Monthly Archives: February 2018

Morning Skincare: Two Serums from DECIEM

It’s taken me a while to catch on to the fact that it’s serums that make a real difference to your skin and not moisturiser. Now I’ve found a few I use regularly and have incorporated these two into my morning skincare routine.  Both are from brands under the umbrella of DECIEM “The Abnormal Beauty Company”.  Journalist and vlogger Nadine Baggott recently filmed a fascinating interview with the founder of DECIEM, Brandon Truaxe, which is well worth a watch if you’re into skincare.

I alternate these two serums each morning after a hydrating spritz and applying hyaluronic acid to my neck in the form of Multi Molecular Hyaluronic Complex by NIOD.

 

Copper Amino Isolate Solution 1% by NIOD

Another catchy name from NIOD. CAIS has become quite the cult product since its release, being thought to promote long-term skin health and combat the effects of skin ageing. Copper peptides are supposed to have multiple benefits including assisting with wound healing, collagen synthesis and anti-inflamatory responses.  Victoria of Bois de Jasmin didn’t think much of it  so I didn’t expect great things. However I found my skin really liked it. It seemed to soothe and strengthen my reactive skin.

It has very low viscosity (it’s like water!) and absorbs really well. The main reason I like it is that it feels healing on my cheek and neck which are constantly battling eczema. Maybe if you skin is already healthy you won’t notice a difference.

It comes in two bottles which you combine to create a bright blue liquid. A friend of mine doesn’t like face products that are blue, in the same way she doesn’t trust blue food, but I like it. It also smells faintly of rusty pipes which I don’t mind one bit. I’m sticking with it for now and will purchase the new improved CAIS 2 when I run out of the original formula. If the price of £38 for 15ml is a bit rich for you, The Ordinary are launching The Buffet + Copper Peptides 1% in the spring.

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Niacinamide 1% + Zinc 1% by The Ordinary

Niacinamide + Zine 1% regulates the skin’s sebum activity, reduces the appearance of blemishes and brightens skin tone. I use it because I have combination skin and this has noticeably helped to balance it out: I no longer have an oily T-Zone. I like The Ordinary’s version because it states it has a high 10% concentration of niacinamide (vitamin B3) whereas some don’t tell you the exact percentage. Paula’s Choice do a Niacinamide Booster at 10% but it costs considerably more then £5 for 30ml, at £40 for 20ml.

I really like the texture of this serum because although it combats oiliness, it doesn’t feel  drying.  I don’t use it at the same as my Vitamin C serum because this can cause a redness reaction.

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Do you use a serum in your morning skincare routine? Please share your choices in the comments. I love to hear what works for other people.

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A Month of Irises

Who needs roses on Valentine’s Day when you can have irises?

You may already be a reader of Undina’s excellent blog, but she came up with the idea of making February ‘A Month of Irises’.  There is a new post each week on Undina’s Looking Glass which she is adding to each day with a little iris-related review or fact, so do check in there for the rest of the month and share your SotD. Other bloggers are getting involved in the fun too and I’m hosting here on A Bottled Rose today.

I’ll be posting a full review of my current No.1 iris, Iris Poudre by Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums at the end of the month, but today I wanted to talk about another iris in my collection: 28 La Pausa by Les Exclusifs de Chanel.

 

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I own a 200ml vat of the original EdT and while it is notorious for poor longevity, strangely I don’t have any problems on that score. It would be tough to produce an iris-centric perfume that wasn’t elegant but I think you’d be hard pressed to find one more refined and coolly charming than this Chanel.

28 La Pausa is a silken iris, being low on rootiness and much more floral in character. I find it soothing and minimalist yet radiant. It stops short of aloof and floats pleasantly around me in the palest blue aura.

When I tried the new EdP version I found that it progressed rather too quickly to its vetiver base on my skin. However Victoria of Bois de Jasmin recently wrote that she prefers it, in her brilliant Top Ten of Winter Iris Perfumes so do see how you find it. That post also spawned galloping lemmings of On Lipstick from Maison Martin Margiela Replica and Mythique by Parfums DelRae.

Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens is surely the ne plus ultra of iris perfumes but it has too much of a cold knife edge for me to wear it comfortably. My “lottery win” iris would be Irisss by Xerjoff at £560 for 100ml.

Chanel No.19 EdT is the iris-forward perfume that is currently on my To Buy list. Another fantastic iris that I’m sure I’ll own one day is Prada’s Infusion d’Iris Absolu.

Some others that I admire and have reviewed in the past are Hermes Hiris, the white iris of Nirmal by Laboratorio Olfattivo, the moonlit Iris Nazarena from Aedes de Venustas and the fabulously smoky Iris Cendre by Naomi Goodsir.

If you missed it on Olfactoria’s Travels back in the day, you might be interested to read my write-up of Incredible Irises, an evening of iris at Perfume Lovers London. It features some background information about this luxurious ingredient as well as a good selection of scents.

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Please let us know in the comments which iris perfume you are wearing today or which one/s you love!

 

 

 

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Mood Scent 4: First Love Perfumes

Today, we as the joint blogging project Mood Scent, 4 are sharing the first perfumes we fell in love with. What memories do they recall? How do we feel about them now?

Unlike many British teenage girls in the 1980s, I didn’t go through a phase of wearing soft, feminine fragrances like Anais Anais or Lou Lou. No, I went straight for the hard stuff…

 

Mood scent purple

 

Obsession by Calvin Klein

Mandarin, orange blossom, bergamot, jasmine, rose, coriander, tagete, armoise, oakmoss and amber

I bought a small bottle of Obsession on a school trip to France and vividly remember a friend asking to try some on the ferry home. I couldn’t believe she was expecting me to open the brand new bottle and let her be the first one to use it. Me being me, I complied without a word. That tells you how much I coveted that bottle and the scent within. Looking back now, this classic 1980s power perfume seems way too strong for a teenager but I loved it. A heavy, musky amber is just about the opposite of anything I’d wear today.

 

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Parfum d’Ete by Kenzo

Mahogany, green leaves, lily-of-the-valley, freesia, peach, hyacinth, rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, cycalmen, peony, narcissus, iris, sandalwood, oakmoss, cedar, musk and amber 

I went through quite a love affair with Kenzo perfumes at one point. I bought and thoroughly enjoyed their excellent fruity florals Le Monde Est Beau and Ca Sent Beau.  I remember trying the now discontinued version of Parfum d’Ete on skin for the first time at a department store. By the time I reached the exit I was so smitten I turned around, went straight back to the counter and bought a bottle.  It’s a pleasant, breezy scent with plenty of heft despite its lightweight feel.  Although the name meaning “summer fragrance”, it actually comes across as rather spring-like with its tender florals and green shoots full of water.

parfum d ete

 

Aromatics Elixir by Clinique

Sage, chamomile, verbena, geranium, jasmine, ylang-ylang, tuberose, rose, patchouli and oakmoss

I bought the 70s classic Aromatics Elixir when I started my first permanent office job and received lots of compliments on it. So much so that my mother, sister and boss all started wearing it too. It was unlike anything I’d come across before and I guess it was my first experience of a chypre. While I’d find it a bit too intense now, I still admire it. It’s such a distinctive, cohesive composition that is more than the sum of its parts, which are herbal, floral, woody and mossy.  My mum still wears it, 20 years later.

 

 

aromatics elixir

Envy by Gucci

Hyacinth, magnolia, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, iris, musk and woods

Owing to the popularity of Aromatics Elixir among those close to me, I had to find a new signature scent. I turned to Envy which had just been released in 1997 It was created by perfumer Maurice Roucel who composed the iconic Iris Silver Mist for Serge Lutens three years earlier and Musc Ravageur for Frederic Malle three years later. It’s such a clever perfume in my book because it takes the green floral as a theme and turns it into something sleek, chic and subtly sexy.

 

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Unfortunately Esperanza isn’t up to joining us today but don’t miss the First Love Perfumes of Megan In Sainte Maxime  and I Scent You A Day.

 

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Please share your own fragrant first loves in the comments below!

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