Le Couvent des Minimes Eau Sereine Hand Cream ~ scented body product review

Le Couvent des Minimes Eau Sereine Hand Cream

It’s been a hectic month or so at my “day job.” My workplace was temporarily topsy-turvy due to rush deadlines and personnel changes, major annual events, unexpected VIP visits and technical difficulties. I was getting home later and later at night, often with a headache — and I’m a just one small wheel in the organizational machinery, so I know the situation was even more stressful for many of my coworkers.

I had some chemical assistance on stressful days, at least, and I don’t mean pharmaceuticals or even a stiff drink. Instead, I relied on Enfleurage’s Sanctuary oil, and a new hand cream from Le Couvent des Minimes with a scent named (appropriately) Eau Sereine…

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Boxwalla Beauty Box ~ scented body product reviews

Boxwalla Beauty Box

If you’re as interested in cosmetics as you are in fragrance, you’ve no doubt become aware of the “subscription box” craze of the past five years or so. It usually works like this: you subscribe by filling out a questionnaire about your tastes, and for a monthly fee you’re sent a box of trial-sized products purportedly chosen to fit your profile. Everyone loves getting surprises in the mail, right? I’ve joined two or three of these subscription brands in the past, and for a while I enjoyed receiving my packages; as the months ticked by, however, I ended up owning too many items that I just never used (bright coral lipsticks! sparkly highlighting powders!) so I unsubscribed.

More recently, variations on the subscription theme have emerged — several fragrance clubs, for example, and now Boxwalla, a service that “curates” boxes in four categories: Beauty, Food, Film and Books. The Beauty box promises to offer “luxurious and effective products to nourish your skin and body,” all made in the United States with non-toxic and cruelty-free ingredients. I’ve just tried Boxwalla’s December Beauty box, which seemed to have a “winter comfort” motif, and — unlike some of the cosmetics subscription services I’ve tried —it was an all-around success for me…

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A Few of My Favorite Holiday-Season Scents

Christmas baubles

‘Tis the season! — and I’m trying not to get Grinch-y, as I often do at this time of year, when accumulated stresses and obligations (and NYC crowds) finally get to me. One way to stay calm, I find, is to turn to several scents that I associate specifically with the holiday season. I’ve worn them before, through holidays merry and not-quite-so-merry, and they remind me to stop and savor small, familiar pleasures at this all-too-often overstuffed time of year.

On one hand, Christmas is a time for tradition, and every year I reach for my treasured bottle of Caron Nuit de Noel Parfum on Christmas Eve. I find this fragrance wonderfully difficult to parse: it certainly includes oakmoss and some very dark rose, but I could also be convinced that it smells a bit like church incense, or roasted chestnuts, or a pine forest at night. In other words, it’s just abstract enough to lend itself to various fanciful interpretations…

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L’Occitane + Pierre Herme hand creams ~ quick review

L'Occitane + Pierre Hermé hand creams

I mentioned when I reviewed the two fragrances in the new Pierre Hermé collection at L’Occitane, Jasmin Immortelle Neroli and Pamplemousse Rhubarbe, that shortly after smelling them I ordered a set of the hand creams. The trio comes with an additional fragrance, Miel Mandarine, that they didn’t produce in an Eau de Toilette form. Here are some very quick thoughts; if you’ve never used L’Occitane’s hand creams and you want some background on the formula, see my review of the Passionate Jasmine, Subtle Violet and Fleur d’Or & Acacia hand creams.

Miel Mandarine

This was the scent I was most curious about since they are not selling it in a personal fragrance, and also, orange + honey? That sounds fantastic. Unfortunately it is not my favorite L’Occitane hand cream ever…

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