Friday, March 30, 2012

The Friday Forum - March 30

This has been the best year ever for hellobores in my garden. The clumps of nodding flowers brighten my garden when nothing else is blooming. From the white flowers shown above (you can't see their beautiful green speckled centers) to the darkest of reds below, the blossoms have been glorious.

I had to lie on the ground to get the photo of the dark red flowers. Even though they look a bit bedraggled, they were fine - just protecting themselves on a cold day.

May I call the weather schizophrenic? Psychotic? We went from 80-degree days to a frost in one day. While we haven't had severe weather, other parts of the country are having unusual spring snow storms. Our cold night killed off the last of my star magnolia blossoms. Littering the ground, like spilled popcorn, they're still a reminder of the stunning 10 days they gave me.

I received a few fragrance deliveries this week. Right before Sephora's V.I.B. event (not my smartest move to pay full price, but they are currently sold out), I ordered two of the new Flora by Gucci Garden fragrances: Tuberose and Magnolia. I've only opened one of them; I like to space out the fun. I'm bummed to report that Tuberose doesn't smell like tuberose. It's a pretty white floral blend, just not characteristic of the sultry tuberose, with its distinctive scent. The notes are listed as violet leaves (Do they have a fragrance? I'll have to go outside today to see), peach, tuberose, orange flower, rose, cistus, and white cedarwood. The tuberose is hiding.

I also received two new Keiko Mecheri Bespoke fragrances from MiN New York: Canyon Dreams and Tangeri. I had previously tried them after MiN sent me samples of the full Bespoke Collection. Canyon Dreams and Tangeri were my favorites of the seven new scents, but I could easily have ordered two more. It's a beautiful collection. You can check it out on MiN's Web site.

Are you interested in fragrance? I wonder at times. This week, many readers commented on my makeup features, but no one commented on the CREED post. CREED's Acqua Fiorentina Pefumed Oil will beautify your life - just in a different way than the latest lipstick does. I want to keep writing fragrance features. I hope someone reads them.

I'll be headed over to Neiman Marcus at Mazza Gallerie today, hoping they received the rest of Le Métier de Beauté's Cherry Blossom Collection. We've been waiting for the glosses and brown liquid liner. I'm ready for a color treat as the trees show their leaves and the azaleas start to bloom.

It's time for The Friday Forum, our open chat. What new products did you discover this week? Did you find any deals you couldn't resist? Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Do you have a question others might be able to answer? Want to talk about skin care? What's new in your life? Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers will have moved on.

I have two giveaways underway this week. Both end tomorrow, March 31, at midnight. Make sure to enter after you buy your Mega Millions tickets. I've got mine, and I'm dreaming winning over a half-billion dollars. You could win Sephora's acclaimed Sephora + PANTONE UNIVERSE Color of the Year Lip Gloss set here, or John Masters Organics Bearberry Oily Skin Balancing Face Serum here. Don't leave your entries on the Friday Forum, please. Just comment on the giveaway feature that interests you. Good luck!

Update: The Bergdorf Goodman Gift Card Event starts soon (April 18-22). You can pre-order now. Spend $500 and get $75 off. Spend $1000 and get $200 off. Call Jason Beers (Guerlain) for all your fragrance and beauty needs. He will be able to help you with Guerlain's summer collection (check out The Non-Blonde and Temptalia), which you won't want to miss. Jason can be reached at (212) 872-2734.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty


Wendy said...

I'm interested in fragrances. However, I don't spend time reading about them or understanding how different fragrances break down. I don't know if what I'm smelling is from a particular flower, what exactly a particular flower might smell like bottled up, what hints or notes, etc... It's all very mind boggling to me.

I'm really simple. haha The only way I can tell if I like them is if I smell them on my skin.

Charlestongirl said...

You hit on a really important point, Wendy! Fragrance should be about how a scent smells on your own skin, not mine. I write about fragrances I like in the hopes that some of you will go sniff. I want to tell you about the best that suit me.

BTW, the notes do two things for me. Before I try, they give me a hint whether I might like a scent. After I buy, they validate my impressions.

This morning, I watched a livecast of a session from an industry conference in Milan. The subject was writing about fragrances. While there was a bit of long-winded passion expressed by some of the participant, there was also an agreement that fragrance is personal. Wear what you love, and don't let a critic influence you to like or dislike something. It's all about your own senses.

toughdoc said...

I like your fragrance posts, it's just that fragrance is so personal and you really have to test it on your skin, a person's chemistry is essential for the outcome. Unlike makeup, where it's so visual and your fabulous posts and swatches deliver more "punch", the fragrance blogs are pretty exercises in descriptions. Many readers simply can't get excited about a fragrance that they have to be calling around the country to order esp. during a financially binding time.

Do you blog for yourself or for others? Ah, that is the question....

As an aside, a visit to the local Creed counter a few weeks ago left me unimpressed. The saleslady was so pushy and rude, I'm not going to drop $250+ on a fragrance unless I test it on my skin. Spring Flowers was awful on me. So I moved on.

This week I purchased L'Artisan Parfumeurs' "Mimosa". Amazing sweet spring in a bottle!

I love your garden flowers, beautiful hellebores! Have a lovely weekend!

Kate said...

Hi Charlestongirl,

I read every single one of your posts, even the perfume ones. I am kind of in the same boat as Wendy. I am overwhelmed by the science involved in perfumes and notes, but I absolutely understand how important it is to identify notes in order to tell right away if might dislike a fragrance because of a certain note. I have a hard time committing to one fragrance. I was never really the kind of person to have a "signature scent," although I love the idea of that. I am just too fickle, I suppose. I am a huge fan of Tom Ford's fragrances. I am trying to read up on perfume reviews in the hopes that my tastes become more sophisticated and my palette a little more developed. My other frustration is that I live about 2.5 hours away from any "decent" shopping center that has any really good fragrance (or makeup) counters. So, most of the time I can't just go out and sample the fragrance. But I do love reading your reviews on fragrance just as much as I love the reviews on makeup. Heck, you could write a review on the tax code and I'd probably love it! :)

I didn't get any new makeup this week, but I did just order two products from Sephora - the EB Quad Roayle in South of France and his lipstick in Pure Impulse. I love his products. I also ordered the Gold Dust Lip Lacquer from the Tom Ford spring collection because 1) I am obsessed with any gold makeup item and 2) I am obsessed with Tom Ford cosmetics. I can't wait to see it. Cognac Sable eye quad is up next!

The weather here has been a bit crazy, too. I heard it is going to be 84 on Sunday, which to me is just absurd for late March/early April. Agriculture is big where I live and this unusually warm weather is causing problems for the farmers because of the increased insect population. Needless to say, I have had my AC on since March 12th (admittedly, I am a total baby when it comes to being warm in my own house).

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!


Charlestongirl said...

Oh Kate, I laughed out loud. Tax code? It would be a rant!

It's interesting you brought up signature scent. I also am way too fickle for that these days. They discussed one's signature scent in Milan. One woman said that when she makes a scent her own, she tells those admiring it that it's hers and that she won't share the name. Wow! That's possessive!

I tried to order a few TF items this past week. I couldn't find a free shipping code, and I wasn't going to pay a relatively huge amount to have them shipped, so I punted. I didn't want to spend their $200 to get free shipping. Wish it was easier.

I have perspired for a few nights at my house. I was totally unwilling to turn on the AC in March. Next time, I'll take a lesson from you. :)

Happy weekend!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Toughdoc!

I write for BTiB only. When I got started, I wrote a few features for a long-defunct blog. I haven't done that since then. I can barely keep up with BTiB.

Mimosa is gorgeous. I love it too. I'm sorry to hear you had such a bad CREED experience. I've heard that from others - that the SAs can be unfriendly and stuck up. It's really too bad because there are some gorgeous new scents, like Original Cologne and Jardin d'Amalfi. I haven't bought Spring Flower, but I wouldn't turn down a sample or four.

Thanks for the kind words. My garden muddles along these days, without a lot of attention from me. With my back and knee issues, it's probably going to stay neglected until I can hire someone to help.

Lena said...

I love your posts about fragrance! I so want to try Creed! I love to read about perfume composition! I can smell it in my mind! But... You have to try it on! And I hate going to Tyson's! I love your blog! You are the ultimate temptress!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Lena,

You can find CREED at Tysons II, so the parking is much easier, once you fight your way through traffic and construction zones. :)

Thank you!

CGirl said...

Hi CG,
I am really just beginning to get into fragrance. For as long as I can remember, I have just worn body sprays. Something has changed in this past year-I believe it's called growing up-and I have found I much more interested in fragrance. I asked for and receiced Coach Poppy for Christmas. I feel like a grown-up when I use it. I'm eagerly awaiting my Jo Malone samples so I can make a purchase. I love reading fragrance reviews, though I understand close to nothing about the notes.

I received several goodies this week. I purchased the Jasper/Agate Tarina Tarantino duo and am in love. It is the perfect naked eye for me. I've worn it twice this week (which is exactly how many times I've worn makeup). I also have the new Laura Mercier primer in Radiance. I don't know if it makes me any more radiant, but I like it as a primer so far. I also repurchased Korres body butter in Jasmine. It is my favorite thing for my hands and the smell is fantastic. I've tried so many other butters/hand creams in hopes of a cheaper option, but nothing beats this. I also am really liking my new L'Occitane cleanser. It is wonderfully moisturizing and has improved my skin.

It has been raining here the entire week and will likely continue through the weekend. I'm hoping it dries out for a little while in a week so I can do some fun things with the kids I watch. Plus, I miss the sun (though I'll regret saying that I'd I find myself in southern California for the summer!). Happy Friday all!

fgirl said...

I'm interested in what others bought from the Sephora VIB sale, if anyone wants to share. :)

I bought concealer, bronzer, blush, and the South of France highlighter from Edward Bess and a coral glossy stain from YSL. So far. I am plotting a second purchase for argan oil (never tried it) and maybe a few other things.

AnneR said...

CG, I love your fragrance reviews. Sometimes I am in a rush and don't comment, but I am an avid perfume hound (perfumista sounds better) and I read several blogs every day. I went and dug out my sample of AF and wore it for the day. The scent did not last long on me, but I will seek out the perfume oil at NM on my trip to Vegas next week. I love Creed although I turned away from it and have been trying Diptyque and L'Artisan. Please keep up the fragrance reviews!

Eileen said...

Good morning everyone; Hi Charlestongirl,

Although scent can be extremely evocative and figures prominently in our perception of beauty, its appeal is highly subjective and is based on a number of individual factors, both physical and emotional. In addition to our visceral response, there are factors such as cultural background, lifestyle, and personal taste which also influence how we respond to a particular scent. Consequently, I find most reviewers' experiences and opinions of fragrances to be of little value or interest. I do, however, enjoy and appreciate a recommendation when it comes from someone who knows the types of scents I like.

On to other aspects of beauty, your garden has got to be one of the most beautiful paces on the planet and you always treat us to such lovely shots of your blooms. My gardens are a riot of pink right now. I do have other colors planted, but it's as if the plants held a meeting and decided to let all the pinks go first. Even my pink roses are the first to open. Go figure! LOL

This week I purchased a few things from Tom Ford's Metallics collection. I bought Gold Dust Lip Lacquer and two of the cream eyeshadows--Spice and Illicit. His cream eyeshadows are like nothing I've ever tried before. They're creamy smooth with a lot of slip to them so they glide on flawlessly. They can be worn ultra sheer for a soft metallic sheen or applied heavier for a strong punch of metal. The Metallics collection is TF's take on summer's proverbial golden goddess and those of you who are "of a certain age" will appreciate the retro, yet modern, influence in his colors. As for the new lip lacquer, it is a potent gold layering gloss. Like its white pearl predecessor, sheen is the operative word when it comes to describing its effect. (Sabrina has some great comparison swatches) Gold Dust is not just another bunch of glitter suspended in a clear base; rather it is a highly saturated golden luster that is gorgeous over peaches, corals, warm pinks and the likes. Obviously, this collection is not for women who prefer matte and satin matte finishes. This collection is for the woman who likes some pizazz. If that's you, then Metallica is worth checking out.

Happy weekend everyone!

lovethescents said...

Now you KNOW I adore fragrance but I really didn't care for Acqua Fiorentina so I didn't comment on your article. I didn't know Creed did oils, and I do love oils, but I haven't had the greatest success with Creeds in general. I do like the Original Cologne, and I want to try Jardin d'Amalfi, but aside from that, none really tickle my fancy~or any other part of me for that matter ;-)

Beauty-wise this week was fun. Took my dear friend's mother to a Shu counter as she was looking for foundation. She was thrilled with what they used on her and bought it on the spot. They were so generous too, giving her and me samples (50ml bottle!) of their oil cleanser. I also oooooh'd and aaaaah'd over their fun eyelashes. I look forward to trying them soon.

I also got a sample of Josie Maran's moisturizing oil. It's gotten so much love I was so looking forward to loving it too. I'm sorry to report, I don't. That tiny 3ml sample packet was AMPLE enough for me to decide it isn't for me. It didn't absorb well at all, leaving my skin with a bit of a greasy feel. And in case anyone was wondering, I only applied a dab. Rubbed into my heels, same effect. Pass.

Also sampling Heeley's l'Amandiere extrait. It reminds me of a less powdery Floris Madonna of the Almonds. Pretty, but at that outrageous price point, I'll pass there too.

I have to behave and not make any purchases as we might be going on another holiday soon. We do love to live it up!

Have a wonderful weekend in your gorgeous garden :-)

Kate said...

Hi Charlestongirl,

I just ordered the Tom Ford Gold Dust lip lacquer online from Neiman's (who carries his whole line) and it was free shipping at any price with the code "FSMAR." You still have two more days in March (I'm assuming that's what MAR stands for) if you wanted to order some products online. Thought I would share. Neiman's online has been very good lately about having free shipping codes - probably in an effort to compete with Nordstrom's new free online shipping policy. If I can get another person addicted to Tom Ford (if Eileen hasn't done it already), then my job is done!


lovethescents said...

Eileen, I laughed when I read your Metallica. I instantly thought of Guerlain ;-)Am I a fume head or what?

Charlestongirl said...

Hi CGirl,

With your jasmine body butter and new fragrance, you'll be hooked on scented products in no time!

Isn't TT great? I have several new things I keep forgetting to feature. Thanks for reminding me! On top of that, I keep forgetting to try the Radiance primer. I'm slipping on the job!

Happy weekend!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi fgirl,

I was amazed to get an e-mail this afternoon offering the 15% discount to anyone who joins Beauty Insider. How exclusive is that?

I use argan oil on my body and face, although I know people who use it on their hair too. My hair can't handle it, but I love it on my skin. Try it!

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Anne. Acqua Fiorentina EdP isn't particularly long lasting. I have to refresh it mid-day. The perfumed oil lasts all night. Gorgeous!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eileen!

You bought the two cream eye shadows I didn't. Thanks to Kate, I ordered my wants from NM today. Never thought of them - weird, I guess, but our NM stores don't have TF cosmetics. I ordered Gilt and Platinum. Since I didn't have the luxury of seeing them first, I blind ordered.

I did select the Gold Dust Lip Lacquer. Looking forward to getting it. I skipped all the nail polishes. I'm getting too many stored up right now.

Today, I did play with Le Métier de Beauté’s Voltaic from the Northern Lights Collection. It looks really pretty on, and even better with LMdB's Over and Under coat.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Lovethescents,

I have several Heeley fragrances I adore. It's a great line. Today, I caved and purchased Vetiver Velours, my third buy from Keiko Mecheri's new Bespoke Collection. It's so pretty! I wore it and decided I had to have it, along with the first two I purchased. Have no idea when I'm going to wear all this fragrance!

Charlestongirl said...

Kate, I am SO glad you reminded me that NM online has TF. Since our stores here don't carry it, I totally forgot! I ordered what I wanted and didn't have to pay for shipping. Thanks!

grlnxdor said...

I love reading all of your posts, Charlestongirl! The sad truth is that many of the perfumes are out of my price point. I live in a small city in the Midwest and will never be able to experience most of these fragrances. That being said, I love the way you write......sometimes I can almost smell the perfume you are reviewing!

Wendy said...


Yes, I'm all about my senses. I discovered First by Van Cleef & Arpels when massaging a client. I loved how my hands smelled after massaging her that I had to buy it.

Oh, my! The woman who wouldn't disclose her signature scent... I call people like that "Special". I used to have a really difficult time accepting people who hoard recipes as if that's the only reason they were invited to a party or liked as a person. My friends make fun of me when I go off ranting about the special people in my life.


Have you tried Tom Ford's Neroli Portofino Fragrance? I ran through the two samples I received as a gwp from NM's beauty event. I am debating on buying it since my husband isn't a fan of citrus scents.

yesplease1816 said...

Charleston Girl, it's like you read my mind and got both the Tuberose and Magnolia Gucci Flora fragrances to help me decide!! :D That's definitely too bad about the Tuberose not smelling tuberose-y...that one was first on my list. I am very interested in your opinion of Magnolia though. I was hesitant to make a purchase without smelling because of the "warm chocolate accord" in the magnolia-I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not. I can't believe they are ALL sold out though!! I was thinking of adding one of them to my order instead of repurchasing my Love, Chloe (which I am in LOVE with but the new Gucci Floras looked so interesting!)--but I guess I'll have to wait :( Looks like everyone was waiting for the VIB sale to order these babies

Charlestongirl said...

Yesplease, they will restock the Gucci's, but probably right after the sale. Always works that way.

I'll try the Magnolia this weekend and comment back here.

Try something new. Here are the Love, Chloé notes: There are many lovely fragrances with the same notes, but clearly different. You know what I'd do. Re-order my beloved LC and also look for another with the same note combination. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Wendy, I have the TF Neroli Portofino, and I LOVE it. I'll bet your husband will grow to like it because you will love it. :)

Special...that's a hoot!

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you, grlnxdor. I really appreciate that feedback.

Order samples. Many companies, MiN New York and Luckyscent among them, have wonderful sampling programs.

Mary Ann said...

I read your posts everyday, always wonder what you're gonna tempt me with. I have tested Creed fragrances never had much luck. I recently received some samples of Kilian from the SA at Saks, may try
one, I read your reviews on these. Just received my lip kalidescope from LeMetier this week. Love it!

LA Girl said...

Hi, I have not commented here before, but enjoy your blog very much. I live in LA now, but lived in Arlington for 15 years, so smile when I read about your visits to Tysons II. I decided to comment today because I wanted to add that I also enjoy your fragrance posts. I occasionally write about perfume myself for a site called WeBeGirls, and know how hard it can be to describe something that is so ephemeral and subjective. While I have never found a Creed scent that works for me, I will keep trying them, since the house clearly has a lot of fans. I also like white florals, so I will give the new Guccis a try. And of course, thank you for helping me keep up on the latest make-up. Not that I need to buy any more products!

Laetitia said...

I very much enjoyed your Creed post. Instead of commenting, I shot over to Neiman Marcus online to see if it had landed over there yet! Fragrance oils are a very rare art. The conference in Milan sounds interesting -- was it hosted by IFF?