eyeliner on a cat

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

Friday, September 28, 2012

Nominating Form for 2013 Indie FiFi Award

It's that time again folks! Nomination season is here for the 2013 Indie FiFi Fragrance of the Year award. Click on through to The Fragrance Foundation's website to the Indie section, where you'll find the nomination form (PDF) as well as other information on the Indie Committee and the Indie FiFi award. The deadline for all submissions is Wednesday, November 28th. We can't wait to see (and sniff) what this year's entries will bring. Good luck to all who enter!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The WINNERS of the Neela Vermeire Creations draw!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway, and special thanks to Neela for providing the prizes.

The winner of one 10ml bottle of their choice plus a Try Your India sample set is:

The 3 people receiving their very own Try Your India sample sets are:


Winners are responsible for emailing me their mailing addresses to: eyelineronacat at gmail dot com. Winners were chosen at random via Random.org. Prizes will be mailed by Neela Vermeire Creations in Paris.

List Randomizer

There were 25 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
  1. michael
  2. lavanya
  3. poodle
  4. noisyboys
  5. joaquim
  6. susan
  7. dreamer
  8. franca
  9. heather
  10. annemarie
  11. missionista
  12. els
  13. cheesegan
  14. lindaloo
  15. lala
  16. atreau
  17. scott
  18. irina
  19. ne-knopka
  20. tmaloney1226
  21. marte
  22. shylotus
  23. simone8
  24. barkergirl33
  25. taffyj
Timestamp: 2012-09-26 02:16:03 UTC

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Top 7 Fall Fragrances [to wear with a favorite leather jacket]

For our Top Fall Fragrances lists this year, my esteemed blogging partners and I agreed on a total of 7 fragrances. It's finally Fall, my favorite season of the year, I love to make lists, and as a bonus, Summer's over with!

I would say that each of the fragrances I have listed hold an important place in my Fall scent wardrobe-- so important that I carry small decants of them around with me in my go-to Badgley Mischka bag [yes, black leather with a heavy silver chain]. Most of my favorite perfumes smell the best in cool, crisp weather, clinging to my skin like the coolest and most indispensable accessory. That brings me to my growing obsession with the intersection of perfume and fashion, and my very favorite piece of clothing of all time-- one that is for me, very emblematic of the season.

My Muu Baa black leather biker jacket with tarnished gunmetal pyramid studs that I snagged at ASOS a couple years ago is one of only a very few of my possessions [besides perfume] that truly intoxicates me. Its perfection is almost frightening, its style is enduring, and the psychological and physical armor it forms around me is practically impenetrable.

I have a couple dozen perfumes that are wonderful to wear with leather, but this Fall, I will be wearing the following 7 without fail:

Comme des Garcons Eau de Parfum is a facetious little plasticky, exploding monkey-ish thing that stole my heart immediately and feels very much like home on my skin, especially with The Jacket.

Byredo M/Mink-- hardcore, slightly caustic synthetic woody overdose, but not the overused and tragically cheap kind. No, it has a totally unique and captivating passive-aggressive murkiness about it that insists on walking a few paces ahead of me. It's all-drydown, all the time.

Ramon Monegal Impossible Iris is a sparkling rendition of orris with a peppery top, the lusciousness of raspberry to smooth it out and most importantly, the perfect amount of high-quality cedar. It's an incredibly versatile and beautiful fragrance that I'm certain will stand the test of time.

Thierry Mugler Taste of Fragrance: Alien is the only real gourmand fragrance in the bunch. Actual leather plus lots of sugar is insta-cloying to me, but Alien from the Le Gout series really works. It's an artfully smooth and slightly tart cherry-vanilla marzipan with the growl of a slick, animalic puff of musk lurking below. My kind of gourmand-- and much more attractive than the original.

Maria Candida Gentile Exultat: this is one of my favorite perfumes of the year-- a very dry, woody incense with generous (but fleeting) lift at the top courtesy of bitter orange and lime. The heart of violet burns beautifully into the final stage of powdery woods. If I had an unlimited supply of this fragrance, I'd go through a bottle every month, easily.  I only wish it were available in a higher concentration, but it is exquisite.

Phaedon Noir Marine-- a strong, legitimate player in the ever-elusive (make that practically extinct) fragrance category of Gorgeous Marine. It's a salty, silky scent with the seductive marine qualities  suspended within a web of unexpected depth provided by peppermint, tobacco and a couple of aromatic herbs. It reminds me of a discontinued favorite- Black Sea by Martine Micallef. Now I don't have to mourn its loss any longer.

Gorilla Perfumes at LUSH The Smell of Weather Turning is an invigorating, green-ish, twiggy, irresistibly camphorous and snappy earth scent that is probably the most obvious pick in the bunch, but it deserves its spot. I've fallen hard for several LUSH perfumes this past year, and I'm convinced that their consistently good offerings give you the absolute best bang for your buck. Highly wearable and equally imaginative.

Have any of you built a fragrance wardrobe around a single piece of clothing or an accessory? Please do chime in if you have. When you love fragrance and fashion so much you could just burst, something like this is bound to happen.

For more Top Fall Fragrance lists, visit my friends at these fabulous blogs:
Olfactoria's Travels
Fragrant Moments

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Neela Vermeire Creations Giveaway!

Today, I'm so pleased to announce a generous giveaway from Neela Vermeire Creations. There are 4 prizes up for grabs, and the winners will be chosen at random.

The prizes are as follows:
-One person will win a 10ml bottle of the fragrance of their choice, plus a Try Your India sample trio.
-Also, three people will win a Try Your India sample trio.

All you need to do to enter is answer this question:

Based on the three periods of India's history and the fragrances that correspond with them, which period and fragrance are you drawn to or can you identify with the most? The historical period and the perfume don't need to match, just go with your instincts!

Click HERE to go to Neela's website and at the bottom of the main page, click on the CREATIONS tab. It will take you to view some beautiful images with descriptions of each period and fragrance. Trayee, my favorite, corresponds with the Vedic period, Mohur to Mogul and the British Raj, and Bombay Bling! to modern India. While you view each period/fragrance, be sure to click on the "perfume composition" tabs to see a list of notes.

As an aside, I recommend viewing the CREATORS section as well, to get a sense of how Neela and Bertrand Duchaufour have translated the sensory intensity of India into these three fragrances. I find this to be a fascinating project that is so inviting that it's easy to get lost in my own daydreams of a place I've never been.

The draw is open until Tuesday, September 25th at 9pm US Central time. Shortly thereafter I will announce the winners, who will then be responsible for emailing me at eyelineronacat at gmail dot com to provide mailing addresses. Winners will be receiving their prizes directly from Neela Vermeire Creations. Contest is open to everyone, all over the world. Again, winners are chosen at random, and the only condition for entry is that you answer the above question.

Good luck, everyone!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Perfume Palate: A Matter of Taste [Neela Vermeire]

Neela Vermeire is a woman whose primary passion in life seems to be the creative translation of the wonders of India into fragrance. Along with perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour's help, I believe she's succeeded in doing so (and in a very appealing way) with the initial three offerings from her Paris-based company, Neela Vermeire Creations.

I've fallen helplessly in love with Trayee, the first of the perfume trio, which is meant to represent the Vedic period in India's history. It contains so many lush, spicy and rich ingredients that I can find something new in it every time I wear it. The unique vibrancy of each fragrance (Trayee, Mohur and Bombay Bling) has drawn fans (and contented sighs) from all over the globe, and accolades are still rolling in.

I'm very pleased to announce that there will be a draw right here towards the end of the week, and there will be THREE lovely prizes to be won. Stay tuned, you're not going to want to miss this!

First of all, please state your name and occupation:

Neela C. Vermeire, owner and creative director of Neela Vermeire Creations.

What is your favorite perfume at the moment?

Besides NVC trio and mods? I am loving a special unreleased iris created by a very dear perfumer friend.

What is your favorite fragrance house or brand of perfume?

Tough question- have several- may I mention a few?
Chanel (initial exclusives)
Serge Lutens
Frederic Malle

How often do you wear perfume, and under what circumstances do you wear it?

Every day- sometimes a few times depending on my mood, quality of the perfume, etc. Applying perfume is usually the final part of getting dressed for the day or evening. I sadly don't like huge sillage so if I wear something powerful like Bombay Bling, I apply perfume long before I go out so I do not annoy anyone.

I wear very little perfume or very personal/not-grand-sillage perfumes when I travel, go to see an opera, concert, play, art gallery or gastronomic restaurant. There is nothing more annoying than heavy perfumes when people need to concentrate on music, art or food...heavy fragrances in any of the above-mentioned settings really annoy me... it must be because we sit so close to others. I guess I try to be considerate. 

Is it important to you to know who the perfumer or creator is behind the perfumes you wear?

Yes, usually. It helps me understand them better because most perfumers have their own "style".

Do you follow the work of certain perfumers, and if so, who?

Quite a few besides the perfumers I work with like Bertrand (Duchaufour), etc...
To name a couple:
Christopher Sheldrake
Dominique Ropion
Maurice Roucel
Pierre Bourdon
Olivia Giacobetti

Think of an iconic perfume bottle design from the past. What is it?

The most gorgeous Diorissimo- original bottle, Vol de Nuit, Apree L'Ondee, Guerlain Bee Bottles,.. have also been following some amazing designs by the French bottle designer Pierre Dinand.

How many times a day do you estimate that you think about perfume?

You know Carrie, a lot (more than I would like to), because I work in this field, when I meditate I get my best perfume ideas and yes I do dream about perfumes, bottles and packaging...

Think of the last time you complimented someone on the fragrance they were wearing. Did you ask them what it was, and if so, did they tell you?

Just last month, a charming lady was helping me out in a store in Austin. She was wearing something rather lovely- I had a feeling it may be a newer Chanel. It turned out to be Allure.

In just three words, describe your ideal fragrance:

Complex, beautiful, uplifting 

[photos courtesy of Neela Vermeire Creations]

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Le Snob: Perfume [I'm in!]

Ok, ok. [breathe]

I was incredibly pleased to have been asked by fellow fragrance blogger and author Persolaise to contribute a page to his soon-to-be-released book, Le Snob: Perfume [part of a series of books published by Hardie Grant Books in the UK]. To be completely honest, I have been sitting on my hands for months while waiting to find out if the publisher and author liked what I had written enough to have made the final cut. I just found out the other day that I'm in! And, I'm very happy, elated AND jubilant about it. So far, these folks have also been confirmed as contributors [but there are more]: Roja Dove, Francis Kurkdjian, Christopher Chong and Andy Tauer. Yeah, and me [I can't imagine how many people will be wondering who I am, but I'm more than willing to tell anyone who asks!]. I know how hard Persolaise has worked on this book and I'm so happy to see it come to fruition, and especially to have the honor of contributing.

Le Snob: Perfume will be available in the UK October 1st, and can be pre-ordered here: Amazon.co.uk (UK)
In the US, it appears that the release date will be November 1st, and can be pre-ordered here: Amazon.com (US)

So, the book isn't expensive, so why don't you buy one for yourself and one for your weird Aunt who is actually pretty close to you in age, but is WAY into vintage clothes and antiques, so she comes across as about 10 years older than she is, and she and her home smell kind of musty, like, all the time.

[internet double air kiss for all!]

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Perfume Palate: A Matter of Taste [Anne-Marie Guarnieri]

I have been following Allure Magazine's Senior Editor Anne-Marie Guarnieri on Twitter for quite some time now (her handle is @AMG_onthego, and you should follow her). And like a few of the other Allure staffers that I've known, she has a happy-wackiness about her that only comes as a result of abject obsession. The CDC (the Cosmetics Dope Committee) has reported that this particular strain of wackiness only exists within the walls of the Allure offices, as it's been proven that it cannot survive in any other environment. Impervious to treatment, it has been rapidly spreading in a contained setting for years-- but what does that really mean? It means that Anne-Marie loves her job, and it shows. She has an eye (and a nose, as you'll see) for amazingness, and she seems to come from a place of MORE, PLEASE. More knowledge, more products, bigger and better solutions and transformations. More pretty, please. And that is definitely something I can relate to.

First of all, please state your name and occupation:

Anne-Marie Guarnieri, Senior Editor, Allure Magazine.

What is your favorite perfume at the moment?

Agonist's Vanilla Marble. I smelled it for the first time at Elements last month. There's something about this vanilla that's different from others I've come across. It's creamier, smoother, richer, somehow. I love it.

What is your favorite fragrance house or brand of perfume?

Oh man, this is an impossible question.Especially since I discover new brands and perfumers all the time. And my favorite things change seasonally. Too hard!

How often do you wear perfume, and under what circumstances do you wear it?

Every day. I like to layer. I rarely, rarely don't wear it. 

Is it important to you to know who the perfumer or creator is behind the perfumes you wear?

Important, no, but I'm a curious person so I always try to find out. I'll give anything from anyone at any price point equal time.

Do you follow the work of certain perfumers, and if so, who?

Yes! Here's just a sampling of who I check up on regularly: Francis Kurkdjian, Keiko Mecheri, Christopher Sheldrake, Ben Gorham, Calice Becker, Olivier Polge, Isabelle Doyen, Frederick Bouchardy, David Moltz, Gerald Ghislain and Jean-Claude Ellena. 

Think of an iconic perfume bottle design from the past. What is it?

Is Jean-Paul Gaultier's busty bottle old enough yet to be considered iconic? [Ed: I say absolutely]

How many times a day do you estimate that you think about perfume?

It depends: if I'm working on a story or researching a story, I think of it all day long. But sometimes, just in the morning when deciding what to wear, which isn't always a quick process, given how large my collection is.

Think of the last time you complimented someone on the fragrance they were wearing. Did you ask them what it was, and if so, did they tell you?

Yes. It was Nicole Richie, and she was wearing her new signature perfume, Nicole.

In just three words, describe your ideal fragrance:

Resinous, sweet, weird. 
Incidentally, I've challenged David Moltz of DS & Durga to make me a perfume that smells like breakfast foods, specifically: scrambled eggs, buttered toast, pancakes and syrup. He's still trying. I know he'll get it eventually. 

[photo courtesy of AMG, who holds all rights]

Friday, September 7, 2012

Perfume Palate: A Matter of Taste [Rachel Blistein]

Earlier in the week, I reviewed a group of products from independently owned, natural hair care line Original Moxie, and Rachel Blistein is the sharp, savvy and green chypre-loving woman behind the brand. I love to support indie beauty brands just as much as the indie perfumers, because my life would just not be the same without them. If you need an example of how well Original Moxie's multi-use products work (besides my long, detailed review), just look at Rachel's photo below:

Have you ever seen such perfect curls? It takes the right combination of the right products to get to your ideal hair, as I have found out. Rachel has a great nose (and a lot of love) for natural perfume, a commitment to making safe products and a kind heart. Those qualities along with brains and beauty made the prospect of interviewing her for this series a must. If you can tear your eyes away from those stunning ringlets for two minutes, read on for her answers to my questionnaire.

First of all, please state your name and occupation:

Rachel Blistein, Founder and CEO of Original Moxie Natural Hair Care.

What is your favorite perfume at the moment?

My own custom blend of vetiver, oak moss, patchouli and vanilla. Those scents ground me and give me confidence throughout the day.

What is your favorite fragrance house or brand of perfume?

Back in the day when I was unaware of the dangers of synthetics, I was strictly a Chanel no. 19 gal. I still have a bottle that I will (guiltily) spritz from time to time. Now I am falling in line with Aftelier Perfumes, which have a similar level of complexity, but without the nasty chemicals. 

How often do you wear perfume, and under what circumstances do you wear it?

I love to wear it whenever possible as it can really influence how you feel about yourself throughout the day, but busy mornings mean I mostly just put it on for special occasions, important meetings or date nights with my husband. I wish I had more time to experiment and play with it more often!

Is it important to you to know who the perfumer or creator is behind the perfumes you wear?

Not so much the creator, but the philosophy of the brand is very important to me. I don't want to smell good at the expense of my health, the environment or other creatures.

Do you follow the work of certain perfumers, and if so, who?

I have been devoted to (bordering on obsessed with) Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes since I first read her book Essence and Alchemy. More than any other perfumer working today, I just connect with the way she uses scent, and in particular, her unwavering commitment to naturally derived fragrances.

Think of an iconic perfume bottle design from the past. What is it?

Again, I'd have to go with Chanel. In my opinion, it's a great example of simple, elegant presentation without a lot of bells and whistles. 

How many times a day do you estimate that you think about perfume?

Every day! Our hair products are fragranced with essential oils and we blend the fragrances for these formulations in much the same way you would develop a traditional perfume.The only difference is that we have to work with the natural odor of the product itself, which can be challenging. 

Think of the last time you complimented someone on the fragrance they were wearing. Did you ask them what it was, and if so, did they tell you?

I'm usually too shy to ask! There is one that I smell from time to time, and I've never been able to identify it! It's silly, I should just ask, right?

In just three words, describe your ideal fragrance:

Earthy, Green and Fresh.

[photo courtesy of Rachel Blistein]

Thursday, September 6, 2012

All of me: Ramon Monegal Perfumes Cuirelle

Anyone who has been even remotely paying attention to my blog and Tweets knows that when Barcelona-based Ramon Monegal Perfumes came into my life, I was swept up in the romance of the brand, the perfumer's history, the fragrances and the unique inkwell bottles, and even the refreshing correspondence with the exceedingly kind and funny brand manager, Francisco Gratacos. I'm still smitten, and I'm ready to dish on my favorites.

Cuirelle is one of the three perfumes from Ramon Monegal that I wear almost every day (the other two are Impossible Iris and Mon Cuir)-- it's my nighttime/bedtime perfume. Cuirelle is a seamless combination of leather, vanilla, tobacco, incense and honeyed musk with a subtle flash of acidity that carries the scent out and away to create to-die-for sillage, while the coziness of the gourmand and leather notes hunker down  close to my skin. The fragrance was meant to be a sort of loose, abstract version of leather, and I think there are enough unique vista points here to make that idea true for me.

notes list: Somali incense, Indonesian patchouli, vetiver bourbon, green cedar wood, cinnamon, extract of beeswax

Even though I primarily wear this fragrance at night, it would definitely be one of my "desert island" picks. It's a scent I consistently and frequently have the desire to connect with and it provides me with the kind of comfort that can only come from affection from the people we love or the fragrances we cherish. It's a universal and utterly indelible stamp on the psyche of the devoted, of which I am one.

Cuirelle can easily be worn by both women and men (though oddly, the folks at Luckyscent have it ranked as completely masculine), and even though one of the words I've used to describe it is gourmand, it's not very sweet at all. After wearing for about 20 minutes, I can really start to sense the complexity of the leather and incense, and it's joined by just a touch of the stark earthiness of patchouli. The longer Cuirelle is on my skin, the better it smells to me. I'm enamored with all stages of wear, and because of this, my wrist might as well be glued to my nose. In fact, I usually fall asleep with one of my arms not far from my face. It is the most gorgeous anesthesia you could imagine. The persistent base of soft, honeyed musk and incense is still detectable in the morning.

Um, that makes me think of a question for the medical community at large-- when will there be scented anesthesia, or at least some form of aromatherapy available in hospitals? I think my pal and fellow fragrance blogger Barney Bishop would either think that's a genius idea or that I'm cuckoo. Hopefully he'll chime in on this.

The Bottom Line: Cuirelle is a scent of strength without the need to display brawn. It's smart, supremely well-rounded and it outshines other fragrances in the same category (such as Diptyque Eau Duelle). This is a perfume you can rely on, and I do. Heavily. It's become my comfort during hard times, my sexed-up imaginary chess partner for the good ones as well as  my enduring sleeping tonic. Cuirelle and I have a good thing going.

[Cuirelle can be purchased and/or sampled at Luckyscent.com and Scent Bar, Bergdorf Goodman in-store, Neiman Marcus in select stores and online. A 50ml bottle retails for $185]

Sample provided by RMP, Barcelona for my consideration.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Meet my Holy Grail hair care: Original Moxie

I believe that there's a little bit of magic in the air when something is presented to you that patently defies logic (at least my version of logic). I am ultra-low maintenance when it comes to my very long dark hair. I don't use heat styling tools at all, including a hairdryer, and I only color it once every 6 months or so. I also cut my own bangs. My styling products have historically been limited to a dab of glossing cream.

The Original Moxie natural hair care line offers many options for every type of hair and scalp condition. When I browsed the website for the first time,I was clicking around and reading for an hour. I was initially overwhelmed by the sheer number of products available, but I quickly became intrigued by the myriad  possibilities. I checked out their 3D Diagnostic System,, developed to help you figure out which products are best for you. It measures 3 specific qualities of hair: Density (fine to thick), Dryness (oily to dry) and Degree of Curl (straight to kinky). The sub-collections are also color-coded to denote which hair types would most benefit for each product. I have to admit that I was a bit relieved when founder Rachel Blistein wanted to know all about my hair and its history in order to provide me with a personalized regimen recommendation. I felt like I was being given special treatment, but the company will do this for anyone who requests it. My hair and scalp assessment came back as borderline on practically everything, which actually gives me more options than someone with very specific needs.  By the time Rachel and I had completed our consultation via email and I received my samples and regimen plan, I was really quite eager to get started. I had high hopes that this independently owned, natural line of hair products might allow me to dispense with the rather disappointing brands I was using until recently. Well, you might be interested to know that I really went for it and have been having way too much fun experimenting and enjoying the results that I forgot how much I used to hate washing my hair.

Scent Matters
One of the coolest things about Original Moxie is that Rachel Blistein was so inspired by Mandy Aftel's natural fragrances and methods described in her book Essence and Alchemy, that she wanted to incorporate some of her own natural deliciousness into her hair products. The scents of the products vary widely, from Moroccan mint tea to turbinado sugar with a hint of cinnamon to lemon custard. I appreciate the thought that went into these mild scents, because to me, there is a lot of value in engaging the sense of smell while in the process of caring for hair (and skin as well). The scents are not so strong that I can't still identify some of the raw ingredients used, because I love the smell of those too!

Experimentation Ensues
Armed with a slew of travel sized products, plenty of information and customized tips, I started to experiment. At first, I tried to follow a specific order and combination of products, but eventually I realized that the beauty of Original Moxie lies in the fact that each product can be used for multiple things. By mixing and matching to suit the exact needs of my hair that day, I can achieve hair perfection: clean, conditioned and styled to maximize what's naturally mine, and without the horrors of synthetic compounds that take forever to rinse out and make my hair several pounds heavier.

That brings me to my first Original Moxie miracle: the physical weight of my hair has changed. After using the products for about a week, I noticed that my hair had become much lighter and I found that it air-dried in half the time it used to. Let me tell you, I'm already accustomed to this gravity-defying hoodoo and won't be giving it up any time soon. Here's the recipe I use to get bouncy, shiny hair with my natural waves enhanced and no evidence of the dry scraggly ends I have because I've waited too long to get my hair cut: Whenever I use this group of products together, I wake up in the morning, run my Widu wooden paddle brush through my hair and just stare slack-jawed at it. It's a total "whoa" moment every time.

Get Clean Shampoo (non-foaming! removes what you don't want and doesn't strip hair of moisture. I always did want to try a creamy hair cleanser like Wen, until I looked at the ingredients list. Luckily, this one is packed with good-for-your-hair stuff. It takes a little getting used to, but I always keep one thing in mind: when I rinse out Get Clean Shampoo, I can immediately tell that it has done its job. It lives up to its name!)
Featherweight Conditioner (very light rinse-out product, very emollient for its light weight, and it works extremely well with the non-foaming Get Clean Shampoo)
Sweet Poof Volumizing Spray (I spray this from roots to tips to add texture and volume. I reach for my Sweet Poof every single day because it's a very versatile product. It never gets sticky or causes build-up on the hair or scalp. It's very un-hairspraylike and THE must-have product to use when you need texture in a flash, and is especially helpful in creating the perfect ponytail, braid, bun or updo. Your style will last all day without feeling crunchy or greasy. All of a sudden I'm on a tare trying to find gorgeous little hair accessories just for times like this)
Mane Tame Weightless Frizz Control (a tiny dollop of this lotion smooths hair cuticles and strengthens strands. It's a necessity for me whether I want to enhance waves or for straight styles. Another indispensable styling gem)
Oasis Moisture Gel (I use this to add extra moisture on my ends only, but it can also be used as a leave-in conditioner on entire head. It's also the perfect product for slicking hair back - into a ponytail or without one  if you have shorter hair)

One of the first things I did when I got my Original Moxie products was pre-treat my hair and scalp, because I knew I needed intense hair and scalp healing and moisturizing. I'm kind of addicted to the scent of both of these products, and now I use them in tandem once a week. My normally sensitive and dry scalp is in perfect working order, and now my hair will never have the chance to be dry or lackluster ever again. Here's how I pre-treat:

Emollience (I massage this rich balm into my scalp for about 5 minutes to get some circulation going, then run it down to my ends at night for an overnight treatment)
Scalp Therapy (the next morning, I apply this extremely soothing and refreshing minty liquid on my scalp, massage for a few minutes, leave it on for an hour, then shampoo and condition as usual)

Sometimes I like my hair a little piecey, beachy, bedroom or however you want to describe it- to me, it's just plain sexy. If I have tousled hair AND my skin is behaving nicely, I am at my best, most confident and happiest. You won't find me wearing any makeup on these days- just sunscreen and a smile. I have found that by layering different moisturizing and texturizing products, it creates long-lasting styles that only look better the next day, and the day after that. This is my killer routine for luscious, hydrated bed-head hair:

Get Fresh Shampoo (this is one of my OMG products. Citrus oils, dead sea salt and wheat protein in a very low-lathering base cleanse the hair and scalp exceptionally well and act as a base for building volume and texture. It's sulfate free, too!)
Intense Quench Conditioner (doubles as a one-step cleansing conditioner. The gorgeous, rich moisture makes my hair deliciously silky, shiny and strong. It rinses clean and easily)
Everyday Leave-in conditioner (a little dab of this goes on before I comb my wet hair. It's a medium-bodied cream, it's slippery and is my favorite thing to use not only on freshly shampooed hair, but also on non-wash days to style my hair. Perfect moisture delivery, light definition)
Straight Up Sleek Control (a light balm that can be used on damp or dry hair- adds lightweight luster and shine and makes it easy to straighten my hair with just a paddle brush once it's dry. I also love it as a nail and cuticle cream, and it smells delicious, like lemon custard pie)
Piece-nik Matte Styling Paste (I use this on my roots for its volumizing properties, and I also work a little bit into small sections of hair to add piecey texture. It's not heavy or gooey, it's water soluble and melts nicely in your hands with body temperature. The texture is indeed matte, but it does not leave my hair looking ashen)
And of course, I use a few spritzes of Sweet Poof for good measure.

Final Evaluation
Well, I will never be able to go back to using regular hair products ever again. If I have to, it will be against my will and out of my control. I love being able to mix and match shampoos and conditioners for day-to-day customization, and it's made an incredible difference in my hair. There is nothing quite as emblematic of a woman's personality and self-expression than her hair, and to be shown so many more options than I thought was possible is exactly what has made it so much fun for me to explore this line. Hair is not just a mass of strands growing out of our heads, it's one of the things we use to signify who we are to the rest of the world. Original Moxie has reminded me of this, and also that taking care of my hair shouldn't be a chore, which it really had become.

It matters to me that the company is cruelty-free, environmentally responsible and that they use natural, healthy (and organic when possible) ingredients in their products. Also of importance to me is that they can offer me all the ultra-modern styling options I could want. Piece by piece, everything I use on my body and in my home is becoming natural/organic and cruelty free. It means more to me than ever, and I'm thrilled that I've found my Holy Grail hair care.

My Favorite Must-Try Products:
Get Clean and Get Fresh Shampoos
Intense Quench and Featherweight Conditioners (yep, both shampoos and both conditioners. Once you mix and match, you can never go back)
Everyday Leave-In Conditioner
Sweet Poof Volumizing Spray
Mane Tame Weightless De-Frizzer
(Hey, that's only 7 products! I'll pretend that I don't need to have absolutely everything, forever and ever)

If you would like to learn more about Original Moxie founder Rachel Blistein's fragrance habits and obsessions, stay tuned... she will be featured in my ongoing series, Perfume Palate, later this week!

Trial sizes of almost all Original Moxie products are available HERE, and full sizes can be found on the website in their respective categories.

[product samples provided by Original Moxie for my consideration. photos courtesy of Original Moxie]