Reminiscence Tonka ~ fragrance review

tonka beans

Reminiscence is one of those smaller brands that I don’t think about as often as I should, but when I do think about it, I remember how much I like it. It’s primarily a Paris-based jewelry company dating back to the 1970s, with a line of cheerful bohemian-chic fragrances that fits its design aesthetic. Tonka is a recent release (2013), developed by perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin. It belongs to Reminiscence’s “Les Classiques” fragrance collection (joining Vanille, Ambre, Patchouli and Musc), and it is an oriental gourmand with notes of bergamot, anise, clove, jasmine, honey, cistus, bitter almond, tonka bean, vanilla and musk.

I’d never heard of tonka until I started reading fragrance message boards in the early 2000s…

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Roses de Chloe ~ fragrance review

Chloé Roses de Chloé advert

Chloé is one of those brands that just makes me feel old. Old enough, at least, to remember a time when Karl Lagerfeld was the house designer and when the signature Chloé fragrance was a powerful white jasmine-tuberose perfume in a bottle topped with beautifully sculpted, frosted-glass floral forms. Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that today’s Chloé is a ribbed-glass square bottle containing a sheer peony-lily-magnolia scent. Just yesterday, Robin posted a quick poll asking everyone to “recommend a perfumista-worthy inoffensive, ‘light & fresh’ office-friendly floral.” I’d nominate Chloé.

And now we have a pink-tinted flanker, Roses de Chloé…

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Lush Tender is the Night Massage Bar ~ scented body product review

Lush Tender is the Night Massage Bar

In early February of last year, I stopped at a Lush boutique to try out the limited edition products for Valentine’s Day 2013. I was intrigued by an item called Tender is the Night, but I decided not to purchase or review it because it would be gone in a week or so; what was the point? Just two weeks ago, I noticed that Lush had re-released this product. When a sales associate cheerfully informed me that it was now part of the year-round collection, I pounced. I needed a little late-winter pick-me-up, anyway!

The new-and-improved Tender is the Night massage bar is oval-shaped with a pink floral ornament, rather than heart-shaped as it was last year, and supposedly it has an improved formula with a new “aerated” texture. My memory might be playing tricks on me, but I think its fragrance has also been adjusted. I remember last year’s version smelling strongly of jasmine, like Lush’s hot-pink Lust bar soap…

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Dita von Teese by Dita von Teese ~ perfume review

Dita von Teese by Dita von Teese, fragrance advert

I happen to be a fan of the model and burlesque performer Dita von Teese; I like her retro style in fashion and grooming, as well as her highly stylized and seductive performances (at least, the bits I’ve seen online). She really does seem well-versed in the feminine style of the 1920s-50s, and she has occasionally mentioned her favorite perfumes in interviews: Love’s Baby Soft in her teen years, followed by Cacharel Lou Lou and Houbigant Quelques Fleurs.

Her first fragrance in her own line, released simply as Dita von Teese in 2011, was developed with perfumer Nathalie Lorson

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Diptyque Softening Hand Wash & Velvet Hand Lotion ~ scented body product review

Diptyque Softening Hand Wash & Velvet Hand Lotion

I wrote about Diptyque‘s L’Art du Soin collection of body products when it was first launched — can that really have been almost five years ago? — and I recently realized that I hadn’t covered some of the later additions to the line. I’ve been hoarding little sample packages of Softening Hand Wash (Savon Liquide Réconfortant) and Velvet Hand Lotion (Emulsion Velours pour les Mains) that I received last fall, and this week seemed like the moment to use them: my part of the world has been coping with an excess of harsh and frigid winter weather, and my hands need every little bit of pampering that they can get.

My bathroom-sink hand-washing routine usually involves an nearly used-up bar of LUSH soap or some diluted Dr. Bronner’s castile soap in a pump bottle, but if I were truly living a life of luxury, my counter would always be graced with a bottle of Diptyque’s Softening Hand Wash

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