Filed In: Fragrance

Fragrance Tips for Perfume Sensitive Gals



I love perfume, but I don’t wear it. I collect bottles of fragrances not because I douse myself in them daily, but because I love how beautiful the bottles look on a tray in my bedroom. I fantasize about the way I would smell if I could wear them. Sexy, sultry, exotic, fresh, confident … the list goes on. I also like nothing more than getting a whiff of my favorite scents on friends when I give them a hug or strangers when I pass them on the street. But alas, I just can’t wear a perfume without ending up a sneezy, headachy mess. It’s heart breaking.

I’ve always been scent sensitive, but it wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles and got pregnant that I had to shun perfumes permanently. But today, that’s all going to change. I’ve decided I’m going to – once and for all – find a scent I can wear without having a negative physical reaction.

Before I set out on my fragrance expedition, I thought I’d do some research to figure out what I should be looking for in a scent. Should I steer clear of white flowers or synthetic juices? Go for an oil or solid perfume over a spray? You know, the big important questions. (more…)

16 Beautiful Stocking Stuffer Ideas


As the saying goes: If you want something done right, do it yourself. Here’s what I’ll be stuffing my (and my husband’s) stockings with this year. Which beauty product picks will you add to your list?

korres masks


Korres Beauty Shots, $36

Four mini facial masks with active fruit ingredients will get your skin glowing. The nectarine version moisturizes while the watermelon cools, grapefruit brightens and cranberry firms and lifts.

Kiehl's Hand Salve and Lip Balm #1


Kiehl’s Soothing Essentials Duo, $18

Perfect for you, or your other half, this duo contains two of my all-time favorite products from Kiehl’s. The Lip Balm #1 and the Ultimate Strength Hand Salve.

by terry baume du rose

By Terry

By Terry Baume de Rose Colour Collection, $89

I pretty much love everything from By Terry. I’m a sucker for anything infused with rose. So this ready-to-gift set of five tinted baumes is a must-have.  (more…)

My Mother’s Day Beauty Wish List

Sunday will mark my first Mother’s Day ever. How weird it’ll be to be one of the women celebrated on this day. Weird, but pretty awesome.

If you’re new to the mom title, you can totally relate to the fact that it’s extremely difficult to squeeze in beautifying. You’re too busy fussing over everyone else. Showering is an accomplishment. Being able to blowout your hair, apply an actual makeup “look” and keep up with brow shaping, bikini line grooming and all of that stuff is pretty much a thing of the past. Am I right?

It’s led me to start fantasizing about beauty products and treatments even more than usual. So, here are the six items I’d treat myself with, if I were doing the shopping…

Tocca-Liliana-EDTNo. 1: Tocca anything.

I’ve been using the new Tocca Crema da Mano Luxe in Bianca, $20, which smells divine – it’s a blend of green tea and lemon – and the tube is gorgeous. But, I’m also hoping get my hands on their newest fragrance, Tocca Liliana Eau de Parfum, $68. It’s inspired by The Great Gatsby (what isn’t these days) and includes notes of Italian bergamot, gardenia, white peony and sandalwood.


No. 2: Watermelon Vodka-Tini Body Duo at The Huntington Spa, $190 (Regularly $240)

This delicious duo, a special treatment the spa is featuring for spring, includes a 30-minute watermelon/basil sugar body scrub followed by an hour-long massage that involves sparkling citrus cilantro lime oil. If that doesn’t sound like heaven, know that the beautiful spa is housed in the fabulous Langham Hotel in Pasadena. I might never come home if this gift comes my way.

Marc Jacobs Honey

No. 3: Marc Jacobs Honey

While this fragrance doesn’t launch until summer, I’m already adding it to my beauty wish list. How can I not. The bottle is seriously cute. (more…)

Celebrate Earth Month Part Deux: Bond No. 9 I Love New York for Earth Day, $175


If you are a fragrance lover, you should get to know Bond No. 9. With a serious cult following, their scents are beyond gorgeous and luxe, and have great longevity. As true New Yorkers are known to be, this brand is very New York-centric, with each fragrance paying tribute to a different New York neighborhood — Central Park West, Nuits De Noho, and Madison Square Park are best sellers. Their newest launch, Bond No. 9 I Love New York for Earth Day, $175, Bond No. 9 celebrates the great state’s environmental smarts with this metro-sophisticated eau de parfum — a percentage of the sales is donated toward the State of New York’s “green” initiatives, like park cleanups, preservation programs, and the like. I Love New York For Earth Day is über fresh and smooth with top notes of tangerine, lush orchid, and orange flower water, along with middle notes of tuberose, muguet, orris, followed by woody bottom notes of musk, amber, oakmoss, and sandlewood. Regardless of where you live, or if you even like NYC, you will go ga-ga for this easy-to-wear green floral.

Holiday Gifts That Give Back: In Peace Eau De Parfum

in-peaceI’ve just started my holiday shopping and this year I decided to search out gifts that give back and donate a portion of their proceeds to charity. First on my list is In Peace, $75. It’s the perfect gift fragrance because it’s super versatile: Fresh and light, it has top notes of pimento and freesia, a heart of creamy suede and soft mimosa, with a base of white musk and sandalwood. I love to wear it alone, but it’s also lovely mixed with a citrus scent as well — totally changes the mood. The best part: 10% of net profits from the sale of each bottle will go directly to Women for Women International’s sponsorship program which supports women survivors of war to enable them to rebuild their lives and promote peaceful communities. How is that for a gift?

Marilyn loved Chanel Nº 5

When asked what she wears to bed, Marilyn Monroe boldly answered, “Just a few drops of Nº 5!” — and they would be forever linked. Inside Chanel, the retrospective site dedicated to the history of the brand, explores the intimate relationship between the movie icon and her fragrance, the iconic Chanel Nº 5. I highly suggest watching it in French. C’est magnifique!

Beauty Problem Solvers Of The Week: Jao Patio Oil and Outscent

Spending my weekends at the beach and in the woods is divine. But the mosquitos are fierce, so I’ve been on the hunt for bug spray — ideally one that doesn’t have that chemical-y smell and isn’t toxic enough to require a haz-mat suit. Then I discovered Jao Patio Oil, $30 and Jao Outscent, $50. The perfect summer combo that smells wonderful and is effective at keeping you from getting eaten alive. They designed the two be used in tandem and create an amazing essential oil bug repellent experience. Who knew that was even possible?! Here’s how it works: the Patio Oil (it also comes in a spray) is 20 percent lemon-eucalyptus oil, (the only plant based ingredient recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to repel mosquitos), along with moisturizing jojoba and hemp oil, chamomile and calendula. Slather it all over your legs, arms, wherever the mosquitos like to bite you. Then spritz yourself with Outscent, an essential oil parfum made with a bug repellant blend, minus synthetic fragrance. With fir balsam, fir needle, patchouli, and geranium to name a few, it’s, well, pretty woody. But it has a lovely complexity that mellows over time and makes it totally unisex. These together will keep the bugs from biting during those summer cookouts and beach parties and you’ll smell divine. Perfect.

How do you keep the bugs away?

– Carrie Stern Kleiner

And My Olympics Obsession Begins: A Nod to My Favorite British Beauty Brands

With the Olympics starting today (USA, USA, USA!!!), I can’t help but wish I were in London cheering on our athletes. For those of you who are lucky enough to be there, be sure to stock up on the very best beauty the UK has to offer. Here are our top picks of the most iconic brands  — lucky for you, they are all available stateside. Cherrio!

Molton Brown: A totally sensory bath experience, this English company produces the most beautifully fragrant products that are so pretty you just want to keep them on your vanity for looks — until you smell them and then you’re addicted and use them up immediately. With a luxurious lather and exotic fragrances, you’ll want to try them all. Check out their limited edition Global Heroes Collection, $45, a travel-sized shower gel set, so you can.

Jo Malone of London: Timeless and elegant, with a cheeky side too, the fragrances developed a cult following because of their simplicity — distinctly British qualities, no? Try the unisex Lime Basil and Mandarin Cologne, $55 (30ml). With hints of fresh lime and zesty mandarin undercut by peppery basil and aromatic white thyme it makes an alluring blend.

Rimmel London: Not only on the cutting edge of fashion, Rimmel London is known for their edgy colors and especially their dramatic mascara formulations. With Kate Moss as the face of the brand what could be more cool? Check out their homage to their UK heritage with Glam’Eyes HD Eyeshadow, $6, and new Lasting Finish By Kate Moss Lipstick, $5.

Burberry Beauty: With English beauties in mind, this a comprehensive collection of foundations, powders, bronzers, lipsticks and eye shadows that aims to give a natural, just-a-trace-of-makeup look. They are packaged in iconic Burberry plaid, which is adorable to boot. Try Lip Cover in Rosewood, $30.

Illamasqua: This UK-based richly pigmented color cosmetics line that promises “make-up for your alter ego,” has a big following among the beauty-insider set. These bold colors are perfect for a big night out. Try their Cream Pigment in Mould, $24 to wear alone or under your powder shadow.

Butter London: With a high-fashion pedigree, this nail enamel brand makes the most of-the-moment shades and all their lacquers 3 free (made without Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP). Environmentally conscious and fashion forward is our kind of polish. Try Butter London 3 Free Nail Lacquer in Macbeth, $14, for a perfect summer watermelon shade.

What are your favorite British Brands?

– Carrie Stern Kleiner

Kiehl’s Globe Trotting Scents

You know when you smell something that is subtle, but so amazing? Like the scent of the ocean in Montauk or a flower lei in Maui? Well, that’s what you get from Kiehl’s Aromatic Blends, but way more exotic. Inspired by ingredients sourced from around the globe, they’re launching with four scents: Orange Flower & Lychee (Morocco), Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit (Japan), Vanilla & Cedar Wood (Uganda), and Fig Leaf & Sage (France). Trust me, they all smell beyond awesome. With simple and clear constructions and far fewer ingredients than a typical fragrance, these scents are pure and warm, but won’t overwhelm you with their fancy complexity. They smell alluring, yet mellow. The line includes a Skin Softening Body Cleanser, $24, Skin Softening Body Lotion, $26 and Fragrance, $75. Maybe it’s my love of travel, but even though they are meant to be layered in one family, I’ve been mixing Fig Leaf & Sage Body Cleanser with Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit Body Lotion to great effect IMO. I dare you to pick just one.

– Carrie Stern Kleiner

12 Days of Beauty-Full Gift Ideas All Under $20 — Day 9

Day 9: Mark Instant Vacation Fragrance Trio Collection, $18

Want to help the sun worshiper on your list escape the frigid winter temps? Well, you could take her on a snazzy vacation to Hawaii, Costa Rica or Ibiza — or, save a couple thousand green ones and give her this fragrance trio. The three included scents: Instant Vacation, Costa Rica Instant Vacation and Ibiza Sol Instant Vacation are a few of Mark’s best-selling perfumes packaged up in cute, purse-sized spray bottles. They are fragrances that will instantly boost your mood (thanks to notes like tropical fruit, jasmine, vanilla, warm sand, iced watermelon, pink guava, honeysuckle, pear, white geranium) even on the most dreadful and gray of days. The best part? She won’t even have to turn down the snowball cookies or pigs in a blanket during the holidays in anticipation of having to wear a swimsuit — bonus!

See Day 8: Philosophy Candy Cane Trio, $16