Caramel.
For a cologne roundup I asked him to pull his favorites for right now. Many of these you’ll recognize from past roundups. For him cologne and scent picks are more a year round kind of thing. He’ll pick one depending on occasion whether he’s looking for an everyday kind of scent or something more dressy for going out:

Bleu de Chanel, Tom Ford, Dior Sauvage

  • Chanel Bleu de Chanel is in my husband’s top three favorites. Out of all the colognes he has tried this is probably the one he’s asked me to repurchase for him the most. He prefers using the Refillable Travel Spray version so he can carry it with him in his briefcase or store easily in his desk at his office. It is hard for him to describe scents but he says this is a good everyday cologne that smells clean and modern but a woodsy feel. It’s strong enough without being too strong.
    • Notes are citrus and wood.
  • Tom Ford Costa Azzurra is more of a summery kind of cologne. It’s a unisex kind of scent that I adore and would actually wear myself except my husband says it’s too masculine for me. After spritzing it a few times I actually did have to agree it’s clearly more masculine with a woodsy oak with a slight green juniper mix.
    • Notes Juniper, Herbs, Green Notes, Oak, Warm Woods.
  • Tom Ford Vert des Bois (c/o) is a new one this season part of the Vert line. This too is another unisex one but still pulls more masculine. I’ve worn this myself this week as my husband has been traveling and it makes me think of him. If you liked Oud Wood you will really like this one. For a more feminine option the Vert Boheme is just lovely. It’s on my wishlist but given my long list for now I’m relying on my mini decant sample.
    • Notes Poplar Bud. Ouzo. Woods.
  • Viktor and Rolf Spicebomb is hands down the best hot-guy date night scent I’ve smelled and also is my husband’s favorite. He’s already gone through a few bottles. Since we were such big fans of this I picked up the Viktor and Rolf Spicebomb Fresh thinking it would be a more modern version. We both agree the original is still the best as by comparison the Fresh one almost has a feminine feel which is nice but the original is better.
    • Notes: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Cinnamon Leaf, Pink Pepper, Lavandin, Chilli, Saffron, Elemi, Vetiver, Balsam Fir, Tobacco Accord, White Leather Accord.
  • Dior Sauvage (c/o) is the third in the top three colognes for my husband. He believes most men like to stick to one or two colognes versus women who like to try lots of things. For the longest time no matter what I bought him to try he stuck with the Bleu de Chanel which works, but he did get a bit bored using the same one everyday. He says if you like the Bleu de Chanel but want something different to switch things up, the Dior Sauvage is the one to go with. This marks the one year anniversary of Dior Sauvage and they launched a larger 6.8 fl oz version. My husband owns and has already gone through a few of the smaller size. He likes the way the bottle is designed with a round sturdy glass jar and magnetic cap.
    • Notes Reggio Bergamot, Sichuan Pepper, Ambroxan.
  • Dior Sauvage Deoderant (c/o) is one I think smells amazing for a men’s deodorant and matches the cologne. My husband has sensitive skin under his arms and many will make his skin peel. This one does not and lasts all day for him so it’s a winner. There’s a Deodorant Spray as well which I’ve been trying to get him to try but he’s a creature of habit and uses the stick.
  • YSL L’Homme Deodorant is another winning scent for him and he says this is the best scented deoderant he’s ever tried. When I bought it he had very low expectations for this because he’s tried a lot and found they either didn’t last or didn’t smell good. The rep at Sephora swore by this one as his favorite and said “your husband won’t be disappointed, I promise.” So I gave it a go and I’m glad I did.
That rounds up our current scent rotation favorites for fall. I have a few others I’ve kept in rotation but I tried to narrow it down to my absolute favorites for right now. If I had to pick three, they would probably be Replica Filter in Glow, L’Artisan Mure et Musc and Byredo Bal D’Afrique. Out of the ones on my wishlist I’m gravitating most towards the Byredo Unnamed perfume but there are some others I still want to smell before deciding on another one.

As always I’d love to hear what you are wearing for fall. I’m also curious to hear how you buy your perfumes. I always find it overwhelming trying to decide. Do you ever buy perfume sight unseen? I try to at least test in store if I can, although sometimes I will order online after thinking about it for a while if I can’t get to a store or if there are no stores that carry a specific brand. (For me no nearby stores carry Le Labo, Byredo, Frederic Malle, L’Artisan.) Let me know in the comments how you go about trying new perfumes or deciding on a new purchase!
Are there any new ones launching that you’re excited about or have anything on your wishlist?

I will have dedicated reviews on the Louis Vuitton, Replica Filters and Edward Bess perfumes soon. If you want any other detailed posts let me know and I’ll see what I can do to fit them in.

Press samples featured have been indicated with “c/o” next to them.

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