Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Ubar Relaunched

 Now is the time where I really get a move on with the revisiting the things from early in my perfumeista journey. Back when I started blogging about perfume, I feared not liking a perfume and saying so on my blog. My tastes have changed and I have become less afraid of saying what I think about perfume. If I think that something smells like a really bad fart, I'm going to say so, if it smells wonderful, I'll say so too.

When I had first tried Ubar, I almost physically recoiled. I thought that I got a decant that was bad or someone wanted to play a prank on me. It did smell like the Off bug spray with flowers somewhere in there. At the time, I had made every effort to make friends with Ubar but Ubar wasn't having it. I really think, at the time, I predominantly wanted the cheapest Amouage perfumes. At the time, it was $250 for a 3.4 ounce bottle and that was a bargain for an Amouage if you wanted to pay full price. Now I know better and can find it cheaper.

Since a few years have past and I haven't had a decant in any form, I had ordered one when STC was having a sale. I figured that if I have fallen in love with a few perfumes that I initially hated, I should give Ubar another go. After I had worn it a couple times, my opinion has somewhat changed. Does it smell different? Yes, probably due to some reformulation. The bug spray note doesn't seem to be prominent in this and I get more of a floral note to this. Ubar still lasts forever and isn't the best to wear when you are working in a bakery. Heat makes Ubar really bloom. Has my opinion changed? Yes, I am starting to like this one and I'm thinking that I will eventually fall in love and get a full bottle.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Candles Galore

I've made no secret about that I live in a semi rural area in Northeastern Ohio. This is an area that requires a car to go just about anywhere and everywhere. Living in a semi rural area means living with power outages on a regular basis. Power outages can last anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple days. My family does have a generator but the generator only is powerful enough to let us have running water and keep the fridge cold. This is where candles are a must.

I am a candle collector out of necessity and not out loving candles for the heck of it. I view it as might as well try to find some kind of enjoyment somewhere. I've always found that Yankee Candle wasn't my thing because their candles really didn't smell like what I wanted. Vanilla didn't smell like vanilla or the lilac didn't smell like lilac. I'm not a fan of their uneven burn. You get the picture. I will be honest that I'm not a person that will spend a ton of money just for 1 candle. When I'm out and about and replenishing my supply, I'm getting 5 or 6 candles at a time. My favorite place for candles is Bath and Body Works.

There are certain ones that I like when it comes to BWW candles. Most of the time, the ones I like are seasonal candles. Lilac Blossom is probably the only non-seasonal one that I really enjoy. It smells just like lilacs in bloom. My other favorite is probably the Farm stand Apple or what ever they want to call it on any given year. The apple is just plain old apple, not apple pie or any of the variations. Yes, I don't like tons going on with my candles scent wise, I'm more of a soliflower type of person.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Going Through the Pile

After 10 years and a lot of money spent in pursuit of perfume, I've accumulated a lot of full bottles and even more decants. I've made more of a habit of going through my worn and reviewed decant bags for culls. I always manage to toss a few empty decants and use up the small ones that have only a wearing left. Doing that much has proved to have some benefits. I have more space in the make up bag to go through my unworn and not reviewed bag.

The problem has always been the same for me. I seem to be kind of reluctant to work my way through the whole unworn bag. At this point in the game, my full bottle collection is big enough, it's probably close to 60 bottles and it's been quite a while since I've counted. So I can't really justify smelling a whole lot of new stuff and end up falling in love with something. I don't want to fall in love with any one perfume because finances are still under massive amounts of strain to the point of decants of the things I love that I don't have full bottles of can be hard to justify and only a small spray decant is all I can afford. This is what happens when you have already sunk a small fortune into your teeth and will keep spending a small fortune on more work. Dentists cost a lot of money and I always try really hard to space my dentist visits 2 or 3 weeks apart if I can.

I know that I honestly should either E-Bay or donate the perfumes that I bought blind and I really don't like. I have them in a box, ready to go. Most of the time I either forget, procrastinate, or my hoarding perfume comes out. For some reason, it takes me a while to throw worn out or torn clothing out. Don't ask me why it takes a while for me to get rid of stuff but it does.

What I am starting to do now, is take a look at what I had worn and reviewed already and take a closer look at some. I have started to wear some of the perfumes that I said I didn't like or hate it to see if I still hate them. In the beginning of my perfume journey, I reviewed some perfumes that I didn't like but in truth, didn't like one bit. I didn't want to go trashing a perfume. After a while, I did lose that aversion and now I have no problems saying that I don't like something. So I am taking a look at a few perfumes that I hadn't liked before and wearing them again to see if something has changed. Just like everything else, it's gonna be slow going for me.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Guerlain Shalimar Ode a la Vanille Madagascar

I have always loved the original Shalimar since I first sprayed about 8 or 9 years ago. I keep wondering about why I am not wearing Shalimar more when I do reach for it. But I was a little late to the party and a little miffed at why Guerlain would release two flankers of Shalimar. I was asking on what were the differences and why were they needed.

I already reviewed the Mexique and managed to snap up to bottles. It was time for me to seek out the Madagascar version to see what the difference is. This version of Shalimar smells like Shalimar but there are differences between all three (original, Mexique, and Madagascar). The Madagascar version doesn't have the huge citrus note. The citrus is still there and noticeable but not overwhelming and not as sharp. After a while, the citrus does fade way back into the background and lets me smell the rest of the composition. The vanilla is much deeper and much more smoky and I haven't really noticed it in the other two. What I really enjoyed was how slutty this version of Shalimar is. Mexique and the original Shalimar are pretty slutty but Madagascar takes this to a whole new level. The skank level is almost on the level of vintage Bal. It's a pity that I only have a pretty small decant of Madagascar. It's also a pity that Mexique and Madagascar are only limited editions, long discontinued. It's much easier to find the Mexique version for a somewhat decent price where when I find the Madagascar version (it's rare to find it), it's an arm and a leg. I will try my best to console myself with having the Mexique version.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Ulta vs Sephora

On Monday, I had stopped by Ulta with the intention of only returning the eye shadows that I had ordered online. That didn't happen, I mean, I returned the eye shadow but didn't just leave the store to finish up my errands. I made the mistake of looking at the sale fliers that they hang in their windows and saw the nail polish sale that they were having. Buy two, get one free and I could mix and match brands. So what did I end up doing? After my return, I did take a look at the Iceland collection. Sometimes you really need to see the color of anything in person before purchasing. I will maintain that this fall/winter collection from OPI, while nice, is a little on the drab side. I expected at least one red but they had a brighter pink and that was it. But I did fall in love with the Check Out the Old Geysirs and This Isn't Greenland because they were pretty unusual for OPI.

I have never spent a whole lot of time with Ulta and have always been pretty dismissive of Ulta. But being broke ha made me reasess my elitism when it comes to places like Sephora and Ulta. I always thought that Ulta was a poor man's Sephora but I don't think it's the case when I took a closer look. Ulta is a place that sells much more than fancy make up and skin care. Ulta is not like Sephora in that respect. I think Ulta figured out that Sephora seems to cater to a wealthier demographic and not everyone wants to spend tons of money on make up, hair care and body care. But there are people like me, who are tired of the drug store stuff and have a little more to spend on quality. I had found most of my favorite brands (SkynIceland, Urban Decay and Too Faced) at Ulta to win me over from the Sephora camp. I haven't really looked at the perfume section the few times that I have been in the store but didn't really have a whole lot of time to look at them.

Sephora isn't what it used to be, I don't think. It seems like they have raised their prices and the selection has gone down in the stores. Online is a little different due to the fact that they have online exclusives and most of the time, they are sold out of them. I don't see as many full Sephoras in malls and find more free standing Ultas. Well, I'm not really in Sephora's target demographic and I'm okay with that.

The biggest difference between the two is that Ulta runs a lot of sales and I do like a good deal on stuff I am going to use. Sephora never seems to run too much in the way of sales and when they do, it's not a good sale and something that I am not interested. So at the end of the day, it's going to be Ulta for make up and some body stuff.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Height of Depravity

I'm typing this on my Kindle, so forgive any kind of spelling mistakes and punctuation errors. Ever since tablets and all the ilk became affordable, along with wi-fi being pretty cheap, I really don't use my computer anymore. Well, not a whole lot. I mainly gave up on owning a computer and having an iPod.

The reason I gave up on iPods is that I am not exactly happy with Apple. For the longest time, iPods were fairly cheap and when the battery wouldn't hold a charge for more than 5 minutes, it seemed to be a whole lot cheaper just to buy a new iPod than replace the battery. Well, now that my beloved Nano's battery gave up the ghost, they're charging $100 or more to replace a stinking battery and discontinued all of the iPods except the Touch. I have got to be the only one that sees the Touch for what it is, an iPhone without the phone. How much longer before they drop the Touch? I'd rather keep my music and phone separate and wish that Apple would quit jamming the iPhone down my throat and keep at least the Nano or Shuffle but give the Shuffle a little more space for music.

What I mean by the height of depravity is that since I am not so hindered by dial up or wires, I can surf the internet, blog, read, or watch TV from my Kindle. The bathroom, the kitchen, outside, the doctors office, wherever. The only time I am hindered is when my battery is low or dead, then I need a wire.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Chanel Cuir de Russie RDP Review

Remember when the announcement came out about Chanel converting the Exclusifs line from EDT to EDP? Well, I finally tried that decant I had of the Cuir de Russie EDP. Cuir de Russie was the perfume that really made me fall down the rabbit hole in terms of really loving perfume. At the time, I didn't know about decants and where to buy them or anything about perfume. Here I am 10 years later and a massive collection.

When I heard that Chanel was converting the Excluifs line from EDT to EDP, my reaction was kind of goofy. Some of me was the whole it will still be the same scent and it will still smell as wonderful as the EDT. The other part that was more knowledgeable said that all the Chanel formulations smell different. So back when TPC still had Chanel offerings, I grabbed a sample of Cuir de Russie EDP for a comparison and I think that I should have grabbed a small decant of no 22 EDP while I was at it.

The EDP still smells like Cuir de Russie but it is different. I find that the EDP is harsher and a little less blended than the EDT. The CdR is EDP form seems to be flatter and less rich than the EDT. I don't exactly know how or where is it flat but it is flat. The EDT is richer, more plush than the EDP. I think that some of it lies in the fact that the EDT has a lot of skank to where the EDP has taken the skank to nonexistant. The harshness in the EDP in mostly in the beginning but lasts until the dry down.

When it boils down to it, the EDP for Cuir de Russie is not a great, let alone good perfume worthy of the Chanel name. It's a good thing for me that I had bought the econo sized bottle before there were size choices of the Cuir de Russie in the EDP form. Hopefully, Chanel hasn't messed with the parfum. Needless to say, the only version of Cuir de Russie from now on will be the parfum.