Leila Lou by Rosie Jane perfume roll-on review | Spring pears & summer loves

Friday, May 8, 2015

by rosie jane natural organic review

The product: by Rosie Jane Leila Lou perfume oil roll on

May has been, eight days in, a crazy month for me. It’s been an emotional roller-coaster of ups and downs and crying jags, but as it settles into itself, I can’t help but think about how lucky I am to have been able to experience as much as I have this year and have still come out whole and happy on the other side.

While my fixation of the day right now is actually Osmia Organics Juniper Fire (it smells literally mind-blowingly sexy on my boyfriend*), it’s Leila Lou that’s gotten me through the month.

by rosie jane Leila Lou perfume oil review

Leila Lou opens with crisp pear on a sun-drenched bed of white flowers, and it sweeps over you like a calming wave of optimism. Blended from essential oils, the roll on is the main feature of the Leila Lou line, and it’s perfect for travelling with you through the day — it looks just as chic on a marble countertop as it does in a hand-cut leather purse.

That said, though, you’re not necessarily going to need this one to travel with you — I applied it around 2 PM to wear-test for time and could still smell it on my skin by 12 AM, ten hours later.

Notes: pear, jasmine, fresh cut grass

by Rosie Jane perfume review Leila Lou

Photographed here is the roll-on perfume oil, but by Rosie Jane also do an eau de parfum, body lotion, shower gel/bubble bath, and soy candle in the Leila Lou fragrance.

And honestly? I’d recommend this one in an ancillary rather than an eau de parfum — there’s just something about the way that the jasmine plays with the pear notes that would make it so divine as a candle or body lotion.

Leila Lou roll on perfume review

The verdict?

For an easy, beachy spring scent that’ll transition nicely into the summer, consider adding Leila Lou into your perfume arsenal. It’s pretty, affordable, and potent, and a total must-have for pear lovers.

(Of which I absolutely am one. When it comes to fragrances and body products, pear is probably my #1 weakness — but it’s almost impossible to find unless you get into silicone-y body products.)

Availability: $29 USD+ at by Rosie Jane, B.Glowing, and Beauty.com.

Keep reading! »

L’Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc EdT review, photos | A gorgeous spring veil of iris

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Mother's Day review

The product: L’Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Eau de Toilette

I was supposed to write about L’Occitane Roses et Reines for Mother’s Day this year. I was supposed to. That was the plan, and if I may say so myself, it was a good plan.

But then I was introduced to the newest member of La Collection de Grasse family, and all of my plans went out the window.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Collection de Grasse review

The story: This season, L’Occitane has brought irises back onto the fields of Grasse, using sustainable farming methods to grow this Tuscan flower in the heart of perfume country. Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc pairs two different variations of irises to create a wonderfully light veil of spring freshness, bottled into lovely gold and blue-violet packaging.

“White iris from the Mediterranean contrast its evanescent sweetness with the intensity of the blue Iris pallida from Grasse.”   -L’Occitane

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc

The scent: I know I’ve said that L’Occitane Fleur d’Or & Acacia is my favourite from the line, but… I mean, this is gorgeous. It’s light and clean and really, really easy to wear, and it’s hard to overdo.

The brand says that this scent is “EVOCATIVE OF A halo of iridescent powder on a cheek flushed by the chill of morning,” and I have to say: they’re not that far off. Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc isn’t really floral at all, and it feels very iridescent indeed; it opens with a crisp, sweet freshness and fades into something tart and woody that wears very close to the skin.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc review

My only complaint is that, as a really fresh-smelling Eau de Toilette, this one does fade quite quickly. But for something this fleetingly effervescent, I’m willing to make the trade.

TOP NOTES: Blackcurrant and citrus (orange blossom)

HEART NOTES: Iris, ylang-ylang, and peach

BASE NOTES: Iris, cedar, and white musk

L'Occitane Iris Bleu et Iris Blanc shower gel

Also new this season: Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc ancillaries (Body Milk, Shower Gel, and Perfumed Soap), which start at $8 CAD.

Additionally, look for new La Collection de Grasse hand creams; Jasmin & Bergamot, Néroli & Orchidée, and Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc will all be available for $12 CAD in lovely plastic packaging. (This is the L’Occitane formula with silicones, I’m afraid, but the new Roses et Reines hand cream is silicone-free, for those interested!)

L'Occitane La Collection de Grasse hand cream

The verdict?

Whether you’re looking for the perfect spring scent, you’re on the hunt for a happy, delicate fragrance to wear to the office, or you’re picking up a few treats for your mom this Mother’s Day, Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc is one that you need to check out.

It’s very easy to wear and definitely not a “sexy” or edgy scent, but I think it’ll turn heads with its sheer, fruity-but-classy simplicity. You need this.

Availability: $75 CAD at L’Occitane boutiques and online beginning this May.

Keep reading! »

True Nature Botanicals Noble Floral Solid Perfume review, photos

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

True Nature Botanicals Noble Floral Solid Perfume review

The product: True Nature Botanicals Solid Perfume in Noble Floral

Over the past year, I’ve done my best to share some natural, niche, and just overall unexpected fragrances with you guys on theNotice. Today, that journey (can you really call it a journey?) continues, with an all-natural solid perfume from True Nature Botanicals, who split off from Marie Veronique Organics late last summer.

True Nature Botanicals Solid Perfume review - compact

The scent: Noble Floral lists main notes of rose, jasmine, and tuberose, but what struck me about it is that it doesn’t smell like your run of the mill floral perfume. It’s absolutely gorgeous; creamy and enveloping with a pepperiness that’s rare in florals.

Noble Floral wears very close to the skin, however, and it doesn’t last for long — I’d say only around 3-4 hours before it really starts to fade. If you have a lot of chemical sensitivities and you’ve struggled to find an all-natural perfume that doesn’t just smell like astringent leaves, however, then definitely try the (free) scent sampler that True Nature Botanicals offers. This one was my favourite from the bunch, but honestly, I really liked all three. 

True Nature Botanicals scent sampler - solid perfume review

True Nature Botanicals scent sampler

The formula: True Nature’s perfumes are all crafted from 100% natural ingredients (which are notorious for sitting close to the skin and fading quickly), and are presented in solid form, not spray.

The perfume discs are about the same size as an eyeshadow (3.5 cm in diameter), and are offered in both refill and compact versions. The compact is very small, but it’s solid metal, so it’s actually extremely heavy — which feels wonderfully luxe, but isn’t something I’d want to throw into my handbag!

Finally, these solid perfumes warn that they will stiffen up in cooler temperatures, but mine has stayed consistently soft through both the winter and spring (and trust me, our house is cold in the winter). Expect something with whipped-butter consistency instead of fridge-butter consistency, I guess?

True Nature Botanicals Noble Floral review

The verdict?

The True Nature Solid Perfumes are definitely a luxury, but you could do far worse from an all-natural perfume. If you’re looking for something that wears close to the skin but is absolutely gorgeously blended (these would be perfect for an office environment), then give these a look!

(They’d also make a great Mother’s Day gift, if you’re thinking that far ahead.)

Availability: $95 USD at True Nature Botanicals (refills are $75 USD).

Keep reading! »

The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick swatches, review, photos (& a little Smoky Poppy preview)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Body Shop Lip Cheek Velvet Stick reviews swatches

The products: The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks in Universal Shade and 40 Red

↳ Photographed with the limited-edition Smoky Poppy Body Butter ($20), which smells amazing but contains silicones, so I can’t touch it! (But seriously: amazing. It’s super sultry for a Body Shop fragrance.)

My love affair with jumbo lip pencils is a long and almost frighteningly well-documented one, but when I tried these for the first time, I actually stopped and went, “oh, cool,” for a moment.

TBS lip velvet jumbo pencil review swatches

The texture: Unlike your standard jumbo lip pencil (sheer-glossy or opaque-matte), these Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks are exactly that: velvety. They apply with an incredibly natural finish, softly matte but not at all drying.

Unlike most mattes, though, they’re sheer — or, rather, they’ll sheer out if you blend them. Red (and I’m assuming the rest of the regular line) applies with a very medium opacity, but blends out to create the most seamless, perfect flush; the Universal Shade applies more sheerly, but in a way that’s suited well to the shade.

The Body Shop black universal Lip Cheek Stick review

The Body Shop Universal Shade Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick

The Body Shop Lip Cheek Stick swatches review universal, red

The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks, swatched – Universal Shade (heavily/blended) and 40 Red (heavily/blended)

The shades: Red is a bright strawberry red, but the pH-adapting Universal Shade is the Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick that really steals the show. Purple-black in the tube, it applies as a very sheer dark purple. It’s less glossy and more plummy than Clinique’s Voluptuous Violet Chubby Stick (the closest dupe that I’ve seen), and you NEED it.

When sheered out, the Universal shade reads as a muted flush of colour, and on the lips, it’s nothing short of perfect. My natural lip colour leans a bit orange (bleh), which makes most medium/dark lip colours look punchy and ostentatious as they wear off, but this weird, pH-adjusting pencil is perfect. It darkens my natural lip colour considerably without making my lips look bright!, which–believe me–is a pretty substantial feat.

Bare lips - Korres Cherry Picked reference

Bare lips

The Body Shop Universal Lip & Cheek Stick swatches review

The Body Shop Universal Shade Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick lip swatch

The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Body Butter review

The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Body Butter

The verdict?

These sheer-matte Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks are great both for the lips and cheeks, but it’s the black Universal Shade pencil that you really need to own. If you’ve ever been intrigued by a sheer purple lipstick, or if you’ve ever been tempted to try Clinique’s classic Black Honey, get this one instead — you won’t be disappointed. 

Availability: $15 USD/CAD at The Body Shop. Permanent.

Keep reading! »

BPAL x Pretty Indulgent review: Hochelaga, Black Silk, Une Folle Entreprise, Ville-Marie, and Halloween in Montreal

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Black Pheonix Alchemy Lab Pretty Indulgent review collection

If you haven’t heard of them before, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is one of those alt/hippie companies with a crazy-wonderful following (think Fyrinnae and LUSH) — and I mean this in the most amazing way possible. They’re a small company with an enormous library of super-concentrated fragrance oils that seems to produce one cult hit after another, and after seven years of beauty blogging, I have finally had the chance to try a few of their scents.

Today, I’m covering five fragrances exclusive to Pretty Indulgent, an online store run by Maggie of Maggie’s Makeup (who I have the biggest girlcrush on, but shhh.) These tiny–but potent, seriously–little bottles retail for a mere $23 each, and each scent in this limited run celebrates the rich culture and history of Quebec and Montreal. 

BPAL Black Silk Hochelaga review Pretty Indulgent

The first scent I tried on was Hochelaga, which features dry, warm woods and musk alongside elegant threads of buttery old herbs, spices and wildflowers. It smells like walking into an antiques/thrift store in the winter, surrounded by knitted blankets and knick-knacks in old wooden cabinets that once held metal pots for stew.

Next, I tried Black Silkwhich seems to have been the big hit of the collection — it sold out in less than a day! Unfortunately, I don’t think there will be a second run (one of its ingredients is very difficult to source), but it smells absolutely incredible. While sharp in the bottle, it rounds itself out beautifully on the skin and the tobacco absolute/bourbon vanilla cream notes blend together to create a boozy, almost nutty animalic sweetness unlike anything I’ve ever smelled before. Think smokey, smooooth benzoin-tobacco overtones with just a whisper of patchouli for this one.

BPAL Ville-Marie Une Folle Entreprise review Pretty Indulgent

Then came Une Folle Entreprise, which I wasn’t crazy about — but WOW does it ever last. I got a drop (and I mean a literal drop) of this on my sweater, and the base notes stuck around for a week. Thanks to the violet note, it’s sweet like a chocolate martini; sharp but cloying with patchouli, licorice root, and tonka bean.

Next is Ville-Mariewhich was just a treat to experience. It’s bright and sugary (there are so many different kinds of sweetness in this post!), and yet again, I’ve smelled nothing like it before. The cream soda opening lifts within minutes, and the scent blooms on the skin to reveal a lemony bouquet of orchids, lilies, and a whopping five different varieties of lilac, ending in a creamy vanilla-musk.

And, finally, we end with Halloween in Montreal, which covers the final corner of the sweetness spectrum. This one really does smell like Halloween, as promised — it’s bottled-up leaves, snowflakes, chimney smoke, and candy, and you can smell it all by simply closing your eyes. (Weirdly, it also smells like walking into a Pier 1 Imports or something, open-top candles everywhere).

BPAL Halloween in Montreal review Pretty Indulgent

Buying guide

This is a lot to take in, so here’s your SparkNotes version!

If you love smelling things but you’ve never tried a BPAL creation before… you owe it to yourself to experience these beauties. Heck, it doesn’t even matter if you like any of them; they’re an olfactory experience like no other, and that makes them fascinating. Unlike mainstream scents, which tend to be identifiably “perfumey”, these fragrances smell like Things — places, times, memories. Order yourself a few Imps (samples) to get started, and go from there.

And to pick your perfect Pretty Indulgent exclusive ($23 CAD each, and yes, the site takes Paypal), here they are in order of must-haveability!

  1. Try Ville-Marie if you like happy summer days and evenings on the pier. It’s a complete chameleon, starting out so bright and uplifting that it makes me want to giggle, and transforming completely into a musk so soft and vanilla-tinged that I can’t help but go “mmmm.”
  2. Try Black Silk if there is any way you could possibly get your hands on it, because it’s amazing.
  3. Try Hochelaga if you’re secretly a super-cool hippie/alt girl/vegan, but you daylight as the Regular Girl at the office.
  4. Try Halloween in Montreal if you like the way home-store candle aisles smell, because I swear to god, this smells EXACTLY like that. I feel like I’m picking out throw pillows in my office right now; it’s uncanny.
  5. Try Une Folle Entreprise to pair with your flavoured martini and slit-back dress. I both envy and fear your ability to wear four-inch heels.

Happy sniffing, scoundrels!

BPAL fragrance review intro for beginners

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