At The Beach With Bobbi Brown Beach (EDP Review)

I come from a country with some kick-ass, world class beaches. It’s only to be expected, really; the Philippines is made up of over 7,000 islands (yes, there are three zeros following that seven), and while I myself grew up in the painfully urban capital city, a good beach is as little as a couple of hours away by car.Needless to say, my entire life is filled with memories of the beach: of sun and sand and salty sea air and sunblock slathered all over my body. It isn’t just a childhood or summer memory to me — it’s part of my life as a happy inhabitant of the tropics.

And so when a fragrance not only purports to capture the essence of the beach but is also named precisely that — “Beach” —  I am more than interested in being the judge of that.DSC08318Bobbi Brown’s Beach eau de parfum (£50 for 50ml) caught my attention during its most recent re-promote for summer 2016 (originally launched in 2009). The 50ml bottle is very simple, which I love, and there is also a 6ml rollerball version avialable. The fragrance itself is permanent, but for summer there are a limited edition body oil, shower gel, and lotion on offer as well.

The scent is described as a “blend of sand jasmine, sea spray, and mandarin.”

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REPLICA Rollerballs

I know what you’re thinking — WOW, Mariana remembered she has a blog! HEHE. Sorry. Hello. Let’s talk about perfumes now…

I’m a huge fan of perfume rollerballs. They’re a great way to test out a scent without having to spend a crazy amount on a full-sized bottle just yet. Sephora carries a ton of them, priced anywhere from 12ish USD – 25ish USD depending on the brand. Still a bit pricey, but it beats having to pay 100+ USD right off the bat. On my recent trip to NYC, I picked up two from REPLICA by Maison Margiela scents.

The REPLICA line is a set of fragrances “designed to evoke images, impressions and positive emotions that reflect our personal memories.” Love the idea behind the range and I really liked two of the scents: Jazz Club and Beach Walk. The full size bottles look like this: IMG_0004.jpgGorgeous, no? I wanted one badly, but the 100mL bottles are about 85 GBP/ 125 USD and I just wasn’t totally sure about either scent that I liked. Picking up the rollerball size was just the obvious thing to do. DSC08065

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Fresh Bottle: Diptyque’s Eau Duelle

The first and only time I ever talked about fragrance on this blog was when I talked about Diptyque’s amazing Eau Duelle (edit: my bad, I wrote about Miss Dior Cherie once, long ago). Click here if you want to visit that post, where I wrote a bit about the fragrance but mostly about the process of finding it. I’m quite stubborn when it comes to personal scents. I’ve never written about another one since that (August 2012) post simply because I’ve not used another since then.

DED1I had a 100mL bottle in the old packaging and that should have lasted me through the end of this year, but now I have a new one because…

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Dipytique Eau Duelle — Love at first sniff!

In the world of personal fragrances, I am a newcomer. Finding the perfect scent is a task not to be underestimated, I believe. When a perfume or cologne drifts for the first time up to your nose, the encounter triggers memories, feelings, emotions unique to you. If you should decide to wear the fragrance, a marriage of your body’s chemistry and that of the perfume commences. The day goes on and the smell changes, shifts, and either grows or fades away. The experts talk about base notes, middle notes, top notes, and use a myriad of terms that we, the possessors of ordinary olfactory glands, just can’t be bothered to learn about… but the question we all ask ourselves when we encounter scents is essentially the same: do I like it?

For the longest time I was addicted to my Victoria’s Secret Coconut Passion body spray. I started using it back in high school and I still have a bottle of this in my bathroom. It’s a blend of vanilla and coconut which is pretty balanced in my opinion, though judging from the name of the scent, the coconut is probably meant to shine through more. I generally favor any scent that has a tinge of vanilla in it. Because this is a body spray, it’s really light and ideal for younger girls to use. That also means that the lasting power isn’t so great though, which is the only down side to using body sprays in general.

Just about a year ago, I started looking for something with more staying power–so I delved into the world of Eau de Toilettes and Parfums. I’ve come across several perfumes that I like a lot, but none that I really love and could stand to wear all the time. I don’t like citrus and floral scents, which happen to be the most common. Wearing citrus scents leaves me with massive headaches and floral scents are just more for room fragrances in my opinion. So I was left with the spicy scent family, but didn’t know exactly where to start.

Enter Diptyque’s Eau Duelle. The description for this scent goes like this:

Vanilla being an adventurous soul, diptyque has taken her along the Spice Route, the promise of dreams, distant horizons, and all that is exotic. On this imaginary journey, the original bean strikes out to experience an encounter of East and West. She revels in each enchanting port of call, in cities of legendary name, Babylon and Goa, Venice and Carthage, Constantinople and Baghdad…Over the course of vanilla’s wondrous wanderings, she drinks in the exhilarating spices, each blending with her essence in a fragrant fusion. As she becomes intoxicated with this multiplicity of meetings, vanilla finds her fuller self, one that is, at last, more precious than ever.

Essentially it’s a more sophisticated kind of vanilla, laced with a lot of spice and a little bit of an alcoholic tinge. I am particularly attracted to the cold spices and black frankincense in this. Again, those are from an official description of the scent as my nose can pinpoint almost nothing by name, except for the vanilla. I must stress though that it is much more than just a vanilla scent, which is what makes it 100x better than a simple just vanilla smell.

Though I knew I loved it from the start, it took a while before I bought myself a bottle of Eau Duelle. I tested the scent from the perfume counters whenever I got the chance and would stick paper tester strips sprayed with this stuff into my bags so that whenever I would open up a random bag, the smell would waft out and make me fall in love. I had to save up because I had never really spent more than $100 dollars for a perfume. On their website, this is priced at 120USD for 100ml, which comes out to be around 5,040php when converted. In Rustan’s Essenses though, this was selling for more than that– at around 5,500php. I was either going to have to wait to go abroad to get it or pray for a sale. Luckily, they did eventually go on sale because Dipytique decided to change their packaging.

So here she is! My first ever bottle of my not-so-new favourite scent! I could envelope myself in this 24/7. The discount brought it down to 4,165php, which is even lower than the listed price, yay! It still put a considerable dent in my wallet, but I do think it’s worth every peso. The new packaging is a rounded glass bottle instead of a rectangular one. I don’t mind having the old packaging since I think it’s just as lovely and the scent is what I am after  anyway. :) The lasting power of this stuff is incredibly good. I can spray it on at 9am and it will still be lingering on my body at dinner time, and by around 10m it’s faint but still there. I also love that it clings to clothes. If I wear a sweater or jacket with this on, a faint trace of the scent will still be there the next time I put it on, which really puts a smile on my face.

I love Eau Duelle so much that aside from my being sure to repurchase this again and again in spray bottle form, I also really want it as a solid perfume. Diptyque’s solid perfume packaging is incredibly luxurious and absolutely gorgeous. I would keep it in my bag and use this for travel if I had it. It’s another $48 (even more if bought locally) so it’s something to save up for once again, but I don’t mind!

I’ve met my first love (perfume-wise) and you never ever forget your first love! :)

Beautiful Bottles

I was looking through Sephora.com recently because my boyfriend is headed to Singapore within the month, and since we don’t have a Sephora over here, I’ll need to send a “short” list of things for him to (pretty please) buy for me. I wasn’t really supposed to be looking through the frangrances, but one of their little advertisements caught my eye and I found myself scrolling through the pretty bottles, ooh-ing and aah-ing as I went. Shopping for a scent online is not a smart thing to do if you’ve never tested it out before, so I was content with looking at the pretty packaging instead. For example:

Balenciaga Paris

Balenciaga’s lovely Parfum. I have actually had the chance to smell this in a store before and I remember thinking it was pleasant. Very light, inoffensive, and quite young. I also thought it could be a unisex fragrance, though I’m not too sure if that was the brand’s intention. But on to the bottle! I saw this for the very first time (different from the time I was able to test it) in Balenciaga’s New York store. It was on a pedestal sitting  in the middle of some bags and clothes displays, and I couldn’t help but think that it complimented Balenciaga’s aesthetic perfectly. The packaging wasn’t a literal translation of their signature handbag design (can you imagine a leather-esque spray bottle with Balenciaga studs on it?) and yet it just fit the brand. If I’m not making any sense, I’m happy to leave it at this: I find the bottle to be pretty but not too sweet. On a side note, the cover can sometimes look like a football. Hmm. Still like it! haha

To see other pretty fragrance bottles, read on!

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