eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Monday, April 30, 2012

NEST Fragrances Orchid Rain candle for Jason Wu

The new candle created by NEST Fragrances and perfumer Christophe Laudamiel, Orchid Rain, is inspired by Jason Wu's Spring 2012 collection. As a result of this unique collaboration, candle fanatics who also happen to  love perfume and/or fashion are treated to a gorgeous presentation and fragrance composition filled with cream and green, every part of a flower, including the roots, soil, the slightly and pleasantly bitter edge of the leaves and stem, dewy petals.

The warm damp of the muted colors are brought to life by a beautiful pear accord. Pear is quickly becoming one of my favorite notes in perfume (and home fragrance), because it always adds a slightly ozonic freshness that tends to complement many different compositions. I'm not afraid of fruity, let's just go on record with that. The coconut and the soft woods are part of each other and I can't tease them apart, but I don't mind. The entire fragrance blend is ultra sophisticated and suave, and (so far, anyway)  is getting my vote for home fragrance of the year.

Orchid Rain invites us to come along to the garden early in the morning to observe flowers growing out of the ground, quite the opposite of viewing cut flowers indoors in a vase, no matter how beautiful the vase. I prefer my flora in the ground.

[photo credit: thegardenlady.org]

Speaking of vessels, the ceramic Orchid Rain vessel has one of Jason Wu's designs from his Spring '12 collection, a lovely floral pattern blanched by the softness of grays and blacks, with a bright golden lid to add contrast. It is something everyone will want to keep once the candle is burnt down to nothing. I think it was Charleston Girl who said she was planning on using it for cosmetic brushes, which is such a perfect idea, I might just steal it. Here's to hoping that many more collaborations like this one will come to fruition in the future. Hey, NEST, can Christopher Sheldrake and  Haider Ackermann be next?

NEST Fragrances Jason Wu Orchid Rain candle is available at Candles Off Main, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, as well as a few other select boutiques across the country. The price is $48, and the 7oz candle burns for approximately 50 hours.

[product sample sent to me by the company for my consideration]

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Computer Blue

Hi everyone! I am having problems with my computer. It's rather serious, so I've ordered new components for it. Basically, it's broken, and I will not be on the internet for a few days while I wait for the parts.

Upon my return, I've got lots of cool things planned for the blog, and I hope you'll be patient for eyeliner on a computer to return.  (did you see what I did there?)


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Kelly and Jones: The Notes of Wine Collection

Out of NYC comes a relatively new indie brand, Kelly & Jones, with a focus on fragrances that pair well with certain types of wine.  I think this is a pretty novel and cool way to design a perfume line. It's called The Notes of Wine collection, a modern, streamlined collection of five fragrances: Notes of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Cabernet, Chardonnay and Merlot. The idea is that the notes of the wine and the notes of the perfume should complement one another, so attending a wine tasting while wearing these perfumes could prove to be quite a multi-sensory experience. Founder Kelly Jones collaborated with perfumer Darryl Do for this collection.

#1 Notes of Sauvignon Blanc (yuzu, grapefruit, starfruit, green apple, camellia)

#2 Notes of Riesling (white peach, anjou pear, bergamot, raspberry leaf)

#3 Notes of Cabernet (pink peppercorn, black cherry, tobacco flower, vintage leather)

#4 Notes of Merlot (rhubarb, red currant, mission fig, candied violet)

#5 Notes of Chardonnay (honeydew, toasted oak, vanilla blossom, creme brulee)

This collection of fragrances has limited distribution in selected niche fragrance boutiques, wine country tasting rooms, specialty retailers and spas located in wine regions. They are also available online at KellyandJones.com.

These are light-hearted, fun fragrances that would make a great gift for the wine-lovers in your life.

[Each fragrance is $84 for a 1.69 oz EDP, and a sample flight is available for $$20. Samples provided by Kelly & Jones for my consideration]

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Skin Care Oil Pairings, Part I: Vered Anti-Aging Face Treatment Oil and Muscle Soothing Body Oil

Today, I'm going to do something a little different: a face and body oil pairing. It occurred to me recently that this is an entirely appropriate extension of reviewing products such as organic oils scented with natural essences to carry out the idea of scent pairings.I am a perfume person, after all. In certain instances, a lot of thought and care is put into the scents of these blends, and it's very clear when the creator has a deep understanding not only of traditional aromatherapy, but the modern aspects of fragrance composition.

Master esthetician and herbalist Vered Back has 23 years of experience in the field, and she also happens to be a stunning beauty. If there were ever an advertisement for her products and services, all that is needed is this photo:

Vered Anti-Aging Face Treatment Oil ($118) and Muscle Soothing Body Oil ($74)

Vered Anti-Aging Face Treatment Oil is the ultimate oil for facial massage. It's one of the most elegant oils I've used to date, and it stays on the surface of the skin long enough to do a proper massage. The bit of sweetness present from the vanilla along with the very imaginative blend of floral and herbal oils make this my idea of the perfect oil. It's wonderful for a gentle hit of fragrance before bedtime, when you can't or don't want to use perfume. Kind to the sensitive-skinned and profoundly hydrating, this oil can be used any time of day. It absorbs into the skin well, which makes makeup application very smooth. I'm also getting used to the feeling of awe upon waking up in the morning after using it the night before and looking in the mirror: there's a glow to end all glows.

Look at this list of ingredients for the Face Oil: rose hip, carrot seed, borage, argan, primrose, jasmine, rose eo, rosewood, vanilla, camellia, pumpkin seed, licorice, marshmallow root, calendula, plantain, lemon peel, fennel and roses.

Next, I follow up with one of Vered's body oils. My favorite is the Muscle Soothing Body Oil, which smells like my beloved Moroccan mint tea, and I find that its hearty essences play very well with the more delicate aspects of the Face Treatment Oil. Without a hint of medicinal qualities, the Muscle Soothing Oil is minty/herbal, and contains the following addictive essences and oils: arnica, calendula, oregano, lavender, eucalyptus, birch, peppermint, chamomile, st. john's wort and ginger in a base of jojoba, avocado and sweet almond oil.

The Muscle Soothing Oil completely surpassed my expectations. I like to use it right out of the shower for optimal hydration, and also for a back massage whenever I can talk my husband into it. I've found that it's much easier to talk said husband into a nice long massage when he likes the scent of the massage oil, and in this case, it was very easy.

The fragrant marriage of the face and body oils brings me sweetened Moroccan mint tea, all you can drink. Heavenly. (Here I go again, whenever there's mint involved in a natural fragrance, I lose all sense of decorum.) When these two organic powerhouses bounce off of one another on my warm skin, I get anise and mint dancing languidly with one another, along with softly sweetened florals. In the world of natural and organic fragrances and skin care products, these two gems by Vered stand out as a complete symphony in a sea of pleasant ditties. They are masterful in terms of quality of ingredients that are beneficial for the skin, never for a second abandoning the task of creating a sublime scent experience. Vered has made the possibility of an anti-aging nightly home facial and body treatment a reality and a true luxury.

This is one of those uncommon moments when my brain is extremely satisfied with the quality of the products, and at the same time, I can lose myself in the pleasurable, emotional experience of using them. Vered Back's creations transport me in a similar way to how perfume works its magic on me. You won't get a payoff with longevity or sillage, it's natural and soft, and meant to be enjoyed in the moment. That's why I feel that using both of these oils for facial and body massage really extends the sensory experience as well as having the benefit of boosting circulation.

Next up in the world of Vered Organic Botanicals: I'll review her two organic perfumes:  her Signature Scent blend and Deep Citron. I've already got a favorite, but I need to spend a bit more time with both of them before I declare my loving intentions to the world.

[NOTE: For those with normal to oily or combination skin, I highly recommend Vered's Therapeutic Balancing Face Oil, which has a different set of equally delightful and unique botanical essences]

[samples of products sent to me for consideration by the company]