Tom Ford Noir EdT

Tom Ford Noir

Hello and welcome to fragrance friday! 😀 Today I am reviewing Tom Ford Noir EdT. This perfume was released in 2013 (the EdP was released one year prior) as a part of the regular Men’s line (so, not the expensive Private Blend line). However, in my personal opinion, I find that every Tom Ford perfume I have smelled so far is pretty unisex.

The official notes list is vague on what Noir EdT actually smells like, only mentioning citrus oils and fresh herbs. It certainly starts off with citrus and is soon followed by herbal green notes, yes. But it’s really a rich, spicy oriental perfume and not the fresh cologne that the words “citrus oils and fresh herbs” imply! Quite soon, about 15 minutes in I start sensing the base out. It is still dancing with the herbs (I think I’m also getting lavender?), but slowly the fresher notes die off and I am left with a deep, sweet, woody base. And that base, I think it is part of the Tom Ford handwriting, because I have smelled similar things in many Tom Ford perfumes. If Guerlain has their special tonka-bean Guerlinade, I guess this is the woody-smoky-chocolate Fordinade…😉

It smells really good and also calming. It’s sweet, but not sticky. It’s smoky, but doesn’t choke you.

The base lasts very well. I’m getting about nine hours of wear time.

All in all, this is lovely and not overwhelming. Is it unique? Certainly not among the Tom Ford line. I’m not sure why there are so many Noir perfumes in the lineup, honestly. It also goes along the vein of Dior Homme (Intense, Parfum, etc), so while those aren’t dupes, it’s not like you’ve never smelled anything similar. But is it good? Yes, I think so.

Lastly I want to point out the notes list contains Evernia Prunastri (oakmoss) and Evernia Furfuracea (treemoss). This is interesting because from time to time people will claim these ingredients are completely forbidden. Well, using in perfume moss is not totally forbidden. However, it has to be listed (for the allergic people) and you can’t put in more than a certain percentage, which why you’ll usually find it at the bottom of the ingredients. But it’s still there. 🙂

The Body Shop Color Crush Almond Kiss


This is my first nailpolish from the Body Shop. It’s 730 Almond Kiss, a beige nude with a little bit of golden shimmer. The shimmer is more visible in the bottle than on the nail but it is visible if you look closely. The color is pretty close to my skin color (NC15), so it’s a really subtle color.

In this pic I am wearing two coats and no top coat. It is nice and shiny and easy to apply, but it doesn’t get opaque. It lasted well, almost four days without chipping.

MAC Viva Glam Ariana 2


I skipped MAC‘s Ariana 1, because the color was so similar to what I already owned, but Viva Glam Ariana 2 (matte) is a total must have for me. It comes in the usual pretty Viva Glam packaging and the color is a light pinkish purple.


Color swatch in the shade. It is a typical MAC matte and contains no shimmer either.


Same swatch in direct sunlight. It’s always clearly purple, but depending on light looks more or less pink.


Time for color comparison! On top, MAC Heroine, the darkest and most purple of the bunch. Next, MAC Invite Intrigue, which is pink, then Estee Lauder Stronger, which is ismilar, but darker and slightly more purple. Then Ariana 2, clearly the lightest color and also much cooler toned than the two above. Ariana 2 is light and has a lot more blue than your usual purple. It ends up looking quite neon.


Lip swatch of Ariana 2. This was taken with my phone on the inside, so the color looks washed out here, sorry. But I think you can still see it’s an intense color.

It’s a typical MAC matte, meaning it’s pretty dry and needs some quality lip balm underneath. But it applies silkily and is really easy to put on. And the wear time is bomb. This phone pic was made after wearing it for five hours and you can see it stayed where it should on the lip lines. This is probably one of the best lipsticks I own, period.

Usually I try to recommend matching lip liners for the readers who want one. It’s a bit hard for this color, as there are no lip liners in exactly this shade and the purple ones (like MAC lip liner Heroine) are too dark and the pink ones can be too intense. The lipstick certainly does not need a lip liner, as it stays nicely where you put it and it is easy to apply non-messily, too. But if you really want one you could either use a colorless lipliner or a flesh tones one. Or, I have found, the lip liner Candy Yum Yum is actually the closest to this color, since it’s also a blue based neon color.

Long story short: great lipstick and a charity item, too! What’s not to love?

Ava Luxe Vanille Jolie

Ava Luxe Vanilla Jolie

I received Ava Luxe‘s Vanille Jolie EdP as a gift, because apparently at some point I mumbled ‘you can’t go wrong with vanilla’.😄 Well, I stick with what I said, even if I can’t remember saying it: you can’t go wrong with vanilla – unless you dislike vanilla in which case I really can’t help you.

So Vanille Jolie is clearly gourmand, but none of that sugared synthetic fruits stuff. It’s just plain up vanilla, the kind you bake with. It immediately made me think of vanilla pudding I ate when I was a kid.

The official notes list for this is very short: ‘Essences of Mexican Vanilla, Praline, Sandalwood, Musk’. I clearly get the vanilla and the praline note and lots and lots of light, non soapy musk. The sandalwood? I don’t know. I can’t pick it out. This is a sweet musky scent. You know, sometimes chocolate tastes heavily of cocoa? And sometimes it looks like chocolate, but doesn’t really taste much of cocoa at all? When it’s only sweet and there’s something in it, you can’t quite put your finger on it? Or does that only happen to me, haha. Anyway this perfume helped me realize that the something I couldn’t identify must be musk, because this perfume smells exactly like that.

A quick googling taught me the following things: there is a perfume named Choco Musk and indeed, there are brands that flavor their sweets with musk! It seems to be most common in Australia and South Africa. But that’s just those candies with musk in their name. I betcha there are European Sweets that also include musk, they just don’t advertise it.

Well, this review took a dive to the unexpected, but it explains why I feel a strong connection to Vanille Jolie: it reminds me of homemade pudding and baking (not so much baked goods, those smell different) and some chocolate I ate as a kid. (You know, now that I think of it, we have some relatives in Australia, maybe that’s where it came from.)

I f you don’t have such connections, it might just be plain, boring vanilla to you. But I think it will still be an interesting perfume, because you don’t often get the combination of vanilla with musk like that.

Lasting power is amazing, it stays almost 24 hours on skin (although the last ten hours are very close to the skin). Sillage seems to be bigger than I think. To me it seemed to be close to the skin, but it fills a car easily, and maybe also a room – coworkers sometimes go looking for sweets when I wear it.😄

In a nutshell: worth a try if you like your vanilla light and creamy.

All Used Up September 2016

I had quite a few empties last month. Let’s get to it:


Douglas Beauty System Perfect Complexion Exfoliating Cream: This is a case of not used up. It’s a washing cream with plastic particles that makes your skin smooth. But the particles are pretty harsh and I’m trying to be gentle with my face. So I had this lying about for a long time, thinking maybe I’ll want to use it someday. I finally admitted it won’t get used up so it had to go.

Biotherm Skin-Best Serum-in-Cream: I remember testing the Serum-in-Oil from another Biotherm line and expecting it to be oily, but it turned out to be a gel texture. Well, this one here on the other hand, is totally oily. It’s not a thick cream texture, you only need a little dab for the whole face, but damn, when you spread it out it feels oily. It sinks in, so it doesn’t make you look  bad, but the feeling is unusual. Also I don’t think it did anything for my skin at all. I used it with the matching day cream, which I haven’t used up yet, so it’ll be in the next post, but the pair was pointless if you ask me. Stick with the Blue Therapy serum if you like Biotherm.


Long and tiny list of ingredients for Serum-in-Cream.


Another Biotherm item: Creme Solaire Dry Touch SPF 30: This product has been reformulated sometime after my purchase so I’ll spare you a long review. Would not have repurchased, too dusty dry.

MAC Prep&Prime CC Cream in Illuminate: The BBCC Hype may be over, but MAC created a solid product here. MAC, I have discovered, not only have great makeup, their skin care is also worth a look. This CC cream I consider a mix of both skin care and makeup. It has SPF 30 and is soothing on the skin, so after washing my face and adding a bit of moisture I go in straight with this one here, adding SPF and a smooth layer to apply my makeup on. It comes in several colors, I have the lavender one. It’s not the perfect color for me, as it doesn’t help with redness, but it makes such an elvish skin tone, lightening up the whole face. Also the other colors showed up too intense on my pale skin. I have repurchased the same color, Illuminate, but maybe one day I’ll check out the yellow color in hopes of it covering my redness…


Balea Urea hand cream: good cream, but strong plasticky sweet smell. Will try to find one with lighter scent.


Ingredients for hand cream.


La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +: really good cream with Salicylic Acid and Capryloyl Salicylic Acid. Used this every evening underneath my cream. Have not repurchased yet as I’ve got some other stuff to use up, but might. It cleanes the pores because of the lipophile acids. Good for acne and rosacea.

Batiste Dry Shampoo Blonde: Not my first bottle and won’t stay the last bottle. Batiste gives me more volume than other dry shampoos I’ve tried. And dry shampoo in general gives me way more volume than hairspray (especially natural looking volume), which is why I go through bottle after bottle (and of course, you have to wash less often, too). Only downside to this Batiste one is that the smell is really strong. It’s vanilla which works when I wear vanilla-heavy perfume, but sometimes clashes badly with other perfume. However, I have since tried Batiste Classic and think it smells godawful, so I’ll be going back to Blonde next time.


Ingredients of dry shampoo.

That’s it, my empties for last month.🙂 I am currently on a no-buy for all skin care, as I’ve way too much of it. Only exception is hand cream, since I use so much of it (neurotic hand washer).

Chanel Fall 2016: Stylo Yeux Waterproof Eros


It’s no secret: I love Stylos by Chanel.😄 I also feel like the quality of their eyeliners has gone up in the last few years. Before, some colors were great and some were meh. But now, every color I try is consistent and creamy.

This color here, 928 Eros, is part of their Le Rouge collection for fall, all red items. I think the collection is absolutely amazing, and if I had enough money I’d buy the whole thing. But as money does not grow on trees, for now I limited myself to the red liner.


Eros is red, but it’s not primary red. No, it’s a burgundy color, very elegant and wearable. With Chanel you can always be sure it ends up elegant and wearable, no matter how outlandish it sounds at first.


Color swatch in direct sunlight. There is very light shimmer in it and the texture is creamy.


Same swatch in the shade. On the eyes, with mascara and everything it ends up looking a bit darker. So it gives proper definition (no additional dark liner needed) while still being edgy and colorful. It looks stunning against blue eyes. I wore this liner both on top and lower lid and on the waterline. On the waterline it survived a few hours, four maybe. On skin it lasted the whole day and you do need waterproof makeup remover to get it off.

Huge recommendation! Don’t be afraid of wearing red on the eyes!

So far I always paired it with a nude lip though. Sometimes I copy the look on Chanel ads, but this one is really a whole lot of red.😄

Jil Sander Eve

Jil Sander Eve

Lately I was testing another Jil Sander: Eve EdT. This perfume was released in 2011 and created by Olivier Polge (by now Chanel’s in-house parfumeur).

Eve opens with a beautiful grapefruity accord – sweet and tart at the same time. The official note list calls it grapefruit blossom. I guess this one isn’t as heady as orange blossom, lending the whole thing a lighter feel. I like the opening. Then ten minutes later – nothing! What? It can’t be over so soon? An hour later the base sets in and I smell the perfume again. I get flowers, jasmine and rose, both gentle and something earthy. Also a bit of fruit, but the whole thing is incredibly inoffensive. It’s never too flowery or too sweet. I don’t know what happened with the hour of me not smelling it. I have tested this perfume for two weeks and it happened every time. It’s not like what happened with Elie Saab, where my brain started tuning it out. It was never there in the first place. Must be a case of anosmia. But afterwards the perfume is there again, so whatever. A bit later I get a cozy sweet note. I guess it’s the “cashmere wood” mentioned in the notes list. (Cashmere wood is one of these totally made up things of course. There is no cashmere tree.)

The inoffensive fruity floralness reminds me of something else, but I can’t put my finger on it. I turn to google and it turns out many people smell similarities between Eve and Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. So I did the direct comparison, one left one right. And well, nope these are in no way dupes. Coco Mademoiselle is somewhat stronger and also earthier (more patchouli?). Eve is fruitier. But yes, these are certainly in the same family of light fruity florals. Coco Mademoiselle was released in 2001 and created by Jacques Polge, so it’s not exactly unreasonable to say there is kinship among these perfumes.

I don’t feel the need to own a full bottle of Eve, but those who want a lighter alternative to Coco Mademoiselle might.

Guerlain KissKiss Rouge Kiss

Guerlain kisskiss

People have recommended the Guerlain KissKiss line to me before, but there’s only so many lipsticks I can try at once. So it took a while until I got my hands on one. Pictured up there is the Guerlain KissKiss lipstick in 325 Rouge Kiss, a true red (pic may lean a little blue, this was really hard to photograph).

Guerlain kisskissswatch

Swatch. Rouge Kiss is a true red with a glossy, jelly-like finish. It is not completely opaque, which in my opinion makes wearing it easier. But it’s still an intense red.

Guerlain kisskiss ingr

List of ingredients, click to enlarge. Lots of mango butter in it, but it does not smell of mango. It has a real, old fashioned lipstick smell, the powdery kind that is sometimes imitated in perfumery. So I recommend smelling it once before buying in case you don’t like this. I prefer my lipsticks to be mostly unscented, but this annoys me less than the sweet smell of Guerlain’s LPRN lipstick range.

I found the lipstick easy to apply and needed no lipliner for precise edges. This is good because as much as I personally love using liner, it would ruin the transparent glow of this lipstick. Wear time was pretty good also, for a glossy finish. It gets less glossy and stains the lips some. I got about five hours, but a meal decimates most of it – but it wears off evenly so that’s okay.

Guerlain kisskissscomp

Color comparison. These lipsticks have a different finish, but I was trying to pin down the exact shade of red… Chanel La Malicieuse is lighter and pinker, and to my surprise both L’Oreal and Liya and MAC Ruby Woo are also pinker. Looks like I do not have an exact color dupe. Rouge Kiss might be my truest red, leaning neither blue nor yellow.

So far this is my only KissKiss, but I am afraid it might not stay so. Luckily for me the color range is very traditional, mostly red, pink, coral and I have enough of these colors for the temptation to be small.😄

I recommend these lipsticks for those who can deal with the scent and don’t want completely opaque color – with the color still being very intense.

YSL La Laque Couture Brun Henné


Fall is here! In this picture I am wearing two coats of YSL Brun Henné, no top coat. I think this was released in a past summer collection, but isn’t it the perfect transitioning shade? The nail polish applied like a dream, self levelling, fast dry time and glossy finish. Great! However, I got chipping on day 1. Boo. It was only minor chipping and it wore well for a few days more, but still, this can’t compare to other brands. YSL nail polish is good quality, but not stellar.

Ava Luxe Café Noir

Ava Luxe Cafe Noir

Hello and welcome to Fragrance Friday. Today I’m reviewing my first ever niche perfume!😀

Back when I was posting my perfume wish list I said “I am still looking for the perfect perfume that smells like wonderfully roasted coffee beans”. Well, look what I’ve got now! Café Noir by Ava Luxe! You don’t get much more coffee than that.

Although first it starts with a real big dose of lavender. It’s pretty intense (although, everything about Café Noir is intense). Then I get more spices, cardamom and such things. Okay, but where’s my coffee? And then, a few minutes in it hits me. Wham, bam freshly ground coffee beans! I love it! Sadly the heart note of coffee doesn’t last forever. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the perfume still smells amazing and s0rt of like a whole coffee shop, but the strong coffee note is the heart, not the base. The base is all things that’s good in perfumery (if you ask me, at least) it’s really dark smokey amber and some sandalwood I think, but not too much. Patchouli, vanilla, something on the sharper side of woody,…

Basically it smells like walking into a coffee shop in fall. It’s not Christmas yet, there’s no cinnamon to be found (for cardamom with cinnamon go to Kenzo Jungle instead), but there are spicy cookies being made, and cappuccino is consumed. Some lattes are there with vanilla syrup, but they are in the minority. Lots of people are drinking black espresso. The interior is made from unpolished wood. The whole thing is almost overwhelming, but also cozy – if you enjoy the smell of coffee, that is.

Since you can only order this perfume from the website if you’re interested I think you should check out Mugler’s A*Men first before you blind buy. Because A*Men is similar, but not as pronounced as Café Noir. So if A*Men makes you go ‘oh hell no!’ this one here is probably not for you. I think you can also order samples from Ava Luxe, too.

Overall: I love this, it is one of my favorites ever and it marks my slow descent into niche ‘hell’.😉