Friday, November 04, 2005

Frederic Malle - Lipstick Rose

Okay okay okay OKAY I am the laziest blogger that has ever blogged a blog, and I apologize for not stinking as much as I should.

See, the reason is that anytime something I do requires effort, it stops being fun, which is why I am terrible at following my dreams and achieving my goals.

The other reason is that I have been wearing Lipstick Rose just about every day for the past forever, and my life is now complete.

You can get the Frederic Malle Editions de Parfum at Barneys, but their shipping is like $12 so you might want to check Ebay first.

Today I tried on MAC Violetrix (which is not on their website right now, so I'm confused) and Prescriptives Calyx and they both have a little bit of a wax-crayon undertone, which I like. Maybe I'm crazy.

Oh, and Beyonce's apparently going to be at the Marshall Field's on State Street in Chicago next Tuesday. But I probably won't.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Axe - Play or Be Played??

I just received the most charming email from Axe today:

Hi. It’s your friends from AXE and we’ve noticed that you’ve been spreading the good word about us lately in your blog.

So to say thanks; we’d like to send you some of your favorite AXE products or better yet, exclusive or limited-edition AXE fragrances before they hit shelves. Let us know if you’re interested by simply replying to this email and we’ll start sending you the goods. Just include your name, age, email and address if you’d like to receive some AXE advantages.

In addition, AXE is doing some really unique stuff that we want to let you in on, especially since you’ve been so nice to us. We want to give you the heads up about the latest AXE adventure. Basically, AXE asked two regular guys, best friends Evan and Gareth, to spend 3,688 hours of their lives picking-up girls in seven cities across the country – talk about the ultimate road trip.

Better yet, Evan and Gareth’s job (if that’s what you’d call it) is to test out different pick-up moves on girls and record them on their vlog for all eyes to see. They’re like seduction crash test dummies, taking hits for guys everywhere. They just left the craziness of Vegas and they’re heading to New York City as we speak; you should check it out –

Below is a link that will take you to three Evan and Gareth videos. The “Talkback” clip gives you the breakdown of how the Evan and Gareth story began and the other two videos will give you the first look (because nobody likes sloppy seconds) at some of the scandalous Evan and Gareth footage that isn’t on the site just yet, but will be soon.

In “The Seduce-O-Rama,” you’ll see Lars and Broch, two guys AXE brought in to compete against Evan and Gareth, throwing around their game. AXE thought Evan and Gareth were getting a bit sloppy, and there’s no room for that in the hook-up game. And finally, in “Doing The Monkeybang” you’ll find out who came out on top with the ladies at the end of the night.
[Note: I'm too terrified to click on this, so proceed at your own risk.]

And as another way of saying thanks; we’d love to send you some exclusive AXE goods, such as pre-released videos or never-seen-before ads, which all your friends will be vying for. Just let us know if you’re in and stay tuned for more AXE sneak peaks [sic].



Thursday, September 22, 2005

Oh god.

Jennifer Lopez also has a new fragrance out. It smells like green apple barf. Celebrities can't do anything right.

I saw a TV commercial for Fantasy last night, starring Britney and Kevin. I don't think I need to comment on the concept of Kevin Federline being anyone's fantasy.

Finally, Celine Dion knows where I live. A few days ago, out of the blue, I got a sample card of two of her fragrances in the mail.

Don't y'all know I don't like you?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Britney Spears - Fantasy

As I mentioned this morning, today Fantasy Britney Spears, or Britney Spears' Fantasy, or whatever, hits the stores. I still think the bottle is horrid. The box it comes in is real pretty, though.

And here's the surprise: it smells pretty good.

It's a fruity fragrance, which is strange considering its fall launch. Sorta tropical-pineappley. It's light and not at all overpowering; on the other hand, it's not too different from what you might find at Victoria's Secret. It stays nice on the drydown: still fruity, with a little bit of brown sugar.

I don't smell the cupcakes at all.

$45 for a small bottle, $55 for a big one. Your local department store is sure to have it.

Britney Spears Launches Baby, Perfume

Congratulations to Britney Spears on the birth of lil' Kozie! Or whatever his name is; I bet it'll start with a K. Kitney Spederfine?

I promise this is relevant. From E! Online:

The arrival of Spears' baby nearly coincides with Thursday's launch of Spears' new fragrance. In a note to fans, the singer described Fantasy Britney Spears as a "completely magical" blend of "enchanting scents and flavors," with "a hint of cupcakes."

Oh my gawd, that's TODAY! I'm gonna do some research. I do love cupcakes.

...By the way, is anyone else disturbed about the pattern of rhinestones across the neck of the bottle that looks creepily similar to a Confederate flag?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Guess - Eau de Parfum

I remember when Guess was the coolest label, when "designer jeans" automatically meant Guess, when $60 seemed like an insane price for a pair of jeans but, like, totally worth it.

I was nine.

Guess is no longer cool. The Guess of the new millenium is derivative and tacky. Guess is the reason why the popular girls laugh at the girls with Gs printed all over their handbags. Guess is what you get when you can't afford taste, and baby, they sell taste at Old Navy, so what's your excuse?

Guess is for girls who were abandoned by their mothers and raised by Lindsay Lohan.

You may protest that of course Guess is still cool; after all, they have a new fragrance out this fall. Which... you're calling this blend of air-freshener floral and Play-Doh a fragrance? And who designed that bottle? I'm so grossed out by it that I can't think of an appropriately cutting comment regarding the designer's taste and/or eyesight problems.

In short, some perfumes just make you want to kick puppies. This is one of them.

And by the way, 7 For All Mankind, this is your future. Best to quit while you're ahead.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Fresh Scents by Terri - Zoe

I have turned into a deadbeat blogger. Oh my gawd.

And the timber industry is apparently interested in my writing. Anybody want some penn,y st0cXs? I didn't think so. You also don't want to be |@nger and str@n;ger for your w@man, because your self-esteem is good enough as it is, you value proper spelling, and you hate spam. Sorry; I'm seething.

Terri's got a good Fresh Scent going on with Zoe; the official description is basically "musk, musk, and more musk," but this stuff smells nice and clean. Just... just nice and clean; it doesn't smell like anything to me. Great stuff, not overpowering at all, lifts the spirits.

Did Fresh Scents By Terri go up in price recently? I'm not sure. I hear all the cool kids like this stuff, though.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Sarah Jessica Parker - Lovely

I'm dragging my feet here, I know, and I'm sorry. It's the middle of summer, it's hot, and the last thing I want to do is smell anything. Nevertheless, we're moving onward.

I've always thought that if celebrities wanted their own clothing lines, perfumes, and so on, they shouldn't be allowed to put their name on it. It's just so much more credible that way. I'm no celebrity, but if I were, and believe me I have given this quite a bit of thought, I'd want to have a major hand in designing the clothes or the perfume, and not have my name anywhere on the label, but maybe have a press release mentioning my name in conjunction with the brand. That way, people would hopefully know that I was actually interested in the creative process behind the product, not making yet more money or turning my name into a brand.

Sarah Jessica Parker has not gone that particular route.

Part of me wants to like Sarah Jessica Parker for showing the world that women with a face like my middle-school science teacher can indeed be glamorous, and for setting a new standard for fashion. Each day before I leave the house, I ask myself, "Has Sarah Jessica Parker ever worn something at least this ridiculous and unflattering on Sex and the City?" If the answer is yes, I'm free to go.

But I simply can't like her. I have a lot of trouble distinguishing her from her SATC character, Carrie, with her squeaky voice and assy column-writing and shoe closet stuffed with neuroses. I want to slap Carrie, and I want to smack the show for popularizing the trend of girly drinks posing as legitimate martinis. (I call 'em fifis, because they're fluffy and I refuse to call them martinis.)

So I will never like Lovely. Because it's a celebrity fragrance, because it smells like apple martini (excuse me, you mean applefifi), and because LOOK AT THAT UGLY-ASS AVON REJECT BOTTLE.

Also, it smells too much like that cheap J. Lo fragrance.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Diptyque - L'Ombre Dans L'Eau - Update

When I last updated, I'd tried out some L'Ombre Dans L'Eau. I got some of it on my watch band, and I think it's important to note that my watch still smelled good a week later. I can still smell it on my watch, barely. It's quite a lovely fruity-rosy scent.

I'm not sure if this is widely practiced, but I recommend applying fragrance to clothing rather than to skin, provided the fabric won't react weirdly to the ingredients. This is especially useful if you have a perfume you like that smells funny when it reacts with your skin. In fact, it's the only way I can wear Angel.

By the way, Marshall Field's has a new collection of candles; I forget the brand name, but it's something weird. They're expensive and the only one that smells any good is Chai Tea, so it's really not important that anyone know the name. So.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Diptyque - L'Ombre Dans L'Eau

At the moment, Diptyque commands a range of twelve toilet waters, eight of which have their matching soaps, not to mention the toilet vinegar. -- Diptyque's website

I shouldn't laugh, but "not to mention the toilet vinegar" is the greatest sentence fragment of all time. (Is that a participle phrase? It's been ten years since I've had a grammar class.) It's one of those phrases that you can just tack on the end of any sentence to make it more funnier, kind of like how you add "in bed" to the end of your fortune cookie fortunes.

Diptyque's known for their schmancy candles. Not by me, though; I have yet to smell a Diptyque candle that really knocks my socks off.

L'Ombre Dans L'Eau eau de toilette, however, is awesome. It smells like, I don't know, pomegranate. Or fig. Or... well, the description says black currant and Bulgarian rose.

And it's lasted nine hours on me, and still going strong. No joke. Go Diptyque!

I kind of wonder if this could be a unisex fragrance. I'm all for guys smelling like something other than blue-tinted aftershave with a picture of a mountain on the bottle. When I was a kid, I used to wonder why perfume smelled like what girls liked (flowers and sweet things) and cologne smelled like what guys liked (mountains? Really Ripped Abs?) -- because wouldn't girls be attracted to smelling something that they liked? Wouldn't they want to date a boy who smelled like their favorite pretty flowers? I was a weird kid.

Sixty bucks gets you 50 ml (1.7 oz); it's available at Beautyhabit. Not to mention the toilet vinegar.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Escada - Rockin' Rio

Experience the sensual rhythm of the samba and the sultry warmth of the... yeah, shut up. Don't go to Escada's website because it's one of those obnoxious websites that's all, "I'm best viewed with XX resolution. Here, let me maximize the screen for you! No, trust me, you want the screen maximized. I'll just disable the resize button for you."

Escada just might be up for a Diversey Hates Your Web Design nomination, and maybe even win a golden statuette in the shape of Jay Manuel.

(Please tell me you didn't click the Jay Manuel link.)

Anyway, it just isn't summer without Escada whapping you across the nose with some limited-edition tropical scent. Rockin' Rio, despite the lame name and lamer box, is really pretty good. Like mango or peach, or something similarly orange and fuzzy.

A far sight better than Ibiza Hippie, which is nice, seriously, but it smells like a Strawberry Shortcake doll and is not worth the $50 or whatever they charged.

If you must have a limited-edition fruity fragrance, get something from the Victoria's Secret Garden collection. They cycle through fragrances faster than members of Menudo, and they all have names only slightly more cheesier than Escada's. And they all smell, as a Vicky's Secret sales associate charmingly put it, "like sweaty kids and Kool-Aid."

But everyone who wants Rockin' Rio probably won't be dissuaded by me. And they've probably already bought theirs, leaving you lucky fellows to buy it for cheap. Try Froogling it.

Ugh. I feel dirty in an especially fruity way. I wouldn't have reviewed this one if I hadn't received a free sample at Ulta.

Funny, You Don't Smell Cheap

Hello, everybody. I just finished the new Harry Potter, and I'm reading it again to make sure I didn't miss anything. By the way, the "error" on page 485? So not an error. Slughorn never gets Ron's name right. Duh.

That's not really a spoiler, by the way. Also, this is not a spoiler either: One of the new potions smells different to each individual: it smells like whatever their favorite scent is. Oh man, I want to be a wizard perfumer when I grow up. Why am I a Muggle?

By the way, years ago on All That I saw a Harry Potter parody skit which took place in Professor Chafe's Magical Lotions class, and Professor Chafe was always so cranky and mean because his thighs chafed, and he needed to invent a magical lotion to stop the chafing. I tried to find a transcript, but with no luck.

At any rate, with all this reading going on, it's kind of hard to find good things to smell. But here we go anyway:

If you love Prada eau de parfum, but find it too expensive, consider the refill, at $65 for 2.7 oz. Refills are always cheaper; it's just a matter of whether you prefer the nice packaging (or whether the refill is useable without it). Maybe you can find an empty bottle and split some Prada with your best friend. You'll have to work out custody of the cute Prada funnel for yourselves, though.

Also, Shalimar is available for cheap at every TJ Maxx in the universe. It's worth the $14, really. Full review coming soon.

If you're looking for something really cheap, though, check out Herbal Essences' Citrus Lift, at drugstores and Volde-Mart ("The Store That Must Not Be Named"). Smells kinda like a fruity green-tea smoothie.

And there's The Healing Garden's new Organics Wild Honey line. The little tester bottle in the display smells a little like honey, but once you spray it, it really doesn't. But it's still a lovely fragrance that's not too heavy, sultry, loud, overpowering, or cheap-smelling. You know that the "72% Organic" means that the remaining 28% is made out of the hearts of the endangered Bowtied Duckfoot Adoracubby. Also, why is Jewel the spokesperson? Jewel is dumb.

On a whim, I picked up some Axe shower gel in Essence or some such scent. I'm assuming it will help me pick up chicks. Which brings me to...

Exciting Announcement! I'm looking for guys who will help research this so-called "Axe Effect." If you write well, are easily persuaded by cheap advertising, think Maxim is classy, enjoy picking up chicks, and want to become a wildly (or mildly) famous contributor to Diversey Stinks, email me for the chance to participate in an exciting, barely-scientific study! No, don't comment. Email. Email.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Lush - More Flying Fox products

I meant to tell y'all that the awesome nasal assault that is Flying Fox shower gel is now available in shampoo and solid perfume forms (as well as the sparkly bath bomb). I'm not quite sure why they have a separate shampoo, since Flying Fox shower gel can be used to wash your hair, but there you go. I own the "temple balm"--seriously, do not actually use it on your temples unless you want to lose your sense of smell, because that stuff is strong. A little dab'll do ya. I mean, if you want to get back at someone, you might rub the entire tin of temple balm into their hair while they're sleeping. But if you want to be (and smell) nice, just use a tiny tiny bit.

Lush usually has new products on their website first, and they show up in stores a few weeks later. Flying Fox balm should be in all Lush stores, but I haven't seen the shampoo anywhere but online.

Friday, July 15, 2005

I Don't Like Perfume Very Much Either

Christopher Brosius--formerly of Kiehl's, co-founder of Demeter and the guy behind the new and heavily-hyped CB I Hate Perfume line--is getting a lot of press as of late. (Thanks to my girl Lura for the link.) Now Smell This (a way more thorough and informative blog than mine, and recommended reading) has an interesting interview with him.

I don't think I like Brosius very much. I can't really put my finger on why. But anyone who had a hand in creating Cumming can't be all that bad.

For outre fragrances, I'm more drawn to Comme des Garcons. I'm not sure who the perfumer is, and I don't feel like searching, but I'm kinda in love with CdG's Rei Kawakubo.

I did just receive a whole ton of Demeter samples the other day. Should be interesting.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Chanel - No. 19

I've always had a thing for strange numbers and measurements, like the "Speed Limit 27 MPH" sign in my hometown, or 67-watt light bulbs. So I thought it would be cool to wear one of the non-No. 5 Chanel fragrances as my signature scent.

Alas, not 19, because it smells like bourbon and baby powder.

Which, by the way, is the absolute worst thing you can smell when it's 8 in the morning, you didn't sleep well the night before, and you haven't had breakfast.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Celebrity Dork Curse

dahli9 asks: Do you visit your fan sites?

jessica_alba_17: I have seen them a few times, and I'm really flattered! I can't believe anyone would spend any kind of time on me because I'm such a dork!! :-)

One more curse before I go on vacation: The Celebrity Dork Curse.

How it works is this: Whenever a good-looking celebrity claims to be "such a dork," or to have been one while growing up, something will happen to prove s/he actually is such a dork, and the public will witness it.

For example, Jessica Alba would be photographed picking her nose and eating it, or getting rejected by a Xena lookalike at a Star Trek convention.

Soi-disant dork Britney Spears has already been hit pretty hard by this curse.

All right, I'm outta here until next week!


Diversey Stinks will be on vacation until July 14. Happy Bastille Day!

Coming up: More Demeterpalooza.

Demeter - Wet Garden and Flower Show

It's pretty evident that I love perfume. I love scented everything, pantiliners excluded. I love the chapter in Fast Food Nation where the author visits International Flavors & Fragrances and learns about the flavoring industry. I think you're supposed to be grossed out that the flavors and scents of just about everything are created in a lab, but I find it fascinating. Maybe I should work there.

However, I couldn't help but think, "If they can synthesize the flavor of grilled onions and olives and french fries, why can't they get a good banana flavor?" I kind of like banana candy, but it tastes like chemicals.

I feel the same way about some floral fragrances. There is no better scent than outdoor plants, flowers, and grasses in springtime, where you can't really tell where the fragrance is coming from.

Perfume, on the other hand, is like a flower kicking you in the nose.

I'm undecided about Demeter's Wet Garden. Sometimes it smells so real, but other times it's kind of the Pamela Anderson of flowers. It's complex, and light (yet strong), and green. It's a little overpowering, and not as earthy as I'd hoped, but it's still a good floral.

I really like Flower Show at first sniff. Surprisingly, it's not as complex as it sounds; it's mostly rose. For the first couple of minutes, it smells exactly like real roses in a rose garden. As it wears on, it deepens, and becomes a rose-perfume scent. I have wondered if maybe I just have a different (and wrong?) perception of what roses smell like. To me, they smell light and sweet, sometimes like conversation hearts, so most rose perfumes disappoint me.

I have found my ideal rose scent, though. It's The Healing Garden Green Tea line. Yeah, I don't get it either. Perhaps this is what they mean by tea roses? I'm really not sure.

I like to wear Wet Garden and Flower Show together. I'm not sure if they actually go together, but they are similar, and authentic enough to put me in a springy state of mind.

It'll be interesting to see what other Demeter florals smell like. I'm beginning to think that with Demeter, the more unperfumelike the scent is, the more true-to-life it is.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Demeter - Earthworm

Like Dirt, but better. I think a lot more people would recognize this as a "dirt" fragrance than the original Dirt. Lasting power isn't so great, but hey, that's Demeter for you.

I don't know what actual earthworms smell like. I remember from kid-school that they have five hearts, and I think if you want to cut a worm in half and have it survive, each side has to include some hearts. I didn't know they were hermaphrodites.

Ebay usually has tons of great Demeter stuff.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Hermes - 24, Faubourg

So by now, everybody knows that Oprah was denied access to Hermes in Paris, either because she was black or because the store was already closed.

Oprah, I like you. I believe racism is as serious as a heart attack, honestly I do. But: Shut up, Oprah. The store was closed. I've been turned away from closed stores countless times. Many of those times, there wasn't even a store employee to turn me away! It was just dark and locked and I couldn't get anyone's attention. It must be because I'm 1/16th black.

Of course, maybe they turned her away because she was fat.

Trashy tabloids report that Oprah was all "Do you know who I am??" I don't know, Oprah, do they? Do Parisians actually know their American talk show hosts? I kinda hope not. In the Gazette, as quoted from the Sun-Times article above:

"Everyone has endured something like this. Fortunately few of us fly into 'don't you know who I am?' mode. This is Paris, Madame Winfrey, not Chicago. Even if they know who you are, they just don't care."

I instantly hate anyone who pulls the "Do You Know Who I Am" card. Yes, I'm looking in your direction, Mischa Barton. (I honestly wish I didn't know who Mischa Barton was.)

Therefore, I hereby cast the Do You Know Who I Am Curse upon everyone in the entire universe, effective now.

The effects of the DYKWIA Curse are simple: whenever a person says "Do you know who I am?!?" (sarcasm doesn't count), something will happen that will seriously undermine the speaker's fame, clout, reputation, finances, or social status. For example:

Spurned Celebrity: Do you know who I am?
Repo Man: Mish-ka Barton, we're here to repossess your house.
New York Post Reporter: (furiously scribbles on notepad)


Spurned Celebrity: Do you KNOW who I AM?!
Restaurant Bouncer: Sure do, May-sha. You're the skank from the OC who caught genital stinkpox from a three-toed sloth.
Mischa Barton's Gynecologist and Bronx Zoo Expert: (in unison) It's true!
Paris Hilton: (fron inside restaurant) Gross. (throws her vodka-and-hydrofluoric-acid on Mischa's vintage YSL jacket)
New York Post Reporters: (high-five and scribble furiously)

So y'all better watch out. That's a curse on you, a curse on you, and a curse on you.

But anyway, Oprah's not going to be buying anything from Hermes anytime soon. Which, despite the race card brouhaha, is wise, because their perfumes suck. 24, Faubourg is probably the address where Grand-mere Catlady lives, and dusts her cats with forty-year-old fragranced dusting powder.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Demeter - Croquembouche

I'm on a Demeter kick. If only Demeter had a sampling program, my life would be perfect. Oh, and a Garden Hose Pick-Me-Up spray. Why no garden hose? Where my hose at? 'Cause the distinctive smell of garden hose takes me straight back to childhood, playing in the sprinklers during the summer, watering the lawn (though badly) with my dad, and those rare occasions where I actually got to drink from the hose, which was the best of all. I'm not quite sure why tepid, hose-flavored water was such a treat, but it was. Ooh, ooh, and I remember when I discovered that it looked really cool when I swung the hose in circles, or from side to side, and the water came out all cool-looking. And I used to love identifying the duct-tape cracks in the hose and washing my toes with the tiny leaks of water. Not to mention all the water-themed games I played, and I'm not talking Slip'N'Slide (though that was kind of fun if you didn't put your slide over any rocks or tree roots). I used to turn the hose on at the top of the slope of my backyard, and create waterfalls and completely erode the yard. I'd turn my ditch into a river and float bits of grass down towards the driveway. I used to play Mudman and Mr. Clean on the swing set, with me playing both parts: Mudman would take over the slide by smearing mud all over it, but then Mr. Clean would save the day by hosing it off, much to Mudman's chagrin. And then: waterslide! In 1987, this was my best invention yet. My tailbone's still a little creaky from so many hard landings off of the Mr. Clean waterslide.

In short: Demeter, get cracking on the Garden Hose spray.

Anyway. This croquembouche thing. I've never eaten a croakingbush, but I have this wonderful fantasy of some sorta cream-puff with a crackly burnt-sugar shell.

The name "croquembouche" sounds like a French villain. Like:

COSETTE: Monsieur Croquembouche, s'il vous plait, please give that money back to the orphanage!
CROQUEMBOUCHE: Ah, but cherie, zees contract says it is now mine! I need ze money to buy a FryDaddy grand enough to deep-fry my favorite treat: puppies! Oh ho ho ho hoh!
COSETTE: Monsieur, non! Not les petits puppies! (sobs)

And then Jean Valjean, Asterix, and that candlestick from Beauty and the Beast show up and shove that evil Croquembouche into his own deep-fat fryer, whereupon it is discovered that he's not human, but actually a monster made of sugar and whipped cream, and the delicious croquembouche is created.

To be honest, there are a frillion Demeter fragrances that I'd buy before something like Croquembouche, but the gals at Makeup Alley (one of my favorite websites, by the way) gave it such glowing reviews that I figured, well, why not? I've noticed, by the way, that quite a few Makeup Alley members are nuts about sweet, bakery-like "foody" smells. I like them on occasion, but I've smelled enough vanilla-sugary fragrances. They're like the family films of the perfume world: when you're young enough, you like them all, and it doesn't really matter that they're all the same. Eventually you outgrow most of them, but you never abandon the really well-made ones.

Anyway, to the point: I was a little disappointed in this fragrance.


Yeah. No. No, I don't get it. It smells like cilantro. It's not that alcoholy scent that perfumes have when you first apply them. It's definitely something different, and it's definitely not croquembouchey. Furthermore, I hate cilantro. I've actively tried to like it, and I like it for the first bite, but after that, it's no good. It's the culinary equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. To me, it tastes like surgery, and I'm sorry, but that's the association I get. (Rumor has it that cilantro-hating is genetic.)

The cilantro scent lingers for about ten to twenty minutes, longer than any off-odor should reasonably stick around, and then it turns into a surprisingly pleasant, but generic, caramel-vanilla-foody smell.

A few hours after that, it fades into a chocolate-cakey scent, almost identical to Palmer's Cocoa Butter Lotion. Or maybe I was wearing Palmer's at the time. I'm not sure.

Anyway, buy some Palmer's, because it's my new favorite lotion. Don't buy any Croquembouche. I'd send it back, but I'm too lazy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Hermes - Eau des Merveilles

More like Eau de Robitussin. Quel dommage.

I've generally been unimpressed with Hermes' fragrances. Un Jardin sur le Nil, however, is quite nice. There was a great story about it in the New Yorker a while back (thanks to Hung for the link).

Hermes' website is quite cute. I think I want a Hermes coffee mug.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Demeter - Summer Vacation

I remember when I first heard of Demeter fragrances, and I thought they were the coolest things ever. (And if you think so too, you might want to keep an eye on CB I Hate Perfume. So far I'm not impressed, but maybe something interesting will come out of it.) I thought smelling like dirt was a great idea, so I bought a bottle, and people would ask, "Why do you want to smell like dirt?" And then they'd say, "That doesn't smell like dirt, it smells like flowers." Which, no, it smells like dirt. It's interesting how some things smell really good if you remove the scent from its context.

It's also interesting how scents easily remind you of certain things, which I believe is the intent behind Summer Vacation, which is exclusively available (and out of stock) at Sephora. I smell this stuff and feel sunburned right away. It reminds me of thick, white sunscreen with a ridiculously high SPF, and my mother rubbing it on my shoulders and face, and getting burned anyway. It really does smell like summer vacation.

And it really actually smells like orange flower and chemicals. (The chemically smell is what makes it summer vacationy, I'm guessing. If Demeter really wanted to capture the essence of summer, they'd add a chlorine note in there.) The orange flower note lasts quite a while, longer than the chemical smell, longer than most Demeter sprays. When I first tried it out, I was smelling it the next day.

I wonder, though: is Summer Vacation the same as Suntan? If so, I've been had. Limited edition indeed.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Coming Attractions

I apologize for not updating as frequently as you all would like.

I will have a review of a very special fragrance for you within the next two weeks.

Also coming soon: lots of Body Shop reviews, more Demeter, more Bond No. 9, and perhaps my personal fragrance wish list. After all, what's the use of having a blog if you can't use it to persuade others to buy you presents?

Monday, June 20, 2005

Hummer - Eau de Toilette

This review brought to you by Blind Date Theater.

Guy: Hey, Girl.

Girl: You must be Guy. Um, pleased to meet you.

Guy: I must say, you're looking great tonight. That's a beautiful dress.

Girl: Thanks...

Guy: It would look even better on the fl-

Girl: What's that smell?

Guy: Smell?

Girl: Something smells like Deep Woods Off! Like, the bug spray. (wrinkles her nose) Is it you?

Guy: No, I don't think...

Girl: It is you! Why are you wearing bug spray?

Guy: I'm not wearing bug spray! I'm wearing... Hummer.

Girl: Hummer? Like the ugly yellow SUV?

Guy: They're not ugly! They're awesome. Have you ever been in a stretch Hummer? Those things are awesome!

Girl: Maybe if I were ever going to an off-road VIP event. Why would you want to smell like a car?

Guy: It doesn't smell like a car...

Girl: Well, it really smells like bug spray. Seriously. Hummer? Who are you kidding? If you want to wear a perfume with a designer label, why don't you wear Gucci?

Guy: But Hummers are cool!

Girl: And if you want to smell like bug spray, why don't you just wear bug spray? It's cheaper and it repels insects.

Guy: Uhhh... did I tell you you're hot?

Girl: I'm sorry, I think I'm getting a touch of the flu. I'd better go home.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Bond No. 9 - West Broadway

Another Bond No. 9 fragrance. This one's unisexay!

The description at Saks says that West Broadway, the street, is "a hipper, cooler, downtown Madison Avenue, especially for the free-wheeling man or woman with eclectic taste." Whatever. I've never been to New York, although I'd like to go sometime soon. But, I have to say, I'm pretty over the arrogant trendiness of New York City. New York's all like, "We're the greatest, coolest, and most important city in the world. That's right, the world. When people say 'the city,' they mean us. We're the city. We're The City. We're going to copyright the word 'city' so no other city can be called a city. Because Oklahoma City? Carson City? Salt Lake City? Please. We are just way too out of their league. Who do they think they are, asking us to the dance? Gross." I'm over New York being all full of itself, though maybe it's just the rich Manhattanites who do it, but I don't know my boroughs or my New York geography, because guess what, New York? I don't care!! And by extension, I'm over this Bond No. 9 gimmick of smelling like various neighborhoods. Because if you were really going to be faithful to what a city smelled like, you'd smell like dumpster and pee.

Stupid New York.

Oh, and I was going to mention this up there: I don't really like the word "freewheeling," and yes, it is one word, no hyphen. I can't help thinking it means "driving recklessly in a flashy car with the top down."

Okay. I'm glad I got that off my back. West Broadway is a pretty great fragrance. The description says lime and greens, but I'm not sure about that. It starts off smelling like some kind of spice--I don't know what, but it's definitely reminiscent of an open jar in the spice rack--and then morphs into sort of a carnation smell. And I tell ya, there should be more carnation perfumes in the world. Specifically, one that I can actually afford.

West Broadway fades to a light, clean, nondescript sweet scent that I'd classify as more feminine that masculine. It's something of a disappointment after the initial ten minutes. It lasted a total of maybe four hours on me--not bad, not great.

I have yet to find something from Bond No. 9 that I'd consider worth the high price, but I've got plenty more samples to go through. Considering my finances right now, maybe it's best I continue to be unimpressed.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Bond No. 9 - Chez Bond

"Chez Bond." Sexay.

This one goes out to all the guys. Chez Bond is a men's fragrance, but I'm wearing it today anyway. It could be unisex. Personally, I prefer the unisexy men's fragrances. I don't like a fragrance that screams, "I'm a man! Behold my really ripped abs! My masculinely scented body is irresistible to all hot chicks! Yeah, and only the hot ones."

Whatever, dude. You don't know discomfort until you're trapped on a city bus next to a guy doused in man cologne, and you've got a severe hangover.

Most guys' fragrances, particularly the manly-man ones that promise instant chickage, are of the "aquatic" group. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of aquatic/marine fragrances. I mean, water doesn't smell like anything. Where does the smell come from? Seaweed?

Aquatic scents are usually synthetic in origin, actually. The best way to identify them? A blue bottle is usually a red flag, so to speak. A fragrance name like "Mountain Rush" or "Action Rock Climbing" is another clue. If you smell it and think "Sporty!" "Crisp!" "Artificial!" "Xtreme!" or "Ugh!", you've got an aquatic fragrance.

Chez Bond, $105 at Saks, has a bit of aquaticishness, but it's more of a green fragrance that dries down all woody. It smells like a slightly more masculine version of Creed Millesime Imperial, or Imperial Millesime or whatever it is. I think it's the sandalwood that makes it more guy-ish.

Actually, Chez Bond smells like a lot of stuff, which is always a sign that you shouldn't pay $105 for it.

Yeah. Sorry I'm not more specific. Chez Bond is one of those many "pretty good, I guess" scents out there.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Badger Body Butter - Cocoa Vanilla

When I was about sixteen, Space Ghost Coast to Coast was my absolute favorite show. In particular, I liked the episode where Zorak's nephew, Raymond, paid a visit, and everyone was hungry.

Zorak: Hungry like Hungry Jack-hungry?
Space Ghost: No, hungry like a muscled-up G.I. Joe after a tough day in the chopper.

They order a pizza, and it doesn't arrive, so Space Ghost gets an idea:

Space Ghost: What say we enjoy the aroma of food with my smell ray. Stand back!
Zorak: Bacon!
Raymond: Ah! Horsey!

The reason I'm telling you this is because I bought a tube of Cocoa Vanilla Badger Body Butter because it smelled really good, like a chocolate cake. But now, I can't smell it without hearing Raymond's voice going "Horsey!" I can't describe what it is, but the smell reminds me of horsey.

Also, this stuff never ever absorbs into your skin.

But wait! There's more! I put this tube on my windowsill, next to the open window, and three days later tiny ants were crawling all around it. They weren't interested in any of the other crap on my windowsill, just the body butter.

It makes me think that maybe the Space Ghost writers did a little more research than they let on, and bugs really do like the smell of horsey.

Friday, June 10, 2005

A Brief Foray into Style: Louis Vuitton

This isn't fragrance-related, but it's noteworthy.

Louis Vuitton bags are kind of like the older boyfriend you had in high school: you used to think he was cute, classy, and extremely cool. Then you grew up a bit, got a bit more sense and taste, and when you think back about those days, you realize that guy was just plain tacky. I could probably rock one of the smaller, simpler Monogram Canvas bags, and the Epi leather collection is cute, but for the most part Vuitton accessories are the cheesy pickup lines of the handbag universe.

Behold, Louis Vuitton's latest atrocity.

Louis Vuitton, you're dead to me. You're more dead to me than your dead founder and eponym. And he died in 1892, mind you, and is probably doing several tours en l'air in his grave.

Philosophy - Amazing Grace

All right. Amazing Grace. It sounds kinda like Amazing Race, so I think I might start calling it that. Yeah, today I'm wearing Amazing Race. It smells like sweaty bandanas and tuk-tuks, with a delightful base of broken ox.

Okay, try this: Sometime when you're alone and people won't overhear you and think you're nuts, say "Amazing Grace" out loud, and then say "Amazing Race." I did this last night, because I think I say "a-maze-un grace," but "a-maze-eeng race." Do this and see if you pronounce "amazing" differently. Or better yet, tell one of your friends who doesn't read my blog to do it, because then they won't be conscious of the difference in pronunciation. Then, ask them why they aren't reading my blog.

Oh. And. I'm not the type to get political, but you should all read Jonathan Kozol's Amazing Grace.

Anyway. Philosophy is one of the few cosmetics brands of the Things You Might Find In Sephora variety (and wouldn't "Things You Might Find In Sephora" be a great $25,000 Pyramid category? "Eyeliner! Perfume! Stila! Free samples! Salespeople with one black glove!" Do the salespeople do that anymore? They did when it first opened, as I recall.) ...where was I? One of the few cosmetics brands that I just don't get. Not "get" as in "purchase," although I don't do that either, but "get" as in "understand the appeal of." (Where does the "of" go in that phrase, if not at the end? Grammar has failed me. Well, it's a sentence fragment. By the way, how many times have I gotten sidetracked in the middle o... wait, my phone's ringing) I mean, okay, minimalist packaging and pictures of cute kids and type about "how you climb up the mountain is just as important as how you get down the mountain." I have just never been compelled to buy anything from Philosophy, and it's the rare beauty product indeed that can't somehow convince me to buy it.

I bought Amazing Grace, though. Mostly because they had a little bottle that was fairly inexpensive ($15, I think?), otherwise it would have been a no-go. So that's one point for Philosophy.

It's hard to describe. I think it's a floral. It doesn't quite read as a floral, but there's no category that fits better. It's very light and clean, and it doesn't have a musky or warm drydown like many florals do. You know what I smell in this? A little bit of Demeter's Dirt. Now, don't go panicking because I told you this smells like dirt; I love the Dirt fragrance. I bought a bottle years ago and went through it superfast, and everyone who smelled it said, "That doesn't smell like dirt. That smells like flowers." And I said, "No, it's definitely dirt; your perception of what dirt smells like is just all weird. You're prejudiced against dirt." And I loved it, but it would always fade after ten minutes.

So... I like Amazing Grace. It smells a little like Dirt, but it lasts longer, and people don't look at me funny when I tell them what I'm wearing. Unless I tell them it's "Amazing Race."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Henri Bendel - Room Perfume

You probably already know I'm a big fan of Bath and Body Works' Henri Bendel candles. Did y'all know they made room perfume in the same fragrances?

I don't think anyone knew, or if they knew, they didn't care. Because Bath and Body Works is discontinuing them, and you can buy them for $9 (down from $18) at the Big Ol' Semi-Annual Sale. They're good ones, too; I grabbed one bottle each in Orange Flower and Tuberose.

I'm sure I read somewhere that you can use room spray as personal fragrance; the only difference is in the alcohol content, and it's a small difference. I think. Well, I tried it out yesterday, and it works fine. Orange Flower will last quite a while on skin, and doesn't turn all weird-smelling like that stuff from the Gap, of which I am not a fan.

So, go ahead and use these on yourself. You have my permission. Just proceed with caution, because I will not be held responsible if you get allergic and die.

And just because you can use room perfume doesn't give you license to douse yourself in Glade. That's just tacky.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Diversey Thinks Out Loud

I'm thinking of ways I can organize this blog a little better. One of my friends suggested reviewing men's fragrances, which I'm willing to do, but not exactly well-equipped. I've considered having a fragrance wish list on my blog, too. Info about new releases would be good, too, but I'm not sure where I'm going to get that. Maybe I should read more beauty magazines.

It's sometimes hard to write about perfume, because most of the time there's really not much to write about, except, "This smells like... flowers. It's okay." Unless something smells truly amazing or truly dreadful, it can be hard to think of things to say.

Plus, I'm not a fragrance expert. I don't claim to be, and I don't exactly want to be. I want this blog to be accessible, and amusing even to readers who've never spritzed anything, so I'd rather write from a layperson's perspective. I don't want my reviews to be esoteric, or pretentious, or boring.

Of course, I'd like this blog to be an entertaining read, and to be different from all the other blogs out there, and to be interesting to people other than myself. The best way I can do this is through my writing style and sense of humor.

I'm open to suggestions, as always.

In other news, Bath and Body Works' semi-annual sale begins Monday, June 6th. I think Semi-Annual Sale is my favorite season.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Whatever Is on My Wrist

My left wrist smells marvelous, like orange blossoms. I didn't put anything on there today, so it has to be leftover from yesterday. So, most likely, it's a lingering note from Philosophy's Amazing Grace or Demeter's Summer Vacation.

My right wrist has a bit of Nanette Lepore on it, which I applied yesterday mid-morning.

Just so you know how long these fragrances stay on. And yes, I've showered and washed my hands several times during the course of the day.

Full reviews of all three coming soon.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Lolita Lempicka Eau de Parfum

Who is Lolita Lempicka? What does she do besides have this one perfume? How do you pronounce her last name? And who, who, WHO designs these god-awful websites?

I'm throwing a quick Lolita Lempicka review in because I've heard a lot of people compare it to Angel. I bought them the same day, actually. And they're different. Not the same at all.

Lolita Lempicka is a very subtle scent that I have trouble describing. It kind of reminds me of Johnson's baby shampoo, though I don't know if that's the smell I'm looking for, because Johnson's now seals their shampoo bottles so I can't sneak a whiff when I'm at Walgreens. I don't want to have to buy the entire bottle just so I can figure out if that's what my perfume smells like or not. Argh!

Like baby shampoo, though, Lolita Lempicka is gentle and suitable for everyday use. Angel, of course, is not. (Angel is the kind of scent that grabs your nose's ass, which is definitely not appropriate in some contexts.)

And Lolita Lempicka is less expensive than Angel. The smallest size is $40 at Sephora; Scentiments has it for only about $23.

Thierry Mugler - Angel

Okay, so within the past week, I've compared two fragrances (Flowerbomb and Prada) to Angel, so it just makes sense that I go ahead and give you a review of Angel. Or, more accurately, an amateurish essay that should be titled "Why I Regret Spending $50 on Angel At Filene's Basement."

To be clear, I've got nothing against Filene's Basement. I love Filene's. I got an awesome sweater for like four bucks there once. And I have absolutely nothing against perfumes bought at Filene's, unless they have the words "Beverly Hills" in the name. I did save a good chunk of money on Angel, but, well, if I had known then what I know now, I'd be fifty bucks richer.

So... Angel. The original. Before this Innocent and Garden of Stars nonsense. Honestly, I don't even know how many iterations of Angel they've got out there, since Thierry Mugler changes the bottle design every couple of years. I betcha there's some dumb rich lady out there with all the different bottles, and she doesn't realize they all have the same perfume inside.

Anyway, when it first came out, years and years ago, every fashion magazine in the universe went nuts over it, and it was supposed to smell all chocolatey and warm and comforting yet exciting, and so on, and I'd try it on at the department store and think, "What's the big deal?"

Then, about a year or so ago, I borrowed a little bit of someone's Angel-scented hair/face mask, and it was divine. The mask has been discontinued, I'm assuming, but you can get it for cheap at Scentiments. And it's really more of a body butter-type cream than a face mask. I'm sorry, it's wonderful, but I'm not stuffing that in my T-zone.

Spurred on by the warm, creamy deliciousness of the face mask, I looked for an inexpensive bottle of the eau de parfum, which brought me to Filene's.

It smells barftastic on me. It's the closest thing to a migraine I've ever had. And it's so strong, one spray could beat me in an arm-wrestling match.

However! If I use it as a room spray, it smells amazing; if I use it as a linen spray, it smells amazing; if I spray it on the outside of the sweater I'm wearing, I smell amazing. It just doesn't work with my skin.

Use caution with this stuff, I'm warning you. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread and so on.

If Angel doesn't work with your body chemistry, I'd recommend Prada, which is better anyway. Victoria's Secret made a scent called Secret 33 which smelled similar to Angel, but was lighter and more wearable. It's pretty good; check Ebay. The Henri Bendel Tonka Bean candle at Bath and Body Works smells a lot like Angel, too, but they'll probably discontinue that as well.

But if you insist on having a bottle of Angel, even if it makes you smell like dead chocolate, hecko, I'll give you mine. Take it, and don't come near me ever again.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Prada Eau de Parfum

My mom and I have had this thing about Prada. It started with her dragging me into the Prada boutique to show me this insanely cute pair of shoes that she was insistent on buying for me, until she realized they were $300. The next summer, Mom sent me a photocopied New Yorker article on Miuccia Prada with a handwritten note: "I personally think this sorry chick needs to get over her bad self." I tend to agree.

(Though, I've gotta say, Prada's robot accessories are awesome. However, I was making robot bags in Fall '04. Suck on that, Miuccia, and you're just glad I'm not calling my lawyers.)

Anyway, when Prada came out with a fragrance, I had to get some for Mom, because, ha ha ha, look, Prada.

Turns out it's fantastic. It's what Angel should be, and isn't (and stay tuned for the Angel review). It's sexy, and recognizable, and not too sweet or cloying, and it doesn't make you barf. However, it's expensive, and I'm broke and have more than enough perfume to last me through the apocalypse.

Prada is everywhere right now (bizarre concept, I know), so you probably already know where to buy it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Comme des Garcons Series 2: Red - Carnation

Usually when I'm wearing any kind of fragrance, I can either smell it constantly or not at all.

I put some Carnation on this morning, and every now and then during the day, I thought, "Wow, what smells so good?" It was me. I smelled like I was carrying a bouquet of fresh flowers.

Everyone else around smelled like body odor. I assume they haven't been reading my reviews.

Carnation is available at LuckyScent. If you're looking for a cheaper carnation fix, Roger & Gallet makes an excellent carnation-scented soap.

Viktor & Rolf - Flowerbomb

Viktor? Rolf? I hate your website. I hate any website that automatically launches new windows that take up the entire screen. Web designers? Guys? Stop doing that.

Also, I hate your stupid trendy perfume. It smells like one part Angel mixed with ten parts old vase water after the bouquet has died and you've thrown it away, but there's still some brown leaves stuck in there. And it's a crappy ugly vase that came free with the bouquet.

I sprayed this on my wrists at Saks and couldn't stop smelling myself. It was like an olfactory car crash. Every half hour, I turned to Mom and said, "Smell this. It's still awful." Mom was wearing Prada, which smelled great the whole time. I wanted to sandpaper Flowerbomb off my skin.

It does have great staying power, which isn't a good thing in this case.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Lush - 17 Cherry Tree Lane Soap

Today's unofficial theme is "Things That Unintentionally Smell Like Other Things."

I bought a little chunk of 17 Cherry Tree Lane last time I was at Lush, because I really liked the smell. Since then, I've read the customer reviews on the Lush website, many of which mention Lady Foot Locker. Dear God, it's so true. This soap smells exactly like the inside of a brand new pair of sneakers. I can't shower anymore without the incredible urge to run out and buy some new Reeboks.

17 Cherry Tree Lane would be perfect to wash up with right before a hot date with Nelly. I can't imagine what would turn him on faster than the smell of new Air Force Ones. Except maybe a good pair of Apple Bottoms.

Bond No. 9 - Fashion Avenue

Here's what Saks Fifth Avenue has to say about Fashion Avenue:

"Epitomizing the spirit of Fashion Avenue, where creative energy is everywhere, is this style-right fragrance, designed for the iconoclast, a high-energy, go-getter with an eye on the future. Sparkling mimosa, in a bed of dewy greens is blended with ylang-ylang and cashmere musk. The result is a fresh, sexy, sultry scent."

Here's what Diversey has to say about Fashion Avenue:

"Mmm. Wonder Bubbles!"

There's nothing wrong with smelling like bubble soap--it reminds me of Easter mornings and the kid who drank Wonder Bubbles in second grade and started puking bubbles--but there is something wrong about paying $168 for the privilege. Unless you're filthy rich. And if you are, can you buy me some Fashion Avenue?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Fresh Scents by Terri - Berry Cute Shimmer Spray

I'm sure a lot of you have read Fast Food Nation; I'm probably the only one who read it and continued to eat McDonald's. Maybe that means I'm a sociopath, but I hope not. My favorite chapter was the one describing artificial flavorings and additives, and how it's now possible to synthesize the flavor of just about anything, from burgers to grass to grilled shrimp.

I can't help but wonder, then, why banana-flavored things still taste like chemicals. Is banana technology so far behind the curve? Or perhaps authentic banana flavoring is so complex and nuanced that it's difficult to manufacture and thus more expensive.

The Banana Dilemma seems to be common in berry fragrances, most notably the yuck from Bath and Body Works, but also in Fresh Scents by Terri's Berry Cute spray. The berry smells synthetic and off. I've never really liked berry fragrances, so I may be biased, and I wonder if the Banana Dilemma is to blame for that.

Berry Cute's drydown is better, and very similar to a few of the other scents in this line: a baked-goods vanilla, mixed in with some berries. Artificial berries. Which makes me think of Jiffy blueberry muffins. Don't you just love the packaging?

I can't think of a clever segue into it, but I wanted to add that this picture is frightening.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Fresh - Index - Fig Apricot

I tried a sample of this over the weekend.

It's not very interesting.

Bond No. 9 - Sample Card Text

Thanks to Ebay, I have twelve different samples of trendy Bond No. 9 fragrances. Yes, someone actually thought smelling like New York would be a good idea. I can't imagine this concept succeeding if the theme city were Chicago. Even the Gold Coast, where I briefly lived, smells like garbage and pee.

So I think Bond No. 9 is lying to us. 'Cause everyone's your friend in New York City, and everything smells like orange blossoms when you're young and pretty, &c.

Anyway, this Ebayer sent along a sample card with these samples (which, by the way, are wrapped in colored foil, like candy, and just so cute), and there's a long description of the fragrance concept, and for some reason I think it's really funny, so I'm just going to transcribe some of my favorite parts, including bold and italics.

Here goes:

"Instructions for use: Unwrap. Open vial. Breathe in. Congratulations! You have just caught a whiff of New York....Like nothing before it, Bond No. 9 captures in scents the sights, sounds, and nonstop, in-your-face energy of Manhattan. Here is the incomparable beauty and derring-do of our island metropolis, distilled in liquid form."

(The word "derring-do" is not used nearly enough in conversation these days.)

"[I]ts bold aromatic agenda comes out of a grand New York tradition of taking risks and breaking the mold."

"From the most audacious (and several are very audacious) to the wittiest and most whimsical, each scent expresses a courage, a gutsiness, that captures (as in a genie's bottle) the uncompromising spirit of this fast-paced, kaleidoscopic city that lives in the grand scale. Bong [ha ha ha oops that's a typo it really says "Bond"] No. 9 conveys a savvy assurance that says, Yes...this is the place to be...this is the scent to wear."

Doesn't that last sentence sound like Mary Alice from Desperate Housewives? Actually, all of it kind of does. Just replace all instances of "Bong [oh I keep doing it ha ha ha] No. 9" or "New York" with "Wisteria Lane." "Yes, Bree liked to live in the grand scale. But her incomparable beauty and derring-do was not enough for Rex."

Anyway, expect reviews of this bold aromatic agenda in the near future.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Fresh Scents by Terri - Peachy Keen and Dream

Okay, I'm not really actually done with the blog. Though I am almost done with the tiny little chunk of Cereology that I broke off and put by my sink. It makes hygiene FUN!

I've had my Fresh Scents by Terri samples for a week or two now, and I haven't come up with much to write about them. That doesn't mean they're not good; it's fantastically easy to write about sucky fragrances. It's more like the audition episodes on American Idol; they show the (supposedly) phenomenal singers and they show the obviously crappy singers, and you know there are a frillion kids out there who sing perfectly well, and could perform rings around a certain tiny-nosed jackass domestic abuser, but even though they're good, they don't even get to the part where they sing in front of Simon and all them, because they just don't make for good TV.

So, for the most part, these are good fragrances, but they're not exactly smellgasms.

Peachy Keen is, so far, my favorite. The description on Terri's website is pretty accurate--peaches and vanilla--and the drydown is quite similar to the first whiff. There's something else in there, too, which gives it sort of a peaches-and-cream-oatmeal smell. Cinnamon? I don't know. Tasty.

Interestingly, the creamy vanillay oatmeal drydown is present in quite a few of Terri's fresh scents. It's there in Dream, too. Vanilla and Fig. What does fig smell like, anyway? Before I get the creamy oatmeal, though, I get... Girl Scout Camp. Why does this remind me of Girl Scout Camp? It doesn't smell like a campfire sleeping bags or s'mores or football pudding or oh my god there are COTTONMOUTH SNAKES in the lake!!

Maybe it smells like Skin-So-Soft? Just a little bit? I'm not sure.

And by the way, Every Troop Leader I Ever Had: Skin-So-Soft does not repel mosquitoes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Lush - Cereology Soap

That's it. I'm done. I'm taking the blog down and tossing out all my shower gel, because there's no longer any point. None of it matters now that I have found the best-smelling soap in the entire universe.

I am also selling all my furniture and replacing it with chairs carved out of enormous slabs of this soap. It's that good.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Para Mi Bebe - Agua de Violetas

One more, and then Violet Day is over. But I've saved the best for last.

I found Para Mi Bebe Agua de Violetas at Walgreens, in the half-aisle where all the products were in Spanish. Somewhere between the mother-of-pearl soap and the "Super Macho" testicular extract.

I didn't know they made baby cologne. Even Johnson and Johnson make it. However, every bottle of baby cologne I have ever seen is in Spanish. Maybe baby cologne is popular in the Mexican community, though most of the baby colognes I've seen, Johnson's excluded, are made by companies from Spain. Maybe this is a culture shock thing.

Oh wait, I just found something that says baby cologne is especially useful for removing excess moisture from babies' hair. Which explains the high alcohol content, I suppose.

See, when I put some on, it stung a little bit. Am I more sensitive than a baby? I also spilled a whole ton of it. It might work better as a spray, considering how spilltastic the bottle is.

The fragrance is very light, with a baby-powder drydown, though it's definitely not a just-for-babies fragrance.

And the price? Boy howdy, that's the best part! A big old 8.3 oz. bottle is only about $3.75. If you can find it, that is.

Perfumeria Gal - Violet Lip Balm

Perfumeria Gal's website sucks.

On the other hand, their lip balm tins are cute, even if the lid doesn't close as tightly as I'd like.

The balm is violet-scented but not flavored, and you get a lot of it. The texture of the balm itself is not my favorite--a little too petroleum jelly-ish for me. I guess that's to be expected from a product (whose main ingredient is petrolatum) called "Vaselina Perfumada."

I like lip balm, but I don't really need any more in my life. I bet this would be okay to put on dry elbows or something.

Violetta di Parma Eau de Parfum

This is probably the cleanest of the violet scents I've tried, with just a little sweetness. It's very subtle, almost soapy. You know what? Violet fragrances kind of remind me of original Dawn detergent. In fact, I'm going to run into the kitchen right now and smell the bottle of Dawn.

...Hmmm. Dawn just smells like Dawn. I can't tell if there's any violet in there. By the way, did you know that Dawn is an excellent laundry pre-treater for greasy stains? Honest.

Violetta di Parma is available (though backordered like crazy) at LuckyScent for only $34. You probably want some.

L'Aromarine - Violette Eau de Toilette

I will always and forever recommend L'Aromarine fragrances: they're cheap, they smell good, there's a huge variety of them, and their bottles are awesome.

Except for Violette. It gets a little too men's-cologney after a few minutes, and I'm just not sure I can give it my blessing.

I'm not going to let this interfere with my love for L'Aromarine, and I'm not going to let this rain on my Violet Day parade, but I just thought y'all should know for your own good.

Lush - Bathos Bubble Bar

Have you read Beverly Cleary's Ribsy? About the dog who gets separated from Henry Huggins and goes on adventures and all these girls give him a violet-scented bubble bath? And they sing this dumb song about "Sweet vi-i-i-olets, sweeter than all the roses" or something like that?

I hate that book. I don't hate it for any good reason; I just hate it because I hate the name Ribsy and I hate the name Henry and I hated Louis Darling's illustrations when I was a kid and I especially hate that violet song even though I don't know the words.

I've got to try not to think of stupid Ribsy, because it may ruin my violet bubble bath experience forever. That would be a shame, because I'd never get to use another Bathos bar from Lush. It's a little spicier and more herbal than most violet scents I've tried, so it's good if you're not a fan of the sweeter scents. Plus, it's the cheapest bubble bar Lush offers.

One bar is good for at least three bubble baths, at least in my tub that doesn't bubble up very much. You'll get a lot more bubbles if you put the desired amount in a stocking (a clean one! Gosh!) and tie it around the faucet so that the bar is directly in the stream of running water. Additionally, your hands will be free, so you can read a book in the tub. Just not Ribsy, for heaven's sake.

Fresh - Index - Violet Moss

Happy Violet Day, people! Today, we... smell a lot of violets. After a while, everything starts smelling the same. So it's not really that exciting, but it sure smells good.

I do recommend getting some Violet Bouquet from Bath and Body Works first, because it's a very good violet fragrance, and if you like that, and if they discontinue it (which they will), move on from there.

Specifically, move on to Fresh's Violet Moss, because it's great. It's clean and sweet and bold and lasts for ages, and I'm not really sure what they're talking about with the moss, because I sure don't smell any moss. Also, iris buerre? Do they mean iris beurre? Iris butter sounds tasty, especially on, like, bran muffins. I like food that tastes like flowers.

And get over yourself that it's $65, because that's for a 3.4 ounce bottle, which is pretty hefty.

And also, someone needs to buy me the Fresh Index Fragrance Chronicles for my birthday. Pretty please with candy violets on top?

Friday, May 06, 2005

The Bath Lounge - Cosmopolitan 3-in-1 Bath Cocktail

All right, folks. In celebration of violet, the It Fragrance, the New Green Tea, Monday will be dedicated to reviews of violet-fragranced products. Expect at least five reviews throughout the day.

Today, I've got a cheapo drugstore find, the Cosmopolitan "Martini" all-purpose bath gel by The Bath Lounge.

"Martini" is in quotes because, y'all, cosmopolitans are not martinis. I don't care what your Sex and the City DVDs say. Martinis contain gin, vermouth, and olives. And that's it. If it's missing more than one of those ingredients, it's not a martini. If your drink is pastel-colored or opaque, it is definitely not a martini. From the Wikipedia article:

Sometimes the term "Martini" is used to refer to other mostly-hard-liquor cocktails such as Manhattans, Cosmopolitans, and ad-hoc or local conconctions whose only commonality with the drink is the cocktail glass in which they are served. Chefs with a more whimsical bent are even producing dessert "Martinis" which are not a drink at all, but are merely served in Martini glasses.

By the way, one of my favorite things to do when I'm on a bus and bored out of my mind is invent fake trendy martinis. For example, the Breakfastini: vodka with a splash of maple syrup, garnished with a slice of bacon. Or the Thaitini: vodka, coconut milk, and lemongrass, garnished with shrimp.

So then, strike one against the Cosmopolitan bath "martini" is that IT'S NOT A MARTINI DAMMIT. Strike two is, well, who wants to smell like an alcoholic drink? I guess a lot of people, if the popularity of certain Demeter products is any indication. Fine, go ahead and fail your breathalyzers for all I care. Smell like a drunk, even if you're a teetotaler. What a terrible idea.

But this stuff doesn't smell like booze! It smells like Easter candy. I don't know what Easter candy. Maybe those speckled jelly bird eggs? Or those big eggs that look like oversized jelly beans but have that weird sugary marshmallowy middle? Honestly, I wouldn't have bought this if it didn't smell like candy.

In fact, I'm strongly considering ripping off the "Cosmopolitan martini" label and writing "EASTER CANDY BATH STUFF" in Sharpie on the bottle, but I probably won't, because the girl in the drawing on the label looks like Terra Branford in the tub. (I like Final Fantasy. I'm a nerd. Shut up.)

One more thing: even though it says it's a shampoo/conditioner as well as a shower gel/bubble bath, I don't think I'll be putting it in my hair anytime soon. I like keeping my shampoos and my shower gels separate. I'm fussy that way.

The Bath Lounge bath cocktails are about $7 for an enormous 16-ounce bottle, available at drugstores. There are six scents in all, three "tropical" and three "[fruity drinks served in] martini [glasses and thus incorrectly labeled as such]," but the other five aren't worth bothering with. Trust me.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Provence Sante - Linden Eau de Toilette

I wasn't sure how I was going to write this review.

Originally, I was going to write about how badly I wanted Provence Sante's Linden ever since I tried it at a Whole Foods about twelve years ago, back when $25 was a whole lot of spending money, and forever afterwards I would sniff the bottle and think, "Maybe next time," until today when I actually sprayed it on myself, and was instantly cured of that particular longing.

But then I thought of writing about a nonexistent invention--a spray that instantly neutralizes any and all scents, with absolutely no masking fragrance, that you could use either in the air or on the body as a sort of "perfume eraser"--and how this really, really needs to be invented, and whoever does invent it will make millions, and it really, really needs to be used on this Provence Sante stuff.

I also considered the succinct yet impassioned GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF.

But thirty minutes later, it's actually turned quite good. I may buy a bottle after all. This is a mighty strong fragrance, so spray with caution.

The Provence Sante Linden line is available at BeautyHabit for the truly brave.

Fresh Scents by Terri Samples

Fresh Scents by Terri offers a sample set of all ten fragrances for only $5 plus shipping. Hooray for samples!

This means you'll be seeing a lot of Fresh Scents by Terri reviews in the coming weeks. I'll try not to be too snarky, because I don't want to discourage people from sending me samples.

Know other places to get fragrance samples? Let me know.

Monyette Paris - Coquette Tropique

"Yo Girl - you smell like hibiscus."

I first saw Coquette Tropique at Merz Apothecary, and it smelled great, and I knew it had to be special because it was $45 for a tiny little bottle. Then I found out Monyette was one of those culty perfumes that all the celebrities dig, and now I'm not sure if I want it more or less.

You know, every time I read about celebrities' favorite perfumes, I have a hard time imagining them smelling like something other than new Barbie dolls. In my mind, celebrities (with the exception of, say, Britney Spears) seem kind of sterile and somehow impervious to things like dirt and ingrown hairs.

Though, in honor of Audrey Hepburn's birthday, I'll share with you a quote from Space Ghost: "Even Audrey Hepburn went to the bathroom!" And those are words I live by.

It's pretty tropical-fruitastic. I like it. (Audrey Hepburn would like it, but then again, she liked Spring Flower.) It lasts a long time, and it's not all up in your face. I'm not sure if I'll buy a full-size bottle, but I'll probably walk into Merz once a week just to roll on the tester.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Des Filles a la Vanille - Toi... Mon Ange

Let's see... I'd call this "a youthful combination of naivete, sensuality, and desperation."

More to the point, it smells like a cheapo vanilla fragrance from Revco, worn by high school girls who think that Whitman's Samplers and teddy bears clutching satin pillows (also purchased at Revco) are romantic Valentine's Day gifts.

Most of us have since graduated, stopped trying to win the head cheerleader's approval, and gotten over our first-ever true love, who by the way turned out to be a total tool who cheated with that one girl on the band trip, but you took him back anyway because it was love and NO ONE UNDERSTANDS!!!

But for those of you who never learn, there's Toi... Mon Ange.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Lush - Flying Fox shower gel

Sometime within the last year, Lush opened a store in Chicago, and when I found out about it, I spent the grown-up equivalent of two months' allowance on assorted bath junk.

Some of it is fantastic, and some of it not so good, and you'll be seeing a lot of reviews of Lush stuff, because I have so darned much of it, and because you all should know what's worth buying, and what will just turn your bath into a pee-colored lake with a deposit of silt at the bottom. (Hint.)

But let's not focus on the bad for now. Let's look at Flying Fox, the greatest shower gel that has ever been.

Buddy, this stuff is stinky. It smells all jasmine-flowery and awesome. And it's not one of those shower gels (i.e. every other shower gel) that smells good when you first put in on the puff, and then kinda disappears. It smells good for like forever. Your shower will smell good like forever. Your washcloth will smell good like forever.

Sometimes I hand-wash my undies in Flying Fox, and my undies seriously smell good all day.

And it's got such a cute name. I'm a sucker for cute names. Flying Fox brings to mind Sonic's cute but annoying sidekick Tails, who uses his weird mutated tails to fly around, almost as if a helicopter had grown out of his ass.

Cuter still is World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker, who's a total flying fox if you ask me. I don't care that he's old and dead, I totally have a crush on him. He's dreamy.

Sometimes I think of Eddie Rickenbacker when I hand-wash my undies in Flying Fox.

So shut up about it being expensive and just buy a bottle. I guarantee that flowery goodness will asscopter its way into your heart.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Drydown: Other ways for Diversey to stink

This blog is still in its early stages, and I'm still figuring out what I want to do with it.

It's a perfume blog, of course. Or a "fragrance blog" or "scent blog"--to be honest, I'm not too picky about semantics. Maybe I should be; I don't know. I'm not the foremost authority on perfumes, and I don't pretend to be, so this is not going to be a super-informative blog. I try, though.

So I'm trying to think of other regular features--perhaps a perfume wish list, or perfumes I'd like to see, or a "Whatever Happened To...?" section.

Any and all ideas are welcome.

Burberry - Burberry London

The original Burberry women's fragrance smells like apples. And, sadly, Play-Doh.

I'm not too upset because I got it for like $15 at TJ Maxx.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Fresh - Lemon Sugar

When I was about eleven, my parents let me get a cat. He turned out to be the greatest cat ever, and I miss him.

I still remember preparing for his arrival. We bought food and water dishes, cat toys, a slicker brush, and a litter box, which I filled myself. I had never dealt with litter boxes before in my life, and even that was fascinating. While it was brand new, clean, and untouched, it was actually... kind of inviting. The litter was dusty and had a weird but clean institutional-floral scent to it.

Then we got the kitten, and my family and I watched in awe as Kitty instinctively dug in the pristine box, squatted, and took his very first dump in his new house. "Awww," I joked as Kitty sniffed the fresh poo and covered it up with a small mountain of Tidy Cat.

When I like to be reminded of a kitten pooping, I pull out a bottle of Fresh Lemon Sugar eau de parfum, because the smell is identical to that of a new bag of kitty litter. In other words, you will never ever see me with a bottle of Lemon Sugar.

L'Artisan Parfumeur - Dzing!

Yes, it's got a dumb name. And it's a fragrance inspired by the circus. I kind of hate the circus.

And every other review I've ever read says Dzing! smells like a rhinoceros cage.

Well, I'm here to tell you not to listen to them. Listen to me: Dzing! is awesome. Yes, it's a little odd and leathery, but it's sexy and warm, and perhaps the most unisex fragrance I've encountered, and seriously not as weird as it sounds.

It smells kind of like the total badass you had an all-consuming crush on in high school, and you were completely intimidated by how rebellious and hardcore he was, but that's also why you loved him forever, and besides he's also totally sensitive and brilliant, but no one can see it but you, and once he gave you a ride home and OH MY GOD.

In other words, this is what Jordan Catalano would smell like.

I would totally make out with a guy wearing this. I would totally make out with a girl wearing this. I would probably make out with a cardboard box wearing this.

Get yourself some Dzing! at LuckyScent, and I may just make out with you, too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

H&M - Summer Blossom and Delight Blossom

"A body mist which is meant to be used all over body. Gives you a natural freshness which lasts all day long."

That's exactly what it says on the back of these bottles. Generally speaking, H&M's grasp of the English language is not terrific. The store is full of shirts screenprinted with slogans and phrases that don't really make much sense, but aren't quite Engrish-caliber bizarre. A name like "Delight Blossom" is pretty standard here.

For those of you who aren't blessed with an H&M nearby, let me tell you that it's a really fun store. Kind of a clothing-store love child of Ikea and Claire's. The good thing about H&M is that everything's really cheap. The bad thing is that a lot of it feels really cheap. Some of the clothes are practically dissolving on their hangers. And sometimes they'll still ask $40 for that stiff, unlined, sandpapery blazer.

So you can sort of see why I've never bought cosmetics from H&M. I always figured they'd probably contain lead.

Summer Blossom and Delight Blossom are two new and undoubtedly limited-edition fragrances from H&M. There's a third, called Punky Roses or Violent Roses or something involving roses and a decidedly un-rose-like characteristic, but it's not available in a spray as far as I can tell. The two Blossom scents are pale green liquids in standard-issue plastic body spray bottles. Summer Blossom is a 6 ounce bottle with a flowered label that looks something like a Gap scarf; Delight Blossom comes in a 1.8 ounce bottle that may be Monyette-inspired. These seem to be the only sizes they're available in, and I don't know why.

Well, I was in the middle of an H&M shopathon when my friend Laramie Wellington and I came across the fragrance table, and of course I sniffed them, being the scent junkie that I am. Usually I sniff the bottle without spraying it, which is what I did that day.

And I turned to Laramie, groaning "UGH SMELL THIS NASTY ROTTEN FISH YARRGHH." I don't remember which bottle I picked up, but it smelled like this one tree in my parents' yard that had the prettiest flowers in springtime, but those flowers smelled like old fishsticks. There are fragrances I don't care for, and then there's stuff that's just foul. If you ever meet anyone who actually wants to smell like fishsticks, let me know so I can issue a restraining order.

The saddest part of all this was that I bought them anyway. My arms were already full of assorted junk I was going to buy, and they were beyond cheap, and I figured that they'd at least provide interesting material for the blog.

Okay, so I spent so much time talking about how grody this stuff seemed that I'm going to put the next part in bold: Summer Blossom and Delight Blossom do not suck. They're actually pretty good. It turns out the stinky fishy smell had something to do with the plastic sprayer thing and not with the fragrance, and after a few sprays, the stink will disappear completely.

Delight Blossom is a very sweet, bright, candylike gardenia, somewhat synthetic and flat. Kai it ain't, but it's kind of nice in its own way. Summery. Not too cloying. I don't detect anything besides the gardenia, but sometimes simple is good.

Summer Blossom is similarly one-note, though not blossomy. It's more of a pear scent: subtle, sweet, and slightly crisp. It makes you want a Harry & David gift box. The pear in Summer Blossom smells almost identical to the pear in this French Vanilla Pear body spray I bought for two bucks on clearance at Wal-Mart. Some fragrance snobs might blanch at the words "clearance" and "Wal-Mart," but I went through that spray faster than anything before or since, and I would buy it again if it hadn't been discontinued. That stuff was fantastic.

Lasting power for both is adequate, comparable to any other body spray out there. Which isn't saying a whole lot. These might be good if you know a 10-year-old who likes smelly stuff, because she can spray all she wants and not smell skanky, and no one will die from the fumes.

Summer Blossom is $3.90 for 6 ounces, and Delight Blossom is $2.90 for 1.8 ounces. Cheaptastic! You can buy them at H&M stores, but they'll probably be quite difficult to find online. (I wouldn't look too hard if I were you.) If you happen to come across either, give it a spray. No, I mean give it an actual spray. Otherwise... fishsticks.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Bath and Body Works - Cotton Blossom

Another widely available Bath and Body Works fragrance. This one smells exactly like clean laundry.

Some people might wonder why anyone would want to smell like clean laundry.

Well, if you ever happen to sleep through your alarm, and you have only ten minutes to get to work, and every pair of pants you own is crumpled in a pile on the closet floor, and your hair is a giant oil slick, you'll probably be pretty desperate to smell like clean laundry.

I think I may carry a little bottle of this in my purse for those times I wake up on someone else's couch.

Archipelago Botanicals - Arugula Soy Wax Candle

Pronounced "ark-a-pell-a-go," I guess. Why do I keep saying "arch-a-pe-lah-go?" Oh well.

Archipelago has consistently good scented candles, and lots of them. I've gone through like a batrillion of them. I'm particularly partial to the $10 travel candles in the little metal tins. I haven't tried any of the monogram candles, because they're all different, and I feel like I might like, say, the "M" candle, which isn't any of my initials, and that's like wearing your Saturday undies on a Tuesday, which I refuse to do. I'll go commando before I wear my days-of-the-week undies on the wrong day.

But, okay, look at the Home Collection. Archipelago, what are you doing? You're so obviously trying to copy the Henri Bendel candles. Stop it. The problem with brands whose products are blatant knockoffs of other products is that you'll forever be known as the cheapy-tacky-knockoff brand, and it's so hard to get past that. And it doesn't help that the Archipelago Home candles are four dollars more expensive than the Henri Bendels. Archipelago, you're lovely, and you can certainly hold your own in the scented-candle department. So be your own beautiful candle already. And while you're at it, learn to spell espresso.

The Archipelago arugula candle is huge, and will probably last forever, and is super strong even when it's not lit, and smells great. I'm getting into fresh grassy smells right now, and Arugula is somewhat grassy but also kind of sweet and floral. Maybe even a little artificial, but very very light. It hasn't given me a headache yet, which is always a plus.

Just about everything Archipelago is available at Merz Apothecary. The 90-hour Arugula candle is about $30.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Dessert Treats - Butterscotch Toffee and Creamsicle

I remember a simpler time. A time when singers were singers, actors were actors, perfumers were perfumers, and reality TV stars were... nonexistent. A time when children were safe from the horrors of flavored novelty lotions and gels, which were seldom seen outside of boutiques specializing in "marital aids."

And then Jessica Simpson came along and ruined everything.

First, Jessica's original "Dessert" line. At first, I was overjoyed! Finally, a collection of bath and body products that could simultaneously induce nausea, rashes, and yeast infections, available to young women everywhere! And affordably packaged, so that...

Hold up a minute, Jess. What do you mean, $32 for that Deliciously Kissable Hair and Body Mist? That bottle looks like it could crack after five spritzes. Never mind that I don't exactly need my hair to be deliciously kissable.

Fortunately for us cheapskates, Jessica listened to our pleas, and released the slightly more affordable Dessert Treats line, which is available in fine stores such as Claire's Accessories and Walgreens. Although I couldn't afford that $32 hair and body mist, now I can get the same thing, plus shimmer, for only $18!

By the way, the $18 body mist is about half the size of the $32 mist. But, like I said, it has shimmer.

Imagine my surprise when I walked into the drugstore one day and saw a cardboard Ms. Simpson staring back at me with that seductive "'come...hit her?' But I don't want to be hit!" glare. I couldn't resist. I was powerless. I was hypnotized by Cardboard Jessica.

And soon enough, I was $35 poorer.

Let's talk about this "Deliciously Kissable Body Frosting," shall we? It's clear and pearly and gooey, and I don't know if it can be considered lotion. I don't think it does a tremendous job of moisturizing. It doesn't really shimmer, either. And it takes a mighty long time to soak into the skin. The lids are that weird silvery-coated plastic that, more often than not, looks cheap, and I know that one of the bottles has a typo on the back, but I forget what that typo is, because I'm trying to forget I own this crap.

I have two flavors of "Deliciously" "Kissable" Body Frosting: Butterscotch Frosting and Creamsicle. I bought Butterscotch because I'd decided that none of the other flavors were any good, and I bought Creamsicle a little later, because I thought I really needed a creamsicle fragrance. It turns out I was right the first time.

In the bottle, Butterscotch Toffee smells exactly like the butterscotch chips you use to make Oatmeal Scotchies, which are the greatest cookies in the universe. You know, for the longest time, I couldn't taste the difference between butterscotch chips and peanut butter chips; ditto butterscotch and caramel ice cream toppings. Creamsicle smells like, well, a creamsicle. If you put either one on your skin and then lick your skin, it tastes like aspartame.

But do they smell any good when you wear them? I put Butterscotch Toffee on one arm, Creamsicle on the other, waited ten minutes, and then sniffed.

Butterscotch Toffee smells like it does in the bottle, only with a very distinct Tyvek envelope note. Not sexy.

Creamsicle smells like a Tyvek envelope died three weeks ago and killed my entire arm with it.

Please, for the love of all things sweet-smelling, if you ever encounter the Dessert Treats display, DO NOT LOOK INTO CARDBOARD JESSICA'S EYES. You will regret it. And no one will want to smell or lick your arms ever again, except for maybe vultures and dung beetles.

You can purchase the complete Dessert line at Sephora, though I'm really not sure why you'd want to. If you absolutely insist on having flavored junk licked off your arms, I highly recommend Urban Decay Flavored Body Powders instead. Or just buy a can of Redi-Wip.