* Image courtesy of fragrantica.com

I don't think I've ever done a fragrance review before on this blog (although I have given you my favourite scents), but considering that I'm going through a fragrance phase at the moment, I thought I would give it a go.

The reason why I haven't written fragrance reviews before is because scents are so personal - perhaps more personal than any other beauty item - and they can smell different on different people so I don't recommend blind-buying one, even if you think you'll like it. You just never know.

Anyhoo. I really love this perfume and always have. I bought my first bottle at 16 and I still love it at 39, so that should tell you something. It’s definitely my signature scent, and although I’ve tried so many perfumes over the years, I’ll always come back to this one.

The brand describes the top notes as comprising lily, magnolia and rose, with peach, apricot and cinnamon in its heart, and sandalwood, heliotrope and vanilla in the base. It's marketed as a sweet oriental fragrance with a spicy, woody base - and I think that's right, although I don't find it to be too heavy, which some oriental and spicy/woody fragrances can be on me.

For me, this is one of those fragrances where I struggle to nail down any particular note because everything fuses together so beautifully. Yes I can smell peach, apricot, cinnamon and vanilla, but they don't sing out and identify themselves too readily, which I think shows how well-balanced and blended the fragrance is. There's also a touch of leather to it, which I think helps ground the scent and give it some oomph. 

In terms of overall effect, this perfume smells yellow, smells like sunshine, smells like happiness and light to me and I just can’t get enough of it. It’s silky sweet but not cloying, full of life and somehow open and mysterious at the same time. Somehow fun and serious at the same time. When I wear it, I feel like myself. That’s why I always wear it on the happiest of days and also during dark times. A whiff of this always pulls me back to the mark.

I have seen this described as smelling like Coca Cola, and while I'd never noticed that myself, now that it's been mentioned, I can see why people would say that. There's a little sweet fizz in there, and while I wouldn't call it a gourmand fragrance, the sweetness stops the woody spices from being too much.

And while yes it's a distinctive fragrance, I don't think it's off-putting and you can spray it liberally to stand out or just spray a little so only those who come close will sense it (which is how I prefer to wear my perfumes - I don't want to clear a room).

I've never gone too long without a bottle, purely because I miss it too much when it's gone. What I also love about this scent is that it doesn't smell like any other perfume I've tried, and I've never known anyone else who smells of it, which of course makes it feel even more like my signature scent because I'm the only person I know who wears it.

In terms of sillage and longevity, both are good - although these days the fragrance doesn't last as well on me as it used to, perhaps because the bottle I have is a little old (it wasn't on display when I bought it, and the sales attendant had to find it in a storage room - so perhaps it doesn't sell well anymore and some of the available bottles are rather old). It's still the same scent, though - if not as concentrated as it once was. This seems to happen with a lot of perfumes these days: that is, they're reformulated and end up weaker.

The other thing I like about this fragrance is that it largely smells the same throughout its life (except after hours when most of the scent is gone). I like this because some perfumes can smell better or worse on me depending on how long I've had them on, but this one's consistent so it always smells good. And while yes it settles after the first half-hour of wear, that's all it does: settle. It doesn't change.

In sum, this is a wonderful perfume and I suspect I'll always love it. Not a lot of people seem to own it, it's not as easy to come by anymore, and it's definitely distinctive so you won't smell like everyone else. The sillage and lasting-power are also good, despite not being as strong as they were with the bottles I bought in the late 90s and early 2000s, but the strength and longevity are still better than a lot of other fragrances on the market these days so that's a plus.

My signature. Definitely a keeper.
Work has continued to be busy this month and we've had so much social stuff on that I just haven't been able to find much time to blog. Yes it's frustrating, but at least there's a reason for it so it's not as though I've been walking around scratching my head.

What I want to do today is my October favourites. While I haven't done any review posts this month, I've still been using plenty of stuff and I know which items have stood out.

Let's have a look.

Goldfaden MD Fresh A Peel

Full review here. This is an expensive product but I've enjoyed using it this month because you only need to leave it on for a few minutes (unlike other masks that take a while to work), which means I've used it a lot because it's all I've had time for.

What I like about it is that it resurfaces my skin beautifully and removes that top layer of dead skin. After use my face is left looking brighter and feeling smoother, and it looks more even and youthful to boot. It also helps my skincare to apply and absorb better after use, because it's cleared the path so things can really sink in and nourish my skin.

While I wouldn't buy it again due to the price, it does the job and I enjoy it.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette

Full review here. I meant to introduce this product as part of Project Dent, but I've been so busy that all my panning projects have fallen to the wayside - and instead I've been using it for the past couple of weeks without posting on it.

While ABH doesn't make my favourite formula for eyeshadows (they don't last well on the eye for me), they do blend beautifully and I love the colours in this palette, even though I don't get much use from the pinks and reds.

It's just an easy palette to use, and that's made it the right one to reach for while I've been too busy to think. I've also managed to hit pan in two shades over the last fortnight, so it's annoying that I wasn't able to show you progress shots via Project Dent, but at least I'm happy that it's now looking more loved.

Marc Jacobs O!Mega Coconut Perfect Tan in Tan-tastic

Full review here. This is such a wonderful bronzer and I'm so glad I bought it. You may well have heard others rave about it before, and I'm going to rave too because it's a favourite and I love it almost as much as I love my Hourglass bronzers.

It blends and applies so easily, and it's not too warm so I can wear it year-round and it goes with everything. It also airbrushes the skin, so it has a smoothing effect that helps make my skin look its best.

On top of that, you get heaps of product in here - so I think it was worth the investment and it's going to be in my collection for a while. Definitely worth trying.

Elemental Herbology Cool & Clear Facial Cleanser

Full review here. This has been in my favourites before, but I'm still enjoying it so I wanted to include it again.

It's a gel cleanser with a natural, herbal scent that I enjoy. In texture it's a thin gel that feels light as air on the skin, and when you add water it lathers up but doesn't foam, and I can tell that it doesn't contain any nasties like soap or SLS.

I love the feel of this cleanser when I massage it across the skin. The lather is velvety and it feels like it's cleansing without stripping my natural oils. I use mine as my second cleanse in the morning, and I find that my face feels clean, fresh and soft after use. Worth trying too.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light

This is always a favourite so I probably don't mention it enough in these monthly favourites posts, but I wanted to now because a few people have asked me about it recently so I thought it was timely to talk about how much I love it. Full review here.

In short, it's hands-down the most amazing makeup item I've ever put on my face. Indeed, you may have heard me say before that if I could only ever use one product for the rest of my life, this would be it. I can't see that changing: this has been my number one for years.

I've no idea what's in these powders, but they diffuse light so my facial texture (eg pores and fine lines) looks less noticeable, and they smooth the surface of my skin so that it looks healthier and younger. They also add a subtle radiance that's never too much, and I can't live without wearing one of these every day. Indeed, I've come to feel that I look 'wrong' without one. Unbeatable.

In sum

That's all from me! I hope you enjoyed this little post and that you have plenty of your own favourites for the month.

Do let me know in the comments what you've been loving lately: I'd love to hear.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x
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