Vanilla

My Favorite Holiday Gift: Vanilla Body Oil (easiest DIY ever!)

DIY vanilla body oil

Take 100 ml pure jojoba oil and add one vanilla pod into the bottle. Leave it several months in a dark cupboard. As there is not enough time for the upcoming holidays you can make one bottle and give it away with the advice to leave it some time to rest like a bottle of wine.

DIY Vanilla Oil

This vanilla infused oil has become one of my favorite body products. The first time I made it with 100 ml of jojoba* oil from De Tuinen (now Holland and Barrett) which was about 4 euro and a cheap and probably not high quality vanilla pod from Lidl for 2 euro. I had to cut the pod in half and put both halves into the bottle with the oil. After 8 to 9 months it smelled amazing and was an excellent oil to layer when using vanilla perfumes. This oil was not 100 percent jojoba oil but had some other stuff added. I just finished this bottle.

Some months ago I made a new batch with better quality pure jojoba oil from Oshadhi (bought online in the U.K. I paid about 24 pounds for 200 ml) and an organic vanilla pod. One important thing about jojoba oil is, it does not go rancid. Another quality is that it is easily absorbed by my dry skin. It is said to work for both dry and oily skins. I am about to start with my new bottle.

When adding a vanilla pod to your oil you really get the natural vanilla scent into the oil which is nice as you get to know the natural fragrance of vanilla as well.

One thing though, this is for true vanilla lovers!

DIY vanilla oil

*Note about jojoba oil: officially jojoba oil is not an oil but liquid wax. Its latin name is Simmondsia sinensis. If left in a very cold place or fridge it will solidify but will become liquid again easily at room temperature of 10 C. It could also be used as a hair conditioner and after epilation. (source: Carrier Oils by Len Price, if you want to read more about carrier oils like jojoba oil, this book is quite a good source)

Guerlain Shalimar Eau de Cologne Budget Beauty Pick Perfume Review

Shalimar Guerlain Shalimar Eau de Cologne was not a super bargain but it still comes at a fairly decent price given it quality. It has become one of my most cherished bottles this summer due to its smooth vintage vibe and beautiful older designed spray bottle. My Shalimar edc was produced in 2015. But scenting it, one would say it was in the 80 ties. When my favorite Shalimar Parfum de Toilette was produced. My personal fantasy is that at a Guerlain factory they still had some old juice lying around in a wooden barrel, watered it down a bit and sold it as edc.

On my skin Guerlain Shalimar Eau de Cologne is much smokier than the Shalimar I scented last year at the Guerlain counter in a department store. I find the newer Shalimar’s to be too much watered down and tamed. Although it says Eau de Cologne on its label, the fragrance lasts a whole day on my skin.

If you do not know Shalimar, grab your chance and get this edc bottle while you still can to experience this beautiful fragrance in its full glory. You never know how much more it will be altered by its producing company LVMH, given the financial driven and certainly not perfume loving decisions which are being made lately. If you like and love Shalimar buy this version, you will not regret it.

What does it do? It takes away rough and hard edges due to its balsamic properties acting like balsam for your soul. For me personally it works also comforting and sometimes I wear it to sleep.

How does it make you feel? Like a movie star in the nineteen twenties, with natural glamour and being sexy in an elegant way, like wearing a low cut black satin evening dress and feeling very comfortable and relaxed wearing it.

Notes: (source Michael Edwards Perfume Legends) Top: Sparkling Bergamot, Heart: Fleeting Rose and Jasmine, Base: Seductive Opopanax, Vanilla, Iris and Tonka Bean

Launched: 1925 at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris

Perfumer: Jacques Guerlain

Sillage: Medium

Longevity: Medium

Perfume Family: Oriental

Produced by: LVMH

Origin of bottle: my own together, bought for 47 euro at a Dutch web shop, I own other Shalimar versions and flankers as well

Photograph: my own

Much has been written about Shalimar, I have chosen to keep this review fairly brief. If you would like to read more about Shalimar, read more on this iconic fragrance on: Monsieur Guerlain and Perfume Shrine. Read another review of this marvelous Guerlain Shalimar Eau de Cologne at Australian Perfume Junkies written by Val.

NB: this is a Shalimar Eau de Cologne review with the box on the photograph, not about Shalimar Cologne EDT made by perfumer Thierry Wasser which can be sold at stores at this time.

 

Madonna Truth or Dare Budget Beauty Pick Perfume Review

In bed with Rubio

Madonna Truth or Dare* Eau de Parfum is surprisingly better than you would think for a celebrity fragrance. I would not call it a masterpiece but well worth a try if you like creamy tuberose or gardenia fragrances. Coty has discontinued Truth or Dare. It is sold now at ridiciously low prices. My back up bottle was € 8,59.

Truth or Dare was the first fragrance Madonna launched.* It was inspired by the 1948 Piguet classic Fracas. Fracas was said to be worn by Madonna’s mother. I do not find Truth or Dare to be very daring as it is neither indolic nor carnal. To some it is a gourmand floral due to the lush creamy vanilla and caramel amber base. The so called addiction accord.

Truth or Dare behaves quite decently on my skin starting with a fruity delicious ripe juicy pear note to continue as a creamy tuberose and gardenia, then moving quite quickly into a slightly but not overly sweet vanilla and carameled amber to end as a barely notice able soapy scent. Reading bloggers’ reviews I did not find others who scented the ripe pear note in the beginning. Some smelled white lily at the heart which luckily, I did not get. Truth or Dare wears quite close to the skin and can only be scented for a few hours. The trick to really enjoy it, is to reapply during the day and spray luxuriously. I like to wear Truth or Dare on warmer summer days.

Portrait of Guus Preitinger wife of Kees van Dongen, Kees van Dongen 1910, van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

What image do I get: a glamorous fur coat and a string of pearls like the lady (and wife of) on this Kees van Dongen painting.

What does it do? Makes me feel glamorous, outgoing, mature and centered.

Given its price and quality I would recommend Truth or Dare to those who like creamy tuberose, white florals or are new to the smell of tuberose and want to experience its lushness before moving on to other more expensive and classic tuberose fragrances like Fracas.

Try Truth or Dare for this bargain price!

Truth or Dare

Notes: (as off Fragrantica website) The scent is both a light and dark, opening with notes of gardenia, creamy tuberose and neroli. The heart consists of jasmine, benzoin and white lily, based on vanilla absolute, caramelized amber and sensual musk.

Launched: 2012

Perfumer: Stephen Nilsen (Givaudan)

Perfume Family: Floral /  Floral Oriental

Try if you like: Nicolai Juste Un Reve, Isabey Gardenia, MDCI Peche Cardinal, Miller Harris Noix de Tubereuse

Status: discontinued

Produced by: Coty

Origin of Sample: my own bottles

Price: € 8,59 for a 75 ml tester spray bottle at a Dutch online discount store

Painting: Portrait of Guus Preitinger by Kees van Dongen, Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

Photographs: made by me, model Rubio

*The Truth or Dare (In Bed with Madonna in Europe) movie was introduced 25 years ago. Read more about the anniversary this year and the original movie.

*Read this interesting interview with the perfumer Stephen Nilsen about creating Truth or Dare and working with Madonna, which was quite challenging.