Friday, April 26, 2013

The Sultry, Soft, and Sweet Ylang Ylang

Now I know that most of us like different scents and fragrances, but fragrances have so many notes that we sometimes get lost in the ones that we really love. I know that I do, and that being said... I want to take a look at specific notes and see what they smell like and where they come from. SO starting now as I do my notes research you can get some info on notes too!

So this first one that I always hear about in fragrance is Ylang Ylang, this is such a pretty deep floral that I think is  great for a mature woman. It just brings so many notes together and combines them with this deep floral that I personally think is beautiful for the evening time! I would describe it as sweet and elegant, but soft and sultry!

Here is a definition that I found for it: 
Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) has a sweet, soft, flowery fragrance that has made it a romantic favorite. In Indonesia, the petals are often strewn across a marriage bed. Ylang ylang is extremely effective in calming and bringing about a sense of relaxation, and it may help with releasing feelings of anger, tension, and nervous irritability.

I this is such a fun scent! It is mature and fun loving all at the same time! 

There are many scents with this one so it's time to try some out! Here is a search that I did, just click on a line and you can see which ones have ylang ylang notes in them! 

Until the next note... Safia :) 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fragrant Adventures in Paris, the Land of Love

Paris is known for her visually stunning parks. Parc Floral occupies over 31 hectares of fragrant green lands, just east of Paris; the perfect spot to take a stroll with your honey. This park was created within the Bois de Vincennes during 1969 to host a flower show, but was too precious to tear down after the event. Today the annual dahlia contest is hosted there. The park has the unique feature of allowing people to sit or meander within the floral gardens, rather than merely circumnavigating a pathway from the exterior like most public gardens.
Couples are welcome to bring a picnic basket to the Pinede (pine
forest) and spend the entire day in romantic splendour, sniffing the flowers or studying the modern sculptures. These two fragrances are perfect to wear to your picnic, neither overpowering, but both giving a subtle but tantalizing whiff of scent. Is it the garden, or is it you? Keep him guessing! Phaedon Paris: Rue des Lilas is a delicate lilac fragrance with minty and spicy/woodsy notes that aren't too overpowering for strolling in the park. Montale Paris: Crystal Flowers is the perfect choice for a fresh spring morning walk through the woods with its sour citrus notes intermingling with Lily of the Valley, roses and musk tones.

No trip to Paris would be complete without a shopping trip to the Avenues des Champs-Élyssés! The guys may want to stay at home, but perhaps they will find enough to entertain themselves while you shop.
A shopping trip to the fine boutique shops calls for something a bit more exotic. There's Nicolai: Eau d'Ete. A scent that smells like a fruity bubbly soda drink in the summer time! Notes of jasmine, lime, grapefruit, blood orange and cinnamon will make you smell so divine that the holder of your heart won't deny you "one last purchase". If this fragrance isn't enough to get your heart's desire, try a few dabs of Nicolai: Maharanih. This spicy delectable fragrance will make you hungry for more with complex notes of orange groves, dark chocolate, herbs, spices, and much more. Now you are ready to stroll down the fashionably famous street, delighting in the window displays, browsing shops for that perfect gift, and visiting monuments such as Arc de Triomphe, the Obelisk of Luxor, and Place de la Concorde. When people think Paris, they think fashion, fragrance, and sparkling crystal decanters. People of all ages and walks of life will find something to love in Paris.

At the end of the day you want to take a break from the tourist activities. Buy tickets for two and take in a fine performance at the opera house. The Palais Garnier took several years to build to house the Paris Opera, from 1861 to 1875. If your partner isn't fond of opera, no worries, the Opera has moved to another building, the Place de la Bastille and Palais Garnier is home to the local ballet group.
It's time to glamourize yourself, wear your fine suit, coif up the hair, polish the shoes, don your jewels and add a fine fragrance such as Montale: Aoud Queen Roses. A fine rose scent fit for a queen, with hibiscus, oud (agarwood), and leather. Very special fragrances are called for during this special occasion. Robert Piguet: Mademoiselle Piguet with its tangy top notes enveloped in spicy cinnamon and tonka bean, with a light base note of eucalyptus is a great second choice.
You may wish to return for a tour of the backstage of the theatre at another date. The Palais Garnier was the famous setting for Gaston Leroux's novel, the Phantom of the Opera, a classic in our time, as well as many successful adaptations of this romantic fairy tale.

By Mel Dawn February 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013

Do You Smell Manly?


SO maybe not all men look like David Beckham  but all men have their charm, and a scent that reminds us of them! Scents are not just for women. More often today we see that men are into scents that define their character as well. Fragrance for men can do many things for them and define them as a person. A citrus scent on a man such as Mark Birley, is a scent for a man that is just going out there into the world. He has a clean slate and is ready to go and conquer the world.


Then we have the musk scents such as Musc by Lorzenzo. This is for that same man that is now in this world, and has some experience; he is working and playing, and truly finding himself in the process. But he is ready for the next level up.


As time wears on there are scents that are more spicy, scents that have a confidence to them, and years of experience. Scents such as Interlude my Amouage for that more outgoing man, and a more spicy scent such as a Black Amber by Agonist for the more thought provoked individual.


Scents for a man just like a women, change over time and are selected not by just the name, but the experience that one has had in their lives.  Scents lead us to memories and thoughts and so when you chose a scent whether you are a man or a women it sometimes can show us where we are as a person, and even where we are headed in the future. Of course these are just a few of the scents that men wear, there are so many more out there to explore! 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Scent memories

The other day, I was cleaning out my closet, and my daughter was looking on trying to see what treasures she could recover from my clutter. I found an old silver necklace of my mother’s that she had given to me several years before. My mom had been the last person to wear the necklace, and as I handed it to my daughter to survey, she smelled it…
“Hmmmm,” she said, “it smells like metal and Mimi.”
I hadn’t told my daughter that this was her grandmother’s necklace… I didn’t have to… her nose did all of the analysis.
 Connected to the limbic system in our brains, the sense of smell is an instant, uncensored conduit to both the realities and memories of any given moment. The limbic system is our mind’s memory storeroom, the regulator of our moods and emotions and the juncture where odors meet these two major components of our psyche.
One of the great wonders of the sense of smell is the unadulterated messages that it gives us. When a person witnesses a trauma of some kind, one might say to themselves, “I can’t believe my eyes”. When we have an argument with a loved one, the memory in which the words were heard and exchanged will not be exact, nor will either person recall identical details.
Scent is a purist…
Without filter, question or doubt, my daughter subconsciously knew who that necklace belonged to!
I smell the necklace, too, and like an unintended slide-show, memories of my mother begin to flash in my mind;
Her perfectly and impossibly straight teeth through her warm, easy smile…
The sound of her feet shuffling around outside my room at night after I was in bed and she was finishing her household tasks …
The weight of her hand on my back whenever I was ill…
The soft lilting cadence of her voice… her laughter…
The mad scientist inside of me chuckles. When I started making her perfume 20 years ago, I did it so as to delight her, but I also did it so that I may always recreate her likeness in this unfathomable liquid form after she was gone…
A feeling that brings me equal parts sadness and mirth…
My daughter has been wearing that necklace ever since…

By Paula

Celebrity Perfume, Dirty Secrets


The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics commissioned tests of 17 celebrity fragrances and the results make for some pretty shocking reading.  On average they contained: 
Fourteen secret chemicals not listed on labels
Ten sensitising chemicals associated with allergic reactions such as asthma, wheezing, headaches and contact dermatitis
Four hormone-disrupting chemicals linked to a range of health effects including sperm damage, thyroid disruption and cancer. 
The fragrances tested include:  Britney Spears’ Curious, Hannah Montana Secret Celebrity, Calvin Klein Eternity, Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce, American Eagle Seventy Seven, Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio, Halle by Halle Berry, Quicksilver and Jennifer Lopez J. Lo Glow
Anne C. Steinemann, Ph.D, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering said ”This monumental study reveals the hidden hazards of fragrances.  Secondhand scents are also a big concern. One person using a fragranced product can cause health problems for many others.”

Secret chemicals revealed in celebrity perfumes, teen body sprays

San Francisco – A new analysis reveals that top-selling fragrance products—from Britney Spears’ Curious and Hannah Montana Secret Celebrity to Calvin Klein Eternity and Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce —contain a dozen or more secret chemicals not listed on labels, multiple chemicals that can trigger allergic reactions or disrupt hormones, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety by the beauty industry’s self-policing review panels.
The study of hidden toxic chemicals in perfumes comes on the heels of last week’s report by the President’s Cancer Panel, which sounded the alarm over the understudied and largely unregulated toxic chemicals used by millions of Americans in their daily lives. The Cancer Panel report recommends that pregnant women and couples planning to become pregnant avoid exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals due to cancer concerns. Hormone disruptors that may play a role in cancer were found in many of the fragrances analyzed for this study.
“This monumental study reveals the hidden hazards of fragrances,” said Anne C. Steinemann, Ph.D, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Professor of Public Affairs, University of Washington. “Secondhand scents are also a big concern. One person using a fragranced product can cause health problems for many others.”
For this study, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a national coalition of health and environmental groups, commissioned tests of 17 fragranced products at an independent laboratory. Campaign partner Environmental Working Group assessed data from the tests and the product labels. The analysis reveals that the 17 products contained, on average:
  • Fourteen secret chemicals not listed on labels due to a loophole in federal law that allows companies to claim fragrances as trade secrets. American Eagle Seventy Sevencontained 24 hidden chemicals, the highest number of any product in the study.
  • Ten sensitizing chemicals associated with allergic reactions such as asthma, wheezing, headaches and contact dermatitis. Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio contained 19 different sensitizing chemicals, more than any other product in the study
  • Four hormone-disrupting chemicals linked to a range of health effects including sperm damage, thyroid disruption and cancer. Halle by Halle Berry, Quicksilver and Jennifer Lopez J. Lo Glow each contained seven different chemicals with the potential to disrupt the hormone system.
The majority of chemicals found in this report have never been assessed for safety by any publically accountable agency, or by the cosmetics industry’s self-policing review panels. Of the 91 ingredients identified in this study, only 19 have been reviewed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), and 27 have been assessed by International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM), which develop voluntary standards for chemicals used in fragrance.
“Something doesn’t smell right—clearly the system is broken,” said Lisa Archer, national coordinator of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics at the Breast Cancer Fund. “We urgently need updated laws that require full disclosure of cosmetic ingredients so consumers can make informed choices about what they are being exposed to.”
“Fragrance chemicals are inhaled or absorbed through the skin, and many of them end up inside people’s bodies, including pregnant women and newborn babies,” said Jane Houlihan, senior vice president for research at Environmental Working Group.
A recent EWG study found synthetic musk chemicals Galaxolide and Tonalide in the umbilical cord blood of newborn infants. The musk chemicals were found in nearly every fragrance analyzed for this study. Twelve of the 17 products also contained diethyl phthalate (DEP), a chemical linked to sperm damage and behavioral problems that has been found in the bodies of nearly all Americans tested.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a national coalition of nonprofit women’s, environmental, public health, faith and worker safety organizations. Our mission is to protect the health of consumers and workers by securing the corporate, regulatory and legislative reforms necessary to eliminate dangerous chemicals from cosmetics and personal care products.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is working with endorsing organizations, responsible businesses and thousands of citizen activists to shift the cosmetics market toward safer products and to advocate for smarter laws that protect our health from toxic chemicals and encourage innovation of safer alternatives.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics coalition members include the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow (represented by Clean Water Action and Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition), the Breast Cancer Fund, Commonweal, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth and Women’s Voices for the Earth. The Breast Cancer Fund, a national 501(c)(3) organization focused on preventing breast cancer by identifying and eliminating the environmental links to the disease, serves as the national coordinator for the Campaign.
Posted by the Environmental Working Group

Can Perfume Go Bad?


  1. Can perfume go bad?
Yes, but only when it doesn't get what it wants. Then it’s a real stinker. Like everything else, a perfume wants to be loved! :O)
Perfume can go bad, but it’s an uncommon occurrence when it does in a higher grade niche perfume. It does depend on the fragrance itself. Certain fragrances seem to be more fragile than others, hence will sour more easily.
     Expensive perfumes which are made from rare essential oils tend to last for a longer time than simple drug store scents. Also, most perfumes that you purchase in department stores contain only 33% pure perfume oil (vs. 60% in niche perfumes), and the rest is alcohol, water, butane and fillers. These “extras” can lend a hand in “turning” your perfume to the “Dark – Side” quicker.

  1. How do you know?
If you notice a smell change, than it is starting to go bad. If the original potent smell has diminished than it has gone bad as well.
b. By looking at it? Watch out for color change. The color can turn darker and look much thicker. When you open a bottle of perfume that you haven’t used for a while, wipe the opening of the bottle   with alcohol. If it smells bad, then discard the contents.
C. By smelling it? If you notice a vinegar /acidic smell than the contents have changed. If it doesn’t smell like it once did, it’s bad too. Rancid perfumes seem to all have the same acrid odor over the original notes.

  1. Are certain types of fragrances more likely to turn bad more so than others?
 It is unwritten fragrance lore that perfumes can be stored for around three to five years.  But we suggest just Forget the dates!  Store your perfume properly and let your nose decide!
A perfume made from natural flower or fruit extracts usually stand all tests of time. The more exotic / natural scents can still smell vibrant and fresh, even if they spend years properly stored. An herb based perfume like lavender can last indefinitely.
Kept in a cool, dark place, away from humidity (not stored in a bathroom) and at a consistent temperature (70 degrees) could enable your natural oil Cologne, Eau de Toilette, Eau de Parfum or Perfume oil extrait last up to 30 years or more! Woot!
  1. Are essential oils a better bet?
Just try a natural oil perfume and you will be “changed” for life. An essential oil perfume mixed with carrier oils are in question though. Carrier oils, including coconut, jojoba and almond oils are from the fatty part of the plant and are produced by cold pressing. They don’t lose their scent like essential oils do but they can become rancid. However carrier oils last indefinitely, so that is why they are used. Others, like evening primrose, grape seed and rose hip oils go rancid within six months to a year. The other carrier oils last between a year and two.

3. Why does perfume turn bad?
You can blame it on its upbringing.
The science: The natural oil in perfume comes from a long chain of substituted allyl aromatics. They are susceptible to decomposition through bacterial growth at a very low rate. These natural oils are mixed with fillers and alcohol. The alcohol is a biocide. No known bioform grows in alcohol. Also, since the vast majority of fragrances have saturated hydrocarbon chains, they are not susceptible to oxidation, which CAUSES RANCIDITY IN NATURAL OILS!
3a. Aside from the breakdown of the juice itself, does anything else further the process along?
I had a bottle of Claude Montana perfume from the late 1980’s. I had it a long time but didn’t take good care of it. I stored in it my medicine chest in my bathroom (without the original box), moved it to my dresser top in direct sunlight, and then left it in a box in my garage throughout the last 20 years. When I rediscovered it, to my dismay the perfume was “bad”.
The unwritten Perfume Lore says it you take good care of your bottles, your perfumes will last forever. I’m a believer and won’t flush that advice down the drain with my rancid perfume.
3b. Heat / Sunlight:
Remember the three enemies of “Good Perfume”: Sunlight, Heat and Air
Become a Heat Miser…
When perfume comes in contact with heat, the fragrance gets oxidized, which may result in loss of fragrance. You also need to take care of your perfumes while transporting them from one place to another. The heat inside a vehicle builds up quite fast. This leads to expansion and contraction of liquids due to the changes in temperature.

  1. What is the average shelf life of a fragrance?
Good quality perfumes made with essential oils will keep 6 years when kept in their boxes and a cool, dark place. Perfume bottles with stoppers won’t keep as long as a spray top because they easily become contaminated by coming into contact with skin and its bacteria. Pure Perfume extraits will last the longest due to the absence of fillers, alcohol and additives.
4a. How you extend the life of your fragrances to keep them from turning?
Don’t give them mouth to mouth when you think they are dying.  :O)
  1. Minimize Oxygen exposure: just as oxygen turns the flesh of a sliced apple brown, so does it destroy the scent and longevity of your perfume. Make sure the bottle cap it tight. Purchase spray bottles over roll ons or splash bottles because they lessen the perfume’s exposure to air.
  2. Banish sunlight:  Tans don’t look good on perfumes!
Don’t display your new, gorgeous bottle on your dresser top. Doing so can expose your perfume to sunlight. Sunlight will change the fragrance and darken the color. Store in a dark place, a drawer or your closet and save the original box. This will provide an extra layer of protection against harmful UV rays, as well as oxygen and heat.
3. Avoid Heat: Heat corrupts perfume so the steamy bathroom in not ideal. Some like the refrigerator, but due to evaporation, your perfume can scent the food inside. A dresser drawer is best.
5. Is there anything that can be done once a perfume turns bad?
If you worry about how long a perfume keeps, then it may mean that you don’t wear it that often. Get use of it before it goes bad. Put a few drops in a drugstore body lotion or your shampoo or conditioner. Water it down a little in a spray bottle and mist your sheets and even add a dab to your puppy’s dog Shampoo. That’s worth a pat on the head or two. Don’t give your fragrances time to sit. Don’t collect them. Like my fashions, hairstyle and makeup, my fragrances are special to me. Here at the Perfume Shoppe we specialize in Building Your Fragrance Wardrobe. Fragrances are made to enjoy so enjoy and have a Sensational Day!

Changing the way that you smell scent


No matter how a perfume smells in the bottle, or on someone else, there are very specific factors that make our individual body chemistry as unique to us as a fingerprint!
Diet, hormone levels, skin tone and pigment, water intake, whether or not you smoke, drink, eat meat or sweets… all of these variables influence the way a perfume will smell on you. In addition, the pH levels in your body, whether you are more acidic or alkaline, will also contribute to the way a fragrance smells on you.
The quality of the perfume will also play a huge role in determining what it will do with your body chemistry. Many of the commercial fragrances on the market are up to 93% alcohol and chemicals. These substances are used to “stretch” the longevity of the fragrance, and give it presence by way of rapid evaporation. The advantage to using a high quality fragrance is that the perfume will not often deviate from its original composition, and you will spare the people in your direct company from being ambushed by your scent!
And then, there is the olfactory blueprint that you entered the world with. This blueprint, in my opinion, is the greatest contributing factor to how a fragrance will smell on you. Our “natural body smell” is not predetermined like our other genetic qualities. In other words, Gardenia smells like the heart of God on my mother. On me, well, it smells like bug spray!
So, if you find a perfume that intrigues you, try it on(for 10 minutes minimum)! Let it evolve! Enjoy the journey as the fragrance unfolds before you and see what that crucial “final ingredient” does to the perfume…
If you don’t strike liquid gold the first time, there are an endless number of accords waiting to be discovered, and Perfumers at the ready to guide you through the marketing traps and olfactory nonsense!
May your journey smell sweet!!!