I admit I am, what the French term, ‘a woman of a certain age’ which sounds ever so much nicer when you say it in French, ‘une femme d’une certaine age’. That makes me, somewhere between 30 and 110. Suffice to say, as genetically blessed as I am, (it’s all that baking, steam and sweat – does wonders for your complexion), I recently began to get curious about all the hoopla about anti-aging and other skin care regimes that don’t involve scalpels and doctors. For me, surgery is out. (That in itself is the stuff of my in-progress novel.) Stuff like Botox as well as inserting other dubious elixirs, fat sources, and tonics into my skin to coax wrinkles into hiding is not my thing. I have definite reasons and philosophies. Perhaps ask me in 20 years from now and I might have a different stance. For now, I am happy to look into creams and lotions that make great claims and see what’s what and share those findings with you. My only caveat is that I am a discerning baker with a girlie girl habit – I am not a skin care specialty, dematologist or beauty editor, per se.
But first let me say a few things on aging, skin and otherwise. No one gets to live to 100 and look like 20. Just like no one gets to be pregnant and have a flat stomach in their ninth month. Moreover, we really, really have to get used to seeing older and not seeing it in negative terms. That is wholly a Western way of looking at things that is counter to accepting yourself and promotes youth, versus accepting and celebrating the natural aging process. You cannot have confidence and poise and an unlined, unlived face. Until we accept that, I can only recommend we all stop checking the mirrors, and mall windows as we walk by and focus instead on just being because chances are, at a certain age, our faces won’t reflect how we feel inside. A life lived radiates outward. That is a blessing and evidence of grace. If you work it right that sort of beauty glows in a way 40 quarts of Botox, a lifetime supply of La Mere, and legions of green tea and soy extracts cannot furnish. No one wants to be a cosmetically correct, ‘Desperate Housewives’ circa woman with a muted inner reflection. Taking care of yourself resonates in a special way but a dramatic surgical overhaul might just says, ‘she has had work done’. You want a soul and spirit to shine inside and out. Did I forget to mention you have to eat right, move (dance, run or walk), and get some sleep and like your life choices? The face, the body and the skin don’t lie. Before your surface and package can look good, the inside work has to be done. How you feel and how nurtured (and take that from a chef), as well as how attuned you are to yourself, is the foundation of the outside beauty.
This all said, I still am a naturally born, late bloomer, primper. I love playing with cosmetics, soaps, scent, face creams. I never did much in the way of ritual skin care but recently, the anti-aging brigade made me curious. That and noticing all the Life Network plastic surgeons seem to have that same unmovable mouth. Surely, there were alternatives! Yes, there are. I have found some great ones and am happy to share them with you.
My real incentive began when I was interested specifically in eye cream, hand cream, and face creams and moisturizers. I set out to find the best of the best I ogled Google and from the comments, threads and recommendations, I hit the department stores’ cosmetic counters, and shopped and researched online as well. I soon found out that whereas Lancôme offers an outstanding eye cream, there was no way I was going to outlay $70 for a tablespoon of miracle eye potion. Ditto for classics like La Mer, a celebrity skin cream legend. No, I needed great finds at great prices or at least more moderate priced, great performers.
The first thing you need to know about the anti-aging cosmetic is that no one cream suits everyone nor does one cream or particular brand do it all. Anti-aging is divided into three sorts of approaches for three skin conditions. The conditions or challenges are:
Lift (skin looses resiliency)
Wrinkles (you laugh, you cry, the skin reflects your moods and history and genes)
Dull, or Uneven Skin (which calls for Brightening products) (this covers both brightening up the complexion overall as well as fading age spots and red areas)
Within these three categories, skin care also acknowledges that the eyes are more delicate and require more care or different care. Within eye care, there is the lift, wrinkle, and brightening issue, the latter being more about dark eye circles. For that there is, www.Hylexin.com, being one of the best (and yes, it does work). And incidentally, specifically for lips with those pesky feathering lines, L’Oreal’s Collagen Filler (that silver tube thingie) does seem to work, if applied dutifully.
As skin ages, you are trying, as best as topical or external treatment can do (and least invasive) is to assist cell renewal, promote elasticity, resurface or retain a more even skin tone, moisten, repair as well as prevent wrinkles and lines. Can a cream do any of this? Great anti-aging products can help maintain what you do have or delay the aging somewhat, as well as prevent a modest percentage of more damage (less deep versus a deep wrinkle). Certainly, a glowing skin that is properly exfoliated, toned, and moistened is going to look better, you will feel better, and overall, self-care again, radiates below the skin surface level. It says, you are taking care of yourself.
Within the three categories of skin care, lift, wrinkles, and brightening, most companies offer various approaches. Within the carrying agents (shea butter, alcohol, perfumes, etc.) there are the performing ingredients like peptides, soy, citrus, and green tea extracts, all manners of what is called anti-oxidants, retinol, vitamin A and yet more active or ‘performing’ components. These components are the star focus cosmetic formulaic cocktails in the various creams on the market. Yes, it is very confusing and tons of choices and this all occurs (it is a conspiracy, I am sure) at a time when you are most busy, distracted, and you brain is already brimming with information (both important and minutia of life) collected over so many decades of living. I am almost sure it is a conspiracy against we Women of a Certain age to make us buy what we don’t need and trigger our insecurities. The irony is, often we don’t buy anything but Ponds or Nivea Milk because we are so confused!
Some of these creams do more of one skin task or another and you have to know what you need. Some have more of the active ingredient than another and once you know that, you can be aware that let’s say, you need skin resurfacing and brightening – to look for things with soy, peptides, and/or retinal in them (and also tone and exfoliate). More of any one of these things makes a particular cream ‘stronger’ or more effective. (And now Diane Keaton is touting calcium based creams for L’Oreal which makes sense on paper; calcium is good for the bones, why not the skin?). Some products tout repair or prevention at the ‘cell’ level (the lift products) and others are about resurfacing the top layer.
Overall, skin care is a four-pronged affair of cleansing, toning (with exfoliation in the mix), moisturizing, and repair (nighttime products, sun blocks, specialty treatments, masques, eye creams, etc.). For best results, regardless of your choice in products (whether you choose all one line or mix and match), it is basic good skin care to clean your skin well, exfoliate off dull stuff, tone (but be careful –toners feel freshening and tautening and they are – because they are often alcohol based which does cleanse and tighten but also dries the skin)
Selecting Products – By Skin Type, Age, or Specific Need?
There is more to add more to the equation. You can shop by skin type or by your age but I recommend you consider three things at the same time: your skin type, your age, and what you want to focus on. You might be 30 with 40-year-old skin (depending on genes and how you took care of your skin) or a 60 year old with 50-year-old skin. There are more intense lines such as Clinical by Avon, which are for ‘mature’ skin. Clinical is about as clinical as you can get without actually booking a dermatological make-over appointment but it might not be for you until you hit 70. So, temper your judgment on what you need and don’t go to any cosmetic counter ready to choose the strongest, or most expensive product.
You can also experiment by getting those gift cosmetic give-aways with purchase to sample some skin products. You also can find two different creams, similar price and features and alternate them. Or use Clarins light moisturizer for most days and Oil of Olay’s Effects or that classic Clinique moisturizer on other days and use something else at night. I have found that it is a good idea to alternate it for day creams, regardless how loyal you are. I feel it allows the skin a rest with the change. It is up to you but don’t feel you only will benefit by using one cream and never changing. But you do need to consistently do something to have any benefit from most products.
Next, focus on a goal that is your biggest concern (crows’ feet around eyes or wanting to soften your neck and throat area or lift on your facial cheeks) and alternate products such as, use a Lift product for a few days a week, and then alternate with an anti-wrinkle or brightening product. Otherwise simply targeting all areas, all at once, will become your new day (and night job).
A last consideration is that creams come in different scents, different consistencies or formats, and different decanters or product consistency (lotions, creams, milks, butters, serums). A cream that promises great claims and is affordable but has an awful scent or another one has a perfectly wonderful scent is something to think about. You have to live with it. Do you like thin, clear ‘serums’, which are popular, light ‘milk’ creams, or heavier ones? As for the last consideration, the dispenser, bottle or jar, do you prefer a tube, a pump canister, or a dig-your-fingers into a pot of cold cream jar?). This is part of the fun of primping and skin care that shouldn’t be overlooked. Aesthetics and sensory appeal have their role.
I might also add here, that having tested a ton of drugstore creams, lotions and potions, with few exceptions, I don’t find they are at the same level as specialty skin care lines you find online or in department stores. Possibly, they just contain less of the active, performing ingredient. Certainly, a body lotion such as my beloved St. Ives Cucumber Melon body lotion is great for after bath and Oil of Olay is a good in-between product, but overall, you get what you pay for – at least to some extent. Also many drugstore products are no longer quite so inexpensive themselves which is probably my biggest protest. The price point between department cosmetic and mass-market stuff is narrowing. There are always exceptions but trying them all out to find out which works and which doesn’t can get pricey. Also serums, regardless of cosmetic lines (the serums that are clear and come in a pump) are generally stronger than creams or lotions, featuring more of the active ingredients.
The thing to do is have fun, not break the bank, be a girlie girl who is maintaining her skin, and discover the wealth of amazing products out there, thanks to the boomers who bolding are going where we have not quite gone before (at least, with this sort of vengeance). Simply in investing in skin care by considering it, your skin (maybe it is your mood) begins to perk up. But do be consistent. Beauty is skin deep but still requires daily, consistent care both to maintain and repair skin but to show results from whatever skin care line you choose.
You will never know it all and figure it all out. But between thinking none of the non-surgical anti-aging creams performs at all (they do!), or what’s the use, or you are too confused by what’s offered, there is a buffet of fun to be had and some amazing discoveries to be made. It is not about stopping time or being frivolous as much as it is about self-care and investment and profiting from some of the definite discoveries that are out there –for those of us who don’t want drastic solutions.
Here are my discoveries.
The face might look like 30 but hands age differently – especially if you are a gardening or baking gal. For the most dramatic repair and rejuvenation job I have ever seen you cannot beat Robanda. The Robanda Anti-Aging Hand Cream with Gratuline Whitening, and Retinol (and SPF 20 sunscreen) literally transforms your hands (I noticed a huge difference in three days) in the company recommendation of 3-6 weeks. Upon using this product, you cannot help but notice your hands are noticeable softer, moister-looking, and more even toned. I discovered Robanda by tuning in on many Internet chats and threads on hand cream. Many are mentioned but Robanda came up consistently as the wunderkind hand cream of beauty editors anywhere. Its reputation is well deserved. It reduces brown spots, as well as helps your nails and one of the most unexpected things about it is that it smells absolutely fantastic! This is buy-stock sort of hand cream. www.Robanda.com
Next comes Avon’s Anew Ultimate Transforming Nail and Hand Cream. It features a slightly lesser SPF (15) than Robanda but does also noticeably benefit your hands, no question. What is nice about Avon is that you can try their products and return anything you don’t like or don’t feel is performing and have a full refund.
If you don’t need anti-aging but want to maintain your hands’ condition, especially in winter, there are my tried and true favorites: Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (any pharmacy), or L’Occitane’s Lavender and Shea Butter hand cream. You can also use Bag Balm, which my fellow Canadian Shania Twain swears by. It comes in a delightful, vintage, green tin and is essentially a greasy, but good, slightly medicinal balm for reddened hands. It works on chafed, and chapped hands and is good to use once a week, in winter, with cotton gloves on to let it absorb http://www.bagbalm.com. It is great for rough feet (winter or too much tango) or chapped lips.
Eye Creams, Face Creams, Anti-Aging Moisturizers, and Wrinkle Serums By Brand I worked with a few companies that I felt were unique, stood behind their product, and were priced competitively while delivering exceptional quality. Here are my picks.
www.Avon.com or www.Avon.ca
www.neveracceptordinary.myarbonne.com (Arbonne International)
(Interview with Robanda)
Robanda International, Interview with President David Lieb
Incredible, Well-Priced and Effective Products,
Robanda Anti-Aging Hand Cream Voted Best Anti-Aging Hand Cream by Beauty Editors Everywhere…..
Robanda International, established 8 years ago, was founded by David Leib who recently shared some insights with Scent of a Baker, on Robanda’s skin care products. After nearly two decades in the cosmetics industry in Europe, Leib decided to launch his own line, based in the United States, incorporating all he knew and with a mindful approach to avoiding all the don’ts he had learned by being in the skin care and beauty business. He works closely with chemists and best, most visionary skin care professionals employing the best of the newest in skin technology, starting with a foundation that marries the best quality of the high performance and safest ingredients for all skin types, all ages, and even the most sensitive skins. Robanda know-how ensures each of their 16 products a winner. “Some companies have up to 150 products, “ says Leib’ which explains the confusion in the skin care line’. But Robanda purposely, “ develops one amazing product at time, perfects it and keeps things simple, and price points reasonable”. There is no animal product testing, fragrance (which, in the hand cream is simply ambrosial, a light green tea and tangerine scent to my sense of it) is light due to the fact, as Leib stated, “Fragrance can irritate and moreover, it has alcohol in it which dries the skin which is the whole point of what we don’t want to do!” Leib’s Robanda line is for all skin types, starting from ages 20 and up. Some products, like the Robanda Intense Night Cream contains patented ingredients such as Saccramyces Lysate, which helps to increase cell respiration at cellular level, resulting in younger and healthier skin cells. “We are trying to get rejuvenation” says Leib, in a recent phone interview, at the cell level which is really where you want to see things happen’. Robanda is also among the first to use safe, and natural ingredients in their pigment lightening (sun and age spots) cream versus the use of hydro quinine, a product with many health concerns, being phased out worldwide. All the Robanda products tested exceptionally well, and showed real results, but Robanda is without doubt, the masters of the hand cream as well as their Triple Performing Eye Gel. The latter does in fact, work against fines lines, puffiness and dark circles. “We are also coming out with a eye cream, soon, “ says Leib, for consumers who prefer a cream to a gel. The hand cream, which we tried in the BB test kitchen showed results in a few days but takes 3-6 weeks for full effect. Leib also explained that the anti-aging serum in his line, as well as any other company’s, generally indicates concentration of the most active ant-aging ingredients (versus a cream or lotion). “We suggest our serum for old skin or skin whose condition warrants it. We wouldn’t ordinarily suggest 20 year old use it.” “Mind you’, Leib went on to say, ‘It is never too early to start good skin care – and the early 20’s is the perfect time’. Robanda is 95% sold in retail stores and 5% online at www.robanda.com. Men account for 20% of their customers, by the way, so if you have some well-groomed guys in your midst, pass it on.
Some of the performance ingredients in Robanda’s find products include:
Vitamin A - Retinyl Palmitate
Retinyl Palmitate is known to be the most pure, active and stable form of Vitamin A. It penetrates deep into the skin layers to thicken the epidermis. The collagen synthesis is then stimulated to increase the elasticity of the skin, especially with exposure to the sun. Sodium PCA
Moisturizing agent that holds 4 times its water content in superior layers of the epidermis and bonds moisture to the skin. Vitamin E - Tocopheryl Acetate
Tocopheryl Acetate is considered to be an anti-aging and anti-oxidant agent. It protects the skin from free radicals, acting as an anti-oxidant, which has moisturizing, and healing properties. Chamomile Extract - a calming and soothing agent Aloe Extract - an anti-reddening soothing agent Glycerin - a humectant. Gatuline Whitening - a fermentation process of Lactic Acid + Kojic Acid as well as Licorice extract (Pigment Control + Anti-Aging Hand Cream Alpha Lipoic Acid - acts as a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Widely touted as one of the most effective anti-aging ingredients (Multi-Therapy Moisturizer) Co-Enzyme Q10 - This coenzyme plays a key roll in the conversion of energy in every cell of our body. As we age, its activity slows down and needs replenishment in skin cells. (Rejuvenating Serum). Alpha-Lupaline - a synergic combination of Lupin Oil and the active fraction of Wheat germ oil obtained by molecular distillation (Rejuvenating Serum). An anti-oxidant proven to be 5000 times more effective than Vitamin C & E.
Most skin care products these days contain some sun block component; Robanda’s products contain a stronger sun block than most –another strong benefit to the line.
Robana also represents Tweed Perfume, which we tried. It is a gorgeous, vintage floral perfume that is totally, from another era. A classic and for perfume collectors everywhere. Ropbana is also the representative for the fabulous Marc Daniels of Australia First Aid for Hair. We are wild about their Big Hair products (adding volume), protein treatments (60 Second Success)and line of conditioners and shampoos –all high performing, great smelling, and state of the art hair care. You can find them at www.Robanda.com or www.marcd.com.au.
Best Money Back Return Policy on Cosmetics,
Great Prices, Promotions, Superb R&D and more from a leader in Skin Care
Avon’s Eye Creams are some of the best for the least. They are between $10 and $20.00 and are often on promotion. Avon, as I recall from my brief stint at Cosmair Canada (Lancôme, Biotherme, L’Oreal, etc.) is one of the largest companies with unrivaled resources for skin care R&D, the cleanest faculties (purest ingredients, consistently clean packing and depositing, and award winning packaging) should offer the best for the least and they do. Plus, as mentioned, where else can you try and product and return it if you don’t like it.
The only challenge is that Avon offers so many possibilities with similar names you might get confused between Anew Essentials (for age 25 Plus), Retroactive (for 25 Plus), Anew Advanced (All Ages), Anew Alternative (All Ages), Anew Ultimate (Ages 45 and up), Anew Force Extra (Age 35 Plus) and Anew Clinical (All ages). These products each focus on a different area including: Firms, smoothes, and lifts (Anew Ultimate) Peel, Exfoliate, Tighten and Texturize (Anew Clinical), for example.
I tried a few eye creams and all were excellent and did indeed smooth the eye area, and offered slight lift. I would whole-heartedly suggest any of their eye creams in the line, starting with their best-priced one as it certainly brought results. Their Luminosity Cream is excellent for overall skin brightening and moisturizing. All Avon’s lift creams incidentally are easily absorbed, smell nice, but are somewhat thicker, richer creams than some women prefer for day wear. I would use Avon’s Lift creams at night and lighter pump-style serums or moisturizers in the daytime for under make up. If wrinkles are your nemesis, than choose one of the Avon serums (serums are always the strongest skin care in any line). Still, for products priced at $15-$30 you cannot get better skin care, with more research and quality, for the price.
For exfoliation, try Avon’s Laser System or Micro-Exfoliant.
For a zap of brightening, try the Anew Photo-Radiance Treatment.
For a soothing, all-round cream that gives instant moisture, Avon’s Comforting Cream with Neem Extract smells amazing but is absorbed instantly and is non greasy.
Some added perks from Avon this season is their perfume, Extraordinary. Reminiscent of Ana Sui’s Butterfly, this floral oriental is a delightful, fresh, breezy, feminine scent perfect for the holidays and suitable for any age. And if you are pressed for time, press on the instant nail manicure. Avon’s has this ingenious press on nail kit, which is pure nail color in a shape that fits your nails. You press them on and are ready to go. Perfection. Use nail polish remover to remove the press on polish. Choose from a limited but adequate color chart. These are great for last minute finishing touches or when traveling. You press them on, and they are trimmed easily to fit you nail exactly.
www.JuneJacobs.com June Jacobs Spa Collection
I always admire companies those founder stays close to the product and concept. Such is the case with the June Jacobs line, founded by June Jacobs herself, most closely associated with the equally fine line of skin care products, Peter Roth Clinical Skin Care.
The Jacobs line has received a lot of press from Oprah, to Vogue and Bazaar. The products work for any age, or type skin from sun-damaged, mature skin to ‘normal’ skin and skin issues. What is the most appealing aspect is indeed that ‘spa’ sense –the products are packaged in an aesthetic, elegant, pale yellow and cream box and graphics. Inside, each one is delicate, mild and pleasantly citrus-y in scent. Overall, you feel like you are using a magic potion of fresh lemons and cream. There is none of that heavy, ubiquitous ‘cold-cream’ scent in any of their products. It is totally inviting, relaxing in an aromatherapy way and uplifts your mood before you fully benefit from the products themselves. It is a home spa for skin, so to speak and the use of high concentrations of botanical and plant extracts bring broad benefits to the whole line of care, repair and treatment products. In keeping with a spa philosophy, Jacobs’ line also feels and looks wonderfully luxurious – but of course, it’s about performance in the product and these do. I tried their June Jacobs Age Defying Serum which is more of a light ‘milk’ that clear serum, the Firming Eye Repair and the Intensive Age Defying Hydrating Complex. The latter is pretty rich and I would use as a night cream but it depends on your skin. I saw results from the eye repair and rather like the option of dispensing a few drops via a glass dropped, allowing me to put the product exactly on the eye area that required it without undue, rubbing of product into the delicate eye area. Brilliant.
The Jacobs line is broad and each product profile is carefully detailed in their literature so you know exactly what is in each product and what it does and what it is for. Most companies do this but Jacobs is especially exacting showing much care in every detail of this treatment line. The fragrances in each product are predominantly citrus, then pomegranate, green tea, cucumber, mandarin, and some pumpkin-based products – all soothing, light and appealing.
No one will be able to resist the light, orange/mandarin packaging and scent of this well-priced, but elegant line of products. Recently launched in Canada, the Arbonne line in the U.S. is for all skin types, all botanically based, pH correct, never tested on animals, and do not contain any dyes or chemical fragrances. The entire line focuses on skin care programs, encouraging consumers to take full advantage of a whole skin care approach or regime, instead of mixing and matching products. This also promotes consistent usage for best results. Because of the concentration, a little Arbonne goes a long way! We found the products light (instead of greasy), effective in the short haul (suggesting in the total treatment regime, they would be very effective) and liked the idea of a complete care program with steps, and products, with some great, additional products for extra treatment. Replete with nourishing ingredients that promote skin rejuvenation, Arbonne also ties in a natural vitamin care program for your inner health, showing a concept of total self-care. Along with great skin care products, Arbonne offers comprehensive literature on total skin care, from extreme skin conditions and treatment to the most basic, helpful information. This is one of the most attentive, hands-on companies (you can always get a response) and the products, for their quality, are well – priced.
That’s the findings so far. Good luck and have fun!
For home recipes on skin care, you cannot beat my own Spa Salts recipe (in the complete recipe index). It exfoliates, smells amazing, costs pennies and works! It makes your skin radiant. And last, as a toner, you can simply make one yourself with 35% spring water, 35% alcohol, 20 % peroxide, and the rest, in drops of tea-tree oil from health stores, online or via the Body Shop; tea tree oil is a natural anti-bacterial), mint essential oil, as well as essential oils of chamomile and lavender –all of which soothe or awaken the skin, and smell nice.
Perfumes of 2006
There was not too much exceptional new entries in women’s perfumes for Holidays 2006 but here are my picks. Google perfume stores online or head for department stores, or Sephora.com etc.
Princess, Vera Wang
A sweet, fruity, floral by the master of delicate taste – Vera Wang. This fades a bit quickly and is overall, out of keeping with the white floral perfumes (Wedding and Vera Wang original) Wang is known for. But if you were going to choose at least one sweet perfume for your perfume wardrobe, this is not a bad choice. The decanter (a faceted heart) is gorgeous.
Fleurs de Rocailles, Original
Rent Scent of a Woman – Al Pacino’s character has great tastes in women and scent and his nose knows all. Fleurs de Rocaille is the perfume of note in that move and is worth sleuthing out. Fleurs de Rocaille was re-orchestrated a few years ago. The new version is ok but the original, still made by Caron (only 110 years old - one of the oldest, still existing perfume companies) is unbelievable.
Search Ebay or perfume places online. Fleurs De Rocailles original still exists and it is one of the most enduring, feminine, scents of jasmine, lilac and lily of the valley. It is one of life’s best kept secrets.
Delices de Cartier
Delices comes in a stunning, red and clear crystal faceted perfume bottle that looks like Eve’s apple – a collector's bottle. It is a fruity perfume with some pink peppercorn accents and is subtle but unique and destined to be a classic. It is exceptionally feminine but not girlish – one of the most sophisticated perfumes for a sweet oriental – something that is hard for perfumers to master but Delices does it.
Donna Karan’s Gold and Cashmere
I was attracted to the Cashmere name – it just sounds nice but Donna Karan’s Gold won me over. Gentle lilies and white flowers, somehow, this perfume has a true warmth (hence, gold) in a floral scent – something you have to admire. It is a lush perfume, feminine but not overwhelming – a wonderful holiday, evening wear perfume or dab it on gently for day wear. It is definitely for sophisticated but warm-blooded women of the world. Cashmere is floral, lighter and actually, the two perfume names would be more suitably reversed for Cashmere is a tad more floral and a touch green (whereas the name Cashmere is suggestive of the warmth and luxury of Gold). Kudos to DK for success at clothing seguing into perfume. Many are called; few do it well. DK has done it.
Sensi by Armani
A totally reasonably priced perfume with a lovely, pleasing floral boquet with some oriental hints to it. This is a low-key surprisingly nice perfume – in that it is well priced, easily found, yet sophisticated. Great for day or evening, and ageless.
Insolence, by Guerlain
I am not quite sure what Guerlin was up to in this upstart, fresh perfume from a perfume house that is all about romance but Isolence is a bit of a mystery. I would include it as a basic floral everyone needs in their wardrobe. It is pleasant but doesn’t yet inspire loyalty – It smells very nice but also a little like everything else. It is generically pretty scented but not quite unique – it is all pleasing but not quite a signature scent –unless you are 16-20 in which case, it would make quite a statement.
Love by Ana Sui
Sweet, innocuous, romantic – day perfume for mature gals or superb for under 25 year olds. Has the faintest cardboard scent to it or maybe, just don’t buy it on Ebay! Look for the butterfly bottle.
Cherie, Miss Dior
One of the most sophisticated of all sweet perfumes, of course, Dior could do it. This is elegant but warm, sweet, floral – the ultresse of feminine perfumes but never cloying. A surprise – should be a classic but probably will be forgotten. Grab it now. Has floral notes, spun sugar and strawberries in it.
L’Occitane’s Bougie Parfmee – Perfumed Candles in Tins from L’Occitane.
These are the nicest stocking stuffers of the season. Gorgeous, authentic scents of Rhubarb, Chocolate, and Almond, tucked into 3.5 ounce tinned candles that burn 20 hours. Great as gifts, or to travel with. The are prettily packaged and the fragrances are good enough to make you want to bake instantly! www.loccitane.com .
Scent of a Baker Favs
Lovely, Sarah Jessica Parker – I am turning my verdict on this perfume. It is lovely, elegant, fresh and different. I grew to love it and when I wear it – heads turn.
FlowerBomb – one of the most gorgeous of all sweet floral perfumes. Wear this and you will cut men down in a swath as you walk into a room.
Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea – green tea, jasmine, rhubarb notes – totally great day perfume – and wonderful combined with Vanilla oil from the Body Shop or Kiehl, or Rose Oil from the Body Shop.
Joy, by Jean Patou. There is nothing more to say. Jasmine and Roses mixed into a potion for all time.
Hanae Morie – a signature scent for anyone –fruits, flowers, woods – a masterful symphony of scent few perfumers approach.
Lily of the Valley, Yardley
If you want a single scent, don’t want to invest in Dioressimo, then Yardley’s Lily of the Valley is not a bad choice – for once in awhile. It is fresh and a more true Lily of the valley scent than Crabtree and Evelyn and no one is ever repelled – if not seduced by it. It is nice applied lightly with a bit of rose and jasmine oil.
Iris Nobile, Aqua di Parma
If you like a fresh, inspired bouquet that is not girlish but not too ‘green’, this is a stunning perfume. It is one of those ’is that just her or is that her perfume’ scents.
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