Strange Invisible Perfumes: Dimanche EDP

About a year ago I did something I rarely do, I bought a bottle of perfume unsniffed. It was an impulse purchase after reading an enticing review and because I was in need of some extra comfort (I was recovering from surgery) I was particularly vulnerable. I most certainly am not advocating buying bottles of perfume before you try them, but in this case, it worked out very well.

At the time, Dimanche by Strange Invisible Perfumes was limited edition and only available as a pure perfume. Happily, I am able to report that Dimanche is available once again, albeit for a limited time, in both perfume and EDP concentrations. Because I fell so hard for Dimanche in its parfum form, I was quite eager to test it as an EDP. Side by side, the two are nearly indistinguishable and have the same moderate sillage and last upwards of six hours.

Dimanche is as equally intriguing as it is gorgeous and each time I wear it, the sumptuousness and elegance of its unabashedly iris opening validate my retail therapy. When I was first getting to know Dimanche, I found its iris beginning a bit bracing whereas now it feels familiar and its powdery nature becomes apparent more quickly.  Once the iris settles into Dimanche’s heart of rose and honey, the floral powderiness emerges completely and beautifully.

Within that floral heart, there’s room for a fistful of honeyed hay, some cocoa and a hint of amber that foreshadows the drydown. If you’re a fan of hay, I can’t recommend Dimanche enough. Its sundried grassiness is the perfect counterpoint to the loftiness of iris. It grounds it, and also makes it wearable throughout the seasons. As you can tell, I am still in love with Dimanche and I’m glad the rest of you have a chance to give it a whirl.

Dimanche is available only at the Strange Invisible Boutique in Venice, Ca. They are happy to send samples $8 for the EDP, $10 for the pure perfume. A 50ml bottle of Dimanche EDP is $270. SIP perfumes are 100% natural (meaning all ingredients are found in nature) and I encourage you to read more about the company’s sustainability practices here. The boutique’s phone number is: 310.314.1505

Posted by ~Trish

Image: Le Moulin Rouge by Toulouse Lautrec


Velvet & Sweet Pea's Bed of Roses Giveaway

When Laurie Stern, creator of Velvet & Sweet Pea’s gorgeous perfumes, offered to do a giveaway of her newest release Bed of Roses, I accepted emphatically. To have the opportunity to give one of my readers this luxurious rose fragrance makes me really happy, and it will make one of you very happy too!

The following is my review from December’s Best of 2010 post of which Bed of Roses was at the top.

I don’t want to over-analyze this gorgeous fragrance too much, but Bed of Roses is like a study of contrasts. It’s vintage-esque but also modern. It’s powdery, but at the same time fresh and vivid. I give huge kudos to Laurie Stern for her expert hand and for creating such a dynamic and interesting rose perfume. Her skillful blending of aged sandalwood and cognac (vintage) with green mandarin and rose leaf absolute (fresh) allow different facets of rose to be present at the same moment. At its heart, Bed of Roses is a perfume that contains nine different rose distillations, so it’s richer and lusher than any other rose perfume I have experienced. Rose lovers, you will not be disappointed.

If you would like to experience Bed of Roses, please leave a comment to be entered for a 5 ml bottle in a decorative silk and velvet pouch special for Valentine’s Day! Extra entries 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


Intelligent Nutrients Jasminas and Finishing Gloss

It might seem strange to combine a hair product review with a fragrance review, but in the world of Intelligent Nutrients, it makes perfect sense. All of their products are made to be used all over the body, even in the hair. Multi-use is encouraged throughout their website and I have taken them up on their recommendation as I use their Jasminas fragrance in my hair, and their Finishing Gloss on my skin.

Jasminas is a big name to live up to in my opinion. Of course a fragrance with such a name should be jasmine based and therefore somewhat bold, but I want it easy to wear. So kudos for Jasminas. Not only did it meet my expectations, but exceeded them as well. Jasminas is a terrifically audacious scent, bursting with juicy jasmine sambac in a macadamia seed oil base. It luxuriously smooths onto the skin and exudes the signature spicy, citrusy floral redolence of this tiny blossom which is also known as pikake if you are in Hawaii. Like a fresh lei of jasmine sambac around your neck, Jasminas swirls around your body as you move, delivering you to a warmer and more relaxing climate.

Add a few drops in your hand  along with a pump of Intelligent Nutrients Finishing Gloss, and Jasmina’s scent will linger throughout the day in your softly smoothed hair. The Finishing Gloss includes a blend of jojoba oil, sesame oil, shea butter and beeswax which is a potent mix, so only a pea-sized pump or two is needed to tame my long curly-wavy-frizz prone hair. I use one pump if my hair is already dry and I want a polished pony-tail, and two pumps distributed evenly throughout my wet hair for supple waves. The scent is a mild sesame/neroli combo and I let any leftover product absorb into my hands, as the hydrating ingredients work just as well on the skin as it does the hair. I’m loving this feel-good, smell-good multi-tasking!

Intelligent Nutrients was founded by Horst M. Rechelbacher, the creator of Aveda which he sold to Estee Lauder in 1997. He continued consulting for Aveda until 2003 when he focused on creating Intelligent Nutrients, a company dedicated to using 100% food-based and organic certified ingredients.

Intelligent Nutrients Finishing Gloss is $29 for 1.7 oz, Jasminas is $45 for 11mls. Available at SpritBeautyLounge.

Posted by ~Trish

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


Moving Past Cristalle with Liz Earle's Botanical Essence No. 1

My introduction to Cristalle EDT was by way of its sophisticated sillage wafting gracefully around a woman who has since become one of my dearest friends. Megan and I met over sixteen years ago, and Cristalle remains her signature scent, at least in my mind. Her father bought her a bottle in Paris twenty five years ago, so when you’ve been wearing a fragrance for that long, a signature it becomes. When I asked her more about her perfume, she made it very clear that she wore the EDT, not the EDP, and that it was becoming difficult to find.

So off I went to The Perfume House in search of Cristalle EDT. When I arrived, there it was, its square columnar perfection ready for me to purchase. And I did. But no matter how much I loved its scent, I could not move past the feeling that Cristalle belonged to Megan, not me.  I felt like a bit of an imposter when I wore Cristalle and upon telling that to Megan, she graciously gave me her blessing to wear it, but it never felt comfortable on my skin. I ultimately gave it to my grandmother who would never have spent nearly that much money on herself for a bottle of perfume. Fast forward sixteen years, and I have finally discovered a chypre that is reminiscent of Cristalle EDT, yet different enough to suit me.

Liz Earle Botanical Essence No. 1 has several top-notes in common with Cristalle EDT like bergamot, lemon, and petitgrain. While Botanical Essence No. 1 lacks oakmoss, the hallmark of many chypre perfumes including Cristalle, it possesses the aforementioned hesperidic* top notes as well as rose, patchouli, cedarwood and vetiver which are frequently used in the creation of a chypre. In addition to Cristalle EDT, Botanical Essence No.1 resembles Annick Goutal’s Eau de Sud and Clarin’s Eau Dynamisante. All of these fragrances are green and citrusy in the opening and woody-aromatic in the heart and drydown, but I find Botanical Essence No. 1 to be slightly warmer and rounder than its counterparts. It’s not as austere as Cristalle, is a little smoother than Eau de Sud and less “spa-aromatherapeutic” than Eau Dynamisante.

When I first tested Botanical Essence No.1, I was immediately impressed. I enjoyed its sparkly greeting and welcoming herbal notes of cardamom, coriander and nutmeg. The drydown was just as alluring, with tonka bean adding an unexpected touch of sweetness and cedarwood adding body and comfort. But it wasn’t until just today, that I was fully won over by Botanical Essence No. 1. Early this morning, I sprayed this EDP on my wrists before I gave much thought to my day. After sitting down to a breakfast of oatmeal and glancing at my dayplanner I remembered my acupuncture appointment at 10 am. I wondered if I had made a perfume mistake. I had never worn fragrance to an acupuncture treatment and became wary of my spritzing decision. The concern passed quickly though, and off I went. While I was having my “rest” (after being poked with what felt like 50+ needles) I drifted into a quasi-meditative state. The restorative and comforting qualities of Botanical Essence No.1 began to envelop me, and it was blissful.

Seven years ago, I had a blissful moment of a different sort when I found that bottle of Cristalle in my grandmother’s medicine cabinet after she died. It was empty, but I hope its gorgeous scent made her feel full.

One lucky reader gets to share in my bliss because the Liz Earle people are giving away a full bottle of Botanical Essence No. 1 to a Scent Hive reader. Leave a comment and you’ll be entered. Extra entries as well 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! Drawing will close Sunday July 11th at 9pm PST. Drawing is now closed.

Botanical Essence No. 1 is derived from 98.6% all natural ingredients. Here is a statement from Liz Earle’s PR folks regarding the other 1.4%:

Over 98% (98.6%) of the ingredients used in Liz Earle Botanical Essence No. 1 are directly derived from nature; the remaining 1.4 % ingredients are solvents, stabilisers and synthetics. These ingredients, whilst not naturally derived, are commonly used when formulating a fine fragrance. They are really important as they make sure the fragrance lasts when it is applied. They also help to make the fragrance smell continuous: essential oils such as the ones we are using can smell quite sharp and distinctive, and these ingredients help the fragrance smell rounded and balanced. If we didn’t use these ingredients the fragrance wouldn’t last as long on the skin, and the complex blend wouldn’t be as well rounded and such a pleasure for the wearer.

It is available at, $78 for a 1.6 oz bottle.

* Please see this very informative post at Bois de Jasmin regarding the Hesperide (citrus) family of perfumes.

Posted by ~Trish

Disclosure: A sample of Botanical Essence No. 1 was provided for this review by Liz Earle’s PR company. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.


Alima: My all natural makeup haul

I finally went for it. I got all the things on the Alima website that I have been lusting after for months. Thankfully Alima is a very affordable line, and that’s refreshing when most all natural beauty brands can cost a small fortune. The following are photos of the haulage. I have to admit, a second haul came soon after and I’ll be reporting on those items a little later.

Here’s a peek at the nicely wrapped bundle of goodies.

First glimpse inside the beauty that awaits!

Here are the pretty colors and Alima’s extraordinarily soft Buff Brush. It’s a sweet little thing that you can use for blush, highlighters and foundation. I like it for blending purposes as it’s quite dense which gives a heavier application. As for applying blush, I only use this with the sheerest of colors, but that’s my “natural look” preference. The short handle is easy to use and its softness is luxurious!

Below is Sugar Rose, one of Alima’s Luminous Shimmer Blushes. The color is a very neutral pink, in that it leans neither warm nor cool. While this blush is finely milled, it is shimmery and I need to be careful in not applying too much since the coveted “glow” can turn to dreaded disco ball effect real fast. But in small amounts, over a warm pink blush, it’s really, really pretty. The sheen of Alima’s Luminous Shimmer Blushes are better suited to evening for this gal, but on someone more fair and daring than I, Sugar Rose would look gorgeous any time of day. (Note that the true color of Sugar Rose is between the close-up below and the group shot above).

Alima’s color range of eyeshadows is extensive and drool-worthy. I had such a hard time deciding on just two colors. There’s really no rhyme or reason why I chose Paparrazi and Navy, but I’m glad I did. Paparazzi and Navy are listed as “Rich Warm Brown” and “Deep Smoky Blue,” respectively, on the Alima website. I fully concur with the first description, but not so much on the second. Paparazzi is exactly that; rich, warm and brown. It is gorgeous as an eyeliner, and dark enough that I will only use it as such. (I just don’t have the patience or skills to use darker colors in the crease of my lids). Navy is a stunner, but I would not call it “smoky” or “navy”. It is a deep color, but it doesn’t have charcoal-gray tones and it’s not navy blue. It’s a dark shimmering royal blue. This too looks fantastic as an eyeliner, especially smudged a bit on the outer edge of the upper lid.

The six sample pots you see below are Satin Matte Foundations, Satin Finishing Powders, and the green-hued one at the lower right-hand corner is a Color Balancing Powder that helps decrease redness. It’s called Pistachio, and despite my skepticism about its efficacy, I found that it works. I’ve been using a concealer brush to apply it around my nose under Alima’s Satin Matte Foundation and have been pleased with the results.

Figuring out how best to use the foundations has taken time and effort. First, I needed to get the color right, which I have determined is a 50:50 combo of Warm 3 and Golden 3 for my light to medium olive skin. If you visit the Alima website, you will see detailed information on how to find the right color for you. I also had to check out Alima’s “How to use Mineral Foundation” page for some help when things started to get somewhat chalky. To begin with, I needed to use the right brush. After some trial and error MAC’s #187 was perfect. It’s a “stippling” or “skunk” brush that allows a light application and smooth blending. I also discovered that I was using way too much powder. Less is more in this case. Finally, it helps tremendously to spritz a little hydrosol on the powdered brush before you apply it to your face. At least this is the routine that is working for me. And I am so glad I stuck it out because the finish is natural and luminous, and provides light to medium coverage when used the way I have just described.

The Luminous  Finishing Powder samples were thrown into my cart on a whim. I never use finishing powders,  but I loved the names, Keiko and Hanae. I also read great reviews on MUA, so I spent an extra $2 to get samples. It was money well spent. Both work for my skin tone as they flawlessly meld into the skin. On their own, they give light coverage and a subtle radiance. Over foundation, the Luminous Finishing Powders bestow a polished look and set your makeup for the day. I highly recommend giving these a try.

And finally, here’s a shot of the gift with purchase Baby Kabuki brush and samples I got with my order. Inside the little pot is Alima’s Lip Balm in Fig. It’s a bronzy, sheer red that I loved so much, I got a full size in my next order.

Alima is available at Please see links within the post for pricing information.

Posted by ~Trish

Photos by ~Trish


Aston by Butter London

Like the Priti nail polishes I reviewed, Butter London polishes are free of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene and formaldehyde. These pics are of Aston, a mushroomy taupe that I love for an effortless, neutral, yet sophisticated look.

I took these shots of my toes today, which is day 5 post-pedicure. Still looking pretty good don’t you think? (If anyone is wondering about my left foot, the middle toe lost a part of its nail and it’s not a cute picture.)

Visit these links for pics of Priti’s nail polish in Chelsea Star, Blue Eyed Brunette, and Hula Girl Rose. Chelsea Star is the most thorough of all my nail polish reviews.

Aston by Butter London is available as for $14. I got mine at Blush Beauty Bar‘s boutique in Portland, OR.

Posted by ~Trish

Toes photos by ~Trish


10 Priti Toes

I am certainly not a nail polish expert save for knowing what colors I like and having the expectation that the polish on my toe nails should last a good week, at least. I rarely paint my finger nails because no matter what brand I use, they chip within day 2 of a manicure. So when I indulge, the color goes on the toes.

I don’t paint my nails too often, but there are times when a pedicure is in order (hello Kauai!) so I have been seeking out brands without the big nasty culprits. The three most common nail polish chemicals you want to avoid are dibutyl phthalate (DBP which is a phthalate), toluene and formaldehyde. I’m not saying nail polishes that do not use these three chemicals are necessarily “safe” for frequent use, so use your own judgement regarding what you want to put on your body and how often.

Priti, the spa and maker of gorgeous, non-toxic nail polishes is a fabulous line to explore. Their color offerings are gorgeous, vivid and varied. Chelsea Star was my first pick from their 100+ line of polishes, and I am smitten with its violet-blue hue. The color description on the SpiritBeautyLounge site is “Deep Electric Blue-Violet,” but I found Chelsea Star to be more on the violet end of the spectrum which the above pictures don’t capture well. Nevertheless, you can see that it’s a gorgeous color!

And as for how it lasts? I am on day 6 of my Priti polish and happily there are no chips or show of wear. I received this bottle from SpiritBeautyLounge to review, but I have since ordered three more colors, Blue Eyed Brunette, Hula Girl Rose, and Hardy Water Lily. I’ll let you know how those work out.

Update: Here are pictures of Blue Eyed Brunette and Hula Girl Rose.

Posted by ~Trish

Photo of toes by ~Trish

Priti is available at SpiritBeautyLounge for $12.50 a bottle. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on their frequent free shipping and discount codes.

Disclosure: SpiritBeautyLounge provided me with Chelsea Star for this review. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.


Move into Spring with natural perfumer JoAnne Bassett

Transitions can be challenging. Transitions can be smooth. Either way, it’s nice to have something guide the way. We perfume lovers often look to fragrance to illuminate the path for comfort or energy. Moving from winter into spring often requires a bit of both, something vibrant to help grow new leaves and something soothing to protect us from the bitter chill that still lingers. A dear friend (I’m blowing kisses of gratitude to you duVergne!) sent me a perfume the other week that does just that.

Indulgence by natural perfumer JoAnne Bassett is indulgent in its abundance of lush flowers. Rose and ylang ylang dance gracefully around heady orange blossoms not only in the heart, but also in the topnotes. Lime, blood orange and clementine lift the orange blossom in the fragrance’s beginning, making Indulgence an unmistakably citrusy floral perfume.

I find citrus, even citrusy florals, very uplifting and energizing. Yet, there is more to Indulgence than its pretty, merry-making side. Wafts of cardamom and nutmeg are to be found within the first stages of its composition. These wintery spices give Indulgence a cozy temperament as well as a gentle edge adding complexity to what might have otherwise been a straightforward floral perfume.

Cardamom really warms up in the drydown, issuing forth its unique and intricate blend of balsamic depth, nutty spiciness and almost sweet, floral undertones. I love cardamom in perfume and JoAnne uses just the right amount in Indulgence. Her pinch of cardamom tempers the rich florals with warmth, and also provides a contrast to create an intriguing twist for a lovely spicy springtime fragrance. Quite appropriate since transitions are often unpredictable aren’t they?

JoAnne has very generously offered a 30ml bottle of Indulgence (or your choice from her French or Royal Collection) to a Scent Hive reader. So let’s do it! Giveaway time! Please leave a comment to enter. You can also get extra entries if you follow Scent Hive on Bloglovin, Twitter, Google Friend Connect, Facebook’s Networked Blogs, or subscribe to Scent Hive. (Check the right sidebar for the Scent Hive links). Additionally if you follow Joanne on Twitter, Facebook, or subscribe to her Blog you’ll also get extra entries.  Good luck and please let me know what you did for extra entries, preferably in one comment for easy counting. We have our winner!

Posted by ~Trish

Photo from Dancing With Unicorns


DSH Perfumes Bancha. A soothing, all natural perfume.

If you’ve read my blog lately, you know how delighted I am to have discovered DSH Perfumes line of all natural fragrances. Each of her botanical perfumes has its own personality while maintaining the sophistication we have come to expect from Dawn Spencer Hurwitz. Her newest 100% botanical scent, Bancha, is no exception. Inspired by the common green Japanese tea, Bancha has the comfort and grace of a steamy steeping cup.

Bancha, a green tea, is made from mature leaves picked in the summer or autumn, as opposed to Matcha and Sencha varieties whose tender leaves are harvested in the spring. These distinctions are new to me, and according to my friend Wikipedia, Bancha’s late picking gives it a “stronger organic straw smell”.  DSH’s Bancha also has a strong, organic smell that is more green than straw-like, although I would not place this fragrance in the same category of other green tea perfumes. Bancha brings forth the refreshing coziness of green tea, but it is not seeking to emulate it. Rather than having a distinct “green tea note,” Bancha is an earthy tea meditation.

Bancha is a blend of citrus and mint at its opening, quite unlike what you might anticipate. The citrus is a tad bitter, as any fruity sweetness is negated by a fecund mint essence. Even though we’re talking topnotes here, Bancha is immediately grounding, like scooping up limes or lemons that have fallen into dark, fertile soil. Moving into the heart of Bancha is a subtle transition, but the herbal basil, gently floral rose and jasmine sambac, and green pine needles make the experience even richer and a little softer. Sandalwood and cedarwood round out the base, giving an aura of woods, like heat rising off a sauna’s walls.

I have adored Bancha since I first tested it this past fall and drank in this comforting perfume. Perfume bloggers are known for indulging in purple prose every now and then, and I am no exception, but this is no hyperbole when I say not only is Bancha revitalizing, but healing as well. Angela at NowSmellThis just wrote a lovely piece on how a fragrance can become a part of you, settle into your essence naturally. This is how I feel about Bancha. Since I only write reviews about products I enjoy on Scent Hive, I would love to have a bottle of most anything I write about. With Bancha it’s beyond wanting a bottle. It has become one of those scents that I can’t imagine not having in my collection. It fulfills a need on certain days when I want to be taken care of with its grounded and rejuvenating redolence.

Bancha is available at the DSH Perfumes website.

Posted by –Trish

February Haiku by provincijalka at
Disclosure: A sample of Bancha was provided for this review by DSH Perfumes. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.