Honoré des Prés We Love NY (+giveaway)

Image courtesy of Nathan Branch. (Thanks Nathan!)

Olivia Giacobetti entered the natural perfume scene in 2008 with a line of all natural and organic perfumes for Honoré des Prés. The response was mixed, not because the fragrances weren’t exceptional, but because of their fleeting staying power. I didn’t let that deter me from buying my favorite from HdP’s first collection, Sexy Angelic, as it’s a pure sugar, almond, and licorice delight that makes me very happy, even if it lasts barely an hour.

I don’t know if Ms. Giacobetti made herself aware of the lack-of-longevity critiques, but this new second round of HdP perfumes has remedied the issue. You’re probably not going to smell them on your skin the next morning, but they do last several hours, and even up to eight or so if you spritz your clothes.

The We Love NY collection was introduced in April 2010, with Ms. Giacobetti’s inspiration being her move to New York City. None of the three perfumes strike me as particularly “New York” in nature, but the urban coffee cup and brown bag packaging certainly does.

 

If any of these fragrances brings me back to NYC, it’s I Love Les Carottes. Not super intuitive I know, but the city is home to excellent farmers markets, Union Square in particular. We lived within walking distance to Union Square, and smelling Les Carottes is like standing in front of a gorgeous spread of deep orange carrots and taking in their earthy sweetness. Les Carottes is hyper-vegetal in its opening and you need to love the smell of freshly shredded carrots if you expect a positive experience with this perfume.

As Les Carottes progresses into its heart, the carrot note still dominates, but it vacillates between the buttery fleshiness of the vegetable and a medicinal astringency. This dichotomy lasts almost the entire length of wearing Les Carottes, until the drydown fully settles into more subdued vanillic powderiness.


With Love Coco’s notes of  coconut, coriander and vanilla, I was anticipating a smooth and gently spiced coconut with a creamy vanilla finish. Instead, it was more akin to Les Carottes, very raw and very vegetal. For me, Love Coco is a straight-up blend of vetiver and coconut, like Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion minus the sweetness. It’s bracing and exposed and really tropical. Not until the drydown does Love Coco become what I thought it would be, a gently spiced coconut with a creamy vanilla finish.


Vamp à NY has received many rave reviews from other bloggers, but it is my least favorite of the three. It’s not that I dislike Vamp, but it doesn’t appeal to me as much as Les Carottes and Love Coco. If you’re a regular reader of Scent Hive, you know I love white floral perfumes, tuberose in particular. Vamp does possess a lovely and radiant tuberose which unfortunately on my skin is quickly squelched by overripe banana and cloying coconut candy notes. Here are links to Vamp reviews from bloggers who enjoyed it more than I, Grain de Musc and 1000 Fragrances. As for me,  I’ll stick to White Potion, Ayala Sender’s rendering of tuberose and coconut that is far more wearable on my skin.


If you’d like to try Vamp à NY, I Love Les Carottes and Love Coco for yourself, leave a comment and you will receive one of three sample sets housed in the HdP coffee cup. Extra entries as well if you follow Scent Hive on Bloglovin, Twitter, or subscribe to Scent Hive. Please let me know in your comment what you did so you get the entries you deserve! DRAWING IS NOW CLOSED.

Posted by ~Trish

The We Love NY collection is available at Spirit Beauty Lounge. $98 for a 50ml bottle.

Disclosure: Samples were sent to me for consideration by Honoré des Prés. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

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Tourmaline by Herbal Alchemy Apothecary

One of the most fulfilling aspects of creating Scent Hive has been discovering natural perfume lines that were previously unknown to me.  It’s even more fulfilling when these discoveries stem from readers’ recommendations. Michelle, a fellow lover of naturals that I have exchanged perfumes with more times than I can remember, has sent me some real beauties. I appreciate her generosity and knowledge of natural perfumers a great deal.


I might never have learned of Herbal Alchemy Apothecary if it weren’t for Michelle, which would have been a minor misfortune as their Tourmaline has quickly risen to the top of my preferred fragrances this spring. Julianne Zaleta, owner of Herbal Alchemy Apothecary, is a professional herbalist, aromatherapist, as well as a perfumer, and has created an exceptionally lovely scent with her Tourmaline.


At the most basic level, Tourmaline makes me happy because it’s a musky floral that I can wear. Back in the day, I wanted so badly to love China Rain, but just couldn’t due to its overwhelming muskiness. Tourmaline is what I wanted China Rain to be- a subtle floral with a suggestion of musk, and a lot more depth. Tourmaline‘s notes are listed as tobacco, bitter orange, honey and fern which on paper is enough to pique my interest. On the skin, they’re enough to make me love it.


Despite fern being present, I would not classify this as a fougère, or fern-like, perfume. Tourmaline is green, but it’s not herbal or woody or oakmossy. A hay back note seems to be provided by the tobacco which veers sweet and leafy rather than dark and earthy. As mentioned above, Tourmaline is delicately floral, and its light honey inflected, citrusy touch makes it a must-have in my collection.


Tourmaline is available at HerbalAlchemy.net for $45 for a 20ml bottle.

Posted by ~Trish

Disclosure: As stated above, Tourmaline was a gift from a friend. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

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Tallulah Jane: Misae & Leotie (+ Giveaway and Discount Code)

The new fragrances by Tallulah Jane are really green. I mean super green. Green because they are made in an eco-friendly manner using only botanical essences, resins and balsams, and they ensure never to use extracts from plants and trees that are considered unsustainable. Their organic and wild crafted oils are in a base of certified organic grape alcohol or jojoba, and are free of parabens, phthalates, and petrochemicals. Tallulah Jane adds even more to their conscientious profile as all of their products are vegan and Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free.



These perfumes are also green because they smell green. The technicolor green that only nature can supply, and there’s plenty of it in both Misae and Leotie. Misae is the greener of the two, as lemongrass and galbanum predominate throughout its evolution. Lemongrass of course is lemony, which is fresh and vivid. It reminds me of verbena, only with less floral sweetness, and more balsamic woodiness.


Geranium is present as well which is floral but in keeping with the green/citrusy theme without dominating the perfume. It bolsters the green aspect of the balsams as the lemongrass slowly fades. Misae includes sandalwood from Vanuatu which is smoky with a buttery smoothness. Elemi which is also an essential oil from wood, adds a slightly peppery note to the mix, and both unfold more boldly as Misae moves into the heart and drydown. Misae is for those perfume lovers who like it really green and loaded with woods, specifically sandalwood.



Leotie, like Misae, starts citrusy and green with notes of yuzu and geranium. But rather than taking a stroll through the sandalwood forest as you do with Misae, Leotie takes you to a garden, teeming with warmed blossoms of lavender and a few beds of roses. The green liveliness makes way for a powdery softness giving Leotie a feminine air as opposed to Misae’s more unisex nature. Cedar is also one of Leotie’s essences, but it’s just a touch. It’s perceptible enough to give some earthiness, but without any hint of hamster cage shavings. Warmth and a vanilla-hay note surface thanks to tonka bean and I’m not sure where the touch of cinnamon comes from, but it adds a bright spiciness which balances well with Leotie’s powdery/floral side.


If you’d like to have a full-size of Misae and Leotie (that have been used gently by me), please leave a comment and I’ll enter you in the giveaway. Just leave a comment telling me which of the two suits your style and you’ll be entered. You get extra entries if you follow Scent Hive on Bloglovin, Twitter, Google Friend Connect, Facebook’s Networked Blogs, or subscribe to Scent Hive. Please let me know in your comment what you did so you get the entries you deserve! We have our winner!


In addition, the lovely folks at Tallulah Jane are offering 15% off all purchases for the month of June. Just use code SCENTHIVE15 at checkout.


Misae and Leotie are available at Tallulah Jane and SpiritBeautyLounge.com. $48 for a 30ml bottle. You can also read my reviews of Tallulah, Gotham and 333.

Posted by ~Trish

StyleCaster has chosen Misae as one of their top nine natural summer scents!

Innocence by Arthur Hacker at ArtMagick.com

Disclosure: Samples from Tallulah Jane were provided for this review. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

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Atlantic: a masculine fragrance from Strange Invisible Perfumes

When we lived in New York City, my husband and I would take the journey to the end of Long Island at least once every summer. There lies Montauk, a quaint, laid back beach town that (at least 10 years ago) was much less glitzy and not nearly as expensive as its neighbors, the Hamptons. My memories of Montauk are replete with salt laden breezes, sunkissed cheeks and lazy evenings strolling by the harbor and lighthouse. I would love to go back there with my husband to celebrate Father’s Day, but since that’s not a possibility this year, a jaunt with Strange Invisible Perfumes’ Atlantic will be in its stead.


According to the SIP website, Atlantic “conjures the classic transatlantic gentleman,” but I think it’s more wanton than that image might suggest. This fragrance would befit a Californian surfer, a Northwest rock climber, or a British rockstar (Sting comes to mind, although he might be the quintessential transatlantic gentleman IMO). Atlantic’s citrus note is exhilarating but with smooth edges, like limes soaked in honey tinged Bay Rum. The amber accord must account for some of this sweetness which I imagine includes benzoin as the fullness of this resin feels palpable to me. Benzoin is one of those unique botanicals that embodies the duality of rich soil alongside vanilla softness. All of these elements are present in Atlantic which blend perfectly with the crispness of lime.


Another word used for Atlantic at SIP, is “smoldering”. I can’t think of a better word for this fragrance. Smoldering because of its resins- benzoin(?) and frankincense- as well as sandalwood. And also because it’s gorgeous and super sexy. Atlantic is fabulous on a man (my husband to be specific) but equally as alluring on a woman. Montauk might not be in my near future, but a bottle of this most certainly is.


Atlantic is available at the Strange Invisible Perfumes website, $185 for 0.25oz of pure parfum.

Visit The Non Blonde for another review of Atlantic.


During the month of May, use code LUVMOM10 for a $20 gift certificate toward purchases of $50 or more on Strange Invisible Perfumes products only. Valid in-store, online, or by phone. See my Scent Hive Facebook profile for more info.

Montauk image from montaukhotels.org

Posted by ~Trish

Disclosure: A sample of Atlantic was provided by Strange Invisible’s PR rep. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

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Cozy Lavender Perfumes: Ajne, Tsi-La, & Roxana Illuminated Perfumes

Lavenlight

Most of you fellow perfume lovers know the uncontainable fervor of a “note obsession.” That desire to experience every perfume that features a specific note until you find the perfect fragrance in which that scent, be it cedar, vanilla, gardenia, whatever… comes alive for you as it never has before. If you are new to fragrance and intrigued by this world, you will almost certainly find yourself on a “note obsession” bender at some point.


I have been on many over the past six to seven years. The most recent ones have been vetiver, tobacco and lavender. My lavender fascination took me by surprise, as most “note obsessions” do. Usually a subtle passing whiff or a mere suggestion in casual conversation can trigger a full-blown infatuation. It was two summers ago, and I must have tried every lavender scent I could get my hands on. I won’t bore you with my research details, but the final contenders were Annick Goutal’s Eau de Lavande and Caron’s Pour un Homme. Both are fantastic lavender renditions, but neither felt completely at home on my skin. My lavender crush became a summer fling.

Ajne deLavandeIt’s in those moments when you let go of finding perfection, that little treasures enter your life. Summer left and the bone chilling northwest rain made its entrance.  Along with it came the discovery of Ajne, an exquisite natural perfumery in Carmel, California. They do chakra evaluations in their boutique, and also over the phone, if you’d like guidance in selecting your perfume. I figured it would be interesting, so I took the test. The results directed me to the lavender scent I had been looking for all along, deLavande. According to the folks at Ajne, deLavande helps open the throat chakra, the area that allows you to speak your truth. (Their chakra test also revealed that I needed some work on my crown chakra, so Fleur Blanche, my gardenia holy grail, was also recommended). So here I am to tell you about it.


deLavande is created with three types of lavender, Ajne’s own that they grown on their organic farm, as well as lavender from Provence and Bulgaria. Ajne does not list specific notes other than “smoky-almond wood” which hopefully is enough to stir up the warm, softening experience of deLavande in your mind. Lavender of course is the vital element of this fragrance, providing the herbal and slightly medicinal quality that brings rejuvenation and relaxation to those of us who enjoy the scent. But alongside the subtle smoky woods, is a luscious powderiness that must come from either benzoin or labdanum, or a blend of the two. The result is like being enveloped in the aroma of bread baking in a lavender infused wood stove. It’s not gourmand, or foody, it just possesses the warmth and comfort of freshly baked bread on a fall day.


Tsi-La MisakiTsi-La’s Misaki and Roxana Illuminated Perfume’s Vera are like sisters to deLavande. They all look similar, but have their own individual characteristics that set them apart. Misaki has much more of a tannic and slightly green feeling, which makes sense as warm tea, green tea moss and crushed mint are listed in the fragrance description. French lavender is too, (no big surprise there), but Sicilian bergamot, Tahitian vanilla orchid and neroli are as well, none of which made an impression on me. I could not sense any citrus or vanilla tones in Misaki. Once the intense tannic quality quieted and the drydown settled, a hint of maple-kissed tea leaves developed, redolent of immortelle essential oil. I would consider both deLavande and Misaki wearable for both men and women, and appropriate for all seasons. Yet, Misaki might lend itself more unisex and more seasonless since it’s less powdery.


VeraWhile I did find Vera to have a powdery-lavender nature, it is also the most herbaceous of the three due to its prominent sage note. California lavender, sage, hay and orange blossom mingle to give Vera a well blended bouquet. At the top, Vera has a fabulous boozy hit, like that of a lavender infused vodka allowing for a seamless transition to the verdant sage and hay notes. All of those herbal ingredients could have turned Vera into just another lavender perfume, but Roxana’s masterful touch drew upon orange blossom in just the right amount, giving the fragrance softness and a gentle floral garnish. Like deLavande, it’s cozy, a little sensual, and beckons all lavender lovers to try the perfume on their skin.


All of these perfumes are 100% all natural and are wonderfully long-lasting. Roxana Villa gives a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Vera to support the Ojai Lavender Festival.


deLavande is available at Ajne: $40 for  0.125oz Parfum Petite, $80 for 0.5oz, $130 for 1 oz

Misaki is available at SpiritBeautyLounge: $125 for 1.7oz

Vera is available at Roxana Illuminated Perfume: $150 for a 7gm flacon in a hand crocheted pouch.

Posted by ~Trish

“Lavenlight” original photograph by AliciaBock on etsy.
Disclosure: A sample of Vera was sent to me by Roxana Illuminated Perfume for review. The others were bought by me. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

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Strange Invisible Perfume’s Latest Release: Fire and Cream

fire and cream

Fire and Cream launches today, the newest fragrance from Alexandra Balahoutis, perfumer and creator of Strange Invisible Perfumes. The name Fire and Cream is not so much descriptive of the perfume, but rather of Ms. Balahoutis, as she created this fragrance for herself. Yet, Fire and Cream not only alludes to her red hair and pale complexion, it also refers to the sky one summer evening when Ms. Balahoutis looked at what must have been a gorgeous sunset and thought, “The sky is full of fire and cream.”


Fire and Cream begins with heaps of pure orange, and a healthy dose of herbaceous white lavender. Both hydro-distilled orange and orange blossoms are in the top notes, allowing for a luscious mix of rich citrus, sweet blossoms and aromatic lavender. The herbal quality continues into the heart of the fragrance where frankincense and tuberose enter the picture. I confess that my nose did not pick up these individual notes, (they are listed on the press release), but I did sense resinous and mildly heady after about an hour. I also took note of vetiver which is listed as a base note, but mingles unabashedly throughout the fragrance hierarchy. In fact, Fire and Cream reminds me of Magazine Street with its similar vetiver vigor, (blended beautifully with vanilla) but Fire and Cream is toned down on the sweetness and turned up on the herbaceousness.


Another similarity to Magazine Street is the well-mannered patchouli dry-down that gives both fragrances an earthy yet smooth base. Fire and Cream still remains much more aromatic than the more confectionary Magazine Street, and I do believe it would wear very well on a man. In addition, the drydown comes full circle with a glimpse of its lovely orange opening. Alongside sandalwood, the final unfolding evokes petitgrain, an essence which can easily be worn by a man or woman.


Fire and Cream also seems to be one of those fragrances that will move effortlessly from season to season. The citrus/lavender duo is not overbearing in its liveliness and the patchouli/frankincense/tuberose triad never becomes a heavy floriental. All notes are well-balanced and being a fan of Magazine Street, I am enjoying that it feels like a familiar favorite, but is different in its cologne-esque edge.


So is there fire and cream in Fire and Cream? I’m not sure the name befits the juice in the literal sense, but I do love the fragrance itself and the story of a stunning sunset as its inspiration. But I’m certainly no red head with a pale complexion. I’m a brunette with brown eyes and olive skin. So Alexandra, you’re gonna have to move over…Fire and Cream is mine!


Leave a comment and you will be entered in a giveaway to receive a sample of Fire and Cream direct from Strange Invisible Perfumes. There will be two lucky winners! You will have until Sunday September 20th at 10pm Pacific time to enter. US entries only this time. Good luck! The winners have been chosen.


Strange Invisible Perfumes Commitment (from their press kit):

Strange Invisible Perfumes is committed to respecting and preserving the earth. Its practices as a company, boutique, and manufacturer are vibrantly green. All products are authentically pure and natural. They are completely free of synthetic preservatives, genetically modified ingredients, parabens, petroleum, coal tar, and industrial phthalates. While sincerely recognizing the value of organic certification, Strange Invisible Perfumes adheres to its own standards of purity and authenticity, which are arguably far more rigorous. The company aggressively pursues ingredients that are organic, fair trade, wildcrafted, and biodynamically cultivated, with every ingredient satisfying at least one measure. All perfumes are set in a base of 100% organic grape alcohol. Ecologically sound packaging reinforces its green stance.


Fire and Cream is available at Strange Invisible Perfumes


posted by ~Trish

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