Roberto Cavalli Eau de Parfum

Oh, I love this fragrance.  This is my favorite Cavalli perfume.  It reminds me of a less fruity and more mature version of Jacques Fath’s Fath de Fath perfume.

This is crazy seductive fragrance that smells the way silk and satin feel.  Cavalli likened the scent to an animal print dress.  I agree. This is a scent for serious, confident women who get noticed.  I will up the comparison and liken the fragrance to a leopard print dress and red patent leather (vegan, of course) pumps.

The smells of amber and vanilla mixed with white florals and a little spice make this perfume lovely, cozy, seductive, warm, sensual.  The vanilla is the strongest note– it exists from the top to the base note.  The vanilla is gorgeous and VERY well done– not too sweet or cloying.

I adore vanilla, so this is one of my favorites.  Be wary of the vanilla, if that is not your favorite scent, though.

The mixture of amber, vanilla, tonka bean, orange flower and a little spice creates a confident, sexy perfume for nights out.  This is a perfume for women in their 30s or even in their hot 40s– it smells like sophistication and sex.

The bottle looks rich, sensual and old-Hollywood.  And, the bottle takes a back seat to this amazing scent.

This perfume had excellent lasting power– over 8 hours of some powerful scent.  And, that is an amazing feat on my skin.

The sillage was fairly large: arm’s length and even more.  It left a lovely trail– several ladies I passed with a good 4 foot distance between us complimented the Cavalli and inquired about it.

This is definitely a cold weather perfume.  It is best for night.  It is just too strong and big for day wear.  Wear this Cavalli on special occasions (New Year’s Eve!) and date nights, just not first dates– too sexy.


Britney Spears’ Midnight Fantasy

Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy

I usually avoid celebrity perfumes. I classify them as cheap, foul, silly, and with little longevity. This perfume really surprised me. I loved the scent! It was syrupy cherries and plums and cooking vanilla– a little tacky, yes, though so inviting and sexy and cool.
The sillage was impressively large, and the staying power was close to 6 hours! This is an amazing feat for most perfumes on my skin.
Unfortunately, this perfume is produced by Elizabeth Arden, a company which tests on animals. Yuck, and WTF?
I was going to request this perfume as a Christmas gift. Alas

Estée Lauder Pleasures Perfume

Disclaimer: I received a small tube of this perfume as a gift.  I would never purchase anything Estee Lauder since the company still tests on animals.

For the above-mentioned shameful reason, I had never tried anything in the Estee Lauder line, and that is a bummer.  I like the smell of this fragrance.   It is fresh and relaxed- romantic, and it smells expensive.    It’s a great spring and summer day and night scent.

At first the scent was overwhelmingly gardenia– a little synthetic and chemical-like.  I could make out the smell of nothing else but, perhaps, rose.

After about 5 minutes, the scent was very strong and very white floral.  It made my eyes water a bit, and I felt overwhelmed by the fragrance even though I only sprayed it twice on wrist/ inner forearm.

After about 10 minutes, the fragrance was very white floral—especially lilac, lily and peony– and a bit woodsy and spicy— hints of patchouli and pink pepper.  The strength of the scent was beginning to die down, though it was still quite strong.

After about 20 minutes, the perfume smelled like a garden of white flowers after a light spring rain.   The perfume smelled clean and tranquil and a little muggy.  I could easily detect the pink pepper, a lovely and unexpected compliment to the florals.  It was strong, but not overly so.  The scent remained in this state until it disappeared from my skin.

The sillage of Pleasures was probably arm’s length, though the smell was quite emphatic to me, and I thought the sillage to be room-sized.  The perfume had staying power of about 4 hours—though the strength drops markedly within the first 30 minutes.  The perfume then dies slowly over time, though 8 hours later I could smell the fragrance on my skin.

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue

What a gorgeous, light, summery fragrance!  Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue is a combination of citrus, apple, nature, and clean.  I detected light flowers, but they only serve as accents to these main notes.

The opening notes are strong of green apple, lemons and cedar– that smelled wonderful.  The scent that emerges is even more authentic and lovely: sweet lemons, patchouli, cedar, freshly laundered cotton sheets, green apples, and a hint of amber and roses.

The perfume has an active, yet seductive, quality to it.  It is clean, fresh, young, expensive.  Light Blue seems simple, yet it has a quality allure to it.  Nothing about it smells synthetic or even like a perfume.

This is a perfect scent for spring/summer– especially day.  The fragrance is not strong and sits close to the body, so people only get to experience this delicate scent if you allow them to get close enough to you.

I applaud the use of rose in this perfume as an accent, as it is so easy for rose to become overpowering and drown out the other scents.  The rose perfectly compliments the other notes and brings out the juicy citrus of Light Blue.

Sadly, this fragrance only lasted about 3 hours on me.  After that, you could detect it by directly sniffing my skin.  I guess that is a good ice breaker.

Black Orchid by Tom Ford

I bought this for my anti-fragrance boyfriend, for I know he will eventually come around and wear Black Orchid with as much enthusiasm as I would.  This scent by Tom Ford is unisex, though best on men.  It is spicy, chocolate-y, warm, sensual, dark and very cold weather appropriate.

The scent was formed in 2006 by the creators of Givaudan.  The fragrance was put out in limited release, and is still circulating among the fraggies.

The initial smell for me was bitter and cedar-like.   That only lasts a minute, so be patient!  After about 5 minutes the real fragrance comes through: bitter dark chocolate, gardenia, amber, vanilla, incense, patchouli.  The fragrance is lush, creamy and so sensual.  People, it smells like sex.

Any man smelling like this… oh my!This seductive, mysterious, and gorgeous scent can project its extreme awesomeness on any man.  This is a difficult feat, indeed!

After about 10 minutes you smell the vetiver and patchouli, the orchid, the lily and some mild citrus-y notes—along with the dark chocolate, vanilla beans, amber, incense, sandalwood, gardenia, cream, and spiciness.  And, guys, I promise this is not a “girly” smelling perfume cologne.

Honestly, this cologne is what I would imagine the moments after passionate sex smell like.   It is crazy.

As for sillage: hold out your arms, and the sillage reaches to your wrists.  And, people, this scent LASTS.   With two sprays, it was strong and noticeable on me for about 10 hours.   That is almost impossible with my scent-gobbling skin.

The bottle is quite plain and uninviting.  I guess Black Orchid’s sex-in-a-bottle allure is going incognito.

Virtual Class II: Blog Response #2

I am writing about two articles concerning team work.  While the advice is not surprising, it could bear repeating.

An article on the Harvard Business Review described a study on the dynamics of team work in solving problems.

These were the results and the factors needed for the the highest success in teams:

  • High social intuition among group members
  • A higher proportion of women to men
  • Even distribution of work and inputs– no leaders
  • Central hubs in each group: 4% of each group performed 50% of the networking and customer relations
  • Women are more “socially perceptive”

This article correlates with an essay about the strong team work of geese.
The factors for a good team:

  • Have a clearly defined goal all members agree upon
  • Work together
  • Share a “sense of community”
  • Encourage members
  • Support and help members

All of these factors make sense in propelling a team to do good work.  I do see an important factor missing: Have a goal that not only all members agree upon, but a goal that all members enthusiastically want to achieve.  Incentives like achievement or group recognition are important for the individual team members, as peer pressure from the team will only account for so much effort.

Virtual Class II: Blog Response #1

Articles abound on perfecting your “writer’s voice,” especially important in the world of blogging.  After tackling the initial worry of “What do I write about?” the writer encounters commandments for opinion, personality, tone, expertise, originality.  How can anyone stack up well with this amount of criteria?

Here are the important factors in blogging according to Steve Peha in Looking for Quality in Student Writing.

  • Appropriate Tone
  • Inject your Personality
  • Be Honest
  • Be Authentic
  • Be Original
  • Care About the Topic

Do I follow all of these necessities?  I feel it depends on the subject.  I wouldn’t say I am breaking new ground with my perfume reviews, though the reviews are original, authentic and honest.  My personality exists, I would hope, though I am not the focus– the fragrance is.  I care about my topic: I love scents– so, I am secure in that regard.

An essay about finding your writing voice by Men With Pens, gives helpful hints and advice to assist a writer in finding his or her “voice.”  Here are some of the questions/ instructions and my responses:

If your writing style was a drink, what kind of drink would it be?

My writing style would be a glass of oaky, dry Chardonnay with a few confounding vegan M & M’s sitting in the bottom.  The candies would be green, blue and red.

List adjectives that describe your writing style:

Interesting, witty, honest, caring, fearless

Imagine different personas in your writing:

A 60 year- old man from Manhattan, a 12 year-old female from Lawrenceville, a female lawyer in D.C.

Shakira’s Elixir Perfume

This is the first Shakira fragrance I have tried, so I had no idea what to expect.  I immediately saw the bottle as an imitation of Dior’s J’Adore bottle— and, I agree that imitation is the best form of flattery.  (I love that bottle).

With the perfume, I was pleasantly surprised—eventually.

Upon first sniffing this on the tester paper and then from the mist I spritzed into the air, I smelled only Baby Powder.  Perhaps some flowers lurked beneath the baby powder smell..?

After about 10 minutes on my skin, the fragrance was 80% baby powder with about 10% white floral and 10% amber & musk.  It had a grandma- like smell, and it also had an intriguing and barely identifiable fragrance beneath of flowers and amber and many other scents.  It was a mystery has to how this scent would progress—or, if it would progress.

Over the next hour, the scent slightly weakened and faded on me as I began to smell pine, pepper, musk, and lots of amber.   The scent changed from synthetic, cheap and unpleasant to a little heavy with amber and baby powder and spices and orange blossom.

From Hour One until the scent died,  I could sense strong notes of orange blossom, freesia and amber; medium intensity peaches, cedar and musk; and slight notes of baby powder (now not overpowering or sweet), pine, black pepper and leather.

I saw styrax was listed as a scent.  I won’t vote on it since styrax has always been a mystery for me: sometimes it smells floral, sometimes it smells like motor oil.  Perhaps the leather I smelled was the styrax… perhaps it was a leather scent.

This fragrance was sultry—there was nothing clean or girly about it.  I would recommend this for more mature woman, a woman who is confident and poised while also casual and seductive.

I feel this fragrance is wonderful for the fall, and possibly for the winter.   With the right coolness of weather, this sultry fragrance will make a great scent for the right person.  Just be sure to work that badass attitude, ladies!

It would work best as a night scent, and it is definitely a good boudoir scent.

The fragrance begins pretty strong.  I didn’t do a sillage test, though I felt everyone within 5 feet of me could smell the perfume for the first 30 minutes.  By Hour One, the sillage seemed quite week, and the perfume lasted decently long on me—about 4 hours.

I would recommend this perfume for the cool months ahead—perhaps the smell won’t take so long to regulate on other people.

Chloe Eau de Parfum by Chloe

Upon first smelling and applying this perfume, it smelled overwhelmingly of white pepper.  I could barely sense some rose and other florals in the background, though they were 90% drowned out by the pepper smell.

After about 5 minutes, the fragrance began to die down, sweeten and take on a clean quality.  I could smell a soap that reminded me of unscented laundry detergent along with a stronger rose smell and a less strong pepper smell.

After about 15 minutes, the perfume evened out and gave me a clean, fresh, floral scent.  I smelled rose, magnolia and peony– like I smelled these flowers growing in someone’s garden.  I smelled a soapy- cotton– like freshly laundered sheets that were line-dried.  I smelled litchi, or the faint smell of grapes.  I smelled a little sea salt.  I faintly smelled a juicy red or Fuji apple.  Nice.

The fragrance was certainly feminine with a sillage of about arm’s length.  I would deem this a cooler weather scent– best for the spring or fall, especially if spending time outdoors.  I would not recommend this as an office or professional scent.  It has a “hippy” and casual edge to it, so it is great to wear on vacation to the coast or at the farmer’s market.

The staying power was not impressive, the scent strongly lasting 3 or so hours.  I felt like I was floating in a cloud of soap and rose for about 1.5 hours, though.  The fragrance was not too strong– between a soft and medium power.

This scent is calming, soothing, young and fresh.  I would say I could smell this exact scent if I were on the coast of Nova Scotia in Septmeber, in a rose bush- and peony- filled backyard, standing near an old magnolia tree and some freshly laundered sheets that were half-dry and waving on clothes lines, while someone near me eats a red apple.

Writing a News Release

*This is the from the email I sent to Stubby’s Heroes about a writing a news release for their upcoming March.

Here are some guidelines for writing a news release. (Don’t use the term “press release” or “press conference.”)
You can give me the basic info, and I will put it in the release format.  I have attached a sample news release.
These need to be sent the Monday before the March– 10/22.  I will work on this ASAP.
Because news directors receive hundreds of releases every day, yours must look professional and present the facts quickly, or it will never be read.
  • Keep it short. One page is best.
  • Write a concise, catchy headline that summarizes the story. It should be written in the style of a newspaper headline, using active verbs.
  • Use the “inverted pyramid” style to write the release. Put the most important facts in the first paragraph and supporting information in descending order so that the least important information is last.
  • The first paragraph should answer the “five W’s”: who, what, where, when, and why.
  • Underline the text that gives the location, time, and date of the event.
  • The final paragraph should describe your group and reinforce your message with a quotation from your spokesperson.
  • Never editorialize. Use quotations to express opinions.
  • Quotations should be attributed to a specific individual, such as the appointed spokesperson for your upcoming event, not just your group.
  • Proofread the release carefully for grammar and spelling. Ask someone else to read it and to give an objective opinion. If you have the time, set it aside and look it over again the next morning. Eliminate redundancy, use short words and phrases, and simplify complex ideas.
  • Make it dramatic and attention-getting, but be prepared to substantiate everything that you say. Double-check the facts. It is virtually impossible to correct a release once it has gone out. But if you do make a mistake—especially in the time or location of an event—call those who received the release as soon as possible.
  • The time you give the media should be the ideal time for them to see your event. If your event starts at 11 a.m., you may wish to tell the media that it’s a little later so that they don’t arrive to see activists who are still figuring out where to stand or are simply chatting.
  • Be sure to give the contact’s full name. Be certain that the contact is always available at the phone number listed on the release, and include both daytime and evening numbers if necessary.